Dream of Post-War Brotherhood is Just a Political Fancy

Westbrook Pegler

Knoxville News-Sentinel/May 2, 1942

NEW YORK May 1— Some of our best minds have been toying with a great brotherhood of peoples under a rule of justice to be enforced, of course, by us and our partners in the role of military victors and I would like to throw in my opinion that they are either crazy or just being politicians. If our side wins the war, Russia will plan the peace of the European continent, and on the basis of all Russia’s past performances we can confidently assume that in Germany it will be a peace not much different from that which Hitler has imposed on Poland. Russia will not be asking our advice or permission any more than she is consulting us now in the conduct of the war and our own people will pick up their marbles and come on home to be more nationalistic than ever but very militaristic, too.

As a nation we simply aren’t inclined to world brotherhood. We are strictly loners as we demonstrated after the last war when we turned our backs on Europe and Woodrow Wilson. Notwithstanding whatever it was that Mrs. Roosevelt said about what the American fighting men did when the other war was over, it was the whole American people who renounced Europe. The American Legion had very little influence except in lobbying up pensions and the bonus and annoying people with riotous goings-on at the national conventions.

Will Like Being Tough

THE people were fed up on “Europe’s endless wars” as the phrase went but made the mistake of rejecting Wilson’s alternative stated over and over in his dying effort to swing us into his dream league. The alternative was that we must become a nation in arms with more or less universal compulsory military service. We turned down his league because we felt sure that we always would be running to a hen-house fire in the Balkans with a leaky hose and a celluloid ladder, but we also got plastered on jake and jumpsteady and, as drunks will, thought we could lick any half-dozen you-know-whats in the house with no more training than a haircut and a shave.

In all this time our nationalism hasn’t diminished a tenth of a degree, but we surely have discovered in the last couple of years that we can learn to shoot and march and fly as well as anyone else when we put our mind to it, and I think we are going to enjoy the feel of being tough so much that we will keep in training indefinitely with plenty of divisions, planes, ships and war industry.

Furthermore we will have to keep tough because if our side wins that means Russia wins and there is a nation with no friends, brothers, or confidants, a mysterious, mighty giant who will be shoving Communism all over the place. If we can learn to be as single-minded and selfish as Russia about our national safety we will do very well, and we certainly should try to learn to keep our secrets about inventions, methods, supplies, capacities and so forth because Russia and Germany did that while we were showing off our toys with the vain silly pride of little kids.

Won’t Work Both Ways

ONE of our high aviation officers was saying recently that when those Russians flew over to drop in on us a few years ago and we showed them all our stuff which wasn’t much in bulk but rather special one of the Russian officers said he just couldn’t understand why we did this. He said we showed him things that he didn’t even ask to see, whereas, in Russia, they never showed us anything and our people knew it would be useless to ask.

Russia, like Germany, has rubber boundaries which stretch and contract, and wherever they stretch to, there Communism is. I just don’t believe our people ever will go for Communism or collaborate sincerely in a post-war world arrangement in which one of the dominant powers is Communism. Moreover, collaboration has got to be reciprocal and we won’t be willing to go on furnishing all the reciprocity while Russia just grunts.

You may say this is a very sordid and pessimistic writing and not an alternative plan. Of course, it is no plan, but no plan is at least as good as any plan which calls on us to share world responsibility with a nation which shares nothing but her troubles with anybody.

The situation permits of no planning. The immediate business is to lick Germany, which having been done, Japan will be a pushover. The future will have to be managed as it happens and the stronger we remain when the war is over the better we will manage it from the standpoint of the only country that should matter to Americans, of the U S A.

Did you ever hear of any nation wanting to protect us?

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