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AGAINST WAR

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President Roosevelt's anti-war speech at Chicago expressed an indignation, shared by every peace-lover on this continent, at the lawlessness of certain powers in the world today. There are few persons who can stand by and watch innocent women and children slaughtered by mad-dog nations without raising a cry of protest, and this speech crystallized these sentiments of horrified disgust that all American men and women feel.

Since the war, the United States has not had too enviable a record for world cooperation, as we never joined the League of Nations when it would have done the most good, and we failed to give our full support to Great Britain's earnest efforts to provide for international consultation in case of war. We have primly stood aside and watched the democracies of Europe destroy one another with exorbitant tariff walls and injure the cause of peace by their own petty jealousies. Our stand-offish attitude has split the solidarity of those nations working for peace and the respect of international law, while it has also encouraged the marauding lawless powers to grow increasingly reckless in their violations of treaties and the principles of humanity.

Although strong, forceful, and courageous steps should have been taken by the United States many years ago, there is still hope that a world catastrophe may be avoided if only we step into the breach now. Great Britain tried to enforce sanctions on an Italy condemned by the League of Nations, and she had her fingers badly burnt, because the nations of the world did not have the moral courage or intelligent foresight to see that Britain's cause would ultimately be their's. It seems reasonably sure that no nation will again try to punish an agressor, unless the United States is prepared to lend all of her power and prestige to "quarantine" the nation that has been judged the agressor.

The President's speech may instill new hope into a much discouraged Europe, if, and only if we will take the initiative either in proposing a concerted plan of action, or in calling a conference to talk over the situation. Although the nobleness of his words will be applauded, Europe is too fatigued and over-wrought to take effective action on her part. As the London Times so bluntly put it, "How can the United States consistently pursue a single policy to keep out of war?"

If we take a strong and courageous lead in the right direction, we should be able to do much to stop the present wars and to enforce respect for signed treaties and international law.

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