The Charlotte News
Sunday, February 9, 1941
It Deserves Applause From Both Sides of Fence
Jake Newell can probably count on a good deal more Republican support in these parts than he might command if he were a Republican leader in Nebraska or Kansas or Montana. Even so, his stand in support of the Lease-Lend Bill does him honor, and especially so in view of the fact that the man he originally backed for the Republican nomination last Summer was Thomas E. Dewey--who began by endorsing the President's general foreign policy and has ended as a bitter-end isolationist.
The clear fact is that we cannot afford to have two foreign policies in this country. And the Roosevelt Administration long ago committed us to aid-for-Britain, with the full backing of the clear majority of the people. That moment we became a party to the war and the definite enemy of Hitlerism. At the present it does not suit Hitler's purpose to treat us as a full belligerent. But if Britain falls he will have the excuse when he is ready--will certainly act upon it. It is therefore the simplest common sense to do our best to see that Britain wins this war as swiftly as possible. To do that, extraordinary grants of power to the President are manifestly necessary.
It is permissible still to differ greatly about the details of that grant, about limitations on it, etc., but it is not permissible to attempt to hamstring that policy in favor of one of isolationism and appeasement, as some Republicans, under the leadership of Ham Fish and Senator Nye--and let us not forget, also some Democrats like Burton Wheeler and Champ Clark--are still attempting to do, despite their half-hearted professions to the contrary.
That is what Mr. Newell clearly recognizes. And if he will have a good deal of backing from Republicans in these parts, he will also have cussing from some of them, despite his long record as a party stalwart. Moreover, it is certain to get him sour words from many of the men at the head of the national organization of the party.
Most Likely, It Is Just Another Hitler Feint
The alarms about Nazi invasion of Bulgaria and Greece in an attempt to take the heat off Italy and to seize the Dardanelles may possibly have truth back of them.
The British High Command has made it amply clear that it means to invade Germany in the end, and in Greece Britain already has a foothold on the Continent. Moreover, Hitler cannot have forgotten that it was on this backdoor front that the first decisive breach in the German-Austrian power was made in the last war.
Finally, if he could get control of the Dardanelles and passage through Turkey, he would be in position to force the British to abandon the African campaign in order to defend the vital oil supplies in Mesopotamia.
But probably the best guess is still that all this is a smoke-screen. The risks are great. The campaign must be fought in terrain unfitted for mechanized armies. And there is a good prospect that invasion of Bulgaria would bring Turkey into the fight. The Turks are terrible fighters and at their best in mountain territory.
The Germans themselves have explicitly confessed all along their recognition that they can fight no decisive campaign against Britain in any other way than by direct invasion and reduction of the British Isles themselves.
Indeed, if the Bulgarian campaign should be undertaken, it would be proof that Hitler was desperately short of oil--too desperately short to risk the invasion of Britain at present. That is about the only reason which would justify the risks in the case.
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