Monday, September 08, 2014

Today -100: September 8, 1914: Of vigorous shelling, deadly traps, and vulgar traps

It looks like the immediate threat of a German attack on Paris is over.

War Headlines of the Day -100:

The Romanian people would really like to join the war on Russia’s side, but the king of Romania really wouldn’t like this.  Coincidentally, all of the king of Romania’s money is in German banks.

Pres. Wilson offers miners and mineowners in Colorado a plan to end the strike (and allow the removal of federal troops): a 3-year truce (he uses that word); striking miners to be re-employed; elected grievance committees, a majority of whose members must be married; no mine guards employed; no union recognition; no picketing or colonies for 3 years.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The London Standard: “One [Belgian] officer took his solemn oath that he had seen an infant carried through the streets on a bayonet.”

Turkey is rejecting plans for American naval vessels to help get Red Cross aid to Christians in Turkey.  The Turkish ambassador to the US claims that Britain is talking about atrocity stories in a “vulgar trap” to somehow get the US involved in the World War (that only makes sense if Turkey joins the war, but everyone now assumes that that’s inevitable).  The ambassador says that yes, there have been massacres, but the Armenians and Maronites were massacred “not as Christians but as political agitators engaged in undermining the Ottoman state.”  Just like Russia kills Jews and France kills Algerians and England kills Indians and the US lynches blacks and waterboards Filipinos.

During the sacking of Louvain, a Swedish diplomat asked a German lieutenant if he could take a picture.  In a delightful misunderstanding, the lieut., not understanding that Mr. Pousette meant he wanted to take a photograph with his camera, pointed him to a mansion which he said had particularly good pictures and told him to help himself.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for US Senate in NY as an anti-Tammany Democrat, thinks that Boss Murphy’s preferred candidate, Ambassador to Germany James Gerard, wouldn’t run if nominated, because ambassador to Germany is kind of an important job just at the moment.  “I am willing to concede the servility of some of the followers of Murphy, who run or withdraw from a ticket just as he decrees; I am not yet willing to believe that he can drag an ambassador away from important duties to make him the respectable figurehead for a bad ticket.”  Spoiler Alert: FDR is quite wrong about that.

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