To the editor of the Crimson:
May we take exception to the letter signed by several Harvard alumni appearing in your columns Tuesday.
To begin with, America is not helping Britain for purely sentimental reasons. Our primary concern is our own self-preservation.
We are told that no one has yet proved it impossible to live in a totalitarian world. God forbid that we should wait until it is proved! The signers fail dismally to grasp the full significance of the Nazi thrust to us. For the record shows that Hitler will tolerate no obstacle to the expansion of the Nazi World Revolution. And we already know what Hitler thinks of democracies.
Our plea is not for military participation, but merely for realism. The term "short of war" is meaningless, for we have already committed acts of war. Our choice, therefore, is not between war or peace. It is between a lesser evil and a greater.
For if we recognize that our way of life cannot survive in a Nazified world, it is plain horse sense to crush the avowed enemy while we have freedom of action and an active ally. Let us not shrink from dirty work when we know it has to be done. If we do shrink now, the price we would have to pay later would be infinitely more fearful than any present cost, even if some of our democratic privileges were temporarily surrendered.
Even the signers admit "we cannot safely be indifferent to the outcome of the present wars," showing that they apparently recognize the impli- cations of the situation but shrink from facing them squarely.
For, once we recognize the enormity of the Nazi threat, why aid Britain at all unless our definite goal is an Axis defeat? And if this is our goal, how can we set any limitation short of its accomplishments?
We do not believe it will "promote the happiness and well-beings" of the American people if we blindly run the risk of disaster. With the example of the European democracies before us, will our educated youth continue to keep their heads in the sand? Even the ostrich doesn't do that.
Richard M. Weissman, H. Yale '40.
For the Militant Aid to Britain Committee