The Charlotte News
Thursday, October 5, 1939
Site ed. Note: "If Hitler Quit" might provide us with some insight into an entrenched problem in another country today in 2003 and what systemic cultural urges cause such a leader to come to power in the first place. It is rarely, if ever, one man. Add to megalomaniacal mass brainwashing, present in force in the former example, closely held religious beliefs, to the mix of impelling forces, as in the latter, and the equation renders a foot soldier with plentiful raison d'être, or, better stated, grund zum tod.
Whether through wishful thinking or genuine hope, "Surrender?" has Cash giving British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain some tepid favor for one of the few times in print. Ordinarily, he was "Mr. Bumble."
If Hitler Quit
It Would Make Little Real Difference In Set-Up
The resignation of Hitler--which rumor persists in having as a possibility--would serve no purpose unless England and France are looking for a face-saving device to enable them to surrender without too much ignominy.
It is Hitlerism, not Hitler, which the two nations have asserted all along that they were out to destroy--that they would destroy before ever they made peace. And Hitlerism is equivalent to Nazism. Goering, Goebbels, Himmler--all these are as much a part of the thing as Hitler himself. Really to destroy it, indeed, it would be necessary to root out the little Black Shirts and the little district leaders, and somehow to disband the Brown Shirts.
It is no easy prospect, and one could not too much blame the English and French if they began to doubt that they can do it. About the only way it can ever be accomplished, in fact, is for the Germans themselves to do it, and there is no indication that they presently have any thought of any such thing.
In any case, however, the resignation of Hitler would have little effect. In all likelihood, it would not even destroy Hitler. He would simply continue to pull the wires from behind the scenes. And removed from the dangers of active politics, he would grow more and more solidly established as the German folk-hero. Indeed, his resignation might be the certain way to make sure that the Nazi ideology would continue to live and prosper.
Defensive Teams Don't Make Spectacular Games
A few days ago, Associate Press's Berlin man, Louis P. Lochner, was taken into the German lines in the Saar sector. The AP'S man, Henry C. Cassidy, thereupon was taken on a similar expedition by the French authorities in the Maginot lines, Saar sector. Mr. Cassidy described his exciting trip in yesterday's News.
What he saw served somewhat to contradict, yet to bear out, what Mr. Lochner had seen from the other side. Mr. Lochner reported the German engineers and labor battalions were walking openly inside of the French and that nothing ever happened to disturb them, the German factories were moving away stocks and machinery without ever being molested by French artillery or aircraft.
This seemed extremely queer, and still could stand further explanation. At the same time, Mr. Cassidy is an eye-witness authority for the statement that on his trip to the front both French and German shells were screaming overhead. The war on the Western Frontthus far, he said, is--
"... a cautious sparring match with the French doing the leading. There have been no big battles. The troops are not even in trenches. They are skirmishing in forests and raiding villages like the old American Indian fighters.
"But despite the mildness of the action as compared with the giant gigantic battles of the World War, it is a serious business."
Mr. Lochner had intimated that it wasn't. Perhaps he failed to take into consideration that two good defensive teams can actually put up a tremendous fight without seeming to get anywhere.
It Isn't Likely That Mr. Chamberlain Will Yield
Is Mr. Chamberlain ready for "appeasement" again?
There is a widespread suspicion that he is, but that suspicion seems to us to be more the result of Mr. Hitler's machinations and his efforts to stampede the peoples of the nations into a resistless demand for "peace" than of anything apparent in what Chamberlain or his associates have said or done.
It is true that in his speech to Parliament, Chamberlain left the door open for a real peace, but he said also that no such peace can be made on the basis of the mere promises of Hitler. And of course the mere promises of Hitler--or some other member of the Nazi gang--contain the only prospect in sight. So that the Chamberlain pronouncement really came to a reiteration of his former declarations that no peace can or will be made until the Nazi regime is destroyed and Germany returns to its senses.
Moreover, the London Times said yesterday that the "irreducible minimum" for peace is the restoration of the independence of Poland. It is a safe guess that the Times, which is very close to the Government, did not say that without knowing that it represented the views of Chamberlain & Co.
Again there is the fact that Italy announces that she will not attempt to play the role of peacemaker--one that she would be delighted to grab off if she thought it had a prospect of success.
And finally, the supposition that Chamberlain is now ready to back down probably represents a complete misreading of his character. He is an enormously stubborn man, and in the days before and after Munich he pursued his course without regard for what anybody had to say about it. But that the grabbing of Czechoslovakia worked a revolution in his mind seems clear, despite the fact that he began by hedging about it. And having once changed his opinion and purpose, it is likely to hold to implacability just as stubbornly as he once held to appeasement.
A Cat's Out
Last Thing Republicans Want Now Is Prosperity
It's hard to believe that all good little Republicans are genuine isolationists and opposed to the repeal of the arms embargo solely because they believe it would take us nearer to war. And yet, a straw vote on the question undoubtedly would show, except for dissenters like Democratic Senator Bennett Clark and Republican Senator Taft, a division largely along party lines.
It is easy enough, of course, for men with an axe to grind to believe what they want to believe, to rationalize their thinking along the lines of self-interest. And in all sincerity, too, since nobody can be absolutely sure what effect any present action is going to have on unpredictable future events.
Still, the vigor with which the Democrats (largely) extol the wisdom of repealing the arms embargo, and the vehemence of the Republicans (largely) in arguing to the contrary, cannot be entirely explained away as a happen-so. Something else is behind it, the nature of which Senator Vandenberg appeared to hint at in his address of Wednesday when he said:
"There are those who would mend our faltering economy--even the President's recent message plaintively touched the rim of this cash register suggestion--by reaching for war orders and war profits behind a shield of technical but highly transparent and fictitious neutrality."
In other words, with 1940 fast drawing on, the last thing Republicans want at this juncture is prosperity, real or artificial.
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