NWORA Remembrance Vol.4 - NE99

NE99

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Forget-me-not 66 I n this war, what of right and what of wrong? Not much of right perhaps and very much of wrong. But there are degrees in wrong, and sometimes, by comparison, wrong becomes almost right. The Armed Peace, the peace of gnns and Dreadnoughts and sabre- rattlers, has come to its predestined end. Its armaments were made for war. Its war-makers and war-traders have done their work for the last ten years. They have been foiled time after time, but they have their way at last. Their last and most fatal weapon was the ultimatum. If Servia [sic]had not given them their chance they would have found their pretext somewhere else. When a nation or a continent prepares for war it will get it sooner or later. To prepare for war is to breed a host of men who have no other business, and another host who find profit in blood. When the war began it had very little meaning. The intrigues of rival despotisms, Slav and Teuton, lie far from the apprehension of democratic western Europe. That the third and greatest Balkan war was imminent the people or the west might believe, but they felt no call to take part in it. The peoples of Europe do not hate each other. The springs of war come from the few impelled by greed and glory. Diplomacy in Europe has been for years the cover for robbery in Asia or Africa. Of all the nations concerned, not one had any wish to fight, and Belgium alone stood with clean hands. And this fact gave the war its meaning. The invasion of Belgium changed the whole face of affairs. As by a lightning flash, the issue was made plain; the issue of' the sacredness of law. The rule of the soldier or the rule of the citizen; the rule of fear or the rule of law. Germany stands for the rule of the soldier. This was made clear when, a year ago, she passed under the yoke at Zabern. Britain stands for the rule of law. In spite of her lapses in Imperialism, the soldier is still the servant of the people, not their master. The highest conception of human relations is embodied in the word Law. Law is the framework of civilization. Law is the condition of security, happiness, and progress. War is the denial of all law. It makes scrap-paper of all the solemn agreements men and nations have established for their mutual good. "Parchment is parchment," said the German Chancellor in 1911, "steel is force." The rape of Belgium made scrap-paper of the parchment of International Law. The sowing of mines in the fairways of commerce made scrap-paper of the rights of neutral nations. The torture of the Belgian people made scrap-paper of the rights of noncombatants. War may never be righteous, but is sometimes honourable. In honourable war armies fight armies; armies do not fight private citizens. If armies give no needless provocation they will receive none. The sacking of Malines, Aersehot, Dinant is no act of honourable war. The wreck of Louvain, historic Louvain, five hundred years the venerated centre of Catholic erudition, at the hands of blood-drunk soldiers, was an act of dishonourable war. It marks a stain on the record of Germany which the years will not efface. "A needed example," say the apologists for crime. The Duke of Alva gave the same" needed example" to these same people in his day. For centuries the words" Spanish blood" struck terror into peopIe's hearts throughout the Netherlands. For centuries to come the word" Prussian" will take its hated place. The good people of Germany do not burn universities. They are helpless in the hands of a monster of their own creation. The affair at Zabern a year ago testified to their complete subjugation. All the virtues are left to them save only the love of freedom. This the mailed fist has taken away. The Germany of today is an anachronism. Her ideals in science are of the twentieth century; her ideals in politics are of the sixteenth. Her rulers have made her the most superb fighting machine in a world soul-weary of fighting. For victors in shining armour the modern world has no place. It will not worship them, it will not obey them. It will not respect those who either worship or obey. It finds no men good enough to rule over other men against their will. A great nation which its own people do not control is a nation with- out a government. It is a derelict on the international sea. It is a danger to its neighbours, a greater danger to itself. Of all the many issues good or bad which may come from this war, none is more important than this : that the German people should take possession of Germany. [The foregoing is part of "The Canadian Contingent" by John A. Cooper, Editor of The Canadian Courier, and published as part of the Appendix in The Great War in Europe by Thomas H. Russell, copyright 1914 J.R. Peper.] Remembrance Vol.4 The Rape of Belgium by David Starr Jordan [Few educators and leaders of opinion in the United States are better known in Canada than Dr. David Starr Jordan, for twenty-five years President and now the Chancellor of Leland Stanford University, California. He is a great internationalist, and for thirty years a sympathetic first-hand student of European politics. He was in Germany on his way home from the Balkans when the [First World] war broke out, and wrote the following from out the very edge of the war clouds.]

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