Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – 11-11-17

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“Oh, my name is Francis Tolliver, in Liverpool I dwell,

each Christmas come since World War I I’ve learned its lessons well,

that the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame,

and on each end of the rifle we’re the same.”

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99 years ago, on 11-11-1918, at precisely 11 am Paris time, a cease-fire (aka “truce” or “armistice”) was agreed to and signed by military negotiators from France, Britain and Germany. The terms of the truce ultimately resulted in the end of the “War to End All Wars” 7 months later when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919.

Germany’s surrender to the Allies was regarded as the prudent thing to do after Kaiser Wilhelm’s tyrannical monarchy was overthrown by democratic socialist forces earlier in 1918. Erich Ludendorf, a classic example of Prussian militarism, was one of the German generals who first broached the idea of starting the negotiations that eventually led to Germany’s surrender.

Ludendorf saw that 1) Germany’s army was terminally exhausted, demoralized and poorly equipped; 2) the United States had finally entered the war with fresh troops; 3) the fledgling government at home was in disarray; 4) the war had bankrupted the nation (as all wars eventually do – unless there is enough looting and plundering of the occupied territories); 5) that civilians at home were starving; and 6) that victory was an impossibility. The writing was on the wall; Germany had no choice but to surrender.

The armistice was signed at Compiegne, France by four French and British military officers, the German Foreign Minister, two German military officers and one German civilian. More

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