The Charlotte News
Thursday, July 18, 1940
Site Ed. Note: A day in the life.
How many "defensive" holes in 2001 and where will they dig them? They never could see any other way. WWI again? A revolver in our life?--perhaps. Or a laser's reflection in black-gold water?
A 23-year old John Kennedy inquired in his October, 1940-published Why England Slept: Would the United States risk a war over the Dutch East Indies? Ah, a question which has haunted since the beginning…
Tea and Sympathy.
The Japanese warlords did not assume complaisance. To Mamala first they would proceed--but not yet. We get ahead of ourselves.
And once, yes, there was--and maybe still is--something to which we could properly just say "no".
Roosevelt Plank Outdoes Republican in Isolation
As dishonest as the President's maneuvering for a "draft" by the Democratic Party is the "mind our own business" foreign policy plank which has been agreed on for the platform.
It promises to keep our "armed forces out of Europe's wars" and dismisses aid to Britain with "sympathy."
But Mr. Roosevelt plainly does not believe the war on England by the Nazi horde is "Europe's war." Nor does anybody who is conversant with the facts and who is not blinded by wish-thinking, sentimentality, or anti-British prejudice.
If England falls, her navy falls with her. Lord Lothian, the British Ambassador, has explicitly pointed that out. And it is only common sense. If the war is fought out to the bitter end, Hitler will succeed only after he has destroyed the British Navy. For so long as it exists, his supply lines to Britain can never be safe enough to insure him victory. And if Britain decides to give up short of the bitter-end, then her navy and that of the French will be her best bargaining card to get acceptable terms from Hitler.
In either case, the command of the Atlantic will be lost. We have never had command of the Atlantic, far from the day when we began to have the navy of any considerable size our naval strength has been mainly concentrated in the Pacific. Britain commanded the Atlantic. But that gave us no concern, for we knew there was no possibility of attack from her, that on the contrary it was absolutely to her interest to use that navy to protect us in that sea.
If Adolf Hitler gets the British and French navies, or any considerable part of them, he will be absolute master of the Atlantic. If the navies are destroyed, he will promptly become master of the Atlantic, unless we abandon the Pacific, including Hawaii, to Japan and leave our own West Coast and that of all America unprotected.
President Roosevelt shows the fullest understanding of this problem. It is precisely on that basis that he has formed the policy he has pursued. It is precisely because of his understanding of the case that he has deserved the confidence of the American people in foreign affairs.
The plank in the platform represents a complete about-face. It is designed to lull the people into believing that isolationism is a feasible and sensible policy. And that is cruelly to mislead them.
Mr. Roosevelt has the excuse here, as elsewhere, that it is good practical politics. Undoubtedly the population of the country has swung back from the alarm it felt a few weeks ago to the complacent feeling that all will be well if only we proceed to get ready for "continental defense." And it might well be that if he clung to his position and sought to drive home what our true position is, it would spell his certain defeat at the polls. But Mr. Roosevelt has offered himself to the nation as a statesman, not a politician.
Apparently Japan Can Now Write Off U. S. Navy
It is not only with regard to the Atlantic that the pledge not to send "Armed Forces of the United States to fight outside the Americas save in case of attack" is to be considered. With regard to Japan, a worse time for such a pledge could not have been picked.
The elevation of Fumimaro Konoye, the Hitler-apeing brass hat, to the Premiership is openly hailed in Tokyo as heralding a far stronger Japanese policy toward the Dutch East Indies and the British and French East Indian and continental Asiatic possessions. That is to say, Japan's obviously getting ready to grab all these plums if she thinks she dares.
The reason she hasn't dared so far is simple and manifest: it is the fact that the American navy was lying off Pearl Harbor ready to steam on a few hours' notice. But navies are armed forces and the American party in power has now given notice that it will not use armed forces outside this hemisphere save in case of attack. Will a Japanese attempt to seize complete hegemony in the South Seas be interpreted as attack? Reasonably it can and probably ought to be. It will directly menace the Philippines. And far more important, the rise of a great Japanese empire, with a fourth of the world's population reduced to the status of slave labor for the production of cheap Japanese goods, represents the gravest sort of attack on our economic and political interests and power.
But such an interpretation is certainly not what the isolationists, for whose benefit the Democratic plank was written, have in mind. And if such an interpretation were undertaken by Mr. Roosevelt, they would certainly raise the roof. That might be disastrous to him in a political campaign.
It looks very much as though the Democratic Party has given Japan the green light.
One Man Alone Stands Up for French Freedom
In the French Senate of 226 which voted the death of the French Republic and the reduction of France to the status of a puppet of Nazi Germany, there was a man who remembered France and his own manhood. With 225 of his fellow members voting an humble "yes" to Adolf Hitler, the Marquis de Chambrun voted "no!"
The Marquis de Chambrun probably condemned himself to death. For Adolf Hitler is incapable of respecting a man brave enough to defy him and invariably wreaks upon him the full force of his gutter rage. But the Marquis proved his right to wear a title in the country which has been republican, for he displayed the only true aristocracy--that of the spirit.
It was no accident. For the Marquis de Chambrun is the descendant of the Marquis de Lafayette, whose sword served the cause of freedom in both the American and French revolutions.
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.