The Charlotte News
Saturday, October 5, 1940
Site Ed. Note: The mystery trip continues. Roll upů
On Bus Stations
Bus Depot Is Not Only One Which Could Stand Change
The Greyhound Company was probably right in arguing that the new bus station yesterday agreed on for Charlotte and authorized by the Utilities Commission, leaves a good deal to be desired and that in a few years it will not be adequate to the needs of the traveling public. All the same it is a relief to know that the controversy among the companies which threaten the building of any new union station has been settled in the city's favor.
The present station was long ago outgrown. It is far from prepossessing, and it has quite inadequate sanitary facilities. People who approach the city through it must invariably have begun with a bad impression of the town. This, at least, is to be remedied.
But it is not only the bus station which has given strangers coming into town a poor first impression of Charlotte. The railroad stations must do much the same thing. With the financial situation of the railroads what it is today and with war threatening, we suppose that the old project for an adequate union station is at present a dead horse--though someday it is plainly going to have to be revived.
But there are things the railroads can do. Some of them they have already done. Sanitary facilities have been greatly improved recently. But those imperatively needed sheds along the passenger platforms at the Southern never seem to get built. Passengers still encounter rain or mud in catching their trains here or in getting off them. The stranger arriving in town on wet day can scarcely have a good opinion of either Charlotte or the Southern Railway.
It Is Essence of Fascism, But Doesn't Fit Democracy
Raymond Clapper's observation in his column today, that watermelon-and-egg-throwing and democracy don't go together, deserves emphasis.
Most of the offenders against Mr. Willkie in the West appeared to have been mere boys, but not all of them were. And the disorder in a local theater when a portion of Mr. Willkie's acceptance speech was reproduced, shows plainly enough that the attitude is by no means confined to the West.
There is no reason to get unduly exercised about the matter at present, certainly. Hoodlum tactics are not new in American elections. And they will become really dangerous only if adopted generally. Nevertheless, the tendency is particularly unpleasant in these times.
The democratic method presupposes the settlement of all disputed questions by argument, kept as calm as possible, and by the ballot. When mob tactics are used to shut off one side of the argument from being heard, when missiles are resorted to, democracy goes out the window. For what is being used is simply the argument of physical force--which is precisely the argument which prevails in dictator lands.
It is the privilege of every American to dislike Mr. Willkie and his views, Mr. Roosevelt and his views, to voice that dislike, and to register it at the polls. But the tendency to want to shut up a candidate, to regard them as an enemy simply because he is running, is perilous. Criticism of the party and men in power, the offering to the people the choice between two courses--these are fundamentals of democracy. When they are gone, democracy will be gone.
Musso Resents Failure To Swallow Doctored Theories
It is a characteristic of the Nazi-Fascist mind that Mussolini's stooge newspaper was so inept as to pick national newspaper week to denounce the American people as the "most ignorant in the world."
The paper might as well have saved its breath. The American people are in fact the best informed in the world as to current events, whereas Signor Mussolini's people are forbidden any true information at all but instead are fed canned falsehoods cooked up by the Government.
But it seems to have been "the history of civilization" which the paper had particularly in mind. The American people, it thought, knew nothing about that.
They know very well, indeed, that at intervals barbarian hordes have appeared in the earth to overrun and destroy the civilized nations--barbarian hordes which held exactly the same racial notions as Nazis and Fascists, and which were out to set up slave empires.
But they do not conceive that the cause of humanity is necessarily advanced by destroying civilization and replacing it with barbarism in the hope that eventually a new civilization may come out of it. That is what Signor Mussolini means by ignorance.
Axis May Have Been Feinting To Hide Plan of Attack
Recently there has been a great deal of confident prognostications to the effect that Adolf Hitler and his Axis stooge are bogged down and unable to make up their minds what to do about it. The failure of Spain openly to join the Axis and make war on Britain has been interpreted as a great set-back to the totos. And the fact that the Italians have halted in the Egyptian desert without gaining anything in particular has been made ground for supposing a stalemate in the East.
It may all be so. But the wily record of Hitler certainly is reason for pause in accepting it. The whole thing smacks unpleasantly of that complacency into which the democracies fell last Winter.
And there is another and more probable contingency, which is adumbrated by the concentration of Italian (?) troops on the Greek border and the absolute silence of Turkey.
As usual, Adolf Hitler seems to have for this Winter two objectives, a minimum and a maximum.
The minimum objective seems to be to break through to Syria and Mesopotamia, seize the great oil wells there, insure himself an unlimited supply of fuel, force Britain to bring most of her oil across the Atlantic from America--a grim prospect for her.
The maximum objective would seem to include two items: (1) to get control of the two gateways to the Mediterranean and bottle up the British fleet there; and (2) either to mobilize the United States or to get into war with Japan, so as to make it impossible for it to interfere in the Mediterranean.
And, in view of this, it is quite reasonable to suspect that the attack on Egypt and the wily publicized "plan" for the assault on Gibraltar have been mere feints designed to hide a real intention of striking into the Near East by way of Greece and Turkey, employing the German armies and air fleet as well as Italian.
The latter route has many advantages, one of which is that the campaign will be properly a land one. Crossing the Dardanelles offers no greater problem than crossing a river. Given the possession of the Turkish forts along its shores, it would offer no problem at all.
For under those conditions, as the Gallipoli campaign in the last war showed, no imaginable concentration of naval power could seriously interfere. Thus the United States would be canceled out of it even if we chose to intervene immediately.
All would depend upon Turkey. If she decided to fight, than the British might have time to block the move. If she didn't, then a blitzkrieg would be highly feasible. The British have their main eastern forces concentrated in Egypt and Palestine, have only weak forces in Irak, the great oil reservoir. And Syria is in the hands of the so-called Vichy Government, Nazi stooges. The native armies there might easily be turned against the English if Turkey were successfully penetrated.
Another advantage of the route is that it would retire the theater of conflict from the West toward the East and so be likely to lull the United States, which gets alarmed only when the action breaks out at some Western outposts like Dakar--or Gibraltar. By fighting there the Axis might well hope to keep the United States inactive until the aim was accomplished. And once that were done, it could turn to the seizure of Gibraltar and Suez with a good deal more confidence. For it would then be able to strike both from both sides.
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