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will punish her for violating her plighted faith and treaty obligations. This is said to involve an abandonment of the Monroe Doctrine. Why? Mr. Seward in 1866, and Mr. Roosevelt in his administration, said most emphatically that the Doctrine can not be used to shelter South American countries against punishment by European countries for their shortcomings. The only limitation set by the Doctrine is that the punishment inflicted shall not involve subverting the independence of Argentine or appropriating and colonizing her territory. I submit, therefore, that the three cases suggested by Senator Borah do not present the difficulties he supposes.
The two questions for us are whether the League is practical and whether the United States ought to enter it.
Of course it is only a general plan, and the details would have to be worked out in a world conference. That it is feasible, and that such details may be worked out, is indicated by the approval which the League has received from Germany, on the one hand, and from the Allies, on the other. There are of course very great difficulties in a practical union of the forces of the world to accomplish a definite single purpose, but they are not insuperable. The League is only applying to the international community the same principle that has been applied to the domestic community, that of using the force of all to suppress the lawless force of the few for the common good.
We are now entering upon a policy of preparation to defend ourselves against the unjust aggression of any nation. I believe this to be absolutely essential to our country's interest. The League has officially recognized that such preparation is necessary to its progress. When we have
made this preparation and have the forces of our army and navy adequate to it, we shall be in a position to contribute our share to any force that we may be called upon to furnish in a joint exercise of power by the world to suppress war. President Wilson has said that in the next war there will be no neutrals. If the science of war advances in the next war as much as it has advanced in this over the last war, he is certainly right — there will be no room for neutrals. In this aspect, and from a selfish standpoint, therefore, our membership in the League in the future would prove to be safer for our interests than if we stayed out of it.
But is the selfish standpoint the only one from which we should view this question? We are potentially the strongest nation in the world. We have a vast population with high intelligence, solidarity and homogeneity. We have enormous resources and incomparable wealth. We are so situated that our position between the nations of Europe and between those of Asia is an impartial one and we could therefore exercise a just and commanding influence in a council of nations. We do not realize our power in this respect. Lord Grey says that we are necessary to the successful launching of such a League. We must lead it. Have we any right, therefore, to stay out of a world-arrangement calculated to make a world-war improbable, because we shall risk having to contribute our share to an international police force to suppress the disturbers of peace? To-day war in any part of the world may rapidly manifest itself in another part, and the advantage of suppressing it or hedging it about so as to prevent its spread is inestimable.
[The following statement was made on the occasion of a mass meeting at Richmond, Va., Wednesday evening, March 21, 1917:]
The break with Germany and the imminence of war
furnish the strongest arguments for the League to Enforce Peace.
Preparedness is one of the watchwords of the hour. The Executive Committee of the League to Enforce Peace has pronounced more than once in favor of national preparedness to meet all emergencies and pointed out the fact that the plan it puts forward makes preparedness a necessity.
The duty to support the President in his foreign policy is plain. The League has declared a thousand times that it is not a stop-the-war movement, and has pledged its support in the defense of civilization and the rights of our citizens.
The reason we have protested against Germany's ruthless submarine warfare and broken off relations with her is because her conduct is subversive of any peace that is worth having.
As we are forced into the war, our sole purpose must be to secure the right kind of a peace after the war, for ourselves and for the whole world -- a permanent and righteous peace.
This fact is fundamental to the whole situation, and ought to be kept constantly before the minds of all our people. We are contending for a righteous and permanent peace and for nothing else whatsoever. Preparation for such a peace is the most important part of preparedness. The President has this strongly in mind. If, through the growth of hatred and the cry for vengeance, the world should lose sight of its real purpose and come to the end of the war not knowing what it most wants and needs, and so should fail to roll the burden of militarism off its shoulders and to establish lasting peace, it would be a tragedy in the history of the world.
The League to Enforce Peace presents the elements of a program that has been recognized as having in it promise of a better future, a program that has the support in general terms not only of the President but of leading statesmen in all or nearly all of the leading nations. The latter have espoused it while their countries were at war and both they and the President are watching the growth and expression of public opinion in the United States as the deciding factor in the formation of a league.
During the present crisis and throughout the war which is at hand, the duty of the League to Enforce Peace is to stimulate military preparedness on the one hand, and on the other to spread its gospel of world organization for permanent peace after this conflict is over.
THE MENACE OF A PREMATURE PEACE 1
We are engaged in the greatest war of history to secure permanent world peace. We are fighting for a definite purpose, and that is the defeat of German militarism. If the Prussian military caste retains its power to control the military and foreign policy of Germany after the war, peace will not be permanent, and war will begin again when the chauvinistic advisers of the Hohenzollern dynasty deem a conquest and victory possible.
Our Allies have made a stupendous effort and have strained their utmost capacity. Unready for the war, they have concentrated their energy in preparation. In this im
1 Address delivered at General Conference of Unitarian and other Coristian Churches at Montreal, September 26, 1917.
portant respect they have defeated the plan of Germany“ in shining armor" to crush her enemies in their unreadiness.
But the war has not been won. Peace now, even though it be made on the basis of the restoration of the status quo, “ without indemnities and without annexations," would be a failure to achieve the great purpose for which the Allies have made heartrending sacrifice. Armaments would continue for the next war, and this war would have been fought in vain. The millions of lives lost and the hundreds of billions' worth of the product of men's labor would be wasted.
He who proposes peace now, therefore, either does not see the stake for which the Allies are fighting, or wishes the German military autocracy still to control the destinies of all of us as to peace or war.
Those who favor permanent world peace must oppose with might and main the proposals for peace at this juncture in the war, whether made in socialistic councils, in pro-German conferences or by Pope Benedict. That the Pontiff of the greatest Christian Church should wish to bring to an end a war in which millions of its communion are on both sides is to be expected. That he should preserve a difficult neutrality is also natural. That his high purpose is to save the world from further suffering goes without saying. But the present is not the opportunity of an intervening peacemaker who must assume that compromise is possible.
The Allies are fighting for a principle the maintenance of which affects the future of civilization. If they do not achieve it they have sacrificed the flower of their youth and mortgaged their future for a century, and all for nothing. This is not a war in which the stake is territory or sphere of influence. The Allies cannot concede peace until they