The Charlotte News
Wednesday, April 23, 1941
Site ed. note: As John Cash dutifully clipped these editorials from the
News and placed them in a letter box which he kept until
the day of his death, he also clipped and pinned to many of the articles
the daily "Bible Thought". On this particular date, the thought came from
W.J. Cash's favorite book of the Bible: "Wherefore I perceive that
there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works;
for that is his portion only: for who shall bring him to see what shall be
after him?" Eccl. 3.22
They Must Suffer While Their Bosses Go Free
The ten badly dressed Italian sailors who appeared in Federal Court at Wilmington yesterday, only to have their trial for sabotage postponed, are fairly pathetic.
In reality when they sabotaged their ship they merely did what they were ordered to do by their Government. Had they refused they would have been put down for traitors, would have become subject to stiffer penalties at home than they now face here, and would have had good reason to fear being crippled or murdered by the thugs the so-called German and Italian embassies and consulates maintain in this country.
The man who actually ordered them to commit their crime against the law of nations and of the United States got off, under the rule of diplomatic immunity, with nothing worse than his enforced departure for Italy. The man who ordered him to give that order to the sailors still sits in Washington as the Ambassador from Italy, that greatest of cad powers.
This is no plea for the sailors. Sabotage is too grave an offense against the national safety to allow it to go unpunished for any excuse at all. Nevertheless, one is still moved to think that it is grossly unfair that the mere instruments must suffer while the prime movers in the crime go scot-free.
Sees Conquest of Germany Carried Out by Air Power
On the newsstands yesterday appeared an article, in The American Mercury, by Major Alexander P. De Seversky. It is called "Why Lindbergh is Wrong."
Seversky says that, far from Lindbergh being correct in saying that Britain is bound to lose the war, she has almost no chance to lose it if she gets effective American aid.
Like Lindbergh he sees the war largely in terms of air power. But he discounts the Lindbergh thesis that to win Britain and the United States must ultimately land huge armies in Europe and defeat the German armies. Air power, he says, has so changed war that the concept of invasion is now obsolete. The real objective of modern war, he goes on, is not invasion but the total destruction of the enemy nation. What the Anglo-American combination must have is command of the air. Once it gets it and is in position to begin the systematic leveling of German cities, the end will be in sight. The German armies will be useless to Hitler and will fold from the inside.
Can it get that command of the air? He is sure of it. Hitler's production has already reached its possible maximum, will progressively fall off because of lack of essential raw materials. Rising production and superior technique is already beginning to give the British something like air equality, he believes, and the end of the year should see them with a definite superiority.
All this, of course, is only the opinion of one man, and is not necessarily to be accepted as accurate. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of a man who has had far better opportunity to know what he is talking about than Lindbergh.
The Greeks Lost It but The Enemy Paid a High Price
It was in August of the year 480 B. C. The armies of Xerxes had beaten the waters of the Hellespont with rods because they would not tamely be bridged, and now the great host, vaster far than man had ever assembled if we are to believe Herodotus, was moving through Thessally, where the Nazis move today. And then as now, there was only one good road from Thessally into Locris.
But there was this difference. The Pass of Thermopylae through which the road ran is now a river-built swampy plain. Then it was genuinely a pass, some fifty feet wide between Mt. Oeta and a morass bordering the Maliac Gulf.
Some 6,000 strong the Greeks were drawn up there, under the command of Leonidas, one of the kings of Sparta. On the first day Xerxes jeered at their numbers, sent his poorer troops against them. On the second he hurled in his Ten Thousand Immortals, the SS men of their time. But they died in great numbers without much hurting the Greeks. Then on the third day a Greek Quisling appeared and pointed out a secret path over the mountains. By noon the Persians were in the rear of Leonidas.
Most of the Greeks, having already been warned, had gone home. But the 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians stayed, forcing 400 Thebans to stay also.
In the first onslaught of battle somebody whimpered that the Persian arrows darkened the sky. "So much the better," said Spartan Dieneces, "we shall fight in the shade."When it was ended all the Spartans, save two on detached duty, lay dead. So did the Thespians, and few of the Thebans got away.
Xerxes showed himself a fitting forerunner of the Nazis by cutting off the head of Leonidas and having the body crucified. But in time the Greeks raised a monument there in the shape of a lion. And on it they inscribed: 'Stranger, go tell the Lacedaemonians that here, obeying their orders, we fell."
President Should Stop His Dodging About Convoys
Modern Thermopylae does not mean defeat any more than the old. The Greeks lost that first action also, it is to be remembered. And Xerxes took Athens and burned it.
But shortly thereafter Themistocles destroyed his fleet at Salamis, while the great king who had built himself a marble throne on the shore to watch his confidently-expected triumph with the 'kings of the nations" gathered about his feet, wept and rent his garments.
If history means anything the apocalvptic doom of the German nation is sealed. It has forfeited any right to regard as a part of the civilized human family. And the real question is not if it will be destroyed but when.
That question will not be answered, as the President said yesterday, in Greece or in the Mediterranean area anywhere. It will be answered in England and in the Atlantic. If England falls the war will be long drawn out. There may be periods when the appeasers will get control and a so-called peace will be made. But, it will have no reality. The human family is not going to live enslaved to any brutal self-styled Master Race, no matter what victories it may yet win.
But it. its surely the part of wisdom to see, if possible, that England does not fall while the engines of Germany's destruction are being prepared.
The appeasers are still yelling that the majority of the people of of this nation are overwhelmingly opposed to convoy. But that answer comes only when you frame the question by asking them flatly if they favor war per se.
Of course, they don't. They favor convoy, which probably means war, only as an alternative to something.
And in point of fact the latest polls show that over 70 per cent of the people are in favor of convoy if the alternative is letting England fall.
Whether we are already faced with that alternative the President and the State Department should know better than anybody else. But a layman, reading the figures of England's shipping losses, seeing Hitler moving forward to the day when his forces will be freed for the attempt at invasion of England, is bound to think that at least we are not far from having to face the alternative head on.
One thing seems pretty clear. There isn't much sense in such devious dodging as the President is now indulging in. Maybe there is a small chance that Hitler so fears the entry of the United States into the war that he will submit to convoy as far as Greenland, with the British taking over there.
But the opening of the route to the Red Sea is bound to involve all the dangers of convoy to England itself. If we are to convoy to Egypt, we may as well convoy to Liverpool. That calls for repeal of the so-called Neutrality Act.
If we face the alternative of convoy or the fall of England, as it seems, then it is the duty of the President to tell the people as much flatly and candidly. They have shown their willingness to follow him when he has been candid before, and the Wheelers are now too weak to aid Hitler by long delays. Meantime, the people cannot be fairly blamed for being confused.
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