OF THE MESSIAH
"If he [ Wilson] has any sense he will get back to America as soon as he can." SIR HENRY WILSON, December 22, 1918.
ON THE morning of December 4, 1918, the good ship George Washington (a former German luxury liner) nosed slowly out of New York harbor, bearing Woodrow Wilson to Europe on one of the greatest adventures of all time. No argosy -- not even that of Columbus-- ever ventured out into the unknown more heavily freighted with the hopes of humanity.
Airplanes droned overhead, tugboats shrieked hoarsely, and the black masses of humanity on shore shouted enthusiastically, as President Wilson, standing beside Mrs. Wilson on the topmost deck of the George Washington, waved his dark felt hat in response, and flashed his famous smile. Gradually the up-pointing Statue of Liberty hazed into the background, and the great adventure had begun.
On the way out of the harbor, the George Washington met the transport Minhehaha bringing home a cargo of khaki-clad American boys from Europe. They waved and cheered as if to remind him that he must not break faith with their buddies who would never come back; as if to remind him that if he succeeded in making the right kind of peace they would not have to go back and do the bloody job again.
But Wilson needed no reminders. He knew full well the ghastly cost of the recent war. He knew full well that it lay within the power of the victorious nations to dictate the terms of settlement and to erect the structure of an enduring peace. This was an opportunity such as had never before come to mortal man -- an opportunity that might never come again. If