Michael Wharton on President George W. Bush's visit to England, 21 Nov 2003
His humour is mechanical and laboured and he made the same jokes for almost fifty years but he is absolutely right about Woodrew Wilson, though Romanians will never accept this for reasons i can understand. He is not right about Versailles being too vindictive. The mistake at Versailles was not to break up Germany into separate states, each with her own monarchy, a project that should have appealed to Wharton's reactionary spirit. Had Hitler had to start as dictator of Bavaria and even there be subordinate to the Wittelsbachs the history of Europe might have been much happier. Better too had a democratic federal Austria-Hungarian monarchy come into existence including Transylvania and the Banat, instead of the nationalist Hungary of before 1918 or the population migrations afterwards.
In a thoughtful leader, The Feudal Times and Reactionary Herald discusses President Bush's visit and its implications: "A visit to this country by an elected leader of the North American rebel colonists, accompanied by a ceremonial reception befitting the head of a legitimate government, is, though surprising, not without precedent.
"Many of our readers will recall the visit of a previous rebel leader, Woodrow Wilson, in 1918. Commentators in the press have contrasted the warm reception he received then with the hostile reception now accorded Mr Bush in some quarters, and have commended the previous visit at the expense of the present one.
"We scarcely need remind our readers of the circumstances of Mr Wilson's visit 85 years ago. It followed the disastrous entry of American forces into the Great War as it neared its end, which let loose a whole series of calamities when the colonists' leader, in his self-righteous folly and ignorance of world affairs, preached 'self-determination for all nations' and approved the tragic collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and other noble and historical institutions, with consequences that are with us to this day.
"He also took a meddlesome hand in the Treaty of Versailles, which by its vindictive policy towards the defeated Germans helped to make a Second World War inevitable. Altogether, this man Wilson did more harm to peace and stability in the world than George Bush has ever done or is ever likely to do.
"The motives of those who have taken to the streets to demonstrate against him are no doubt mixed. Some of these people belong to the heedless mob which is only too glad to cause trouble and confusion whenever opportunity offers. Others are run-of-the-mill foaming radicals, decayed schoolteachers, struck-off solicitors and unpersuadable blockhead subversives. Some, we dare aver - and these the best - are indignant that a rebel leader should be welcomed with such unbecoming lavishness.
"Our readers, though properly sympathetic to the latter group, are unlikely to take to the streets in protest, any more than they did 85 years ago, when there was much more reason to do so. They will maintain a dignified silence in the hope that wiser counsels may at last prevail, and the rebel colonists, even at this late hour, may repent of their rebellion and seek to reaffirm their former loyalty to Crown and Empire."