Monday, July 13, 2015


A loose but strange parallel seems to be developing in American society hence in the political attitude of the people. It may be difficult to explain because the differences seem greater than the similarities but in my mind, they really are not. I am refereeing to the similarity of Presidents Wilson’s attempt to pacify the world through his proposal to form a league of nations united by peace and President Obama’s attempt to pacify the Middle East through negotiations with Iran. The first problem to face in the parallel is a matter of scale. In the shadow of the Iraq War, the Middle East in 2015 is the center of a potentially devastating war just as the winning powers of that war conducted peace talks in 1919 in Paris in the shadow of the First World War. We tend to think of the entire world being involved in the First World War but because of advances in communications and manner of dissemination of news, the Middle East is the modern equivalent in terms of being center of our 2015 war concerns. The second parallel is the economic situation in the Untied States. In 1919, we had the problem of moving from a spendthrift wartime economy to a peacetime economy. The government borrowed excessive amounts of money without hesitation to meet war needs, but as soon as the war is over no one in the war-weary country wants to collect taxes to pay that debt. Unemployment is high and wages are low, which induces great stress between labor and management. Great strikes were taking place across the country at the time between labor and management. The coal miner strikes, the steel workers strike, and strikes by police and firefighters across the nation in conjunction with veteran unrest and over the lack of jobs and the lack of care for those wounded in the wars. In 1919, a public service union strike in Boston brought the labor-management situation to a head. A Republican governor, Calvin Coolidge, rather than find a compromise solution, simply outlawed the strike. A decisive Republican president repeated this attack against labor in 1981 when rather than compromise, fired the air traffic controllers for striking. In both cases, the words resonating in the media condemning labor reference the workers as having communist connection with no counter theme by labor leaders. The social situation in America, even in 1919, was mild compared to other parts of the world. Post World War 1, the world had to face the communist revolution, which was taking place in Russia and the right wing anti-communist moves in other countries. As is usual, politicians pitted the rhetoric with the extremes of communism against the extremes of developing right-wing dictators such as Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Chairman Moa in China. These forms of government extremes were developing, but no country fully realize their objectives so the people of the world did not know what the result of all of this political turmoil would be. In the United States, the people had much the same tendency. A rather astute Democratic President Roosevelt eventually permitted strikes, which happen extensively but were mild compared to open insurrection by labor as in Russia or dictatorial power by the right wing as happened in Germany. President Woodrow Wilson was the first American president to stand against realpolitik, which means the country will all the military might is the winner—bestial might is morally right. He embodied his proposal in the peace treaty referred to as the Treaty of Versaille, to from a league of nations who would stand against war. Of course, he could not know the future but realized the tendencies of man would lead us to another and even more destructive war. The Congress of the Untied States, lead by radical right wing Henry Cabot Lodge, Senator from Massachusetts, failed to ratify the treaty, an act that we can directly tie to starting the second world war. Lodge acted toward Wilson in a manner similar to the way the Republicans of today react to President Obama that is with ungrounded hate. No one could predict what would happen, but we can look back on history and feel confident we know what did happen. The name of Henry Cabot Lodge will and should live in infamy as the man most responsible for 60 million, or 3% of the world’s population, dying. Everyone knows the treaty is a good treaty intended to build peace in the Middle East. Failure to ratify it will lead to war; I am not sure what name the people will attach if our Congress fails to ratify the nuclear arms agreement with Iran. I also know that Congress will not ratify the treaty, if that is what happens, because of groundless hate for Obama. The name attached failure to ratify is not even a United States senator. That name is Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Israeli Prime Minister. I do know this there will be a massive outbreak of violence in the Middle East and the United States will be involved if Congress fails to ratify that treaty. With that involvement, all Muslims will align against the United States first and then the Christian world. I should note that a senseless worldwide wave religious based hate lead by a strong wave of anti-Semitism would follow because of the part Netanyahu played in the affair because he claims to represent all Jewish people rather than just a small radical group of Zionists in the Likud Party. Thus, the suffering will not just be in the Middle East. Many Jewish people will suffer if our Congress fails to ratify that treaty. Is all this speculation just hyperbole on my part? Remember, it was all hyperbole when Wilson was fighting for a road to peace. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

No comments:

Post a Comment