Saturday, November 6, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 6, 1943

THREE EDITORIALS

Site Ed. Note: The front page reported that, 48 hours after a surprise offensive had been launched by the Red Army from their bridgehead base on the west bank of the Dneiper in the central Russian front, Kiev was evacuated by the Nazis, apparently to the southwest, and was recaptured by the Russians. Taking the strategic capital of the Ukraine, only 60 miles from the Polish border, opened the way to rid the western Ukraine of the Wehrmacht and to open the way to Russian liberation of Poland and the Balkans. Kiev had been held by the Germans since September 22, 1941, three months after the invasion of Russia.

In celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Soviet Revolution, Josef Stalin told his people that the Moscow conference had provided new solidarity between the Allies and that, while a true second front had not yet been initiated, "something like it" had transpired and, for now, that was satisfactory.

The tone was considerably milder than previous such speeches which had clamored for the Allies to open the long-awaited second front to relieve the Russian burden in fighting the Germans on Russian soil, a new front which the Russians hoped would draw between 50 and 60 German divisions out of Russia.

Stalin described 1943 as the turning point in the war, a year in which the Germans had been placed for the first time on the defensive.

In Italy, despite confronting a fresh German division, the Fifth Army took Venafro in the Upper Volturno Valley and crossed the Garigliano River. It was reported that five German divisions were facing the Fifth Army.

Don Whitehead, A. P. correspondent, relates in detail the struggle for the last 1,500 yards of terrain before Venafro, riddled with mines left by the Germans and costing the American doughboys large casualties. Venafro itself was captured only after house-to-house fighting.

An Austrian prisoner captured in the operation declared that his countryís people no longer had reason to resist the Allied effort as they had been informed of the Moscow agreement which had specifically declared that Austria would be liberated by the Allies and that the signatories did not recognize the Anschluss of March, 1938 as legitimate.

The Eighth Army, also facing fierce German resistance, advanced five miles up the Adriatic coast to take Vasto while another contingent took three towns 25 miles inland. The Eighth Army was reported to be battling against three German divisions.

Vasto opened the road to Pescara, back door to Rome. The British were now placed fifteen miles from the Sangro River where it was expected that the Nazis would attempt another stand.

The day before, the largest American bombing raid yet on Germany, estimated at 700 bombers and 300 fighter escorts, attacked, amid heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire, Muenster and Gelsenkirchen, the latter a principal manufacturing center for synthetic oil. The raid cost twelve American bombers and five fighters while in the process taking out 38 enemy fighters.

From the Pacific it was reported that 53 Japanese ships were on the move from Truk, headed to Rabaul, as spotted by American reconnaissance planes during the previous three days. The piece predicts that the imminent engagement promised to be the largest confrontation with Japanese naval might since the enemyís 22-ship convoy was annihilated in March in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea off New Guinea.

Hal Boyle reports on three "phonies" in the ranks of the American command, a general, a colonel, and a lieutenant. He does not identify any of the three by name.

The general was Lloyd Fredendall, relieved of his command in Tunisia in favor of George Patton on March 9, after the debacle of Kasserine Pass against the forces of Erwin Rommel in late February.

The colonel, "a 22-carat phony", had been involved in the fighting in Sicily. He was in a rear position, says Mr. Boyle, protected from artillery fire coming from a high hill, pouring down on an American battalion located on a low hill in front of the German position. After communication lines had been severed, a popular young captain raced to the colonel to relay the message that the battalionís forward artillery observation post had just been destroyed by a direct hit. Instead of merely ordering the captain back to his post, he made a grandiose speech which grated on the men who heard it, ordering the captain to return to his sure death because it was the way of war that he must return to his men. He was, says Mr. Boyle, grandstanding, not leading.

On the domestic front, the bituminous coal contract was finally approved by the War Labor Board after an agreement had been struck between the UMW and Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes. The new contract, seven months in dispute, allowed for a $1.50 per day increase in wages with an extra hour of work required each day. After the fortieth hour underground, the miners were to receive time and a half, which raised the effective increase in wages after a six-day work week to about $2 per day, the amount originally sought by Lewis and the UMW in the spring when the strike began. The increase brought the minerís average wages to about $57 per week.

On the editorial page, "Not Like This" chronicles the key events since March in the coal dispute, leading to the final agreement on the new contract. The editorial is barren of comment beyond its title and sub-heading indicating poor management of the crisis, one which had cost the nation an estimated 40 million tons of coal.

Among other things, Drew Pearson informs that the contract resolution for the miners provided a wage which made them the third highest paid wage-earners in the country, only behind auto workers and workers in transportation manufacturing, ships, locomotives, and airplanes.

"Nazi Reward" comments on a talk in North Carolina by native German Erika Mann, urging that direct force could and should be used against the Nazis after the war but not against the "right thinking" German people. The editorial agrees with her premise and suggests that Germany had through time often, as now, misunderstood its own philosophers, writers, and composers, who had spoken not of German supremacy but of human supremacy.

"Up, GOP!" finds the off-year elections with heavy Republican victories to be revealing of a negative attitude toward the Administration and the New Deal, that the American people, despite higher pay than ever before and dramatically improved turns in the war effort, were desirous of a change in direction.

OPA, high prices on essential goods, rationing, government bureaucracy generally, and the draft were all bones which the American people had to pick with FDR.

But, concludes the piece, no one on the scene could lead the people as FDR and so the results of the election were a far cry from a determination that the Presidentís power was finished.

Samuel Grafton provides high praise to FDR's political skills in arranging the proper climate which could enable the Moscow agreement. Sumner Welles had been allowed to "resign" as Undersecretary of State, to the dismay and considerable caviling of liberals, including, by his own admission, Mr. Grafton. Cordell Hull, historically anti-Russian, was sent in his stead to Moscow, along with the approval of all of the anti-Russian voices in the country. He returned with the accord.

Mr. Grafton finds this Roosevelt technique to be the reverse of President Wilsonís attempt to sell the country his Fourteen Points after World War I. Wilson had an idea and sought to get the country onboard with it; Roosevelt had an idea but let the country sell it back to him as the reluctant buyer.

In another observation in the aftermath of the conference, Mr. Grafton indicates that the biggest problem out of the agreement was that Europe was not well-defined as a result but stood as a vacuum over which the three powers would stand watch. But what were they going to watch?

Dorothy Thompson advocates that the Senate alter the Connally Resolution and instead pass a resolution approving the Moscow agreement. Doing so, she argues, would take off the table partisan political wrangling over international issues in the upcoming presidential election year and would preserve credit vis à vis foreign countries for the present Administration to act in foreign affairs pursuant to the agreements worked out at Moscow, especially with regard to the post-war agreements.

Those agreements were effectively agreements to agree, executory in nature, and not actual accords. But for the President to have authority to act pursuant to the language, then a sense of the Senate would need give its imprimatur to that authority. Otherwise, the Allies would be reluctant, pending the outcome of the election, to recognize such authority out of concern that a new administration might countermand the actions and agreements of the present one.

By adopting the Moscow agreements, the Senate would assure that the binding glue recognized in the agreements between the three powers would cohere into the future and not fall apart through political whimsy or become the object of partisan bickering in the ensuing year, sending the voters to the polls to vote on the future structure of the world rather than simply on who would govern the country for the ensuing four years.

The Reverend Herbert Spaugh counsels knowing thyself and thereby learning to know oneís strengths and limitations to better fit with the world about.

He recommends a poem from 1919 by Edgar Guest, simply titled "Myself". It goes:

I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I have done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking no one else will ever know
The kind of person I really am,
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

We also recommend this.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.