North Carolinian Claude Kitchin rightly sensed Woodrow Wilson’s intentions as he wrote in February 1916: “I think the President is anxious for war with Germany . . . I fear the President is going to watch for the first opportunity to strike at Germany and involve this country in a world-wide war . . . It seems a crime against civilization and humanity for this Christian nation to plunge into the war and make a slaughter-house of the whole world.” Nearly 117,000 American men unnecessarily perished in the Great World War, Part One.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org
American’s Sacrificed for Vested Interests
“Various motives were attributed to Kitchin for his opposition to the Wilson war policies. But the fact remains that Wilson, with complete authority to direct our relations with the warring Powers, persisted in following a highly un-neutral and war-threatening course which inevitably led us into the holocaust; and that Claude Kitchin, along with most other leaders of the President’s own party in Congress, backed by large majorities in both Houses – at least until the potent resources of the Administration were employed in full force – fought for a more genuinely neutral and pacific course.
That the President was beset by powerful economic and political forces and was ill-advised by men of his own choice, whom he knew to be biased, helps greatly explain his course but adds nothing to his wisdom as a statesman.
Wilson himself, his appointees in belligerent capitals, and the advisors upon whom he most relied were biased in favor of the Allies and against the Central Powers. A large majority of the American public was similarly biased and was easily victimized by propaganda. We were lured by the growing volume of profitable trade occasioned by the war, which became the basis of a booming – though ephemeral – prosperity. To enjoy this trade we had to encounter the hazards of unlawful “blockades” on either side.
As the Allies had more to offer us, as their huge naval superiority made their “blockade” more formidable, and as our sympathies were predominantly on their side, we endured their arbitrary dicta and defied those of Germany.
The time came when the Allies could no longer make their mounting purchases except on a credit basis. The Administration was besought to permit the granting of credits and later the floatation of loans to the Allies in this country. Reluctant at first, it yielded by degrees.
And thus we developed a vested interest which ran into the billions in the ultimate triumph of the side upon which we had staked our “prosperity.” The Wilson Administration came to rationalize its one-sided policies on the faulty hypothesis that one side was fighting for the right and the other for the wrong, that one was even “fighting our battles” against the menace of the other.
Wilson conceived of himself first as the great World Arbiter and finally as the Commander of Righteousness Triumphant.”
(Claude Kitchin and the Wilson War Policies, Alex Arnett, Russell & Russell, 1937, pp. 115; 117-119)