The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915.

How to Prevent War.

“Armament must mean the use of armament, and that is war.  If we are to prevent war we must prevent preparation for war, just as if we are to prevent burglary we must prevent preparation for burglary by prohibiting the carrying of the instruments of burglary.  The only cure for war” [Mr. Carnegie in speaking italicized the word “cure”] “is war which defeats some one; but two men who are unarmed are certain not to shoot at one another.  Here, as in medicine, prevention is much better than cure.

“Plainly it must be through such prevention, not through such a cure as victory sometimes is supposed to represent, that warfare can be stopped.  Warfare means some one’s defeat, of course, and that implies his temporary incapacity for further war, but it goes without saying that all conquered nations must be embittered by their defeat.

“Few nations ever have fought wars in which the majority of at least their fighting men did not believe the side they fought for to be in the right.  Defeat by force of arms, therefore, always has meant the general conviction throughout conquered nations that injustice has been done.”

Nations Like Individuals.

“In such circumstances nations must be like individuals under similar conditions.  The individual believing himself to have been in the right, yet finding himself beaten in his efforts to maintain it, will not accept the situation philosophically; he will be angry and rebellious; he will nurse what he believes to be his wrong.

“To nurse a wrong, whether it be real or fancied, is to help it grow in the imagination, and that must mean at least the wish to find some future means of righting it, either by strategy or increased strength.

“There are two things which humanity does not forget—­one is an injury, and, no matter how strongly some may argue against the truth of this contention, the other is a kindness.

“In the long run both will be repaid.  And nations, like individuals, prefer the coin which pays the latter debt.  Military force never has accomplished kindness.  Kindness means industrial armies decked with the garlands of peace; military armies, armed and epauletted, must mean minds obsessed with the spirit of revenge or conquest, hands clenched to strike, hearts eager to invade.

“Every military implement is designed to cut or crush, to wound and kill.  Nations at peace help one another with humanity’s normal tenderness of heart at times of pestilence, of famine, of disaster.  Nations at war exert their every ounce of strength to force upon their adversaries hunger, destruction, and death.  Starvation of the enemy becomes a detail of what is considered good military strategy in war time, just as world-embracing charity has become a characteristic of all civilization during times of peace.  Must we not admit flotillas carrying grain to famine-stricken peoples to be more admirable than fleets which carry death to lands in which prosperity might reign if undisturbed by war?”

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The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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