Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/175

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The Bohemian Review

the crimes of Germany and submitting positive proofs of horrible atrocities committed in the name of the Kultur. Fresh evidence reaches us every day of the Teuton black heart—ships sunk without warning, and sailors and passengers shelled in the life boats, bombs placed on neutral ships, while other neutral ships are sunk without trace. America swears solemnly that such horrible crimes shall not remain unavenged. And yet nothing that the Germans have done has exceeded in horror the massacres of Armenia, committed by the good friends and allies of the kaiser, the Young Turks. The closest approach to this wholesale extermination of an entire nation is the policy adopted by the Bulgarians toward the unfortunate Serbs who did not die in battle. Macedonia and the Nish valley have been almost completely cleared of the Serbs and given a Bulgarian appearance by the simple expedient of provoking the remnants of the people into revolt and then shooting the old men and the little children, and deporting the women into Asia Minor, where the Turks will take of them. The charges made by the Serbian government are as fully substantiated by evidence as the reports of the commission on Belgian atrocities. Of the Teutonic allies Austria-Hungary has attracted least notice in so far as charges of inhumanity are concerned. It is because its victims have been largely its own subjects who have no government of their own and no allies to take their part before the world. Up to the end of 1916 four thousand persons have been hanged in Austria because of “crimes against the state”, this according to Austrian official statistics, and no one can say how many more thousands have died in Austrian and Hungarian prisons of hunger. All the Central Powers are guilty of the blackest crimes against humanity. Practical considerations also strongly urge the wisdom of declaring a state of war to exist between America and the allies of Germany. Last April, as soon as we have become enemies of the kaiser, all the enemies of our enemy became our friends. We spoke of them as our allies, we welcomed their war missions, and knowing that their soldiers are fighting our battles we gave them money and allowed them to recruit in this country. But we did not go far enough. The enemies of Germany became our allies, but the allies of Germany did not become our enemies; they did in reality, of course, but not officially. We know that the struggle is one, and it little matters where Germany is defeated, whether on the west front or the eastern front, in the Carso or Mesopotamia. And yet we act as if there were several distinct wars, as if our own particular quarrel were with Germany only. It is illogical, it is wrong, it is foolish. When the Italians were winning victories against the Austrians, we rejoiced, even though Austria was not at war with us. Germany had far less reason to fight Italy than we have to fight Austria. But when Austria needed help, the kaiser promptly sent his soldiers against the Italians and inflicted a severe defeat up on them. We may not assist Italy with soldiers or guns, for we are not at war with her chief enemy. All we can do is to lend her a little more money or ship her some coal, and should submarines sink our ships in the Mediterranean, we will charge it to Germany’s account, even though the submarines have been outfitted in an Austrian base. It is all so illogical, and it complicates uselessly the clear issue of. why we fight. Take the Trading with the Enemy Act; there Congress puts the enemy and the enemy’s allies on the same plane. But some how our government lacks the spirit—or is it merely the occasion—to declare plainly that all the Central Powers are enemies of the United States.

A conference of all the states fighting Germany will be held in Paris in the middle of this month. After some hesitation the government of this country has decided to be represented there, instead of standing aside and taking an attitude of aloofness in common concerns. No doubt one of the great questions will be the co-ordination of the resources of the allies, so as to make them count to the last ounce, as Germany makes her comparatively small resources count, and in particular the necessity of furnishing aid to the brave Italian army whose costly successes are now endangered by a joint Austro-German attack. Will the United States say at this conference that it cannot help Italy, because that would be making war on Austria? Is it not a fact that if Austria and Germany succeed in defeating Italy so seriously that internal discontent and socialist agitation would compel King Victor Emmanuel to conclude peace, then the burden carried by the United States would become so much heavier? For every Italian soldier put out of action by an Austrian gun America must