We are celebrating World War One, the 100 year anniversary, a war that not many Americans know anything bout because they do not see it as an American war.
I have written about what events could have actually been the cause of the Americans entry…..but there is another question….if the Americans had not entered into WW1 would WW2 have been prevented?
A fascinating thought in itself……
Every war is a tragedy, a failure to resolve sharp differences of ideology and interest or to stop evil men before they can impose their will on others. The First World War was one of the most tragic wars in history: Although none of its major protagonists expected or wanted it to occur, it initiated thirty years of bloodletting on an unprecedented scale and planted the seeds for civil conflicts that continue to rage today. Witness the fate of the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the secret pact drawn up in 1916 by diplomats from Britain and France that mashed together Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds in a new nation called Iraq.
Historians will debate forever whether the Great War could have been prevented. But for the United States, it was indisputably a war of choice. Germany neither threatened a trans-Atlantic attack, nor had the ability to mount one. And while Woodrow Wilson and the government’s propaganda agency, the Committee on Public Information, portrayed the Kaiser’s regime as a cruel autocracy, it could not raise an army without the approval of the Reichstag, an elected legislature. And was Imperial Germany so morally inferior to the three empires it was fighting—the British, the French, and, until March of 1917, the realm of the Tsar?
AS I wrote earlier…..why is World War One mostly forgotten by Americans……
It redefined women’s rights, race relations, civil liberties and America’s role in the world. It caused twice as many American deaths as the Vietnam war. But there is no national memorial to it in Washington DC and, on Thursday, its centenary will pass with little fanfare.
On 6 April 1917, America declared war on Germany and charged into the first world war. After nearly three years of reluctance, its hand was forced by the sinking of neutral US ships by German submarines, and by Britain’s interception of the so-called Zimmerman telegram revealing a German plot to persuade Mexico to wage war on the US.
I have tried to help Americans understand the First World War, a daunting endeavor but I feel that we should try and understand ALL wars that we have asked our young to fight.