June 28, 2014

World War I Centennial

Dangerous men make big wars.

“On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, as they rode through the streets of Sarajevo,” writes David Adesnik of the American Enterprise Institute. It’s important to note, he says, that “the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife were not a cause of war, but a pretext. The Germans and Austro-Hungarians deliberately chose to prevent a diplomatic resolution of the assassination crisis because they wanted to crush Balkan nationalism with violence.” As we mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination, it’s critical to remember history. As Adesnik concludes, “[T]he true lesson of Sarajevo is that great wars happen because dangerous men want them to. Those men do not have to be monsters like Hitler or Stalin. They may be narrow-minded, reckless, or aggressive like Vladimir Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei, Kim Jong-Un, or certain leaders in Beijing. Looking back at the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Franz Ferdinand one hundred years ago, it is clear that the preservation of peace ultimately depends on maintaining the strength and determination necessary to deter or defeat such adversaries.” More…

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