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AMERICA'S DILEMMA ON WAR WITH TURKEY
Declaration Would Mean Destruction of Mis?
sionaries' Work Toward Armenian Relief and
the Probable Massacre of That Whole People
By H. K. Moderwell
FOR many decades the "unspeak?
able Turk" has been held up to
the world as the greatest blot
on civilisation, Christian leaders and
organisations have again and again
demanded that this country war upon
him and have denounced the Christian
powers for letting him live. Since the
war began he has added horribly to
hfs crimes. To-day we are at war with
his allies, and his forces in the field
tell against us as heavily as if he
faced us acre-es .No Man's Land. Yet
we are not fct war with himt Why!
largely because very Christian
leaders who so long denounced the
Turk now oppose attacking him, anc
President Wilson has listened to theii
advice. In spite of the massacres ol
Armenians, in spite of the long seriei
of outrages, in spite, finally, of the at
lacks on American hospitals, missions
and workers, they still declare that wai
with Turkey will do no good and mucl
Barm. They argue that we could no
hurt the Turk, since all our strengtl
must be used on the West front, am
that he would reply to our ftghtini
words by the massacre of another mill
ioa Christians and by the eonfiseatloi
of properties which represent an in
vestment of twenty-five million Amei
And that is why the Rev. Dr. Jame
L. Barton and the Rev. Dr. W. W. Peel
representing the American Board o
Commissioners for Foreign Mission!
have hastened to Washington.
The news of the latest Turkish out
rage?the attack by Turkish troops o
the American consulate at Tabri:
Persia, and the looting of an America
missionary hospital in that city
brouprht about a conference in this cit
of the leading directors of America
activities in the Turkish Empire for
discussion of the situation and resulte
in the sending of the two represent!
tives to the White House and the Sta.i
To Urge the
Policy of Patience
"It will be the mission of these mi
to-urge a continuance of the policy
patience/' said the spokesman for tl
confr?res, "because in our opinion
declaration of war now would be t
worst thing that could happen to tr
"Dr. Barton is eminently qualified
set forth the attitude of the Americ
board and Dr. Peet, with an experien
of more than a quarter of a century
Constantinople, is the best inform
man in this country on the Turki
official mental attitude toward t
United States. While we all admit t
alarming nature of the report of tl
latest outrage we do not believe it v.
committed with fbe approval, or 1
knowledge even, of the Turkish govei
ment, but was the work of a small i
tachment of Turkish troopB joined s
urged on by Tartars and Kurds fr
"Here is what we have all ale
said to President Wilson and here
what we say to him now:
"Do not consider the interests
the American organizations in the Tu
ish Empire If you think that anyth
can be gained for this country b;
declaration of war against Turkey,
do not condone the outrages, but we
concerned lest a step be taken wl
will make a bad situation infini
worse, will put a stop to all Armer
?nd Syrian relief work, will be the
nal for a general slaughter of the
nocents and thus, through starve
and the sword, cause the death of
other million Christian*.
War Would Help
Kaiser to Play Hi? Game
"We believe an American declare
?f war would be playing into the hi
of Germany. It would be helping
Kaiser to play his game with
Turks, We could not hurt Turkey
much. Following a massacre?and
many would see to the atrocious :
ures of the Turkish programme ol
lallation?there would be a cry a;
demand for the transfer of large b?
of troops from the Western from
Pranee to reinforce the armies oppt
ta? Turkish forces.
"Such a weakening of the A
tercas in the We?tern theatre of
wenld be t?Un. auch a move woul
?n answer to the Kaiser's prayer.
fast we would like to impress upoi
"All the questions of this war
to be settled on the Western f
*ot only will the fat? of Prance
Belgium be determined by the out
there, but also the fat? of Italy, Ru
the Balkana, as well aa the fate ol
??rman Empire and its alli?e, Inch
"We must win on the Western i
????use victory for the Allies I
??ans the collapse everywhere ol
Powers opposing them.
"So we advise that, la the abi
?* ?ore information relative to
labri? affair, our government el
refuse to be stampeded, even by ex
President Roosevelt. As the situation
stands to-day we are holding a whip
and a threat over Turkey. We say the
whip will descend with a dec?aration-of
war lash if Turkey does not behave well
toward us and that there will be eco?
nomic punishment after the war.
"We have reason to believe the Tur?
kish government does not want war. It
would be foolish for this country to de?
clare war on Turkey and not be able to
go through with it most effectively.
Such a course would do us more harm
! than good, but would be a state of
: affairs fashioned for the Kaiser's bene?
i In Line With
! Wilson's Policy
And that is the message that Dr.
! Barton and Dr. Peet have taken to
; Washington from the New York con
These views are supported by Presi?
dent Wilson's so-called unofficial board
of advisers on Turkish questions, at
least by two or them. Who are the
men who have helped to shape hie de?
cision not to declare war on Turkey 1
Three men, chiefly: First, Ambas?
sador Elkus, who on his return from
Turkey after the breaking off of formal
relations was obviously one man to
consult. Next there was a clergyman
in Boston, relatively little known out?
side his own circle of activities?the
Rev. Dr. James L. Barton, secre?
tary of the American Board of Com?
missioners for Foreign Missions. And
third, and perhaps most influential oi
all, a New York business man whom
few have suspected of any intimate
knowledge of near-Eastern condi?
tions. This man is Cleveland H. Dodge,
of the Phelps-Dodge Mining Company
a close friend of the President.
The Results of
War in Turkey
Perhaps in no previous administra?
tion have private individuals played so
momentous a part in public affairs.
Some weeks ago Senator King in?
troduced a resolution calling for a
declaration of war on Turkey. He was
vigorously supported by Senator Lodge
and by a considerable section of in?
But there was no declaration of war
The President quietly said no. Sec?
retary of State Lansing issued a brief
statement explaining that such a dec?
laration of war would jeopardize the
extensive relief work now being car?
ried on by America in the Turkish
Empire, would endanger the lives of;
Americans in Turkey and would not
affect tks -orture* of the Kaiser.
The mutter was dropped, as so many
other demands have been dropped at a
single syllable from the Presidential
lips. War with Turkey has not been
heard about since.
From such events the average citizen
gets an impression of vast, silent power
somewhere, capable of giving to Presi?
dent Wilson the Olympian confidence
with which he squelches the sugges?
tions of distinguished statesmen. He
must be sure of his ground to act on
momentous measures with such placid
It Is the silent, unofficial Cabinet
which buttresses this confidence.
Mr. Dodge's close friendship with
the President is commonly known. He
was a classmate of Mr. Wilson's in
P/inceton. When some years later,
Mr- Wilson, as president of the col?
lege, was seeking to break up the "club
system" and institute the supposedly
more democratic "quads," it was Mr.
Dodge, almost alone of the distinguish?
ed alumni and trustees, who publicly
and vigorously supported him. The cir- j
pumstance was the more remarkable
in that this Princeton quarrel had
every appearance of a fight between the
rich families and the poor students
of Princeton?and Mr. Dodge is ex?
tremely rich. Doubtless this moral
The following missionary station?
occupied by American missionaries
were in Syria at the beginning of the
Abieh-?Presbyterian, 3 mission?
Beirut?Presbyterian, Y. M. C. A.,
Syrian Protestant College, 86 mis?
Jerusalem ? Seventh-Day Adven?
tist, Steam*' Church, 3 missionaries.
Tripoli?Presbyterian, 11 mission?
Zahleh?Presbyterian, 2 mission?
There were hospitals at Beirut and
Tripoli. There was a college at Bei?
rut. There were also 14 secondary
schools with 7,158 pupils in all the
In Arabia there were the following
missionary stations occupied by
Bahrein Island?Dutch Reformed,
Basra?Dutch Reformed, 7 mission?
Koweit?-Dutch Reformed. 3 mis-'
support in time of need reached Mr.
Wilson's heart and established the con?
fidence which is now exercising its in?
fluence in the national councils.
Mr. Dodge later became one of that
numerous fraternity of "original Wil?
son men." He contributed heavily to
both the Wilson campaigns. He stood
out prominently among the Wilson sup?
porters, very few of whom represented,
as he did, great vested interests. The
President's action in refusing to protect
with armies the American investments
in Mexico earned him the distrust of
most large investors. But here was
a rich man?and a mining man at that
?championing the President who had
refused to place the American flag on
American properties abroad. Obvious?
ly, he was a valuable friend for the
Administration to have.
Now, it just happened that Mr. Dodge
was extremely well informed on near
Eastern affairs. His daughter is the
wife of George H. Huntington, vice
president of Robert College, near Con?
stantinople, and for a number of years
a professor there. Mrs. Huntington
has given herself loyally to the as
AMERICAN MISSIONS IN THE LEVANT
Names of cities where missions are located are in heavy type.
Muscat?Dutch Reformed, 5 mis?
There was a hospital in each of
these stations. Koweit had 2 hospi?
tals. There were also elementary
schools, but they are reported with
TURKEY (excluding Syria and Ara?
In this are? there were the follow?
ing missionary stations occupied by
Adana?American Board, 9 mis?
Aintab?-American Board, 10 mis?
Bardizag?American Board, 2 mis?
Bruasa?American Board, 3 mis?
American Bible Society, Y. M. C. A.,
Y. W. C. A, Robert College, 79 mis?
Diarbekir?American Board, 2 mis?
Erzerum?American Board, 6 mis?
Kharput (Harpoot) ? American
Board, 6 missionaries.
Konia?American Christian Hospi
i tal, 5 missionaries.
WHERE THE TURK HAS PASSED
All that is left of the village of Vostan.
sistanoe of her husband in the work
of educating Turkish and Balkan young j
men in the civilization of the West.
Mr. Dodge has long been chairman of
the college board of trustees and has
kept himself closely informed on Turk
SCENE OF LATEST TURKISH OUTRAGES AGAINST AMERICANS
Xfthcis, Persia, where Turks raided the Am?arteaa ?iospitaL,
ers, 9 missionaries.
Marash?American Board, 9 mis
Mardin?American Board, 9 mia
Marsovan?American Board, Y. W.
C. A., 16 missionaries.
ers, 9 missionaries.
Sivas?American Board, 7 mision?
Smyra?American Broad, 11 mis?
Talas?American Board, 12 mis?
Tarsus?American Board, 3 mis?
Trebi_ond ? American Board, 3
Van?American Board, Presbyte?
rian, 6 missionaries.
There were hospitals at Adana,
Aintab, Diarbekdr, Erzerum, Kharput,
Konia, Mardin, Marsovan, Sivaa, Talas
and Van. There were colleges at
Aintab, Constantinople (2), Kharput,
Konia, Mar?sh, Marsovan, Tarsus. In
addition there were 31 secondary
schools and a total of 24,272 pupils
under instruction in schools of all
grades. There were also 3 orphan?
ish affairs, not only through his son
in-law, but by independent investiga?
tion. He is at present treasurer of
the American Committee for Armenian
and Syrian Relief.
Dr. Barton was for some years a
In Persia there were the following
missionary stations occupied by
Hamadan?Presbyterian, 10 mis?
Kazvin?Presbyterian, 2 mission?
Mashhad?Presbyterian, 4 mis?
Resht?-Presbyterian, 6 mission?
Suj Bulak?In tersy nodical Luth?
eran, 7 missionaries.
Tabriz?Presbyterian, 18 mission?
Teheran?Presbyterian, 1S mis?
Urumiya?Presbyterian, 17 mis?
There were hospitals at Hamadan
(2), Mashhad, Tabriz, Teheran and
Urumiya. There were also one or?
phanage and 4,574 pupils in schools
of all grades.
In addition to the foregoing there
were a few missionaries of other or?
ganizations working independently oi
in conjunction with missions from
other countries. Chief among these
were missionaries of the Friends'
Church and of the Mennonite Church.
missionary in Turkey, working up from
the humblest service, which he entered
immediately upon leaving college. He
is now reputed to be the best informed
man on near-Eastern affairs in the
United States. His office in the Cor
gregational Building in Boston is a sort
of state department, to which con
1 fidential reports come as though by
natural gravitation, where long-visioned
policies are formed, where informa?
tion of both the common and the in
; flammable varieties is filed for refer?
ence. Though the American Board does
: not control all the American missions
in Turkey, it has become a sort of un?
official clearing house for mission ac?
tivities. Now that the war is on, mak?
ing communication with the Orient
j difficult, it has taken on an almost
I diplomatic character.
Of former Ambassador Elkus and his
extraordinary success under difficull
conditions in Turkey the public i;
well informed. He ably carried on th<
work of his predecessors, Mr. Strau?
and Mr. Morgenthau, in dealing witl
the Turkish government on behalf o
American missionary activities. As i
Wilson's Advisers Say War Would Enable Kaiser
to Play His Game With the Sultan to Greater
ArlvnnfaerA in KastArn \nJt\vlA
; result, Turkish officialdom has been
i surprisingly kindly toward our mis
? aion work, and except where the Sul?
tan's special decrees have been con
i cerned has treated Americans with
, courtesy and even real friendliness.
! Because of its influence the Ameri
) can relief work in Turkey is continued
j even now, when diplomatie relations
I have been severed.
: Three Reasons for
: Peace With Turkey
! It was these three men more than
i any others who convinced President
| Wilson that formal war with Turkey
| would be disastrous for three main
| reasons: First, and negatively, that
i it would not exercise any military in?
fluence, since it is out of the question
that an American army should be land?
ed on Turkish soil now when the West
front is crying for men; ^econd, and
j very positively, that a declaration ol
j war would instantly stop the relie!
j work among the Armenians and Syr
i ians, which has been more extensiv?
and practically helpful than mosl
Americans imagine, and would definite'
ly turn these peoples over to the ulti?
mate cruelties of the terrible Turk;
and third, if war were declared, Tnrkej
i (which of course means Germany]
i would step in and confiscate Americat
missionary properties amounting t<
some $20,000,000 in value. These prop
erties would of course be returnee
after a victorious peace, but the eon
tinuity of the American work wouli
have been fatally interrupted. Ameri
cans woula be obliged to start again a
I the bottom to build up the influence
which has made possible such a benefi
In short, said Mr. Dodge, Dr. Bartor
and Mr. Elkus, a war with T?rke;
would be a paper war. But the thou
sands of Armenian orphans dead fo
! lack of American aid would be tei
, ribly real.
Many Americans, perhaps, do nc
| know in detail how universal an
: urgent is the distress which America
charity is called upon to relieve. Th
Committee for Armenian and Syria
Relief gives out the following figures
At least 1,000,000 Armenians an
Syrians in Turkey have perished du:
! ing the past two years from massacr
! deportation, exposure, starvation an
Over 2,000.000 are now homeless ar
1 in dire dintress; 400,000 of those i
I need are orphans.
Little children scarcely able to fee
: themselves live absolutely alone i
From the Political
Point of View
Sufferers in the Lebanon distrii
i recently were dying at the rate of 1,0(
! a day.
Half a million refugees have fled tl
i Turkish dominions and in their ten
porary homes cry for help.
It might seem that charity could i
more than nick the surface of sue
misery. And it is true that Amerie
has not been able to approach in tl
Turkish Empire the relatively cor
prehensive relief work of Belgiui
Still, it is a wholesale and not mere
a detailed job which the raissionari
have been performing in the Eas
Widows and orphans have been savi
from death by exposure, not by tl
scores but by the thousands. And
what is highly important from the p
litical point of view?among the o
pressed races of the Turkish Empi
the name of America has come to mei
just what it meant in Belgium?unsel
ish beneficence. In the reconstructs
after the war the decision of Ameri'
will have a weight among the peopl
concerned beyond that of any oth
Here is an "if" on which Mr. Dodj
Dr. Barton and Mr. Elkus seem
have laid great stress in their re
resentations to the President: If t
continuity of the relief work is n
1 The reports of the Armenian and
Syrian Relief Committee, audited and
I issued by Mr. Dodge, shows that since
the organization of the committee in
October, 1915, a total of more than
$10,600,000 has been received for their
work, nearly all of which ha? been dis?
bursed. Some (200,000 a month is
, being contributed by the Red Cross,
which recognizes the utility of the re
j lief work. The rest has com? from
| private donations, in large measure
i from American churches. The detailed
i statement up to the first of April fol
Of Missionary Relief
! Total rue* p<? t? Daccmbar 81. I ?XT... $?."?????
BecolpU for January. 1911. f 83.189 M
Keee.pte tor February, ISIS. ?S1.SIS.SS
lloce'.pu tor March. 181?. ?S3.8ST.4?
DtSBiraSKMSNTB FOB BJEUKF
Plettou? to Sin?? Jan. 1
Ttec 31. 1917 181S
?Y>n*t.an'pia 12,453.832 91 $155.28*.09
Tiflla . 1,806,882 1? ?61.171.M
' Jeniaalem.. SS.OfiO.0?? 111.200 ?0
T?her?n ... 15.000.00 SW.OW 0?
Bairdad ... 40.000.00
Oiro . 19,474.00
Tabrla . X.965.262.4? 4?1.47? ??
Beirut . ?15.869.? ?0.?00.9?
Sn-lueorlana. X?M?tt 0?
Port Said.. 5,000??
Vatliy, Samoa 600 0?
M.SS9.??L?? t7,?vM07 H ?.?rTjssjs
l?8 approsrlatlona au
tborlaed but ii?ld far
ilcoii&e of the War Trada
! :oi>uoUoo?la . S4??.???
Beirut . 100.908 S09.M0.M
Net unappropriated balance ?railanla
! March 31, 1918. ?1*8 MT ?8
? This relief, nearly all expended in
actual supplies, has gone to the most
needy. Detailed relief reports are of
I course not available, but several hun?
dred thousand Armenians and Syrians,
. at the least, have been saved from
actual starvation. Orphanages have
j been established, besides industrial
schools, in which the refugees, torn
! from their homes and their habits,
may learn a new trade for the future.
Much of the relief work has been done
from Tiflis, in the Russian Caucasus,
i to which many Armenians fled when
I the massacres and deportations began.
Of Good Soldiers
There are now, the committee re
| ports, more than 100,000 missionaries,
' physicians, teachers, former consular
j agents and other reliable administrs
? tors in various sections cf the Turkish
Empire to-day remaining heroically at
their posts for the sole purpose of ad
| ministering relief and saving peoplo
j from starvation. They willingly risk
their lives. A score of such workers
have died from contagious diseases con?
tracted in the service. "For courage
and usefulness to humanity," says Mr.
Dodge, "there is no distinction to be
drawn between them and the soldiers in
the field." These are the people who
remained at their posts when Ambas?
sador Elkus warned them that their
? own safety dictated their return to
As to the efficiency of the work,
: under extreme pressure and difficulties,
: there is only one kind of report. It
i .vas summed up by Mr. Elkus last
j October, when he wrote: "When I left
i Constantinople, owing to the breaking
j of diplomatic relations with Turkey,
I the work of relief carried on by the
: American Committee for Armenian and
Syrian Relief was so thoroughly or?
ganized that arrangements were easily
; made for continuing that work in every
; department, even in the absence of the
\ embassy and United States consuls at
i different points in the country. The
work is now being carried on effective?
ly at all of the centres under increas?
ing friendliness on the part of the
Turkish officials, and with a need that
is constantly growing greater as the
The paths for the transmission of
money are a little devious, but there
has been no instance of money going
astray. Though all is done under the
protection and with the knowledge of
the Turkish officials, no money or sup?
plies pass through Turkish hands.
Reinforcements are arriving. A par?
ty of ten recently left for Turkey un?
der thve auspices of the committee, in?
cluding Professor Jackson, of Columbia,
and Mrs. Jackson.
Work of Schools
The American schools are continuing
their work uninterruptedly, often get?
ting their supplies through the courtesy
of Turkish officials at specially low rates.
Among these schools are the Syrian
Protestant College at Beirut, th?
American College for Women iu Con?
stantinople, Robert College, near the
name city, and the International In?
stitute, near Smyrna. Robert College*
?or instance, has at present 460 pupils,
which is approximately its normal num?
ber, and the Beirut senooi uta* 750.
All these facts, presumably, were
aid before President Wilson when the
question of war with Turkey was raised.
It is no secret that the President if in
frequent correspondence with Dr. Bar
ion. That Mr. Elkus was consulted is
a matter of course.
Mr. Dodge said the other day that
ho had shared with the President his
information concerning affairs in Tur?
key. "But Dr. Barton and Mr. Elkus,"
he added, "were able to tell him more
than I could. We are all strongly
against a declaration of war on Tur?
key at this time. The situation re?
quires great patience. The war pro?
posed by Senator King would be a pa?
per war. The fate of Armenia and Syria
will actually be settled on the Wester?