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Navy Day has come and gone, but leaves in its wake a lingering pall of propaganda to delude the populace. Typical of many, the first editorial in a leading Boston paper says, in substance, that we need a navy big enough to insure peace. With what singular case can this paper soar to the heights of asinity! This smoky contradiction implies that we need a bigger navy, but just to satisfy everybody, a sop is thrown peacewards. A big navy-of-course can only lead to peace. But perhaps there are a few people left who are so dense that they can't quite cope with this subtlety.
To a good many a navy has meant an armed force ready to promote international trade and imperialism. The last two administrations have insisted rightly and with increasing emphasis, that playing the part of a strong-armed bully in the Caribbean doesn't pay, even in a financial way. And the Philippines are being thrown into the discard for much the same reasons. As for trade, President Roosevelt has succeeded in reducing exports to negligible proportions by his triple-threat, the AAA. Further, shippers to warring countries have been warned that such trade is their own risk, not the nation's.
Where, then is the need for a big navy, or for that matter any navy at all? Perhaps some, like President Roosevelt, find them charming pleasurecraft, and like to review these little toy ships. Others may get a destructive joy out of breaking a perfectly good champagne bottle on steel, with an associated delight in thinking how easily the pop-guns overhead can snuff out lives and happiness. But it is impossible to subscribe to the logic of our esteemed contemporary, whose editors apparently believe that all of the people can be fooled all of the time by a trick phrase. There are some among us who have yet to develop sufficient credulity to visualize peace and heavy naval armament hand in hand in a sisterly and companionable fashion.
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