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Smaller War Clouds Swelling Those in Near East
When the sky is charged almost to explosion with thunder clouds where east winds rave, every smaller cloud of hatred and jealousy and strife, whether international or industrial or sectarian or racial, helps to bring down the thunderbolts. Among many clouds in the American sky in October, 1922, that were of a sort that would strengthen tendencies to new world wars of nations and classes, the following should be noted :
On Oct. 27, Roosevelt's birthday, advantage was taken of his great name and of his relations to the Navy at a very different period to revive the “Big Navy” cry which was supposed to have been finally buried at the Washington Arms and Far East Conference. And at the same time Secretary Weeks and General Pershing were leading a propaganda for a bigger Army and especially for more Army officers. Next to the war traders, who are quite reconciled to war for big profits, military officers, eager for distinction and promotion, are least likely to swell the world chorus, “No more war.” The American Legion, in their annual meeting at New Orleans urged all voters to refuse to vote for any candidate for Senator or Representative in Congress who would not agree to support legislation looking to a "stronger Navy." The Legion stood for an increase of enlisted strength from 85,000 to 105,000. Congress was blamed for allowing the Navy to be “stripped last year”—meaning of course that it ratified the international treaties for reduction of naval armaments. Still more ominous was the fact that the American Legion heard without protest and with apparent favor Samuel Gompers' proposal for soldier-labor cooperation such as has exploited and then destroyed great nations of
The war spirit is reënforced by everything that dulls
BOOTLEGGERS OF MANY LANDS ALLOWED BY THEIR GOVERNMENTS TO MAKE SUB.
MARINE ATTACK ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
the spiritual ideals of men and strengthens animalism and brutality, especially by all amusements that intensify sex feeling, and by the kindred brutality that is promoted by prize fighting. Is anyone so dull that he does not realize the bad effect on millions of Africans of "Siki's victory"? And is anyone so dull he does not see that prize fighting was never as appropriate as when taken up by savages ? Cultivated negroes are by no means exulting over the suggestions of a battle in which the most brutish contestant naturally won.
The spirit that leads to both international and industrial war is strengthened by every act of injustice, especially when the strong oppress the weak, and the public does not, through government or otherwise, secure redress.
War clouds are swelled, of course, by every word or -deed that palliates or encourages lawlessness anywhere, whether industrial or vicious, but most of all, when nations allow their citizens to break the laws of other nations, of which the very worst instance is the international
submarine attack on the American Constitution by the smugglers of all the wet nations of the world, which
at its height in 1922
Statesmen need to be reminded that those whom this attack on the American cita del will most offend are
the very people who bere Treid
have proved themselves the most influ
ential group in the nation in that they have put prohibition into the Constitution by the ratifying votes of 46 out of 48 States. And the British, who have been the worst offenders by their vast smuggling of liquors from Canada and the British West Indies, should especially remember that it is the Anglo-Saxon stock that is most in sympathy with Britain that is most offended by this British attack.
While many of the foreign steamboat lines were battling in the courts for permission to bring their liquors within the three-mile limit, which was not only illegal, but had promoted smuggling, the Red Cross liner Sylvia, on October 24, 1922, showed what all of them should have done promptly, in accordance with international good manners—it deposited its liquor stores at Halifax, before entering our waters, to be taken on board there again on the return trip.
What Can You and I Do
It is a cowardly thing to substitute mere charity for orphans for protection of their parents against massacre. The former ought we to do, but not to leave the other undone. Every voter can influence the action of governments, and every voter should urge his Government to use its utmost influence to limit Turkish rule to Turksproviding some place where Armenians may govern themselves and live in peace. As the United States interposed in Cuba and Mexico—in the latter case without warand in the days of Harrison and Blaine made protest against massacres of Jews in Russia, so our Government should find a way to join all who will effectually protect the rights of Christian minorities against the Turk.
But there is also something that all of us can and should do, and that is to put sunshine in place of “war clouds" "where we are”-silencing hymns of hate in our
own town, whether they are prompted by race, sect, or class hatred.
It needs to be patiently shown that bitterness and personalities in discussions of opinions, whether in politics or religion, are not only unchristian but ungentlemanly. At a time like this all bitter attacks on other people swell the war clouds, foreign and domestic, which are already.dangerous. The air is full of political speeches, editorials, and sermons that exhaust the vocabulary of vituperation, all built on the assumption that everyone who differs in opinion with the speaker or writer is either a fool or a knave.
Good men and women should drop the “fist gesture” and substitute the open hand and the habitual smile.
This is not a plea for silence in the presence of what one regards as wrong or erroneous. It is a plea for gentlemanly discussion, that relies on argument and not on epithets. Audiences often seem to crave the abuse of groups with which they differ. Readers will pay more for abuse than for logic, but a gentleman ought to preserve, his self-respect at any cost, and to do that he must treat his opponent with respect.
We used to say in college, “Quit your quarrelling and go to fighting.” It meant more than most of us thought, namely, that we should quit snarling, and fight a fair and manly fight.
Following the injunction, “Brighten the corner where you are," I wish to seek the blessing of the peacemaker by interposing in the present bitter controversy in the evangelical churches about what are called "fundamentals.". We already have 205 sects in the United States, and this controversy threatens to make one more. That might not make any more bitterness than to have the controversy under the same denominational roofs as now.