The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 19, 1941


Site Ed. Note: This day's editorials, with the exception of the two below, as well as those already posted for the remainder of the month, were part of the original upload of the site in late 1998. We excluded the two below originally because we were not certain that they were by Cash. The other three had a red checkmark beside them on the original newsprint maintained by Cash's father, John W. Cash, and these two did not. (The same is true for the other omitted editorials, those with an upload date beside them, appearing to the end of the month.) The origin of these checkmarks is unknown and may well have been placed there by someone other than Cash's father, doing subsequent research on Cash. Whatever the case, we now believe that in all likelihood Cash did write the two below.

"War Aim", among the three originally uploaded from this date, now presents itself, among the thousands of editorials we have at length reviewed from Cash on the war, as starkly different from most Cash editorials on the subject. Indeed, only two immediately come to mind from his entire time as associate editor as being equally as direct and declarative in its call for exemplary repayment in kind to Germany for its brutality in war, those being the perfectly predictive "A Fanatic Menaces Civilization", September 1, 1939, on the invasion of Poland at the very beginning of the war, and the demonstratively recriminatory "At a Tomb", July 1, 1940, on the occupation by the Nazis of France, as the "little rat-like man" peered over the balustrade at the tomb of Napoleon, in the shadow of which he stood even smaller than his usual insignificance.

Most of the editorials methodically set out either the logistics of the war, the probable next steps of the Axis, the Allies' strengths and weaknesses, and likely strategy. Few directly demonstrate actual anger; this is one of those few.

Indeed, this day's whole column of editorials demonstrates a clear frustration, one justifiable in its seeds, as the days dragged on with England taking it wholesale in the head and belly while a good portion of the Congress hid their heads in the sand, and proceeded then to try to blame the President, for political reasons, for the failings--this, we remind, in the early months of the unprecedented third term. Meanwhile, Martin Dies looked for Communists as he sought futilely elevation from the voters of Texas to the Senate... (Dies, incidentally, is pronounced in fact, at least apparently, "Dies", not "Dees", as we suggested a little sardonically in 1998.)

The rest of the page is here, including a cryptically acidic reply to a facetious inquiry regarding the trust placed in Senator Reynolds by his own mother via her Will. She obviously had some reservations.

And any of the shirtsleeve hypocrites might do well to re-read, or for the first time peruse, the Bible thought of this day, before making any more loud dictatorial moral pronouncements for the rest of us to follow on pain of damnation, loss of reputation and death--while also paying close attention to Dorothy Thompson's view, from first-hand impressions out of time spent in Germany in the early years of Nazi reign, of what National Sozialism was in its essence in terms of its "secular religious order", a state organized on principles of rigid military discipline.

Meanwhile, next time some wild-eyed freak, with a little too much head of beer in him, stands up in the bar and proclaims, "Let's us go to Baghdad and beat the Evil-doers--it'll take us about 15 minutes and then we'll stop all the Evil, 'cause no one 'll mess with us then", you'll remember the last five grueling years, with still no end in sight, and tell them to go home and sober up at least a little.

We state again that there is a major difference between fighting against combined aggressors who threaten all of Europe and a large part of Asia with enslavement to their dictatorial will, and death at their whimsy, and thus threaten ultimately the peace and good will of the entire world, and a pre-emptive war against a country with a military not even capable of maintaining for long its own boundaries, let alone the ability to wage aggression outside them, a country torn for centuries by fanatical and largely factitious religious differences which manifest themselves in fractious violence, and still do, despite the five year occupation seeking with a huge and costly and wasteful military engine an end to it.

Entering into conflicts selectively because the country has the might to do so does not send a positive message to the citizenry, many of whom, judging by their attitudes, now obviously believe that they have the right likewise therefore to target and selectively enter the private lives of others, for the sake of it, abusing or disregarding entirely those others' rights, to try to find some undefined misdeed by someone with whom they merely disagree, or of whom they are envious, or who they just perceive as weak and vulnerable, financially or physically or psychologically, the classic predatory complex of projection unleashed and given approbation, or at least so alienate and marginalize the target as to create circumstances where they assume that there surely will be soon a misdeed should they wait long enough, the retributive prison-guard complex which assumes we are all guilty at least of Original Sin, and thus just punishment may be had on any of us at the whimsy of the dictatorial will of the Perfection, if no even minor peccadillo be unearthed in the first instance--much as the House Un-American Activities Committee's activities spawned a similar trend among a portion of the private citizenry amid the hysteria it and Joseph McCarthy in the Senate provoked in the latter 1940's and early 1950's in this country. An hysterical reaction where private vendetta, and not coincidentally, quest for power and authority over others' lives in the process, seeks vindication in targeted action on individuals by people without apparent sense enough to realize that their dodging of reality and insistence on wasting their time and that of others in order to practice avoidance of the central issue, by seeking to entrap and destroy their perceived enemies as prey, is a concept and concerted treadmill effort slowly eroding the collective lives of all us through the strangulation of the very planet itself, their insistence on a way of profligate life which cannot any longer be sustained by nature, without its giving up the ghost in flood; and who therefore harass and seek to destroy anyone who might cogently remind them of that which they are so actively dodging, as if the messenger were the reason for the reality, not the conditions in the world which have existed in ever-accelerating modal complexities for the last 150 years.

It is a corrosive environment and atmosphere, this motile thing we have collectively created, one which has received by turns support or passive non-resistance for decades, but especially during the past seven years given all the evidence militating against that continued luxury of providing such active or tacit support, perhaps like no other time in our recent history, even more corrosive, for its very pervasive threat now to sustenance of life itself on the planet, than during the particularly obscurantist eras of the fin de siècle and the 1920's. A time in which it is more typical than not to find favor to the rights of the corporation when those of the corporation are competing with the rights of the individual, one which responds to the moneyed interest over the individual voice of reason, indeed which scarcely, if at all, gives even lip service to that voice of reason.

The question now is, after so long in this collective state of hysteria, whether Humpty Dumpty may so easily be repaired systemically, both physically and psychologically, to address the real issues in time to prevent the worst. For, in the nature of things, this war Nature itself is declaring on man is not one which will be harnessed or stopped after a certain point in time, is one which is only exacerbated, not ameliorated, by the building of larger and more mobile military defenses in a time of greater world peace than we have known in three generations, a time when we ought to be taking the window of time free in large part from war to address in world concert this more central issue while we still have means to stanch the bleeding wound, not wasting our time traipsing the planet seeking "Evil-doers" among us to afford pretext for more treadmill warfare to feed the Big Kitty's mouth, always hungry for filthy lucre from the Whore which is war. Yet we ignore, yet we proceed in our petty ways, yet we motor down the highway in our gas guzzlers, dodging reality the while, looking for that next person guilty of sin and thus subject to our supremely divine and omniscient retribution for it.

The second installment from Raymond Clapper on Mexico may be more clearly read here. (Incidentally, for seven years, the vagaries of the dictation software had the print saying that an "anti-Semantic" rally planned by the Nazis had been forestalled by the Mexican government; obviously, while Nazis dumb enough to try to hold an anti-Semitic rally are dumb enough to hold an anti-Semantic rally, and probably have large attendance at same, and with no distinction made as to whether they hate language or people, the typo was, of course, not intentional. Our apologies to the semanticists. Those of Semitic heritage, or just those who Nazis believe to be, likely got the choke.)

Evil Example

Senators Betray Trust When They Aid Draft-Dodging

The uproar about Cotton Ed Smith's effort to use his own influence and that of twelve fellow members of the Senate Agricultural Committee to get his son off from the draft has led to the uncovering of the fact that other Senators have been guilty. Both of the Senators from Delaware, for instance, have got various relatives put into deferred classification on highly dubious grounds.

It is difficult to find words to express the contempt which decent men must feel before this sort of thing. These men are men who have been paid the highest honor by their fellow citizens. They live off the public payroll. They are entrusted with legislating for the common benefit. And the public has every right to demand of them the highest integrity, that they set an example of patriotic service.

Instead they choose to use the power given them to insure the escape of their own from the duty enacted by the majority of the very legislative body to which they belong. And in doing so they strike at the root of American society and government. No democratic nation can long exist in which the people do not have confidence in the essential fairness of the system under which they live, as between individuals and classes.

And nothing could be more perfectly calculated to destroy that confidence and such fairness than just this sort of nepotism some of the Senators have been practicing.

An Omission

Working in the Dark, Mistakes Are Inevitable

At the present conference Wednesday Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, himself the publisher of The Chicago Daily News had to say:

"The failure of a few in the press to co-operate might bring about a situation which all decent newspapermen, including myself, want to avoid. I don't want censorship. Such incidents serve to promote the possibility."

In view of his status as a publisher, that is certainly a warning and not a threat. But Colonel Knox, as one who has been a working newspaperman, strangely overlooks something.

What he had reference to was probably the case of the Malaya, the wounded British battleship which steamed into New York harbor a week ago last Sunday. The ship entered the harbor in broad daylight, anchored almost under the windows of the German consulate, was seen by millions of people.

The Associated Press and most of the nation's newspapers, this one among them, made no report. Three or four, however, including such respectables as the New York Herald-Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, judged that the story was common knowledge, that its publication could not serve to tell Germany more than she already knew, went on and printed it.

That there was any desire to flout the censorship is improbable. Rather, the mistake, if mistake it was, was one of judgment. Yet the present system leaves the whole matter up to individual editors, and such mistakes are therefore inevitable because they don't know always what intelligence should be suppressed and what should be freely printed.

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