Armistice for Students (and teachers)

Imagine an eighteen-year old student on work experience telling a General who was Minister of War, General Savov, that he is no longer general nor minister.  “The people have stripped you of power,” he told the general in Radomir Station.  This was about the proclamation of the Republic of Bulgaria.  It is surely reminiscent in some ways of Puerto Rico right now as the governor decided to resign after 12 days of protests.  And this kind of thing can happen anywhere, including Washington, D.C.  A shift in power was taking place as the Armistice that Americans have heard about and celebrate was in the works.  World War I came to an end and the losers were giving up power.  This youth was given the honor or order to read the Proclamation of the Radomir Republic to people including that general.

I could never imagine being involved in something like that at the age of 18, nor could I imagine seeing myself in that position throughout my life and career as a teacher in New York City.  I hope that high school students across our country (including Puerto Rico) and around the world give this some thought and that youth can be empowered in ways we might not have thought about.  In fact, during the Nazi occupation of France, students gave the Nazis a very hard time, contributing a very important opposition.

The Germans appealed to President Woodrow Wilson to arrange a peace in Europe.  Things were going bad in Europe for the Central powers.  It was reported that Bulgarian soldiers at the fighting front presented themselves to officers in their underwear, because their uniforms were miserable rags.  I wonder if this kind of thought has entered into the minds of American and European soldiers since World War II.  I repeat that things were bad.   Students of French may be able to translate these words which was an order from the Serbian Chief-of-Staff “Mettez en route quatorze officiers et huit soldats.”  The number fourteen and eight are mentioned for officers and soldiers to be put on a route, but that message was camouflaged or coded.  This order was for an 8 o’clock in the morning attack on the 14th of September 2018 to commence firing. 

There were hidden guns all over at this front, planted there under great scrutiny at night and camouflaged during the day (and this took months to achieve).  The Germans never found out about this operation until it was too late.  The attack was swift and devastating and there were 1,800 guns pounding away in this mountain region which produced scary sound effects as well. There was no escape either as French and Serbian airplanes attacked men trying to escape.  The entire defense system was falling and failing completely due to no communication with headquarters.  No reinforcements could come to help.  And there were troop desertions.

There was something that you are not likely to see in any war today, except if a war breaks out in Montana.  Hundreds of horsemen appeared called the Chasseurs d’Afrique.  These were squadrons from Morocco.  Other areas of Serbia were being liberated by Muslims from Africa.  The commander General Jouinot-Gambetta was the nephew of Léon Gambetta who was a hero of the Paris Commune.  The German defeat was the result of chaos and revolution.  Hindenburg set the stage for the German appeal that led to Woodrow Wilson’s door.

Keep in mind that these armies in the Balkans were filled by men who left their homes and farms in particular to fight.  Food was in extremely short supply and there was mass starvation and disease.  Even horses and oxen in those places were non-existent.  Bulgaria had lost 101,224 men and had 144,026 wounded. Suddenly Bulgaria’s hope was America and Wilson’s plans for peace.  Also the United States while entering the war late did not declare war on Bulgaria.  In September 1918, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria feared that the soldiers’ rebellion taking place would result in revolution.  In those days the people in power generally feared the peasants who were very abused by the people in power.  And there were lots of peasants defending Bulgaria. 

Alexander Stamboliiski, a jailed leader of the people, was removed from prison and agreed to help Tsar Ferdinand calm the people.  Within weeks things had escalated and on September 27, 1918, Stamboliiski was informed that he was now President of the Radomir Republic as the despotic Ferdinand was overthrown.  Order now fell to administrators, district officials, district officials, police commandants, mayors, and military officers taking orders from the new government.  That change was brief as the tide turned.  Fighting broke out and Stamboliiski had to flee, but soon he was restored to power and influence in one of the important organizations and was even made one of the delegates to Paris Peace Conference. 

Here is a closer look at that Paris Peace Conference than is offered in history school books.  Stamboliiski served time in jail for opposing Bulgaria’s participation in the War.  Now he was “shunned and reviled” by the Allies at the conference.  Success like so much of politics that we observe in our nation had to be “unjust, absurd, plain unworkable or better still all three,” writes Misha Glenny is his book about the Balkans.  The enemy nations were locked out of the talks.  President Wilson himself, who was a power broker, gave Brazil three delegates to the conference and Serbia and Belgium which fought hard to win the war got only two delegates.  Brazil provided two torpedo boats to the whole effort.  This shows you just how bad presidents can be in making certain decisions, but retaining lots of support among the American people.  The resulting failure from the Paris Peace Conference cannot be ignored by Americans even today. 

The politics of spectacle and dictatorship took place in Fiume.  There were balcony addresses and Roman salutes, blackshirted followers and repression.  Large amounts of castor oil were given to opponents that could even kill them.

D’Annunzio advocated an expansionist Italian foreign policy and applauded the invasion of Ethiopia.  The source of this information is Wikipedia.    There is a great video of D’Annunzio that shows how similar he was to Mussolini.  Look for it!

I really try to apply information in a new context, a modern context for today.  This is an integral part of education that is often badly missed in lots of students and people.  Even presidents and governors can be severely affected by a lack in this area of critical thinking.

The overthrow of Ferdinand was not exactly like the recent protest in Puerto Rico about Ricardo Rosselló, but where do the people expect to go.  I called for Rosselló to resign as I have been calling for Trump to resign.  Puerto Rico has a solid democratic process in place and it was able to force Rosselló out.  As you can see that it was democratic even though no election was held.  But will Puerto Rico go from the frying pan into the fire with the next governor?  We have to wait and see.  What Puerto Rico needs now is much more than the protest leadership is offering at this moment.  Puerto Rico needs a great awakening to help its people.  Is that part of the agenda of Ricky Martin?  Or is his work over?  And what about David Begnaud who I hope received my article on Ricky Martin through channels at CBS News?   How far will these men go to help pave a new road now for Puerto Ricans?  My outreach also includes Jorge Ramos and Jose Balart-Diaz.  Someone has to step forward to lead in the new direction. 

In less than twenty years, the world was struck by a man filled with hate but German support that was annexing other countries and territories and allowing the killing of Jews.  The Jews were made “illegal” in Germany and Austria and by then it was too late to flee to America.  Too late?  The immigration law that leads to arrest of immigrants crossing our border and that makes people think that the immigrants are “illegal” was put in place just before Hitler’s Nazi tenure.  The American law needs immediate termination and support from all Jews and that includes those Jews that will only extend condolence calls to others who die or commit suicide in this Trump tenure.  Even the uncle of Stephen Miller has called out the immigration hypocrisy of a man who we should all detest.  What will take place in the United States soon? 

When Fort Sumter was attacked leading to the Civil War there was warning of great danger.  A part of that danger was Bleeding Kansas as people were taking things into their own hands.  Today just hours or so apart, our nation has witnessed the Mueller testimony before Congress and the demonstrations that led to the resignation of Rosselló.  Do I crave Trump’s resignation?  For my new readers in our nation’s high schools, I say let’s get a bunch of sliders and head over to the White House.  I crave it the way John Brown craved abolition, but in a modern way.  The way of the ante-bellum South may be a thing of the past and things that happened in the Balkans lived on even until the Clinton years in Serbia.  We should be protesting all over this land.  The time is right!

Woodrow Wilson lacked the knowledge to deal with European politics as Trump lacks knowledge today.  The Republicans prevented Wilson from obtaining membership in the League of Nations and we can conclude that probably led to the resurgence of Germany along with the history that followed.  That history did include severe measures that caused great resentment in Germany that reached its apogee under Hitler.  We have a man in the White House that is enacting severe measures to make deals.  The deals can be made, but there will surely be a lot of resentment in countries including the Central American Triangle countries. 

At home instead of the abolitionists and the slave holding states, we have Antifa and the White Supremacists.  There has been enough blood spilled already and we don’t need “Bleeding Kansas” nor the attack on Fort Sumter.  Massive protests do preoccupy leaders and their supporters as history has shown.  Massive violence can happen.  In history we read about those reactionaries who push us into revolution and we can taste it today, but we may not be able to feel it yet.  And we have seen during the Trump Administration huge women’s rallies and those rallies were small with what could take place.  That is where the Puerto Rican protests against Rosselló were not “fake news” and combining those Puerto Ricans on the island with Puerto Ricans all over the United States and all Americans who are deeply frustrated by Trump, his people in the Department of Justice (which has reversed course and shows itself to be a department of injustice), and the Repugnican leadership in Congress may pave the way to situations that Trump cannot handle domestically. 

The aftermath of World War I produced an “armistice” and we can learn from history now to ensure an armistice right now.  Trump has been turning our democracy upside down in many explainable ways.  His link of personality to Rosselló and those advisors of Rosselló who betrayed so many groups that had suffered during and after the hurricane and throughout history is a fact.  The lack of funding for Puerto Rico which is another Trump-Rosselló link and Trump’s lies about giving Puerto Rico $92 billion will impact more across our nation as demonstrations take place.  The Mueller testimony in Congress and what happens now will direct people into action and there could be a great crack in the dam of politics as there was under Abraham Lincoln. 

We cannot compare Lincoln to Trump, but we can cite the impact on people at the time of Lincoln’s election (as we already know the impact of the election of Barack Obama) and the great impact on the people of Donald Trump.  Trump’s tweets alone have provided our nation with lots of fuel against the man.  Trump has to resign as his politics will only divide US much more.  We cannot have an “armistice” of politics, especially with a man who will take revenge against anyone, including his own people and Fox News. 

We do need now for high school students who will be returning to school shortly and who will preparing to vote in 2020 (whether that reality has set in or not), to discuss and get the facts straight.  To debate as well and call out each now before it is too late.   White Supremacists, for example, should take note of the fact that both Obama and Trump have Jewish family members.  Michelle Obama’s cousin is a chief rabbi among Black Jews here in America.  Know your facts because they are important.  In this article, there are lots of facts, but I have expressed many strong opinions based on my knowledge and experience.  My articles expose lots of things that are going on in America and should be read by our nation’s students (my articles as well in Jewish Business News).  Holocaust studies programs, mandated in many of our states, should read the articles that I have written about the Holocaust.  And find out why I was against Trump early on and continue to be against Trump (I was not a Hillary Clinton supporter).

Wilson fought hard just as Trump fights hard for his base.  Wilson’s moves led to disaster for the world and Trump will be a disaster as well.  Students need to discuss the economy, Trump politics, and diplomacy more.  I know that they can do this and share their findings with students that they attend school with.  FACEBOOK is a great way to share things with people as communities get more organized.  Students can help the world again.  I am not trying to set up a university.  Trump did that and it was a fraud and he had to pay back millions of dollars.  So let’s be informal, even as students go back to school.  I know they don’t want to take on any additional work or study, but let’s save our nation from disaster together. 

Let’s take note of one thing here concerning Donald Trump.  We know that he is paying attention to all kinds of news and that people around him are doing what I am essentially doing right here.  I am waking people up to important history and news.  Let me cite a very important example of just how slow Trump is (and this should concern US). There has been no talk, no action, no tweet by Trump on this issue.  This kind of issue presents serious social and economic problems (Consider also that with a stroke of a pen, Trump has already cost Americans $4.1 billion dollars that has been added to the national debt.  The students of America will be paying that money back for a long, long time.  And if you family supported Trump, you will be indebted to him for a long, long time as well).  Families and friends are severely affected as well as law enforcement.  Five police officers have recently committed suicide in New York, all of them members of New York’s Finest or NYPD.  There has been no comment that I know of made by Donald Trump and no call to give help to police.  I’m not talking about one cop, five of them.  You take over.  Tell people about it and start a conversation on that.  And may this article wake you up to the great feeling of studying history.  Blue Lives Do Matter.

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