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SEPTEMBER 4, 1918
HAMMERING THE HUN
southwest of Arras. With them were a few Americans. They Each day since we last reported the progress of the war on
gathered in towns and territory from Moyenneville to Achiet-lethe outlaws of Germany has brought news of victory. The Grand, while the French, pressing on toward Noyon, drove in, battle which began on Bastille Day, July 14, and was signalized
in the course of a few days, a sharp wedge towards Chauny. at the first by an abortive German attack directed toward
Then the British by skillful maneuvering sent the Germans Châlons, and a brilliant, effective, and decisive counter-attack back, not only on their extreme right, but all along the line, by Americans at Château Thierry, has continued without ceas- so that Albert was soon left several miles within the Allied ing for day after day and week after week, and promises to territory; and before the seven days were up the British had continue for days and perhaps weeks to come. To us it seems penetrated and passed beyond the old Hindenburg line souththe greatest battle in history. It is great, not because of its east of Arras. bigness, the immense numbers of men engaged, the colossal
In addition to the fearful drubbing to which the Germans materials of war employed, the wide extent of territory over
have been subjected there has been administered the sort of which it rages, the days and weeks it has consumed, but because
defeat that makes it hard for the Germans to provide for a of the momentous issues at stake. It is the battle at the peak of future respite. At the left end of their line they are standing the war. It is up to this battle that the Allied nations have behind the Vesle, but when they go back, as they will have to been toilsomely climbing in the years past. It is from this battle do, they will not find the line of the Aisne, or even that of the that the Allied nations will descend upon Germany to admin
Chemin des Dames, as secure as they might wish, and if the ister the final crushing defeat. So it seems now.
British penetrate much behind the old Hindenburg line near There are undoubtedly months of struggle ahead of us. How Arras the Germans will find that not as comfortable or stable as many months will be determined by circumstances over which
they would like. The Germans are retreating because they we and our allies have virtual control. If we manage well, if have to retreat. They cannot choose their time or their method. we put forth our strength, if we resist trickery and peace They are doing it well, but they are doing it under duress. The swindles, if we lend our power to Russian resistance to Ger- arrogant bandits who have devastated a large part of northern many, if we strengthen the bonds that unite us
France and were on their greedy way to Paris are now fighting allies, the bonds that have formed an alliance more binding for their lives. than that which any treaty or other formal document can create, if we make use of the circumstances that are at our command,
THE NEW DRAFT AGES we may reasonably hope to dispose of Germany in another year.
That is the significance of the battle that Foch is directing If there were any question of the country's determination in these days. In order to understand what is happening we to see this war through to a finish, it would be settled by the must remember that the object of the fighting is not acquisition
decision of the Nation to increase its man power by extending the of territory, but the defeat of the enemy. To weaken and then draft age down to eighteen and up to forty-five. Whatever to destroy as a fighting force the German armies is what Foch reluctance there has been to develop the man power of the counis after. To that end the attainment of a town here, a crest try by such a measure as this has not come from the people at there, a bridge-head, a railway, a line of defenses, is necessary, large, but from those who are in responsible positions who have but all these things are not ends in themselves, but means to
hesitated to make any such demand upon the people. the end. There is of course involved in this war the desire on The whole question has been whether boys of twenty, ninethe part of every Allied soldier, from private to general, to trans- teen, and even eighteen, should be called as well as men from fer the fighting from French and Belgian to German soil. We thirty-one to forty-five. It is perhaps natural that there should want not only to beat the Germans, we want to beat them
be hesitation in calling boys of eighteen years of age. It is where the beating will do them and the world the most good, argued that they are not mature enough for service in modern and that is along and even across the Rhine. But the object is warfare, and that it is asking too much of parents to give to to beat them; and under Foch's leadership we are beating the service of their country sons of such youth. On the other them.
hand, figures from the War Department have been cited to show
and that there is no soldier FOCH'S BATTLE
equal to the young soldier. It is also pointed out that boys of We may think of this battle as extended from Arras to eighteen who are now drafted will be put under training and Rbeims. In the first stage of the battle Foch hammered the will not be sent to the front in most cases before they are nineHun at the left end of his line, where it extended in a semi- teen. The debate over this question has gone on in Congress, circle from Rheims through Château Thierry to Soissons. He but the country at large has shown every sign of willingness to hammered him hard. He took prisoners, munitions, and a toll support whatever action in this respect the military authorities in dead and wounded Germans; but, what is even more, he took consider wise and right. There is nothing the matter with the from the Hun his sense of superiority and his power of decision. spirit of the people of America. Then Foch struck him nearer the center of what is now the Certain members of Congress have advocated the adoption of battle-line and drove him back from Montdidier. During the a provision which would make mandatory the selection of all week which we are now recording Foch has taken him on the eligible men of the class above the age of eighteen before those right of his line. There Haig, with his gallant and dogged of eighteen are drafted; but Congress, reflecting the public British troops, has sent the Hun reeling back. And what has opinion of the Nation, has rejected the amendments to place any been characteristic of this battle from the beginning is still limitation upon the executive authority in this matter. characteristic of it. It has been a process of steady crushing in. It is going to be difficult to place boys of eighteen or nineteen
On August 20 the line ran curving inward on the Allies in the draft and at the same time make . provision for the confrom Arras through Albert to Roye, and then jutted again tinuing of the education of young men of that age; and yet inward around Lassigny and back to Noyon. While the French such education is necessary if we are going to develop out of were striking near Noyon the British launched their attack those young men the officers the country will need. The colleges
and technical schools of the country, in order to meet this situ- vinced that we ought not to ask Germany to what terms she ation, are establishing Student Army Training Corps, in which will assent, but that we ought to fight until we are able to tell eligible undergraduates will be enrolled. By their enrollment Germany to what terms she must assent. these young men will become enlisted men in the United States To what Senator Lodge has said we would add three stateArmy and subject to call into active service, but, it is expected, ments which we believe to be in accord with what the United will for the most part be furloughed for instruction in their States ought to do and will do. respective institutions. Provision will probably be made for In the course of his speech Senator Lodge said that it is idle the assignment, at the Government's expense, to such institu- to talk about annihilating the German people, and that we are tions of young men who are fit to receive higher education, not engaged in this war to try to arrange a government for especially in military branches, but who are not financially able Germany; but that we should put Germany in a position where to pay their own expenses. The measure as adopted by the she will do no more harm. This is true; but we should go House also contains a provision by which youths whose educa- further. First, the Allies have a right, and maybe a duty, to tion is interrupted by military service will be permitted, at the punish individual officers for murder or other crimes which they Government's expense, to receive education at such institutions have committed in violation of international law; and not only for a period equaling their military service, though not to these officers, but also their superiors. Though the Allies may exceed two years.
not find it their duty to punish the German nation as such, it is One provision has aroused a great deal of debate. This their right and their duty to refuse to interfere with the operation is the so-called “work or fight” provision. It would make it of the natural penal consequences that fall upon a nation guilty incumbent upon every man of draft age who would be put in of the criminal conduct that bas disgraced Germany. In the deferred classification because engaged in necessary war indus- second place, though it is not our business or desire to impose try to enter military service if he stops his work. This has been upon Germany a government of our selection, nevertheless, if we objected to on the ground that it is conscription of labor.” It think it is necessary for rendering Germany harmless, we have is argued that this gives private employers power over their the right to provide that a Hohenzollern shall never occupy the employees in preventing them from striking or stopping work, German throne, and that Germany shall have a government of collectively or individually.
such a character as will not be a menace to the peace and safety If the wage workers in war industries need to be protected of Europe and the world. In the third place, we have the against the despotism of private employers, their protection right and the duty to provide that the former German colonies should be provided by Government regulation of employers shall not be returned to Germany. It would be bad enough to rather than by the exemption of the workers from conscription return those colonies to the Hun from whom they have been under the “ work or fight” principle.
emancipated, if we did that in order to secure, through nego Germany ought to be aware by this time that the United tiations, benefits for other peoples, but it would be intolerable States is going to send an overwhelming army of men to join to do this as part of a dictated peace. in administering to her the defeat she richly deserves.
There is some danger that a few Americans of kindly dispo sition may feel it their duty to try to save Germany from a
humiliating peace, a peace that leaves a sting behind it. It is A DICTATED PEACE
not their duty or anybody's duty to protect Germany from the What sort of defeat does Germany deserve and does the sting, the humiliation, the disgrace which by her crimes she has safety of the world demand as a consequence of her aggression ? brought upon herself. This question was answered by Senator Lodge in a speech on the Man-Power Bill-one of the most notable speeches which has been made in Congress during the war. That speech has
THE LUSITANIA AGAIN special significance because Senator Lodge has, as a conse- When peace terms are dictated to Germany at the council quence of the recent death of Senator Gallinger, succeeded to table of the Allies, as General Grant dictated the terms of the position of minority leader of the Senate. He spoke with peace to General Lee, the sinking of the Lusitania and the the authority not only of his own great knowledge of inter- assassination of her passengers will form the
basis of one of the national affairs, but also of his new official position. In brief, most terrific accusations brought against the Prussian hierarchy. such defeat as Senator Lodge demands of Germany—and, as In a notable decision, just handed down in the Federal District we believe, the country is growing more and more to demand- Court of New York by Judge Julius Mayer, the destruction is one that will provide for what Senator Lodge calls “ a dic- of the Lusitania has been legally and officially declared to have tated peace.” The terms of that peace must not be arranged by been an act of piracy. It has been so regarded by many laymen negotiation with Germany, but must be imposed upon Germany from the day the news of the torpedoing was published, but this as a result of agreement among the Allied free nations. Such is the first time in which this definition has received legal sancterms as he regards as an irreducible minimum comprise the tion on this side of the water. restoration of Belgium, the unconditional return of Alsace-Lor- The decision is the result of suits brought against the Cunard raine, the redemption of Italia Irredenta, the re-establishment Line for damages to personal property, the claimants alleging of the independence of Serbia and Rumania, the securing of that the loss of the Lusitania was due to the negligence of her the safety of Greece, the establishment of the great Slav popu- owners and navigators. The litigation has been going on for lation as independent states and of an independent Poland, the more than a year. Judge Mayer's decision will, we think, be blocking of the pathway of Germany to the East, the restora- one of the historical documents of the war. In it he narrates tion of Russia, the taking away of Constantinople from Turkey, the facts in a form whose clearness and interest the practiced the sharing of Germany's fate by Turkey and Bulgaria, the journalist might well envy. He reviews the principles of intersecurity of Palestine, the Syrians, and the Armenians.
national law involved, with scholarly references to many legal That Germany would acquiesce in such a peace as that is not decisions and writings touching on international relations. to be imagined. “ No peace,” says Senator Lodge, “that satis- It has sometimes been said that the present war has destroyed fies Germany in any degree can ever satisfy us. It cannot be international law. This is not the opinion of Judge Mayer. He a negotiated peace. It must be a dictated peace, and we and refers even to German documents to show that Germany theo our allies must dictate it."
retically, even during the present war, has recognized the bindThough he speaks as a leader of his party, Senator Lodge, ing nature of international law, although in practice she has we believe, speaks for more than his party, just as the President grossly violated it. He finds that the Lusitania was not carryhas at various times spoken for more than his party. It is the con- ing munitions, that her captain took every possible precaution viction of the country that Senator Lodge voices. Our soldiers at for her safety, and that her owners were justified in relying the front who are fighting the Germans have no question about apon the universally accepted principle that an enemy vessel what kind of peace they are seeking through victory. And the may be destroyed at sea "only if it is impossible to take it into
we hear of what Germany has done through ravaged port, and provided always that the persons on board are put in France and Belgium, the more we hear how Germany fights to a place of safety.” gain her ends, the more we in America have become cani- Judge Mayer concludes that “the cause of the sinking of the