Previous posts in this discussion:
PostPax Americana and Woodrow Wilson (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 04/30/17 9:41 am)
Following up on my post of 13 April, which examined the long but steady path of the US from Manifest Destiny to the Greatest Empire of the Pax Americana, I think we may even pinpoint an exact date when the reign of the Pax Americana started.
It was on 18 January 1919, with the so-called Peace Conference at Versailles.
This Conference had two great ominous breaks with the tradition of previous peace conferences:
1) Previously all parties, winners and losers, would meet together to discuss all terms, including immunity following the war. This time only the "Goods" (the Winners) would discuss the terms and then impose them on the "Bads" (the Losers).
2) The diplomatic language shifted from French to English. The excuse was that President Woodrow Wilson did not speak French. In reality, it was a recognition of US leadership, as all the other nations were its monetary debtors. The poor British were very happy about this, without foreseeing that their empire would end up in the US hands.
Under the leadership of Wilson ("God gave him a great vision"--William Allen White), the proceedings of the Treaties were very appropriate. The pious leaders took a page from the teachings of the Gospel, specifically the episode of the prostitute. There was, however, one small modernization: "Who has sinned more shall throw more stones." Such a practice was repeated in 1945 after WWII.
At the present time, I am very worried about the terrible menace that an evil nation with its huge number of nuclear weapons (maybe as many as ten...) is presenting to the Empire, which has "only" eight thousand.
Trump has changed mind on almost everything. Who was the fool who said that he was like Mussolini?
JE comments: How can we possibly say the Americans "sinned more" in either World War? I hope Eugenio Battaglia doesn't mind a bit of nationalist chauvinism from ol' JE.
It's great to welcome Eugenio back to WAIS after another stay in the hospital. Eugenio told me off-Forum that he's presently confined to the second floor of his house, so he'll have frequent access to the computer and WAIS.
Be well, Eugenio!
Versailles, Brest-Litovsk, Frankfurt
(David Pike, France
05/05/17 7:30 AM)
I was surprised to read the following from Eugenio Battaglia on April 30: "The so-called Peace Conference at Versailles [broke] with the tradition of previous peace conferences. Previously all parties, winners and losers, would meet together to discuss all terms, including immunity following the war. This time only the 'Goods' (the Winners) would discuss the terms and then impose them on the 'Bads' (the Losers)."
Is Eugenio forgetting the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918), the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871), or anything else further back?
Eugenio added that Mussolini, unlike Trump, never changed his mind. Really? Once upon a time he was a proud Fascist. So what was he doing slinking off to Switzerland in borrowed clothes? Was it not his duty to die on the barricades like those of Salò, whom he called upon to resist to the end?
JE comments: The common interpretation is that Versailles exacted such harsh reparations from Germany as (France's) payback for the terms of Frankfurt. So yes, Versailles was nothing new, except perhaps for its altruistic-sounding Wilsonian rhetoric.
Perhaps David Pike can give us idea of the relative worth of 5 billion gold francs in 1871. Unlike Germany post-WWI, the French paid the entire indemnity.
Mussolini on the Swiss Border
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
05/05/17 3:49 PM)
Greetings! I'm back in the hospital, having had another hip surgery. They replaced the prosthesis they put in last time.
This is a brief response to David Pike's post of May 5th.
I am very surprised that a British historian does not know that Mussolini was cruising near the Swiss border to meet Churchill's representatives to hand over compromising documents in exchange for better conditions for Italy.
Mussolini had refused all chances of escaping and only people in bad faith on May Day did the contrary, even if it was a great coup of Allied propaganda.
JE comments: By May Day (1945, I presume), does Eugenio Battaglia refer to the Allied occupation of all Italy? And what do we know about the "compromising documents"?
All WAISworld is sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery, Eugenio.
- Mussolini on the Swiss Border (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 05/05/17 3:49 PM)