The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 1, 1939


Break For Moseley

The Dies Committee Will Aid In Spreading His Poison

The Dies Committee was supposed to have been reorganized by Congress last Winter with a view to securing some dignity and objectivity for it. But its latest decision--to allow old General Van Horne Moseley to present the long-winded statement he has prepared--suggests very eloquently that the cure hasn't taken hold.

But even a Moseley is entitled to a hearing? Certainly. To defend himself against the charges actually brought--of anti-Semitic activities and a plot to establish an extra-legal Fascist army in this country. But that isn't what he intends at all, according to his own announcement. He means instead to take the offensive against the Jews--to allege the favorite Hitler notion that there is a plot of Jews, headed by the international bankers, to break down all national governments by promoting Communism--to allege that at this moment that they are planning a revolution in this country, and that the only way to head it off is to turn Fascist and make George Van Horne Moseley dictator.

Still--free speech entitles him to peddle even such poison nonsense as that? It does. But free speech certainly does not require a committee of Congress to become a sounding board for this stuff. Moseley by ordinary gets his utterances into the newspapers only when they border on high treason. But the moment he appears before that committee, what he has to say will universally become front page copy. And it is well known that a denial never catches up with the rumor. This country, like all others, swarms with sillypots who are incapable of reading anything accurately or critically--who are perfectly conditioned to believe just the sort of tripe he spouts--who once they see it flair in print, backed up by great authority of his rank as a major general and the army and by the presence of the committee in the background, will henceforth believe it as gospel, regardless of all refutations. The committee, if it had deliberately set out to promote anti-Semitism, couldn't have gone better about it.

Note To J. G.*

Suggesting The Wisdom Of Re-Examining The Police Situation

"Now comes Joe Garibaldi"--a good friend of ours--"and hereby makes protest against the attempts on the part of the City Council... to create the office of Commissioner of Police of the City of Charlotte and to appoint Mr. Keely Grice to fill said office..."

If it was an illegal action, why, of course that washes it up. But it stands to reason that when he first sounded off against the police commissionership, Mr. Garibaldi didn't at all know whether it was legal or not. He knew only, but very positively, that he didn't like it, and so he engaged first one lawyer and then two lawyers to hunt for illegality. That is, it was the scheme, not its possible illegality, which outraged the citizen.

And we are realistic enough to recognize that he speaks not only for himself but for a great number of the very best people, and we know that once a man has taken an exposed position, a mere editorial is unlikely to persuade him to abandon it. We spare ourselves that fruitless effort.

We should like to point out to Mr. Garibaldi, however, for what it is worth, that taking out after Mr. Grice in the obvious assumption that he is the instrument of the anti-Littlejohn faction on the Council, he may have badly misjudged his man. More than that, we should like to point out to Mr. Garibaldi the possibility, not altogether remote, that the appointment of Mr. Grice--concededly a political appointment--may turn out, if left undisturbed, to be the very thing to put the kibosh on politics in the Police Department. Chief Pittman's tenure still hangs by a thread, and we believe the thread would snap immediately upon the removal of Mr. Grice. Eh?

In short, we suggest to Mr. Garibaldi, in all friendliness, that he take stock of the situation as it is, not as he would have liked it to be; and if he doesn't find it to his surprise that all good men on the police force, and the efficiency of the whole Police Department as well, stand a better chance under Mr. Grice than they would stand without him, then one of us is off the track.

The Russian Game

It Isn't Certain But She Is Probably Using Her Position To Drive A Hard Bargain

About the motives of Red Russia it is impossible to do more than guess. It may be that behind her refusal of the British terms yesterday lies a purpose actually to make up to Hitler, as Molotoff deftly suggested by his references to new trade negotiations. Or it may be that she feels that the safest course for her is isolation. But as a matter of sheer logic, both suppositions seem nearly incredible. Stalin knows very well that two dictators cannot be co-equal; before his eyes is the example of Signor Mussolini who is now reduced to the status of a mere yes-man for Hitler. And while his megalomania may tell him that he can tower over Hitler in such a partnership, his shrewdness no doubt tells him better. As for isolation--Russia lies between enemies on both sides, Germany on the West and Japan on the East. And if Hitler can make sure of isolating her, he might yet reverse himself again and resume the Drang nach Osten--decide to combine with Japan and attack Russia from both quarters.

Altogether, therefore, the most likely assumption is that she is merely emphasizing the fact that she holds the whip hand, to the end of bringing England and France fully to her terms. Without her, the whole stop-Hitler movement is doomed to failure. England's only way to support Poland or Rumania is by naval blockade. France's only way is by attack from the western front against the strong if not really impregnable Siegfried Line. But the success of a blockade depends absolutely on the establishment of an eastern front strong enough to close in Hitler and to keep him from seizing the wheat resources of Poland and Rumania, plus the oil of the latter--absolutely necessary to his waging a war for any period of time. And it is not probable that the Polish army alone is equal to such a task.

Russia knows all this very well. And Molotoff is not without reason when he charges that no one can still be quite sure of what England and France intend, and that they have thought only of the states they have elected to guarantee. They have offered aid for Russia if she is directly attacked, it is true. But Russia naturally prefers to have a complete line of buffer states all along her western border. And England has so far refused to guarantee the Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia--which happen to be most important of all from the Russian viewpoint. Since the taking of Memel, Lithuania is already Hitler's prisoner. And from the Lithuanian border to the Russian border, the distance across Latvia is no more than a hundred miles, the distance to Moscow less than 500. Let Hitler complete the conquest of Lithuania, and Latvia is perfectly helpless before him--the way to Moscow over flat and easy country lies wide open.

Is a guarantee of these states all that Russia wants? Probably not. Molotoff's speech suggests that she wants also alliance against Japan--in short, a full counter-alliance against the anti-Comintern front. She has argument, too, saying that England and France are quite as much threatened in the East as herself. Perhaps she will not insist on full military alliance there, since--so far as it is known--Japan has refused to enter an alliance with Germany and Italy. And perhaps if she gets what she wants in Europe, she may not insist on any part of the Eastern agreement to the bitter end. But it is plain that she means to get everything she can out of her excellent horse-trading position.


A Long War*

However, The Seminoles Are Reasonable About It

It develops that the United States is presently at war. Nor is that a wisecrack directed at Mr. Roosevelt's foreign policy, but a sober fact. Technically at least, it is at war with the oldest enemy of the white man on this continent--the American Indian. Or rather with the toughest tribe of all of them, the Seminoles. If you read our "Earlier Days," you are aware that a hundred years ago the Government was having a tussle with these boys down in Florida. There was a scheme for removing them to the West. But some of them wouldn't go, took up arms--haven't gone yet and have never capitulated to the United States.

What is more, they don't mean to--as was revealed at their latest corn dance, when they took fifteen tribesmen to task for getting on WPA, lest that be taken as a token of surrender. However, they seem satisfied with having it that war exists. And so, if you've got the jack, you needn't hesitate over going down to Miami or Palm Beach next Winter; though those places are close to the Everglades where the Seminoles stay. They have their war, you keep your scalp. And nothing could be fairer than that.


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