The World War I Conspiracy

The World War I Conspiracy

James Corbett (2018)

Film Review

This remarkable documentary tells hidden history of a secret British round table started in 1891 by diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes that instigated both the 1898-1902 Boer War (instigated to safeguard the Rhodes-Rothschild conglomerates monopoly over South African gold and diamonds) and World War I. The Society of the Elect, as it was called, had the stated goals of imposing the Anglo-Saxon agenda on the entire world and restoring the US colonies to British control.

The main focus of this three-part documentary is an exploration of how this secret society deliberately instigated war with Germany in 1914, with the specific goal of crushing the Germans politically, militarily and economically.

Part 1 explores Germany’s rapid economic and military expansion rise after the 1871 unification of its member under Kaiser Wilhelm I. Fearful that this expansion would threaten Britain’s colonial ambitions (and their personal fortunes), the Society of the Elect quietly plotted a war against Germany from the time of Rhodes’s death in 1902.

Lord Alfred Milner, who replaced Rhodes as leader of the secret group, established control of the British press, military, foreign office and diplomatic corps by placing cronies in key positions of power.

Whereas Germany was a long time ally of the British Crown (Kaiser Wilhelm II and King George V were first cousins), Milner and his cronies maneuvered his cronies in the Foreign Office into a secret alliance with France and Russia – without knowledge of either Parliament or Cabinet.


Part 2 concerns the secret plot to embroil the US in World War I (in 1917) by engineering a German submarine attack (in 1915) on an auxiliary warship disguised as an ocean liner known as the Lusitania; * by engaging in a conspiracy with US banker JP Morgan to deny anti-war President William Howard Taft a second term in 1912; ** and by instigating a massive propaganda campaign in the US press portraying the Kaiser and the German army as inhuman monsters.


Part 3 discusses the fabulous wealth JP Morgan, the Society of the Elect and their cronies acquired as a direct result of World War I. Between them, the US and Britain created 21,000 millionaires and billionaires out of war profitsI. Retired general Smedley Butler was the first to expose the unprecedented war profiteering that occurred between 1914-1918 in in famous pamphlet War is a Racket.

 


*The Lusitania, officially classified as an auxiliary warship, had twelve 6-inch guns and was heavily loaded with ammunition and gunpowder (information that only became available when the records were unsealed in 2014). In view of the aggressive German U-boat campaign, Britain clearly had no business using a British warship to transport 1,128 passengers. The German submarine campaign was largely directed against the illegal British naval blockade blocking all food shipments to Germany – a violation of the 1909 Declaration of London and a crime against humanity. As a result of the blockade, which continued into 1919, German civilians were restricted to 1,000 calories a day and more than 753,000 died of starvation.The death of 128 US passengers on the Lusitania was ultimately used to justify the US entry into the war in 2017.

**Taft was far more popular (and politically savvy) than Woodrow Wilson, an obscure professor with limited political experience. JP Morgan and his fellow bankers propelled Wilson (a Democrat) into the presidency by backing third party candidate (and former president) Teddy Roosevelt and splitting the Republican vote. Owing, in large part to Wilson’s political inexperience, he was under the direct control of Texas politician Colonel Edward M House, who was conspiring with Milner and his colleagues in the British foreign office.

A British View of American History

the american future

The American Future: A History from the Founding Fathers to Barack Obama.

Simon Schama

Random House (2008)

Book Review

Written for a British audience, The American Future attempts to define the quintessential American national character by tracing historical movements that have shaped US society. The five political movements Schama considers most important are 1) the gradual rise of a professional military officer class, 2) the role of evangelical religion in the movement to abolish slavery, 3) the brutal imperialist war against Mexico and the Philippines, 4) the forced displacement of the Cherokee and four other Native American nations under Andrew Jackson, and 5) the development of large scale irrigation in to open the Southwest desert area to agriculture.

For me the primary value of this book is all the historical gems Schama includes that you never learn about in high school. For example:

• The founding of West Point military academy with its Jeffersonian emphasis on philosophy and civil engineering, as opposed to military tactics. Jefferson believed a sound liberal education for US military officers would help ensure the US never went to war except to defend liberty. Congress consistently refused to fund a US military or naval academy until an undeclared war with France broke out in 1796.* Over a period of ten months, the French seized 300 US merchant vessels. When Congress eventually authorized funding for West Point, its primary purpose was to train the Army Corps of Engineers, who built the levees, bridges, damns, dykes and forts that enabled westward expansion. They also drained the swamp in Washington DC and built the Capitol and other important federal buildings.

• President Lyndon Johnson’s role, in 1964, in blocking the credentialing of Mississippi’s Freedom Democratic Party, led by Fannie Lou Hamer, after the Mississippi Democratic Party declared their support for the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. This blatant white cronyism would provide major impetus to the growing black power movement.

• The profound religious intolerance that persisted in the US even after the 1780 adoption of the Bill of Rights guaranteeing separation of church and state. ** In Massachusetts, Sunday church attendance was compulsory until 1833 – until 1840, blasphemy could be punished by one year in prison, public whipping or the pillory. In Maryland Jews weren’t allowed to vote or hold office until the state passed the Jew Bill in 1820.

• Anti-immigrant feelings, especially against Germans, Irish, Mexicans and Chinese were so intense during the 19th century that there were frequent riots in which immigrants were lynched or had their homes set on fire. An 1855 riot in Louisville would have affected my great grandfather, whose family arrived in the area after immigrating from Germany in 1840.

• President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1902 National Reclamation Act, which led to the construction of 600 dams (including Grand Coulee and Hoover Dam) in thirty years. These would provide irrigation to millions of acres of desert in California and the Southwest. This project would include the diversion of the Colorado River to supply Southern California’s Imperial Valley, which supplies nearly half the fresh fruit and vegetables consumed by Americans, as well as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and parts of Mexico.


*Prior to reading this book, I had no idea the US and France had been at war (with each other).

**The early view of the Bill of Rights was that it only pertained to the federal government and didn’t apply to state law.

1941: The Year Slavery Finally Ended

Slavery by Another Name

PBS (2012)

Film Review

This shocking documentary reveals how virtual slavery persisted in the South for 80 years after the Civil War and the enactment of the 13th amendment. This involuntary servitude, based on Jim Crow laws and illegal debt slavery, allowed Southern factories, railroads, mines and plantations to use former slaves as a captive workforce. Prior to 1941, the federal government largely turned a blind to these activities, owing to the economic importance of free labor in the industrialization of the South.

When the Civil War ended in 1865, Congress imposed a period of radical Reconstruction on the South. Enforced by federal troops, it ensured that newly freed slaves enjoyed the right to vote and other civil liberties they were guaranteed under the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment.* The 1500 or so black politicians elected to Reconstruction governments established the first free public schools (for white and black students) in the South.

Jim Crow Laws and Convict Labor

Reconstruction ended in 1875. When a pro-Southern majority took over Congress, control of Southern states and communities reverted to the wealthy elite which had run the slave plantations. Thanks to a loophole in the 13th amendment (see below), all the former slave states quickly established a system to lease convict labor to private companies and plantations. The Jim Crow laws they passed made blacks subject to arrest for petty misdemeanors, such as walking along the railroad tracks, speaking in a loud voice in front of white women, spitting, loitering and vagrancy (all blacks were required to carry proof of employment at all times).

Following their arrest, Southern prisons hired these men (one-third were boys under 16) out to plantations and private companies for $9 a month. Small towns would conduct large police sweeps at cotton picking time or when coal companies were recruit miners.

Working conditions were far worse than under slavery. Companies had no incentive to keep black workers healthy and safe – workers who died were easily replaced. Death rates, especially in the coal mines, were extremely high – roughly 30-40% per year.

Debt Slavery

Even more Southern blacks were enslaved through illegal debt peonage schemes, which used real and fictitious debts to force them into involuntary servitude. This was based on a totally corrupt legal system in which unscrupulous law enforcement officers collaborated with bent magistrates and justices of the peace. Deputy sheriffs would take blacks into custody, claiming they owed them money. Without a shred of proof, their magistrate friends would throw them in jail. The same deputies would then “buy” and resell them at a profit to private companies and plantation owners.

In the early 1900s a federal grand jury investigated Alabama for debt peonage, illegal under federal law, and returned a number of indictments. Although most were dropped, two of the worst offenders sentenced to federal prison. Concerned about potential ramifications for American industry (the world’s largest corporation US Steel owned the Birmingham coal mine that employed convict and debt-based labor), President Teddy Roosevelt pardoned both of them.

Sharecropping Also Illegal Under Federal Law

Sharecropping was another form of illegal debt peonage. Forced to borrow their living expenses from plantation owners who charged 50-90% interest, sharecroppers had no hope of ever repaying their debts. Worse still, state law prohibited them from leaving the plantation with unpaid debt. Those who tried were arrested and brought back.

The Early Role of the NAACP

All this began to change in the early 1900s with the steady migration of Southern blacks to the North, as well as the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. The latter actively campaigned for anti-lynching laws, as well as stronger enforcement of federal laws banning debt peonage and convict leasing to private entities.

Progress was incredibly slow. By the early 1930s, there were still 4.8 million blacks in the South. Most were caught up in some form of involuntary servitude.

It would the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December for Franklin Roosevelt to mandate aggressive prosecution in all cases of involuntary servitude. His primary concern was that Japan would seize on America’s horrific treatment of African Americans for propaganda purposes.


*13th amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
14th amendment: (Sec 1): “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
15th amendment (Sec 1) “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”