Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Today -100: February 7, 1918: We might as well abdicate

The SS Tuscania, carrying 2,013 US soldiers to Europe, is sunk by a German u-boat. 200+ crew and passengers are killed.

7 Berlin newspapers – conservative papers for once – are suppressed for publishing details of the court-martial of Independent Socialist Reichstag deputy Wilhelm Dittmann. Evidently it was supposed to be a secret.

The Brest-Litovsk talks seem to have broken down again, this time over the German wish to include reps from the regime in Poland. Trotsky says he’s ready to recognize Polish independence, but military occupation makes recognition of the puppets impossible. Also, a state without boundaries or a king is neither a state nor a kingdom.

The Russian government is not in contact with its negotiators because the telegraph wire from Brest has been “accidentally” damaged by the Germans. So Lenin “accidentally” damages the line between Petrograd and Berlin used by the Austro-German delegation.

King George V says the US’s entry into the war has “united practically the whole civilised world in a league of nations against unscrupulous aggression”.  Unscrupulous aggression is the worst kind.

Woodrow Wilson is pushing a bill to allow him to “co-ordinate and consolidate” all governmental activities as a war measure, disregarding the laws organizing government agencies and creating or shutting agencies without further congressional input. “We might as well abdicate,” say some senators.

Theodore Roosevelt has surgery for an abscess on his... well, the NYT says thigh. It is not his thigh. You do not want to know where it really was. Also a fistula. Also more abscesses in his ears, one of which will never work again.

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