Thursday, November 15, 2007

Awesome Editorial

From 1914, The Toronto Star, at the outbreak of War. Keep in mind, you who don't understand irony, that it's entirely sarcastic, save for the last paragraph:

The curious fact is that Emperor William can stand up before members of the Reichstag, as he did yesterday, and show to the satisfaction of its members and to that of Germans all over the world, that the war is not of his making, but that Russia, ignoring overtures for a peaceable adjustment, began to take such war measures as left Germany no alternative but to begin action.

It is curious that the Kaiser can do that, because the Czar can do it, too. He can prove to the entire satisfaction of every loyal subject that Russia did not want war, but that Germany, being all ready, caused Austria to attack Serbia, so that Russia must stand by and see a Slav country conquered, or must accept the challenge and make ready.

The President of France, too, can tell the Chamber of Deputies that ... (he) sought peace up to the last moment — used the utmost patience, and only accepted war when her territory had been invaded and war against her declared by Germany.

Great Britain, as British subjects all over the world know, has held back to the very last, refusing to admit that the possibilities of peace had been exhausted.

Nowhere is there a people who admit, or whose rulers admit, that they caused this war and chose to precipitate it. Even Austrians will argue that their country made no demands on Serbia but those that were justified and ought to have been accepted. They will claim that but for the meddling of Russia there would have been no trouble with Serbia.

On one side it is claimed that Russia has been seeking this trouble for years, and that France, ever since she has felt British support behind her, has been trying to tease Germany into action. On the other side, it is claimed that Germany, having for years been organizing for war as if it were a great national business undertaking, in which each detail had to be worked out in advance, now gives the signal for "Der Tag" to Austria, and the war is on.

And the most curious and humanly interesting fact of all is that in Germany and Austria, in Russia and France, in Britain and Belgium, wherever people are sharpening their swords or loading their muskets, pious persons are addressing prayers in their various languages to the same throne of heaven, asking for aid in their warfare and for success to their arms in the struggle that has been unjustly forced upon them by their enemies.

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