How World War One Still Haunts America

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by James Bovard via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

This year is the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s pulling America into World War I. Many people celebrate this centenary of America’s emergence as a world power.

But at a time when the Trump administration is bombing or rattling sabers at half a dozen nations and many Democrats are clamoring to bloody Russia, it is worth reviewing how World War I turned out so much worse than the experts and politicians promised.

Wilson was narrowly reelected in 1916 on the basis of a campaign slogan, “He kept us out of war.” But Wilson had massively violated neutrality by providing armaments and money to the Allied powers that had been fighting Germany since 1914. At the same time, he had no quarrel with the British blockade that was slowly starving the German people. In his April 1917 speech to Congress seeking a declaration of war against Germany, he hailed the U.S. government as “one of the champions of the rights of mankind” and proclaimed that “the world must be made safe for democracy.”

American soldiers helped turn the tide on the Western Front in late 1918. But the cost was far higher than Americans anticipated. More than 100,000 American soldiers died in the third-bloodiest war in U.S. history. Another half- million Americans perished from the Spanish Flu epidemic spurred and spread by the war. But the political damage lasted far longer.

In his speech to Congress, Wilson declared, “We have no quarrel with the German people” and feel “sympathy and friendship” towards them. But his administration speedily commenced demonizing the “Huns.” One Army recruiting poster portrayed German troops as an ape ravaging a half-naked damsel beneath an appeal to “Destroy this Mad Brute.” Wilson’s evocations of fighting for universal freedom were quickly followed by bans on sauerkraut, beer, and teaching German in public schools. Tolerance quickly became unpatriotic.

The Wilson administration sold the war as an easy win — failing to realize how close France and Russia were to either collapsing or surrendering.

When fewer than 100,000 Americans volunteered for the military, Congress responded by authorizing conscripting 10 million men.

Wilson proclaimed that “it is in no sense a conscription of the unwilling. It is, rather, selection from a Nation which has volunteered in mass.” But people had voted against the war. Regardless, Wilson touted the draft as a new type of freedom:

“It is nothing less than the day upon which the manhood of the country shall step forward in one solid rank in defense of the ideals to which this Nation is consecrated.”

It was as if Wilson was presaging George Orwell’s motto in 1984 — “Freedom is Slavery.”

Wilson acted as if the congressional declaration of war against Germany was also a declaration of war against the Constitution. Harvard professor Irving Babbitt commented in 1924, “Wilson, in the pursuit of his scheme for world service, was led to make light of the constitutional checks on his authority and to reach out almost automatically for unlimited power.” Wilson even urged Congress to set up detention camps to quarantine “alien enemies.”

Wilson unleashed ruthless censorship. Anyone who spoke publicly against military conscription was likely to get slammed with federal espionage or sedition charges. Possessing a pamphlet entitled “Long Live the Constitution of the United States” earned six months in jail for a Pennsylvania malcontent. Censorship was buttressed by fanatic propaganda campaigns led by the Committee for Public Information, a federal agency whose shameless motto was “faith in democracy … faith in fact.” The government cared so much about the American people that it could not burden them with details of government follies and fiascoes.

The government also assumed it was entitled to practically brainwash any and all conscripts. As Thomas Fleming noted in his masterpiece The Illusion of Victory: America in World War One, soldiers were subject to many hours of exhortations “to resist sexual temptation…. Spokesmen for the Committee on Training Camp Activities urged soldiers to stop thinking about sex: ‘A man who is thinking below the belt is not efficient.’” The Wilson administration strove for the creation of “‘moral and intellectual armor’ that would sustain the soldiers when they went overseas and were beyond the U.S. government’s ‘comforting and restraining and helpful hand.’” The failure of the purity campaign was best reflected in the lyrics of a 1919 hit song: “How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?”

To broaden support for the war, Wilson partnered with the Prohibition movement. Prohibition advocates “indignantly insisted that … any kind of opposition to prohibition was sinister and subversively pro-German,” noted William Ross, author of World War 1 and the American Constitution. Even before the 18th Amendment (which banned alcohol manufacture, sale, and transportation) was ratified, Wilson banned beer sales as a wartime measure. Prohibition itself was a public-health disaster; the rate of alcoholism tripled during the 1920s. To punish lawbreakers, the federal government added poisons to industrial alcohol that was often converted into drinkable hooch; 10,000 people were killed as a result. Deborah Blum, the author of The Poisoner’s Handbook, noted that “an official sense of higher purpose kept the poisoning program in place.” It took more than half a century for the quality of American beer to recover from Prohibition. And the effects of the booster shot that organized crime received in those years lasted even longer. Even worse, the war on alcohol paved the way for the war on drugs; many former Prohibition agents signed up to crusade against marijuana after the ban on booze ended.

Attacking speech, ruining farms

World War I exposed the cravenness and authoritarianism of progressive intellectuals. As journalist Randolph Bourne wrote, “‘Loyalty,’ or rather war orthodoxy, becomes the sole test for all professions, techniques, occupations. Particularly is this true in the sphere of the intellectual life.” Bourne lamented,

It has been a bitter experience to see the unanimity with which the American intellectuals have thrown their support to the use of war-technique in the crisis in which America found herself. Socialists, college professors, publicists, new-republicans, practitioners of literature, have vied with each other in confirming with their intellectual faith the collapse of neutrality and the riveting of the war-mind on a hundred million more of the world’s people…. Herd-instinct became herd-intellect.

Writers who failed to join the stampede found themselves banished or, in some cases, persecuted. One of the Post Office’s primary targets for suppression was magazines guilty of “high-browism.” The collapse of honest, thoughtful criticism was invaluable to Wilson’s effort to spur mass mindless obedience. Unfortunately, with the same pattern of servility repeated in subsequent wars, few intellectuals seem to recall how World War I set the model for cravenness.

As Bourne noted, “War is the health of the state.” The war provided the pretext for unprecedented federal domination of the economy — and endless debacles. In early 1918, the government “shut down all the factories in the country east of the Mississippi River for a week” to save fuel, as Fleming noted. Even Wilson’s Democratic congressional allies were aghast at the mismanagement and inefficiency. Wilson was outraged at criticism, declaring that it showed “such an ignorance of the actual conditions as to make it impossible to attach any importance” to the charge. But presidential indignation failed to straighten out the snafus from central control of production processes.

Perhaps the most dramatic economic impact fell on American farmers. Washington promised that “food will win the war” and farmers vastly increased their plantings. Price supports and government credits for foreign buyers sent crop prices and land prices skyrocketing. However, when the credits ended in 1920, prices and land values plunged, spurring massive bankruptcies across rural America. They in turn spurred perennial political discontent that helped lead to a federal takeover of agriculture by the Roosevelt administration in the 1930s. When the New Deal imposed price controls across the economy in 1933, World War I was the model that administrators touted.

Making the world safe

Before the war began, Wilson declared in April 2015, “No nation is fit to sit in judgement upon any other nation.” In his war speech to Congress in 1917, he portrayed the Kaiser as a dictator (though Germany was actually far more democratic than most parts of the British Empire). By 1919, Wilson had totally reversed his moral compass, declaring, “In the last analysis, my fellow countrymen, as we in America would be the first to claim, a people are responsible for the acts of their government.” Unfortunately, that became the lodestar for subsequent U.S. warring — including the massive civilian bombings of Germany and Japan in World War II, in North Korea in 1952, in Vietnam, and in Iraq in this century.

World War I was ended by the Treaty of Versailles, which redrew European borders willy-nilly and imposed ruinous reparations on Germany. Wilson had proclaimed 14 points to guide peace talks; instead, there were 14 separate small wars in Europe towards the end of his term — after peace had been proclaimed. The League of Nations charter was written so smarmily that the United States could have been obliged to assist Britain and France in suppressing revolts in the new colonies they garnered from the war.

The chaos and economic depression sowed by the war and the Treaty of Versailles helped open the door to some of the worst dictators in modern times, including Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, and Russia’s N. Lenin — whom Wilson intensely disliked because “he felt the Bolshevik leader had stolen his ideas for world peace,” as historian Fleming noted.

Despite winning the war, Wilson’s Democratic Party was crushed at the polls in both 1918 and 1920.

H.L. Mencken wrote on the eve of the 1920 election that Americans were sickened of Wilsonian “idealism that is oblique, confusing, dishonest, and ferocious.”

Unfortunately, the recoil against bogus idealism was temporary.

Starting in 2002, George W. Bush practically recycled Wilson en masse to whip up fervor for invading Iraq.

Have today’s policymakers learned anything from the debacle a century ago? Wilson continues to be invoked by politicians who believe America can achieve great things by warring abroad. The bellicosity of both Republican and Democratic leaders is a reminder that Wilson also failed to make democracy safe for the world.

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sickavme's picture

Woodrow wilson is more scary than obama.

 

The dude gave us the federal reserve and imported feminism to the united states and then proceeded to shove it down our throats...

All of which we are paying for dearly.... nevermind WW1. Our economy is now based in fantasy and women here live in a fantasy(crazy hyped up leftardist fantasy) world too...

WW1 advanced our healthcare(Naturally) from the dark ages to the basis of what we (had) today... obamacare is now well on its way to sending us back to the dark ages too...

vato poco's picture

have long thought that lincoln was worst prez ever: without him shitting on the constitution, no president following him would have dared to do what they (all) did. 

the more I look at it, though, I'm thinking wilson takes the prize. yeah, lincoln set the (somewhat abstract) precedents, but it was wilson who gleefully erected the machinery & apparatuses of the almighty state. the foundation for the ever-growing abomination we live with today. if I ever stumble onto the secret of time travel he's in the top 5 of the 'people to kill 1800-1950' list.

what do we want?!? TIME TRAVEL! when do we want it?!? IT'S IRRELEVANT!!

Haus-Targaryen's picture

World would be a better place today if the Germans had won WWI.  

The enternal-Anglo got offended after Jan. of 1871 and the united German empire had some 65 million inhabitants at the time, while the UK at the time had 32 million. 

Powercenters change over time, in the middle of the 19th century the power center in Europe was shifting from London and Paris to Berlin. To preserve their position of power the eternal-anglo threw the frogs under the bus and started/greatly encouraged a war that led to another war and funded the Bolscheviks in Russia.  

Total body count to preserve London as a world powercenter -- ca 100 million dead people. 

Watch me get down voted into oblivion and all the Brits on here get offended someone didn't do the English equivlant of "USA! USA! USA!" 

Déjà view's picture

Also...France wanted revenge for 1871 loss of E-L...
German speaking E-L taken from a 30 year war weakened Germany...after 1648 Treaty of Westfalia...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

None of this really matters anymore, the entire continent is boiling under the surface and we are one missed bond-payment away from absolute chaos when the muzzies and Nafros chimp out after their freebees dry up here. 

Ghordius's picture

here you are confusing your wishes with realities

Haus-Targaryen's picture

That's true.  Nothing would make me happier than the collapse of the welfare state; the Nafros and Muzzies lose their shit and start killing oodles of people; "Europe" removes the entire group from the continent en masse and returns to the "Germany for Germans" "France for the French" ideals that underpinned the continent for the past 2,000 years. 

Oh that's right -- you still believe in the "European Exceptionalism" of "Harketh! We Europeans have advanced past war and violence! Harketh!  Ne'er again will there be violence of bloodshed in Europe! Harketh! Let us all brothers (and sisters, and trans-sexuals, and etc., etc., etc.,) stand around and sing 'Ode an der Freude!'" 

 

TahoeBilly2012's picture

British Jews against the Germans, setup the Balfour agreement and every other deception you know today.

bluez's picture

America was fascist from day one. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were the only major non-fascists.

The people have been lied to in school, in church, on radio and TV, etc, etc.

If Hitler was fascist he ultimately learned it from Thomas Obama Jefferson.

I know this information may differ from what they all told you. Did you expect the truth?

BigJim's picture

No, I expect some evidence

bluez's picture

/~~~~~~~~~~
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LAW -- The “holy” Thomas Jefferson cheated his way to the presidency. It’s that simple.
http://www.thetruthaboutthelaw.com/there-is-no-constitutional-right-to-v...

The election of 1800 was between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Two of the big founding fathers. Demi-gods we all learn about in government internment camps as kids.
What went on in this election made the Al Gore hanging chads of 2000 look like a well oiled machine. And this election in 1800 exposed the real nature of one of our holiest of holies, Thomas Jefferson. And that is why I want to tell you about it. I am trying to get you out of the mental fog people experience when they “think” about our founders.
Here's an old law school shot of mine. I use to really be into the whole founding fathers fetish scene.

[Picture]

Here’s an old law school shot of mine. I use to really be into the whole founding fathers fetish scene. You’d be surprised how many hot chicks get into that.

Background. The election was extremely hotly contested. So much so that 4 different states, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, actually changed their laws and eliminated the popular vote for president leading up to the election in order to try and be sure they got the man they wanted. FOUR different states got rid of the popular election. Think about that. Imagine what would happen today if only ONE STATE did that?
\~~~~~~~~~~

And this is only the beginning. Jefferson's contemporaries were shocked by his ability to casually say one thing, and then do the exact opposite. It was a stunning talent!

Stuck on Zero's picture

Don't forget that Henry Ford threw his name and fortune against the bankers and the forces of war. As fast as the Fed and state threw out pro-war propaganda Henry Ford was taking out full page newspaper ads and went so far as to charter a ship to sail around the world denouncing the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_World_War_I

Analyse2's picture

 

Henry Ford was also an anti-Semite, who railed incessantly against "the Jewish plan to control the world" in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent (circulation allegedly 700,000), which Ford dealerships distributed free of charge." The financing for Hitler and his S. S. street thugs came in part from affiliates or subsidiaries of U.S. firms, including Henry Ford in 1922, payments by I. G. Farben and General Electric in 1933, followed by the Standard Oil of New Jersey and I.T.T. subsidiary payments to Heinrich Himmler up to 1944.

Analyse2's picture

Source: Extract from the book Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler by Anthony C. Sutton:

Ghordius's picture

2'000 years? can't say I agree with this view of european history

exceptionalism? too big a word. I see Germans, French and Italians as peers. that's the starting point of "Ode to Joy"

by not having wars among Germans, French and Italians (and who joins, of course). I am against what I see as fratricide wars

are you European... in those terms? not in my eyes, I'm afraid

you talk too lightly and highly about conflict, any conflict, for that, and you denigrate those like me that do not want this kind of conflicts too much, by associating them with all what you dislike, from transexuals to whatever you don't like at the moment

sorry. it's not you, it's your talk. smells of warmongering, smells of "through hardship you'll get through the valley of tears to the other side, and you'll be re-forged in something old and new, and pure and better" talk

with sidenotes of Dr. Krugman's "let's hope that Mars attacks us today and destroys all factories, for instant growth" (that's the Austrian in me talking, note)

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I would prefer these problems resolve themselves without conflict or bloodshed. 

Truth is, nothing would make me happier than all of Germany waking up tomorrow and wanting to return to what the April 2016 FAW cover mocked. The peaceful roundup and deportation of all imported economic leeches (people who take out more than they pay in who aren't native) on society and the resestablishment of a "identity" which isn't centered around self-hatred and "wir haben eine besondere Verantwortung".  I would love it if all of Germany woke up tomorrow, had enough of the EU dictating domestic policy and controlling the money here and they decided "we don't need this" anymore. (Mind you -- the EU was Uncle Adolf's idea) 

Regrettably, this won't be happening.  Things will continue to get worse from an immigration and demographic perspective, the faces of German cities will continuously become "more brown" at an ever faster and faster pace, the culture will import more aspects of from societies I want nothing to do with, and Germany will continue its cultural and genetic suicide. 

It isn't warmongering. I hope there is "never again" a war between European states.  I wish they would all leave one another alone, but you and I both know this is a naive idea. 

Regrettably, none of this can come about in the current economic climate where Maslow's Basic Hierarchy of Needs is able to be met by everyone in the population. The only thing I can foresee that will reverse this trend is poverty, violence and bloodshed.  If you have another idea as to how we can reverse this that has the opportunity of actually working in the next decade -- I'd be all ears.  However, because this is a demographic issue; and given the demographics of the country, we don't have the ability to sit around and talk about this for the next 70 years like we have the previous 70.  

I'm definitely open to suggestions. 

BennyBoy's picture

 

Govs will not do the right thing.

History, from yesterday and before, tells us that Govs only do 4 things:

Lie, cheat, murder and steal.

And yeah, banks are pulling the invisible strings.

Ghordius's picture

I have a suggestion. stop that use of the... blender

it's self-defeating. it simply does not work, in reality. it never did and it will never do

you are against so many things, and for so many things, that you even lose track of what you originally wanted, only that you want it so strongly

the EU, the EUR, the immigration, the identity, the question of war refugees, it's all a blenderized huge "whaaaaaaaaa!!!"

that's the sound of lambs. led by demagogues to their slaughter

your identity... is your identity. take care of that, first. then, when you are settled in your identity, tackle policy items separately

mixing them all together is really just that: the sound of lambs

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Ghordo, I'm not using a blender of any sort -- and am very consistent. 

I am for the destruction of the social and the "value" systems your generation spent the past 70 years building.  Anything, whether that be social, financial, matters of war or peace, independence or the building of other empires that will destroy what your generation created -- I am 100% for.  Any and all of my positions are very consistent in this regard. 

Why am I against the systems your generation built?  Well, apart from being based on a whole heap of lies -- they are degenerate.  

I just had lunch with a Harvard attorney who spent the past 20 minutes trying to convince me there are more than fifty genders. FIFTY. Your generation has destroyed the concept of nationalism being a good thing; destroyed the family; destroyed cultural homogeneity; destroyed ethnic homogeneity; destroyed religion; destroyed cleanliness and beauty being virtues, making grime and ugliness virtues instead. 

See Ghordo, I oppose most of what your generation has built.  I find it repulsive and degenerate.  I want it gone and replaced with something better; but it can only be replaced when your social and value systems have been completely destroyed.

 

Frozen's picture

Yeh, values.  Aren't you the one who admitted to being educated in the U.S., and after being indebted for the same, beat feet to Germany and was proud to snub your financial obligation?  Save your sanctimony, and put forth a little more effort in trying to understand history and the generations that came before you.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Why? 

Perhaps you can explain to me why 57 genders is good for the future of civilization, or perhaps why building a ponzi scheme for a retirement system was a fantastic idea?  

I'd be all ears. 

Frozen's picture

57+ LGBTQXYZ, retirement ponzi schemes, + all the other rackets & social degeneracies, of course it's all trash.  You say Ghordius' generation let loose with the profligacy, and that may be true, I have the same opinion.  But I'm not sure it's that simple.  We need to get back to tradition, it just pisses me off when people pay lip service to these things and then carry on deriving benefits from the same corrupt system.

BigJim's picture

Once the economic productivity of the developed world declines, and starts more closely resembling the third-world as a result of increasing numbers of third-world immigrants, the average European's standard of living will start sliding down Maslow's Hierarchy and they'll rediscover tribalism, which - at its heart - recognises the "it's us vs. them" mindset that the third-world immigrants themselves have never lost.

The more the elites can foster a "diversity is strength" and "multi-culturism is a gift" mindset in their sheep, the longer this will take. Hence the endless bombardment of PC nonsense in the Establishment MSM.

Next time someone says "diversity is strength", ask them how that worked out in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Yemen...

For "diversity" to be genuine, there have to be genuine differences in worldview, which inevitably means differences in how people believe they should be governed. How can that lead to a more cohesive society? It's an oxymoron.

shovelhead's picture

Where are the Visigoths when you really need em?

A. Boaty's picture

Hanging out with the Huns and the Vandals.

Manipulism's picture

Thats why they push universal income.

when the saxon began's picture

It took the 1920's collapse and inflation in Germany to usher in the 1930's revival.  We will need to hit bottom before the less thoughtful amongst us see the reality.  History rhymnes.

ramius's picture

don't worry, those migrants are here to stay. Europe has lost it's mojo, all it can do now is to surveil and terrorise it's native white population into even more submission. And as about what people will chant while the mussie takeover hapens : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP9Wp6QVbsk

 

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Europe has lost its mojo.  If you look below I am fighting for some semblance of truth amonst people who have no inclination to challenge their most deeply held belief systems. 

May I suggest a video: 

13 minutes long. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NanumqpBDtA

shovelhead's picture

The premise of that video is bullshit.

WWII wasn't the reason our "Myths" were supplanted. It was the active forces of Communism under the banner of Socialism and "Progressive Change" that had their realization in Eugenics and Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood that had taken hold during the prewar Roosevelt years. The Frankfurt Schools transplantation to Chicago and the students slow infiltration into the realm of policymakers helped to complete the process in the US.

The Banking sectors takeover of our monetary policy and the subsequent Depression caused by it's easy money boom and the collapse of foreign debtors ability to repay loans that shrank US production to a standstill, caused the events that made new ideas like Roosevelt's New Deal palatable.

The process was well underway before WWII. The War just hastened the European adoption of the Welfare State that had begun with the Labor and Suffragette movements in the US and Britain.

I just think that vid puts too much at the doorstep of WWII when these forces were already in the wind.

 

Scanderbeg's picture

WW2 has indeed infected the Western Psyche. It is US involvement in WW1 that is the root of our problems. 

Without it Germany either wins the war or the Allies would be forced into a fair settlement. No Ottoman collapse or Sykes-Picot agreement. No pretext or resentment for the next war. No American Empire. Germany assumes her rightful place as the dominant continental power. Under what was essentially a moderate, nationalist regime with the largest socialist party in Europe and greater Franchise than Britain. My only gripe with Germany in WW1 is they used communist subversion in order to defeat Russia.

If anything Germanys financial domination of Europe today shows how impotent and pointless the attempt to resist this historical trend was. Even after being completely dismembered and destroyed Germany is still the most important European power.

I am hopeful for the future Haus. It will be a long struggle but nationalism is rising in Europe again. I do not believe the foreigners will ever come close to a majority faction like they are here in the US. The backlash is coming. We are already seeing the seeds.

Keep educating people on why immigration is bad. Encourage policies that will raise birth rates. These are the things we must be focused on right now.

 

giovanni_f's picture

The conquista of Western Europe by the Anglos startet after World War II in earnest (I don't count the English aggressor nation as genuinly West Europe as they have perceived themselves as anti-continent ever since). Germany was by and large the most developed country at the onset of World War I. It had the most beautiful cities and a constant economic growth for 50 years with no inflation dwarfing any other country including the US. Wordl war I was not enough. The Place of Potsdam, Berlin, was the most busy place on earth counting the cars crossing it every day. Therefore, another war was necessary, this time to physicall destroy the foundations of Germany and reduce its size (by promising to the Poles and Chechs that ethnically cleansing German land would go unpunished and was even desired)  - but its value system survived in large parts - the basis of the post-war resurgence. The finishing stroke consists in applying the Weapons of Mass Migration by this making Germany a hollow shell with run-down cities looking like Camden, NJ, or West Philly, ridden by racial and religious tensions (thanks "identity politics") and in preventing any constructive cooperation with Russia and Iran (thanks to Nato).

yogibear's picture

The bankster's wanted WWI and WWII because they knew they would make loads of money. The politicians are puppets for the banksters.

yogibear's picture

The bankster's wanted WWI and WWII because they knew they would make loads of money. The politicians are puppets for the banksters.

vato poco's picture

no downvoting from me, but let's be precise here: the world would be a better place today if Germany had not started WW1. 

and all because kaiser bill was ashamed of his little flooby palsy arm; and desperate to impress Granny Vicki by becoming a REAL Caesar. (he's #2 on the 1800-1950 kill list, BTW: no bill, no lenin-goes-to-russia; no stalin-kills-em-all; no corporal-adolf-hires-hugo-boss-to-make-bitchin'-uniforms follies. etc etc etc)

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I was in London a few years ago for a professional exam. 

I had three days to kill and my hotel was at Kings Cross; right across the street from the British National Library. 

Because its free and breathing in London is offensively expensive, I got a library card and was rummaging around their historical collection room.  Had to go through airport security, white gloves and room monitors every 5 meters, but still very cool. 

I grabbed the minutes of Parliament (HoC) from Jan and Feb of 1871.  After the German unification the English were in full melt-down mode.  Overnight the power balance in Europe which had existed for some 1,000 years between London and Paris was made irrelevant as the German Empire had a larger population than the UK and France COMBINED. Overnight and without a shot being fired at England; the UK went from the sole power-broker in Europe (because, lets admit after the French revolution, the Frogs became more or less irrelevant) to a second-tier power behind Germany with Russia catching up fast (having just floated her first blue-water navy in both Atlantic and Pacific the year before in 1870).  

The debate as to what to do in the HoC after the queen sent her congratulations to the new Kaiser was fierce and long.  It goes on for more than 100 pages.  About 2/3rd of the way through the debate on the subject -- one guy from only God knows where (Lord something or other) suggested that it would be "strategically advantageous" if England did not confront either Germany or Russia in open battle (or scary version -- both on the same team) -- but rather "devote all the resources of HM's Kingdom to convincing the two powers to fight one another." 

Another chap piped up that this topic should be taken behind closed doors. 

Read that in 2015 knowing how the 100 years thereafter played out, and you develop calicoes to the "Germany started" anything shtick my friend. 

vato poco's picture

uh huh. and did parliament, and lord something-or-other, convice the German General Staff and their inferiority-complex-ridden Kaiser to start work on the Schlieffen Plan in 1892? and update the shit out of it - including up-to-the-minute-railway time tables  - right up to August 1914??

it is intersting. am no fan of perfidious albion, (hell, who is?), but there's just a whole shitload of people in this world who just don't want to admit A) Germany started both World Wars and B) still managed to lose them both. Teutonic incompetence; what can ya say? they'll babble on for hours about well-trained sergeants; and autonomous field command; and panzers; and sturmgewehrs and blah blah blah ....

but they like to gloss over the inconvenient little fact that Germany is 0-for-2 in World Wars THAT THEY STARTED

right my friend?

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Your view of "big bad Germany" and "little innocent UK" is exceptionally naive. 

It takes two willing participants to start a war.  Germany neither started WWI; or WWII.  While I appreciate this is a cornerstone to the myth justifying the existence of the "West" in its current form; just like most myths which underpin civilizations; its part truth and part fiction. 

The truth is Germany, like the UK and France and Russia were willing participants in both wars. Neither side "started" them, but rather picked up the torch and ran with it simultaneously. 

Take WWII for example. Everyone says "Germany started it" ... as you just did. 

Who declared war on who? Literally 10 seconds on Google/Bing/Yahoo tells us France and the UK declared war on Germany after Germany invaded Poland. 

Why did the UK and the Frogs care so much about Poland?  I mean, they sold them off into Communism after the war, so obviously they weren't that important, but for arguments' sake ... let's accept the myth which our civilization is based on, and the Frogs and the UK cared so much about the fledgling democracy in Poland they were willing to start the Second World War over it -- why didn't they declare war on the USSR when they invaded Poland a few hours later? I mean, if the objective is protecting Poland's sovereignty -- then who cares whose solider's they are? 

A little critical thinking on this subject, and removing yourself from the "Dunkirk"/"Saving Private Ryan"/"Band of Brothers" myth which we based our civilization upon opens up some fairly large logical holes in the theory.  

Another fun little question to throw a wrench in your gears: Why did Germany invade Poland but not the Czech Republic? 

vato poco's picture

like I said: a whole shitload of people who just can't admit Germany screwed the pooch in re World Wars. are you one of those guys who wanna tell me that hitler was really just a misunderstood military genius/nation-building genius? or that the Schlieffen Plan of Invasion was secretly a purely defensive thing? againt those dastardly english speaking openly of their own national self-interest? Mein GOTT! the horror! 

cause, LOL. whether you like it or not; whether you want to admit it or not, (and it's obvious you don't) the krauts fucked up. twice. they immolated an entire generation of their best and brightest men by charging machine guns located behind barbed wire for 4 freakin years, then 20 years later they did it AGAIN, by 'not retreating an inch' in their stupid-ass invasion of russia. (if only hitler had studied napoleon! oh wait: he did) those fucking idiots destroyed their own country by starting wars they couldn't finish. pure and simple; end of story. 

one more fun little question to throw into YOUR teutonic-jock-sniffing gears: had the krauts not STARTED those wars, is it likely that anyone would have invaded THEM? (pro tip: no)

giovanni_f's picture

Do your homework, man.
    

     "Poland wants war with Germany and Germany  

      will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to."

      -Polands President Edward Rydz-Smigly, Daily Mail

      August 6th, 1939.  

vato poco's picture

mere days later, newspapers worldwide screamed with blood-red headlines: POLAND INVADES GERMANY!!

no ... wait ...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Right next to the headlines "USSR INVADES POLAND!!" and "GERMANY INVADES CZECHOSLOVAKIA!!" 

no ... wait ... 

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Stop that now.  None of those pesky facts interring with his worldview. 

giovanni_f's picture

Ad WWI, even the _official_ narrative as taught in Western schools supports an equal distrbution of guilt between France and Germany - which is wrong by its own device because it ignores the contribution of the Anglos.

At some point, the Anglos will end up as island-based goat fuckers with no relevance at all. They know it and cannot bear it. There last-ditch effort now is to drag the while of Europe into the abyss instrumentalizing the hurt egos of the Poles and Baltics. 

As always, my comments refer to the devils like Rhodes, Churchill, Thatcher, Blair, not the English common man.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Here you and I differ; my contempt is not limited to those in power but those who are willing, yet ignorant, participants in the entire process. 

They get what they deserve. 

Like I said above, looking forward to watching the UK turn itself into Lithuania: a piece of land and a population that was once, but is no longer relevant. 

Haus-Targaryen's picture

You mad, bro? 

Your argument is fact-based.  The Germans screwed up materially in *BOTH* wars. The screwed up to such an extent that the result is still being felt to this day.  I don't think anyone is debating this fact.  I certainly haven't. 

But many of your arguments, like the "big bad Germany" myth you obviously base your worldview on are emotionally based.  You'll have to explain to me how the UK fighting the Germans in either one of the wars was in their self-interest.  I'd imagine today as we sit here, the UK has plans on the table how to invade Germany today, if needed.  They likely have plans to invade Ireland, Russia and a whole host of countries.  I'd imagine the US has plans to invade the UK, if needed.  I fail to see the logical coorelation between plans and action.  You'll have to explain to me how D-Day was a defenseive action by the English, when it was already well known by 44 that the USSR could alone defeat Germany. Another one of those pesky facts that get in the way of the narrative you believe in. 

You're right, its horrible the loss of life in WWI.  Millions of young German men died for nothing. Know what?  Millions of young English men also died for nothing charging head-first into machine gun fire behind barbed wire and landmines. 

Had the British and French not declared war on Germany leading to WWII, would they have invaded Germany?  Likely not.  No. You're more or less making my point for me. 

Its fun to watch you cling to the "but but but GERMANY STARTED IT" shtick. 

You are the stereotype I referred to in my first post. 

vato poco's picture

ahhh, it's fun to watch you dance dance dance away from the main point. bellicose anti-german discussions in parliament in 1871! england & france declare war on germany for no reason at all right after the german invasion of poland! D-Day was totally unnecessary, and really was just mean-spirited anti-germanic overkill, if you think about it! none of which addresses the real issue: Germany is 0-for-2 in World Wars they started, despite having manned/planned/gamed them for *decades*.

well. I'm done here; knowing from long experience that trying to change the mind of a someone determined to believe that "poor lil Germany was the victim in all this" just ain't worth it. clearly, if you're going to hold on to that quasi-religious idiocy, mere facts and logic won't change your mind. 

one last tidbit: there's an 94.5% chance you'll pop back in to get the last word, and claim victory. (it's what you people do) if ONLY that option had been available to Kaiser Bill und Adolf, hein? then the name Deutschland wouldn't be synonymous with "massive self-inflicted defeat" today. not that it really matters: when erdogan is elected Kanzler soon, he'll just rewrite the history books.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Your main point is still incorrect.

Germany is 0-for-2 in World Wars, despite having manned/planned/gamed them for *decades*.

Fixed that for you.

I look forward to watching the final collapse of the UK in the coming decade. No other group of people on the planet, save for perhaps the Americans deserve it more.