Lessons from the Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson’s War

Today is the 100 year anniversary of the US entering into the conflict that we call World War One…..

Today is a historical marker of immense importance in American history: it is the centenary of American entry into the Great War, later known as the First World War. One hundred years ago today, on April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, following strong majority votes in both Houses of Congress and the impassioned speech of President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session on April 2, wherein he asserted that America must fight in the European war “to make the world safe for democracy.”

A century later, the ghosts of hallowed American war dead at Belleau Wood, the Second Battle of the Marne, and the Argonne Forest cry out to our political leaders of today with one searing question:  have you learned anything from our sacrifice?  From an objective perspective, a brief review of the historical context that led to war and its aftermath across time would appear to indicate that the answer to this seminal question is no.  However, in great humility and reverent remembrance for the fallen Americans of that war, the key lessons from the tragedy unleashed 100 years ago today are offered below, in hopes that their learnings can, in fact, be applied to the urgent problems presently confronting the Trump Administration.

Source: Lessons from the Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson’s War | RealClearDefense

We should NEVER forget!


20 thoughts on “Lessons from the Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson’s War

  1. No we should not forget it. As much as our own Civil War is considered our nation’s “coming of age”, WWl is the modern world’s “coming of age” in any number of ways.
    One of the things I try to pass on to adults and kids if/when the subject of WWl comes up is this idea that “WE” won… or that we and our allies won. Another bastardization of history hardly clarified in classrooms. An armistice is not a “we won”; it’s an agreement by all parties to cease fire and go home. Granted, the allies were in a far better position than Germany to continue a protracted war that could very well result in a military defeat and occupation of Germany, devastation of their infrastructure, dissolution of their government, and capture and trial of their leaders. Confronted with that realism Germany signed the armistice a bit under some form of “duress”. It was no more a win for the allies as it was a surrender for Germany, yet it was the perception that it was a surrender that fed much of the political post-war discourse of the dissolved German Army.. among which was a pissed-at-the-world corporal that will show up later in history.
    You guys already know these things, but chuq is correct… this war begat the next war; not singular events for sure. And this crap is still haunting us.

    1. This is why we should never forget….for we continue to make the same mistakes…our planners are crap…they look 12 months down the road instead of decades….chuq

  2. History of wars should be compulsory learning in schools. I’m convinced that if you taught an entire generation about all the wars, say in the last 500 years, we would have the appropriate knowledge to avoid fighting them in the future.

  3. Nice to keep the memory of WW1 alive, chuq. There was a lot of stuff in 2014, then an interest in The Somme last year. It’s all gone a bit quiet since.
    I have toured the battlefields and cemeteries there. Anyone who has seen them could never forget the scale of the sacrifice.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Now, Santayana is the right one…. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it…. This is a lesson humanity has categorically ignored for its entire history; what makes anyone believe it will change in today’s world?….

    gigoid, the dubious

  5. Woodrow Wilson’s words and actions have left a “two-face” impression on his character. For example one of his slogans for his re-election campaign was something like “He Kept us out of the war”. This was because the idea of American involvement in a European war was incredibly unpopular. Today United States citizens consider it normal or even expected for the U.S. Military to police the world. Interesting comparison.

    1. Thanx for the visit and the comment…..these days most Americans know very little about WW1 or why went fought….we need to do better….chuq

      1. I agree, WWI is often overshadowed by WW2 when remembered by Americans. This is simply because it was the second world war that launched us into a the global leader we are today. Both conflicts can be viewed as a singular event when viewed at a wide enough context.

  6. The future is difficult to decipher, but luckily we have the past to help guide us forward. The issues and lessons from WW I are still relevant today. Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge’s debate was central to a piece I wrote on this topic. Thank you for this contribution.

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