Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Today -100: June 3, 1915: The people and Government of the United States cannot stand indifferently by and do nothing to serve their neighbor

Headline of the Day -100: 

Woodrow Wilson orders Mexico to knock off all the civil warring, or the US “will be constrained to decide what means should be employed by the United States in order to help Mexico save herself and serve her people.”  For example, we might lend “active moral support” (i.e., an arms embargo on its enemies) to some strongman or strong-group, “if such may be found,” which can establish a functioning government. They’re thinking Gen. Eduardo Iturbide, mostly because he’s in Washington DC lobbying for the job. “Mexico is starving and without a Government,” Wilson says, so “the people and Government of the United States cannot stand indifferently by and do nothing to serve their neighbor. They want nothing for themselves in Mexico. Least of all do they desire to settle her affairs for her, or claim any right to do so. But neither do they wish to see utter ruin come upon her”. He telegraphs this statement to Carranza, Villa, Zapata, and Garza.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The Daily News (London) says that Turkish troops have revolted at Gallipoli, killing German officers. The alleged revolt was put down, allegedly, and its ringleaders allegedly executed.

Cesare Battisti, a member of the Austrian Chamber of Deputies from Trentino for the Social Democratic Workers’ Party, is tried in absentia and sentenced to death. In absentia because he left the country at the start of the war and has joined the Italian Army. He will be captured by the Austrians a year from now and hanged (twice) and garrotted.

German Ambassador to the US Count von Bernstorff meets Pres. Wilson and tells him that he has affidavits that the Lusitania was armed: from some guy with a German name (who will turn out to be a German secret service agent) who claims he saw cannons when helping a friend bring his trunks on board; a boarding-house keeper and a lodger who say another lodger, a steward on the Lusi, said he’d be safe because the ship had “four big brightly polished copper guns” (the steward will swear he’s never met the guy and never said any such thing); and some guy who totally spotted a cannon while standing on the docks). Wilson tells him that the US won’t discuss the details of the Lusitania case with Germany until it accepts the principle that innocent lives shouldn’t be taken on the high seas.

Amb. Bernstorff has a problem: with trans-Atlantic cables passing through British territory, he has no way of communicating privately with his government, which he believes underestimates feeling in the US about the Lusitania. He will soon make arrangements to send a Dr Meyer-Gerhard all the way to Berlin.

A German newspaper claims that the former prime minister of Italy Giovanni Giolitti has had to flee the country because of his opposition to the war. Pretty sure this is false.

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