The Charlotte News

Friday, September 8, 1939


Site Ed. Note: In "First Quarter", Cash spells out a dig-in strategy, to be aided by nature, for the Polish which, while not successful in Poland, would in fact work perfectly to despoil the sure-footed advance of the Nazi machine into Russia by October, 1941, three months after Cash's death.

Martin Dies, Congressman from Texas, mentioned in "Disconcerting", was Chairman of the early incarnation of the House Un-American Activities Committee, (HUAC), the work of which would later, in the early 1950's, extend itself to the Senate to engorge the political avarice of, (and eventually in 1954, turn to eat alive), one Joseph R. McCarthy, Senator from Wisconsin. It was during the so-called Army Hearings, to determine whether McCarthy had sought special Army treatment for one Private Shine, a consultant to McCarthy's subcommittee, after McCarthy had made spurious claims that the Army and Defense Department were loaded with Communist spies and had concealed the fact, that the infamous charge was indecently brought up by McCarthy in front of national television cameras that a lead counsel's young associate attorney, who had no direct role in the hearings, had been briefly a member of that notoriously "Commu-nist" organization, the Lawyer's Guild. Such were pinkroot days of old. Witch hunts and labeling of those with whom one disagrees as being complicit with Thisism or Thatism be not wise. For it is usually the Accuser who winds up the only Witch in Wormwood.

*Pastoral Half

Mecklenburg Divided Into Two Inter-Dependent Parts

This Jubilee Meeting of Mecklenburg farmers and their friends sponsored by the agricultural committee of the Chamber of Commerce and with County Farm Agent Oscar Phillips as master of ceremonies, slipped up on our blind side. By the time these lines are in print, the crowds will be on their way to Matheson Lake where the affair is to be held and the speakers will be rehearsing their lines one last time, all without benefit of our editorial blessing.

But we'll say it anyhow--this is a fine thing the Chamber of Commerce is doing. This city has not yet become so metropolitan in style that it needs to forget its raising, which was countryfied. Oh, definitely. If you don't believe it, consult some of the elder residents who remember when Myers Park was the Myerses' farm and when green fields began where East Trade Street gave up at McDowell.

Remarkable growth in Charlotte--and it is still growing--has not been without its remarkable development in Mecklenburg County agriculture. The two, it might be said, are inter-dependent, but we have a feeling that the rural regions have lagged behind, at least a little, in capitalizing upon the opportunities this market affords. The country people may feel, too, that we in the city may have changed our ways and lost touch with old-time friends.

And so everything that serves to bring the two interests and the two populations together is a fine thing. And ought never to become a rare thing.


ACLU Upsets The Claims Of The Red-Baiters

An organization which the professional Red-baiters have continually denounced as "Communist" is the American Civil Liberties Union. Martin Dies last year used his committee in a determined effort to smear it as red, though without much success. And Mrs. Lizzie Dowling and her sort regularly speak of it as an agency of Stalin's.

In fact, of course, it has never been Red. The only basis for the charge has resided in two considerations: (1) that its executive committee is filled with the names of men who stand more or less far left of Mr. Herbert Hoover, and (2) that it has often defended the rights of Reds to free speech, free assembly, etc.--a natural enough thing in view of the fact that it is precisely the Reds who are most likely to have such rights denied them.

And now--now the Civil Liberties Union has come to the defense of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation against the Monopoly Investigation Committee, declaring:

The political and social or economic views of persons or corporations are matters which should be of no concern to the Government.

And accordingly, that an inquiry into what the officials of this corporation think of New Deal policies is a gross attack on their rights.

That ought to settle the Red-baiters--would if it weren't for the fact that, like the Reds themselves, they ignore the evidence when it runs counter to what they want to believe.

First Quarter

The Early Touchdown Doesn't Guarantee A Sure Victory

The jubilation in Berlin is perhaps a little premature. Warsaw hasn't fallen yet and its defense may well last for a considerable time. The Spanish Insurgent armies, with odds almost as completely in their favor as those which now exhilarate the Germans, swept easily through the opposition until they got to Madrid. But there they became a complete cropper.

The Germans, certainly, are sure to take Warsaw, but every hour of delay favors the Poles. And because they know that, and because of sentimental reasons, the latter will probably hold out before the city as long as they can.

What is to be observed, also, is that the Germans are still far from having cleaned up Poland west of Warsaw. In the advanced on Lodz, they have made little real progress. And from Cracow they are winning ground slowly. The surrender of the Westerplatte, after one of the most gallant defenses in history--a defense so determined as to win the admiration even of the completely unchivalrous Nazis--means nothing save the collapse of the symbol of Poland's will to resistance.

Moreover, once Warsaw is taken and western Poland is cleaned up, the conquest of Poland will be far from complete. All along the Poles have planned to retire behind the Vistula and the Bug for their real defense. Germany will hold a fourth of Poland, to be sure, and a major portion of Poland's industrial establishments. But the great triangle in which the Polish munitions plants are mainly located will still be in the hands of the Polish forces. And to take that and the remaining three-quarters of the land, the Germans will have to cut their way through the steep mountain passes on the eastern end of the Slovak border, and cross the Vistula and the Bug. And crossing the Vistula and the Bug is unlikely to be an easy task.

The country is always extremely marshy. And if the Poles can hold out for about three or four more weeks, heaven will come to their rescue. For in October the Autumn rains begin and keep up for months, turning the whole land into a vast morass. If Poland can hold until then, the Germans will be deprived of their mechanized forces, and will be compelled to resort to the use of cavalry as the front of their attack, a game at which the Poles may well have the advantage. In a very short time after the appearance of the rains, the terrible Polish Winter will make it imperative for the Germans to suspend operations and dig in.

There are two dangers. One which gives no signs of appearing so far, is that the morale of the Poles may collapse. The other is that the Germans may succeed in trapping and destroying the Polish armies. Clausewitz, the great German tactician of the early nineteenth century, to whom all German generals have since gone to school, insisted that the first axiom of the soldier must be to destroy the armies of the enemy. Until that was done, he said, it was foolish to talk of victory, however much territory you had won. And the Polish armies are today, of course, almost entirely intact.

It is not desirable to indulge in wish-thinking, surely. It is not beyond the range of possibility that the Germans may actually finish the conquest of Poland within the next three or four weeks. On the other hand, if they don't, then it is not probable that they can set themselves to the completion of the task until late next Spring. And by that time the Allies should be making it hot enough on the Western Front to compel the Germans to direct the main part of their attention elsewhere than to Poland.

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