Beware of history repeating itself


From the Crimean War of 1853 through the French-German war of 1870, the nation states of Europe had been at war with each other years on end.

Until World War I, “The war to end all wars”, the United states stayed out of these conflicts, but when our sometime allies were threatened by imperial Germany, we were drawn in. More importantly, our international trade capability was threatened by German naval attacks and reluctantly we were pushed into the conflict by a hyper PR campaign instigated by President Wilson.

It was late in the war, 1917, that started in 1914, when our doughboys landed in France, and Germany was defeated and signed a peace treaty in 1918.

The human toll of the war: Around 20 million deaths, civilian and military. The U. S. lost 16,000 fathers, sons and brothers.

The terms of the treaty were so onerous on the German nation that the seeds of Hitler’s rise to power were sown. Later the Smoot-Hawley tariff act was used to punish Germany further, protect inefficient U. S. producers and it resulted in Hitler’s main talking points as he rose to power.

After losing 417,000 GI lives during WW II we did not make the same mistake made after WW I. We learned our lesson well and at the end of WW II we set up treaties and organizations to prevent the need for buffer Europe to protect our shores again.

Those arrangements and treaties are now under attack by our own administration and could result in mother’s sons marching off again to Europe after 70 years, a record of peace in the western world.

To mention a few of the protections: The U.N., NATO, European common market, European Union and many other trade centered compacts down to the level of agriculture and aviation.

The point? Nations that commit to mutual defense and engage in free trade with each other do not go to war with each other.

Beware that Eastern Europe doesn’t fill the power vacuum.

Paul Hunter

Wilmington