To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
The testimony of Harvard's president on the Lease-Lend bill Tuesday displayed a strange brand of logic combined with an even stranger evaluation of the temper of the American people.
President Conant reasoned as follows: "The bald fact about the possibility of war is that any step we take, or even failure to take any step at all, so long as Hitler is in the ascendant, may lead to war." And for this reason he urges our sending an expeditionary force to Europe if that is the only way Hitler can be defeated. What this means is:
(1) If Hitler is not defeated we may find ourselves at war defending this continent from a German invasion.
(2) War is a horrible thing and we should avert it if possible.
(3) This can be done if we enter the European war whenever such entrance becomes necessary for the defeat of Germany, who otherwise might engage us in war!
The real motive for military intervention cannot of course be found in such 'logic'. But it does appear elsewhere in Mr. Conant's testimony. It seems that the President of Harvard thinks this war is more "religious' 'than "imperialistic", which implies it is a little of both--a candid enough statement, it must be admitted! But what is there in the American spirit today that could conceivably be interpreted as a desire (or even a feeling of obligation) to wage a religious crusade? Absolutely nothing--as the most casual observer knows perfectly well. Nor is the tone of America imperialistic, except in certain tight little groups where it can always be found. Furthermore, contrary to the pretentious fraternalism concoted by President Roosevelt for his message to Congress in January, the spirit of internationalism in America (in any of its familiar forms) is virtually non-existent. These facts are the common property of anyone who views the American scene as it is, and not merely as he may think it ought to be.
The American people will not support military intervention in Europe because they know what the President of Harvard University apparently does not, namely:
That you cannot avert war by embracing it;
That democratic institutions can be perpetuated by a strongly armed continent defending and arming itself democratically;
That aviation has resulted in greatly increased insecurity of nations within a single continent against the depredations of any one of them, and in greatly increased security of continents against foreign invasion;
That America, having found no adequate solution for her own domestic problems, is in no position to legislate for the world, much less to police it;
And--not to be too sinister about it--that it is extremely unlikely that the young men of America will permit themselves to be shipped abroad for a foreign war.
The average American knows these things. We urge the President of Harvard to examine his America more closely. David K. Eichler, G. I. Graduate Representative, Executive Council: Harvard Committee Against Military Intervention.