“In other words, they do not want us to fight for them, but they do want us to approve of them. They want us to pass judgment upon the humanity and the legality of their acts, because they feel that our judgment will be the judgment of history. There is a lesson in this.
“If we had not repealed the Panama Canal Tolls Exemption act last June they would not have come to us as they are doing now. Who would have cared for our opinion in the matter of a treaty violation if, for mere financial interest or from sheer vanity, we ourselves had violated a solemn treaty?
“When Congress repealed the Panama Canal Tolls Exemption act it marked an epoch in the history of the United States. This did more than the Spanish war, than the building of the Panama Canal, or than anything else I think of, to make us a true world power.
“As a nation we have kept our word when sorely tempted to break it. We made Cuba independent, we have not exploited the Philippines, we have stood by our word as to Panama Canal tolls.
“In consequence we are the first moral power in the world today. Others may be first with armies, still others first with navies. But we have made good our right to be appealed to on questions of national and international morality. That Europe is seeking our favor is the tribute of the European nations to this fact.”
By Wilhelm Ostwald.
Late Visiting Professor
to Harvard and Columbia Universities
from the University of Leipsic.
The following article is extracted from a letter written by Prof. Ostwald to Edwin D. Mead, Director of the World Peace Foundation.
The war is the result of a deliberate onslaught upon Germany and Austria by the powers of the Triple Entente—Russia, France, and England. Its object is on the part of Russia an extension of Russian supremacy over the Balkans, on the side of France revenge, and on the side of England annihilation of the German Navy and German commerce. In England especially it has been for several centuries a constant policy to destroy upon favoring occasion every navy of every other country which threatened to become equal to the English Navy.
Germany has proved its love of peace for forty-four years under the most trying circumstances. While all other States have expanded themselves by conquest, Russia in Manchuria, England in the Transvaal, France in Morocco, Italy in Tripoli, Austria in Bosnia, Japan in Korea, Germany alone has contented itself with the borders fixed in 1871. It is purely a war of defense which is now forced upon us.
In the face of these attacks Germany has until now (the end of August) proved its military superiority, which rests upon the fact that the entire German military force is scientifically organized and honestly administered.
The violation of Belgian neutrality was an act of military necessity, since it is now proved that Belgian neutrality was to be violated by France and England. A proof of this is the accumulation of English munitions in Maubeuge, aside from many other facts.