Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Today -100: November 27, 1918: Of unspoiled soldiers, temp presidents, extraditions, and ambassadorial jazz

Headline of the Day -100: 

European borders are totally up in the air. The Rhineland is talking about splitting from Germany as an independent country, as is Southern Germany (Bavaria and such).

Chile and Peru don’t go to war.

Former Attorney General George Wickersham says if Pres. Wilson leaves the country to attend the peace talks, Vice President Whatsisname might have to be sworn in because Wilson wouldn’t have the ability to veto a bill and therefore would be unable to discharge the duties of his office. VP Whatsisname responds that he would not “voluntarily” assume the office, although he says a court might order him to. And he doesn’t know what he’d do if asked to by a joint resolution of Congress. During the time Wilson will be away, Whatsisname was supposed to be touring the country for the League to Enforce Peace, but may decide that he needs to stay in Washington.

The British and French are trying to figure out how they can extradite Willy Hohenzollern from the Netherlands. The Dutch says it probably can’t extradite him without permission from Germany. In Germany, Karl Liebknecht’s paper The Red Flag calls for the former kaiser, along with the former crown prince and Bethmann-Hollweg, who was chancellor at the start of the war, to be put on trial by a revolutionary tribunal. The Bavarian government’s recent release of secret government papers from 1914 has made it clear that Germany – Bavarian Prime Minister Kurt Eisner would say Prussia – was more responsible for the Austrian policies that led to the war than was previously known.

A NYT editorial about the appointment of Rosika Schwimmer as Hungarian ambassador to Switzerland is, not surprisingly, rather dickish, delving into her association with Henry Ford’s Peace Ship. It says sarcastically that her appointment  “injected desirable ‘jazz’ into the stagnant art of diplomacy”. The term jazz probably refers here to energy, zippiness, its original meaning in baseball parlance, rather than the musical form, although that fairly new usage did appear in the paper in April.

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