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To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
Almost five years ago, while the soldiers who had fought in a war to end wars rested upon their victorious arms, and while the leaders of the world were inspired as never before with a consciousness of international brotherhood and an enthusiasm for universal peace based upon universal justice; personal enmity and political enmity raised their standards in this country and, with the clarion voice of selfishness; summoned to their ranks the armies of discord and defeat. Then the patriotism of a nation united by a great purpose became the party spirit of civil strife. Then the vision of America that had inspired the world became an infectious blindness to hide the vision. Then the courage that led became the fear that would not even follow. We forsook not only our comrades at arms but also the high purposes we had announced so proudly. We snatched peace and with it victory from the hands of our soldiers and our allies. We uprooted our dead from the earth of the very hills up which they had fought. We leveled their empty graves lest anyone should remember that under this foreign earth once lay American soldiers who died for peace.
Five years, in pride and selfishness and universal shame we have bowed out heads over our little tasks and left the great task of establishing the peace of the world in the hands of our former allies, discouraged and hindered by our repudiation of the work we had begun. If others in those years have pursued selfish aims, we who set the example cannot blame them. If in those years, or in the years to come for which they prepared the way, there has been, or shall be, strife and bloodshed that our strength in the council of the world might have prevented, the blood is on our hands.
We have had time to judge and to regret the effects of our splendid isolation. The triumph of our arms no longer blinds us to the defeat of our purposes. The joy of our return from war has faded in the sorrow of the unfinished task that still remains. Our chosen leaders have recognized our obligations to the world in the Washington Conference and in the recommendation that the United States should adhere to the Permanent Court of International Justice. Such public action, however, supplemented as it is by private enterprise, is too limited to be adequate as our full share in the task of making this world one in which it is possible for our nation and other nations to live and prosper. For nothing is more certain than that the peace and prosperity of the United States are directly dependent upon the prosperity and peace of the world. Such action, public and private, is important chiefly as a sign that the people of the United States recognize this truth.
The winning plan selected by the jury of The American Peace Award offered by Edward W. Bok is briefly, a proposal that we should not only enter the Permanent Court, but also, cooperate with the League of Nations more closely than we have heretofore. In detail, the plan suggests certain necessary and almost inevitable modifications of the Covenant of the League, it acknowledges that we should be a member of the League, and it proposes an immediate step in the direction of membership. The Jury of Award--consisting of Elihu Root, James Guthrie Harbord, Edward M. House, Ellen Fitz Pendleton, Roscoe Pound, William Allen White, and Brand Whitlock--has endorsed this plan as the best, part- ly because it represents the general opinions expressed by the 22, 156 plans placed before the Jury.
In submitting this plan to the vote of the nation through the ballots printed in newspapers and distributed by organizations of every type, business, professional, and civic; The American Peace Award offers to the American people an opportunity of affirming that they desire to cooperate as a nation with other nations to achieve and preserve the peace of the world.
Our courage should teach us that we are strong enough to make our cooperation necessary to the world; our fears, those very fears which have made us hesitate, should teach us that the peace of the world is necessary to our safety. Let it not be said that the United States of America is too blind to see that a world divided against itself cannot stand, too timid to take her place among the nations of the world, too selfish or too weak to aid them. Rather let it be said that no personal enmity, nor party rivalry, nor national selfishness, blindness, weakness, and timidity can hinder her from seeing that she cannot secede form the world without inviting war. The interests of all nations are as closely-united as the interests of these United States. Let us be loyal to this larger union. Let us not rebel. All war is civil war, and, today, with the increasing power of science over the means of destruction, the very threat of war is a prophecy of the anihilation of all mankind. GRANT H. CODE '18
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