Monday, January 29, 2018

Tell Us Something We Don't Know

From Piers Morgan's interview with Donald Joffrey Trump yesterday:

This Week's Sneak Peek

This week's sneak peek comes from my sketchbook and will give you absolutely no clue what the topic of this week's cartoon is.

The last time I included a handcart in a cartoon, I completely bollixed up the perspective, mistakenly figuring that the bottom of the cart would be visible when the cart was held at an angle. What can I say? It has been decades since I worked in a warehouse, and while I do have a handcart I can use as a reference, I can't load it with boxes and hold it off the vertical at the same time that I'm drawing it.

That bottom box still has some problems with perspective. Tune in later this week to find out whether I figured it out in time.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sick of War

2018 is turning out to be a bad year for influenza, but it's still not as bad as 1918 was. Chalk that up to so many people failing to get their flu shots in those days. At any rate, editorial cartoonist John "Ding" Darling took advantage of the situation to make a comment about foreign affairs.
"Might Be the Neighbors' Children Have Been Having It" by Jay N. "Ding" Darling, January, 1918
American and Allied media excitedly reported that Austria was having a rough time of it in January, 1918. Emperor Karl's cabinet resigned, foodstuffs were in short supply, and laborers were going on strike.
"Doing His Bit!" by Sidney Joseph Greene in New York Evening Telegram, January, 1918
Even though Austria-Hungary's had been the nation to trigger World War I with its declaration of war against Serbia, Germany was the more dominant of the Central Powers from the earliest weeks of the conflict. As food shortages took hold in the industrialized Austria, leftist labor leaders teamed up with pacifists in protest against their Teutonic overlords to the North.
"Getting Tired of the Mess" by Harry Keys in Columbus Citizen, January, 1918
Yet there were notes of caution. The Pittsburgh Sun ventured that "Reports of labor uprising in the dual monarchy are to be taken with the same quantity of salt that are to go with similar reports of internal disorders in Germany. ... This latest tale of unrest bears the earmarks of truth. Taken in connection with the rigid sealing of the border, which was presumed to have been to clothe in secrecy the movement of the troops, there is a strong presumption that in Vienna and even in Budapest there have been riots and that at this time thousands of workmen are on strike in the capital and in the industrial cities of the south."
"The Weakest Link" by Harry Murphy in Chicago Examiner, January 31, 1918
From Berlin, statements of a left-of-center political leader gained wide circulation in England and America. "Suppose the army conquered France and England; would that mean peace?" thundered Philip Scheidemann, leader of the Social Democrats in Berliner Vorwaerts after Field Marshall Paul Von Hindenburg predicted the German army would be in Paris by April 1. "I say no, for we would still have to conquer America."
"Sleepless Nights!" by John Cassel in New York Evening World, January 25, 1918
German officials and media hastened to reassure the public that Entente depictions of dissent and disarray in the German government were greatly exaggerated.
"Durch die Reuterbrille" by Karl Arnold in Simplicissimus, Munich, November 27, 1917
However, one does begin to see cartoons laying the blame for Germany's and Austria's ills on the selfishness and greed of the moneyed class, portraying them as the ones making a fortune off of the conflict. This Swiss cartoon promises that the war, and those capitalists' gravy train, were soon to come to a stop.
"A Cause for Alarm" by "F.B." in Nebelspalter, Zurich, January, 1918
Yes, some mainstream American cartoonists (not only the socialists) also occasionally leveled criticism at the nation's rich for not sacrificing as much as others in the war effort, but in these Germanic cartoons lies the seeds of resentment against bankers that would grow into Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.
"Die Neue Polonaise" by Thomas Theodor Heine in Simplicissimus, Munich, January 22, 1918
Meanwhile, negotiations between the Central Powers and Russia toward the Brest-Litovsk treaty continued, despite Entente entreaties to Russia to resist. Here Olaf Gulbransson depicts a Russian negotiator (Nikolai Bukharin, perhaps?) as a Russian hound passively listening to Western talk of humanity, protection of the little people, correctness, and democracy.

"Die Stimme Seines Herrn" by Olaf Gulbransson in Simplicissimus, Munich,. January 22, 1918
And as regarded its western adversaries, Germany responded to President Wilson's Fourteen Point peace proposal with interest and a counter-proposal of its own. A Kingdom of Poland, with borders well east of where they are today, would be joined in a personal union with Austria-Hungary. A Duchy of Courland (western Latvia) and a Principality of Lithuania would be established as vassal states of the Prussian monarchy. Germany would agree to withdraw from Belgium, but the industrial region of Alsace-Lorraine would remain part of Germany.

"You May Have Belgium!" by John H. Cassel in New York Evening World, January, 1918
On this, Kaiser Wilhelm had the support of Social Democrat Scheidemann, continuing in the Berliner Vorwaerts that "Alsace is Germany's and will remain so. If one clear word is spoken regarding Belgium, England's war-mongering will end. An honorable, complete reinstatement of Belgium is our duty."

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Stacking the Triskaidekaitis

I first drew about the appointment of Roger Severino to the civil rights office of Health and Human Services last March. Severino, previously a lobbyist for the right-wing Heritage Foundation, has been an agitator against marriage equality and the treating transgender persons with any humanity or respect.
“On the basis of religious teachings, moral reasoning, scientific evidence, and medical experience, many have strong grounds to hold that one’s sex is an immutable characteristic,” Severino and a co-author wrote in a Heritage Foundation report in January 2016. “Many involved in providing medical care and those enrolled in health insurance plans have serious objections to participating in or paying for sex-reassignment surgeries or gender transitions.”
Last week, Severino announced the creation of a "Conscience and Religious Freedom Division" within his office
to ensure that health care providers are allowing workers to opt out of procedures when they have religious or moral objections. The new division would be a third, co-equal branch with the office's existing two divisions that focus on federal civil rights laws and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Severino and his Conscience and Religious Freedom ("Condom" for short) Division will come to the defense of America's beleaguered and persecuted Christian minority, ensuring that Christian health care workers will no longer be forced to violate their fundamental religious beliefs. No more will Baptist podiatrists be transferred to the Abortion Unit. Catholic pharmacists will no longer have to fill morning-after pill prescriptions for divorcees. Pentecostal dishwashers in the hospital cafeteria need not live in fear of transgender visitors asking them for directions to the ladies' room — wait, you say that's not the problem?
But longtime HHS officials say that the existing civil rights office was more than capable of handling these issues and that creating an entire division to focus on religious liberty sends the wrong message.
"This is a classic solution in search of a problem," said one official who's handled civil rights issues at HHS. "And it’s a problem that doesn’t really exist, because hospitals tend to be really compliant on this kind of stuff."
During the Obama administration, evangelical groups had even hailed HHS for its efforts to enforce religious freedom, such as intervening in a lawsuit filed by an anti-abortion nurse against Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
But if you thought my examples were silly, go back and read that excerpt from Severino's Heritage Foundation report again.

"[T]hose enrolled in health insurance plans have serious objections to ... paying for sex-reassignment surgeries or gender transitions"?

If you think about what Severino is saying there, it's that anyone paying for health insurance ought to have the right to object to somebody else's health care.

Just because your faith leads you to abstain from pork doesn't mean you have a right to stop your health insurance company from covering someone else's hospital visit for trichinosis.

You may have a religious commitment to pacifism, but you don't get to sue to get your premiums back if your insurance company pays for a veteran's PTSD treatment.

And if your god tells you to be vigilant against transgender cooties but your insurance company pays for the estrogen treatments of someone on the other side of town, tough. It's none of your damned business.

Monday, January 22, 2018

This Week's Sneak Peek

I barely saw yesterday's football games on account of having to think up and draw a cartoon. Gosh, I hope I didn't miss anything important.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Environmental Stewardship: Romans 6:1

Here's Dad's Environmental Stewardship column for February:

Not too long ago, a member of my congregation complimented me on my Environmental Stewardship articles on climate change and global warming. (Like most males, I am a glutton for compliments.) But then this person essentially said that we need not change the way we live significantly; we should just trust in the Lord because God, after the flood, promised never again to destroy the world.

True, but He said nothing about what we might destroy.

Also, I should remind the reader that even with the worst case scenario, the earth will still be here and so will the cockroaches, carp and lots of other living creatures; we will just have made the earth close to unlivable for many or most human beings.
Joseph Sittler: Photo from
That member’s statement sounded an awful lot like what my favorite theologian, Joseph Sittler, had written about years ago. What follows is a direct quote from his writing in the Center for the Study of Campus Ministry Yearbook, 1977-78 as reprinted in “Joseph A. Sittler: Grace Notes and Other Fragments.”
“I meet it [soggy piety], for example, in people who, following a talk about the Christian responsibility for the care of the earth, will remark, ‘I hear what you say, it is very serious and we must do something about it; but I really trust in  the Lord. The Lord will not permit us to do this to his world. This is our Father’s world and he will see to it that we do not destroy it.’ The first person who said this to me took me rather aback because I had not met that one before. But neither, of course, had I met before the kind of jovial God who lets you romp all over his garden and will clean up the garbage after you have messed it up. I was hard put for a moment – but by providential help, for only a moment.
“I remembered a wonderful passage in the prophets – you remember – where God is talking to a prophet who has worked very hard at a certain vocation and has become quite discouraged. The prophet is taking the matter up with God and says, ‘I seem to be working hard at it, but I’m not getting anywhere.’ And God says, ‘I will send my servant Nebuchadnezzar.’ And the prophet says, ‘How’s that again? That guy? You really mean you are going to let Nebuchadnezzar serve your purposes?’ God says, ‘You heard me! I will send my servant Nebuchadnezzar.’
“So not all the purposes of God are realized in the hands of the church, but God is a God of judgement as well as of grace; you cannot get away endlessly with rapacity toward his creation.”

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Watson a Name?

The cartoon I drew for the syndicate this week starred a fictional Hollywood character named "Brock Stoder." The name doesn't have any hidden meaning; it was merely something that sounded like a film star's name without actually sounding like a particular film star's name.

When I originally described the idea to my editors, he had the name "Brock Slater," but it occurred to me that I had better Google that name in case it happened to be someone's real moniker. As it turned out,  there's a business management consultant in Chicago by that name. Just in case I'm ever in Chicago needing a consultation on managing my business, I decided I might as well change it.

I had already inked "Brock S" by then, so I tried "Brock" plus a couple other butch-sounding surnames (one of which turned out to belong to a transgender soldier who might actually have a chance of having the cartoon brought to his attention) before cooking up "Stoder," which doesn't seem to be anybody's last name.

Coming up with names for cartoon characters can be a tricky business. Most of the generic characters in editorial cartoons don't need names, except when the cartoonist wants to have a recurring character, or if it would be weird for someone else in the cartoon not to call him/her by name. I'll often use a pun as a name to signal to the reader that the character doesn't represent an actual individual, and in hopes that no parent would have been so careless or mean as to inflict such an easily mocked name on their child. A page in one of my sketch books is devoted to names that I might find a use for later: LiBrarion Buchman, Juan Thieu III, Purmia Bruschi, Oliver Sudden.

For a few years, I drew a generic congressman, Luke Warmish, who was a kind of middle-of-the-road career politician:
I quickly determined that Congressman Warmish was a Democrat, but in 1993 and '94, I portrayed him shying away from overt support of President Bill Clinton's health care reform proposals. He lost his reelection bid in the Republican sweep of 1994, but his name showed up in one later cartoon about Political Action Committee ads on TV, without indicating what office he might be running for.

Meanwhile, I had given Warmish a Republican counterpart in Charles Snollygoster IV, whose surname comes from a word meaning a person, "especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles."

Congressman Snollygoster had no problem taking his stand on the bedrock Republican issues of the day — against flag burning, in favor of The Family, against taxes — so he lasted longer than Mr. Warmish did. I imagined him representing a safe suburban district somewhere in Illinois; I suspect, however, that he would have been primaried sometime since 2010.

I haven't found it necessary to invent fictional right-wingers, Tea Partisans, or Trump Loyalists; there is plenty to criticize in the real ones without making fake ones up.

Sometimes one's editor doesn't want to single out any particular legislator. It would have been irresponsible, for example, to have used a real politician in the cartoon at the top of this post, which was intended to highlight the underhanded tactics used in issue ads against politicians.

Sometimes the cartoonist wants the character to say something no politician in his right mind would say (at least in the Time Before Trump). I gave this state legislator, who appeared a few times in my NorthCountry Journal cartoons (and at least once later in the UW-Milwaukee Post), a name unlikely to belong to any elected politician anywhere in the English-speaking world.

Not all my fictional named characters have been politicians, or have appeared multiple times. These two simply needed nameplates in the first panel.

This daytime talk show host's name had been sitting in my notebook for years, and it's a good thing I've never been a drag performer.
(And yes, I've been informed that "transgender" is the preferred term nowadays. Sadly, nobody on Ms. Drewledge's staff had been so enlightened.)

You may have noticed this meteorologist's name on your shampoo bottle. I therefore hasten to stipulate that I have the utmost respect for the professionalism and dedication of America's weathermen and weatherwomen; even though I often wish that the news department spent the same amount of time, say, forecasting the chances of the bills making their way through the state legislature that the meteorologist gets every night to tell us what the jet stream is up to.

Ms. Sulfate, however, is not a professionally accredited meteorologist. But at least she wasn't saddled with the name Phil Kiesterlich.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Q Toon: Served Cold

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
🜄Jan 16, 2018

James Franco wore a "Time's Up" pin to the Golden Globes awards, but since getting up on stage to accept a best actor award, he has been accused of "inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior" by five women. Whether this damages his career, given his well-established bad-boy reputation, remains an open question; I haven't read anything about his film scenes being reshot with Christopher Plummer.

There followed the accusations by an anonymous photographer against Aziz Ansari, which blur the line between what constitutes sexual assault as opposed to just a bad date. Even some women have come to Ansari's defense, pointing out that "Grace" (the accuser's nom de punir) wasn't lured to Ansari's apartment under false pretenses; she didn't say "no" early on; and when she did, he stopped and apologized and they watched some TV.

But by and large, one male celebrity after another (and not just in Hollywood) is finding that while he may think of himself as Cary Grant in the boudoir, women these days who find him to be The Continental aren't afraid to tell the world about it.

Where we draw the line between The Continental and Inspector Clouseau has yet to be determined.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Well Done, Sister Suffragette

On the home front, America's editorial cartoonists had much to draw about in January, 1918. The federal government nationalized the railroads. Because of a coal shortage, Congress ordered businesses to close shop every Monday for a month. Not coincidentally, knitting sweaters was promoted as the latest fad sweeping the nation, for men and women alike.

And then there was the plot by women to unman the federal government.

One day after announcing his Fourteen Point plan to end all wars, Wilson declared his support for a constitutional amendment to extend federal voting rights to women.

"Both Are Mine!" by Charles "Bill" Sykes in Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, January 9, 1918
You might recall that during the 1916 presidential campaign, Wilson's support for women's suffrage was grudging and negligible, in contrast to Charles Evans Hughes's and most other Republicans' whole-hearted support. Wilson's January announcement persuaded just enough reluctant Democrats for the the amendment to pass the House on January 10 — with only one vote more than the required two-thirds majority.
"How Can He Refuse?" by C. F. Naughton in Duluth Evening Herald, January 12, 1918
From the House, the bill passed to the Senate...
"Another Dark Alley to Go Through" by Kenneth Chamberlain in Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, January, 1918
...where it languished until its defeat in September.

These cartoons (prematurely) celebrate the emancipation of the female electorate, but it's only fair to present the other side. Since I led off with that fear-mongering banner headline in the Special Night Edition of the El Paso Morning Times, I feel obligated to share that Associated Press story with you.
Washington, Jan. 7. — Hearings on the federal suffrage amendment resolution to be voted on in the House Wednesday were closed by the House Woman's Suffrage Committee today after listening to arguments by representatives of the National Association Opposed to Woman's Suffrage, and final appeals for favorable action by officials of the Nation Suffrage Association.
Former Senator Bailey of Texas contended that women are incapable of performing the three principal duties of citizenship, military service, sheriff service, and jury service, and should not help enact laws they are incapable of obeying. He insisted the suffragists constitute a small percentage of the women of the country, and added:
"There are too many ignorant voters now, and I would not add to the number."
"Shattering the Chains" by Harry Murphy in Chicago Examiner, January 11, 1918
Hentry A. Wise Wood, New York, formerly an advocate of woman suffrage, said women would insist on holding government offices, invading Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House and would succeed in womanizing the government and blocking the country's military program.
"The Feminine Way" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Eagle, January 11, 1918
Mrs. James A. Wadsworth Jr., president of the National Association Opposed to Women Suffrage, and other speakers denounced methods used by the suffragists in their efforts to put the resolution through Congress, particularly by public demonstrations of the militants and threats of political defeat to opposing legislators. The Suffragists, Mrs. Edwin Ford of Boston said, are "well organized, over-financed, and already have a split in their ranks."
"Father Gives His Blessing" by Jay "Ding" Darling, by January 18, 1918
Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt and Mrs. Maud Wood Park, officers of the National American Women Suffrage association briefly replied, saying they were before the committee to present "facts, not theory."
The national association made public today a number of telegrams and letters advocating the passage of the resolution, including one from Theodore Roosevelt.
Because of a crowded court calendar, argument of the appealed cases of the women convicted of picketing the White House was postponed until tomorrow. --30--
"Hands Across the Seas" by John McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, January 11, 1918
(Me again.) Across the Atlantic on the same day as the House vote, the House of Lords, considering what would become The Representation of the People Act of 1918, rejected an amendment by Earl Loreborn which would have denied British women the vote. Speaking in favor of the amendment, Lord George Curzon alleged that wherever women had the right to vote, it promoted socialism.

Even without Earl Loreborn's amendment, the Act would not give British women equal voting rights with men, however. Whereas any man could vote after his 21st birthday (or his 19th if he had served in the military), a woman had to wait until the age of 30, and moreover had to be either a member a member of the Local Government Register, a property owner, a British university graduate, or the wife of any of the above.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Satire Cannot

The President of the United States has hit the fan, and gosh, it's the talk of the town.

Is it even possible to satirize this outrageous, small-minded bigot any more?
Our best minds keep trying, but it's almost impossible to keep up while still respecting the delicate sensibilities of American newspaper editors.

Ed Hall
Artizans Syndicate
Jan 12, 2018

You can get away with some of this stuff in, say, Brazil.
"Buraco de Merda" by Rice Araujo on Cartoon Movement
Personally, I'm hoping that there's some other topic I can tackle by the time I have to commit pen to paper.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Q Toon: Heaven and Michele

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
👼Jan 11, 2018
Former Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced on the Christian Broadcasting Network that she might consider running for the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Al Franken, but she hadn't heard from God on the matter quite yet. Editorial cartoonists are now waiting with bated breath in hopes that God gives the go-ahead to the woman who believes that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation, that Iraq and Libya should have reimbursed the U.S. for overthrowing their leaders, that Barack Obama was allowing Islamic extremists to impose Sharia law in the U.S. by 2015, and that
"Because our K-12 public school system, of which ninety per cent of all youth are in the public school system, they will be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality."

But wait, there's more.
"What a bizarre time we’re in, Jan, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.”
“You have a teacher talking about his gayness. [The elementary school student] goes home then and says 'Mom! What’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.' The mother says 'Well, that’s when a man likes other men, and they don’t like girls.' The boy’s eight. He’s thinking, 'Hmm. I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.' And you think, 'Oh, that’s, that’s way out there. The kid isn’t gonna think that.' Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that this is intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.”
"I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders."
"So now we find out these people are making decisions based on our politics and beliefs, and they're going to be in charge of our health care. There's a huge national database that's being created right now. Your health care, my health care, all the Fox viewers' health care, their personal, intimate, most close to the vest secrets will be in that database, and the IRS is in charge of that database? So the IRS will have the ability potentially — will they? — to deny health care, to deny access, to delay health care? This is serious! Based upon our political beliefs? That's why we have to repeal Obamacare."
Of course, the last time political wags thought the very idea of a dimwitted, factually-challenged narcissist running for political office ought to be good for a laugh, we ended up with President Trump.

Conventional wisdom, which tends to emanate from NYC, DC and LA, not Lake Wobegon, is that Minnesota is a Blue State; but it's worth remembering that Al Franken was only elected Senator in 2008 by the slimmest of margins. Republicans can and do win statewide races there; Minnesota Democrats have won only five senatorial elections and two gubernatorial races over the last 20 years.

Both of Minnesota's Senate seats will be up for grabs this year. The last time that happened, in 1978, Republicans won both races.

If that should happen again, heaven help us.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018


"Les Dieux de la Guerre" by Adolphe-Léon Willette in La Baïonnette, Paris, January 3, 1918
1917 was an awfully eventful year, as years go, so it's hardly surprising that 1918 got off to a running start. Well, not so much on the battlefield; an Entente Powers victory here was countered by a Central Powers victory there, and the fight along the Western Front was accomplishing very little other than sending young men home in boxes. Exit Romania. Enter Brazil.

This is the context in which President Woodrow Wilson introduced his "Fourteen Points" in a speech on January 8, 1918. Viewing the complex system of bilateral alliances compelling one nation after another to commit to a war that really should have been a matter between Austria and Serbia alone, Wilson proposed "open covenants of peace" in place of "private international understandings," and establishment of a "general association of nations" for the resolution of international disputes.
"Peace and Justice" by Oscar Cesare in New York Evening Post, January, 1918
Other points prescribed freedom of the seas, an end to German occupation of Belgium, redrawing of European boundaries based on ethnicity of population, and creation of independent states for Poland and non-Turkish territories of the Ottoman Empire.
"For This We Fight" by John H. Cassel in New York Evening World, January 9 or 10, 1918
Support for Wilson's proposals was nearly unanimous in the American press, as reflected in these editorial cartoons.
"Hog Proof, By Thunder!" by Jay N. "Ding" Darling, January 9, 1918
Notably absent from the 14 Points is any insistence on a change in the governments of the Central Powers. According to a map of Wilson's proposals published in the Houston Post on January 14, the only significant loss Germany would suffer would be the region of Alsace-Lorraine. Austria-Hungary would cede Trentino and Istria to Italy; otherwise, this mapmaker didn't venture a guess how the empire would be broken up. (Also unaccounted for on this map are promises of a "free and secure access to the sea" for Serbia in Point XI.)

In the end, English and French demands at war's end resulted in much harsher terms for Germany, both in terms of territory and reparations, than Wilson envisioned. Nevertheless, at Wilson's death in February of 1924, Munich cartoonist Thomas Theodor Heine blamed his country's troubles on the late President and his 14 Points (here represented by fourteen beads on a fishhook):
"Wilson vor Seinem Richter" by Thomas Theodor Heine in Simplicissimus, Munich, February 25, 1924
A major concern for the U.S., Great Britain and France were the on-going peace negotiations between the Central Powers and Russia.

"A Performance for Little Children" by Billy Ireland in Columbus Evening Dispatch, January, 1918
Although the above map imagines significant losses to Russia of its western territories, the longest of the Fourteen Points extends several promises to Russia in hopes of derailing the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk, in present Belarus.
VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
When the Russian Bolshevik government discovered that Germany and Austria expected the Brest-Litovsk treaty to take Poland and the Baltic states away from Russia, negotiations toward the treaty were stalled.
"The Mask That Was Torn Off" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Eagle, January, 1918
But with the Russian army in near total disarray and newly autonomous Ukraine offering badly needed grain to Vienna (negating what little leverage Russia had at Brest), Lenin and Trotsky found that they were in a hopeless negotiating position.
"The More They Squabble" by cartoonist in Noví Satirikon, Petrograd, December, 1917?
Wilson, for his part, offered the hope of American reinforcements to the Russian Army if Russia would just remain in the war, but there simply was no practical way of getting U.S. military men and materiel through to the Eastern Front.
"Russen-Ersatz" by Ragnvald Blix in Simplicissimus, Munich, January 22, 1918
In the end, no amount of Allied threats, promises or cajoling would prevent Lenin's government from agreeing to a peace treaty on Germany's terms.
"If You Lay Down Your Rifle" by Soler in l'Esquella, Barcelona, December 1917 or January 1918.
(In case you missed it earlier, Japan was on the Allies' side during this one.)