The Charlotte News
Friday, May 31, 1940
They Will Not Bring About Any Miracles by Themselves
Nobody in his senses will object to the President's new demand for another billion dollars for arms. Indeed, one thing we need to understand is that another billion will hardly be more than a starter. Adolf Hitler is said to have spent the equivalent of a hundred billions on his war machine. And such programs as we have been talking about today sound like pop guns against cannon.
If we are going to have no more than seven hundred-odd tanks, we might as well have none.
Nevertheless, when that is said, it is also to be said that another billion just now will be entirely useless unless the President exhibits more vigor and determination about getting the industrial machine turned to the making of war machines than he has yet shown.
It is idle for us to try to kid ourselves that we can arm with the speed imperatively necessary if we are to head off disaster for Western civilization and, at the same time, rock along as usual. England and France are in their fearful predicament right now precisely because they attempted to do that during the first eight months of the war.
Yet the President himself has given encouragement to that notion. And he shows no sign of really clearing the deck for action by getting rid of aides and advisors who, whatever their merit in peacetime, are plainly unfitted to the task in hand--of replacing them with men equal to the job.
So long as that is true, an additional billion or twenty additional billions will do little or no good.
Little Ed Rivers Indulges In Some Cruel Heroics
The most disgusting thing the agitation over the Fifth Column has so far produced has not been the activities of subversive elements themselves but the way in which the cheapjack politicians have rushed to take advantage of the case in an attempt to represent themselves to the people as St. George before the Dragon.
We have before paid respects to the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds on the score. And now there is Little Ed Rivers, the Governor of Georgia who recently failed in an attempt to set up as a little Hitler on his own account.
There are few aliens in Georgia, as in North Carolina. But Little Ed hasn't let that balk him of such a splendid chance to play the great champion. On his own authority he has instructed the director of Georgia's coastal fisheries to cancel "all licenses or permits carrying the privilege of commercial fishing in the coastal waters of Georgia ... to other than citizens of the United States." It throws about 200 poor Greek and Portuguese fishermen out of a means of livelihood.
Greek and Portuguese fishermen in Georgia are about as unlikely candidates for Fifth Columnists as you could find. They are simple, hard-working people who have no interest in munitions plants--if Georgia had any--or anything else but their own little lives and the making of an honest living. Harrying them has no excuse save that it gratifies the sadistic instincts of professional patrioteers and inflates the ego of a strutting politico. Indeed, the total effect of the thing may well be to make Fifth Columnists out of people who would otherwise have been immune to it. Men who see their families turned out to starve without any legitimate reason are apt to turn bitter and desperate and become ripe subjects for scoundrels out to promote treason.
There are Fifth Columnists aplenty in this country all right. But the wholesale bludgeoning of innocents is the last way on earth to put them down.
British Decision Advises Hitler War Will Go On
Adolf Hitler's mouthpieces have continually insinuated that he expected England and France to capitulate once the battle of Flanders was on. But if he ever had any such notion--which is perhaps not very likely--, he plainly will have to abandon it now. The decision of the trapped British army not to surrender, whatever the cause, is notice that the war will go on. To retreat instead of surrendering served the purposes of saving at least part of the flower of the British army for future service, of making the victory as costly in Nazi blood as possible, and of enabling saboteurs to destroy supplies and equipment and so keep them out of the hands of the Nazis. But above all, it saved the morale of the British and French people from the feeling of frustrate helplessness which is apt to follow the news of a surrender.
More, it is established that the British character is not decadent, as Mr. Hitler has been proclaiming, but as tough as ever. Men who can retire methodically in good order under the terrific beating these soldiers have been taking are not going to lose any war in one battle or half a dozen. And what makes the feat even more remarkable is that the men are not seasoned veterans, but new soldiers with no more than a year's training at best, many of them with no more than a few months.
There is sometimes more glory to the defeated than to the victor. In this case it is overwhelmingly so.
Hitler Hopes To Seduce France Into His Clutches
Adolf Hitler is apparently preparing to try to make a separate peace with France.
This man is at least as cunning as he is ferocious. And he much prefers the methods of the boa constrictor to those of the wolf and the wild boar, for the very good reason that it enables him to preserve his Nazis for further conquests instead of having them piled up in heaps in front of guns.
He has already been engaged in Holland and is preparing the ground for making France believe that it is not really very dreadful to fall into the Nazi coils--and incidentally in lulling the United States with the same idea. In that country, the customary murders, looting, and enslaving have been carefully eschewed for the moment and a determined effort is being made to present the Nazis as really the nicest fellows alive.
With the ground prepared by this, France--so the stories run--is to be approached with a proposal to leave her intact in Europe, to leave her intact abroad save for Tunisia and Corsica for Jackal Mussolini, on condition that she break her alliance with England and turn herself into a Fascist kingdom under the jackal Bourbon who wears the non-existing title of Count of Paris.
It is a scheme founded on the Machiavellian axiom, "Divide and Destroy." And it is cunningly contrived to destroy France far more effectively than could have ever been done by force, by obliterating her culture pattern from within.
Adolf Hitler actually hates France worse than any other country on earth. It was France which gave form to the Treaty of Versailles, and it is France which is the traditional enemy, France which every German barbarian has always been taught to hate from babyhood. In "Mein Kampf" Hitler foams at the mouth every time he mentions France, says flatly that the country has no right to exist, and must be destroyed.
What he is up to here is an attempt to get a free hand to deal with the British might which he fears will eventually throttle him, Battle of Flanders or no Battle of Flanders. His scheme for England, they say, is to transport the whole population from the island to the dominions, plant the land of Milton and Shakespeare with the Nazi swine.
There is nothing incredible about that, if you have taken the trouble to examine Hitler. The man is fantastic and beyond the belief of most Americans, especially if they haven't read the history of the twelve Caesars and later Roman Emperors. But he exists all right, as big as life, the most vicious intelligence to appear on the planet for at least seventeen centuries.
The French are better realists than Americans and so probably understand that when he has finished with England he will turn back to the pleasant task of strangling France to death by inches, with all the paraphernalia which his psychopathic imagination can suggest by way of adding to his sadistic joy.
Yet so cunning is the man's approach, so effective is his propaganda, that there is no guarantee that even the cool-eyed French will not fall into the trap.
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