The Charlotte News
Friday, May 17, 1940
We Shall Have to Sweat If We Hope to Beat It
"Double that number, and then just for luck double that again." Such is said to have been old Lloyd George's order to the English War Office when he finally forced it to consent to the wholesale use of machine-guns and turned in what it considered to be a fully adequate estimate of the number that would be required.
It would be advice in the case of the President's request for planes yesterday--if it were possible. But in point of fact, we shall have to move heaven and earth if we are able to build even 50,000 planes and train pilots for them within any period which has any relationship to protecting ourselves against the rising Nazi threat. A year is the absolute minimum which can even be thought of.
We have dallied and slept and talked complacently of "alien wars" too long and dangerously--perhaps even until it is already too late. The President himself is more than a little to blame, for he has never had the nerve to fight openly and completely for what he saw clearly enough long ago, what most men saw who had taken the trouble to examine Hitlerism closely.
But that is past and the question of whether or not it is too late is now on the lap of the gods. All we can do is to bend every resource at the national command to attempting to see that it is not too late--and believe that somehow in the end the devil shall not prevail.
The President's speech was plainly designed deliberately to shock us awake. But in the ultimate analysis, he did not in anywise exaggerate the danger we face. The battle is drawn between Western civilization and a barbarism worse than any Attila or Tamerlane ever knew, and the fight is to the finish.
Mr. Hitler, It Appears, Is Simply A Roosevelt Bogey
The isolationists and Republicans in the Senate seem determined to prove that Adolf Hitler and Machiavelli are right when they argue that parliaments are incapable of unity in times of peril.
Wednesday Bennet Champ Clark, who has distinguished himself the last eight months by continually asserting that there is no danger to the Republic, roared to the Senate against the proposed new expenditures for defense, demanded an investigation of the seven billions which he said the present Administration has already expended on armaments--neglecting to say that a great part of what he was talking about has obviously gone to maintain the present establishment rather than expand it. Clark, who inherits his father's hatred for Woodrow Wilson, is as thoroughgoing an isolationist as the country affords, has always maintained that all we need to do to stay out of war is just to forget about it.
But Robert Taft hasn't even the excuse of being a notable isolationist--save in the last few months. The only real excuse he has is his pique over what he imagines the situation in Europe is doing to his chances of becoming President--which were never more than slight, anyhow. He informed the nation gravely that the whole concern about the situation in Europe and our own danger was simply a red herring invented for 1940 campaign purposes. Next thing we know Senator Taft will be telling us that Adolf Hitler is himself a pure invention, cooked up in the brain of Franklin Roosevelt long ago in preparation precisely for the wicked deed of keeping Robert Taft from being President.
Reynaud Suggests Bad News for the Traitors
The placing of Paris under military controls is the only rational action for France in any case. But it is more than probable, in view of Reynaud's cryptic reference to "revolutionary methods," that the move also heralds the start of his action against Fifth Columnists in the city--perhaps the wholesale execution of all known or suspected Communists and Nazis and their secret sympathizers.
If so, no one can blame the French Government. No gang of traitors has ever more deserved ruthless butchery. And it is high time that an example were made of them somewhere.
The northern industrial districts of Paris swarm with Communists. And the welfare sections swarm with old Cross of Fire men, who are Nazi sympathizers. It is more than probable indeed that a good many of these have penetrated into the Government itself. And it is certain that many of them have penetrated into the ranks of French Army officers, as the Communists have their cells throughout the ranks of the common soldiers.
What has happened elsewhere suggest the mysterious weapon which Adolf Hitler mentioned eight months ago was precisely his unimaginably well-organized corps of Nazis and Reds setting the stage for his kill in each one of his appointed victims.
Elsewhere than in Paris these Fifth Columnists are numerous, too. Particularly in the industrial cities of Northern and Central France.
The wholesale destruction of the entire body of them would be a staggering act. But the only possible answer to vermin who propose to sell you into slavery to the worst barbarian to appear in history seems to be the sword.
Which Has No Facts To Lend It Rationality
Every time we make up our minds to lay off General Ironpants Johnson and let him have his isolationist say without argument, he comes along with such a whopper, that all our resolutions break down at once.
Take his column on the President's remarks concerning Hitlerism and Holland and Belgium and its lessons for us, for instance. And particularly this:
"An airplane can go from Africa to South America in a few hours. But an army can't. It can't go at all if our Navy and air force are efficient and afloat and not chasing bogeymen in the East Pacific."
Hasn't Ironpants been keeping up with returns from Norway and Holland and Belgium and France? Armies, we seem to recall having heard, are being transported by airplane these days. The kind of armies necessary for the swift seizing of vital bases.
As for the "bogeyman in the East Pacific," he of course is referring to Japan's threat to grab the Dutch East Indies. Does Ironpants think the Japanese are merely talking? Or does he think it doesn't matter if our supplies of rubber and tin are controlled by the Japanese? And while the Navy and air force were busy keeping off the foe from Africa, precisely what would be keeping off the foe from the Pacific? Given one foe, we shall certainly have the other, as anybody who observed what is going on in the world should be able to see--unless, of course, he is determined to prove the President wrong always and everywhere.
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