Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Great War: Just or Unjust?

In a post on Remembrance Day, No Right Turn claims that the Great War was not a Just War. He is wrong.

The Great War did not begin with two shots in Sarajevo but by deliberate German policy decisions to use that crisis to provoke a European war in which they hoped to win. During the July Crisis, the Germans incited Austria-Hungary to go to war with Serbia with promises of their full support even though Russia would be bound to intervene. When Russia mobilized, the Germans again made the decision to implement the Schliffen plan, which entailed not just mobilization but the invasion of only France and neutral Belgium as well. The Great War was not caused by a "network of alliances" that "ensured that a minor scuffle would turn into a Europe-wide conflagration".

Furthermore the German occupation of Belgium was marked by numerous atrocities, such as the shooting of hostages in reprisal. Their ultimate goals can be seen too clearly in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which was far harsher and more rapacious than the Treaty of Versailles. Hence to go to war with the Germans was morally justified.