The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 27, 1941


Site Ed. Note: For more on the boll weevil, (and a few other things), see the links from the note of January 25, 1938 associated with "Nix, Nature!"

The rest of the mickle puckle is here. As Mr. Muckle responds to isolationist ministers, Clement Avenue again cavils for appeasement and isolation, claiming God wept over the Wall Street crowd getting rich on the war.

The quote of the day is from that which for nought the Gaul for a Beldam's finner simple in elenctic drank 'is beer. With a hey, ho, the wind and the rain, all always resolves in the welkin's Inner Temple of the epiphanic shaking sphere.

Sons' Mother

This One Prefers To Keep War From These Shores

"The sons of American mothers must not be sent to bleed and die in a foreign war which is none of our business." The slogan is a favorite of the great appeasement drive which heads up in the so-called America First Committee. It makes the war to stop Hitler merely a "foreign war." And for the credulous it adds the argument that Wall Streeters, eager to fatten their pockets at the expense of the blood of mothers' sons, are responsible for the policy of aiding Britain.

It is a cunning slogan--addressed to the greatest and strongest of blind emotions, and not to knowledge and reason. Wheeler, Nye, Robert Rice Reynolds use it continually. And undoubtedly it has been effective in helping to paralyze this nation's will.

But there are mothers who are not deluded by it. A letter from one of them came to us recently, a woman of superior intelligence and education, with two sons of draft age, one in class 3-A, the other unmarried and subject to call. Disliking publicity and controversy, she refuses to let us use her name. We submit, reluctantly. But one paragraph of her letter deserves to be set down here:

"My sons agree with me that if they have to fight it would be far better with some assurance that the women and children of their own country are comparatively safe. I am proud of them for feeling this way, and except for a small selfish minority, I believe all American men would have the same sentiment if they were awakened to the situation."

That seems to us to be the common sense of the matter. The isolationist-appeasement proposition is, wittingly or unwittingly, one to bring war to these shores, and sacrifice not only mothers' sons, but mothers, fathers, children, infants in arms "in one red burial blent."

Site Ed. Note: For more epiphanic nectar, go here.

The Players

Three Jesters Upset Farm Deal by Congress

A curious little game for very high stakes is now in progress between five well-known but somewhat oddly assorted characters. They are the Southern Cotton Farmer, the Congress of the United States, Jupiter Pluvius, Old Sol, and Anthonomus grandis.

The farmer wanted his AAA benefit payments lifted from nine cents a pound to twelve. The Congress eagerly obliged, though it knew it was playing the rawest politics. And it looked like the goose was hanging high for the farmer, so he naturally set himself to bring in something as close to a bumper crop as the law would allow.

But then Anthonomus grandis (nobody but ol' Br'er Boll Weevil) began to show his hand. All over the South, as May dawned after a warm Winter, he commenced to appear in greater numbers than for many years past. At Waco, Texas, he counted 50 times as great a host as in May, 1940; at Florence, S.C., 200 times as great. If he managed to hold his forces together and survived in that strength, it was going to play hob with the farmer's rosy prospects, twelve cent subsidies notwithstanding.

But that was where Jupiter Pluv and Sol came into the game. Anthonomus grandis likes damp, cool weather, comes down with nervous frustration and loses his appetite, curls up with the will-to-death, in hot, dry weather. And as everyone knew, Old Sol has had the South to himself in May, with Jupe balking and resolutely refusing to play.

On the other hand, cotton plants are stunted by too much sun and too little rain also.

It looked as though something was left to thumb its nose at Congress, with the farmer caught in the middle.

Clever Plan

Nazis Are Pleased To Let Vichy Pull Chestnuts

That explanation Pierre Laval made Monday was so clever that it deserves to be called cute.

Hitler had demanded colonial concessions from Vichy? Perish the wicked thought, said M. Laval. All that had been demanded was economic collaboration.

Of course, he went on, the Germans must think that if France was to demand and get respect for her sovereignty (sic) she would herself have to vindicate that sovereignty. And that, of course, meant that she would naturally act in due time on her own account to assert sovereignty in regions where it was in dispute. Germany, he went on, was watching the French course in this matter with sympathy and interest.

Translated into plain language, what the slippery Frenchman was talking about was the role of De Gaulle and the Free French in the Cameroons and other parts of the former French African empire. He may also have been throwing out a warning to the United States about Martinique. But you may be certain that he was not talking about throwing the Japanese out of Indo-China, which has been handed them by Adolf Hitler.

It works out like this. If Weygand can cut through into the Cameroons and take it from De Gaulle, then West Africa will fall into the Nazi lap at the appointed time as a completely ripe plum. If he fails, then naturally the good Nazis will have to come to the aid of their Vichy brethren--to save French sovereignty!

In either case, the Nazis get West Africa.

That deep noise would be the belly laughter of the Teuton gods in Valhalla.

Still Master

German Triumph Is as Empty as Claims in Mediterranean

The swift sinking of the Bismarck in revenge for the Hood will enormously bolster the morale of the English people. To have let her escape would have been intolerable, and would have had a discouraging effect all out of proportion to the real value of the Hood.

But the sinking of the ship also has great immediate military value. The Bismarck, a brand-new 35,000-tonner with fifteen-inch rifles, the heaviest armor, and a maximum speed of 30 knots, was as fine a battleship as any now afloat, and to swap the old Hood, of 1918 vintage, for her would have been a vastly advantageous trade for the British in any case.

But it seems probable that, with her sister ship, the Tirpitz, the Bismarck had been dispatched to the Western Atlantic as a commerce raider. That in itself testifies to growing German alarm and desperation over the passage of American goods to the United Kingdom and British forces elsewhere, for it is not usual to use battleships in any such fashion and Germany undoubtedly greatly needs the ships in waters closer home and above all in the Battle of the Mediterranean.

The decision to send them to the Western Atlantic is good evidence that the British are telling the truth when they say that the two heavy battle cruisers, the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, have been put out of commission by bombing in the Brest roadstead.

A terrible menace to Atlantic shipping has therefore been largely removed. Germany's single remaining battleship, the Tirpitz, seems to be still at large, but the British are hunting it relentlessly with heavy units and it is probable that it also will be driven to cover or sunk. That will leave Germany no surface ships larger than heavy cruisers--10,000 tons, with 8-inch or 11-inch guns--to prey on shipping, and with these the British can deal much more easily.

There is always the possibility, even the probability, that the French fleet will be put to use by the Nazis. But at least the German naval menace itself seems to be largely eliminated.

Just as heartening as the sinking of the Bismarck is the Admiralty's announcement that the real naval toll taken by the Germans in the Battle of Crete is four destroyers and two cruisers. The Admiralty's figures on naval losses have proved to be trustworthy in the past. (Incidentally, the Bismarck was done in partly, at least, by planes from a carrier which the Nazis had twice "sunk"--the Ark Royal.

British naval losses in the Mediterranean were inevitable and if they have accomplished the purpose of blocking any considerable landing of German sea-borne forces in Crete, the ships were well spent.

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