Countdown to War

A hundred years ago today, the Arch Duke Ferdinand and his wife were still alive. They would be for another few months before all hell breaks loose in Europe and the colonies.

A hundred years ago today, all the major European powers were united by Aristocratic and royal families, tied together in blood and genetics going back hundreds of years. They were united in their stability and dedication to monarchical pretensions as well as to concepts like Noblese Oblige and Divine Right.

In August that would all change. In its wake would come the Russian revolution, and 70 years of Communist enslavement of Eastern Europe. In its wake would come Hitler and the enslavement of Western Europe. In its wake would come the deaths of millions of combatants for NO GOOD REASON THAT ANYONE CAN NAME. When for the first time European nationalism, build on Feudal foundations, linked to the industrial capacity of modern nation states would result in the ability to engage in protracted meaningless war without end.

It would continue for another 5 years and end, not when the Germans were exhausted, but when they were just tired of fighting. They had plenty of war capacity left.

America had no business being there. None. There was nothing for America at stake.

I bring this up because a hundred years is a long time. Long enough for most people to forget and for teaching institutions to trivialize that time in history.

The most important lesson we can draw from it is that, in America, we should make going to war an exceptionally hard thing for our government to do. It should never be left to politicians, bureaucrats, and diplomats at cocktail parties who will offer “unlimited American support” over a few drinks not caring what the cost will eventually be in blood.
From New Rebellion University.

Keep this historical justification for American involvement in WWI in mind when you are tempted to buy into the Official Story of 9/11, the use of gas weapons by the Syrian government, and the perfidious behavior of the Russians in Ukraine:
It became a symbol of brutal German aggression - an unprovoked torpedo attack on a passenger cruise liner during the First World War.

The infamous sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, killing more than 1,000 innocent victims, sparked outrage in Britain and America. Public opinion in the States swung against the Kaiser - eventually helping President Woodrow Wilson take the country into the war in 1917.

But 70 years after the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat eight miles off the coast of Ireland, British Government officials feared the secret of the tragedy would 'blow up on us' when a group of divers planned to search the wreck.

The German high command always maintained the steam liner, traveling between New York and Liverpool, was carrying explosives destined for the Western Front concealed as cheese or casks of beef. But ministers at the time rejected the claim and used the attack to whip up public anger against the Germans....

In a secret memo, Noel Marshall, from the Foreign Office's North American department, said: 'Successive British governments have always maintained that there was no munitions on board the Lusitania (and that the Germans were therefore in the wrong to claim to the contrary as an excuse for sinking the ship).

'The facts are that there is a large amount of ammunition in the wreck, some of which is highly dangerous.' He added: 'I am left with the uneasy feeling that this subject may yet - literally - blow up on us.'
The more that history reveals, the more it becomes clear that there has likely never been a foreign intervention that can be justified by its historical justification. Not the Spanish-American War, not World War I, not World War II, and not whatever inventive justification will be served up for World War III.
From Vox Popoli.

Eighty-six days to the anniversary of when Western Civilization put a gun in its mouth and pulled the trigger.


Porter said…
And so European people must be eradicated to protect them from harm.
Anonymous said…
America had no business being there. None. There was nothing for America at stake.

The American people had nothing to gain.

The American kleptocrats had plenty to gain - they wanted to secure the blessings of kleptocracy, for themselves, and their trusted henchmen.

See also Smedley Butler's War is a Racket for the political economy of war profiteering.
Anonymous said…
Well, the classic argument is that it's in America's interest not to have a single hegemon on the European continent.
Ironic, indeed, that after two world wars that destroyed Western civilization and two generations of the flower of British and European youth, Germany dominates the Continent.
Rev. Right said…
"Germany dominates the Continent."

Because that is natural state of Europe, and has been for about 200 years.

American intervention in WWI put things out of balance, resulting in WWII.
Gyan said…
One war I wish US prosecuted more energetically would be Russian Civil War.
So, I would not agree that "we should make going to war an exceptionally hard thing for our government to do."

Indeed, it is not easy to say how going to war could be made harder for the govt. There are checks and balances aplenty but one still needs to provide for executive discretion.

The American system had worked well, compared with most or all other countries. What would you have?
Bert said…
You're such an ass Gyan.
Yes, Gyan. You will need to flesh out that thesis an awful lot if you expect to be taken seriously.

Lots of things can be justified in retrospect. We'd be better off if Karl Marx's mom had aborted him, so maybe we give government a freer hand in this area, right?

That sort of calculus is impossible and absurd. I'd say the desire to mete out justice has been at least as destructive as just plain, old-fashioned conquest.
Gyan said…
Well, going to war is not an intrinsically evil act so your abortion example is off.

America did feebly intervene in the Russian Civil War.

But you have not replied to the point of my post. How would one make "going to war an exceptionally hard thing for our government to do."?
I would remove all our overseas military installations. I would also insist the government fund all of its operations out of current tax receipts.
Anonymous said…
At the time of World War I, there were a large number of Americans of English ancestry and while mostly patriotic, they subconciously felt sympathy for their English "cousins." Support and opposition to the war was regional, with the northeastern part of the nation being the core of support for the war, while inland areas (especially with large German-decended communities) were opposed to entering the so-called War to End All Wars." The sinking of the liner was ultimately the spark that ignited America's entry.
J said…

I highly recommend reading John Mearsheimer's The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. I think he does a good job arguing against the isolationist view of American foreign policy.

America's participation in WW1 and WW2 was probably more rational than you are giving credit for.
My criterion remains, was it good for the American nation? I don't think so. It certainly was not good for the cause of classical, European liberalism.