The Charlotte News
THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1941
Clapper Solution Looks Like Best Which Has Appeared
It is virtually incredible that Rudolf Hess flew to England under the impression that by seeing the Duke of Hamilton he could really arrange peace in a few days. Such a lack of information concerning English morale and the almost total absence of any peace sentiment among Britons is beyond belief and would suggest that the Germans are telling the truth when they assert that he is nuts.
Hess, it always has to be remembered, is an original Nazi and co-author of "Mein Kampf," undoubtedly passionately shares the racial and political theories there set forth, holds as his primary postulate that it is the business of Germans to serve as the Master Class of the world, the business of the rest of humanity to serve them. Any terms that he might propose for England would, therefore, seem to be intolerable, would inevitably have as their ultimate purpose the weakening of England to prepare for the final German triumph.
Yet it is possible that the solution Mr. Clapper proposes in his column today may be correct--and that fear has driven Hess to desperate devices to try to head off what he judges to be catastrophe. If Hitler has actually taken the decision--as seems probable--to turn his back once for all on the West, line Germany up permanently with Russia, and to carry the war to Spain and the Atlantic, Hess, a bitter anti-Communist, would inevitably be horrified--and would have ground for fear that it would bring the United States into the war and end in the total destruction of Germany.
In any case, however, it must be borne in mind that as a good Nazi he has no real concern with the peace of the world as such, but is interested alone in preserving Germany and advancing her purposes.
Which Is Not Likely To Have the Intended Effect
When Darlan went off for his conference with Hitler, Petain fled to the Riviera, apparently to make it impossible for Admiral Leahy to see him and further to persuade him not to submit to German demands.
And now comes the announcement that Vichy has agreed to full co-operation with the Nazis.The terms are not revealed but they are said to be political as well as economic.
The avowed purpose of all this, according to the Vichy dispatches, is to frighten the United States into abandoning Britain.
If that is so, the Nazis and Vichy are giving themselves a lot of trouble for nothing.
It has long been apparent to all realists that Darlan was preparing a final sell-out to the Nazis. And that the best the United States could hope for would be to delay such action as long as possible. And Washington has undoubtedly been proceeding with that in view.
What the complete passage of Vichy into the Nazi orbit means is that the way is being opened to bring Spain and Portugal into the Axis and give Hitler Atlantic bases in the Canaries, Azores, and Cape Verdes.
That is a matter of the most serious moment to us, for it will put us in intolerable peril and probably assure Hitler's dominance of the Atlantic. But far from frightening Washington into retreat, it will almost certainly drive it to decisive action.
Site ed. note: This article is reminiscent of "Sea Fight" from November 14, 1940. These poetic articles on the war in Europe garnered Cash a nomination for a Pulitzer prize in 1941. (Source: W.J. Cash: Southern Prophet, Joseph L. Morrison, Knopf, 1967, p. 275) It is of interest to note the bitter fury with which Cash wrote at age 40 in favor of intervention to aid Britain in its "lonely year" of 1940-41 after the fall of France and compare that to his equally passionate and poetic polemic for pacifism at age 27 in the "Moving Row" article of March 18, 1928, "Who Nurtures War?" As Cash had been to Germany in the summer of 1927, it is arguable that both tendencies--the early for pacifism and the wiser choice of leaders, and the later for intervention against the Nazi--were motivated by the same force of what he saw and intuited then during his bicycle tour of Europe.
Who Knew That Freedom Is Better Than Life
God rest you happy, gentlemen,
Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun
Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
Than even Oxford town.
We are reminded of the verse from the last war, inappropriately in detail but not inappropriately, we think, in general feeling, by the twelve American volunteers who died in the sinking of a Canadian transport, at the hand of a Nazi barbarian, the other day.
Nearly all of them were young. The April mornings came up fair and sweet to them in their last days, you may be sure. And it is more than likely that the cool laughter of the girls in the evening was very dear to them. But because their youth was unsullied by the blight of these times, they understood the faith of the men who stood with Davy Crockett and Travis at the Alamo, knew the boast of John Paul Jones as the Bonhomme Richard sank under him, remembered that Americans before now had thought it their duty and their honor to die for freedom. And understood at last and profoundly in their simple young hearts that life is a fragile boon which had better not be bought too dearly if it is to be savored.
They were better men than the rest of us to who tarried at home, and each of them in his own right was worth countless millions of snivelling appeasers. Take off your hats to the brave.
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