The Charlotte News
Saturday, May 18, 1940
Site Ed. Note: To demonstrate the continuity of personalities in history over time, Richard Russell, long-time crusty Senator from Georgia, mentioned as a "weak fish" in "Foregone", was cajoled, nay, forced, against his wishes by Lyndon Johnson to serve on the Warren Commission in 1964. (Hear a tape of this November 29, 1963 conversation at C-Span.org.) Russell, interestingly, was one of a few members not entirely pleased with the process or the results of the Commission's inquiry, and openly said so.
As to Cash's predictions on Hitler's demands if he were to win France, as he shortly would do, he was mostly correct. What he failed to foresee was the weakness of the old men of France, led by Marshal Petain. Britain, however, would prove a different story and once again prove Cash as Zarathustra.
Peace by Capitulation in Europe Is Not Likely
Supposing that the Nazis do break through to their objectives?
What Hitler plans, of course, is to offer France a "generous and chivalrous peace." It is quite likely that he will demand no more at the moment than the Northern provinces, Alsace-Lorraine, French Africa, the surrender of the French Navy and the disarming of the French Army, and a French Government suitable to himself--which is to say a Nazi Government manned by his stooges. It may be indeed that he will be willing to settle for even less for the nonce in order to take France out of the war.
Then he proposes to confront England with the choice of negotiating a peace with him under which the Navy will be handed over, the British army disarmed, the choicest portions at least of the Empire given up to him, and a Nazi stooge government installed in London--or the destruction of every English city and town. Here again he may offer to settle for less; or he may choose to go ahead and destroy Britain utterly.
Will either France or Britain accept? It is not likely. France crawled once--in 1870--but she paid in sweat and blood and tears for fifty years, still flinches from the shame of it. Britain has not yielded to a foreign conqueror since William the Norman.
Moreover, the French capitulation of 1870 was made to a Germany which was in part civilized, which still knew how to honor its word, which gave more or less respect to the common tenets of Western culture, and which had no thought of attempting to take over the whole of the French people and French life. The present Germany is another thing. It is a nation which has deliberately turned itself back to barbarism and set up as the apostle of that barbarism to carry around the world as the new order of things.
The philosophy of this world revolutionary movement is quite simple: First, the German people are the chosen people, the only "culture-bearing" people, and it is their function in the world to be the Master Race. Second, it is the function of all inferior peoples to serve the glory of this master race, and inferior people, being by definition, any people which suffers itself to be overcome by the Master Race. Third, whatever serves to maintain the Master Race in its proper place, to hold the inferior peoples in subjection, is a virtue; whatever weakens that arrangement is a vice. Hence the cardinal Nazi virtues, you may read in "Mein Kampf," are brutal courage, cruelty, intolerance, contempt for their victims, the lie. The cardinal Nazi vices are mercy, kindness, tolerance, recognition of the rights of humanity, truth.
And that they mean every word of it has been demonstrated over and over again. Any treaty with the Nazi Government is not worth the paper on which it is written. Whatever the promises of the treaty, Adolf Hitler will observe none of them. And a people which signs any such treaty and disarms itself is simply letting itself in for what has happened to Czechoslovakia and Poland, systematic seizure of all property for the benefit of members of the Master Race, the systematic deportation of millions, the systematic murder of the conquered people's elected leaders, the systematic enslavement of the masses and their systematic reduction to a state of bestial ignorance. Any man who calls for yielding proposes to put himself in a position in which he will go to sleep each night with awareness that when he rises tomorrow he may be taken out and shot, merely by way of keeping discipline. That is the record of what Nazism is already doing in the lands which have yielded.
The choice before the English and French will be the choice of saving a few lives immediately at the cost of condemning their peoples to the status of work animals for what may be many generations to come. Once they are disarmed, they will be helpless before the Nazi war machine so long as it continues to exist. And the Nazis will carefully see to that, as the British and French know well. Hence, whatever comes, there is likely to be no peace in Europe by capitulation to Hitler. It is probably war to the finish, in which the Nazis will either destroy wholly or be destroyed.
This Committee Turns in What Was To Be Expected
The proposition that we ought to intervene in the war in Europe at present is obviously a dubious one, for the very good reason that the only way it will be possible for us to intervene for at least six months would be by naval action--something which would leave our Western flank quite exposed for the Japanese to grab the Dutch East Indies, our chief source for rubber and tin, both essential war materials of which we have only a few months' supply.
But the report of the Senate Naval Committee, referred to in Mr. Clapper's column for today, is certainly no evidence against the present Administration policy.
This report is a report of politicians, not the Navy itself. And the officers it quotes are a minority of the high-ranking officers of the establishment, does not include the command. Moreover, to understand the bias of these politicians, it is only necessary to look at the list of the fourteen men serving on it.
Five are militant isolationists who have fought the Administration foreign policy bitterly: Chairman Walsh, Rush Holt, Guy Gillette, Puddler Jim Davis, and Hiram Johnson himself. Four, including Johnson and Davis, are Republicans, and bitter haters of everything the Administration does. And of the Democrats, three are the most rabid anti-Roosevelt men in Congress: Millard Tydings, Harry Byrd, and Ellison D. (Cotton Ed) Smith.
That leaves five of whom only Richard Russell and Andrews (of Florida)--both weak fish--are strongly pro-Administration. None have fought for the Roosevelt foreign policy.
The Naval committee, in short, was made to order for an anti-Administration report.
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