sweet war

Being a generally law-abiding guy, I’d originally thought I’d observe the legal holiday and not do a post. However, I drove down to town for provisions and saw no sign of the law on the highway today. Most of the shopkeepers were open.

While driving home I thought, what-the-hell, I’ll open for business, too. (That’s why this post is so late.)

I guess the one thing that’s on my mind (because it was the one thing on the radio) is how much we do seem to love our wars. It’s so irrational. A mother who lost her son in Iraq said as the centerpiece of their finding a “new normal,” she and her husband need to redefine themselves now as “the parents of a fallen soldier.”

All I can think is what a waste, not only of their son’s life, but of that family’s future. However you try to dress it up as something noble, heroic, patriotic, etc., in my book it’s still a waste. There’s nothing redeeming about kids dying in unnecessary, inept, and immoral wars based on official lies. It’s still meaningless death and pointless human suffering.

Sorry, Mom.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Césaria Évora performing “Doce Guerra” (Sweet War)


3 Responses to “sweet war”

  1. 1 Matt
    May 31, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I don’t know that we love our wars, so much as in the wake of the tragedies of war, most seek solice and purpose in our losses and sacrifices. To do otherwise would be to admit that our loved one’s sacrifice was in vain or wasted, and while that may actually be the truth, most of us would choose a more positive remembrance. It is simply an expression of the need to dull the pain of our emotional loss.

    • May 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Matt,

      I was wondering how you in particular (as well as other military people) might respond to this post and, as usual, you are very thoughtful and on-the-money.

      We justify the losses in our wars in ways that will make us feel better and believe that all we suffer and inflict is worthwhile.

      Here’s where I have a problem…

      When we employ myths, lies and self-deceptions to feel good about our wars, when we do not take a hard look at how our losses truly come to pass in the first place, we are ensuring future wasted sacrifices far into the future. More soldiers die, and more families grieve. Other people—innocents—are killed and bereaved, too, sometimes in the millions. War is serious business. But I don’t need to tell you that.

      I recently read an account of how Woodrow Wilson was persuaded to change his popular position that the US should remain neutral and stay out of the First World War.

      Apparently his decision was preordained long before the Lusitania was sunk and long before Wilson lied to Congress that a German submarine had sunk the S.S. Sussex in the English Channel in violation of international law, and that US citizens aboard the Sussex had perished. (It was only after American troops were fighting in Europe and the ship was found intact that the hoax was exposed.)

      Wilson’s about-face on entering the war was set in motion through blackmail.

      Shortly after Wilson’s first inauguration, he received a visitor to the White House by the name of Samuel Untermeyer. Untermeyer was a prominent New York City attorney who was a major contributor to the National Democratic Committee that put Wilson into the White in the 1912 election. Untermeyer was a welcome guest until he finally told Wilson what brought him there: he had been retained to bring a breach of promise lawsuit against Wilson.

      Untermeyer informed President Wilson that his client was willing to accept $40,000 in lieu of commencing the breach of promise action. Untermeyer’s client was the former wife of a professor at Princeton University from the time Wilson had been a professor there.

      Untermeyer produced a packet of letters from his pocket, written by Wilson to his colleague’s wife when they were neighbors in Princeton. Wilson wrote many letters to her which she never destroyed. These letters showed that an illicit relationship had existed between Wilson and the wife of his colleague neighbor. After examining them, Wilson acknowledged his authorship of the letters.

      In the years since their affair, Wilson’s former sweetheart had divorced her husband and married again. Her second husband’s grown son was employed by one of the leading banks in Washington. Untermeyer explained to President Wilson that his client was very fond of her stepson. He said this young man was in financial trouble and urgently needed $40,000, as he told the story, “to liquidate a pressing liability to the bank for which he worked.” Untermeyer explained that the President’s former girlfriend thought that Wilson was the logical prospect for that $40,000 to help her embezzler stepson.

      Wilson said he considered himself fortunate that his former honey had gone to Untermeyer instead of a Republican attorney. But he told Untermeyer he did not have $40,000 available for any purpose. Untermeyer suggested that President Wilson should think the matter over and said he would return in a few days to discuss it again.

      Untermeyer returned to President Wilson a few days later, but Wilson insisted that he did not have the $40,000 to pay his blackmailer. Wilson was vexed. Untermeyer considered the matter a few moments and then volunteered a solution.

      He offered to give Wilson’s former girlfriend the $40,000 out of his own pocket, though on one condition: that Wilson promise to appoint to the first vacancy on the US Supreme Court a nominee to be recommended by Untermeyer. Without further talk, Wilson accepted Untermeyer’s generous offer. Untermeyer promptly paid the forty grand in cash to Wilson’s old flame, and the contemplated breach of promise suit was never heard of again. Untermeyer is said to have held onto the old love letters “for safe-keeping.”

      As anyone might reasonably suspect, Untermeyer must have had something in mind when he agreed to pay this hush money for Wilson–an extraordinary amount at the time (equivalent to almost $900,000 today). As it turns out, he paid the money in the hope that it might bring to pass a dream close to his heart—a Zionist serving on a US Supreme Court in which no Jew had ever before served—and the day soon arrived when Wilson was faced with the necessity of appointing a new member to the High Court.

      Untermeyer recommended Louis Brandeis for the vacancy, whom Wilson immediately appointed. Brandeis knew the circumstances of his appointment to the Court. In l9l4 Justice Brandeis was the most prominent and most politically influential of all Zionists in the United States. President Wilson and Justice Brandeis became unusually intimate friends.

      In 1917 Brandeis volunteered his opinion to Wilson that the sinking of the Sussex by a German submarine with the loss of lives of United States citizens justified the declaration of war against Germany by the United States. Relying to a great extent upon Brandeis’ legal opinion, Wilson addressed both houses of Congress on April 2nd and appealed to Congress to declare war against Germany, which they did on April 6, 1917.

      It was only in 1919 when the victors and the vanquished met at Versailles, that the real truth of Untermeyer’s and Brandeis’ plan was revealed. For it was at Versailles that the British disclosed the so-called Balfour Declaration, making good on a promise they had made in October 1916. The Zionists got the British to promise that Palestine would be turned over to the Zionists as a Jewish homeland if, as the Zionists promised, they could get the US to enter the war on the British side. Never mind that the British didn’t even control Palestine in 1916—but it did become a British protectorate after the war.

      Samuel Landman, the secretary of the World Zionist Organization in London from 1917 to 1922, wrote in his Great Britain, the Jews and Palestine (1936): “The fact that it was Jewish help that brought the USA into the war on the side of the Allies has rankled ever since in German—especially Nazi—minds and has contributed in no small measure to the prominence which anti-Semitism occupied in the Nazi programme.” (That, plus the fact that the Jewish World Congress declared an economic boycott against Germany on August 7, 1933, at a time that not a single hair on a Jewish head had been harmed by the German government. The New York Times published the Zionists’ declaration of their “holy war” against Germany in a three-column report of an address by Samuel Untermeyer—yes, the same guy—in which he stated: “…holy war…in which we are embarked..it is a war which must be waged unremittingly…the Jews are the aristocrats of the world… the economic boycott against all German goods, shipping and services…boycott is our only really effective weapon…bring the German people to their senses by destroying their export trade on which their very existence depends…we shall force them to learn…it is not sufficient that you buy no goods in Germany…you must refuse to deal with any merchant or shopkeeper who sells any German-made goods…we will drive the last nail in the coffin…” As if by magic, Germany’s export business suddenly ended and Germany was plunged into a depression so deep it is impossible to describe in a few words.)

      If Woodrow Wilson hadn’t been caught with his pen in the inkwell, modern history would likely have been very different, indeed. In an interview Winston Churchill said: “America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If you hadn’t entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the spring of 1917. Had we made peace there would have been no collapse of Russia followed by Communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany.”

      If England made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French, American, and other lives. World War Two might have been avoided. The Jewish Holocaust would probably never have happened. The Palestinians might be a happy people today.

      I’ll bet very few people have ever heard this story. I know my Uncle Frank who served in France during the Great War never heard it. I know my Grandfather who suffered so much anti-German hostility here at home never heard it. I know the mothers of America’s 116,708 casualties in the Great War never heard it.

      It would have made everyone feel too bad.

      Better not to know?


  2. 3 andy rea
    May 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: