The Charlotte News
Saturday, October 12, 1940
Site Ed. Note: Hugh S. Johnson's column of this date, which Cash dismisses as bombast below in "Deep End", reads in part as follows: "What American interests are threatened [in Asia]? Principally some Standard Oil Properties and, so far as China is concerned, not $200,000,000 altogether--that plus an insignificant annual trade total. Our principal trade is with Japan. Such a war would cost us that and uncounted billions more, and get us nothing. Our flag is in the Philippines--with our promise to the Filipinos, made their request, to withdraw it. Our interests there are almost negligible. The argument of our dependence on Indo-China and Malaysia for rubber and tin is a light makeweight for war, recently greatly discounted or completely exploded.
"Why then are we being shoved by the President to the edge of war on the edge of an election, without the will of the people or Congress, and with no more reason than has been stated here, largely on the support of a few cocky professional admirals and fewer amateur military kibitzers and columnar strategists?
"It is hard to answer--'To insure Mr. Roosevelt's election by creating war hysteria.' Such tactics seem too cold-blooded, inhuman and despicable, but as the President, himself, is so fond of saying: 'Res ipsa loquitur'--the thing speaks for itself.
"Of course, other reasons are advanced. Our great naval strategist, Walter Lippman, calls what is going on the battle of oceans. Mr. Winston Churchill seems to assume a British-American naval alliance already in being. Several others of like mind say it is up to us to destroy the Japanese navy before it can grow further or receive aid from any other navy.
Ah, such perspicacity the General had.
Mr. Willkie Enters on a Very Heavy Commitment
Last night at Boston Wendell Willkie said that the next Administration--
"... must bear the awful responsibility of keeping us at peace. We can have peace, but we must know how to preserve it to begin with. We shall not undertake to fight anybody's wars: our boys shall stay out of European wars."
A moment after he said in another connection:
"May I say I do not live in a make-believe world?"
But it is far from certain. He says positively that we can have peace, if the President knows how. He makes it quite clear that he knows how. If he does, he owes it to the country to tell us the secret at once.
The sober fact is that we cannot have peace merely by willing it, and that nobody knows the secret of guaranteeing it. That depends on the dictators...
There is one way of getting peace, for a time at least. But there is no secret about it. Chamberlain knew it well. Its name is appeasement. Mr. Willkie, however, is squarely on record as promising that he will never resort to it.
And as for that remark about "anybody's wars" and keeping "our boys out of European wars," It is to say the least a little bewildering. For only last Tuesday Mr. Willkie explicitly said that the American people generally had no proper idea of the dreadful consequences to us if we let Britain fall, that we must prevent it at all costs. But if that is so, the war is not "Europe's war," It is plainly also ours. And suppose Britain cannot be saved short of the use of "our boys" in the navy, at least? or even in the army? What, then, would Mr. Willkie do?
Ironpants Gives Himself Up To Hate Whole-Heartedly
Ever so often we make an ironclad resolution to lay off our naval expert, Ironpants Johnson, trained for his job in the saddle, and let him have his say unobstructed. And then he comes along and writes a column as wrongheaded and downright obnoxious as the one which appears to our right today.
The only stake we have in the the East, says Ironpants, is the Standard Oil Company' stake. That is to say, the threat of the rise of a giant Japanese Empire, reducing half the people of the world to slavery for the production of goods so cheap we cannot hope to compete--all that just does not exist. And neither does the Axis plan to dictate to us, if it's victorious, by bringing pressure from both East and West, and to grab Latin America. And if it does exist we can meet it by a Maginot Line plan like that which got France--if, as Ironpants does not say, we have ten years to get ready in. If that is, the Axis goes silly.
But far worse, he clearly concludes that the President has invented this crisis out of thin air, plans to take us to war with Japan, purely to insure his own re-election in November. That is to say, the President of the United States is a murderous scoundrel and traitor, who deserves to hang.
Some people openly suspect that Ironpants is a secret Nazi-sympathizer. It isn't true. Merely, he is a rabid isolationist, a British-baiter, and a pretty disgruntled politician. But a man who is so unrestrained as to brand the President a scoundrel and a traitor has little kick coming if he gets branded a Nazi by other unrestrained people.
Two Blushing Prophets Turn Out To Have Their Points
Along away last Summer, our Washington Merry-Go-Round columnists indulged in a little prophecy. They indulged in some, for that matter, which didn't come off--as that England would take the count by Aug. 15. But it wasn't that we had in mind.
They said, among other things, that, come Fall, this country would be flooded with art works looted from the famous French galleries, the finest of the world, to be knocked down to collectors in this country with more money than scruples at any price at all--in order to get dollar credits in the United States for the Nazi Government.
Thursday the Associated Press reported that the British had removed from the American Export liner Excaliber, bound for New York, $500,000 worth of paintings by Cézanne, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Picasso and other celebrated modern painters whose works once chiefly adorned precisely those French museums. The pictures had been shipped from Lisbon in the name of one Manuel Fabiani, and had been valued at only $10,000--not enough to pay for one Cézanne or Renoir. The British intimated politely that the Senhor Fabiani did not exist save as a front for a Nazi mug.
The Blind Flies in the Face Of a Tenacious People
One of the things the German-American Bund leaders, indicted in New Jersey on charges of violating the "anti-hatred" statute of that state, are alleged to have said is:
"This country was founded on Irish muscle and German brain... There are 30,000,000 of us in this country all, Aryans."
The Irish, we gather, are supposed to be complimented by this picture of themselves as willing work-horses for the great intellect of the Master Race. But somehow we suspect they aren't. And no doubt they will be astonished to hear that they are "Aryan," a language-group term which in the German use has been made equivalent to "Nordic race."
Shades of Cuchulainn and Deirdre, and all the Celtic banshees in the mounds of the old sod!
All sorts of people have gone to make this country. Irish laborers in large numbers did help to build the railroads of the North and West, manned many factories in the Nineteenth century. Germans, too, have played their part. But as for furnishing the major share of brains, one will look in vain for the evidence of it.
If one people is to have primary credit for having built this country, it is indubitably the Scotch-Irish, more even than the English. A combination of the Scotch with a Protestant breed of Northern Ireland. A dour people, a people often sadly lacking in a sense of beauty. But an iron people, with exactly the qualities which were required to tame a wilderness and make a great nation out of it.
Eight out of every ten Presidents have come from that stock, and the backbone of the industrial and commercial establishment grew from its mind and hand. They are tenacious in memory as in other things. And the Bund will find robbing them of their due credit pretty tough going.
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