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mardi, 07 février 2017

1917: Early Moves Toward American Intervention in World War I

This short piece continues series on some “Deeply Momentous Things” — that is, American intervention in the First World War. (See Part One.) As the first installment has shown in a general way, the background of the war among Europe and its extensions (Canada, Australia, etc.) is crucial to understanding how the United States would eventually declare war on the Central Powers. More specifics on this issue will help us understand just what the might of the United States meant to the warring powers.

European leaders on both sides hoped to change the dynamic of the war in January 1917. Certainly, from a technical military standpoint, 1916 represented a highly complicated and progressive experimentation with methods of war that would break up the stalemate. In answer to a question posed in the first installment — who was winning at the end of 1916 — if I had to choose the side that had the upper hand in December 1916, I would probably choose the Central Powers by a nose.

In December 1916, Field Marshal Haig, Commander of the British forces on the Western Front, sent in an extensive report to his government on the just completed Somme Campaign. The Somme battles had advanced the Allied line in some places but had never come close to a breakthrough. And the losses of both British and French units were appalling. Yet Haig declared the Somme campaign a victory in that it had achieved the wearing down of the Germans and the stabilization of the front.

Yet even with Haig’s report in hand, British statesmen and diplomats were not as optimistic. The Field Marshal’s optimism could not hide the fact that the Somme advance had been at best shallow, and that the Germans still held onto nearly as much of France as they had before. And significantly, the Central Powers were killing Entente troops at a faster rate than the Allies were killing the Germans and their Allies. For every two deaths on the side of the Central Powers, three Entente soldiers were dying.

And there were more concrete signs of distress. In East Central Europe, recently acquired Entente partner Romania faced an Austro-Hungarian, German, and Bulgarian force which had besieged and captured the Romanian capital, Bucharest. The great Brusilov Offensive against the German and Austro-Hungarian armies was an enormous success at its beginning, and almost certainly took pressure off the French defenders at Verdun, in France. But the offensive tailed off with counterattacks that were costly and worrisome. And there were in addition, the enormous losses to the Brusilov fighters, upwards of a million dead, wounded, and captured. In Russia, rumblings of demoralization — including the plot which would end in Rasputin’s murder in December 1916 — emerged as hunger and depletion accompanied deep winter. In retrospect, the Brusilov Offensive planted the seeds of Russia’s revolutionary collapse the following year — which would no doubt have tipped the balanced sharply in favor of the Central Powers had the United States not intervened.


Elsewhere, it is true, things were going somewhat better for the Russians and the British in fighting the Ottoman Empire by December 1916 and January 1917, but many British leaders thought they were looking at the real crisis of the war a hundred years ago. Hoping to bring every kind of weapon to bear in the midst of this depressing and murderous year, British leaders departed from their slogan of “business as usual” in a variety of ways. Great Britain had already adopted conscription a year earlier in January 1916, though not quite in time to supply replacements for the inevitable losses in the coming offensive operations on the Somme and elsewhere. On the diplomatic front, it was in 1916 that the British government began a process that would end by promising overlapping parts of the Ottoman Empire both to the future “king of the Arabs” and to Jews across the world as a future homeland. At the same time, British propaganda designed to influence the United States to enter the war heightened dramatically. Charles Masterman’s War Propaganda Bureau in London worked on the “American question” with newspaper subventions in the United States, speaking tours, increased distribution of the famous Bryce Report on German atrocities in Belgium, and in other ways.

One crucial example of non-traditional attempts to break the impasse was the starvation of German civilians resulting from the British Blockade. In place since late 1914, the Blockade kept even neutrals from delivering food and other essentials to Germany. Before the Blockade was lifted in 1919, somewhere between 500,000 and 800,000 German civilians would die from starvation and from the effects of nutritional shortages on other conditions. Adding indirect deaths influenced by nutritional privation adds many more to the total (see the excellent analysis of the Blockade by David A. Janicki, as well as Ralph Raico’s detailed review of the classic book on the subject by C. Paul Vincent).

The dynamics of the Blockade intensified among the belligerents the importance of future American decisions. In order to survive the war, Britain had to control the seas. In order to survive the war, Germany had to eat. But at the same time, Germany had to avoid bringing the world’s most powerful economy into the conflict. Unlimited submarine warfare was the most likely way to break the Blockade and eat. But German statesman expressly feared that this step would bring the United States into the war. (See the minutes of a top-level German meeting on the issue of unlimited submarine warfare from August 1916.)

Meanwhile, the one obvious solution to the war — namely, ending it — seemed out of the question. Both sides desired any help they could get, but both sides had turned down offers of mediation, truce, and negotiations, all of these attempts foundering on the acquisitive territorial aims and financial obligations of one belligerent or the other.

One important note: the weather impacted home and battle fronts. The winter of 1916/17 was one of the coldest in memory. The impact on the hungry German home front was immense — this was the terrible “turnip winter,” so-called because turnips were about the only home-grown food available to many. But the soldiers on all sides found the cold almost unbearable as well, misery in the trenches and encampments did not bode well for the future will to fight in any army.

Quite clearly, momentous American decisions were crucial to the future course of the war.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

18:33 Publié dans Histoire | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : histoire, états-unis, première guerre mondiale, 1917 | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

lundi, 06 janvier 2014

Il telegramma Zimmermann: la vera ragione che spinse gli USA ad entrare in guerra nel 1917


Il telegramma Zimmermann: la vera ragione che spinse gli USA ad entrare in guerra nel 1917

Viene spesso, fin troppo spesso, affermato che la causa dell’entrata in guerra di Washington, nella Prima Guerra mondiale, sia stato l’affondamento da parte di un sommergibile tedesco del transatlantico inglese Lusitania, che trascinò con se 123 cittadini statunitensi. (1) In realtà la nave fu affondata nel 1915, mentre gli USA entrarono in guerra nel 1917. Infatti, entrarono in guerra in reazione alla faccenda del “telegramma Zimmermann”.

Il 16 gennaio 1917, Arthur Zimmermann, segretario agli Esteri della Germania imperiale, inviò un telegramma cifrato all’ambasciatore tedesco a Washington, utilizzando il nuovo codice 7500 che gli inglesi non avevano potuto decifrare, ma l’ambasciatore a Washington ritrasmise il telegramma nel vecchio codice 103040, noto agli inglesi, all’ambasciatore tedesco in Messico.

Il testo del telegramma affermava: “Abbiamo intenzione di cominciare la guerra sottomarina senza restrizioni il primo di febbraio. Ci adopereremo, nonostante ciò, a mantenere gli Stati Uniti neutrali. Nel caso non succeda, faremo al Messico una proposta di alleanza sulla seguente base: combattere insieme, fare la pace insieme, un generoso sostegno finanziario e la comprensione da parte nostra del diritto del Messico a riprendersi i territori perduti di Texas, New Mexico e Arizona. I dettagli sono lasciati a voi. Potrete informare il presidente (del Messico) di quanto sopra secretato non appena lo scoppio della guerra contro gli Stati Uniti è certo, e aggiungerei il suggerimento che avrebbe dovuto, di propria iniziativa, invitare il Giappone ad aderirvi immediatamente e anche a mediare tra il Giappone e noi. Si prega di richiamare l’attenzione del presidente sul fatto che l’impiego illimitato dei nostri sottomarini offre ora la prospettiva di convincere l’Inghilterra a fare la pace entro pochi mesi. Accusate ricevuta. Zimmermann

In realtà, il telegramma venne concepito da un funzionario del ministero degli esteri tedesco, Hans Arthur von Kemnitz, che ne scrisse una prima bozza che Zimmermann firmò quasi senza leggere, probabilmente perché impegnato a redigere il testo diplomatico che giustificava l’annuncio della “guerra sottomarina senza restrizioni” contro il traffico navale diretto nel Regno Unito. Quando un altro funzionario seppe del telegramma, esclamò: “Kemnitz, quel fantastico idiota, ha fatto questo!?
Berlino dovette criptare il telegramma perché la Germania era consapevole che gli alleati intercettavano tutte le comunicazioni transatlantiche, una conseguenza della prima azione offensiva della Gran Bretagna nella guerra. All’alba del primo giorno della Prima guerra mondiale, la nave inglese Telconia si avvicinò alle coste tedesche e tranciò i cavi sottomarini transatlantici che collegavano la Germania con il resto del mondo. Questo atto di sabotaggio costrinse i tedeschi ad inviare i messaggi tramite collegamenti radio poco sicuri o cavi sottomarini di proprietà estera. Zimmermann fu costretto a trasmettere il suo telegramma cifrato attraverso la Danimarca e la Svezia con un cavo sottomarino statunitense che passava anche per il Regno Unito. Va ricordato, inoltre, che uno stretto collaboratore del presidente statunitense Woodrow Wilson, il colonnello Edward House, fece si che il dipartimento di Stato degli USA consentisse ai tedeschi la trasmissione di messaggi cifrati diplomatici tra Washington, Londra, Copenhagen e Berlino.

Il telegramma di Zimmermann ben presto venne intercettato ed analizzato dalla Sala 40 dell’Ammiragliato inglese, l’ufficio dell’intelligence elettronica inglese. Winston Churchill, Primo lord dell’Ammiragliato inlgese, ordinò la creazione della sezione intercettazione e decodificazione dei messaggi criptati tedeschi, appunto la Sala 40, divenuta di vitale importanza per gli Alleati. La Sala 40 era formata da linguisti e criptoanalisti. Il telegramma Zimmermann, decifrato parzialmente da Nigel de Grey e dal reverendo William Montgomery, affermava che la Germania voleva istigare il Messico ad attaccare gli USA, un’informazione che avrebbe spinto il presidente degli USA Woodrow Wilson ad abbandonare la neutralità degli Stati Uniti, perciò Montgomery e de Grey lo passarono subito all’ammiraglio Reginald Hall, direttore della Naval Intelligence, aspettandosi che lo trasmettesse agli statunitensi. Ma l’ammiraglio lo ripose nella sua cassaforte, incoraggiando i criptoanalisti a completare il lavoro. Infatti, il 5 febbraio 1917, Hall non ebbe il nulla osta dal Foreign Office affinché consegnasse agli statunitensi tali informazioni. Ma Hall convocò un ufficiale dell’intelligence statunitense a Londra e gli diede lo stesso il telegramma. “In altre parole, il direttore dell’intelligence navale aveva unilateralmente preso la decisione di condividere un’informazione altamente sensibile con una potenza straniera, senza l’autorizzazione del proprio governo“.

Hall pensava che se gli statunitensi venivano a conoscenza del telegramma Zimmermann, i tedeschi avrebbero potuto concludere che il loro nuovo sistema di cifratura 7500 era stato spezzato, spingendoli a sviluppare un nuovo sistema di cifratura, bloccando così l’intelligence inglese. Inoltre “Hall era consapevole che la guerra totale degli U-boat sarebbe iniziata entro due settimane, e che essa avrebbe indotto il presidente Wilson a dichiarare guerra alla Germania imperiale, senza bisogno di compromettere la preziosa fonte dell’intelligence inglese”. Ma il 3 febbraio 1917, sebbene la Germania avesse avviato la guerra sottomarina senza restrizioni, il Congresso statunitense e il presidente Wilson annunciarono la prosecuzione della neutralità. D’altra parte, negli USA era diffuso un notevole sentimento anti-inglese, in particolare tra i cittadini di origini tedesche ed irlandesi, questi ultimi infuriati per la brutale repressione della Rivolta di Pasqua del 1916 a Dublino e, inoltre, presso la stampa statunitense Gran Bretagna e Francia non godevano di maggiore simpatia della Germania. Tutto ciò spinse gli inglesi a sfruttare il telegramma Zimmermann. All’improvviso, e in sole due settimane, Montgomery e de Grey completarono la decifrazione del telegramma. Inoltre, gli inglesi si resero conto che von Bernstorff, l’ambasciatore tedesco a Washington, trasmise il messaggio a von Eckhardt, l’ambasciatore tedesco in Messico, utilizzando il vecchio sistema di cifratura 103040 e “dopo aver fatto alcune piccole modifiche al testo” che poi von Eckhardt avrebbe presentato al presidente messicano Carranza. Se Hall avesse potuto avere la versione “messicana” del telegramma Zimmermann, i tedeschi avrebbero supposto che fosse stato reso pubblico dal governo messicano, e che non era stato intercettato dagli inglesi. Hall contattò un agente inglese in Messico, il signor H., che a sua volta s’infiltrò nell’ufficio telegrafico messicano. Il signor H. poté ottenere così la versione messicana del telegramma di Zimmermann. Hall consegnò tale versione del telegramma ad Arthur Balfour, il segretario agli Esteri inglese, che il 23 febbraio convocò l’ambasciatore statunitense a Londra Walter Page per consegnargli il telegramma di Zimmermann. Il 25 febbraio, il presidente Wilson ebbe la ‘prova eloquente’, come disse, che la Germania incoraggiava un’aggressione agli USA. Il telegramma, in realtà, affermava che il Messico avrebbe dichiarato guerra agli USA solo se questi avessero dichiarato guerra alla Germania. Ciò avrebbe giustificato l’intervento degli USA nella Prima guerra mondiale? Infatti il telegramma di Zimmermann viene citato come il casus belli della guerra tra USA e Germania imperiale. Ma, infine, il Messico sarebbe mai stato un serio nemico per gli Stati Uniti? Il Messico era preda da anni di una feroce guerra civile, non poteva costituire una qualsiasi seria minaccia per gli USA, e Berlino avrebbe dovuto saperlo. Il presidente messicano Venustiano Carranza assegnò a un generale il compito di valutare la fattibilità di un’aggressione agli USA, ma il generale concluse che non sarebbe stato possibile per i seguenti motivi:
- gli Stati Uniti erano militarmente molto più forti del Messico.
- le promesse della Germania erano ritenute appunto soltanto tali. Il Messico non poteva utilizzare alcun “generoso sostegno finanziario” per acquistare armi e munizioni, per la semplice ragione che poteva comprarli solo negli Stati Uniti, mentre la Germania non poteva inviare alcunché in Messico dato che la Royal Navy, ed eventualmente l’US Navy, controllava le rotte atlantiche.
- infine, il Messico aveva adottato una politica di cooperazione con Argentina, Brasile e Cile per evitare un qualsiasi contrasto con gli Stati Uniti e migliorare le relazioni regionali.

Comunque il telegramma fu reso pubblico, ma stampa e parte del governo degli Stati Uniti lo ritennero una bufala ideata dagli inglesi per coinvolgere gli USA nella guerra. Tuttavia, Zimmermann, in modo sbalorditivo, ne ammise pubblicamente la paternità, dicendo a una conferenza stampa a Berlino che semplicemente “non posso negarlo. E’ vero”. La Germania poteva benissimo dire che il “telegramma Zimmermann” era un falso, approfondendo così i gravi dubbi sulla faccenda espressi negli USA, dove l’opinione pubblica era poco restia a partecipare alla Grande Guerra. Perché allora Zimmerman confessò di averlo inviato?

Nell’ottobre 2005, venne scoperto il presunto dattiloscritto originale della decifratura del telegramma Zimmermann, “scoperto da uno storico rimasto ignoto” che lavorava su un testo ufficiale della storia del Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), il servizio segreto elettronico inglese. Si riteneva che tale documento sia il telegramma mostrato all’ambasciatore Page nel 1917. Molti documenti segreti relativi a tale incidente furono distrutti su ordine dell’ammiraglio Reginald Hall. Certo, tutto ciò suscita un sospetto: in realtà si sa cosa ha scritto Zimmermann (Kemnitz), ma non è noto cosa avessero di certo mostrato gli inglesi ai diplomatici e al presidente degli USA.

In Germania, le indagini su come gli statunitensi avessero ottenuto il telegramma Zimmermann portarono a credere che fosse stato violato in Messico, proprio come previsto dall’intelligence inglese. Quindi il presidente Wilson, che nel gennaio 1917 aveva detto che sarebbe stato un “crimine contro la civiltà” trascinare il suo popolo in guerra, il 2 aprile dello stesso 1917 affermò: “Consiglio che il Congresso dichiari che il recente corso del governo imperiale non sia in realtà nient’altro che una guerra contro il governo e il popolo degli Stati Uniti, e di accettare formalmente lo status di belligerante cui siamo stati così spinti”.

La diplomazia inglese (così come la sua propaganda nera) cercarono ostinatamente di convincere il presidente Wilson ad abbandonare la promessa di neutralità fatta nella sua campagna elettorale per le presidenziali del 1916, e di entrare in guerra a fianco degli Alleati, ma come affermò la storica statunitense Barbara Tuchman, “Una sola mossa della Sala 40 era riuscita laddove tre anni d’intensa diplomazia avevano fallito”.Unit7_map_Zimmerman_300g80Alessandro Lattanzio, 3/1/2014

1) “Gli inglesi contarono 1198 vittime, tra cui 123 statunitensi, mentre in realtà i morti furono 1201; vennero infatti omessi i corpi dei tre tedeschi inviati sul Lusitania dall’attaché militare tedesco a Washington di allora, von Papen, per fotografare eventuali materiali sospetti. I tre furono scoperti e tenuti a bordo come prigionieri. In seguito, il segretario personale del presidente Wilson, Joseph Tumulty, fece credere a Washington che le spie fossero in possesso di un ordigno esplosivo, mentre invece si trattava della macchina fotografica”.

The Telegram that brought US into Great War is found, Ben Fenton
The Zimmermann Telegram, Joseph C. Goulden
The Zimmermann Telegram, Barbara Tuchman

vendredi, 08 novembre 2013

Wall Street & the March 1917 Russian Revolution


Wall Street & the March 1917 Russian Revolution

By Kerry Bolton 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

“There is no proletarian, not even a communist, movement that has not operated in the interests of money, in the directions indicated by money, and for the time permitted by money — and that without the idealists amongst its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.” Oswald Spengler.[1]

The “Russian Revolution” (sic) is heralded in both the popular imagination and by academe as a triumph of the people against Czarist tyranny, even if most concede that the utopian vision turned sour, at least with the eventual dictatorship of Stalin. However a look behind the multiple facades of history shows that the “Russian Revolution” was one of many upheavals that have served those who provide the funding. Few–whether laymen or supposed “experts”–ever seem to question as to where the money comes to finance these revolutions, and we are expected to believe that they are “spontaneous uprisings of the people against oppression,” just as today we are still expected to believe that the so-called “colour revolutions” in the Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, etc., are “spontaneous demonstrations.” This essay examines the funding of the March 1917 Russian Revolution, the so-called First Revolution that served as an opening scene for the Bolsheviks, and concludes that there are forces at work behind he scenes, whose goals are far removed from the welfare of the masses.

March 2010 marks the ninety-third anniversary of the (First) Russian Revolution, which served as the prelude for the Bolshevik coup the following November, known as the “Bolshevik Revolution.” A look beyond orthodoxy shows with ample documentation that socialism, from social democracy and fabianism[2] to communism, has generally “operated in the interests of money” as Spengler observed.

The Fabian historian and novelist H. G. Wells, when in Russia in 1920 observing the still precarious Bolshevik regime, commenting on how arch-capitalists were even then already going into the embryonic Soviet republic to negotiate commercial concessions[3], wrote:

. . . Big business is by no means antipathetic to Communism. The larger big business grows the more it approximates to Collectivism. It is the upper road of the few instead of the lower road of the masses to Collectivism.[4]

Big Business saw in socialism a means for both destroying the traditional foundations of nations and societies and as a control mechanism. In the case of Old Russia where a State based on monarchical and rural traditions was not amenable to being opened up for global business exploitation of its resources the scene was set for the upheavals of 1917 back in 1905 at the time of the Russo-Japanese War, which played a significant role in the formation of a Russian revolutionary cadre.[5] The funding for the formation of that cadre came from Jacob Schiff, senior partner of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., New York, who backed Japan in the war against Russia.[6]

The individual most responsible for turning American opinion, including government and diplomatic opinion, against Czarist Russia was the journalist George Kennan[7], who was sponsored by Schiff. In a collection of essays on American-Russian diplomacy, Cowley states that during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 Kennan was in Japan organising Russian POWs into ‘revolutionary cells’ and claimed to have converted “52,000 Russian soldiers into ‘revolutionists’”. Cowley also adds, significantly, “Certainly such activity, well-financed by groups in the United States, contributed little to Russian-American solidarity.”[8]

The source of the revolutionary funding “by groups in the United States” was explained by Kennan at a celebration of the March 1917 Russian Revolution, as reported as by the New York Times:

Mr. Kennan told of the work of the Friends of Russian Freedom in the revolution.

He said that during the Russian-Japanese war he was in Tokio, and that he was permitted to make visits among the 12,000 Russian prisoners in Japanese hands at the end of the first year of the war. He had conceived the idea of putting revolutionary propaganda into the hands of the Russian army.

The Japanese authorities favoured it and gave him permission. After which he sent to America for all the Russian revolutionary literature to be had . . .

“The movement was financed by a New York banker you all know and love,” he said, referring to Mr Schiff, “and soon we received a ton and a half of Russian revolutionary propaganda. At the end of the war 50,000 Russian officers and men went back to their country ardent revolutionists. The Friends of Russian Freedom had sowed 50,000 seeds of liberty in 100 Russian regiments. I do not know how many of these officers and men were in the Petrograd fortress last week, but we do know what part the army took in the revolution.”

Then was read a telegram from Jacob H. Schiff, part of which is as follows: “Will you say for me to those present at tonight’s meeting how deeply I regret my inability to celebrate with the Friends of Russian Freedom the actual reward of what we had hoped and striven for these long years.”[9]

The reaction to the Russian revolution by Schiff and indeed by bankers generally, in the USA and London, was one of jubilation. Schiff wrote enthusiastically to the New York Times:

May I through your columns give expression to my joy that the Russian nation, a great and good people, have at last effected their deliverance from centuries of autocratic oppression and through an almost bloodless revolution have now come into their own. Praised be God on high! Jacob H. Schiff.[10]

Writing to The Evening Post in response to a question about revolutionary Russia’s new status with world financial markets, Schiff replied as head of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.:

Replying to your request for my opinion of the effects of the revolution upon Russia’s finances, I am quite convinced that with the certainty of the development of the country’s enormous resources, which, with the shackles removed from a great people, will follow present events, Russia will before long take rank financially amongst the most favoured nations in the money markets of the world.[11]

Schiff’s reply reflected the general attitude of London and New York financial circles at the time of the revolution. John B. Young of the National City Bank, who had been in Russia in 1916 in regard to a US loan stated in 1917 of the revolution that it has been discussed widely when he had been in Russia the previous year. He regarded those involved as “solid, responsible and conservative.”[12] In the same issue, the New York Times reported that there had been a rise in Russian exchange transactions in London 24 hours preceding the revolution, and that London had known of the revolution prior to New York. The article reported that most prominent financial and business leaders in London and New York had a positive view of the revolution.[13] Another report states that while there had been some disquiet about the revolution, “this news was by no means unwelcome in more important banking circles.”[14]

These bankers and industrialists are cited in these articles as regarding the revolution as being able to eliminate pro-German influents in the Russian government and as likely to pursue a more vigorous course against Germany. Yet such seemingly “patriotic sentiments” cannot be considered the motivation behind the plutocratic support for the revolution. While Max Warburg of the Warburg banking house in Germany, advised the Kaiser and while the German Government arranged for funding and safe passage of Lenin and his entourage from Switzerland across Germany to Russia; his brother Paul,[15] as associate of Schiff’s,[16] looked after the family interests in New York. The factor that was behind this banking support for the revolution whether from London, New York, Stockholm,[17] or Berlin, was that of the tremendous largely untapped resources that would become available to the world financial markets, which had hitherto been denied control under the Czar. It must be kept in mind that these banking dynasties were–and are–not merely national or local banks but are international and do not owe loyalty to any particular nation, unless that nation happens to be acting in their interests at a particular time. [18]

The Bolshevik Revolution of eight months later, despite the violent anti-capitalist rhetoric, was to open Russia’s vast resources up to world capitalism, although with the advent of Stalin, not to the extent that the plutocrats had thought when the Lenin-Trotsky regime had held sway for several years.


This essay is based on parts of chapters in my book Revolution From Above: Manufacturing “Dissent” in the New World Order (London: Arktos, 2011). I hope to submit a similar essay on the funding of the November 1917 Russian Bolshevik Revolution for the October-November-December issue of Ab Aeterno.

[1] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of The West, 1918, 1926 (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1971), vol. 2, p. 402.

[2] The Fabian Society features on its coat-of-arms a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Prominent among the founding members were literati such as H. G. Wells and G. B. Shaw. The Fabians founded the London School of Economics and Political Science as a training academy for the future governing elite in a collectivist state. According to co-founder Beatrice Webb, funding for this came from Sir Ernest Cassel of Vickers armaments and Kuhn, Loeb & Co., New York; and the Rothschilds, et al. (K. R. Bolton, op.cit., “Revolution By Stealth”).

[3] Washington A. Vanderlip was in Russia at the same time as Wells, negotiating commercial concessions with the Soviet regime–successfully.

[4] H. G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows, Chapter VII, “The Envoy.”  Wells went to Russia in September 1920 at the invitation of Kamenev, of the Russian Trade Delegation in London, one of the leaders of the Bolshevik regime. Russia in the Shadows appeared as a series of articles in The Sunday Express. The whole book can be read online at: gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602371h.html [2]

[5] The Russian monarchy and the Russian peasant were both considered historically passé by the Western financial establishment, in the same manner that in our own time the Afrikaner farming folk were considered passé and their system of apartheid hindered the globalisation of South Africa’s economy. Like the March and November 1917 Russian Revolutions, the ostensibly “Black” revolution in South Africa eliminated the Afrikaner anachronism and under “socialism” has privatised the parastatals (state-owned utility companies) and privatised the economy.

[6] “Jacob Schiff,” Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. XVI, p. 431. Schiff gave a loan of $200,000,000 to the Japanese aggressors, for which he was decorated by the Japanese Emperor.

[7] Robert Cowley, “A Year in Hell,” America and Russia: A Century and a Half of Dramatic Encounters, ed. Oliver Jensen (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962), pp. 92-121. The introductory note to the chapter indicates the nature of Kennan’s influence: “An American journalist, George Kennan, became the first to reveal the full horrors of Siberian exile and the brutal, studied inhumanity of Czarist ‘justice’.” Cowley quotes historian Thomas A. Bailey as stating of Kennan: “No one person did more to cause the people of the United States to turn against their presumed benefactor of yesteryear.” (A reference to Czarist Russia’s support for the Union during the American Civil War). Cowley, ibid., p. 118.

[8] Ibid., p. 120.

[9] New York Times, 24 March, 1917, pp. 1-2.

[10] Jacob H. Schiff, “Jacob H. Schiff Rejoices, By Telegraph to the Editor of the New York Times,” New York Times, 18 March, 1917. This can be viewed in The New York Times online archives: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9802E4DD163AE532A2575BC1A9659C946696D6CF [3] (accessed 12 January 2010).

[11] “Loans easier for Russia,” The New York Times, 20 March 1917. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B04EFDD143AE433A25753C2A9659C946696D6CF [4] (accessed 12 January 2010).

[12] “Is A People’s Revolution.” The New York Times, 16 March 1917.

[13] “Bankers here pleased with news of revolution,” ibid.

[14] “Stocks strong – Wall Street interpretation of Russian News,” ibid.

[15] Paul Warburg, prior to emigrating to the USA, had been decorated by the Kaiser in 1912.

[16] Paul Warburg was also Schiff’s brother-in-law.

[17] Olof Achberg of the Nye Banken, Stockholm was to serve as the conduit for funds between international banks and the Bolsheviks.

[18] For example, what national or prior imperial loyalties could a banking dynasty such as the Rothschilds owe, when they had family branches of the bank in London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Berlin? The same question applies to all such banks, and in our own time to the trans-national corporations.

Source: Ab Aeterno: Journal of the Academy of Social and Political Research, no. 2, March 2010

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/10/wall-street-and-the-march-1917-russian-revolution/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/jacobschiff.jpg

[2] gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602371h.html: http://www.counter-currents.comgutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602371h.html

[3] http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9802E4DD163AE532A2575BC1A9659C946696D6CF: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9802E4DD163AE532A2575BC1A9659C946696D6CF

[4] http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B04EFDD143AE433A25753C2A9659C946696D6CF: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B04EFDD143AE433A25753C2A9659C946696D6CF

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dimanche, 24 mars 2013

Du nouveau à l’Est


Matthias HELLNER:

Du nouveau à l’Est


Le 3 mars 1918, les puissances centrales signent avec la nouvelle Russie soviétique un traité de paix à Brest-Litovsk


Après la révolution de février 1917 en Russie, la situation change sur le front de l’Est. Avant ce bouleversement politique, on se demandait si l’armée russe était encore capable de lancer une offensive; désormais, on sait qu’elle va tout bonnement se liquéfier. Les nouveaux détenteurs du pouvoir essaient toutefois de maintenir cette armée en état de combattre, rien que pour respecter les engagements qu’impliquait leur alliance avec les autres puissances de l’Entente. Mais le peuple et les soldats russes en avaient assez de la guerre. L’offensive lancée par Kérensky durant l’été s’était rapidement enlisée et les troupes pliaient sous le choc de la contre-offensive allemande. Près de deux millions de soldats russes abandonnèrent alors leurs unités et désertèrent. A partir de septembre, sur tout le front de l’Est, les combats cessèrent, comme déjà en mars et en avril de la même année. Immédiatement après que les bolcheviques eurent commis leur putsch d’octobre 1917, ils entamèrent des tractations pour obtenir la paix.


Le 8 novembre, le “Deuxième Congrès panrusse des ouvriers et soldats” accepte les propositions de paix suggérées par le nouveau gouvernement révolutionnaire. Toutes les machinations entreprises par le gouvernement du Reich allemand pour révolutionner la Russie avaient abouti. Les plans, qui voulaient que l’on transformât tout de suite les pourparlers à l’Est en négociations de paix, furent considérés avec grand scepticisme par le haut commandement allemand qui préféra entamer d’abord des négociations en vue d’un armistice pour ensuite commencer à négocier une paix définitive. On décida d’abord de mener les pourparlers à proximité du front. Au début du mois de décembre 1917, les négociations en vue d’un armistice se déroulèrent à Brest-Litovsk. Elle se terminent le 13 décembre. Les négociateurs allemands et russes s’étaient mis d’accord, dans un premier temps, de suspendre les hostilités jusqu’au 14 janvier 1918, suspension qui pouvait se prolonger automatiquement sauf si l’on faisait usage d’une clause prévoyant un délai de renonciation de sept jours.


Dans la phase initiale des négociations, la Russie et les puissances centrales agissaient encore sur pied d’égalité. L’Autriche-Hongrie voulait à tout prix signer la paix avec la Russie, sans poser de conditions, mais le Reich allemand, lui, songeait à l’annexion de la Courlande et de la Lituanie. Les Soviétiques, pour leur part, surtout Trotsky, tentaient de faire traîner en longueur les négociations; ils tenaient, dans cette optique, de longs discours propagandistes et espéraient ainsi déclencher d’autres révolutions partout en Europe.


Lorsque, le 9 février 1918, les puissances centrales signent une paix séparée avec l’Ukraine, les négociations s’interrompent. Les bolcheviques exhortèrent alors les soldats allemands à tuer leur empereur et leurs généraux. Trotsky déclare alors ne pas vouloir signer une paix qui impliquerait l’annexion de territoires ayant appartenu à l’empire russe. Mais, simultanément, il déclare que la guerre contre l’Allemagne, l’Autriche-Hongrie, la Bulgarie et la Turquie est terminée. Le 18 février 1918, les armées allemandes de l’Est, qui avaient déjà envoyé des divisions à l’Ouest contre les Franco-Britanniques, amorcent leur grande marche en avant, que l’on peut qualifier de “marche en avant par chemin de fer”, vu la disparition des armées russes. Les Allemands occupent alors toute la Lettonie et toute l’Estonie. Lénine reconnait aussitôt le danger que constitue, pour la révolution bolchevique, une pénétration plus profonde des armées “centrales” dans l’intérieur des terres russes et suggère d’accepter les propositions allemandes, y compris l’abandon de l’Estonie et de la Lettonie. Il met sa propre personne dans la balance: si les bolcheviques n’acceptent pas cette suggestion, Lénine démissionera de tous ses mandats.




Le 25 février 1918, le dernier volet des négociations commence: le Reich dicte littéralement la paix, sa paix, aux Soviets: la Russie bolchevique doit signer avant le 3 mars le traité et accepter les conditions voulues par les Allemands. La Russie perd alors bon nombre de terres non russes, comme la Finlande et les Pays Baltes, la Pologne et Batoum sur la Mer Noire. On a souvent comparé la paix signée à Brest-Litovsk au Diktat de Versailles. Plus tard, Lénine posera son jugement sur l’aberration qu’il y a à procéder à une telle comparaison: “Vous savez bien que les impérialistes alliés —la France, l’Angleterre, l’Amérique et le Japon— ont imposé le Traité de Versailles après avoir détruit l’Allemagne, mais ce traité est bien plus brutal dans ses effets que le fameux traité de Brest-Litovsk, qui a fait pousser tant de cris d’orfraie”.


Matthias HELLNER.

(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, N°10/2013; http://www;zurzeit.at/ ).


mercredi, 21 octobre 2009

Le regard de Dominique Venner sur le destin des armées blanches





Le regard de Dominique Venner sur le destin des Armées blanches


Pour la Russie et la Liberté,

Nous sommes prêts, nous les Kornilovtzy,

A nous jeter à l'eau,

A nous jeter au feu!

Marchons au combat, au sanglant combat!

Chant de marche des Volontaires, Campagne du Kouban, 1918.


Lors du cinquantième anniversaire du coup d'État bolchévique en 1967, on assista dans le monde entier, et tout spécialement en France, à une débauche de propagande et de bourrage de crâne en faveur du régime rouge: ce fut le délire, un délire soigneusement organisé, subsidié et contrôlé par les “Organes”. Combien d'intellos parisiens n'ont pas émargé aux fonds secrets soviétiques? Certains (les mêmes parfois) touchent aujourd'hui d'autres chèques...  Ainsi va (leur) monde... En réaction contre cette désinformation, il y eut le livre de Marina Grey et de Jean Bourdier consacré aux Armées blanches (Stock 1968, paru en Livre de Poche, n°5116). Marina Grey est la fille du Général Dénikine, qui commanda la fameuse Division de Fer lors de la Première Guerre mondiale: le Maréchal Foch et Churchill ont dit de lui qu'il avait contribué à la survie des Alliés sur le front ouest. Anton Dénikine, pourtant acquis aux idées libérales et critique à l'égard des insuffisances de Nicolas II, sera Régent de Russie et l'un des principaux chefs blancs.


Sa fille, née en Russie libre, a écrit une excellente évocation de l'épopée des Vendéens russes, ces rebelles qui, refusant la servitude et la terreur bolchéviques, se battent à un contre cent avec un panache extraordinaire. Cette étude écrite comme un roman, se fondait sur des archives privées d'émigrés, des revues parues en exil, à Buenos Aires, Paris ou Bruxelles (saluons au passage Sa Haute Noblesse feu le capitaine Orekhoff, éditeur à Bruxelles de La Sentinelle  et, en 1967, du Livre blanc sur la Russie martyre!),  des mémoires rédigés en russe par des officiers rescapés du génocide communiste (au moins dix millions de morts pour la Guerre civile). P. Fleming, le frère de Ian, avait signé un beau livre sur l'amiral blanc Koltchak et plus tard, Jean Mabire avait sorti la belle figure d'Ungern de l'oubli dans un roman, qui a marqué toute une génération. Mais les Blancs, malgré ces efforts, restaient des maudits, bien plus en Occident qu'en Russie occupée!


Vers 1980, un texte du samizdat russe expliquait que, dans les cinémas soviétiques des années 70, lorsqu'on montrait des Gardes blancs (vrais ou non, mais montrés du doigt comme des vampires), souvent les jeunes se levaient d'un bloc, sans un mot. Un de ces adolescents avait écrit à une revue émigrée, une superbe lettre ouverte aux derniers Blancs pour leur dire son admiration. La SERP nous offre toujours un bel enregistrement de marches de l'ancienne Russie et les Cosaques de Serge Jaroff nous restituaient les chants des Blancs... autrement plus beaux que les chœurs de la défunte Armée rouge qui, pourtant, avaient une classe indéniable par rapport aux misérables chansonettes des armées anglo-saxonnes qu'on tente de nous faire passer pour le comble du génie.


Mais voilà que Dominique Venner, déjà auteur d'une Histoire de l'Armée rouge (ouvrage couronné par l'Académie française), vient combler ce vide regrettable. Il s'attaque à la Guerre civile, épisode soigneusement occulté de l'histoire soviétique. L'hagiographie marxiste passait sous silence la résistance des Blancs, ou alors ne parlait que de “bandes” de réactionnaires au service du capital, etc. Venner s'est replongé dans cette époque tout compte fait mal connue: peu de livres en langue occidentale, censure générale sur le sujet (tabou dans les universités européennes, alors que les chercheurs américains ont publié pas mal de thèses sur les Blancs), et surtout blocage mental sur ces épisodes qui contredisent la version officielle des faits pour une intelligentsia européenne qui subit encore une forte imprégnation marxisante, souvent inconsciente: une résistance populaire à la “révolution” communiste ne va pas dans le “sens de l'histoire”! Comme le dit justement Gilbert Comte dans le Figaro littéraire du 6 novembre 1997: «Triste modèle des démissions de l'intelligence, quand l'histoire écrite par les vainqueurs devient la seule qu'il soit possible d'écouter». On connaît cela pour d'autres épisodes de notre histoire et le procès Papon, une gesticulation inutile, en est le dernier (?) exemple. Il n'y a pas qu'à Moscou que les procès sont des farces orwelliennes...


Venner a donc lu des témoignages écrits à chaud (voyageurs, diplomates, journalistes), ce qui lui permet de rendre l'esprit de l'époque. Une seule critique vient à l'esprit à la lecture de son beau livre: peu de sources russes et pas de témoignages de première main. Il est vrai que pour trouver des rescapés des Armées blanches en 1996... Mais ces hommes, officiers, civils, soldats ont laissé des écrits: mémoires, archives, articles dans la presse émigrée. Paris, Kharbine en Mandchourie, Bruxelles, Berlin ou Buenos Aires furent des centres actifs de l'Emigratziya.  Les revues, journaux, livres rédigés par des combattants blancs se comptent par centaines. Il y a là une masse de documents énorme à analyser. Il existe encore des Associations de la Noblesse russe où de Volontaires qui possèdent des archives du plus haut intérêt et les archives soviétiques doivent aussi receler des trésors... Mais ne faisons pas les difficiles! Le travail de Venner est une réussite complète. Signalons seulement qu'il reste du pain sur la planche pour de futurs chercheurs!


Venner étudie les Rouges et les Blancs, ce qui est neuf: il analyse les points forts et les faiblesses des uns et des autres. Sa description des événements est précise, militaire: il montre bien à quel point la guerre fut atroce. Surtout, il prouve que les Blancs, ces “vaincus” de l'histoire officielle, ne furent pas loin de l'emporter sur les Rouges. Fin 1919, Lénine s'écrie: «nous avons raté notre coup!». C'est Trotsky qui sauvera le régime, avec ses trains blindés et sa vision très militariste de la révolution. Il y a d'ailleurs chez Lev Davidovitch Bronstein un côté fascistoïde avant la lettre!


Pour la Russie, l'alliance avec la France fut une catastrophe: l'Etat-Major impérial est fidèle à ses promesses, jusqu'à la folie. Mal armée (usines d'armement peu productives), mal commandée (généraux incapables), sans doute trahie au plus haut niveau (la Tsarine ou son entourage), l'armée russe subit une terrible saignée: 2,5 millions de tués en 1915! Ces millions de moujiks tués ou estropiés sauvent la France du désastre: si le plan Schlieffen ne réussit pas à l'ouest, c'est en partie grâce aux divisions sacrifiées de Nicolas II. En 1940, ce même plan, actualisé (frappes aériennes et panzers) réussira grâce à l'alliance de fait germano-russe (pacte Ribbentrop-Molotov). En 1917, l'armée est à bout, et 1a personnalité du monarque, une vraie fin de race, n'arrange rien. Seul le Grand-Duc Nicolas aurait pu sauver la mise, après la mort de Stolypine (assassiné en 1911 par un revolutionnaire juif), ce qui fut un désastre pour toute l'Eurasie. Les trop vagues projets de coup d'état militaire visant à renverser ce tsar incapable ne se réalisent pas... mais le corps des officiers est préparé à lâcher ce dernier, que même le roi d'Angleterre n'a pas envie de sauver.


Ce sont des officiers comme Alexeiev ou Korniloff, futurs chefs blancs, qui joueront un rôle dans son abdication tardive. Preuve que les Blancs n'étaient pas des nostalgiques de l'ancien régime, mais des officiers qui souvent servent d'abord Kerenski, même s'ils méprisent à juste titre ce bavard incapable (un politicien). On peut d'ailleurs se demander si le ralliement au régime rouge de tant d'officiers tsaristes n'a pas été partiellement facilité premièrement par les revolvers (Nagan, au départ une conception liégeoise) délicatement braqués dans leur nuque, mais aussi par le dégoût inspiré par la cour de Nicolas II. Dénikine lui-même avait été scandalisé par le lâchage par le tsar de son meilleur ministre, Stolypine.


Un des nombreux mérites du livre de Venner est de camper tous ces personnages historiques avec un talent sûr. Le portrait de Lénine, qui était la haine pour le genre humain personnifiée, celui de Trostky, sont remarquables. Venner montre bien que là où les Bolchéviks trouvent face à eux une résistance nationaliste, ils sont vaincus, comme en Finlande, en Pologne. Les armées de paysans attachés à leurs traditions ancestrales sont toujours plus fortes que celles des révolutionnaires citadins, fanatiques mais divisés en chapelles. Un des mérites du livre est d'insister sur la respansabilité de Lénine dans le génocide du peuple russe: c'est lui qui met en place le système du goulag, et non Staline. Les premiers camps d'extermination communistes datent de l'été 1918. Toutes ces ignominies, dont Hitler ne fut qu'un pâle imitateur, découlent de l'idéologie marxiste, qui est celle de la table rase (au moins 25 millions de tués de 1917 à 1958!). La révolution blochévique vit une véritable colonisation de la Russie par des étrangers: Polonais, “Lettons”, et surtout des Juifs, animés d'une haine viscérale pour la Russie traditionnelle, qui ne leur avait jamais laissé aucune place au soleil.


Cette révolution est en fait le début d'une gigantesque guerre civile d'ampleur continentale: le fascisme, le nazisme sont des ripostes à cette menace, avec toutes les conséquences que l'on sait. L'historien allemand Ernst Nolte l'a très bien démontré au grand scandale des historiens établis qui aiment à répéter les vérités de propagande dans l'espoir de “faire carrière”. Mais ces vérités, dûment démontrées en Allemagne ou dans les pays anglo-saxons, passent mal en France où sévit encore un lobby marxisant, qui impose encore et toujours ses interdits. Voir les déclarations ridicules de Lionel Jospin, impensables ailleurs en Europe. Voir le scandale causé par le livre de S. Courtois sur les 85 millions de morts du communisme, qui réduit à néant les constructions intellectuelles du négationnisme des établissements, qui, s'ils ont souvent trahi leurs idéaux de jeunesse, ont gardé intactes leur volonté de pourrir notre communauté. Mais ces viles canailles politiques n'ont plus l'ardeur de la jeunesse: ils ne croient plus en rien et n'ont plus au cœur que la haine et le ressentiment pour toutes les innovations qui pointent à l'horizon. A leur tour de connaître la décrépitude et le mépris, des 20 à 30% de jeunes qu'ils condamnent au chômage, en dépit de leur beaux discours sur le “social”. Remercions Venner de nous avoir rendus, avec autant de sensibilité que d'érudition, les hautes figures de l'Amiral Koltchak, des généraux Dénikine, Korniloff ou Wrangel, de tous ces officiers, ces simples soldats blancs, héros d'autrefois qui nous convient à résister sans faiblir aux pourrisseurs et aux fanatiques.


Patrick CANAVAN.


Dominique VENNER, Les Blancs et les Rouges. Histoire de la guerre civile russe, Pygmalion 1997. 293 pages, 139 FF.


00:05 Publié dans Histoire | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : histoire, russie, tsars, tsarisme, guerre civile russe, 1917 | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook