Let your sleeve brush The Channel

Wednesday, October 04, 2006
American Thinker has an extensive article up about the business debacle that is the Eurobus A380. It is interesting in its own right but while reading I was reminded of the last time the French and Russians conspired to weaken Germany.

Kaiser Wilhelm II (who had, fortunately for the French, lost the brains behind the operation) sent von Moltke to execute the Schliessen Plan.

It was not implemented closely enough and failed. Yet Europe received, many believe, a schwerpunkt to the belly from which it has never recovered.

I've always liked the admonition that history does not repeat itself but, rather, echoes. Fools, on the other hand, do repeat their errors despite what they should have learned from the echoes of history.


David Thomson said...

The Germany of “Kaiser Bill” was not even slightly totalitarian. It was far less anti-Semitic than France. A number of Jews even served in the military as officers. The United States should have stayed out of the mess of World War I. Nobody’s hands were completely clean. Our so-called allies were just as guilty as the Germans. To be blunt, Woodrow Wilson was a jerk. He strongly favored the lying British who conned America into entering the war. Our policies were so anti-German that we ultimately forced a confrontation. Do you recall the Lusitania incident? Well, it turns out it was indeed carrying munitions! Germany had every moral and legal right to sink the ship.

Knucklehead said...

So how do you really feel, DT? It is unlike you to hold back.

Me... I just wonder if the Phwench are asking for it, yet again.

David Thomson said...

Earlier today I started watching Hew Strachan’s documentary “The First World War.” We are still paying a huge price for this disaster almost a hundred years later. Woodrow Wilson did so much damage. The war would have likely ended in a stalemate if the United States (and Canada) remained uninvolved. Instead, Wilson’s idiocy gave inadvertent birth to major fascist and Communist totalitarian movements.

Knucklehead said...


Let's not make the common error of blaming the results of European idiocy on the existence of American idiocy.

Wilson's ideas did not give birth to communism and fascism. The continental strain of the enlightenment gave birth to them. Wilson's policies and American involvement may have given them some air at a time when they were in danger of suffocating - that can be argued either way - but the worst we, the US, can take the blame for was being akin to the well-meaning uncle who slipped a few bucks to the lousy neice and nephew who then put it to improper use.

Knucklehead said...

Oh, one other thing...

There was a LOT of emigration from the bits and pieces of Germany that became the Imperial Germany of Bismarck and Wilhelm. This happened simultaneously with the unification and consolidation of the political systems.

A case can be made (I believe but won't stop and gather evidence to support it) that the legions of German immigrants to the US was the most highly educated and crafts trained, as well as industrious, of all the waves of ethnic immigrations.

It is one of the periods of history I have long wanted to dig into but so far haven't. The CW is that this wave of emigration was more or less purely economic. Germany was not yet keeping pace with the industrial and argricultural revolutions of the period.

Perhaps, but I ain't buyin' that that is more than part of it. Well educated and trained people don't pick up stakes by the millions and head off into the unknown for purely economic reasons. There is, as far as I've ever been able to figure out, some serious political repression and fear involved.

Which is all to say that while I am among those who believe that Germany was given far too much of the blame for WW I (the victors write the history books and Tuckman did one heck of a job of it), Imperial Germany, especially in its formative years, was no picnic for Germans. Many apparently believed it was high time to head for the hills.

Ed onWestSlope said...

Knucklehead Good thoughts

Far too much weight is placed on a bad set of alliances after the Archduke was assassinated. The fall of the House of Hohenzollern and Germany had been many years in the making.

My mother, from the Dodge City-Pratt Kansas area, was of German stock and most had apparently been on this side of the pond from prior to the Revolution (although my father used to kid her that one or two may have been Hessians who went AWOL). She had one Grandfather who was a recent arrival. The family story is he was either a draft dodger or a deserter from 'Bismark's Army'. He never clarified it.

From my readings and conversations, I have been left with the feeling that many who left Germany from 1870 on, regretted the decision. Similar to the Welsh and Scotch-Irish on my father's side.

Ed onWestSlope said...

From my readings and conversations, I have been left with the feeling that many who left Germany from 1870 on, RARELY regretted the decision. Similar to the Welsh and Scotch-Irish on my father's side.

I have got to proof better, or else stop doing this during the workday.