The Charlotte News
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 1941
Aggression Acquires an Odd Meaning In Japanese
Mr. Matsuoka and the Japanese newspapers profess to see the so-called Russo-Japanese non-aggression pact as being so important that it will probably end in lining up the Soviet Union as a member of the Axis.
All this crowing is, of course, directed to the aim of intimidating the United States and need not be taken too seriously.
Just the same, it is curious to observe what the meaning of "aggression" in the treaty seems to be, if we are to accept the Japanese interpretation.
Russia, in reality, has promised only not to help any nation which is guilty of aggression against Japan.
And if there is any nation on earth which has no reason to fear aggression it is Japan. The sole possibility of aggression against her lies in Russia herself. The United States navy couldn't attack Japan if it wanted to, for the good reason that the archipelago is too far away from our bases.
The sole threat to Japan consists in the will of the United States that she shall not be allowed to play the aggressor and hog up British, Dutch and American possessions in the Pacific.
Apparently, the Japanese definition of aggression is any attempt to block that nation's claim to the right of unlimited aggression on its own account.
Spain Apparently Judges That We'll Not Act In Time
The clamor of the Spanish press against Britain indicates pretty clearly that Franco is playing with the idea of joining the Axis in the war, probably to open the way for a German advance upon Gibraltar. Such a move, if it were successful, would enable Hitler to seize new bases in Africa for the war in the Atlantic and perhaps to bottle up part of the British fleet in the Mediterranean.
Such a course on the part of Spain would necessarily be predicated on the theory that Adolf Hitler will win the war soon. Spain is already on starvation, gets what food she now gets by British permission, and Hitler has no supplies to give her.
Behind the assumption that Hitler will win lies another assumption--that the United States will not act in time. If Franco were certain of early American naval participation in the war, he would not dare join the Axis. Spain's port cities are all poorly protected, and American battleships could smash all of them in a week.
Dodge it as we may, we are inevitably making a decision. But unfortunately it is one which is being taken by the method of drift instead of by resolute facing of facts. Decisions taken that way usually turn out to be disastrous. And we are probably going to hear a good deal of hysterical cackling after Britain has fallen and we find ourselves facing the monstrous force in Europe--alone.
Administration Has Power To Block Robert Reynolds
The make-up of the Senate Steering Committee is interesting for Tar Heels especially just now. For it is this committee which will pass on the protests against the elevation of Robert Rice Reynolds to the chairmanship of the Senate Military Affairs Committee and make recommendations to the body of the Senate.
Chairman of the committee is the Administration leader, Barkley of Kentucky. Other certain Administration members, so far as foreign policy goes at least, are: Glass of Virginia, Byrnes of South Carolina, Harrison of Mississippi, Guffey of Pennsylvania, McKellar of Tennessee, George of Georgia, Bankhead of Alabama, Wagner of New York Hill of Alabama, Lee of Oklahoma, Hayden of Arizona and Thomas of Utah. Score: 12.
Anti-Administration men are: Wheeler of Montana, Green of Rhode Island. Score: 2.
Doubtful men are: Tydings of Maryland, Lucas of Wyoming, O'Mahoney of Wyoming.Score: 3.
The conclusion is obvious. The Administration has the power to insure the defeat of Reynolds, the election of Thomas, a strong supporter of the national foreign policy, if it chooses to turn on the heat. If it doesn't, it will have to bear the responsibility for what Reynolds will do to hamstring that policy in this key post in the nation.
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