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Why did America intervene in WW1?

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby peterhof on 17 Sep 2011 23:18

In response to the above responses, let me say this:

I have said that unrestricted submarine warfare was a serious problem for the United States, and the April 2 declaration of war on Germany was the proper response. America could hardly leave its navy and commerce vulnerable to German torpedoes. In using the term "pretext," I meant to indicate that Wilson's decision for war was made long before- and therefore independent of - the German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

The Wilson/House plan to intervene was meant from the beginning to insure a Triple Entente victory and to prevent any chance of a victory by the Central Powers. There never was any possibility of America intervening on behalf of the Central Powers

"Except we both have direct knowledge of one poster directly editing quotes frequently in order to make them say something different from long experience on other another site."

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The above is an outrageous, totally unsupported libel and is beneath contempt. It lends new definition to "ingratitude" as the moderator in question owes a substantial portion of his still-inadequate historical knowledge to a lengthy, years-long exchange of views with me on the former History Channel forum.

South: I have no problem with your comments other than to say that Wilson's sympathies were - for whatever reasons - with the Triple Entente from the outset and considered intervention only when the Central Powers appeared to be headed for victory. I'll leave you with this quote from H.L. Mencken:

My conclusions about the late [First World[ war remains as follows: (a) that the American pretense of neutrality down to 1917 was dishonest and dishonorable, (b) that the interests of the United States were actually on the side of Germany, and against both England and France, (c) that the propagation of the notion to the contrary was a very deft and amusing piece of swindling . . . Every day I meet some man who was hot for the bogus Wilsonian idealism in 1916 and 1917, and is now disillusioned and full of bile. Such men I do not respect.”


H. L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun,
June 12, 1922.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 18 Sep 2011 04:25

It lends new definition to "ingratitude" as the moderator in question owes a substantial portion of his still-inadequate historical knowledge to a lengthy, years-long exchange of views with me on the former History Channel forum.


I will allow others here to judge who has the greater knowledge, I can only say the only thing I have learned from you is to check every piece of 'evidence' you present very carefully.

Maybe you can remind me how many French battleships you thought were at Fez?
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 19 Sep 2011 01:14

"Except we both have direct knowledge of one poster directly editing quotes frequently in order to make them say something different from long experience on other another site."


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The above is an outrageous, totally unsupported libel and is beneath contempt.


Having taken time to carefully consider this comment, I will ask for a complete retraction of this comment. Maybe you have a guilty conscience about the quality of your own posts, but unless you are responsible for the following passage as but one example you may wish to consider that I was referring to sombody else who has a somewhat dubious record of strange claims here going back some years - posting under two ID's is not allowed so I really do hope it was not you under another name. The most notable doctored claim made and to which I referred was as follows;

"I am authorised to give an assurance that if the German fleet comes into the Channel or through the North Sea to undertake hostile operations against the French coasts or shipping, the British fleet will give all the protection in its power. If they come out we shall behave as though we are at war.This assurance is, of course, subject to the policy of his Majesty's Government receiving the support of Parliament, and must not be taken as binding his Majesty's Government to take any action until the above contingency of action by the German fleet takes place."


The added segment is easy to spot as it is nicely highlighted by the OP in this instance. I will not publicly identify the culprit here, though Glenn, Baltasar, and other long term residents may well remember this incident. Please consider that the world does not revolve around you, and that as I have posted on many boards for about fifteen years now, my experience of people posting doctored evidence is quite extensive.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby South on 19 Sep 2011 09:08

Good morning PeterHof,

Wilson's sympathies were like Harry Menchen's: individual. The United States contains most all views and, by extension, organizations that express these views.

The US Government is based on interests using a balancing approach.

The USG also was watching what was brewing in Russia's domestic political arena.

The US had interests in and with both the UK and France.

If there was any model of legislature Wilson probably liked, it wasn't the British model but probably Napolean's suggested Petite Sanhendrin.


Warm regards,

Bob
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby glenn239 on 19 Sep 2011 18:03

Except we both have direct knowledge of one poster directly editing quotes frequently in order to make them say something different from long experience on other another site.


I recall many discussions where this accusation was made. I recall few of them where I thought it had weight. Your example involving British policy towards the HSF in the Channel being an excellent example of where one poster might be absolutely convinced the red text was crucial, while another poster would look at it and see it as next to meaningless to the context of what Grey is saying. I personally would probably include the entire passage as you've posted it (unless in a rush when taking the original by hand), but if another edited it down for space to only the first bit, the context is essentially unchanged as the condition Grey mentions is strictly for form - it's not going to arise in a practical sense. I would not assume editing out the red text would constitute malicious intention. Remember that excerpts can appear on site from hand-copied translation from original text, a method tailor made to give the poster incentive to parse the quote.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 19 Sep 2011 19:16

Your example involving British policy towards the HSF in the Channel being an excellent example of where one poster might be absolutely convinced the red text was crucial, while another poster would look at it and see it as next to meaningless to the context of what Grey is saying.


The blue section is however entirely the creation of a member on this site, who posted it in the colours presented here for reasons best known to himself! The colours are of no importance compared to the fact he felt at liberty to post something of his own invention and claim it as something Grey had actually said. The entire discussion is recorded in Hansard - at 1818 - which is available.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/comm ... dward-grey

Obviously the original intent was dishonest, as a search online indicates the quote as posted exists only in the two insatances it has now been posted on this site. This is the level of dishonesty to which I refered. It is not opinion dressed up as fact, it is not even a mistake, it is deliberate falsification of historical evidence to support a certain agenda.

I would not assume editing out the red text would constitute malicious intention.


What about where a section is entirely invented as it is in this instance? How about where it is a misquote and despite many, many corrections the misquote is still repeated?
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby peterhof on 20 Sep 2011 01:28

Just FYI: I did not make this quote or any part of it - red, blue, or otherwise. Neither do I understand your problem with it.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 20 Sep 2011 01:39

Just FYI: I did not make this quote or any part of it - red, blue, or otherwise. Neither do I understand your problem with it.


I never said you did. It was another poster a year or so ago. The fact here is that you accused me of libel in your post of 17/9 22:18, when the person to who I refered was somebody else who has invented evidence to suit whatever he wishes to say. It is best to make sure of such things before making such an accusation. You are not the only person to edite quotes, most do it, some are considerably more dishonest than others, and some colour in their efforts for reasons never explained.

The problem with the wording in blue is that it should not be there. It is an invention of the poster in question, an outright lie, a deliberate attempt to claim something was said when it was not, that a quote had been edited to say something other than what it was meant to say. That is the problem with the section in blue. If you cannot see that posting such a statement is very poor form, then I am afraid it is hard to think of much to say. The correct quote is;

"I am authorised to give an assurance that if the German Fleet comes into the Channel or through the North Sea to undertake hostile operations against the French coasts or shipping, the British Fleet will give all the protection in its power. This assurance is, of course, subject to the policy of His Majesty's Government receiving the support of Parliament, and must not be taken as binding His Majesty's Government to take any action until the above contingency of action by the German Fleet takes place."
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Jon Clarke on 20 Sep 2011 23:15

I would not assume editing out the red text would constitute malicious intention.


Personally I try to avoid omitting text from a quote wherever possible even if there may be good reasons (e.g. brevity) for leaving it out. If however if it should prove necessary for some reason to omit any text, I would always use "…" in place of the omitted text to let people know that the quote has been abbreviated. In this instance Peter edited the quote but did not indicate that he had done so which does tend to lead to the suspicion that he was being 'economical with the actualité' particularly as his edit of House's draft omitted only 16 out of 212 words from the original quote but those 16 words just happen to be the parts which could be construed as inconvenient to his argument.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 20 Sep 2011 23:57

Personally I try to avoid omitting text from a quote wherever possible even if there may be good reasons (e.g. brevity) for leaving it out.


Yes, I cannot recall anyone ever being told off for posting a full document here as long as it was of interest.

What does somewhat amaze me is that the quote I supplied here complete with its edited section in the original blue highlight, has not so far seen anyone comment that adding a secition simply because it suits an agenda is wrong! Given the tendency to misquote or edit things 'creatively' is once again on the rise, I imagine I will be forced to remove posts or edit them sadly.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Jon Clarke on 21 Sep 2011 00:30

Terry

What does somewhat amaze me is that the quote I supplied here complete with its edited section in the original blue highlight, has not so far seen anyone comment that adding a secition simply because it suits an agenda is wrong! 


As you know I'm not exactly the most tolerant person when it comes to posters omitting text from quotes. :roll: I suspect however that most other people thought the same as I did, namely that adding text to a quote is so out of order that it really didn't need me to comment further. For the record, I condemn such practices unreservedly and would hope that any poster doing this in future is unlikely to remain around for very long.

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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 21 Sep 2011 00:50

Sadly he is still here and it is far too distant for me to take action over, though he has not really been active here for a few weeks. He is well known to you too, as he did belatedly post on the History Channel site with similar accuarcy and clarity.

I would agree that most would think it out of order, but the posters actually commenting on the segemnt said nothing despite it being glaringly obvious. Obviously people miss shuch things and seldom expect such blatent forgery, but I would hate it to get to a situation where each quote needed to be checked in detail for editing. I am happy to see opinions, it is simply where opinion diverges from fact and cannot be supported that I wish to see supported properly or at least argued cogently.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby glenn239 on 21 Sep 2011 17:47

A faked portion to any part of a quote requires an explanation of how the wrong material got into the quote. Omitting parts of a quote is acceptable provided you “...” to show that something was sniped. Failure to provide an explanation for how a doctored quote got posted should lead to it being removed. The blue text Terry posted I would suspect first being from some old source near to the war, when accuracy was not exactly a priority for either side. Failing that, an error by the poster, (but if that, then the error is explainable). My general suspicion on things like Grey running to the golf course (or whatever it was) is that these accounts probably arose from fringe sources within the first decade of the war, and are normally ignored as political disinformation except when an individual is searching for ‘dirt’ on a particular player. Early on I had to decide on this type of material, and basically decided for the most part to ‘punt’ – both for the Germans, the British, and everyone else. There were exceptions, like Apis, where I hung on to the fringe accounts longer (because of their mainstream acceptance), but finally discarded that one as well.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby Terry Duncan on 22 Sep 2011 00:58

A faked portion to any part of a quote requires an explanation of how the wrong material got into the quote.


I think you will find the segment in question was simply put there to support the line the poster wanted to claim as fact. I have never seen it in anything else, it doesnt appear in any internet searches - other than this lone example - and the poster in question never responded to where he found it.

I would rather see an entire document if there was any doubt as to what it was saying, I do not believe anyone has ever been told off for posting too much historical detail, but accept that typing it out by hand means people will need to edit many things for obvious reasons. It really should not be the case that evidence is deliberately altered or presented in such a way as to deliberately mislead, so knowingly posting documents that have been heavily edited repeatedly after errors or significant problems with the quote have been pointed out already is at best questionable.

I am not aware you have done anything like this, and the same applies to most posters. People come here for reasoned and informed discussion of history, and should not have to question the accuracy of what others are posting. Mistakes are made, but the same mistake should not be repeated time after time when the mistake is highlighted and confirmed.
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Re: Why did America intervene in WW1?

Postby glenn239 on 22 Sep 2011 17:29

Deliberate misrepresentation is a major no-no. But most posters don't go there - their reputations are worth more than scoring some point in an archane discussion. The blue text reinforces the general gist of the "document", but it is not necessary - the reader already gets what is going to happen if the HSF enters the Channel, blue text or no blue text. So in this instance, because it's unnecessary, I'd immediately think major gaff, not dishonesty. If the blue text completely altered the context though....

My problem isn't normally with retention/omission - provided the source is complete you can make a fair 'cut' from it. And given the fact that I value completeness above all, I have no problem ditching a theory if the evidence points elsewhere. More commonly for myself, the problem can arise when the original author edited the material to hit a certain viewpoint, and there is information that you are unaware of in another, unavailable source. Then you can make an editorial spin, honestly following the rules, reaching the wrong conclusion.

In terms of the blue part of the document, if that were posted two years ago I would not ask for validation from the poster since the reference might be long lost. If it were posted yesterday, I would.
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