Lessons for Armistice Day 2022

With an eye on the urgent need to end the killing and destruction in Ukraine, Helena Cobban spotlights the diplomatic failures surrounding the First World War and an opportunity Woodrow Wilson missed.   

Council of Four at the WWI Paris peace conference, May 27, 1919: left to right, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Italian Premier Vittorio Orlando; French Premier Georges Clemenceau, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. (Edward N. Jackson, U.S. Signal Corps, Wikimedia Commons)

By Helena Cobban
Special to Consortium News

For many years, countries around the world marked Nov. 11 as Armistice Day, commemorating the date in 1918 on which the horrors and destruction of World War I were finally brought to an end. In many countries, that remembrance bore a strong anti-war message.

Today, as the killing and destruction multiply in Ukraine, we should look at some of the key lessons that can be gleaned from the record of that war.

Crucially, a recent book by historian Philip Zelikow unearths the previously almost unknown history of a mediation effort that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson undertook, at the request of the leaders of both sides, between August 1916 and January 1917.

Wilson and his British, French and German interlocutors were all serious about that effort. But after January 1917 it unraveled, and three months later Wilson abandoned U.S. neutrality and joined the war on the Allied side.

Many of the most deadly battles of the war were fought in the 22 months after Wilson’s mediation effort collapsed. The Battle of Ypres saw 857,000 casualties in 1917. In 1918, two other battlefields each saw casualties greater than 1.5 million.

The horror of those WW I battlefields was captured by writer-combatants like British poet Wilfred Owen, or the German memoirist Erich Maria Remarque. (Netflix has just released a new movie version of Remarque’s classic, All Quiet on the Western Front. It is the first ever made by a German film-maker and it is certainly worth watching.)

Zelikow’s book is titled The Road Less Traveled: The secret Battle to End the Great War 1916-1917. The allusion he makes to Robert Frost’s famous poem prompts us to imagine how different the history of Europe and the world would likely have been, had Wilson’s 1916-1917 mediation effort succeeded.

As it was, the continuation of the war beyond January 1917 and the super-punitive way it was finally brought to an end in 1918 had a massive impact on the entire history of the 20th century.

In Russia, outrage over the terrible losses the country’s armies had taken in their large-scale battles against Germany spilled over in March 1917, forcing the tsar to abdicate. That October, the Bolsheviks rode the antiwar wave to power in Moscow … and they retained their hold there for more than 70 years.

In November 1918, the Armistice (ceasefire) that we remember today did succeed in ending the fighting. But the Treaty of Versailles the victorious Allies pushed through the following year, which aimed at anchoring the final peace by resolving all outstanding issues, did nothing of the kind.

The terms that the Allies were able to, and did, impose on Germany reduced the country to penury and incubated the bitter, irredentist forces of Nazism that then arose.

The arrogant triumphalism the Allies embodied at Versailles led within two short decades to the horrors of World War II.

Armistice Day celebrations in Philadelphia on Nov. 11, 1918. (Library Company of Philadelphia. Wikimedia Commons)

In 1945, U.S. intervention in an originally intra-European war once again allowed a clear Allied victory. But this time, Washington’s leaders were much more clear-headed and forward-looking in the way they treated the defeated countries than they had been in 1919.

It turns out that ending a war “successfully” and sustainably calls for as much wisdom as any other major task in statecraft.

So what lessons can we take today from that record of World War I and the way it was ended? The main lessons, I think, are these:

  • Even (especially) in the height of a conflict, every effort should be made to explore the possibilities for a ceasefire on the ground and the opening of negotiations for a deeper peace.

In his opening chapter, Zelikow, a University of Virginia historian, notes that in 1916, when the leaders of Britain, France and Germany asked Wilson to mediate a ceasefire, they all still insisted on doing so in secret. They were afraid that if they were seen reaching for diplomacy they might undercut the fighting spirit of their forces on the ground.

By that time, two years into the war, the publics in all the fighting countries had become convinced that their side’s fight was truly existential in nature. (Sound familiar?)

Nonetheless, in 1916 those leaders realized they had no easy or clear path to victory, and were eager to seriously explore a negotiated solution. Had they succeeded then, how different — almost certainly, how much better for humanity — the history of the world would have been.

In Ukraine today, it is hard to identify which third party might play the trusted mediator role that the European leaders asked Washington to play in 1916. But there are several possible candidates, including some of the (non-Russian) BRICS countries, Turkey and the United Nations.

  • When planning for the deeper peace, generosity and breadth of vision will be far more effective over the long term than single-minded pursuit of a desire to punish.

Political elites in the United States love the idea of punishing leaders they see as miscreants around the world (though our own leaders who invaded Iraq in clear defiance of international law have never been held to account.) The idea of “punishing Putin” is widely popular in the West — as was the idea of “punishing Kaiser Wilhelm” on the Allied side, in World War I.

As it transpired, in October 1918 Wilson openly called for the overthrow of Wilhelm. Many areas of Germany then saw popular uprisings and mutinies; and in early November the Kaiser abdicated and fled to the Netherlands.

The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that he be punished for German’s violation of previous treaties. But the Dutch refused to extradite him, and the Allies retained the harsh countrywide sanctions on Germany that provided fertile ground for the rise of Nazism.

In Russia today, Putin retains much more domestic support than Wilhelm had in 1918. He also has a large nuclear arsenal. Distasteful though it might seem to some, it is far better to negotiate a sustainable and forward-looking peace with Putin than it would be to continue seeking his punishment.

The alternative would be countless more months, or years, of war in Ukraine and a multiplication of the harms that war has already imposed on the most vulnerable communities around the world.

In a world facing the possibility of nuclear war, it is more urgent than ever to find a way to end the war in Ukraine.

Helena Cobban is a writer and analyst who has authored seven books on Middle Eastern and other international topics. For 18 years she contributed a regular column on global affairs to The Christian Science Monitor. In 2010, she founded the publishing house Just World Books, with the goal of expanding the discourse on Palestinian rights and matters of war and peace. Her personal blog is Just World News, established in 2003. She is a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

22 comments for “Lessons for Armistice Day 2022

  1. paul
    November 13, 2022 at 15:13

    Wars generate their own momentum. WW2 began with a Polish/ German border dispute, and within 2 years all the world and his dog had joined in. Suddenly thousands were dying for possession of a patch of desert or a fetid swamp on some crappy Pacific island nobody had ever heard of. This war will have to run its course to its logical conclusion – just like 1918. There won’t be any negotiated settlement. Too much is at stake. It’s like one of the old western films where a group of cowboys are playing poker in a saloon. There is too much money on the table for anyone to fold. Then the loser just reaches for his six guns (or in this case, nuclear missiles) and starts blazing away. There is only one possible outcome.

  2. LeoSun
    November 13, 2022 at 12:49

    No offense; but, Woodrow F. Wilson?!?

    “Delete and fast forward.” Sounds like W.F. Wilson had a chance to be brilliant and blew it.

    Delete and fast forward to the present that is overflowing w/deception, destruction and death. War NOT peacemaking has ruled the day for the past umpteenth f/years!!! The ‘accountable” aka The Evil Doers, today, Live Free, in gated communities, w/Cops, 24/7, covering their “assets,” paid for by the U.S. Taxpayer$.

    History tells US, “F/WAR!!!” Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up!!! History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other. “It’s just one big circle and it’s beginning to end,” W W 3. “What’s next was now, what’s now is now again.”

    “The Angel of Death,” posing as POTUS, masquerading as Human, shuffles through the graveyard, yapp’n & yell’n about “the weather.” BUT, POTUS made “the weather and stands in the rain” of nuclear war and says, “Oh, $hit! It’s raining.”

    “For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast and breathed in the face of the foe as he passed. And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly & chill. And, their hearts but once heaved; and for ever, grew still.” Lord Byron

    “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato

    Reagun, Clinton, Bush, OhBama, Trump, Biden-Harris & their Board of Executioners have had YEARS of CHANCES “to be brilliant; and, they blew it!!! PEACE is NOT a profit making Option.

    The Party of War is in The House & ready to Nuke it All! Protest & Survive.

    ..p.s. “The past year and a half of has been a year and a half of mass death.” BUT, “to this day we mark Armistice Day around the United Kingdom with a Two Minute Silence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month“

    (The Armistice, an agreement to end the fighting of the First World War as a prelude to peace negotiations, began at 11am on 11 November 1918. Armistice is Latin for to stand (still) arms).”

    “Delete & Fast Forward” Willie Nelson hxxps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgt04jxyE5s

  3. MirrorGazers
    November 12, 2022 at 08:13

    “an opportunity Woodrow Wilson missed.”

    Mr. Wilson didn’t miss an opportunity, he took one, thereby enabling divide and rule as a function of ethnic nationalism, as remains the case today in decreasing intensity and scope.

  4. Paula
    November 11, 2022 at 21:39

    I had no idea the Pentagon has over 17 ongoing wars in as many countries right now, secret wars which is why no one knows about them but the Brennan Center for Justice just published a study letting that cat out of the bag.

  5. Em
    November 11, 2022 at 15:29

    If Truth Be Openly Told, When Were Man’s Laws Ever Equivalent To Justice?

    Lessons for Armistice Daze 2022

    If there is one single cause of the illegal mass colonization of Palestine by European Jewish religionists, post WW I & II, it is Britain and its co-conspirators.
    All the while the U.S. hegemon has been the instigator, and continues to be the clandestine facilitator of dastardly deeds.

    The very means by which Britain came to regard itself as Great, in the first instance, was by global “territorial aggrandizement”. British colonial policies laid the groundwork for other aggressors to follow.

    In the same unlawful, unjust manner that Israel has, for more than a century now, and continues to do in the present, it is stealing the historical land of Palestine from its indigenous Arab inhabitants – Muslims, Christians and other diverse religious practitioners, so too do the British, unlawfully, and unjustly imprison Julian Assange; nowadays as subservient emissary, acting as U.S. proxy in his torture and slow death murder; without blinking an eye!

  6. November 11, 2022 at 15:07

    Follow the family line: Frederick W. Kagan is an American resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a former professor of military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    Both he and his father, Donald Kagan, who was a professor at Yale and a fellow at the Hudson Institute, authored While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today (2000). The book argued in favor of a large increase in military spending and warned of future threats, including from a potential revival of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program. Frederick and Robert Kagan (Victoria Nuland), who is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and their father, Donald, were all signatories to the Project for the New American Century manifesto, Rebuilding America’s Defenses (2000).

    Quite the small cabal influencing US military policy since before Slick Willy.

    Fact is that Russia has some dirty laundry, those being the industrialists and oligarch.

    Gen. Surovikin is a great Russian Patriot, a great soldier, and a real man. The same cannot be said for those around him, both above and below. The truth becomes more clear by the hour, especially in Donetsk. The Russian parasite class, and those who are owned by them, have been getting rich by trading with their mortal enemies, making their billions off of Heroes’ blood, and not just for the last 8 months, but for the last 8 YEARS.

    Here, from someone I read who is from Russia:

    “?Yesterday, 11/09/2022, the intention to surrender the next territories was announced openly for the first time. Previously, a set of measures was taken to prepare for the retreat.

    However, it is so shameful to make excuses by saying that “the most valuable thing for us is the life and health of servicemen” is unacceptable! Why don’t the military decision makers talk about civilians, about the position they put people who trusted them in? After all, these people are not able to protect themselves. Soldiers have a choice: they can fight and die or fight and win. But they choose the third for them: “one’s own life and health” as the main goal and as the only meaning. An unprecedented, unheard-of shame for the military.

    I believe that real people will return to power in Russia, and that thanks to their uncompromising and consistent actions, the entire territory of Ukraine will be cleared of Bandera.

    But no civilians will support the soldiers, whose main goal is their own life and health.

    ?The territories of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other Soviet republics should be one state and one that professes high humanistic, ideally communist values, and not this cowardly shameful, and possibly just selfish agreement with the enemy.”

    This is a war of attrition, which is a sometimes 8 to 1, or 10 to 1 ratio of Ukrainians killed versus Russian military. FOr eight years, 14,000 killed directly from Ukrainian bombing, war (what about the lives lost to PTSD, complete economic trauma, hopelessness, and early chronic illness and death), and now, eight months, maybe a couple of hundred thousand killed, and same number wounded?

    Oh, there are no diplomats of sanity and humanity today coming from the City of London, DC, Brussels, et al, AKA called EuroTrashLandia.

    It’s feeling like Korea — NATO and Polish and USA, troops, buffer zone, and there you go, the big freeze, DMZ.

    Been there, done it, but it is USA strategy even with multipolarity on the table. USA is very predictable, unpredictable, hencem it is an Empire of Chaos, Lies and Murder.

  7. Frank Lambert
    November 11, 2022 at 12:40

    Good article by Ms Cobban, and I’d like to add some additional information.

    First Woodrow Wilson ran on the platform, “He kept us out of war”, but was under a lot of pressure from the banksters who lent Great Britain and France a great deal of money for the war and were afraid that if Germany and it’s allies won, the loans wouldn’t be repaid, and as I read many decades ago, sent Bernard Buruch, a financier and statesman to Wash. D.C. to convince Wilson to join the war against Germany. Buruch, along with Edward Bernays, who, by the way, wrote the book, “Propaganda” in 1928, and supposedly read by the “Information Officer” of the Third Reich, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, in the German translation on how to manipulate people. We know how that worked out. Wilson brought both Bernays and Buruch with him and were part of the Treaty of Versailles which crippled the German economy after the war, which set the stage in creating the Nazi Party and mass punishment and murder for many people.

    Had the United States not intervened with “fresh troops” for cannon fodder, some historians said there probably would have been a stalemate as nobody was really winning. From what I read, France and Germany lost approximately 16% of their young men on the battlefield.

    Even sadder, World War One, which officially started in August, 1914, might have been stopped about five months later as on Christmas Eve of 1914, A German soldier came up from the trenches, holding a lighted branch as his fellow soldiers were singing, including the Scottish song Auld Lang Syne, in German, of course. The Brits had their rifles ready for an “enemy” attack, but it didn’t come. A translator spoke to the soldier, and as both troops were Christian, why not celebrate the holiday in peace? They did! Exchanging beer, cigarettes, sweets, whatever, and the following morning, played a few sporting games. Word of it spread down the lines of defense, and it was the common, working-class troops who wanted to stop fighting. The “out of harm’s way general officers were shocked and reported this peaceful action to the heads of state in London and Berlin, and both nations said those actions were treasonable and would be considered a capital offense, punishable by death for fraternizing with the enemy. Look up, “Christmas Truce of 1914” for better details of the event then I provided.

    And, to help demonize the German people in Europe, and many naturalized Germans in the U.S., William Randolph Hearst and his newspaper chain, as well as other chains, created horror stories and condemned just about everything German, including cartoons in magazines and on editorial pages depicting Germans to be barbaric murders and all.

    Fast forward 122 years and Russia and it’s president are the new demons on the block.

    How does it go? “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

    I think George Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Woodrow Wilson and their Treaty of Versailles advisors were the catalyst in the creation of the Nazi Party which led to World War Two because of the reparations they imposed on Germany. In Junior School, in the 1950’s the Business Admin teacher told us 12 year olds that the inflation was so bad in Germany in 1923, the Mark was literally worthless, and you needed a wheel barrel full of them to buy a loaf of bread. We kids were giggling, as a loaf of plaster of Paris (white bread) cost twenty five cents back then.

    • Eddy Schmid
      November 11, 2022 at 22:50

      Quote, “In Junior School, in the 1950’s the Business Admin teacher told us 12 year olds that the inflation was so bad in Germany in 1923, the Mark was literally worthless, and you needed a wheel barrel full of them to buy a loaf of bread. ” Unquote. Absoluetly, spot on. I was born in Germany, family migrated to Australia after the war, as young lad recall the stories told to us by our MUM, how bad things were in Germany back then, she also told us about the terrible inflation they endured and the fact a wheelbarrow full of money was required to purchase a loaf of bread, provided you got up at the crack of dawn to stand in line for the bread. By the time the sun had fully arisen, everyone else in the line missed out, because all the bread had been sold. No way these stories ever found their way into a school i Australia.

      • Frank Lambert
        November 12, 2022 at 11:42

        Eddy: Thanks for the reply and the verification. I left out “High” as in Junior High School. During the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s, unemployment in the United States was 25%. My father joined the Civilian Conservation Corp (the CCC’s) which didn’t pay much, but compared to not having a job for an unskilled, non-professional worker, it helped millions of people. In Germany, as you probably know, and Germany was the most advanced industrialized and educated nation in Europe, the unemployment rate was 33% of the workforce. So yes, what you said above is true, which set the stage for the anger from losing the First World War and what transpired two decades later. Cause and Effect, Action and Reaction, for Good or for Bad. It’s Universal Law, or Cosmic Law.

        Those stories weren’t told in American schools either. Just the wheel barrel fact. When the term, “neoliberalism” so commonly used today, started being used in the early 2000’s, people would ask, “What is neoliberalism?” My reply – legalized loansharking on a national level.” Another subject all together.

  8. D. H. Fabian
    November 11, 2022 at 12:28

    It was clearly known from early on that peace isn’t possible unless NATO — which presents a direct threat to Russia – pulls back away from Russia’s border, back into compliance with the 1991 NATO treaty. The additional factor is that Zelensky would have to be restrained, and stop firing missiles into eastern Ukraine and Russia.

  9. DW Bartoo
    November 11, 2022 at 11:38

    Punishing Putin.

    For what?

    Historical context must consider that this conflict was not initiated by the Russians.

    Rather it was the U$, and its intention of Full Spectrum Dominance, to create and fund a proxy war.

    Yes, the parallels to the beginnings WWI are disturbingly clear.

    Specifically, in terms of the mercenary interests of the largest financial “players”, as this war mentality is driven by U$ intentions of remaining THE global hegemon, to use its Killing Machine, for that is what the U$ has become since WWII.

    The U$ “leadership” has lied the U$ into war after war.

    We need only look at the Gulf of Tankin “incident” and “weapons of mass destruction” excuses to see such evidence.

    Let us remind ourselves that the U$ not only has broken International Law with its illegal invasions, but engaged in torture.

    These are not tiny or insignificant lapses, deceit, however, and when wrapped in “National Security” excuses, the death toll of U$ military adventurism, whether proxy wars or overt wars of convenience (and profit, we must not forget the huge profits U$ belligerence has netted war-profiteers), stands, at best estimate, at 20 million human beings.

    It is not by accident that most of the world’s humans consider the U$ to be the major threat to peace and human existence.

    We, as a nation have gone from., “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” to “we will bomb you back to the Stone Age and turn your country to glass”!

    This is taught belligerence.

    Honesty required of us more than a superficial and shallow sensibility of the U$ as always threatened by tyrants and savages who “hate us” for our imagined “freedoms”.

    Russia, China, Iran, and whatever other nations may be used to frighten the U$ public, who are fed propaganda (now “legally” , as Obama got rid of the Smith-Mundt Act) which distorts reality and is intended to encourage unreasoning hatred.

    In the U$, and who oppose U$ hegemony are are told, ” You are either with us or against us”, which is a fallacious argument long known as such,.

    Indeed, the Greeks and Romans described that statement as a threat, an attempt to end and stifle dissent,

    In the Latin it is known as Argumentum ad baculum – argument backed with a stick.

    Remember, please, history and context

    It is the U$, with its NATO lap dogs, who sought to surround Russia with nuclear and conventional weapons right up to its borders, that is what was/is expected of Ukraine, whatever the cost to its people.

    Let us no pretend otherwise.

    Despite the U$ domestic propaganda.

    It is the U$ which must change or be changed.

    Only the U$ and Israel threaten “first use” of nuclear weapons.

    And, all the talk of Putin threatening to use nuclear weapons, which he has not done, is intended to frighten people out of their wits and ramp up war fever.

    To ignore any or all of the truth of things, is not, in any way, conducive to reason, tolerance, or understanding.

    Putin does not need “punishing”.

    The U$ needs to stop pushing.

    However, the U$ is thoroughly
    addicted to using violence, as first solution, second solution , and all the way to final solution.

    That is what requires the serious attention of everyone.

    Especially just after a midterm election here that the Democrats asserted is about “saving Democracy”.

    It is time to stop believing that the U$ is always the victim, as the U$ has done
    from the moment the Deckaration of Independence was penned; King George was, indeed, a tyrant, while the native peoples were not savages, but a people subjected to what years later would be termed “genocide”.

    We have yet to acknowledge that truth and that the U$ made its initial fortune on the back is slave labor.

    Yet we have the gall to claim that we are the one indispensable nation.

    Best we look to ourselves to recognize our own perfidious tendency to violence destruction.

    Yet, in polite company, we are quite unwilling to embrace the truth of our own sordid past, present, and future intentions.

    We wring our hands over violence on our streets and in our schools and cannot imagine why anyone would ever consider violence to be “solution”.

    Let us further recall that we are the only people to have ever used nuclear weapons.

    We are the bully.

    We are possessed of appalling horrible weaponry with, history shows us, little compunction about using such to kill.

    That is our power.

    The ability to destroy human existence.

    Frankly, it is pathetic and evidence of our own small-mindedness and disdain for life.

    Our economic system reflects the very same total destruction mentality.

    Our mindsets are about control and domination.

    There is no future in such threadbare notions.

    • Jeff Harrison
      November 11, 2022 at 13:34

      Thank you, sir. You saved me the trouble of writing that (presuming that I could)

    • Eddy Schmid
      November 11, 2022 at 22:55

      Awesome post, right on the money, I wish I could have written this.

      • Frank Lambert
        November 12, 2022 at 11:48

        I agree with the others, DW Bartoo! Unfortunately, it’s very true!

  10. vinnieoh
    November 11, 2022 at 11:33

    Excuse me for saying so, but it is Biden, not Putin – if punishment is “justified” – that should receive that treatment. The US, under the leadership of Biden did everything that it could to precipitate this conflict, and to this day is doing everything that it can to prolong it.

    Granted, Biden is just the last in a long list of US exceptionalism fanatics that prepared the Ukrainian abattoir for operation, but several other factors – the collapse of that “clinking, clanging, caliginous collection of junk” – aka the western consumerist economy – precipitated by the pandemic, and the impossible to ignore progression of the climate emergency, should have counseled the Biden policy geniuses that precipitating this conflict was a seriously stupid, counter-productive, and most especially ill-timed effort.

    That last – ill-timed – is sufficient proof to me that Biden’s ‘commitment’ to addressing the climate crisis is absolute bullshit. The much touted “100 years of US energy security” is being liquified and sent sailing over the seas just so the exceptionalism fanatics can count coup on “the barbaric Russians.” This has nothing to do with DEMOCRACY (what a joke here in the US) versus autocracy. To understand the truth of the moment just FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    If there is anything new here perhaps it is the audacity of the hypocrisy, but that notion could probably also be challenged by someone better versed in history.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      November 12, 2022 at 09:15

      Americans are not ‘exceptional’ – rather, exceptionable. Not the same.

  11. bevin
    November 11, 2022 at 11:12

    Philip Zelikow. The name seems familiar, doesn’t it?

    • Patricia M.
      November 11, 2022 at 21:25

      Bevin – Always right on time and on target. Gratified to see your post. Thank you, as always.

  12. Lubomir Kolev
    November 11, 2022 at 11:01

    Sure, but negotiations with cruel killers, bandits, and thieves are as bad as giving them the green light to keep on doing what they’ve been doing for decades. So, what better shall we expect by negotiating with those dudes?

  13. Vera Gottlieb
    November 11, 2022 at 10:39

    And it isn’t just what is going on in Ukraine…rather, it is what still goes on all over the world.

  14. Dorothy Wolden
    November 11, 2022 at 10:36

    Bolshevism liberated the people of the Soviet Union from Czarist tyranny and raised hundreds of millions out of starvation and poverty, as well as withdrawing from the World War saving the lives of untold numbers of their people, only to face invasions by the armies of 21 countries trying to overthrow the revolution.

  15. peter mcloughlin
    November 11, 2022 at 08:31

    One lesson governments have not learned from history – the most difficult one – is that everyone eventually gets the war they are trying to avoid. They cannot see this or its implications.

Comments are closed.