XVI.

WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORLD WAR?

 

"Who caused the World War?" This question has been asked repeatedly by millions of honest inquiring souls. The rulers, diplomats and politicians, who had actively engaged in the great conflict, have thus far refused to accept any responsibility for having caused or started the World War. Indeed, one of the most interesting features of the World War is that each participant therein has been ever since the war started, and still is, extremely clamorous and eager to prove his own innocence and anxiously disclaims any responsibility for having caused or started the World War. Therefore, the fact is, that the question, "Who caused the World War?" has, thus far, remained unanswered.

During the World War it was customary and, indeed, a patriotic duty in the countries of the "Allied and Associated Powers" to say and to believe that the World War was caused and started by the German Kaiser. At this time it would be futile to argue either for or against that belief; for an argument which is not fortified by historical facts is plainly an absurdity. The safest method to pursue in quest of the culprits who caused the World War is to examine the post-war statements and admissions of responsible statesmen of the countries of the "Allied and Associated Powers"; to analyze the pre-war history of Europe; and to discover the aims and purposes of the participants in the World War. By this method of inquiry, the truth will be discovered and the responsibility for having caused and started the World War will be fixed with a definiteness which leaves no room for doubt.

During the war the leading statesmen of the "Allied and Associated Powers" were reluctant to inform their peoples as to the real culprits who caused the war, except to say that the German Kaiser was the cause of it. On October 26th, 1916, less than a month before his reelection on the slogan, "HE KEPT US OUT OF WAR," and six months before the American people entered the conflict, President Woodrow Wilson, at Cincinnati, Ohio, asked his audience:

"Have you heard who started the present war? If you have, I wish you would publish it, because nobody else has." {Quoted in "Issues of Today," Jan. 14th, 1922.}

Lloyd George, the Prime Minister of England, speaking to the Empire Parliamentary Association in London, on December 23rd, 1920, apologizing for everybody who was concerned in the World War, said:

"The more one reads memoirs and books written in the various countries of what happened before August 1st, 1914, the more one realizes that no one at the head of affairs quite meant war. It was something into which they glided, or rather staggered or stumbled." {Quoted: Ibid.}

But the foregoing profession of ignorance on the part of President Woodrow Wilson and Premier Lloyd George is contradicted by the statements and admissions of responsible military men of England, France and the United States of America. It may rightfully be presumed that the heads of the civil governments of these countries were in possession of the informations possessed by their military chiefs.

The New York Tribune on April 9th, 1919, under a London headline reported that, "At a dinner which the members of the House of Parliament are to give soon after Easter in honor of Sir Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the following letter from Marshall Foch will be read: "Long before the war General Wilson and I worked together to prepare for the struggle against the German peril which we both foresaw. It is due to the success of his mobilization arrangements and his careful and detailed plans for transporting troops that the British army was able to arrive quickly on the field of battle as soon as the government had come to a decision." {Quoted: Ibid.}

And be it remembered that Marshall Foch was the Chief of Staff of the French army. His statement, therefore, should carry the weight of an authority on that subject.

Furthermore: Lord Haldane, former Minister of War, England, in June, 1919, testifying before the coal commission, said: "On Monday, July 31, 1914, at the request of the Prime Minister (Herbert Asquith) the war office mobilized the war machine with which I was familiar. Giving orders took only a few minutes. Everything had been prepared years before. The expeditionary force was ready in forty-eight hours." {Quoted: Ibid.} Lord Haldane, it is presumed, also spoke with authority.

Another Englishman, Lord French, the British Field Marshal, says in his book (1919): "The British and French general staffs had for some years been in close secret consultation with one another on this subject," which was the preparation for a war against Germany. "In the ten years previous to the war (1914) I had constantly envisaged the probable course of events leading up to the outbreak of this world war, as well as the manner of the outbreak itself. It thus fell out that in August, 1914, the many possibilities and alternatives of action were quite familiar to my mind. It was not within the knowledge of all that the general staffs of Great Britain and France had for a long time held conferences and that a complete mutual understanding as to combined action in certain eventualities existed." {Quoted: Ibid.}

Again: Admiral Sims of the U. S. Navy, speaking at a banquet held by the Lincoln Association in the Cataret Club, Jersey City, on February 12, 1920, said: "In December, 1910, (four years before the war broke out) I submitted a secret report to the Admiral of my fleet. 1 explained that it had been typewritten by me and that no other human eye had seen it. I stated that the consensus of opinion among British officers and officials of European nations with whom I had conferred was that war could not be delayed more than four years. 1 said this in that report and added that Britain and France would be in that war and that we would enter shortly thereafter." {Quoted: Ibid.}

Again: As if to confirm Admiral Sims' report, according to the New York Herald, February 11th, 1920, Vice President Marshall said in a letter to the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee, E. G. Hoffman of Fort Wayne, Indiana: "We were in the war from the very moment of its European beginning." And Gabriel Hanotaux, former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the French Cabinet, asserted that he was assured by Myron T. Herrick, Bacon and Sharp, the American representatives in Europe, that the United States would enter the war "as soon as the 50,000,000 pro-Allies could be converted into 100,000,000."

Senator Robert L. Owen said in a speech which he delivered in the United States Senate: "During the World War I have favored the French in every possible way with money, credit, supplies, ships, and men." But: "The records to which I have called the attention of the Senate appear to demonstrate that the German militaristic rulers did not will the war, tried to avoid the war, and only went into war because of their conviction that the persistent mobilizations of Russia and France meant a determination on war and were secretly intended as a declaration of war by Russia and France against Germany. The records show that the Russian and French leaders were determined on war, and intended the mobilizations as the beginning of a war which had for many years been deliberately prepared and worked out by the complete plans of campaign through annual military conferences." {Congressional Record, Feb. 26, 1924. Appendix, pp. 3272-79.}

Senator Copeland of New York says concerning Senator Owen and the revelation made in his speech: "Senator Owen is not a German. On the contrary, he is an American and a member, as I am, of the political party to which Mr. Wilson (ex-President Wilson) belongs. Yet Senator Owen says, with even a greater basis of knowledge, only what Lloyd George said a few months after the armistice. Senator Owen says he does not believe the Kaiser or the German military clique caused it" (the World War). {"The American Monthly," February, 1924.}

After having stepped down from the premiership, Lloyd George became more communicative and gave the world a more positive information as to the parties responsible for the World War. In a syndicated article, on January 6th, 1923, he calls the rulers of the "attacking empires" "nominal rulers" and "terror stricken dummies." In the same article he fixes definitely and positively the responsibility for the World War upon the military organizations of Germany, France and Russia. Lloyd George claims that:

"The more one examines the events of July, 1914, the more one is impressed with the shrinking of the nominal rulers of the attacking empires, and with the relentless driving onward of the military organizations behind these terror stricken dummies."

Then in carefully veiled language, Lloyd George continues:

"No one ever believed it (the cause of the World War) was the assassination of the royal Archduke (of Austria). Were it not that the German army was more perfect and more potent than either the French or Russian army,--were it not that every German officer was convinced that the German military machine was superior to all its rivals,--there would have been no war, whatever emperors, diplomatists or statesmen said, thought or intended." {"Cleveland Press," Jan. 6, 1923.}

In the foregoing statements, admissions and assertions we have a most staggering confession to the effect, that "no one at the head of affairs quite meant war"; that the rulers in Europe--why not the governments also?--were merely "nominal rulers" and "terror stricken dummies"; that neither the civil governments nor the rulers wanted war; but that the military organizations of the various countries in Europe forced the world into the war; and that "the relentless driving onward of the military organizations behind these terror stricken dummies" resulted in the declaration of war, regardless of "whatever emperors, diplomatists or statesmen said, thought or intended."

These facts, these staggering admissions and confessions, reveal the appallingly emasculated condition of the civil government of each and every country in Europe. The innocent public of each of those countries believed that their rulers and duly elected and qualified governments were controlling the affairs of their respective countries. It was believed that the civil authority in those countries was superior to their military men. On paper those rulers and civil governments made war and attempted to make peace. The fact, however, was that those rulers were merely "nominal rulers" and "terror stricken dummies"; and the governments were merely the rubber stamps of the military organizations; for "whatever emperors, diplomatists or statesmen said, thought or intended," the World War had to come. The World War was engineered and directed by forces outside of the duly constituted civil governments of the European countries.

But the military organizations of the various countries of Europe could not have forced the World War upon the people, even against the will of the duly constituted civil governments, unless there had been behind those military organizations some Invisible Power which dominated the emperors, kings and the duly constituted civil governments.

To ascertain the truth and to discover the Invisible Power, lurking behind those military organizations, we shall now proceed to examine the pre-war history of Europe. If, in the light of history, we shall succeed in discovering the Invisible Power, we shall have the culprits who are directly responsible for the outbreak of the World War.

It should be recalled that in 1815 {The American authorities followed in this investigation are: Schwill's "Political History of Modern Europe;" Hazen's "Europe Since 1815," Turner's "Europe Since 1870," and Usher's "Pan-Germanism."} the Congress of Vienna divided the territory and the people of Europe among the crowned rulers of that continent. The crowned heads were made the states, the lawmakers, the law,--in short, the uncontrolled and absolute tyrants over the European people. Europe was made an aggregation of territorial units which were the private "possessions" of several "legitimate" monarchs. And to insure the peaceable holdings of those possessions, the "legitimate" monarchs organized a fraternal organization which is known in history, as the "Quadruple Alliance."

After the outrage committed by the Congress of Vienna against the peoples of Europe, a strong movement was started on that continent to develop the national spirit of the various peoples there, and to create national states based upon constitutional form of government. The French people established a democratic form of government and framed a constitution. Belgium seceded from Holland and established a government of her own. Spain, revolting, overthrew her absolute monarch and established a constitutional monarchy, based upon the sovereignty of the people. Italy shook off the shackles which were placed upon her hands and feet, and from a "mere geographical expression" developed into a constitutional monarchy. As we have seen, Hungary also attempted to overthrow the Hapsburg dynasty; but she was crushed under the heels of absolutism.

The most noteworthy development along nationalistic lines took place in Germany. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna divided up the territory occupied by the Germans into small states and principalities, and classified the German people as "whole souls" and "half souls." During the nationalistic movement and constitutional reconstruction period in Europe, the great aim of the German leading statesmen was to unify all the German territories into one national federation. The unification of Germany was effected and the founding of the German empire was completed, when on January 8th, 1871, William I, King of Prussia, was proclaimed German Emperor.

By the time the unification of Germany was accomplished, a remarkable advance was effected in Germany in the development of art, education, science, and industry. It was soon discovered that, with the aid of the enormous scientific development, the German industries were producing more products than the people of the country were able to consume. Therefore, it became necessary to seek foreign markets for the German industrial products.

At the very moment Germany began to seek a foreign market for her industrial products, a question of far reaching international import arose. Germany had no colonies whereto she could export her goods. During the time England, France and other countries were obtaining their colonial possessions, the German people were engaged in international and domestic struggles. Hence, when united Germany sought foreign markets, she found that no more foreign territory, desirable for colonizing purposes, was left, and that international commerce, carried on the great seas, was controlled mainly by England. Thenceforth, an international commercial rivalry has existed between England and Germany.

The water routes on which Germany was plying her international commerce, and most of the colonies where she tried to market her products, were in the possession and under the control of England. The routes through the Suez Canal, at the Gibraltar and at the Straits of England were all under the direct control of England; and these were the only routes through which Germany could carry her overseas commerce. Germany, therefore, has never been independent and absolutely safe in her international commercial undertakings; for, at the command of English cannon, the overseas commerce of Germany was likely to be stopped. Therefore, in the true sense of the word, there was no freedom of the seas for Germany.

To insure her overseas commerce, Germany first began to build huge battleships. England, to insure her control of the high seas and the international commerce carried thereon, followed suit. The two nations were building battleships in a theretofore unheard of proportion, and taxed their peoples to the highest limit. Finally, however, it was discovered in Germany, that the number of battleships will not solve the question of unmolestable German international commerce.

The German government, therefore, sought to solve the question by building a railroad across Europe and Turkey, and running it into Asia, terminating at Bagdad. The success of that undertaking could be assured only in the event that Germany was able to control Austria-Hungary, the Balkan States, and Turkey. If the railroad should be a success, Germany would have a short and unmolested route on which to carry her international commerce across Europe and through Turkey into Asia Minor, to the very gate of the English colonial possession in Asia. This route would be shorter and safer than the water route. By the control of that route, Germany would control the greatest part of the international commerce of the world, by being able to reach most of the world's population. Besides, the railroad to Bagdad would insure the military supremacy of Germany, both in Europe and Asia Minor. That proposed railroad was to be known as the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad.

England strenuously opposed this German plan, and with all her diplomatic skill strove to prevent its completion. English diplomacy was set to work to prevent the building of the Berlin-Bagdad railroad. It is greatly interesting to follow the ways of the English diplomacy and observe its incessant and methodical work.

Evidently it would have been suicidal for England to declare war against Germany and by that means attempt to prevent her from completing her important plan. For England might defeat Germany on the high seas; but no defeat could be hoped on land. Hence, the only means to defeat Germany's plan was to create enemies for Germany and make those enemies the allies of England. If Germany could be isolated and surrounded by enemies who were the allies of England, the German plan could not succeed.

The question was, then, "how to make enemies for Germany and isolate her among her enemies?" France was not friendly to Germany; nor did she have any special love for England. England, however, patched up her differences with France. Consequently, the two countries entered into the Entente Cordiale in 1904. But England and France were no match for Germany, for the reason that the latter was fortified by the Triple Alliance consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. It was, therefore, the further plan of the English diplomacy to induce Russia to join the Alliance of England and France.

Russia was friendly neither to France, nor to England, nor to Germany, for the reason that all these powers had thwarted her plan to gain free access to the Mediterranean Sea. Though commanding an immense territory, rich in natural resources, Russia had no free and adequate outlet to the high seas. There were ports in the Arctic regions, but they were frozen and closed by ice during most of the year. Far to the east she had a port at Vladivostok; but that also was frozen and at the mercy of Japan. In the west Russia had ports on the Baltic Sea; but they were subject to freezing and were also at the mercy of Germany. In the south she had excellent ports on the Black Sea; but the outlet therefrom was through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles which were controlled by the Turks at Constantinople. Therefore the international commerce of Russia was at the mercy of England, France, Germany, Austria and Turkey.

Thus bottled up and her commerce being at the mercy of her more favorably situated neighbors, Russia sought, on several occasions, to gain a foothold at several adequate ports; but her attempts were always frustrated by the concerted opposition of England, France, Germany, and Austria. In 1877 Russia declared war upon Turkey under the still popular pretext that the Turks were "mistreating the Christians" in the Balkans. The real purpose, however, was to obtain control of Constantinople and thus gain an open sea port.

In the Russo-Turkish war the Russians were successful. The Russian dream of an ice-free port was nearly realized. Turkey was compelled to sign a treaty in which she practically admitted that her control of Constantinople was shattered. By that treaty Russia became the controlling power in the Balkan countries. And the good Lord did then, as He always does, take care of the "Christians."

England promptly registered her protest against that treaty and, side-tracking the interest of the "Christians," immediately began to prepare for naval action near Constantinople. Austria followed suit and declared that Russia's ascendancy in the Balkans was objectionable to her. Germany, under cover, also objected to the increasing power and influence of Russia in the Balkans, for the reason that the control of the Balkans must fall into the hands of Germany if the German plan of the Berlin-Bagdad railroad was to be completed. In the face of this opposition, Russia was compelled to submit the treaty to a congress which met at Berlin on June 13, 1878.

Bismarck, the Chancellor of Germany, was elected president of the Congress of Berlin. Bismarck claimed that Germany had no territorial interest in the Balkans, therefore he could act as an "honest broker" between the contending parties. The outcome of the Congress was that Russia was stripped of all the advantages secured by her victory over the Turks, and Austria was given the right to administer Bosnia and Herzegovina, which the Russians took away from Turkey. Thus Russia was stripped of the fruit of her victory; while Austria, though not a participant in the war, was given an increase of power and influence in the Balkans. This was what Germany desired, and it was done in collaboration with England.

The accomplishment of the Congress of Berlin left Russia a sworn enemy of England, Germany and Austria. To provide against the possible aggression of Russia, Germany and Austria formed an alliance in 1879, and in 1882 they were joined by Italy, thus forming the Triple Alliance. "The High Contracting Parties" of this alliance "were bound to stand by each other with all their armed forces if either one were attacked by Russia or by any other power supported by Russia." {"Europe Since 1870," by E. R. Turner, Ph.D., p. 179.}

Defeated in her purpose in Europe, Russia tried to obtain an ice-free port in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean at Port Arthur.

This was at the time "when apparently China was about to build the Trans-Siberian Railway (1891), which was to run from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Pacific. Russian expansionists dreamed of splendid possessions soon to be got from the dying Chinese empire, and the acquisition at least of an ice-free port." {Ibid, p. 293.} But this dream of Russia was shattered in the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905). Russia again was left without an ice-free port, but still desiring to obtain a suitable outlet to the Ocean.

The only place left where Russia might obtain an ice-free port was either in the Balkans or at Constantinople. To accomplish this, Russia would have to control the Balkans and also Constantinople. But the Berlin-Bagdad railroad also was to run through the Balkans and across the Bosporus at Constantinople; and to assure the successful operation of that railroad it was necessary for Germany to control the Balkans and also Turkey. Thus the German plan of the Berlin-Bagdad railroad crossed the Russian plan of reaching the ocean either through the Bosporus or the Balkans. It was, then, at the intersection of these two plans, where the vital commercial interests of Russia and Germany crossed each other. It followed, therefore, that the point of intersection, the Balkans, became the most dangerous spot in Europe. Being interested that Constantinople and the Balkans should not fall into the control of either Germany or Russia, England took advantage of the situation. Playing upon

The Berlin-Bagdad Railroad and the pre-war boundary lines in Europe. Note the Russian Plan crossing the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad line at Constantinople.

 

the fears, prejudices and interests of Russia, England succeeded in bringing Russia into alliance with herself and France, thus forming the Triple Entente (1907).

Thus, from 1907 to 1914, Europe was divided into two powerful combinations. One, the Triple Entente, composed of England, France and Russia; the other, the Triple Alliance, composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The Triple Entente was safeguarding the British interests, to hold undisputed control of the world's overseas international commerce; while the Triple Alliance was safeguarding the completion of the German plan to free herself and her commerce from British control. Both groups armed themselves to the teeth.

Each of the two great combinations watched carefully every move made by the other. The six years intervening between 1908 and 1914 were full of tension and anxiety. Each of the groups, to use the conventional expression, carried a chip on its shoulder and virtually challenged the other group to "come on and start something." In 1908 the Triple Alliance accepted the challenge. Bosnia and Herczegovina were annexed to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, in spite of the determined opposition of Hungary, and in express violation of the terms of the treaty of Berlin (1878). The Triple Entente protested; but the Triple Alliance refused to discuss the matter which was "a fact already accomplished."

The strength of the Triple Alliance was further increased by an agreement reached between Germany and Russia, the latter being one of the members of the Triple Entente. In November, 1910, the Czar of Russia and the Emperor of Germany had lunch together at Potsdam. There an agreement was made between the two rulers by which Germany acknowledged the controlling position and influence of Russia in Persia. In return, Russia withdrew her opposition to the German plan of building the Berlin-Bagdad railroad. {E. R. Turner's "Europe Since 1870," p. 409.}

This incident is of great historical interest. Two rulers who represented the vital interests of the countries which they ruled, instead of massing troops and guns to annihilate each other, sat down at a table. They lunched together, undisturbed by the clamor of commercial parasites and unprincipled war plotters, and calmly deliberated upon the interests of their peoples. So, during a brief lunch hour, the two rulers decided a matter of vital import which, afterward, all the armies and murderous guns and poison gases of the world could not decide in the terrible conflict lasting four years. This is a historical fact upon which the people of the world might ponder with some moral benefit. For, if war can be avoided by free and honest discussion of the causes thereof, is there any sound and acceptable reason for war?

The conflict which started in 1914 might have been avoided if England had acquiesced in the agreement made and concluded by the Czar and the Kaiser with reference to the Berlin-Bagdad railroad. But England would not brook a friendly relation between Russia and Germany. An economic alliance between Russia and Germany would have been disastrous to the power of England to control the world's commerce. Hence, England continued her plan of obstructing the German plan of the Berlin-Bagdad railroad. It appeared that the only certain method to bring Germany to her knees was war. Therefore the diplomacy of England set to work to prepare a pretext of some sort for a war that would test out the relative strength of the two opposing camps, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance.

The next attempt was to bring about a clash between France and Germany. But the French people did not want war: There was no indication that the people of Germany had any manifest desire for war. Therefore a desire for war had to be created in order to induce the peoples of those two countries to fight. With that purpose in view, a well planned propaganda was carried on in France and England. "In France there was going on steadily both a revival of courage and assurance and a great rebirth of national feeling. In Great Britain there was each year more vivid apprehension of possible danger from the greatness of the German empire, resolution to be under perpetual guard, and determination under no circumstances ever again to let France alone confront German aggression or suffer her to be crushed." {E. R. Turner's "Europe Since 1870," p. 410.} In spite of Russia's leaning toward Germany, a diplomatic flirtation was carried on with Russia by England, keeping before the eyes of Russia her possible advantages in the Balkans.

What English diplomacy wanted accomplished, it seemed, it did accomplish. England herself did not want to precipitate a war; she wanted France to do that. Therefore, in 1911, the "Morocco Crisis" was trumped up. The Morocco crisis was this: In 1906, in the Conference of Algeciras to which England and Germany were parties, France and Spain were jointly authorized to preserve order in Morocco. France was "permitted to occupy certain towns and maintain order"; but afterward "under pretext of policing the distracted country, she pushed an armed force farther and farther into Morocco." It appeared that Morocco was about to be reduced to French possession, which was specifically forbidden by the Conference of Algeciras. Germany promptly intervened. On July 1st, 1911, "without preliminary warning, it was announced that the German commercial interests in Morocco were being threatened, and that hence a German warship had been sent to the harbor of Agadir, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, to protect them." {E. R. Turner's "Europe Since 1870," p. 411.}

The people of France and England did not want war. They had no desire to support the French government in its attempt to occupy Morocco, in direct violation of her solemn agreement with the other powers, in which France agreed merely to "restore order" in, and not to occupy, Morocco. Yet "all the French fleet was concentrated in the Mediterranean, and Britain's great fleet was ready in the Channel and in the North Sea." {Ibid: p. 413.}

While preparation for war was going at full speed, a conference at Paris was held, where Germany demanded a share in Morocco. France refused to give Germany a share; she wanted to keep it all. "France, supported by Great Britain, firmly refused to consider yielding to Germany any part of Morocco; if, however, Germany acknowledged the absolute political supremacy of France in Morocco, then France would cede to Germany about a third of the Congo territory of France." {Ibid: p. 414.}

This happened in the summer of 1911, just three years before the outbreak of the World War in 1914. It is to be noted that no question was asked whether or not the people of Morocco or Congo would acquiesce in this bargain of their souls and bodies. The "commercial interests" of France and Germany were the paramount issue; and England was umpiring the game.

It was at this point of the history of Europe that International Commerce and International Finance demonstrated their power of making or not making war. Over the vehement protests of all the peoples who were called to do the actual fighting, the preparation for war went ahead methodically. The protests of the people were not heard; they were told that war was inevitable. On the other hand it was discovered that the politicians and diplomats might prepare but could not carry on war without the consent and support of International Finance and International Commerce. These two great powers, the uncrowned, invisible rulers of Europe and, indeed, of the whole world, now stepped forward and commanded that the preparation for war should cease, and all the warlike excitement should subside. International Commerce and International Finance were not ready for a general European war; and there was no war.

This master stroke of these invisible rulers was just as simply done as it is written here. What happened was this: Germany by that time had worked up an immense home industry and international commerce. She had carried on a vast import and export trade, and she became the "middle man" of Europe. Her great industry and vast import and export and her international trade were built up on borrowed capital supplied mostly by French and English international financiers. That is to say, about ninety per cent (90%) of Germany's business was done on credit given by French and English international financiers. {G. R. Usher's "Pan-Germanism," p. 162.}

The invisible empire of finance was then made up of French and English financiers who were the creditors of the German financiers. These, in turn, were the debtor members of that invisible empire. This invisible empire of finance found that "the present opportunity" was "unfavorable" for war. Therefore a "financial mobilization" was started. The French and English financiers began "silently" calling in their loans from the German financiers, and the German financiers obligingly shipped their gold to France and England. Thus Germany was brought to the door of economic panic. The result was, therefore, that when the German Emperor called together the German financiers and asked them to prepare for war, they firmly told the emperor that there could not be and there should not be a war, because there was not enough money left in Germany to finance it. It followed, therefore, that the diplomats, without any further clash and brandishing of swords, cordially agreed to grant France the right to establish a "protectorate" over Morocco, guaranteeing to all nations equality of trade, and Germany was given a part of the Congo territory.

Thus, the diplomats had their round, and the Invisible Power obtained all it wanted in "equality of trade to all nations." The people who were directly affected by this high handed barter had nothing further to say. What right had the people in deciding the question of war? Their duty was not to ask questions but to fight or not to fight, as was decreed by the invisible rulers of the world.

"Theirs not to make reply,

"Theirs not to reason why,

"Theirs but to do or die."

Although the "opportunity" for a general war in Europe was then "unfavorable," it was "felt" everywhere in Europe that the war was coming; for war, when "the favorable opportunity" would present itself, was a profitable undertaking for International Commerce and International Finance. But, even though the people's desire for or opposition to war was an unimportant matter, a pretext had to be created for war. A pretext, however, could be manufactured only if the martial spirit in the two powerful camps, the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, was constantly stirred in the caldron of agitation. The hatred of the Russians was fanned against the German people. The Berlin-Bagdad railroad of Germany had to be obstructed, and that could be done only by means of war.

The next opportunity to precipitate war came in 1912-1913, after the Balkan War broke out, and after Turkey was overwhelmingly defeated. Servia emerged from that war flushed with victory, and insisted upon an extension of her territory to the Aegean Sea. But the extension of Servia's territory and power and influence in the Balkans would weaken the power and influence of Germany in the Balkans. Germany, Austria and Italy, therefore, remonstrated with equal determination to curb the aspiration of Servia for greater power and influence in the Balkans. Russia announced that she would help Servia in her contention. Mobilization was started in Russia and Austria. It appeared as if the inevitable war would break out. But the "opportunity" was still not "favorable" for war, so the crisis passed. Russia and Servia yielded, and the Triple Alliance came out victoriously from the controversy.

A great sigh of relief was felt among the people of Europe after this crisis had passed without an actual war. Men began to feel and believe that the most compelling international questions could be solved without resorting to war. Besides, each nation was armed so heavily that war seemed to be either an impossibility or else a means whereby one or the other would be completely annihilated in a short time. The people themselves did not want war. Yet, behind the screen, the invisible power was working methodically and incessantly to bring nearer the time when the "opportunity" for a general European war would be "favorable." Indeed, the underhanded agitation for war assumed such a proportion that Lord Welby, formerly the head of the Treasury of England, alarmingly exclaimed: "We are in the hands of an organization of crooks. These are politicians, generals, manufacturers of armaments, and journalists." {Quoted in F. Neilson's "How Diplomats Make War;" p. 328.}

The danger spot, indeed the most dangerous spot in Europe, remained in the Balkans at the intersection of the Russian plan and the German plan. If you draw a line from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean Sea, and another line from Berlin to Bagdad,--the one representing the Russian plan and the other the German plan,--you will find the point of intersection at Constantinople. The spot around that point of intersection has been and is at the present time the most dangerous spot in Europe. For the control of that spot more wars have been fought, more blood had been shed, more men had been killed

 

If you drawn a line from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean Sea, you will find at the intersection of the line with the Berlin-Bagdad Railroad, the most dangerous spot in Europe.--Drawn by Ed. Hollo.

 

and more misery had been caused than for the control of any other spot in the world. The Russo-Turkish war, the Balkan war, the World War, the Greco-Turkish war,--all these wars were fought for the control of that spot. For, as it has been stated in this book, the Power which will eventually control that spot will control most of the international commerce of the world.

The plan of the Triple Entente was now to disrupt the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and thus weaken Germany's hold in the Balkans around,--you remember,--the intersection of the two lines. A wide spread propaganda was carried on by the Slavs in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. That propaganda was especially directed against Hungary, and the propagandists refrained from no atrocity. Referring to that propaganda, Francesco Nitti, ex-Prime Minister of Italy, declares that: "In the Balkans, especially in Serbia, Russia was pursuing a cynical and shameless policy of corruption, nourishing and exciting every ferment of revolt against Austria-Hungary. The Russian policy in Servia was really criminal." {Francesco Nitti's "The Wreck of Europe," p. 85.}

The central organization of the propaganda was in Servia. Agitators, politicians and even clergymen spread the poison of hatred against the Hungarians. The propaganda was carried into Hungary and took such a virulent form that the safety not only of private individuals but of officials and even of the State was endangered. During the last few years, before 1914, "the Russian rubles were rolling into Servia to carry on a destructive propaganda in Hungary."

The directors of the propaganda were not satisfied with merely keeping the Hungarians terrorized even in their own country, the purpose being to precipitate, and to create a pretext for, war. When it was found that terror, carried into the territory of Hungary, was not sufficient pretext for war, the propagandists resorted to plain murder.

The plan to murder was hatched in Servia by several high officials of the Servian government. Two demented young students were hired, carefully trained and supplied, out of the Servian government's arsenal, with the weapon of murder. On June 28th, 1914, while passing through the streets of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones, was, together with his wife at his side, assassinated.

According to an English publication, "John Bull," the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife cost the Servian government 2200 sterling; 2000 for the murder and 200 for expenses. The plot to murder was directed by the Secret Service connected with the Servian Legation at London, England. In its issue of July 11th, 1914, a month after the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, "John Bull" in an article exposed the murder plot and printed a photographic copy of a letter which was alleged to have been written on the official paper of the Servian Legation at London. In that letter the price for the murder was set forth. The article, accompanying the photographic copy of the letter, says, in part:

"We have always looked upon Servia as a hot bed of cold blooded conspiracy and subterfuge--the ringleaders being the scoundrels who compassed the assassination and destruction of the late king and queen of the country, and placed on the throne and nominally in power King Peter and his half demented son and who, during the Balkan war, was responsible for the massacre and the burning alive of women and children in Albania.

"And now comes a revelation which will startle Europe. It was decided by the regicide gang to "eliminate"--that was the brutal phrase--the heir to the Austrian throne, and a definite plan was laid with this object in view. Assassins were hired to carry out the work--2,000 sterling "and expenses" was the price--and although, of course, we must not, without evidence, implicate the staff of the Legation proper, we do assert that the Servian Secret Service was actively at work, at the Legation, plotting the foul deed. And we are in position to produce evidence of a character which, as we say, will stagger civilization."

"Now it happened that in the month of April the Servian Legation was being removed from Belgrade Mansion Hotel to Queen's Gate. In connection with the removal it was decided to tear up and burn a large number of documents which it was considered unwise to preserve. Amongst such documents was one of the most incriminating character, and relating, as we shall show, to the projected murder of "F. F."--Francis Ferdinand, the Archduke.

"Never mind how, but we have come into possession of a portion of that document--rescued from the flames before its bloody story was ever lost. And here it is, photographed in facsimile, just as it appears. It is a part of an official sheet of the Legation paper, with its embossed address, and just sufficient of the date can be read to fix it as on the 5th of April. It is in the private code of the Secret Service. That fact, however, presents no insuperable difficulty, for we happen to have also in our possession the cypher code of the Secret Service, and with the aid of this and other special information, we find that the document decodes first into crude Spanish--which may be rendered roughly as follows:

'Por elimination total de. F. F. la summa de dos mil libras esterlinas pagaderos como sigue Un mil libras esterlinas a su llegado en Belgrade por manos del Senor G. Y. to demas un mil libras esterlinas al concluir el trabajo pagaderos Como Arriba. La summa de doscientas libras esterlinas Para gastos y Para pagar agentes, etc. Antes de salir de esta. Los orreglos suyas no'--


"And translating this into English we get--

'For the total elimination of F. F. The sum of 2000, sterling paid as follows--1,000 on your arrival in Belgrade by the hands of Mr. G. and the rest of 1,000 on finishing the work paid as above. The sum of 200 for expenses and to pay agents, etc., before you leave here. Your arrangement do not--'" {"John Bull," July 11th, 1914, reprinted in "The American Monthly," June, 1922.}

Need there be clearer and more convincing evidence to show that the murder of Francis Ferdinand was the result of a concerted and international plot? And when it is remembered that Servia was being used by the Triple Entente, through Russia, as a means of stirring up trouble and dissension in Austria-Hungary, it becomes forcefully evident that the ultimate motive behind the plot was to precipitate war.

 



Fac-simile of the murder letter, as printed in "John Bull," and reprinted in "The American Monthly," June, 1922.--Reprinted here by courtesy of "The American Monthly."

 

The limit of the underhanded struggle between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance had been reached. The news of the brutal assassination of the Archduke and his wife was flashed to every corner of the earth. With that news the conviction was spread everywhere that the time had arrived for the carefully plotted general war in Europe. The French and English financiers did not hasten to bring about a "financial mobilization," as they did three years prior to the murder. The Invisible Power had now no objection to war. The "favorable opportunity" had arrived. War was in the air and war had to come. The clanking of the swords reverberated in the air. The war plotters shouted war into every ear. The very air was poisoned with the ghastly odor of war. Old and gray-haired Europe went insane, and feverishly prepared for her own suicide.

The German Emperor and the Russian Czar, those "nominal rulers and terror stricken dummies," frantically appealed to each other to help avert the impending war. The statesmen and diplomats of the countries in which preparation for war was feverishly made kept the wires hot, appealing to and threatening one another to come to some agreement, whereby the portentous war clouds might be dispersed and the imminent catastrophe be averted. But International Finance and International Commerce had already balanced their accounts. The "opportunity" for a general European war was, at last, "favorable." No "financial mobilization" was resorted to, so that the army organizations of the various countries might have ample financial support. As Lloyd George has said, the "nominal rulers and terror stricken dummies" could not avert the war. Regardless of "whatever emperors, kings, diplomatists or statesmen said, thought or intended," there had to be war. The uncrowned and invisible rulers of Europe decreed that there should be war, and there was war.

In the light of the foregoing historical facts, it is evident that, as Lloyd George has said, "no one at the head of affairs quite meant war"; the various PEOPLES of Europe did not want war; the crowned rulers of Europe were merely "nominal rulers" and "terror stricken dummies"; the "relentless military organizations," the armies of the chief European countries, were the real and controlling powers in Europe; the crowned rulers were helpless; the civil governments were powerless; but the military organizations, the armies, and the navies, were in complete control of the situation. It is clear that behind the armies and navies were the uncrowned, invisible rulers,--the international financiers of Europe. When the international financiers decreed that there should be no war, they enforced their decree by a "financial mobilization"; and there was no war, regardless of the desires or intentions of the crowned rulers and civil governments. But, when the "favorable opportunity" had arrived, the armies and navies of Europe were ready to fight, regardless of the efforts put forth by the crowned "nominal rulers," "terror stricken dummies," and civil governments of Europe. The Invisible Power,--the international financiers,--was behind the armies and navies. It is they, who were behind those armies and navies, upon whose shoulders rests the responsibility for the world war. It is they upon whose heads rests the blood of the millions of dead and millions of dying. It is they who, in the light of history, stand, in the Court of Justice of Christian Civilization, convicted of having engineered and caused the world war, and of having thrown the world into unprecedented calamity.