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tv   Washington Journal 11112018  CSPAN  November 11, 2018 6:44am-9:01am EST

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>> our coverage from paris wrapping up for now. you can watch the ceremony and arrivals on your calls and comments next on "washington journal." live it non-:00 a.m., president trump's -- live at 9:00 a.m., president trump's comments. later, live coverage of the veterans day ceremony at arlington national cemetery. >> i thought about the forgotten
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presidents even before i began the book. that all ofto me these presidents might have something in common. >> tonight, university of north carolina constitutional law professor michael gearhart talks about two of his books, a forgotten president and impeachment. did think that bill clinton a lot to merit his own impeachment. i think he knew members of congress were looking for him to make mistakes and then when he made those mistakes, and later testified under both in a way that was false for which he was later held in contempt by a judge for perjury, bill clinton made his impeachment almost inevitable. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q and a." >> this morning come authors and professors john mosier and
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michael kazen discussed the end of world war the armistice of november 11, 18. as always, we will take your calls, and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" is next. host: good morning. one of the most solemn and somber sights in the u.s., the tune of the -- tomb of the unknowns. a world war i veteran honored on this day and every day for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. [mournful music plays] leaders paris, rome
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gathering -- world leaders gathered in the last hour. ma, vladimir putin, the manual macron. it was on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour that world war i hostilities came to an end for one generation only to restart for the next generation. we will spend much of this ofgram reflecting on the end world war i. president trump is in paris. he will deliver remarks at 9:1 5 eastern cap. a special edition of this "washington journal."
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your message to congress, washington. for veterans (202) 748-8000. for all others (202) 748-8001. we want to begin with news and politics at the top of the hour. recount ordered in the florida senate and governor's races. the margin well within 0.5% needed to trigger an automatic recount. governor, ron desantis leading andrew gillum by fewer than 40,000 votes. hisew gillum retracted concession, saying i am replacing my words of concession with an unapologetic call for every vote to be counted. claimingrick scott victory just before midnight on tuesday. democrat bill nelson never conceding the race. scott leading nelson by fewer
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than 15,000 votes. in arizona, a recount underway. democrat kyrsten sinema has expanded her lead over martha mcsally in arizona after another day of ballot counting. stretching her lead to nearly 29,000 votes. totals coming from maricopa county, the most populous county in arizona. lead ofolding onto a mcsally.48.2% for your message to washington. we want to hear from veterans only. one of the stories from the president meeting with resident macron yesterday. the president on his way to paris yesterday tweeting and
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having sharp words about the french president. npr reporting the following. "president trump met with president macri on saturday -- macron on saturday. dozens of leaders came together to commemorate the end of world war i. the president tweeting some harsh words. --sident macri of france has macron of of france has that your build its own military in order to protect itself from the u.s., china, and russia. very insulting, but perhaps europe should pay its fair share of nato. " that is from npr this morning. your message to washington. we begin with stephanie from
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maryland. i apologize. all others line. i did not have the opportunity to serve. i want to comment on something emmanuel macron said in his remarks. it seemed like a direct rebuke of the president. as the very opposite of the selfishness of the nation that self-interest -- looks after it's self-interest. patriotism first. i thought that was telling this morning. they may have made nice for the cameras come but that was ameras, but the c that was directed square at mr. trump. i will be anxious to see how he
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responds to that. betterthat we were represented on the world stage. ashamed the president could not go to the cemetery because of rain. host: that is the headline of the washington post. the chief of staff and other world leaders were in attendance yesterday. the white house blaming it on poor weather. the president spending the day inside a paris hotel. caller: we have pictures of him rain,tter golfing in the no umbrella. unfortunately he does not deem our dead soldiers more important than a golf ball. that breaks my heart. i will tell you what else breaks my heart, and then it will let veterans speak.
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ma broke my heart. it was fitting in the rain. host: we covered the entire ceremony this morning. you pointed out the remarks by the french president who played host to more than 60 world leaders in the center of paris. here is what he said. [video clip] >> let us not forget because remembrance of these sacrifices urges us to be worthy of those who died for us so that we may live free. let us take away nothing of what of the ideals of the lofty principles of our elders' patriotism. france, the bearer of universal values, was displayed during these dark hours at the very opposite of the selfishness of a
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nation that only looks after its own interests because patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying our interests first, who cares about the others? rease what a nation holds dearest and what is essential, it's moral values. of the frenchents president emmanuel macron through a translator. is joining us from active duty in san diego, california. what branch? caller: navy. host: thank you for your service. go ahead. caller: thank you. on this veterans day, i want to remember everyone who has come before myself, my friends and our families that have supported us throughout the years and everybody that has given the ultimate sacrifice.
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i want to say thank you to our veterans. i hope we take the time to remember our veterans and everybody who has served this country so well over the hundreds of years we have been a country. that is my main point. host: we thank them and thank you. we go to joe joining us from massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, let me say i was given an honorable discharge for serving in a dishonorable war. the war of american aggression against vietnam. the thank you for your service thing really rings hollow. if americans really want to thank us for our service can bring back universal jobs. everybody serves, there are no exemptions. we suggest on your 18th birthday, when you register for the draft, you automatically become registered to vote. host: thank you.
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we're looking at live pictures wns --he tomb of the unko unknowns. it is guarded through 65 days a 365 days a year. insident warren g. harding 1921 officially dedicated the tomb of the unders -- u nknowns. this is what the picture looks like from 1921. let's go to milton joining us from philadelphia. good morning. caller: i would like to salute all the veterans, those that served in our country and who paid the ultimate sacrifice. i cannot understand how the military and veterans keep
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supporting this draft dodging president. first of all, he goes to france, because of the little rain, he does not even pay respects to our veterans who are buried there. he insults a four-star family during the campaign. he says i don't respect war heroes that have been captured, and insulted john mccain. you can imagine what they would be saying had president obama done that. the people on the right, their hair would be on fire. where is the outrage? this president keeps insulting the military. he had five deferments. he did not go fight in vietnam. i don't get it. his supporters keep making excuse after excuse for this president. host: thank you. from the washington post, but it's pile on after president trump cancels a visit to a world
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war i memorial in france. he arrived friday evening. they returned to washington this evening. the administration saying because of poor weather, marine one unable to travel, although his chief of staff, john kelly, and other dignitaries were in attendance yesterday. pittsburgh,ing from retired military. what branch? caller: navy, 30 years. host: welcome. caller: thank you. you and i have chatted before. this is a special day for me. i have lots of wonderful memories of my shipmates and others i served with in the army, air force, and rains. -- marines. i lost a division officer in vietnam. host: i'm sorry.
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caller: it is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans for this country. unfortunate what president trump, they slap in the face of veterans. this program is supposed to be about the veterans, and not the commander-in-chief. you for the call. our phone lines are open. your message to washington if you are a veteran, retired, or active duty. is the armyis day secretary, discussing the importance and significance of november 11. [video clip] >> the 100th anniversary of world war i, the war that was supposed to end all wars. as you know, we lost thousands of soldiers in that great
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conflict. we will be thinking about that this sunday when we commemorate veterans day. it is important to note that we are still a nation at war. just this past week, we brought home a warrior from afghanistan, major brett taylor, who has served his country well. we mourn with him and his family over that great loss. we still have veterans serving today, many in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. today, we have over 25 million living veterans, 18 million of which served in wartime. they secure our values, and keep this great nation safe. abouthat, as you speak world war i and what it means for today, the army is in transition as well. we're coming off of 18 years of conflict. we are looking at what the national defense strategy tells ra of great competition
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to make sure we are prepared for the threats we face ahead. host: the army secretary, our guest on newsmakers, which follows "washington journal." from veterans, active duty, retired, and all others. your message to washington on this veterans day. tony is next. good morning. caller: good morning. my message to washington is if they are going to expect their allitary to be apoliticl because that is the best way to serve the nation, that is the same standard they should be held to. when you get elected by your party, when you go to washington, cease being a political entity. serve your country.
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do unto others, and whenever you do anything and accuse one party of the other thing, stop and look. what if it was happening the opposite way?look in the mirror speaking. start politicizing the veterans. every american citizen has the privilege of the right to serve. it is nothing that should be politicized. before you start trying to sell health care to the public in general, take a look at the v.a. that is what happens when the government runs health care. host: thank you. we will go to georgia, alvin. what branch were you, sir? caller: army. host: good morning. what is your message to washington? caller: stop using the military
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divider.e, as a the military is out here protecting the citizens of the united states and should be treated like that. rebel not a horde or band. host: thanks for the call. the active theater at arlington national cemetery is the site of memorials veterans day. you can see the preparations underway at this location in the heart of arlington national cemetery. unknowns, where they will lay a wreath, part of the tradition on this veterans day. a windy saturday, but the weather should cooperate for those in attendance later today.
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the end of world war i brought another world war, world war ii. it was in june 1944 that the forces stormed normandy, and in june of 1984, president ronald reagan traveled back to that site with these words. [video clip] >> the men of normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all of humanity, faith that a just god would grant them victory on this beachhead or the next. it was a deep knowledge, and pray to god that we have not lost it, that there was a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. you are here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those .thers did not doubt your cause you were right not to doubt. you all knew that some things were worth dying for. one's country is worth dying
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for. democracy is worth dying for because it is the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. all of you love liberty. all of you were willing to fight tyranny. you know the people of your countries were behind you. the americans who fought here new word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. they felt in their hearts, though they could not know in fact, that in georgia they were filling the church is at 4:00 a.m. in kansas, they were kneeling on their porches in prayer. in philadelphia, they were ringing the liberty bell. host: the words of president ronald reagan in june 1944 to commemorate the invasion. we are asking veterans to give their message to washington. andrew is next, retired military. good morning to you.
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andrew, are you with us, from minnesota? google go next to tyrone joining us from michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i'm a first time caller. i'm a vietnam that. -- vet. i was discharged in 1970. i support all military. i am thankful for serving because it allowed me to go to college, become educated, and i can appreciate all that has happened to me in my life. my experience in the was not -- vietnam was not a good one. i don't think i have the time to explain to you what happened to me and why it happened. there was some gentlemen, my tolow airmen who conspired kill me. we met with the commander. told the commander
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he was raised by his father to kill people color. i don't let that keep me down. thank you for your show. host: thank you for your call. according to the department of veterans affairs, there are 80 members of congress who have served in the military. that number will increase with the new congress in january. two states to still be determined in the u.s. senate, florida and arizona. there are a handful of house races that still need to be decided. john is joining us from iowa, retired military. what branch? and desert force storm veteran. host: thank you for your service. caller: thank you. i want to give a shout out to my grandfather, charles barley, who served in world war i. host: what did he do in world war i? did he ever tell you about his expenses? caller: the only thing he ever
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said is he was at the battle of the argonne forest, and it was a beautiful forest that was destroyed when they were gone. he was an army sniper. host: when did he pass? caller: 1989. beautifulad a long life and of long time to talk about it. caller: he never talked about it unless there was another world war i veteran president. -- present. host: isn't it amazing that both world war i and world war ii veterans have that same trait. caller: the day i came back with was so proud. he kept telling me how good i looked. thank you to everyone for their service. host: we hope you stay tuned. we will discuss world war i, how it began, u.s. involvement, how it came to an end.
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thank you for your service and for your family's. caller: thank you. barack obama at arlington national cemetery, here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> veterans day, we acknowledge humbly that we can never serve our veterans in quite the same way they serve us. we can try. we can practice kindness. we can pay it forward. we can volunteer. we can serve. we can respect one another. we can always get each other's backs. that is what veterans day asks all of us to think about. the person you pass as he walked down the street might not be wearing our nation's uniform today, but consider for a moment that a year or a decade or a generation ago, he or she might have been one of our fellow citizens who was willing to lay down their life for strangers like us. we can show how much we love our
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country by loving our neighbors as much as ourselves. god bless all who serve and still do. may god bless the united states of america. of 2016,m veterans day the final veterans day for president barack obama, and a live view at arlington national cemetery. d.c., are in washington, be sure to check out the tomb of the unknowns in the regular changing of the guard. carl is joining us, portland, oregon. good morning. caller: good morning. between the u.s. navy 1988 and 1993. i served on the uss independence. host: and your message to washington is what? caller: i would like to congratulate all the veterans who have served honorably, and i hope our country does not have to use its tremendous force
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if therether enemies are other ways of handling the problem. that is basically my message. host: thank you. we will move on to ruben joining us from puerto rico. good morning. caller: good morning. host: how are you? caller: fine, and yourself? host: and you are retired from what branch? caller: u.s. army. what is your message to washington? comments, ate two 11:00 a.m., stand in silence for our veterans. my second message, i firmly believe that the person currently holding the title of commander-in-chief does not deserve it if he cannot even pay his respects, the respect which
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the nation wishes to show the world for our fallen heroes in paris. it is a shame to call him commander-in-chief. host: thank you. we'll have live coverage of president trump at about 9:15 eastern time. by french president emmanuel macron is available on our website. 15 million people, civilians and military, died in world war i. eddie is joining us from massachusetts, retired military. we take a look at the president's motorcade from f rance. let's watch for a moment. [speaking foreign language]
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president trump: thank you very much. the president in paris, france, part of the day of pop and ceremony. -- pomp and certainly. a luncheon is taking place now. moment,p in just a authors and professor john mosier and michael kazin will join us to talk about world war i and the armistice that took place 100 years ago. first, newsmakers with the army secretary following the washington journal, here is a portion of that conversation. [video clip] >> one area the army is having a little trouble is recruitment,
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down about 6000 from where you expect it to be, and the numbers for the reserve and national guard are worse. can you tell us about why that is and what you are doing to change the perception of joining the army among the communities you are reaching out to? >> sure. first of all i would say it is not an army problem. it is a problem with out across the armed forces. we have a great economy. this happens anytime you have a great economy. recruiting becomes a little more challenging. i don't think any of us would trade in what we are seeing today for a few more soldiers, sailors, marines. i think we have to recruit more soldiers each year than the other three services combined. that is the nature of being a land power. issue, see is a cultural more and more young people in america are less familiar with the military than their predecessors.
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this is due to a number of things, probably fewer in their family have probably served. we see increasing isolation between the military and the society we serve. that is what troubles me and many others. how do we correct that trend and get in front of it? we believe that the army is a great place to serve. there are wonderful opportunities to learn skills, learn about leadership and responsibility and being part of the team. our challenge is to go to communities across the u.s. that may not be located next to an army base and tell our story, speak to the american people, young kids and their parents about all the great opportunities the army has to offer. >> c-span, where history on full staley. in 1979, -- unfolds daily. created byspan was
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america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of the white house, supreme court, congress, and public policy events around the country. c-span his brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. "washington journal" continues. ist: our look at world war for the next hour and a half. joining us is john mosier, the author of the book "the myth of the great war." "warichael kazin, his book against war." thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. john mosier, let me begin with you in the travel to the battlefields of world war i.
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what struck you? what did you see? guest: the first thing i saw is the american cemeteries are absolutely fantastic. they are really gorgeous. the german cemeteries are very nice, well maintained, organized. the french cemeteries when i first started going there were a total disaster. they were in fact neglected and overrun. is battlefield sites, there one that is totally still intact that you can go see. a lot of her down in the argonne argonne, ifd the you don't mind the possibility of getting blown up by an unexploded shell. host: how likely is that? guest: people are still getting blown up. that is because people see a up, andell and bring it
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of course it is a mustard gas shell. host: what surprises me is how many people died in world war i, the bloodiest war in world history. can you explain? guest: i'm not sure about the bloodiest war in world history. host: in terms of civilian and military deaths. guest: there were not many civilian deaths on the western front. britishne million soldiers, 1.4 million french soldiers dead and missing. 800,000 german soldiers. then we had americans, belgians, zechs, russians. you are not going to get much past 2.5 million on the western front. the russian and austrian figures
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are very wobbly. i would say world war ii on the eastern front where we are still trying to figure out exactly numbers, but we are talking about -- the last estimate i gave was 27 million. some russian experts now think it is 30, and a lot of those were civilians. host: if you look at the genesis of the war, what happened in 1914, and why did it take three or four years before the u.s. got involved? guest: to answer the second part first, the u.s. was involved in supplying munitions, particularly to the french, as early as october 1914. attache inpress berlin showed american made
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shells that he had sitting on his desk in 1915. why did we get involved? that is a complicated question. basically, the british did a wonderful propaganda job on the united states to persuade us to get involved in the war. mark in that easy sense. he was not big on germans, and he was a real anglophile. he was anxious to help them. the british have made a secret arrangement with the french general staff to come to their aid in basically almost any circumstance. they basically gave the french a blank check, and that backfired. the image i always use about this is it is like one of the science fiction movies where someone is trying to reach into another dimension, and instead they get pulled in, so it gets
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backwards. that is what kept happening to the allies. the whole point as far as the french were concerned is the russians were supposed to make their defense possible between the british. that did not work out. then they tried the italians. the poor italians lost 650,000 dead trying to storm into the lpss because the italian -- a because the italian army had not been prepared, they had no thought of fighting there. it was one operation after another. host: in your book, you say the u.s. decision to join the allies was a turning point in world history. guest: it was. john knows better than me, the u.s. troops that went to fra nce by 1918, and it took a while
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to get them there because the army was small before declaring war, turned the tide in the war not so much because of the battles they fought, although those were important, but because the germans realized they could not endure as long against these 2 million fresh american troops. in 2 million more by 1919. they tried their last offensive and got close to paris, but once those offensives failed, they were pretty much done. the fact that the u.s. does turn the tide of the war against belligerents that were exhausted , near he's going on in france, wasermany the home front crumbling. the u.s. comes in as a strong new world power, gung ho
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soldiers for the most part. that is how the u.s. turned the tide. world warmans had won i, we might have had a very different 20th century. host: we are looking at silent film from the home front. how were americans reacting to this war, and how did they get news? guest: this was the golden age of the newspaper. most americans read a newspaper. there were foreign correspondents all over europe. you did not get information every day the way we do now, every hour. there was certainly lots of information coming to americans. there were also very early newsreels people could see when they went to the cinema about the war. there was no shortage of information. the information, as now, was often partisan. those who supported the war
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often said one thing. those who opposed said something else. host: the day after the war ended, surrender is unconditional. this is world war ii, so does the wrong period. it does tie into my question, the german army in world war i, the german army in world war ii. why was the german army so successful, and why did they fail? they were successful because they basically came into the war prepared to fight the fight in a way the french were not in terms of heavy artillery, for example. their officers were much better educated. upy basically lost and give on hindenburg, told an american journalist in 1918, because the american troops' combat
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performance in september and october 1918. they said before then we figured the worst possible case is we could fight to a draw. realizedober 1918, we we were going to lose because of exactly what my colleague over here said. they couldo way fight another 3.5 million to 4 million men, fresh troops. from germany surrenders times square in new york. i want to go back to what atler's ultimately inherited the end of world war i, the remnants that started world war ii. guest: it took a while to rearm because the french and other countries sent in troops to occupy germany. the problem is unlike world war ii, world war i ended without a
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single foreign troop on german soil. it was possible for hitler's and some of the other veterans that supported him that germany have not really lost the war, that it had been betrayed by jews and socialists who had stabbed germany in the back. part of the genesis of the nazi movement was veterans who were frustrated, angry that they have not lost the war, they had been betrayed. any time you have people who believe they should have won ready to fight again and win the war they should have one the first time, you have a very dangerous situation. war, thereter the was famously tremendous inflation. people had to bring will bear is full of marks to pay for things. imar government run by
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modern socialists was never very successful. no dominant party for most of the time. when the depression hits, the nazi party starts to grow very quickly. host: you wrote about the --onne offensive, one of the explain the significance. what happened? guest: that was the center of the western front because it was so big. that particular branch, just the verdun was 100 kilometers. host: in terms of geography, how far from paris? guest: about 180 to 200 kilometers. the thing is that were don -- 20 kilometerst
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from the german border. is 75 kilometers from the mosel. broke through on the right flank would have direct access to germany. that is basic geography. the british forces on the left-hand side, and the french forces to the west of the argonne, when they broke through, they would still be in belgian, and they would start -- belgium, and they would run into major geographical obstacles. the argonne was the key because if you grab the argonne, you have access to the german rail lines that ran behind the lines. the germans were very determined to hang onto their positions in the argonne. the french have been trying to get them out of there since 1940 and have never succeeded. in fact they had -- 1914.
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they have never succeeded. in fact, they had gone the other way. in the battles for the right lost maybehad 123,000 dead or missing. it was going to be a very tough nut to crack, which the germans knew they could not afford to lose the argonne positions. once you have both sides of the valley in france, you would just roll right up, and the same route the germans used to get into france in 1914, it still saying, the road from one end to the other, you could take the same highway backwards. that is what the allies could have done. host: why is it called armistice day? guest: the germans asked for an armistice. the whole deal of them surrendered, in their minds, they were not surrendering.
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they were having an armistice, basically a stop order for the fighting. aest: they realized it was surrender. guest: well, there is a certain kind of naivete in the senior german commanders. i think some of them -- first of all, they were still on belgian and french soil. they thought they were in a pretty good bargaining position. they did not realize the extent to which the bolsheviks were going to cause all the problems they were already causing immediately after the armistice. they did not realize the brits were going to keep the blockade going. the real anger that happened in germany is part of chronology. the blockade, which is december
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through june, 1919, which was very effective because the germans cannot do anything about it. what is interesting there is the big three, when they came to what they werey, going to do about germany was, they spent about five minutes on that. most of the peace conference was figuring out how to chop up the various bits and pieces of germany, austria, and how to award the people like the italians and serbians and romanians they had brought to .et into the war the peace terms were like the mafia. making a deal you cannot refuse holding a gun to the guy's head. weimarnk the republic. realizeost people don't
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one of the reasons the u.s. got into the war was the submarine warfare against british ships with american passengers on board and american ships later on. the british blockade of the people,a -- 500,000 younger people, older people especially, far more people than civilians died on the north atlantic from the sufferings. guest: when the british bomber command began to justify the strategic bombing of civilians in world war ii, the explicit justification for that was that it would kill far fewer people than the blockade had killed in 1919. host: john mosier is the author war,"e myth of the great
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and michael kazin is the author of "war against war." you said there were a lot of foreign language newspapers in the u.s. a lot of german immigrants who came to the u.s. in the 1880's and 1890's now involved in a battle with cousins and relatives and friends and former neighbors. guest: it was not easy. when the war begins, german-american associations, which were big, dr. by the money of the brewers association pushed very hard for a total embargo on all american commerce with anybody in the war, which was going to help the germans more than the allies. after the lusitania is to repeat of in the spring of 1915, that becomes very difficult for germans to talk about because
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most americans are siding with the british and the french and the russians. want to't necessarily get into the war, but they don't want to support the germans. the german-american associations go quiet. they try to avoid the war as much as possible. there are a few, a magazine called fatherland, which continues to support the kaiser and the german side of the war. realize theyans are vulnerable and try as much as possible to support candidates who do not want the u.s. to get into war, but they do not take as active a part in opposing as they had earlier. host: one who served, harry truman of the uss missouri. guest: exactly. his letter, his comments on woodrow wilson were pretty scathing in his letters to his wife. yourid, we did not come to
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to make the world safe for democracy, we came to be the germans, now let's go home. issue, the spanish flu. do you want to address that? john knows the exact totals, but almost as many americans in uniform died of the flu as died in battle. host: the numbers are on the screen. 500 million infected worldwide, 50 million deaths. unusualt was an epidemic because it hit people of military age worse than younger people or older people. that is what was really frightening. guest: in late october, there were about 4000 americans in the
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hospitals in uniform. it got worse from there on. guest: the troop ships, too. guest: yes. the war department was still projecting about 4 million troops in france by early spring. it affected everybody equally. figuresall have the that we would like to have for anybody else. it was a terrible thing, but the idea that it had a serious impact on one side or the other is basically just one of those interesting ideas because the germans, the italians, the austrians, the russians were affected heavily. the germans may have been a little better because they had first-rate medical care. host: where did the spanish flu originate? guest: spain, i believe.
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i'm not sure. guest: no, supposedly it came from the east. guest: i think the first serious epidemic was in spain. guest: it was. it tended to strike in poorer countries that have poorer sanitation. frightening because it struck exactly that segment of the population you would normally assume would be the most immune. when we think of the flu today, think of old geezers like me getting it first. the other people survived. 18 to 25, they were hit the hardest. host: our focus on the 100 anniversary of the end of world war i. our phone lines are open. please join us in the conversation. (202) 748-8000 if you are a
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veteran, active duty, or retired military. all others (202) 748-8001. he will have live coverage of , thedent trump in paris ceremony scheduled to get underway in about an hour in 10 minutes. we welcome our viewers on c-span. the comparison of u.s. andlvement in world war i what he faced compared to what fdr faced in world war ii. guest: i have a colleague who did a lot of work on wilson related to the suffrage movement, and her contention was that the president would talk to the leaders and tell them what he thought they wanted to hear, and they would all leave convinced he was on their side, and then he basically would not do anything at all.
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did pretty much the same thing as far as the first world war. that is why william james brian, his secretary of state, quit. nt said neutrality is sort of like being pregnant, you cannot be a little bit neutral, you cannot be a little bit pregnant. we were sending the french and the british arms. the french in particular need them because france did not have the capability to make high explosives because they lacked the raw material. host: he pointed out in your book that the allies were inept on the battlefield. guest: that's correct. they were not prepared. this is a war that nobody had fought except the russians since 1870. the only people that have any real combat experience were in their late 60's.
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everybody made lots of mistakes. it is typical in warfare, the side that covers from its mistakes first usually does very well. that was definitely true of the germans. they recovered more quickly. a lot of the mistakes the allies retrospect, i would sit there and shake my head. it is like some of the battlefields they got involved in, i can explain why it happened. you had a bunch of staff officers in paris who had never been to this part of france. they looked at a map, and they thought -- they did not realize a 30 or 40 foot difference in elevation can be dramatically important. they were sending troops to try
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to take places, particularly in likeentral part that were uttes the300 feet b germans would get on top of. you would have been slaughtered by guys with bows and arrows, much less guys with modern firearms. host: explain how an assassination in surrey able in - sarajavo in 1914 got this started? guest: there were these alliances that were set up. the french and the russians had an alliance. the germans and the austro-hungarian's had a tacit alliance to defend one another. the british understood that if the germans got close to their atlantic, they
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would be threatened as well. there was an arms race between all these empires, the german empire, the russian empire, the austro-hungarian empire, the french empire to be ready for war. none of them wanted to happen. the serbian government basically had a terrorist group called the black and that they were hand thatg -- black they were supporting. austro hungary, one of the problems was bosnia. was saraje of that vo. the archdeacon archduchess, and the archduke was the heir apparent of austro hungry. they were taking a visit to sarajevo in 1914. this terrorist group, the
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blackhand, that believed bosnia should be part of serbia, decided to assassinate the heir apparent. famously, at first his car into a different way, and then he came back. the assassin surprisingly saw his car, the archduke and archduchess, and took a lucky shot and killed both of them. alliances began to kick in. austro-hungarian's amended apologize and make restitution. the serbs were backed up by the russians, saying it was not our fault. it was just some terrorists. we have nothing to do with them. on thermans egged austro-hungarian's to act aggressively against the serbs. the russians say if you do that, we are going to declare war on austria-hungary. once the russians began to
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mobilize their troops come which , extended enterprise. the railroad lines were not accurate. the germans say, it looks like the russians are mobilizing their troops. we better declare war on russia. plan, thes had this plan shall even plan, where they would have enemies on both sides in europe. they did not want to be attacked on both fronts. that is why the germans justify themselves to invade france through belgian. -- belgium. belgians woulde allow the superior force of the german army to go through and get to france. they fought back. that is how the war started. once the belgians fight back, the british declared war on germany, and you have a two front war. the myth of the great war,
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how the germans fought the battles, and the war against war by michael kazin. let's bring in our viewers. the veteran, good morning. caller: good morning. one of the problems we have is it takes a long time to get out of a war setting. the problem that happens is that in vietnam, people were coming back. they were on the battlefield one day. by nightfall, they were back in civilian lives. mentally, they were not ready for that. that is what we need to tell our congressman. need to help these people come out of this mode.
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host: thank you. of veterans burying fellow veterans, what was it like as they returned from europe in 1919? my stepfather's friends that came back said, we to make the europe world safe for democracy, and came back to find that we could not get a drink. they were actually pretty irritated. i think what he was saying was, i think the veterans affairs people have not adjusted to new technology because it took a long time to bring the troops back in both wars because first of all you had to get them across the ocean, organized, the ships over there. air transport -- he is right. you could bring people back home
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almost instantly. really helprip people decompress because they were with fellow soldiers who understood, and it took days and days and i had to be processed and then they had to get home. that is not the case. guest: also, 1919 is one of those years in world history where the there were lots of revolutions, the beginning of communism and a lot of the , theyns that came back did not have jobs and there were huge strikes that took place in 1919. many different industries. partly because there was so much ,nd up desire for a better life for democracy at home, not just democracy abroad. 1919,were race riots in very famous ones in chicago.
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why to lived in the neighborhoods that blacks moved into resented having blacks move in. a lot of the do boys came back to a country that was in turmoil and were part of that turmoil as well. host: and they were called doughboys because? guest: nobody knows the exact an .pology -- etimology the sand, dirt on their uniforms, others i think said it was about flour that was actually used. do you know the story? guest: it is one of those lost to history things. the standard french word that they use for infantry, and the derivation of that. a lot of these things just kind of happened spontaneously its aims.
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world war ii was easy. we knew what g.i. was. it was government issue. host: we will go to henry in new york. thank you for waiting. caller: good morning. i'm going to go through this rather quickly. that at theertion end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, there was an inherent tension between germany and great britain as evidenced by german ofquests of the continent libya and rwanda with botswana and also close to the french authorities of africa. -- french territories of africa. need focus on the german andecome a real power cutting off south africa from great britain which happens to be on the road to india and that
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is very important. we have the threat to great britain as an imperial power and we also have a treaty with the sultan of turkey and the kaiser to build a railroad from iraq.ntinople through and the british -- the germans were going to build this railroad, pump oil out of the ground and ship it straight to berlin. host: john mosier. guest: they hold colonial struggle, the colonial thing is very complicated, but the british basically were very concerned about german commercial competition. when you look at british travelers who went to that part of turkey and iraq and persia,
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one of the things that come at the dome was the german businessmen are just eating our lunch -- one of the things they commented on was the german businessmen are just eating our lunch. went, the people running the chancellery were a bunch of intellectuals who promptly knew better and they did a lot worse. i think the caller is quite right. , butlso with the french the french and the british were wrangling about colonial affairs because the french were very expansionist in africa and were running into british spheres of influence. was a real nervous point for the russians because the german development there was very threatening to them.
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i don't think there was any particular -- there was nothing nefarious about it. it was like the north atlantic treaty. the british got cranky that the german ships were doing so much better. or one reason, they did not keep running into icebergs and sinking. host: and yet as the armistice is put into place, you quote one historian, that that led to the age of catastrophe. explain. know, wilson said this would be a war to make the world safe for democracy and if all the league of nations was going to be this new federation of nations which would stop wars because they got large enough to involve the whole world, but in fact what happened instead was a much worse war in world war ii.
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revolutions, the beginning of the cold war begins in effect in 1919 when the united states sends troops into siberia in part to rescue check troops -- troops.zech until 1945, more blood said -- more bloodshed, revolutions, the biggest depression in world history. one of the reasons why americans soured on world war i by the 1930's and wanted to do anything to avoid another war, including passing neutrality acts which is -- which they thought would make get into a waro was the aftermath of world war i was so horrible on many people in the world. it was the reverse of what wilson wanted. wilson was this great messianic hisre who believe that by
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force of will, he could convince not just americans but also his european allies to make the world a better place instead of a structure for a better world and it failed pretty miserably. host: and of course he had a stroke in 1919 and that became the end of his presidency. a tweet from one of our viewers saying the term doughboy came from the mexican-american war. guest: that is fascinating. host: let's go to bob, joining us in colorado. a veteran, thank you for your service. caller: you are welcome. i am of belgian ancestry. my dad was a teenager during the invasion of belgian and the occupation and i am hearing various stories from him and what i read. what is your research show you on how the belgian civilians were treated? basically that is a very
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controversial issue because the belgian authorities basically authorized certain members of either the government or in the army or something, to start a kind of partisan warfare which the germans -- most uniformed troops don't like when civilian start shooting at them, and there were reprisals and the extent to which those were justified or unjustified is actually one of those things that has never been fleshed out because at the same time, the british and french really were going hog wild with anti-german propaganda.
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we have early correspondence in belgium that did not see anything to support that, but a areof the stories propaganda but i am not trying to defend what the germans did. it is just one of those areas where we do not know exactly, whose sort of brings out political access is being gored by this? guest: there were these famous germans in effect raping belgian women.
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african-american newspapers at critical ofe very how the belgians were treating the congolese. many congolese died in the building of that colony, and so when americans were asked by the british to help the belgians, some african-american newspapers said what about the congolese? in effect they were saying what goes around comes around and that is one of the reasons why many african-americans were not as concerned with getting back into the war as most americans were. the atrocities that allegedly the germans were committing on the belgians sounded exactly like the atrocities people had reported the belgians were committing of the congolese.
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any african-american journalist or anyone who was really following all of this was beginning to wonder, i wonder what is really going on there. host: we welcome our listeners on c-span radio. in great britain, it is sunday afternoon. we welcome your calls and your participation as we look back on the centennial of the end of world war i. -- dr. jeffrey hays about how those who paid the ultimate price are honored. [video clip] >> soldiers laid here, partly buried here, it is basically a cemetery that was built starting after the war was over as a concentration cemetery. what the soldiers did was we had ,oldiers in an area around here
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10 kilometers south and north, who did sweeps over the territory, over the area, looking for the dead and when they would find our dead, they would bring them here and bury them in a temporary cemetery here and that is how it started. it was laid out in march of 1919 and the first men and women were built in april 1919. man, his hand print his fingerprints are still here today and he basically put down a lot of rules and regulations that we still live by, that control what we do, like if you notice when you walk into a cemetery, there is no segregation of troops. there is no difference with males or females, no separation of ranks. everybody is faced out in the middle of the cemetery.
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he did not allow any difference with having officers or plots for never effort in american soldiers. he did not allow that separation. we can never forget when someone gives his life for us and our country, you cannot forget that and these men died for us. they died for france, they died for the rest of humanity to try and improve the world. let's not forget them. host: john mosier, you have been there. what is your impression? guest: of the cemetery? , it blew time i saw it my mind because the chapel is like something you would imagine the pope would have had in the renaissance. it is incredibly well done. the monuments that are equally fantastic, the one down south is
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very impressive. columns and it is done in contrast extent owns and marble -- contrastic stones and marble. -- groundskeepers there, i host: all those tombstones in uniform and unison. that is a remarkable site. guest: here is the deal. the french military cemeteries are way bigger. 14,000, 15,000. a lot of times in the front cemeteries where the american ones, you see one person per see grave, the french you three, four, sometimes they only have a piece of the guys name that they place out, but anyway
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, asked the groundskeeper whether any equivalent french monuments and he said no, the only money that we built in france would be a scaffold what we could hang members of the government which pre-much sums up the french sentiment. almost every french town has a world war i memorial to those who died. host: where is the one in the united states? guest: a very good question. guest: there is one in kansas city. guest: that is a museum. there is one of washington, a very small one. not too far from here on independence avenue, to americans from d.c. who died in the war, and they are building one at pershing square, right across from the ronald reagan building.
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no fact that there is memorial on the mall to those who died in world war i as opposed to world war ii, vietnam, korea, is a sign of how world war i has sort of fallen down a memory hole. host: annex caller joins us from mechanicsburg, virginia. caller: my father was a veteran in world war ii and for years he from myot locker grandfather who was in poor strong artillery in france. in this trunk, he had his campaign had. he had a very small mirror and a straight edge razor. couplea couple metals --
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medals. i might be wrong, but also where the due boy came from -- were the doughboy came from -- where the doughboy came from was from was remolded donuts that they serve. guest: i had heard that. caller: my grandfather contracted that flew you were talking about but he got it coming back on that troopship and when he stepped off the new i wante passed out but you to address -- he also participated in protests up and washington, d.c. when they were promised some extra money for serving. i think the president sent general macarthur to put it down . i think i am correct on that. guest: yes. host: the bonus march?
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guest: congress had after world war i had appropriated money and pass the bill to give a bonus to world war i veterans and when the great depression hit, a lot of veterans were penniless and without jobs and they said could you please pay us the bonus early and they had a march on washington in 1932 to try to pressure the congress to get the money paid to them, but congress balked at it. president hoover sent troops to thedown the encampment of bonus marchers in anacostia. joyce patton was one of the assistance to macarthur at the time. this was a real black for president troop -- black eye for
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president hoover at the time. sending troops to bust of a camp of men asking for money they had been promised and had not yet been given. host: a name mentioned that congress it -- in that conversation was general john pershing. how significant was he in the u.s. effort in world war i? guest: very significant. pershing had a law degree. , and ofhe things he did course he got to france in 17, he thought a bitter battle with the british -- fought a bitter -- bitter battle with the british and the french. -- they did not want an independent american army functioning in france. wilson got lots of complaints as
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the war went on, particularly after 1918. i said at one point, it sure looks like that at some point, the british and french were more worried that the americans might win the war then they were that they might lose it. if you started to look at how they behaved, that certainly seems to be the case. mainnk pershing, the two ideas he had, one of them was to make sure that the american troops were not committed piecemeal or fed into existing tots, and the other was major army with oversized divisions because he knew that there was no real way of replacing it. guest: i think there was also politics involved. wilson wanted the united states
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to help decide if there was a piece. he did not trust the europeans to put together a league of nations. he did not trust the europeans to let their colonies go. he wanted the united states to be seen as making the deciding action to end the war. guest: i think wilson figured out -- with the british came to him in june 1917 and said by the way we are broke, at that point he became to get that he began to get suspicious. all the people complaining about pershing, he basically would listen and nothing would get done . the big military -- nothing would get done. the big military history complaint was that he did not understand modern warfare. the only two guys on the allied side who understood modern warfare word -- and --.
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his youngone of lieutenants was west point graduate dwight d. eisenhower. eisenhower was basically his right-hand man. very valuable experience for him. , why this is from a tweet do we highlight the role of nationalism in the brewing and driving force of world war i, it seems pertinent today. guest: not just nationalism, but imperialism. powers battling for territory, battling for strategic advantage, battling for public opinion as well. which one started the war.
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they said -- each one said we did not start the war, we are fighting a defensive war. our president has defended nationalism. the nationalism that was going on in world war i was very aggressive militaristic nationalism and not surprisingly it ended up as one of the worst wars in history. host: great service to get history lesson today, they're discussing parts of our past the liberally omitted from our school and textbooks. guest: i don't know if it is deliberately. history as itth is taught in high school is a lot of times, the people teaching it never get very far. spend so much time trying to do the whole thing, so when they get to 1900, they totally run out of time. guest: it was complicated as you said. how did world war i begin? how did the u.s. get into it? students why do we
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celebrate veterans day on november 11. they don't know. i say it is armistice day. unlike world war ii, people know pearl harbor. iraqi war, 9/11, even though it is not directly connected. , thereas no pearl harbor to no attack on fort sumter begin the u.s. involvement in world war i. it is harder to explain and harder to teach about that war. guest: i do think that some example, the lusitania was carrying arms. spy. really was a .he former head of mi5 there were a lot of things they got swept under the rug.
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host: john mosier and michael kazin. bernie is next from new york. thank you for waiting. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have three distinct questions. first, why did germany decide not to renew the reinsurance treaty with russia? host: we will get an answer to that and come back with your follow-up. bismarck understood that as long as germany and russia in the same league, france could not cost -- cause them any trouble, and he was right. his successors in the chancellorship knew better and they did considerably worse and
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not only did they lose the russians, they lost the italians , who originally had been allies with the germans and the austrians. just to show you how fouled up late ashat was, as 1912, the french army was planning for a war that they would have to fight with italy, even though the french foreign ministry had already cut a deal with the italian government that in the case of a war against germany, the italians would be neutral in 1906. when you have a government where the two departments are not talking to each other, it is not surprising some of the stupidity that you see. host: bernie did you want to follow up? caller: what i don't understand about that is if germany is worried about a two front war, they had agreement with the russians and with that ended because they tone -- they turned it down, the french took their place. guest: you are absolutely right.
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caller: the other thing you could help me with is when the trench line was completed to the channel and the stalemate was reached, was there ever an attempt to end the war by whytiation, and finally, was this war considered inevitable? guest: the first part about the attempts. vulkanheim tried to reach some kind of arrangement as early as november 1914. the british and french basically would not have anything to do with that. lloyd george, devoted an incredible amount of time to explaining away why the allies had refused to negotiate with the germans or the
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austrians, particularly after the release of the agreement where the french and british had agreed to chop up turkey which did not sit too well. a lot of that incredibly torturous reasoning and they were saying that the german terms were too high. when you start negotiating, you would hardly expect the germans to say we will just do whatever you guys want. you are losing. kazin, this is a tweet that says isolationism was a cultural fact of the u.s. at the time of world war i, and from your book, the most popular song in 1915 was i did not raise my boy to be a soldier. you include that in your book. can you explain? guest: the peace coalition during the war was a very broad coalition. jane addams, great social bank --, later on one
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later on, won the nobel peace prize. there was what you could call in maternal his argument against going to war. which is that men make war and only women can stop them, and so the song sold 800,000 copies of 1915,music in 19 15 -- which is how you knew how popular a song was at the time. there was a very strong sense in the united states that this war, that we had not gotten into yet, was a war that did not involve the united states. we had no stake, a lot of americans thought and you had a very strong women's movement at the time, not just suffrage but in general. the popularity of that song had to do with the popularity of the women's movement in america.
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host: this is a great from 1914. explain this picture. 1914, the first antiwar demonstration took place on 5th avenue, and there were and nomen marching national flags were allowed to be carried and perhaps 50,000 people watched it from the street, from the sidewalks as wilson sort ofw blessed the parade at the time. he one of the united states to be strictly neutral that early in the war but he began to move gradually towards helping the but most americans when the war began wanted no part of it.
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1914, about poll in 5% of americans thought the u.s. should fight in the war. host: a key senator from wisconsin, a republican. housing them it was he in the antiwar movement on capitol hill? guest: there were factions of both parties who opposed the military preparedness as it was called so that the united states would be able to fight in the war if the united states did decide. he was a part of aggressive republicans from the midwest that said preparedness for the war meant the u.s. was more likely to fight in the war. i think he was right about that in the end. he was a controversial figure, one of the six senators who voted against declaring war. he kept talking against the war into 1917. at one point, there was an attempt in the senate to
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actually expel him what it only been done for a few senators who joined the confederacy in the 1860's. he was not expelled and would later go on to run for president. he was the highest profile republican who opposed the war. host: let's get back to your phone calls. mike is joining us from illinois , a veteran. caller: thank you for c-span, and good morning. i served with a squadron on board the uss coral see, yankee station in 1969. , i am anarlier caller honorably discharged veteran of a dishonorable war. vietnam was to be temporarily divided under the 1954 geneva
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agreements, which the united states refused to sign. reunificationbe elections in 1956, but those were canceled by john foster dulles and president eisenhower, knowing the outcome would be -- for the to thank you 1984 reagan video. i feel he was speaking to my late father who served with combat engineers and went from d-day all the way to the -- like to closeld with a quote from our first commander-in-chief, george washington. ourr willingness with which young -- the willingness with which our young people are to serve in any war, no matter how
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justified, shall be directly proportional to they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation. thank you and have a good day. host: thank you for your call. in his voice, you hear what? guest: conviction. everyone who served, that was my generation. everyone who served in the military during the indochinese way reallysome scarred by it. the masted not improve. a lot of people became justifiably disenchanted all the way around. all honor to those who
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served in every war the united states has fought, but most of the wars united states has fought were wars of choice. world war i was of choice, vietnam was of choice. world war ii was the exception, we were attacked. it is important to understand before we get into wars whether it makes sense. so often, we think -- the earlier caller was saying that wars are inevitable and we have to fight them. i wrote this book, "war against war," in part to make people think about why you get into a war and whether people who oppose getting into war should be honored in the same way that those who get us into wars. host: the treaty of versailles signed in 1922. what were the flaws of that treaty that ultimately led to world war ii? guest: oh god, talk about
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complexity. allies --ll, the tont the entire time trying divide -- see who was going to get the goods. they had already promised romania and most of transylvania. they had made a lot of promises and wilsono serbia had personally made promises to czechoslovakia. the problem in central europe in a nutshell was everybody claimed a piece of real estate that had originally belonged to somebody else. there is no way to educate that fairly. -- adjudicate that fairly. wilson always thought he was the smartest guy in the room, but he did not know anything about the
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complexity of the situation. my old mentor and political science was one of his interpreters at versailles. when he got older, by the time i knew him he was already pretty old. i would be telling him about what i discovered doing research over there and his refrain over and over again was the president did not know that. in fact, a lot of things he did not know. that just generated the fact that when the slovaks showed up theersailles, -- have french police arrest them and put them in jail. when inserted acting up, everybody knew that there was a problem with the slovaks. that is what happens when you disenfranchise big groups of people, particularly with wilson
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talking about the rights of the determineautonomy, to but for the people on the ground , it looked like everybody's of the hyundai variance and the ethnic germans, their votes did not count. ontarians -- the hungarians and the ethnic germans, their votes to not count. versailles was the first time -- if you go back to major peace treaties the europeans had done, after the the fully and it wars, the 30 years war, there were negotiations going on. how do we balance all of these out? none of that. and it is, sign it or else that definitely was big because what that meant was that a lot of people who opposed hitler's and opposed the national socialists who were ordinary germans were really outraged when they realized how they had
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been treated and carved up. in december since 1918, the civil war had broken out in germany and it was a very bloody civil war. of wilson saying the war to end all wars, maybe in france and america, but the fighting from finland all the way into romania went on, and it was not resolved until the poles beat the russians, the soviets and they had to sign a peace treaty in 1922. host: on this armistice day, our guest at the table, john mosier, the author of "the myth of the great war," and michael kazin, the author of "the war against war." .ack to your phone calls
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this one from charleston, south carolina. caller: thank you for c-span's coverage all year. two summers ago, richard ruben from brunswick, maine, talk to us about the last of the aboutoys -- talked to us the last of the doughboys where he interviewed veterans from world war i. the book came out in 2013, and then he was sent over to france where he walked the backwoods and some of the munitions are still there, quite dangerous. he was with a two or guide -- a tour guide who warned him about touching things. the other thing i was amazed with was that the germans
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electrified the villages, the french villages as they conquered them. i would like comments from your historians there. part of that is that when took the eastern chunk of the rain, ethnically poured enormous amounts of money into those areas which had already been -- and one of the problems french soldiers had when they crossed into the outside was, they were just flabbergasted to find all of the things that the people andthat france did not have you could still tell even to this day when you cross over from one of the -- when you
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cross over into the parts of lorrain, you can still tell a map, because there are no sidewalks on the french side. out of the whole curiosity, i talked to a young woman whose mother had been alive during the second world orchard in had a big this town which was totally cap -- totally flattened in the .irst world war guest: they were more people killed on the eastern front than on the western front and also it was a world war. shells from rifles
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and germans who were fighting to retain colonies the british wanted to take over. east africa was also a battlefront in the war. we think so much about france and belgium but that was just one front of several. host: women earned the right to vote in 1920. did the war and the suffrage movement precipitate or hasten .he ability for women to vote they believe that war is bad for women and children, they should not supported, -- support it. movement takes a theirep to change position and begins to say let's support the war and show that women can be good patriots on the home front, helping the men who are fighting over in europe.
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women begin to take jobs in what on then male jobs railroads and in factories. many begun -- become best begin getting involved in serving meals not based on meat because the meat was going over to europe. there was a sense that the suffrage movement is thanked by many politicians for supporting the war. women are essential to the battle on the home front, as essential are men were to the battle in france. it is hard for wilson who had opposed women's suffrage as a federal amendment. he supported it as a state-by-state issue. it was every hard for him to a -- very hard for him to oppose women suffrage.
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there was a group called the women's peace party -- the national women's party which stages demonstrations and they chained themselves to the gates of the white house and get by saying wilson is a hypocrite. democracye supports at home but not for a majority of the population, which is women. it is very difficult for congress, even those who have been opposed to suffrage, to keep opposing suffrage. congress passes the amendment and it is ratified by the states. foras really essential suffrage to pass as a federal movement for the suffrage movement to change its stance from antiwar to pro-war. host: we will go to maya next. caller: this has been absolutely fascinating. i thank you for your books and i
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thank everyone for remembering the soldiers. what i want to do is remember my two grandfathers who fought in world war i. -- was wounded in the argonne, patched back up and sent to the front. he was at the front when armistice occurred. was withgrandfather the 89th division, 354th infantry company key -- company d. he was gassed with mustard gas. was very sick, sent home early. my one grandfather emotionally did not quite survived the war. i want to remember all the veterans who fought and lost their lives. thank you for your time. host: thank you. guest: thank you. my grandfather was a surgeon in france during world war i.
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i don't remember what company he was part of. host: howard joining us from indiana. caller: good morning. i was hoping your guests could address -- my understanding is the country of poland did not appear on the map before the war , but did reappear after the war. exist as and did not country. it had been partitioned and the russians got most of it, austria got the good parts and the germans got a little piece. versailles basically had to because the polls had basically fought in every had basicallyles fought in every army.
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they were a big country and the allies discovered to their the poles were simply going to resurrect historic greater poland whether they liked it or not, and in fact they did. even though it was not really sanctioned by versailles, they sort of threw in the towel on that. ,hat had a lot of impact particularly bad feelings with british foreign service who had a tendency to blame poland for being needlessly aggressive in 1939. host: i want to take you back out live to arlington national cemetery and the tomb of the unknown on a clear, crisp
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november morning. underway atetting 11:00 eastern time. to the french battles -- french battlefield, -- telling the story of the american soldier who lies in perpetuity at the tomb of the unknowns. [video clip] three are kind of special. three first graves from that row are three american soldiers who were not selected to be the american unknown soldier. 1921, it was decided to have one american unknown soldier to symbolize all of the losses from the war. four bodies were exhumed from four of the american cemeteries in france.
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about 70 miles from here. up to one american soldier to choose one coffin among the four to become the new american unknown soldier. one was sent back to the u.s. to arlington. the three others that were there at that ceremony are these three soldiers, buried now. thislosest cemetery was one and it was the main american cemetery for the first world war. host: the story of the tomb of theunknown and from washington post this morning, a photograph from the ceremony that took place in 1921. warren harding was the president at the time as the officially
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dedicated the tomb of the unknowns. one of the ceremony today as we reflect on the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i. richard is joining us from wilson, north carolina. caller: good morning, thank you for cult -- thank you for taking my call. a proud retired u.s. marine, vietnam. thank you for the opportunity to say hello to all american veterans. 1965-1971. i was attached to the third divisions. we went from one end of the unum to the other -- of vietnam to the other. gll. just say we had a thank you for taking my call. host: thank you for your call. what are you hearing from these veterans and if we were here in
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1919, doing this conversations, would we hear similar stories? guest: probably. and of courseride love for their comrades as is true for all soldiers, but also some ambivalence. world war ii had much h-e-l-l involved in it. fewer second thoughts about that war. war is the most important thing a country can do, i think. a government can certainly send people to do. it elicits tremendous emotions of pride and love, and also often misgivings and regret. i think we hear some of those emotions and what these veterans are saying. n is next, charlotte,
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north carolina. caller: thank you for having me and thank you for this wonderful programming. i have been watching and listening for the whole year. was deployed out on june 1918.s he was in company l-313. had one smokestack and the rest of it was masts like sailes. i don't know how long it took them to get over there, but he the -- of infantry in
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the news argonne force and then they returned on may, 1919 into newport news. they were entered into the war, probably in july 1918. what would that have been like for them? was the war winding down or was it ramping up? and thank you so much. host: i think both will want to weigh in. guest: it was july 1918, the french were basically and the british were on the ropes. probably the second worst month, the second or third worst month of the war. it definitely was not ramping down. if he was in that particular sector, he was not
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involved in the july 1918 fighting because that was basically being done by the marines in the u.s. infantry. what we would call the second battle which was july 1918. john is the military historian, i am not but that battle was the single bloodiest battle in american military history. it does not begin until september of 1918. and it does not end until armistice day. ,he last few months of the war it certainly was not winding down. guest: it was for us. one of the things i should say is that in the last part of the
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days, theus days, 70 british and french casualties were much more substantial than the u.s. casualties. host: we will look at some of those numbers including the total number of americans who served in world war i, as well as the deaths by german, russian, french, austrian, u.k., and u.s. soldiers. brian is next from michigan. caller: good morning and thank you for the call. i would like to honor my ancestors. argonne,r was at the in the trenches, a marine. my question is about -- we have a picture of robert, he was in the marines. on his uniform and i wonder what that metal is
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-- what that medal is. also what do you think would have happened if we stayed out of the war. host: john mosier, you answered your question in that book. what would have happened? guest: it would have been a draw, essentially. until july -- he figured there would be a draw because the french and the british armies were so weak and their demography was against them. guest: i think it is very likely that it would have ended in a draw or these governments would have crumbled. maybe revolutions. there was a revolutionary movement in france and germany and italy as well.
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i think one thing that is pretty clear is that if it ended in a draw, it would have been harder for hepler. -- harder for hitler. germans either win world war i or it is a draw, you don't have world war ii, at least not in the way that it happened. we will never know. that is a pretty sobering thing to think about. guest: definitely sobering. host: john mosier, "the myth of the great war, how the germans won the battles and how the americans save the allies," and michael kazin, "the war against war." we have this poll if you follow us on c-span. cast your vote regarding a declaration of war on germany. we urge you to participate in that poll on twitter.
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a majority of you are saying nay. we want nay. coming up in just a moment on c-span3 we will turn our l america,"o "ree taking a look back at the centennial end of world war i. we will get some background on the history of the soldier buried at the tomb of the unknown. a soldier from france transported back to washington, d.c., to his final resting place at arlington national cemetery. for those on c-span television, "washington journal" continues. the president will be delivering remarks in about 15 minutes. joining us next is ron, from los angeles. good morning, welcome to the program. caller: good morning. can you hear me? host: we sure can, go ahead. caller:


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