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While this world with growing fear awaits the effect of the Czech and French warlike warning to Hitler, it should be aware of one great fact scared across the skies. Europe no longer has democracy as a leader; England, with France wagging at her heels, sold out to Germany, so that fascism is victorious and omnipotcut. The surrender at Godesburg signified the Anglo-French loss of supremacy, and with it was critically injured a well-meaning, well-led little nation which supposedly had the protection of its democratic neighbors. America only, so far silent on the European situation, is left as a democratic force which has not yet capitulated to the Napoleonic demands of a ruthless dictator.
It would seem that the French mobilizing of one million men and Chamberlain' about breaking of the conversations with Hitler were an attempt to regain loss of leadership and to act upon the sentiments of the French and British people. Perhaps Chamberlain and Daladier took to heart Anthony Eden's statement that "continued retreat can only lead to ever widening confusion" or Maxim Litivinoff's cry that Britain and France were "avoiding a problematical war today in return for a certain and large-scale war tomorrow." Perhaps Hitler raised his demands to a limit which could not even be acceptable to such betrayers of faith as Chamberlain and Daladier. It is inhuman that Hitler should be granted further land concessions.
Throughout the crisis Czechoslovakia has behaved like civilized people, but no self-respecting person can blame them for mobilizing now in the face of total destruction. No man wants to be a vassal, and on real nation likes to lose its independence. If the Czechs fight, as it appears they will do, Russia's machine must throw its weight behind them. Then Hitler, faced with the anger of Czechs, Russians, French, and English, must either go to war or back down and submit to some reasonable, human settlement of this problem.
From the impending conflict in Europe our United States have remained aloof. President Roosevelt and Mr. Hull have said nothing that more than point the direction of our sympathies. Their hands, unfortunately, are tied by the 1936 Neutrality Act. But there is no doubt among the foreign leaders that America, with its natural bigness, could avoid a world war by stepping into the present crisis and arbitrating. If war comes, certainly the American stand will determine its outcome. Why not speak now and show the enemy what must be the result if they begin war? Pressure for the repeal of the Neutrality Act has been tremendous, and Congress should act upon that demand at its first chance. Then Germany and its cohorts will have been warned that American will not watch one man steal, without chastisement, the whole of Central Europe.
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