Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

enemy must admit--that this answer signifies no license for a criminal lengthening of the war. For the continuation of the terrible slaughter and the destruction of irreplaceable works of civilization, for the mad self-mangling of Europe, the enemy alone bears the responsibility, and they will also have to bear the consequences. This applies especially to M. Sonnino.

If the Italian authorities who drove into the war the unfortunate population of a beautiful land bound to us by thousandfold memories, had taken the hand of peace held out to them by the Pope, the frightful defeat of their army with all the associated consequences would not have taken place. May Italy's friend accept this as a warning, so that they may lend ear at last to the voice of reason and of humanity.

. . . . . . . . . . .


ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT WILSON REVIEWING AMERICAN WAR AIMS AND RECOMMENDING THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT, DELIVERED AT A JOINT SESSION OF THE TWO HOUSES OF THE CONGRESS1
December 4, 1917

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS: Eight months have elapsed since I last had the honor of addressing you. They have been months crowded with events of immense and grave significance for us. I shall not undertake to retail or even to summarize those events. The practical particulars of the part we have played in them will be laid before you in the reports of the Executive Departments. I shall discuss only our present outlook upon these vast affairs, our present duties, and the immediate means of accomplishing the objects we shall hold always in view.

I shall not go back to debate the causes of the war. The intolerable wrongs done and planned against us by the sinister masters of Germany have long since become too grossly obvious and odious to every true American to need to be rehearsed. But I shall ask you to consider again and with a very grave scrutiny our objectives and the

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1
Text in Scott, op. cit., p. 339.

-193-

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