The “parallels are striking” between now and 100 years ago, writes Ilan Berman for U.S. News & World Report. “Today’s global tensions echo the lead-up to World War I. Could this be the end for our world order?” 
“Like 100 years ago, the international system is coming unglued.” 
“Like in 1914, extreme ideologies are currently on the march.” 
Berman decides to blame President Barack Obama for retreating from a “global sheriff” role heretofore supposedly held by the United States. But isn’t that what we wanted Obama to do, bring the troops home?
Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip supposedly “started it all” (“provided the spark” for the First World War) when he assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914.  So as usual the Serbs get blamed.
But in Taylor Caldwell’s novel, The Balance Wheel, we see that the armaments business was already gearing up for war before Princip “provided the spark.”
One aspect of “parallels are striking” not mentioned by Berman (op. cit.) is the enormous propaganda barrage here in the America of 100 years ago. Back then, the “dreaded fiend” was “the Hun” (the Germans). In the current propaganda barrage, the “dreaded fiend” is Vladimir Putin and Russia.
Author Thomas Wolfe (1900 – 1938), not to be confused with a certain pop author utilizing the same name, offers a portrait of the anti-German propaganda of 100 years ago in his novel, Look Homeward, Angel:
Professor L. B. Dunn’s precise voice sounded its cold warning, “their next move will be directed against us. You may yet live to see the day when the iron heel of militarism is on your neck, and the armed forces of the Kaiser do the goose-step up and down this street. When that day comes,” Professor Dunn implacably continued, “remember what I told you. The German government has imperialistic designs upon the whole of the world. It is looking to the day when it shall have all mankind under the yoke of Krupp and Kultur. The fate of civilization is hanging in the balance. Mankind is at the crossroads. I pray God it shall not be said that we were found wanting. I pray God that this free people may never suffer as little Belgium suffered, that our wives and daughters may not be led off into slavery or shame, our children maimed and slaughtered.”
If memory serves, the movie, East of Eden, contains a scene showing the anti-German feeling of the time, brought on due to the propaganda barrage.
So let’s not forget the propaganda aspect of 100 years ago, as we stroll down memory lane. “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know,” said Harry S. Truman.  Might it be that the current lopsided “news” and State Department pronouncements are just a new version of “Invasion of the Huns”, this time starring Vladimir Putin and associates? The propaganda barrage now aimed at Americans is satirized in yesterday’s blog entry, Russia Allied With Extraterrestrials.
——- Sources ——-
 “The Great War, Again?”, by Ilan Berman. U.S. News & World Report (online), July 25, 2014.