When they draw up lists of the worst US presidents, Woodrow Wilson is definitely right up there. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
When Woodrow Wilson Loosed Communism, Fascism, and Nazism on the World
Woodrow Wilson usually ranks high in the pantheon of American presidents. Yet he was a virulent racist and sharply attacked civil liberties, jailing famed socialist leader Eugene Debs for opposing World War I. However, Wilson won over future historians with his precise elocution, articulating high-minded international principles even as he pursued policies that caused another, worse global conflagration just a generation later.
A couple weeks ago Terry W. Hamby, chairman of the WWI Centennial Commission, dedicated a memorial to World War I, America’s latest paean to mindless and destructive militarism. Located in Washington D.C.’s Pershing Park, the structure joins a statue of the U.S. WWI commander, Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing, a not particularly talented general who allowed his ambitious subordinates to needlessly sacrifice their men’s lives by continuing to attack in search of glory and promotion up to the final minutes before an armistice ended the conflict.
Hamby put a positive spin on the needless deaths of 117,000 Americans: “This is America’s memorial, and you each can take great pride that you built it.” He appeared oblivious to the import of his remarks, observing that “The doughboys we are honoring today were the best of their generation. Their average age was 24.” Which only adds to the tragedy of so many dying for nothing.