Thursday, December 20, 2018

Today -100: December 20, 1918: Because nothing says “every British instinct of honour and humanity” like sending in the army to kill people

The London Times estimates that 6 million people have died of the Spanish Flu worldwide. The NYT, which has barely noticed that the pandemic affected other countries (has it ever mentioned its spread in India, for example? I’m not sure), finds this story worthy of 2 paragraphs on page 24.

The French (except for the socialists) would like the peace conference to consider more war, in the form of intervention in Russia to exterminate Bolshevism. They cite the need for a Russia strong enough to hold back the Teuton hordes. They’re not sure they’ll be able to convince Wilson.

And British Secretary of War Viscount Milner says that the Allies intervened militarily in Russia because of a “debt of honour” to the Czech troops fighting the Bolsheviks. He admits that the Great War, the initial reason for the intervention, is done and dusted, but because “in the course of this allied intervention thousands of Russians have taken up arms and fought on the side of the Allies,” there’s now another debt of honor to those guys. “It would be an abominable betrayal, contrary to  every British instinct of honour and humanity.”

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