The Charlotte News
Wednesday, June 26, 1940
Herbert Hoover Fumbles
Waiting for Attack Is Idle Talk; Western Hemisphere Is Already Under Attack by Adolf Hitler's Chosen Method
The disgraceful exhibition of what Raymond Clapper calls "scavenger politics," which is now going on in Philadelphia, swept dangerously close to involving Herbert Hoover last night.
The speech he made was the speech of a politician, not a statesman. There was little candor in it, and it was much designed to the purpose of confusing and misleading the American people. In ordinary times and under the appalling standards we have got used to, that might be set down as simply the usual convention monkeyshines. But in times like this, it is to gamble with the destiny of the nation, on the ground that the election of a band of politicians is more important than anything else.
Mr. Hoover was candid enough to confess that "isolation" has now been shown for an absurd doctrine. But then he got busy on the same line that all the cheapest demagogues in Philadelphia are following--on the line that President Roosevelt is a warmonger plotting treacherously to take the United States into a war which is none of our business, on the line that "we must keep out of war."
It makes no sense to say that we must wait until the Western Hemisphere is attacked. Attacked with what? Adolf Hitler has no intention of attacking it with arms if he can get it otherwise. He prefers the method of operation from within. His plan for us he has himself outlined several times, especially to Hermann Rauschning. It follows the general pattern he has mapped in "Mein Kampf." It is:
1 -- To get control of Latin-America by "revolution" from within or by buying up existing Governments like that of Vargas, and so putting Nazis in power.
2 -- To lull the United States into acquiescence by playing up the greed of large numbers of its citizens and to its love of peace--by buying up our surpluses, and placing huge orders here, on condition that the Government lend him money to pay for it; and offering to freeze armaments at their present level.
3 -- To continue to build up the Fifth Column and carry on an always extending propaganda in the United States, until that propaganda and wide self-interest have prepared the United States to consent quietly to Nazi revolution at home--under cloak of legal methods if possible, by violence if necessary.
That is the plan, and under it the Western Hemisphere is already under attack. Indeed, the first step is now almost complete. Brazil is ready to become a Nazi satrapy the moment England falls. Uruguay is in imminent peril of being made one by revolution without waiting for the fate of England to be decided. So is Mexico. And in every one of the lands to the south of us the Nazi pot is busily boiling.
And indeed, the second step has already been prepared. Already the word is being put out that Mr. Hitler was to solve everything for us and himself, to make a beautiful peaceful world, by buying us out of the depression with money borrowed from our Government.
It is the most cynical affront to our intelligence and integrity ever offered us. Does anybody suppose that Adolf Hitler would keep his word and pay off these loans? He couldn't pay them, as a matter of fact, save by flooding this country with his manufactured goods made with slave labor--a scheme of making us prosperous which would shut every factory in the land! You may be sure that Adolf Hitler would not pay those loans, but that the people, every one of us, would pay them in taxes. A fine scheme that--we pay for what goes into the pockets of a few, while our products go to make our deadliest enemy strong for our eventual destruction.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who think they see something in it for themselves and who are already beginning to say that we should be sensible, forget sentimentality--i.e., our belief in everything decent we have ever professed--and grab this prize-package. Indeed, Washington Merry-Go-Round yesterday charged that Mr. Hoover himself is already proposing just that.
Herbert Hoover says we should learn from the other democracies. He himself seems incapable of it. For this business of waiting "until we are attacked" is precisely what has got every nation in Europe under the Nazi heel. The obvious fact is that every democratic nation in the world, every nation which has anything Adolf Hitler and his plundering gang wants, has been under attack from the day in 1933 when Von Hiddenberg sold out Western civilization and named this guttersnipe as Chancellor of the German Republic. The obvious fact is that the Western Hemisphere is already under attack by exactly the same methods that spelled the doom of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France.
Our business is to defend it. There is room for disagreement about the best way to do that. But there is no room for talk about "waiting until the hemisphere is attacked," none for false slogans about the President being a warmonger and the Republican Party being able to keep us out of war. And the attempt to set up that line is a cruel betrayal of the American people. Herbert Hoover bemeans himself when he condescends to have any part in it.
Moving of Ships Suggests We Will Yield East
The news that part of the fleet has left Hawaii, presumably bound for the Panama Canal and the Atlantic, coincides precisely with the news that Japan is closing on the French possessions in the East.
That it was to be expected as soon as we began to withdraw ships from the Pacific has been plain all along. Japan wants French Indo-China for itself. But she wants it far more as a leaping off point for the grabbing of the Dutch East Indies. If she takes the first, she will not be long about taking the second.
Apparently, therefore, Washington has decided to do no more at present than protest seizures in the East, despite the fact that Japan's taking of the Dutch East Indies will immediately place our rubber and tin supply at her mercy. Certainly, it would not be wise to be withdrawing ships from the Pacific if we have any intention of attempting to stop the seizures by force, using Singapore as a base.
The move serves to show just how serious the case of Nazi activities in Latin America is judged to be. For the ships are of course being drawn into the Atlantic with a view to that situation. If we abandon the Dutch East Indies to Japan, it will be because we are in no position to prevent their seizure and at the same time cope with the Latin-American case.
In that case, Washington probably hopes to continue to get rubber and tin through the Japanese, who need American materials and are not likely to allow any loyalty to the European Axis get in the way of their own interests. But if we can't, we shall have to insure our hold on Bolivian tin and before long turn to substitutes for rubber.
Strict Licensing System Will Help End Murder
The grand jury's recommendation that the Legislature enact laws controlling the sale of firearms in the state is a step in the right direction.
As matters stand now, a Tar Heel can buy a gun as easily as he can buy a pound of butter or a dozen eggs, despite some nominal restriction. So can all other Southerners. And that fact undoubtedly is one of the elements which go to explain the South's evil eminence in murder, with Charlotte leading the parade.
Apparently the connection is beginning to be noticed by the more thoughtful Southerners. In the past it has been impossible to get anything done because of the jealousy of the average citizen for the "right to bear arms." That tradition has been particularly strong in the South because for long the country was the most poorly policed section of the eastern United States. But the need to have arms for protection had disappeared in most parts of North Carolina, at least.
Nobody wants to make it impossible for people of legitimate business with firearms to get them--as farmers, sportsmen, etc. Nevertheless, if it is made a crime to possess any unlicensed gun and the penalty for violation is made stern enough it will obviously make the task of the police in controlling potential murderers a good deal easier.
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