Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

hearts. They have but one chance to perpetuate their military power or even their controlling political influence. If they can secure peace now with the immense advantages still in their hands which they have up to this point apparently gained, they will have justified themselves before the 5 German people: they will have gained by force what they promised to gain by it: an immense expansion of German power, an immense enlargement of German industrial and commercial opportunities. Their prestige will be secure, and with their prestige their political power. 10 If they fail, their people will thrust them aside; a govern ment accountable to the people themselves will be set up in Germany as it has been in England, in the United States, in France, and in all the great countries of the modern time except Germany. If they succeed they are safe and Ger-15 many and the world are undone; if they fail Germany is saved and the world will be at peace. If they succeed, America will fall within the menace. We and all the rest of the world must remain armed, as they will remain, and must make ready for the next step in their aggression; if 20 they fail, the world may unite for peace and Germany may be of the union.

Do you not now understand the new intrigue, the intrigue for peace, and why the masters of Germany do not hesitate to use any agency that promises to effect their 25 purpose, the deceit of the nations ? Their present particular aim is to deceive all those who throughout the world stand for the rights of peoples and the self-government of nations; for they see what immense strength the forces of justice and of liberalism are gathering out of this war. 30 They are employing liberals in their enterprise. They are using men, in Germany and without, as their spokesmen whom they have hitherto despised and oppressed, using them for their own destruction, socialists, the leaders of labor, the thinkers they have hitherto sought to silence. 35 Let them once succeed and these men, now their tools,

M

will be ground to powder beneath the weight of the great military empire they will have set up; the revolutionists in Russia will be cut off from all succor or coöperation in western Europe and a counter revolution fostered and 5 supported; Germany herself will lose her chance of freedom; and all Europe will arm for the next, the final struggle.

The sinister intrigue is being no less actively conducted in this country than in Russia and in every country in 10 Europe to which the agents and dupes of the Imperial German Government can get access.

That government has many spokesmen here, in places high and low. They have learned discretion. They keep within the law. It

is opinion they utter now, not sedition. They proclaim 15 the liberal purposes of their masters; declare this a foreign

war which can touch America with no danger to either her lands or her institutions; set England at the centre of the stage and talk of her ambition to assert economic

dominion throughout the world; appeal to our ancient 20 tradition of isolation in the politics of the nations; and

seek to undermine the government with false professions of loyalty to its principles.

But they will make no headway. The false betray themselves always in every accent. It is only friends and 25 partisans of the German Government whom we have al

ready identified who utter these thinly disguised disloyalties. The facts are patent to all the world, and nowhere are they more plainly seen than in the United

States, where we are accustomed to deal with facts and 30 not with sophistries; and the great fact that stands out

above all the rest is that this is a Peoples' War, a war for freedom and justice and self-government amongst all the nations of the world, a war to make the world safe

for the peoples who live upon it and have made it their 35 own, the German people themselves included; and that

with us rests the choice to break through all these hypoc

risies and patent cheats and masks of brute force and help set the world free, or else stand aside and let it be dominated a long age through by sheer weight of arms and the arbitrary choices of self-constituted masters, by the nation which can maintain the biggest armies and the 5 most irresistible armaments,

a power to which the world has afforded no parallel and in the face of which political freedom must wither and perish.

For us there is but one choice. We have made it. Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our 10 way in this day of high resolution when every principle we hold dearest is to be vindicated and made secure for the salvation of the nations. We are ready to plead at the bar of history, and our flag shall wear a new lustre. Once more we shall make good with our lives and fortunes 15 the great faith to which we were born, and a new glory shall shine in the face of our people.

THE DELIVERERS°

By The Outlook. (1917) A COMMON, if not prevalent, opinion has been that the only justifiable war is a war of defense. This has been expressed in many forms and explains many govern- 20 mental acts. Our own entrance into the war has been repeatedly justified on the ground that it was necessary as the only effective means of defending our rights on the

One reason why France is free from the aspersions which have been cast on other nations on both sides of this 25 war is that she is manifestly fighting in defense of her own soil.

There is, however, a higher right than that. It is the right of succor, of deliverance, of rescue.

The war which the United States is waging against Ger- 30 many is only in part a war of self-defense. It is chiefly a

sea.

war for the succor of oppressed peoples, for the deliverance of civilized lands from the hands of the barbarian, for the rescue of the public law of nations, and of the right of mankind to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 5 As our soldiers land in France and take their places in the line beside the French and the English, as our sailors watch the seas for hostile submarines, and as our aviators give battle in the air, they are asserting the right of the

American people to defend themselves, their ships, and to their territory; but they are doing something more than that.

They are coming to the rescue of the Belgian people, whose brave King refused to barter the honor of his country

for cash, and chose rather to endure with his people un15 speakable suffering.

They are coming to the rescue of France, whose treasury of art and whose liberty have alike been put into peril of destruction by a Power that is as ruthless in its

denial of liberty as it is in its destruction of the monu20 ments of art.

They are coming to the rescue of those free institutions of the English people which we have inherited from them and on which our own freedom is built.

They are coming to the rescue of the Russian people, 25 beside whom it is an honor to fight for liberty because they have already done so much to rescue themselves.

They are coming to the rescue of that nation, the latest of the great countries of Europe to achieve its own liber

ation, that nation that has been called the crowned repub30 lic — Italy.

They are coming to the rescue of backward, impoverished, oppressed peoples of Europe and Asia - to the rescue of the Serbians and Montenegrins, who chose to

fight rather than to become vassals of an arrogant Austria; 35 to the rescue of the Poles, whose continued subjection is

essential to the remnants of the old unholy Holy Alliance;

to the rescue of the Armenians, who have suffered at the hands of the brutal Turk and Kurd and from the designs of the more cruel, because more resourceful, mind of the ruthless Prussian; to the rescue of the Greeks from the consequences of their trust in their own 5 faithless ruler.

They are coming to the rescue of the fabric of the public law of nations the sacred observance of reaties and of the principles of morality in the conduct of nations which is the only fabric from which there can ever be 10 erected permanent peace.

And, not least of all, they are coming to the rescue of the peoples of the Central Empires themselves, who have been denied by their rulers even the knowledge of what civil liberty means.

15

AN AMERICAN CREED

By The Outlook. (1917) I am an American.

I believe in the dignity of labor, the sanctity of the home, and the high destiny of democracy.

Courage is my birthright, justice my ideal, and faith in humanity my guiding star.

By the sacrifice of those who suffered that I might live, who died that America might endure, I pledge my life to my country and the liberation of mankind.

20

[ocr errors]

WHY WE ARE FIGHTING GERMANY

By FRANKLIN K. LANE. (August, 1917) Why are we fighting Germany? The brief answer is that ours is a war of self-defense. We did not wish to 25 fight Germany. She made the attack upon us; not on our

« ElőzőTovább »