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It is not strange that in this period of European turmoil so many voices should be raised in behalf of Czechoslovakia and against Chamberlain. That a skilfully-run democracy alone in the center of Europe should collapse because of the bluff and power of a Fascist state and the acquiescence of two allied democracies is an event unprecedented. Discouraging are reports from the outraged Czechs when they heard how their former protectors and allies had backed down, those of Hitler's apparent willingness to throw the world into a war. And there is no real assurance that he will not do this very thing after the Munich pact.
All this, however, does not prove that Chamberlain is following a bad policy. At the very worst he is merely postponing a European war, and no one can deny that a temporary peace is better than no peace at all. The tremendous degradation following a war like the last brings more misery than the suffering of the Czech nation, England's loss of prestige, and the enlargement of a fascist country.
There are those who say that force will rule the earth unless the democracies fight to combat it. History has never shown that through destruction comes enlightenment. There are those who think it morally wrong for England to back down on her promises, who think it wrong for Germany to grab territory and peoples that do not belong to her. Undoubtedly, these, like so many acts of all countries, should not take place. But in a given situation a country like England must do what is most expedient and reasonable to prevent from doing what is more unmoral: take a positive part in the destruction of men and their civilization. Chamberlain is using reason against force.
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