America Should Have Skipped the War, Not Just the Ceremony

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America Should Have Skipped the War, Not Just the Ceremony by David Stockman – The Burning Platform

This weekend the Donald took some heavy duty flack from liberals, Dems, the MSM and harrumphing patriots for canceling his appearance at a wreath laying ceremony at the famous WWI battle site at Belleau, France owing to inclement weather. For instance, former Secretary of State, John Kerry got himself worked into high dudgeon:

Mr. Kerry criticized the president’s decision on Twitter, saying that the weather “shouldn’t have stopped an American President”.

“President @realDonaldTrump a no-show because of raindrops?” he wrote. “Those veterans the president didn’t bother to honor fought in the rain, in the mud, in the snow – & many died in trenches for the cause of freedom.”

We truly wonder whether Mr. Kerry gets the monumental irony. In his youth he was a courageous leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement based on the insanity of America’s role in a needless war in Southeast Asia of which he was a veteran.

Yet the only war of the 20th century more senseless than Vietnam was the so-called Great War, and most especially America’s intervention in an old world tragedy for no good reason whatsoever. That is to say, the Marine heroes of the bloody battle of Belleau Wood did not die “in the trenches for the cause of freedom.”

To the contrary, they died there owing to the fanatical megalomania of President Woodrow Wilson. The latter maneuvered America into the Great War in April 1917 when it was nearly over, and for the purpose of giving himself a grand seat at the peace conference afterward to reshape the world in accordance with his messianic vision.

That was a horrible reason in itself for the 116,000 deaths of American servicemen during the less than 12 months that they were actually engaged in battle at the tail end of the war. The real tragedy of their sacrifice and the real crime of Wilson’s pointless intervention was that it snatched victory for the allies, who didn’t deserve it, from the jaws of stalemate among the militarily exhausted, financially bankrupt and politically demoralized combatants on both sides of the conflict.

In a word, save for Wilson’s intervention the war would have been over in 1917. In consequence, there would have been a peace of the exhausted, not the vindictive, destructive peace of the “victors” at Versailles, which paved the way for Lenin and Stalin in Russia and Hitler and the totalitarian mobilizations that fostered World War II and the Cold War beyond.

That is to say, the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918 is not about just another historical date passing a big round number. Instead, it is a reminder that the Great War and the Carthaginian Peace which followed was the incubator for almost all the ills of the next 100 years – and not just the Stalinist nightmare in Russia, Nazi Germany and the holocaust or the long gray night of Cold War during which the Nuclear Sword Of Damocles hung precariously over the planet.

It also gave rise to the Big Government interventionist state in America; turned the Federal Reserve from a decentralized “bankers’ bank” into an all-powerful fiscal arm of Washington and eventually the monetary central planner for the nation; and most insidiously of all, generated the baleful notion of America as the Indispensable Nation and the follies of Empire which have flowed therefrom.

Needless to say, amidst all it harrumphing about the Donald’s “no show” at Belleau Wood, Imperial Washington is showing it true colors. It is so steeped in the culture, rationalizations and prerogatives of Empire that it fails to appreciate the profundity of the Donald’s surely less than noble reasons – fear, apparently, that the Orange Comb-Over might get waterlogged – for eschewing the one hour car trip to the Aisne Marne American Cemetery.

Far, far better that America had eschewed the war entirely 100 years ago, and that no American had ever been sent into the meat-grinder at Belleau Wood. Obviously, their snuffed-out lives would have turned out for the better, but so would have America’s and the entire world’s.

Accordingly, during the next three days we are presenting a series on the wrong path taken 100 years ago during 1917-1919 by the very worst President ever to occupy the Oval Office.

Indeed, even as he prepared on Armistice Day for his triumphal trip to the Paris Peace Conference a month later the messianic Wilson might better have contemplated the meaning of what ace fighter pilot, Eddie Rickenbacker, saw as high piloted his fighter plane just 500 feet over the fog-shrouded battlefield slightly before 11 AM on November 11, 1918. In his diary he noted:

And then it was 11:00 A.M., the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I was the only audience for the greatest show ever presented. On both sides of no-man’s-land, the trenches erupted. Brown-uniformed men poured out of the American trenches, gray-green uniforms out of the German. From my observer’s seat overhead, I watched them throw their helmets in the air, discard their guns, wave their hands. Then all up and down the front, the two groups of men began edging toward each other across no-man’s-land. Seconds before they had been willing to shoot each other; now they came forward. Hesitantly at first, then more quickly, each group approached the other.

Suddenly gray uniforms mixed with brown. I could see them hugging each other, dancing, jumping. Americans were passing out cigarettes and chocolate. I flew up to the French sector. There it was even more incredible. After four years of slaughter and hatred, they were not only hugging each other but kissing each other on both cheeks as well.

Star shells, rockets and flares began to go up, and I turned my ship toward the field. The war was over.

Except it wasn’t and not for a century. Yet back then the soldiers on both sides knew the war was pointless and that there was no victory to be had – just an end to the insane brutality of the whole enterprise. Better that they had all gone home after the politicians on both sides finally threw in the towel.

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Hardcore and hard hitting economic analysis. The Burning Platform presents information and analysis you will not find anywhere else. Various authors from a variety of backgrounds. Jim's work is featured regularly on Zerohedge.