The Charlotte News

Monday, January 6, 1936



Suiting the Words to the Deeds.

The war in Africa is rapidly getting to be like its big brother of 1914-1918. Some minor differences obtain between the recriminations of the World War and those of the current edition. The dear little French babies, impaled upon Hun bayonets, become Italian aviators, beheaded after capture. The rain of shells on Allied hospitals is duplicated by the bombing of a Swedish Red Cross unit. There is this difference, however. A large element of truth seems to obtain in the accusations and counter accusations which flow from the African front. Civilization is given lip service by the immediate willingness of the accused to deny the "falsehood" in whole or in part.

Such fact dodging in the name of Mars is politely known as "propaganda." In private life it would be embraced rightfully under the general heading of vicious lying. The military game, as it is played, consists of firing accusations at one's adversary with a greater speed than he is able to counter with denials; at the same time keeping one's own denials at least a couple of jumps ahead of the opponent's allegations. That, at least, is the theory of the thing.

Sometimes we wonder if the more effective plan would be to say, in effect: "Yes, you white livered so-and-so, I did it, and I'll do it again! This isn't drop-the-handkerchief! Come on and get what's coming to you."

International opinion, strange as it may seem, might react curiously to a few inelegant words out of the corner of the mouth.

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