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“Statesmanship can be reduced to three principles : First, to maintain your power, and, according to circumstances, to extend it. Second, to form an alliance only for your own advantage. Third, to command fear and respect, even in the most disastrous times.
“Do not be ashamed of making interested alliances from which you yourself can derive the whole advantage. Do not make the foolish mistake of not breaking them when you believe your interests require it.
“Above all, uphold the following maxim: To despoil your neighbors is to deprive them of the means of injuring you.
“When he is about to conclude a treaty with some foreign power, if a sovereign remembers he is a Christion, he is lost.”
From 1914 until the present, in a war waged by Germany with a revolting barbarity unequaled since the conquests of Genghis Khan, Germany has violated every rule agreed upon by civilized nations in mod. ern times to mitigate the barbarities of war or to protect the rights of noncombatants and neutrals. She had no grievance against Belgium except that Belgium stood upon her admitted rights and refused to break the faith of her treaties by consenting that the neutrality of her territory should be violated to give Germany an avenue for the attack upon France,
She has taken possession of the territory of Belgium and subjected her people to the hard yoke of a brutal soldiery. She has extorted vast sums from her peaceful cities. She has burned her towns and battered down her noble churches. She has stripped the Bel
gian factories of their machinery and deprived them of the raw material of manufacture.
She has carried away her workmen by tens of thousands into slavery, and her women into worse than slavery. She has slain peaceful noncombatants by the hundred, undeterred by the helplessness of age, of infancy, or of womanhood. She has done the same in northern France, in Poland, in Serbia, in Roumania.
In all of these countries women have been outraged by the thousand, by tens of thousand, and who ever heard of a German soldier being punished for rape, or robbery, or murder? These revolting outrages upon humanity and law are not the casual incidents of war, but are the results of a settled policy of frightfulness answering to the maxim of the Great Frederick to “command respect through fear.”
Why were these things done by Germany? The answer rests upon the accumulated evidence of German acts and German words so conclusive that no pretense can cover it, no sophistry can disguise it. The answer is that this war was begun and these crimes against humanity were done because Germany was pursuing the hereditary policy of the Hohenzollerns and following the instincts of the arrogant military caste which rules Prussia, to grasp the over-lordship of the civilized world and establish an empire in which she should play the role of ancient Rome.
They were done because Prussian militarism still pursues the policy of power through conquest, of aggrandizement through force and fear, which in little more than two centuries has brought the puny mark
of Brandenburg?—with its million and a half of people to the control of a vast empire—the greatest armed force of the modern world.
It now appears beyond the possibility of doubt that this war was made by Germany pursuing a long and settled purpose. For many years she has been preparing to do exactly what she has done with a thoroughness, a perfection of plans, and a vastness of provision in men, munitions, and supplies never before equaled or approached in human history.
She brought the war on when she chose, because she chose, in the belief that she could conquer the earth, nation by nation.
All nations are egotistical, all peoples, think most highly of their own qualities, and regard other peoples as inferior; but the egotism of the ruling class of Prussia is beyond all example and it is active and aggressive. They believe that Germany is entitled to rule the world by virtue of her superiority in all these qualities which they include under the term “kultur," and by reason of her power to compel submission by the sword.
That belief does not evaporate in theory. It is translated into action, and this war is the action which results. This belief of national superiority and the right to assert it everywhere is a tradition from the Great Frederick.8 It has been instilled into th- minds of the German people through all the universities and schools. It has been preached from her pulpits and
taught by her philosophers and historians. It has pels been maintained by her government and it will never
cease to furnish the motive for the people of Prussia so long as German power enables the military autocracy of Prussia to act upon it with success.
Plainly, if the power of the German government is to continue, America can no longer look for protection to the law of nations or the faith of treaties or the instincts of humanity or the restraints of modern civilization.
Plainly, also, if we had stayed out of the war and Germany had won there would no longer have been a balance of power in Europe or a British fleet to support the Monroe Doctrine and protect America.
Does any one indulge in the foolish assumption that Germany would not then have extended her lust for power by conquest to the American continent? Let him consider what it is for which the nations of Europe have been chiefly contending for centuries past.
It has been for colonies. It has been to bring the unoccupied or weakly held spaces of the earth under their flags and their political control, in order to increase their trade and their power.
Spain, Holland, Portugal, England, France, have all had their turn, and have covered the earth with their possessions. For thirty years Germany, the last comer, has been pressing forward with feverish activity the acquisition of stations for her power on every coast and every sea, restive and resentful because she has been obliged to take what others have left.
Europe, Asia, and Africa have been taken up. The Americas alone remain. Here in the vast and unde
fended spaces of the new world, fraught with potential wealth incalculable, Germany could “find a place in the sun,” to use her emperor's phrase; Germany could find her “liberty of national evolution,” to use his phrase again. Every traditional policy, every instinct of predatory Prussia, would urge her into this new field of aggrandizement.
What would prevent? The Monroe doctrine? Yes. But what is the Monroe doctrine as against a nation which respects only force unless it can be maintained by force? We already know how the German government feels about the Monroe doctrine.
Bismarck declared it to be a piece of colossal impudence; and, when President Roosevelt interfered to assert the doctrine for the protection of Venezuela, the present kaiser declared that if he then had a larger navy he would have taken America by the scruff of the neck.
If we had stayed out of the war, and Germany had won, we should have had to defend the Monroe docErine by force or abandon it; and if we abandoned it there would have been a German naval base in the Caribbean commanding the Panama canal, depriving us of that strategic line which unites our eastern and western coasts, and depriving us of the protection the expanse of ocean once gave, and an America unable or unwilling to protect herself against the establishment of a German naval base in the Caribbean would
lie at the mercy of Germany, and subject to Ger• many's orders.