Unable to produce a real ace in their defense, the advocates of American intervention have now resorted to slipping an occasional joker out of their copious sleeves and easing it surreptitiously onto the nation's political bridge table. Latest in a long line of opportunities for finessing has been provided by inoffensive Greenland. With the conquest of Denmark by Germany, the status of the former Danish possession becomes highly indefinite. Presumably envisaging a gigantic Anschluss extending into this Atlantic iceberg, many Americans state that the United States' attitude toward Greenland must be the same as toward Canada. And even Mr. Roosevelt expresses the hope that the position of this island will cause Americans to think. The New York Herald Tribune, not wont to deify the Administration, applauds the President editorially and, with Greenland in mind, concludes: ". . . today, more even than in 1917, war threatens American interests. The only thing that can check it is an overwhelming victory of the Allies and the defeat of Germany. The United States must obviously face the possibility that it may find itself forced to join the fray as the only way in which it can protect its own interests." This sounds a note the people of America have heard before.
The logic displayed by the gentlemen of the Tribune seems muddy at best. Certainly Greenland is not the rich prize that Germany would covet to help support it through a long war or even provide it with raw materials in time of peace. A second theory that has been much mentioned is that Greenland would be valuable to Germany as a naval base or air base. There seems to be little possibility of such a move in any but the very distant future, however. Even at the beginning of the war, the German navy was not strong enough to carry on extensive overseas activities, and if we are to credit any of the reports from Scandinavia, the German navy must have been weakened greatly at the Skaggerak and the surrounding waters.
Even accepting the Tribune's most radical assumptions, and considering the possibility that Germany might defeat the Allies and possibly be in a position to send an army of aggression to Greenland, the, conclusions drawn by the Tribune still fail to hold water. Faced with the choice of sending ships and planes to Europe now or possibly having to fight Germany in our waters in the distant future, the interventionists have drawn a bad hand. It would be comforting to believe that the gentlemen of the Tribune were vulnerable to the charge of faulty logic rather than that of insidious intent.