BY DOUGLAS REED
However, "the diplomat's word" (and his intention) differed greatly from his deed; Mr. Lloyd George's proposal was merely a "cover" for bringing to London General Smuts from South Africa, who was regarded by the Zionists as their most valuable "friend" outside Europe and America, and General Smuts was brought across to propose the conquest of Palestine!
The voting-population in South Africa is so equally divided between Afrikaners and English-speaking South Africans that the "fluctuating 20 percent" was, if anything, more decisive there than in America. The Zionists felt able, and possibly General Smuts believed they were able, to "deliver" an election-winning vote. One of his colleagues, a Mr. B.K. Long (a Smuts Member of Parliament and earlier of the London Times) wrote that "the substantial Jewish vote, which was firmly loyal to Smuts and his party", greatly helped him to such electoral victories. His biography mentions a large legacy from "a rich and powerful Jew" (an example of the falsity of Dr. Weizmann's charge against rich and powerful Jews; apropos, the same Sir Henry Strakosch bequeathed a similar gift to Mr. Winston Churchill) and gifts from some unnamed quarter of a house and car. Thus the party-political considerations which weighed with him were similar to those of Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. House and later others, and material factors are reasonably apparent in his case.
However, the religious (or pseudo-religious) motive is frequently invoked in his biographies (as it was sometimes claimed by Mr. Lloyd George). They state that he preferred the Old Testament to the New, and quote him as saying, "The older I get the more of an Hebraist I become". I met him many years later, when I knew how important a part he played in this earlier story. He was then (1948) much troubled about the declining situation in the world, and the explosive part of Palestine in it. He was of fine appearance, fit and erect when nearly eighty, keen-eyed, and wore a little beard. He was ruthless and on occasion could have been depicted in a cruel light (had the mass-newspapers been arrayed against instead of behind him) and his political astuteness equalled Mr. Lloyd George's. Propaganda portrayed him as the great architect of Anglo/Boer reconciliation; when he died at his lonely Transvaal farm the two races were more at variance than ever, so that true reconciliation remained for later generations to effect. In South Africa he was a divisive force and all knew that the real power behind his party was that of the gold and diamond mining group, not of England; Johannesburg was the base of his political strength. In 1948, when the test came, he was the first to support Zionism against a hard-pressed British Government.
On March 17, 1917 General Smuts reached London, amid unprecedented ovations, and the overthrow of Sir William Robertson at last loomed near. General Smuts's triumphant reception was an early example of the now familiar "build-up" of selected public figures by a push-button press. The method, in another form, is known among the primitive peoples of his native Africa, where "M'Bongo", the Praise maker, stalks before the chief, proclaiming him "Great Elephant, Earth Shaker, Stabber of Heaven" and the like.
General Smuts was presented to the Imperial War Cabinet as "one of the most brilliant generals of the war" (Mr. Lloyd George). General Smuts had in fact conducted a small colonial campaign in South West Africa, and when he was summoned to London was waging an uncompleted one in East Africa against "a small but efficiently bush-trained army of 2,000 German officers and 20,000 native askaris" (his son, Mr. J.C. Smuts). The tribute thus was generous (Mr. Lloyd George's opinion of professional soldiers was low: "There is no profession where experience and training count less in comparison with judgment and flair") .
By that time, the better to seclude themselves from "the generals" (other than General Smuts) Mr. Lloyd George and his small war-waging committee had taken a private house "where they sit twice a day and occupy their whole time with military policy, which is my job; a little body of politicians, quite ignorant of war and all its needs, are trying to run the war themselves" (Sir William Robertson). To this cloistered body, in April 1917, General Smuts by invitation presented his recommendations for winning the war. It was couched in this form: "The Palestine campaign presents very interesting military and even political possibilities . . . There remains for consideration the far more important and complicated question of the Western Front. I have always looked on it as a misfortune. . . . that the British forces have become so entirely absorbed by this front". (When this advice was tendered Russia was in collapse, the transfer of German armies to the Western Front was an obvious and imminent event, and the threat to that front had suddenly increased to the size of a deadly peril).
This recommendation gave Mr. Lloyd George the high military support (from East Africa) which he needed, and he at once had the War Cabinet order the military commander in Egypt to attack towards Jerusalem. General Murray objected that his forces were insufficient and was removed. Thereon the command was offered to General Smuts, whom Mr. Lloyd George considered "likely to prosecute a campaign in that quarter with great determination".
Sir William Robertson then won his greatest victory of the war. He had a talk with General Smuts. His visitor's qualities as a general can never be estimated because he never had an opportunity to test them, in the small campaigns in which he served. His qualities as a politician, however, are beyond all doubt; he was the wariest of men, and strongly averse to exchanging the triumphs of London for the risk of a fiasco in the field which might destroy his political future in South Africa. Therefore, after his talk with Sir William Robertson, he declined Mr. Lloyd George's offer. (As events turned out he would have been spared the fiasco, but that was unforeseeable, and thus one more conqueror missed the chance of entering Jerusalem on a charger. As politicians habitually love such moments, despite the comic aspect which time often gives them, he later regretted this: "To have entered Jerusalem! What a memory!"). At the time he told Mr. Lloyd George, "My strong conviction is that our present military situation does not really justify an offensive campaign for the capture of Jerusalem and the occupation of Palestine".
Mr. Lloyd George was not to be deterred even by this volte-face, or by the collapse of Russia and the new danger in the West. In September 1917 he decided that "the requisite troops for a big campaign in Palestine could be spared from the Western Front during the winter of 1917-1918 and could complete the task in Palestine in time to be back in France for the opening of active work in the spring".
Only God can have preserved Mr. Lloyd George's fellow countrymen from the full penalties of this decision. The war could not be won in Palestine; it still could be lost in France, and the danger was grave. But Mr. Lloyd George, failed even by General Smuts, had found military support at last, for at this moment another figure, crying "mud-months", advanced from the wings of the central stage.
This was one Sir Henry Wilson, who thus portrays himself during a wartime mission to Russia in January 1917: "Gala dinner at the Foreign Office. . . I wore the Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour and the Star and Necklace of the Bath, also Russian shoulder-straps and grey astrakhan cap, and altogether I was a fine picture of a man. I created quite a sensation at the Foreign Office dinner and the reception afterwards. I was much taller than the Grand Duke Serge and altogether a 'notable', as I was told. Superb!"
To this man, posturing against the tragic Russian background, Mr. Lloyd George and Zionism owed their golden opportunity, arrived at last, and England very nearly a catastrophe. Sir Henry Wilson was very tall, thin, smooth and smiling; one of those dapper, polished-leather-bound, red-tabbed, beribboned and brass-edged elegants of the Staff who discouraged the muddied, trench weary soldiers in France. He spoke native French (by the chance of a French governess) and on this account "Henri" was beloved by the French generals, who thought him refreshingly free from English stiffness (indeed, he was an Irishman and on Irish questions disagreed with other Irishmen, by two of whom he was shot on his London doorstep in 1922, they being hanged).
Sir Henry earlier had agreed with all other military leaders about the paramountcy of the main front and the madness of wasteful "sideshows" and excelled others in the vigour with which he stated this principle: "The way to end this war is to kill Germans, not Turks. . . The place where we can kill most Germans is here" (France) "and therefore every pound of ammunition we have in the world ought to come here. All history shows that operations in a secondary and ineffectual theatre have no bearing on major operations except to weaken the forces there engaged" (1915).
No staff graduate, or any fighting private, would dispute that. Sir Henry cannot by 1917 have discovered any military reason to abandon this basic principle of war for its opposite. The explanation of his volt-face can only be the obvious one. He had observed the rise of Zion and the nature of Mr. Lloyd George's dispute with his own chief, Sir William Robertson. Sir Henry saw the way to occupy Sir William's shoes. Hence Dr. Weizmann's account of his "discoveries of friends" at that period include an allusion to the "sympathy" of General Wilson, "a great friend of Lloyd George". On August 23, 1917 Sir Henry reported to Mr. Lloyd George "the strong belief that if a really good scheme was thoroughly well worked out, we could clear the Turks out of Palestine and very likely knock them completely out during the mud-months without in any way interfering with Haig's operations next spring and winter" (in France).
In this report Mr. Lloyd George at long last found the support he needed for his order of September 1917, quoted six paragraphs back. He seized on the alluring phrase "mud-months"; it gave him a military argument! General Wilson explained to him that these "mud-months" in France, which by bogging down the armies would preclude a major German offensive while they continued, comprized "five months of mud and snow from the middle of November to the middle of April" (1918). On this counsel Mr. Lloyd George founded his decision to take from France "the requisite troops for a big campaign in Palestine" and to have them back in France in time for any emergency there. As to that, General Wilson, alone among military leaders, advised Mr. Lloyd George that the big German attack probably would never happen (it came in the middle of March).
Sir William Robertson vainly pointed out that the time-table was illusory; the movement of armies entailed major problems of transport and shipping, and by the time the last divisions landed in Palestine the first ones would be re-embarking! In October he again warned that troops taken from France could not be back there in time for summer fighting: "the right military course to pursue is to act on the defensive in Palestine. . . and continue to seek a decision in the West . . . all reserves should be sent to the Western Front".
At that fateful instant chance, ever the arch-conspirator in this story, struck in favour of the Zionists. Cabinet Ministers in London (who apparently had almost forgotten the Western Front) were badgering Sir William Robertson to "give us Jerusalem as a Christmas box" (the phrase appears to reveal again the "extraordinary flippancy" about the war which Dr. Weizmann earlier attributed to Mr. Lloyd George). In Palestine General Allenby, under similar pressure, made a probing advance, found to his surprise that the Turks offered little opposition, and without much difficulty marched into Jerusalem.
The prize was of no military value, in the total sum of the war, but Mr. Lloyd George thenceforward was not to be restrained. Troops were diverted from France without regard to what impended there. On January 6, 1918 Sir Douglas Haig complained of the weakening of his armies in France on the eve of the greatest battle; he was "114,000 infantry down". On January 10,1918 the War Office was forced to issue orders to reduce all divisions from 12 to 9 battalions of infantry.
A free press might at that period have given Sir William Robertson the backing he needed, in public opinion, to avert all this. He was denied that, too, for at that stage the state of affairs foretold by the Protocols of 1905 was being brought about: "We must compel the governments . . . to take action in the direction favoured by our widely-conceived plan. . . by what we shall represent as public opinion, secretly prompted by us through the means of that so-called 'Great Power', the Press, which, with a few exceptions that may be disregarded, is already entirely in our hands". Writers of great repute were ready to inform the public of the imminent danger; they were not allowed to speak.
Colonel Repington, of The Times, was the best-known military writer of that day; his reputation in this field was the highest in the world. He noted in his diary, "This is terrible and will mean the reduction of our infantry in France by a quarter and confusion in all our infantry at the moment of coming crisis. I have never felt so miserable since the war began. . . I can say very little because the editor of The Times often manipulates my criticisms or does not publish them. . .If The Times does not return to its independent line and act as watchdog of the public I shall wash my hands of it".
When the fulfilment of his warnings was at hand, Sir William Robertson was removed. Mr. Lloyd George, resolved to obtain authority for his Palestinian adventure, put his plan to the Supreme War Council of the Allies at Versailles, whose technical advisers, in January 1918, approved it "subject to the Western Front being made secure". Sir William Robertson, at M. Clemenceau's request, restated his warning that it would mortally endanger the Western Front. When the meeting broke up Mr. Lloyd George angrily rebuked him and he was at once supplanted by Sir Henry Wilson.
Before he left his post he used his last moments in it to make a final attempt to avert the coming disaster. He went (also in January) to Paris to ask help from General Pershing, the American commander, in replenishing the depleted front (only four and a half American divisions then had reached France). General Pershing, a soldier true to his duty, made the reply which Sir William expected and would himself have made in General Pershing's place: "He shrewdly  observed that it was difficult to reconcile my request for assistance in defence of the Western Front with Mr. George´s desire to act offensively in Palestine. There was, unfortunately, no answer to that argument, except that, so far as I was personally concerned, not a man or gun would be sent to Palestine from anywhere".
After that Sir William Robertson was no longer "concerned". His account differs from the memoirs of Mr. Lloyd George and other politicians in that it shows no rancour; his sole theme is duty. Of his treatment he merely says, "It had frequently been my unpleasant duty during 1917 to object to military enterprises which the Prime Minister wished the army to carry out and this opposition had doubtless determined him to try another Chief of the Imperial General Staff. . . On the point of supersession, therefore, there was nothing to say and I said nothing". Thus an admirable man passes from this story of many lesser men, but his work endured, because, up to the time of his dismissal, he may have saved just enough men and guns for the crumbling line to hold at the last extremity, in March, as a rending hawser may hold by a single thread.
When he was gone two men outside the government and army continued the struggle, and their efforts deserve record because theirs were among the last attempts to preserve the principle of free, independent and vigilant reporting. Colonel Repington was a former cavalry officer, an admirer of pretty women, a lover of good talk, a beau sabreur. His diaries give a lasting picture of the frothy life of the drawing-rooms that went on while armies fought in France and in London intriguers conspired in the political antechambers. He enjoyed it and although he felt its incongruity he realized that gloom alone was no remedy. He was as honest and patriotic as Robertson, and incorruptible; lavish offers (which might have lured him into silence, and possibly were so intended) had no effect on him.
He wrote, "We are feeding over a million men into the sideshow theatres of war and are letting down our strengths in France at a moment when all the Boche forces from Russia may come against us . . . I am unable to get the support from the editor of The Times that I must have to rouse the country and I do not think I will be able to go on with him much longer". (I discovered Colonel Repington's diaries through my work on this book and then realized that his experience was identical with mine, just twenty years later, with the same editor). A month later he wrote, "In a stormy interview I told Mr. Geoffrey Dawson that his subservience to the War Cabinet during this year was largely the cause of the dangerous position of our army . . . I would have nothing more to do with The Times".
This left one man in England who was able and willing to publish the truth. Mr. H.A. Gwynne, of the Morning Post, printed Colonel Repington's article, which exposed the weakening of the French front on the eve of its attack, without submitting it to the censor. He and Colonel Repington then were prosecuted, tried and fined (public opinion was apparently too much on their side for harsher retribution). Sir William Robertson wrote to Colonel Repington, "Like yourself, I did what was best in the general interests of the country and the result has been exactly what I expected . . . But the great thing is to keep on a straight course and then one may be sure that good will eventually come of what may now seem to be evil". *
* In the sequel to all this Sir Edward Carson, who had unwittingly helped Mr. Lloyd George into the premiership, resigned from the government and told the editor of The Times that it was but Mr. Lloyd George's mouthpiece, the Morning Post being the truly independent paper. Mr. Gwynne told Colonel Repington that the government wished to destroy the Morning Post "as it is one of the few independent papers left". Before the Second War came it 'was "destroyed", as already related. After that only one weekly publication survived in England which, in my opinion, for many years sought to uphold the principle of impartial and independent reporting, but in 1953 Truth too, was by a change of ownership brought into line.
On March 7, 1918 he gave orders for "a decisive campaign" to conquer all Palestine, and sent General Smuts there to instruct General Allenby accordingly.
On March 21, 1918 the long-awaited German attack in France began, embodying all the men, guns and aircraft released from the Russian front.
The "decisive campaign" in Palestine was immediately suspended and every man who could be squeezed out of Palestine was rushed to France. The total number of men employed in Palestine was 1,192,511 up to October 1918 (General Robertson).
On March 27, 1918 Colonel Repington wrote, "This is the worst defeat in the history of the army". By June 6 the Germans claimed 175,000 prisoners and over 2,000 guns.
At that point the truth was shown of the last words above quoted from Sir William Robertson's letter to Colonel Repington, and they are of continuing hopeful augury to men of goodwill today. By keeping on a straight course he had saved enough for the line to hold, at breaking point, until the Americans began to arrive in strength. Therewith the war was virtually at an end. Clearly, if Russia had been sustained, the Palestinian excursion avoided, and strength concentrated in France it could have been concluded earlier, and probably without the "entanglement" of America. However, that would not have furthered the great plan for "the management of human affairs".
At this point in the tale I write with the feelings of a participant, and they probably influence what I have written of the long earlier story, because the effects, as I have seen them in my generation, appear to me to be bad. I recall the great German attack of March 21, 1918; I saw it from the air and on the ground and was in the fighting for the first month, until I was removed by stretcher. I remember Sir Douglas Haig's order, that every man must fight and die where he stood; it was posted on the walls of my squadron's mess. I have no complaints about the experience, and would not delete it from my life if I could. Now that I have come to see by what ulterior means and motives it was all brought about, I think coming generations might be a little better able to keep Sir William Robertson's "straight course", and so to ensure that good will eventually come of what seems to them to be evil, if they know a little more of what went on then and has continued since. This is my reason for writing the present book.
As a result of the victory in Europe the coveted territory in Palestine was at length acquired. But it is one thing to acquire land and another to build something on it. On this land a Zionist "homeland" was to be erected, then a "state" (and last a "commonwealth"?). None of these things could be done by England alone. No precedent existed for the donation of Arabian territory, by a European conqueror, to an Asiatic beneficiary. For such a transaction other nations had to be co-opted, many nations, and a company promoted, so that it might be given the semblance of honest business. In fact, a "league of nations" was required, and America, above all, had to be "entangled". This other part of the plan was also in preparation; while British armies seized the tract of land desired, the smart lawyers had been looking for ways to amend the rightful title deeds to it, float a company and generally promote the undertaking.
In England the Lloyd George government and in America the president were at first separately enmeshed. Between 1914 and 1917 these "webs" in London and Washington were joined together by the transoceanic threads which Mr. Howden depicts in the spinning. Thereafter the two governments were caught in the same web and have never since freed themselves from it.
In President Wilson's America the real president was Mr. House ("liaison officer between the Wilson administration and the Zionist movement", Rabbi Wise). Mr. Justice Brandeis, who had decided to "give his life" to Zionism, was the president's "adviser on the Jewish question" (Dr. Weizmann); this is the first appearance in the Presidential household of an authority theretofore unknown in it and now apparently permanent. The chief Zionist organizer was Rabbi Wise, constantly in touch with the two other men.
Mr. House (and Mr. Bernard Baruch), chose the president's cabinet officers, so that one of them had to introduce himself to Mr. Wilson thus: "My name is Lane, Mr. President, I believe I am the Secretary of the Interior". The president lived at the White House in Washington but was frequently seen to visit a small apartment in East 35th Street, New York, where a Mr. House lived. In time this led to pointed questions and one party-man was told, "Mr. House is my second personality; he is my independent self. His thoughts and mine are one". Mr. House was often in Washington, where he conducted the president's interviews and correspondence, and, stopping cabinet officers outside the cabinet room, instructed them what to say inside it. Even from New York he directed America by means of private telephone lines linking him with Washington: "it is only necessary to lift off the receiver and I reach the Secretary of State's desk immediately".
The president's assent to acts of State policy was not required. Mr. House "did not expect affirmative commendation . . . if the President did not object, I knew that it was safe to go ahead". Thus Mr. Wilson had to express dissent, to delay or amend any action (and immediately after election he had been made to promise "not to act independently in future").
In 1914 Mr. House, who in 1900 had resolved to extend his power from Texan to national politics, prepared to take over international affairs: "he wanted to exercise his energy in a broader field. . . From the beginning of 1914 he gave more and more thought to what he regarded as the highest form of politics and that for which he was peculiarly suited: international affairs". In fact, Texan upbringing did not so qualify Mr. House. In Texas the words "international affairs' had, in the public mind, a sound akin to "skunk", and there, more than anywhere in America, "the traditions of the 19th century still held the public mind; traditions which laid down, as the primary principle of American policy, a complete abstention from the political affairs of Europe" (Mr. Seymour). Mr. House, who somewhere in Texas had absorbed "the ideas of the revolutionaries of 1848" was to destroy that tradition, but this did not prove him "peculiarly suited" to intervene in "international affairs".
Mr. House was of different type from the languid Mr. Balfour, with his background of Scottish hills and mists, and Mr. Lloyd George, the Artful Dodger of Zionism from Wales, but he acted as if he and they had together graduated from some occult academy of political machination. In 1914 he began to appoint American ambassadors (as he says) and made his first calls on European governments as "a personal friend of the President".
Mr. Seymour, his editor, says: "It would be difficult in all history to find another instance of diplomacy so unconventional and so effective. Colonel House, a private citizen, spreads all the cards on the table and concerts with the Ambassador of a foreign power the despatches to be sent to the American Ambassador and Foreign Minister of that power". Mr. Howden, his confidant, expatiates: "Mr. House had the initiative in what was done. . . The State Department was relegated to the status of an intermediary for his ideas, a depository of public records. Much of the more confidential diplomatic correspondence passed directly through the little apartment in East 35th Street. The Ambassadors of the belligerents called on him when they wanted to influence the Administration or sought assistance in the web of intrigue that was being spun across the Atlantic".
Mr. House: "The life I am leading transcends in interest and excitement any romance. . . Information from every quarter of the globe pours into this little, unobtrusive study". Mr. Seymour again: "Cabinet members in search of candidates, candidates in search of positions made of his study a clearing house. Editors and journalists sought his opinion and despatches to the foreign press were framed almost at his dictation. United States Treasury officials, British diplomats. . . and metropolitan financiers came to his study to discuss their plans" .
A rising man across the Atlantic also was interested in "financiers". Mrs. Beatrice Webb says that Mr. Winston Churchill, somewhat earlier, at a dinner party confided to her that "he looks to haute finance to keep the peace and for that reason objects to a self-contained Empire as he thinks it would destroy this cosmopolitan capitalism, the cosmopolitan financier being the professional peacemaker of the modern world and to his mind the acme of civilization". Later events did not support this notion that leading financiers ("metropolitan" or "cosmopolitan") were "professional peacemakers".
Such was the American picture, behind-the-scenes in 1915 and 1916. The purpose of the ruling group whose web now began to span the Atlantic is shown by the events which followed. Mr. Asquith was overthrown in the pretext that his incompetency imperilled victory; Mr. Lloyd George risked total defeat by diverting armies to Palestine. Mr. Wilson was re-elected in the pretext that he, in the old tradition, would "keep America out of the war"; elected, at once involved America in the war. "The diplomat' s word" and his "deed" were different.
Mr. House privately "concluded that war with Germany is inevitable" on May 30, 1915, and in June 1916 devised the election-winning slogan for Mr. Wilson's second campaign: "He kept us out of the war". Rabbi Stephen Wise, before the election, supported Mr. House's efforts: in letters to the President the rabbi "deplored his advocacy of a preparedness programme" and from public platforms he preached against war. All went as planned: "the House strategy worked perfectly" (Mr. Howden), and Mr. Wilson was triumphantly re-elected.
Mr. Wilson seems at that point to have believed the words put into his mouth. Immediately after the election he set up as a peacemaker and drafted a note to the belligerents in which he used the phrase, "the causes and objects of the war are obscure". This was a culpable act of "independence" on the president's part, and Mr. House was furious. The harassed president amended the phrase to "the objects which the statesmen and the belligerents on both sides have in mind in this war are virtually the same". This made Mr. House even angrier, and Mr. Wilson's efforts to expose the nature of "the web" in which he was caught thereon expired. He remained in ignorance of what his next act was to be for a little, informing Mr. House on January 4, 1917, "There will be no war. This country does not intend to become involved in the war. . . It would be a crime against civilization for us to go in ".
The power-group moved to dispel these illusions as soon as Mr. Wilson's second inauguration was safely past (January 20, 1917). Rabbi Stephen Wise informed the president of a change of mind; he was now "convinced that the time had come for the American people to understand that it might be our destiny to have part in the struggle". Mr. House (who during the "no war" election had noted, "We are on the verge of war") confided to his diary on February 12, 1917, "We are drifting into war as rapidly as I expected" (which gave a new meaning to the word "drift").
Then on March 27, 1917 President Wilson asked Mr. House "whether he should ask Congress to declare war or whether he should say that a state of war exists", and Mr. House "advised the latter", so that the American people were informed, on April 2, 1917, that a state of war existed. * Between November 1916 and April 1917, therefore, "the web of intrigue", spanning the ocean, achieved these decisive aims: the overthrow of Mr. Asquith in favour of Mr. Lloyd
* Lord Sydenham, when he wrote of the "deadly accuracy" of the forecast in the "Protocols" of about 1900, might have had particularly in mind the passage, ". . . We shall invest the president with the right of declaring a state of war. We shall justify this last right on the ground that the president as chief of the whole army of the country must have it at his disposal in case of need". The situation here described became established practice during the present century. In 1950 President Truman sent American troops into Korea. "to check Communist aggression", without consulting Congress. Later this was declared to be a "United Nations" war and they were joined by troops of seventeen other countries under an American commander, General MacArthur. This was the first experiment in a "world government"-type war and its course produced Senator Taft's question of 1952. "Do we really mean our anti-Communist policy?" General MacArthur was dismissed after protesting an order forbidding him to pursue Communist aircraft into their Chinese sanctuary and in 1953, under President Eisenhower, the war was broken off, leaving half of Korea in "the aggressor's" hands. General MacArthur and other American commanders later charged that the order forbidding pursuit was made known to the enemy by "a spy ring responsible for the purloining of my top secret reports to Washington" (Life, Feb. 7, 1956), and the Chinese Communist commander confirmed this (New York Daily News, Feb. 13, 1956). In June 1951 two British Foreign Office officials, Burgess and Maclean, disappeared and in September 1955 the British Government, after refusing information for four years, confirmed the general belief that they were in Moscow and "had spied for the Soviet Union over a long period". General MacArthur then charged that these two men had revealed the non-pursuit order to the Communist "aggressor" (Life, above-quoted).
On April 4, 1956 President Eisenhower was asked by a reporter at his regular news conference whether he would order a United States marine battalion, then recently sent to the Mediterranean, into war "without asking Congress first" (by that time war in the Middle East was an obvious possibility). He answered angrily. "I have announced time and time again I will never be guilty of any kind of action that can be interpreted as war until the Congress, which has the constitutional authority". On January 3, 1957, the first major act of his second term, he sent a draft resolution to Congress designed to invest him with unlimited, standing authority to act militarily in the Middle East "to deter Communist armed aggression". George, the commitment of British armies to the Palestinian diversion, the re-election of a president who would be constrained to support that enterprise, and the embroilment of America.
The statement of existing war made to Congress said the purpose of the war (which Mr. Wilson, a few weeks before, had declared in his draft to be "obscure") was "to set up a new international order". Thus a new purpose was openly, though cryptically revealed. To the public masses the words meant anything or nothing. To the initiates they carried a commitment to support the plan, of which Zionism and Communism both were instruments, for establishing a "world federation" founded on force and the obliteration of nationhood, with the exception of one "nation" to be recreated.
From this moment the power-groups in America and England worked in perfect synchronization, so that the two stories become one story, or one "web". The apparently powerful men in Washington and London co-ordinated their actions at the prompting of the inter-communicating Zionists on both sides of the ocean. Foreknowledge of what was to happen had earlier been displayed by Dr. Weizmann in London, who in March 1915 wrote to his ally, Mr. Scott of the Manchester Guardian, that he "understood" the British Government to be willing to support Zionist aspirations at the peace conference to come (the event also foretold by Max Nordau in 1903). This was exactly what Mr. Asquith would not consider, so that Dr. Weizmann, in March 1915, was already describing Mr. Asquith's supplanters of December 1916 as "the British Government".
This "British Government", said Dr. Weizmann, would leave "the organization of the Jewish commonwealth" in Palestine "entirely to the care of the Jews". However, the Zionists could not possibly, even in a Palestine conquered  for them, have set up "a commonwealth" against the native inhabitants. They could only do that behind the protection of a great power and its armies. Therefore Dr. Weizmann (foretelling in 1915 exactly what was to happen in 1919 and the following two decades) considered that a British "protectorate" should be set up in Palestine (to protect the Zionist intruders). This would mean, he said, that "the Jews take over the country; the whole burden of organization falls on them, but for the next ten or fifteen years they work under a temporary British protectorate" .
Dr. Weizmann adds that this was "an anticipation of the mandate system", so that today's student also learns where the notion of "mandates" was born. The idea of ruling conquered territories under a "mandate" bestowed by a self-proclaimed "league of nations" was devised solely with an eye to Palestine. (Events have proved this. All the other "mandates" distributed after the 1914-1918 war, to give the appearance of a procedure generally applicable, have faded away, either by relinquishment of the territory to its inhabitants or by its conversion, in fact, into a possession of the conqueror. The concept of the "mandate" was maintained for just as long as was needed for the Zionists to amass enough arms to take possession of Palestine for themselves).
Thus, after the elevation of Mr. Lloyd George and the second election of Mr. Wilson, the shape of the future, far beyond the war's end, was fully known to Dr. Weizmann at the web's centre, who went into action. In a memorandum to the British Government he demanded that "The Jewish population of Palestine. . . shall be officially recognized by the Suzerain government as the Jewish Nation". The "first full-dress conference leading to the Balfour Declaration" was then held. This committee, met to draft a British governmental document, met in a private Jewish house and consisted of nine Zionist leaders and one representative of the government concerned, Sir Mark Sykes (who attended "in his private capacity"). As a result Mr. Balfour at once arranged to go to America to discuss the matter.
Dr. Weizmann and his associates had to steer a very narrow course between two difficulties at that moment, and might have failed, had not "the web" enabled them to dictate what Mr. Balfour would be told by the men he crossed the ocean to see. The British Government, for all its zeal, took alarm at the prospect of acting as sole protector of the Zionists and wanted America to share the armed occupation of Palestine. The Zionists knew that this would violently upset American opinion, (had it come about America, from bitter experience shared, would have been much harder to win for the deed of 1948) and did not want the question of American co-occupation raised. Dr. Weizmann's misgivings were increased when, in "a long talk" he found Mr. Balfour, before his departure, eager for "an Anglo-American protectorate".
Dr. Weizmann at once wrote to Mr. Justice Brandeis warning him to oppose any such plan, but to assure Mr. Balfour of American support for the proposal of a solely British protectorate, (April 8, 1917), and this letter to Mr. Brandeis "must have reached him about the time of Balfour's arrival". Mr. Brandeis, risen to the United States Supreme Court, had retired from the public leadership of Zionism in America. In the tradition of his office, he should have remained aloof from all political affairs, but in fact, as Mr. Wilson's "adviser on the Jewish question", he informed the president that he was "in favour of a British protectorate and utterly opposed to a condominium" (that is, joint Anglo-American control).
When Mr. Balfour reached America (then in a state of "existing war" for just eighteen days) he apparently never discussed Palestine with the American President at all. Mr. Wilson's part at this stage "was limited to a humble undertaking to Rabbi Wise, "Whenever the time comes and you and Justice Brandeis feel that the time is ripe for me to speak and act, I shall be ready". By that time the rabbi had "briefed" Mr. House: "He is enlisted in our cause. There is no question about it whatever. The thing will go through Washington, I think, without delay" (April 8, 1917, six days after the "existing war" proclamation).
Mr. Balfour saw Mr. Brandeis. Clearly he might as well have stayed at home with Dr. Weizmann, as Mr. Brandeis merely repeated the contents of Dr. Weizmann's letters; Mr. Balfour simply moved from one end of "the web of intrigue" to the other. Mr. Brandeis (as Mrs. Dugdale records) "became' increasingly emphatic about the desire of the Zionists to see a British administration in Palestine". Mr. Balfour, his biographer adds, "pledged his own personal support to Zionism; he had done it before to Dr. Weizmann, but now he was British Foreign Secretary".
A later American comment on the part played by Mr. Brandeis in this affair is here relevant. Professor John O. Beaty of the Southern Methodist University of the United States says that the day when Mr. Brandeis's appointment to the Supreme Court was confirmed was "one of the most significant days in American history, for we had for the first time, since the first decade of the 19th Century, an official of the highest status whose heart's interest was in something besides the United States".
Mr. Brandeis "did more than press the idea of a Jewish Palestine under a British protectorate" (Dr. Weizmann). He and Mr. House issued (over the president's signature) the famous declaration repudiating secret treaties). This declaration was popular with the masses, who heard in it the voice of the Brave New World rebuking the bad old one. The words evoked pictures of cloaked diplomats climbing dark backstairs to secret chancelleries; now that America was in the war these feudal machinations would be stopped and all done above the board.
Alas for a pleasant illusion; the noble rebuke was another submission to Zionism. Turkey had still to be defeated so that the French and British governments (whose fighting men were engaged) wished to win over the Arabs and with them had made the "Sykes-Picot agreement", which foresaw an independent confederation of Arab States and, among them, an international administration for Palestine. Dr. Weizmann had learned of this agreement and saw that there could be no Zionist state if Palestine were under international control; exclusive British "protection" was essential. Pressure was applied and President Wilson's ringing denunciation of "secret treaties" was in fact aimed solely at the Arabs of Palestine and their hopes for the future. America insisted that England hold the baby.
Of this secret achievement Mr. Balfour's biographer happily records that it showed "a Jewish national diplomacy was now in being"; the words may be used as an alternative heading to this chapter, if any so desire. The British Foreign Office at last "recognized, with some slight dismay, that the British Government was virtually committed". America, though in the war, was not at war with Turkey, and yet had been secretly committed (by Mr. Brandeis) to support the transfer of Turkish territory to an outside party. Therefore American participation in the intrigue had to remain publicly unknown for the moment, though Mr. Balfour had been informed of it in imperative tones.
The summer of 1917 passed while the Balfour Declaration was prepared, America thus having become secretly involved in the Zionist adventure. The only remaining opposition, apart from that of generals and a few high Foreign Office or State Department officials, came from the Jews of England and America. It was ineffective because the leading politicians, in both countries, were even more hostile to their Jewish fellow citizens than were the Zionists. (The part played in all this by non-Jews was so great, even if it was the part of puppets, that one is constantly reminded of the need to regard with suspicion the attribution of the Protocols to solely Jewish authorship).
In England in 1915 the Anglo-Jewish Association, through its Conjoint Committee, declared that "the Zionists do not consider civil and political emancipation as a sufficiently important factor for victory over the persecution and oppression of Jews and think that such a victory can only be achieved by establishing a legally secured home for the Jewish people. The Conjoint Committee considers as dangerous and provoking anti-semitism the 'national' postulate of the Zionists, as well as special privileges for Jews in Palestine. The Committee could not discuss the question of a British Protectorate with an international organization which included different, even enemy elements".
In any rational time the British and American governments would have spoken thus, and they would have been supported by Jewish citizens. In 1914, however, Dr. Weizmann had written that such Jews "have to be made to realize that we and not they are the masters of the situation". The Conjoint Committee represented the Jews long established in England, but the British Government accepted the claim of the revolutionaries from Russia to be "the masters" of Jewry.
In 1917, as the irrevocable moment approached, the Conjoint Committee again declared that the Jews were a religious community and nothing more, that they could not claim "a national home", and that Jews in Palestine needed nothing more than "the assurance of religious and civil liberty, reasonable facilities for immigration and the like".
By that time such statements infuriated the embattled Goyim around Dr. Weizmann from Russia. Mr. Wickham Steed of The Times expressed "downright annoyance" after discussing "for a good hour" (with Dr. Weizmann) "the kind of leader which was likely to make the best appeal to the British public", produced "a magnificent presentation of the Zionist case".
In America, Mr. Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise were equally vigilant against the Jews there. The rabbi (from Hungary) asked President Wilson, "What will you do when their protests reach you?" For one moment only he was silent. Then he pointed to a large wastepaper basket at his desk. "Is not that basket capacious enough for all their protests?"
In England Dr. Weizmann was enraged by "outside interference, entirely from Jews". At this point he felt himself to be a member of the Government, or perhaps the member of the Government, and in the power he wielded apparently was that. He did not stop at dismissing the objections of British Jews as "outside interference"; he dictated what the Cabinet should discuss and demanded to sit in Cabinet meetings so that he might attack a Jewish minister! He required that Mr. Lloyd George put the question "on the agenda of the War Cabinet for October 4, 1917" and on October 3 he wrote to the British Foreign Office protesting against objections which he expected to be raised at that meeting "by a prominent Englishman of the Jewish faith".
Mr. Edwin Montagu was a cabinet minister and a Jew. Dr. Weizmann implicitly urged that he be not heard by his colleagues, or that if he were heard, Dr. Weizmann should be called in to reply! On the day of the meeting Dr. Weizmann appeared in the office of the prime minister's secretary, Mr. Philip Kerr (another "friend") and proposed that he remain there in case the Cabinet "decide to ask me some questions before they decide the matter". Mr. Kerr said, "Since the British Government has been a government, no private person has been admitted to one of its sessions", and Dr. Weizmann then went away.
But for that Mr. Lloyd George would have set the precedent, for Dr. Weizmann was scarcely gone when, after hearing Mr. Montagu, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Balfour sent out to ask Dr. Weizmann to come in. Mr. Montagu then succeeded, in the teeth of the Gentiles arrayed against him, in obtaining minor modifications in the draft, and Dr. Weizmann later rebuked Mr. Kerr for this petty compromise: "The Cabinet and even yourself attach undue importance to the opinion held by so-called 'British Jewry'. "Two days later (October 9) Dr. Weizmann cabled triumphantly to Mr. Justice Brandeis that the British Government had formally undertaken to establish a "national home for the  Jewish race" in Palestine.
The draft experienced revealing adventures between October 9 and November 2, when it was published. It was sent to America, where it was edited by Mr. Brandeis, Mr. Jacob de Haas and Rabbi Wise before being shown to President Wilson for his "final approval". He simply sent it to Mr. Brandeis (who had already had it from Dr. Weizmann), who passed it to Rabbi Stephen Wise, "to be handed to Colonel House for transmission to the British Cabinet".
In this way one of the most fateful actions ever taken by any British Government was prepared. The draft, incorporated in a letter addressed by Mr. Balfour to Lord Rothschild, became "the Balfour Declaration". The Rothschild family, like many leading Jewish families, was sharply divided about Zionism. The name of a sympathetic Rothschild, as the recipient of the letter, was evidently used to impress Western Jewry in general, and to divert attention from the Eastern Jewish origins of Zionism. The true addressee was Dr. Weizmann. He appears to have become an habitué of the War Cabinet's antechamber and the document was delivered to him, Sir Mark Sykes informing him, "Dr. Weizmann, it's a boy!" (today the shape of the man may be seen).
No rational explanation for the action of leading Western politicians in supporting this alien enterprise has ever been given, and as the undertaking was up to that point secret and conspiratorial no genuine explanation can be given; if an undertaking is good conspiracy is not requisite to it, and secrecy itself indicates motives that cannot be divulged. If any of these men ever gave some public reason, it usually took the form of some vague invocation of the Old Testament. This has a sanctimonious ring, and may be held likely to daunt objectors. Mr. Lloyd George liked to tell Zionist visitors (as Rabbi Wise ironically records), "You shall have Palestine from Dan to Beersheba", and thus to present himself as the instrument of divine will. He once asked Sir Charles and Lady Henry to call anxious Jewish Members of Parliament together at breakfast "so that I may convince them of the rightfulness of my Zionist position". A minyan (Jewish religious quorum of ten) was accordingly assembled in the British Prime Minister's breakfast room, where Mr. Lloyd George read a series of passages which, in his opinion, prescribed the transplantation of Jews in Palestine in 1917: Then he said, "Now, gentlemen, you know What your Bible says; that is the end of the matter".
On other occasions he gave different, and mutually destructive, explanations. He told the Palestine Royal Commission of 1937 that he acted to gain "the support of American Jewry" and that he had "a definite promise" from the Zionist leaders "that if the allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause". .
This was brazen untruth at the very bar of history. America was already in the war when Mr. Balfour went there to agree the Balfour Declaration, and Mr. Balfour's biographer scouts the notion of any such bargain. Rabbi Elmer Berger, a Jewish commentator, says the alleged promise by Zionist leaders inspires in him, ". . . an irrepressible indignation, for myself, my family, my Jewish friends, all of whom are just ordinary Jews . . . it constitutes one of the most obscene libels in all history. Only callousness and cynicism could imply that Jews in the Allied nations were not already giving their utmost to the prosecution of the war" .
Mr. Lloyd George's third explanation ("Acetone converted me to Zionism") is the best known. According to this version Mr. Lloyd George asked Dr. Weizmann how he could be requited for a useful chemical discovery made during the war (when Dr. Weizmann worked for the government, in any spare time left by his work for Zionism). Dr. Weizmann is quoted as replying, "I want nothing for myself, but everything for my people", whereon Mr. Lloyd George decided to give him Palestine! Dr. Weizmann himself derides this story ("History does not deal in Aladdin's lamps. Mr. Lloyd George's advocacy of the Jewish homeland long predated his accession to the premiership"). For that matter, it is British practice to make cash awards for such services and Dr. Weizmann, far from wanting nothing for himself, received ten thousand pounds. (If chemical research were customarily rewarded in land he might have claimed a minor duchy from Germany in respect of a patent earlier sold to the German Dye Trust, and presumably found useful in war as in peace; he was naturally content with the income he received from it for several years).
The conclusion cannot be escaped: if any honest explanation of his actions in this matter could be found Mr. Lloyd George would have given it. From this period in 1916-1917 the decay of parliamentary and representative government can be traced, both in England and America. If secret men could dictate major acts of American state policy and major operations of British armies, then clearly "election" and "responsible office" were terms devoid of meaning. Party distinctions began to fade in both countries, once this hidden, supreme authority was accepted by leading Western politicians, and the American and British electors began to be deprived of all true choice. Today this condition is general, and now is public. Leaders of all parties, before elections, make obeisance to Zionism, and the voter's selection of president, prime minister or party makes no true difference.
In November 1917 the American Republic thus became equally involved with Great Britain in Zionism, which has proved to be a destructive force. However, it was only one agency of "the destructive principle". The reader will recall that in Dr. Weizmann's Russian youth the mass of Jews there, under their Talmudic directors, were united in the revolutionary aim, and only divided between revolutionary-Zionism and revolutionary-Communism.
In the very week of the Balfour Declaration the other group of Jews in Russia achieved their aim, the destruction of the Russian nation-state. The Western politicians thus bred a bicephalous monster, one head being the power of Zionism in the Western capitals, and the other the power of Communism advancing from captive Russia. Submission to Zionism weakened the power of the West to preserve itself against the world-revolution, for Zionism worked to keep Western governments submissive and to deflect their policies from national interests; indeed, at that instant the cry was first raised that opposition to the world-revolution, too, was "anti-semitism". Governments hampered by secret capitulations in any one direction cannot act firmly in any other, and the timidity of London and Washington in their dealings with the world-revolution, during the four decades to follow, evidently derived from their initial submission to "the web of intrigue" spun across the Atlantic between 1914 and 1917.
After 1917, therefore, the question which the remainder of the 20th Century had to answer was whether the West could yet find in itself the strength to break free, or prise its political leaders loose, from this double thrall. In considering the remainder of this account the reader should bear in mind what British and American politicians were induced to do during the First World War.
THE WORLD REVOLUTION AGAIN