February 16, 2008
THE WAGES OF WOODROW:
Battling Bolshevism: a review of The World on Fire by Anthony Read (Victor Sebestyen, 2/16/08, Daily Telegraph)
The Western powers were terrified, but were split over how they might halt the spread of Bolshevism. In Britain, Winston Churchill, then Minister for War, wanted to conduct a military campaign to topple the new Russian government - "one might as well legalise sodomy as recognise the Bolsheviks", he told a Cabinet colleague.
The prime minister, Lloyd George, put a stop to the idea, arguing that a war with Russia was the best way to strengthen support for Communism. The American president, Woodrow Wilson, idealistically setting up the League of Nations at the time, vetoed an invasion of Russia, while the French leader, Georges Clemenceau, seemed to formulate a different policy each week.
At length, the countries reached a compromise. They blockaded ports and sent small numbers of troops to a few isolated areas in Russia to supply and aid the White Russians in their war against the Reds. It was doomed from the start.
It's remarkable the degree to which the problems of the last hundred years trace to President Wilson's pursuit of his transnational pet project instead of an American insistence on self-determination for all. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2008 9:58 AM