Wislon’s Wars: Absurd Episodes in American History
“The European powers had locked horns.Now, it was America’s chance to join the battle…and Wilson’s chance to become Alpha Male of the entire world.”
Wilson had a “self-regarding arrogance and smugness, masquerading as righteousness,” says historian Paul Johnson, “which was always there and which grew with the exercise of power. Vanity got the best of him.He had no need for the polite constraints of bourgeois society, simple truth, or constitutional government.He was like so many democrats, who can wish their neighbor ‘Good day’ in the morning and vote to take his property or his life in the afternoon.”
Wilson had “a passion for interpreting great events to the world,” he had told his first wife.He wanted to “inspire a great movement of opinion.”
Wilson’s Wars: Alpha Male of the Entire World
So he did.On April 2nd, 1917, Thomas Woodrow Wilson stood before a joint session of Congress and dazzled the assembly a torrent of rhetorical air.He had hardly to say a word.The animals had been snorting and prancing for years.The European powers had locked horns.Now, it was America’s chance to join the battle…and Wilson’s chance to become Alpha Male of the entire world.
Every great public movement begins in deceit, develops into farce and ends in disaster, usually the exact opposite of what the “movement” was intended to accomplish.Wilson’s war was no different.The idea of making the world “safe for democracy,” was pure humbug.The Europeans had been fighting for two years.If it were a fight for democracy, it came as news to them.Wilson’s intervention stretched the conflict out for another year and a half of killing, leaving millions dead – including hundreds of thousands of Americans.Was the world any safer for democracy?Not on the evidence.It was just the opposite; in the aftermath of the war, and Wilson’s inept settlement, arose democracy’s most aggressive and ruthless opponents – men who had ideas about how to improve the world themselves and few scruples about how to go about it.
But the history of WWI is well known.Let us look at a Wilson’s other interventions.
Wilson’s Wars: Below the Border
History dogs us here too.Every time we go to Nicaragua we learn more about a sordid and absurd episode in America’s history.This, too, has Wilson’s DNA on it.Marines were sent into Nicaragua in 1916.The country became almost a protectorate of the United States – despite the fact that it was a sovereign nation.
Wilson did not stop there.Soon he had U.S. soldiers all over the diarrhea belt.He sent them into Haiti and the Dominican Republic, too.In Mexico, he backed one party…then, a splinter faction…and then, when the splinter group began killing people on both sides of the border, Wilson sent a force of 6,675 Punitive Expedition down to the Rio Grande to hunt down and kill the splinter himself – Pancho Villa.
From humbug, to farce, to disaster; in the end, the effect of these interventions was just the opposite of what Wilson had hoped for.Instead of increasing America’s friends in the region, the number of her sworn enemies multiplied.For the next two generations, in many Latin American countries, “Yanqui go home” was practically the national anthem.
Wilson’s Greatest Achievement:
All Wilson’s great movements ended the same way.In disgrace, yielding the exact opposite of the improvement that had been promised.This was true of Wilson’s wars.It was also true of Wilson’s great domestic interventions.Wilson set the Federal Reserve System.Wilson imposed the income tax.Wilson took the federal budget from less than 3% of GDP to over 20%.
The Federal Reserve…the creation of excess credit and phony money …was probably Wilson’s greatest achievement.With it in place, Wilson was able to pave the way to America’s Empire of Debt…and its biggest disaster ever.
More to come…
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