Arms and the Poet


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

In today's CRIMSON was published an editorial entitled: "No Arms for Europe."

The author of this editorial hopes that Secretary of State Acheson will be unsuccessful in obtaining an arms program to accompany the North Atlantic Pact. His points are:

1) A bridgehead in Europe: probably untenable, anyway an antiquated concept.

2) Arms to Europe: a morale lifter, yes, but morale is a nebulous thing.

3) Some nations may not warrant such elevated morale. (The Dutch in Indonesia, for instance).

4) "Arms aid now would be a serious shock to direct Russian-American relations, which seem to be picking up slightly."

The fragility of the preceding arguments, in my opinion, makes a sad contrast with the momentous importance of the decision that has to be made.

1) If the bridgehead is untenable, perhaps it should be made tenable immediately. If the concept of holding a bridgehead is now antiquated, the concept of abandoning a whole continent is certainly brand new strategy: could this be a supreme glorification of the strategic retreat.

2) Morale: "nebulous?"

3) The answer to this may be to leave the authority and give the power to judge to the United Nations.

When you play football you do not ask of your teammate if he beats his wife. The attitude of the United States is, above all, a practical attitude. The value of allies is directly proportional to their strength; obviously one would not disarm one's allies.

4) If Russo-American relations are improving, that's great. But could this sudden outburst of brotherly love be somewhat influenced, perhaps, by the very firm stand of the Allies in Berlin, and by the extraordinary feat of the American air lift? It is a very common and tragic mistake to see in a change of tactics a change of strategy.

What then is the surest road to Peace?

Is it wiser to be candid, to "play fair," to leave a whole continent undefended and say: "...see how we trust wou...", thus exposing ourselves to a global catastrophe in case we should get tripped?

Or is it wiser to say: "You get tough, we'll get tough. So let's be friends." War breaks out when one antagonist is sure the other is weaker. A sure way to see Peace break out therefore is to remain strong and healthy, leaving no opportunity for aggression. O. de Messieres '46