Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today -100: May 12, 1915: There are worse things than war

Theodore Roosevelt says the US should ban all commerce with Germany while encouraging commerce of every kind (i.e., munition sales) to France, Britain “and the rest of the civilized world.” “I do not believe the assertion of our rights means war, but we will do well to remember there are worse things than war.” He says following Wilson’s “too proud to fight” policy would lead to the US being as impotent as China. He says that arms sales are moral if they help restore Belgium.

The Cabinet meets, finally, to discuss the Lusitania affair. After three hours it decides on the proper response to Germany, which is, wait for it, “vigorous language.” They do not want a war with Germany, unless Germany wants one. Everyone is aware, though, that as Roosevelt likes to point out, when Germany first announced its new submarine warfare policy Wilson warned that it would be held to “strict accountability” for its actions.

British soldiers now have gas masks. Crap ones, of course.

Punch cartoon:

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