Newsflash: History repeating itself

"Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table."

— T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", – June 1915

When I look back on the First World War, on the oceans of blood, dog-sized trench rats (can’t kill them, after all, who’d remove the bodies from ‘no man’s land’), phosgene and mustard gas, endless and pointless mechanized slaughter (so bad it took field executions one winter to get the troops fighting again) the extermination of a generation of German, French and British students that offered great hope to the world, the madness of Gallipoli, 20-million dead of the "Spanish" flu, starvation of post-war Germany and the rise of Communism that nearly swept across a weakened Europe…I wonder if those people had the chance we have had to stop a similar madness, would they have acted differently? If it happens again, I know Americans and Europeans, and other peoples of our day will have no one to blame but themselves, because history is repeating itself.

We can go back to the election of a "Christian" President–”Woodrow Wilson–a man with a messianic view of history (who listened to "God" and his "chosen" advisers) and a megalomaniac’s sensitivity to criticism, called a fraud (for his abandonment of "sacred democratic principles" at war’s end) by the likes of John Maynard Keynes and who is reported to have said on his deathbed that he betrayed his country. (He perished, fittingly, not from a stroke but from the "Spanish" flu). Wilson, who lost no opportunity to appoint his favorite non-Christian group to Supreme Court seats and who blindly trusted the assurances of Lord Balfour at the close of the War regarding Japan and Palestine. Wilson, who crept into office without a clear majority due to the efforts of proto-Zionist Teddy Roosevelt’s third-party candidacy. A careful study of Wilson will show alarming similarities to the current White House occupant.

Wilson said privately that he waited to declare hostilities because he wanted to bring the American people’s thinking to unity, to be totally dedicated to destroying the evil "Huns" but ran for re-election on the lying slogan "he kept us out of war". Mere unity was not enough, Wilson felt, fear and force would have to be mobilized to really make America really threatening.

His first effort along these lines was the Espionage Act, much like our Patriot Act. The only thing it lacked, Wilson mourned, was outright press censorship. As a consolation, the pliant Congress gave the Postmaster General the power to "choke off" publications deemed to be subversive by refusing to deliver them. (We’ll soon see this repeated high-tech fashion with Internet restrictions.)

Smarting from Congressional refusal to censor the press, Wilson turned loose his Gonzales-like Attorney General, Thomas Gregory, who had put forward the name of Justice Brandeis as first Jewish Supreme Court Justice. Gregory demanded and got Congress to require the Librarian of Congress to disclose to the Attorney General’s office readers of certain books deemed to be offensive or subversive. Where have we heard about this type of activity of late?

Gregory followed this success with a push for a new Sedition Act that provided for 20-year prison terms for journalists and others who said negative things about the U.S. Government. (Not surprisingly, the Wilson-appointed Supreme Court Justices swung the vote to support these harsh sentences after the War’s end. This, too, is akin to the current Court situation.) Later revisions provided for penalties even for "well intentioned" criticisms.

We have all heard about current Homeland Security training of a large cadre of civilian informants and the hiring by the U.S. Government of former Soviet "experts" on "people control". This, too, is nothing new. Wilson and Gregory launched the feared American Protective League (APL) a volunteer service that carried special "Secret Service badges" and eventually numbered 200,000. In addition to spying on their neighbors, APL thugs joined local police to beat and harass war protesters as part of "American Vigilance Patrols". Special targets were of those "spreading pessimism" and anyone who spoke German. German speakers were to be presumed "enemy agents" unless the APL volunteer could personally vouch for them.

A key to this propaganda was the development of the myth of the "Huns", the sadistic German killers. After the sinking of the Lusitania (which later turned out to be transporting munitions to the British, was a legitimate war target, and probably sunk from the explosion of the illegal munitions) the infamous Bryce Report was liberally used. According to this lurid atrocity propaganda, Germans ran a "corpse factory" in which they converted the dear Allied war dead into bars of soap! (This anti-German canard was trotted out by the Soviets at the end of the Second World War.) Belgian nuns were crucified with bayonets, the hands of Belgian babies were cut off as were the breasts of attractive Belgian and French women.

On the U.S. East Coast, Rothschild front-man J. P. Morgan further led the drumbeat for war. His patrons, after all, stood to lose big if the Germans won the war and the British defaulted on their massive war debts, not to speak of the Zionists, who expected the British to grant them Palestine. Captive newspaper editors ran fulminating anti-German pieces such that it was said that honest, unbiased news relating to the coming war disappeared from American newspapers by August 1914. (Today’s American readers are treated to similar daily anti-Iranian tirade.)

Enter the Wilsonian equivalent of Karl Rove, one George Creel. Creel, an early supporter of the fanatical Wilson, felt America needed propaganda push toward war…that mere thuggery and intimidation would be insufficient to turn America into a "white-hot mass instinct" for war. In response to his pleas, Wilson issued Executive Order 2594 to create the infamous Committee on Public Information (CPI). The CPI quickly generated bogus news stories that were run, unedited, in hundreds of newspapers and magazines. Creel got major publications to voluntarily censor "unpatriotic" stories. (Where have we seen this lately?)

Perhaps Creel’s greatest brainchild was the fielding of a 75,000-man propaganda army called the "four-minute men". These speakers–who were ruthlessly replaced if they failed to show results–brought the message of Hun atrocity to movie theaters, public meeting, lodges, clubs and other venues.

Wilson counted on Creel to deliver the lambs of America’s youth to the slaughter, and deliver he did. A blitz by the four-minute men from May 12-21, 1917 produced a registration, without protest, by 10-million across the U.S. on June 5th, 1917. Sadly, many of these registrants never lived to see their youth ruined on Flanders’ fields. They died like flies from the "Spanish flu", which was efficiently spread in the induction centers and camps to which the draftees were sent.