The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 23, 1939


Site Ed. Note: The Nazi's precise problem of accessing Brazilian ports, requiring navigation through the Panama Canal or around Cape Horn while evading the British blockade to German shipping, as alluded to by Cash in "Foxes Come Out", would eventually be circumnavigated by the process of using Japanese marus to take oil from the west coast of Mexico to Vladivostok and from there using the Trans-Siberian railway to ship oil and supplies to central Europe. Mexico, as Cash's later editorials point out, was not the only culprit. California oilfields also supplied Japanese tankers, and hence the German war machine as well, right up through the spring of 1941. For a follow-up editorial on the eventual sinking of the Cap Norte, read "They Got Her".

Substitute a few names and "Counter-Terror" might have been written in the fall of 2001. That the Nazis preyed on youth and the tendency of that youth to be the first to emotively enlist to nationalistic or religious fervor drummed up via the oldest and most outworn of devices, the Big Lie, was sadly not new in 1939, nor is it even now an old wrinkle-worn visage properly sent to its grave by the ravages of the last century's impatient and incessant warfare. It still persists as a time-honored practice of the self-anointed User. And it appears that the User will always have a ready supply of youthful cannon fodder at its insatiable disposal, merely for the asking. To march, to carry arms, to die in a blood-spattered feat of glorious indignation over some perceived wrong someone did somewhere to someone they know, they must know them, don't they?--as told to them plaintively, charmingly, and softly, as out of a story book romance, and without any hint of dissembling, by User No. 1--who hides in his bunker--always, underground, where he feels comfortable with the other vipers.

So is it really fair to blame the youthful dupe who has yet to learn the hedge against the viper?--which is, very simply, to hiss back.

Foxes Come Out

And The Hounds Of The Sea Bay And Take Up The Trail

One difficulty in cold-shouldering war is the vast excitement of the darned thing.

A dispatch came up Friday from Pernambuco, Brazil, that three German ships, among them the fast liner Cap Norte, had sailed from that port bound it was thought, for Vladivostok, with large cargoes of petroleum and foodstuffs.

For the benefit of those who haven't a world map before them, Vladivostok is Russia's Far Eastern port lying on the Sea of Japan. And Pernambuco is halfway down South America's eastern coast, so that the shortest and safest route for the ships to take is northwest. Yes, quite so.

And if they take that route, they will either have to go through the Panama Canal or around the Horn.

In either case, they will have to sail for days through waters in which British cruisers are known to be operating. For a certainty, these swift patrols have been notified that the prey has broken cover.

And undoubtedly the excitement of anticipation aboard the cruisers is matched by the excitement of apprehension aboard the three German ships. Lookouts will need no exhortations to be vigilant. Young crews will sleep by their guns. The cruisers' planes, if they are carried, will range above for sight of a hull or a wisp of smoke.

The war game in its most thrilling, least sordid phase--the beating of the ocean's cover and the chase--is on. And how every one of us would love to be spectator to it.

Allied Problem

Stopping Mussolini Is The Next Step They Face

The diplomatic struggle the Allies will face for the next few weeks promises to be far more important than any action on the military front.

Italy is reported to have seized the leadership of the Balkans. That is a little hard to believe, in view of the great distress with which Greece and Yugoslavia have very rightly regarded Mussolini's ambitions. And even more difficult is it to believe that Turkey is at one and the same time playing along with Soviet Russia and Il Duce. For it has been almost axiomatic that she would fight on the opposite side from Italy, whatever course the latter took. But after the astounding bedfellows this war has already made, nothing is beyond belief.

What probably explains it, if it is true, is the ardent desire of these little nations somehow to remain neutral, and if possible to get the war stopped before they are run over by the Nazi-Red juggernaut. As for Mussolini, what he probably hopes is to face England and France with a "peace" proposal in behalf of Germany, under which he would get from France what he is demanding. The Polish conquest would be recognized as an accomplished fact.

He would present this proposal under the tacit threat of himself joining the war and having Russia join it openly--of taking the whole Balkan strength and that of Turkey with him--in the expectation of thus forcing them to capitulate.

Such a surrender would mean the end of the two democracies as world powers. And so the best guess is that they will refuse, whatever the prospect. If that is so, then their diplomatic problem is somehow to convince Mussolini that they mean it, to drive home to him that if he enters the war on Germany's side, they will certainly proceed immediately to wreck his country. To persuade him at least into genuine neutrality, and Turkey with him.


The War Of Nerves Has Begun On This Side

The German propaganda guns have been concentrated on the United States in an effort to stop the repeal of the arms embargo. And as the debate in Congress goes on we may expect to be subjected to a war of nerves on our own account, conducted both from without and by the Nazis and their fellow-travelers within.

The main Nazi line takes three forms: (1) that Germany is irresistible anyhow, and if we know what is good for us we won't offend her; (2) that this is a plot of American capitalists, particularly Jews, to fatten their own purses at the risk of the price of the lives of millions of American soldiers, and that England is doomed, and that if we just sit quiet and don't offend the Nazis we can count on grabbing off the leadership of the Anglo-Saxon world and playing banker to the destined new Nazi empire.

The first is addressed to our fears; the second to widespread prejudices against the rich and Jews; the third at once to our fear and our national vanity.

Lindbergh, wittingly or unwittingly, gave support to the first proposition in his radio address last week. Benito Mussolini in his article in Il Popolo, eagerly lent himself to the same purpose when he warned darkly that unless the Allies surrender out of hand there may quickly be conversations, like those now taking place on the Vistula, on the Seine and the Thames, and that Chamberlain and Daldier may be in flight just like Benes and Jozef Beck.

The Coughlin literature distributed in Charlotte this week (and mailed in the Charlotte post office) lends itself to the second. So do the contentions of Senators Nye, Hiram Johnson, Lundeen, and many others.

And as for the third, it is exactly calculated to appeal to the kind of 4,000 per cent suckers who make up such orders as the Vindicators, and rally them to its support.


Rumania Demonstrates She Is Not To Be Frightened

The grim business in Rumania yesterday, the cold and methodical business of selecting three or more Nazis from every district in the land, putting them before firing squads and leaving their bodies to lie in the streets as a warning, has had few parallels since Cromwell recorded in his diary: "Of the Irish I shot every tenth man."

And in some respects the tale is a pathetic one. The slayers of Premiere Calinescu who were marched to the spot of their crime and executed were mere college boys, and there was "terror shining in their eyes" as they were led to doom.

It is one of the great crimes of Nazism that it makes youth its appointed victim--youth which has no adequate yardstick by which to judge ideas and which is easily stampeded by emotion and what is offered to it as heroic. One pities the little Nazis.

Nonetheless, the German Nazis will have no justification for the great uproar which they will now undoubtedly raise about "Rumanian atrocities." The seven youths were guilty at once of murder and treason. And, though some of the Iron Guardists executed yesterday may have had nothing immediately to do with the plot to assassinate Calinescu, all of them were guilty of treason--all of them had been plotting to hand their country over to the German octopus. And men in all places and times have judged that the traitor merits death.

The evidence is quite plain. Rumania is Adolf Hitler's next appointed victim, for he desperately needs the oil of that land. They say he has no more than two or three months' supply left, and what he has gained in Poland and what Russia can supply him is not nearly enough.

But he has been hoping to take the country without a fight, to terrorize it into yielding him what he wants and submitting to having its affairs directed by Nazis. And until yesterday he had good ground to believe that he was succeeding. Few people will question that the assassination of Calinescu was engineered from Berlin, that it was supposed to be the signal for a general Nazi revolution in the land, and that it was thought the Rumanian Government was so terrified they would take it lying down.

Carol's energetic action yesterday, however, has changed all that. It amply demonstrates that Rumania is not terrified--that so far from being terrified, she is the first of the eastern nations which has dared to feed the Nazis out of their own spoon, and meet terror with terror.

Lord Hitler is going to have to change his plans. And he will not like that. To attack Rumania by a direct force means that he must establish the Eastern Front all over again, just when his forces are desperately needed on the Western Front. And since Rumania is a mountainous country, she may give him more trouble than Poland. Indeed, he may never take her at all. For the British can get aid to her directly, unless the Turks close the Black Sea, which is something they probably won't dare.

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