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Newspaper Page Text
BIG BUSINESS SHOULD WORRY IF "OUR BOYS"
ARE USED TO BLOT HISTORY OF AMERICA
BY JANE WHITAKER
One of the most Impressive sights I have ever -witnessed was the Peace
Jubilee parade-in Philadelphia after the close of the war with Spain, when
the United States "was victorious in avenging the blowing up of the Maine
that cost so many sailors' lives, and had freed Cuba from oppression.
For blocks and blocks the long line marched, while in every office win
dow and in every home along Broad street crowds cheered and tossed money
into the street.
They were our soldier boys, what was left of the thousands that had
gone to the war, and our eyes dimmed as we looked at them with proud af
fection, and our throats choked as we remembered the graves somewhere.
But we felt that war with Spain was arighteous war, that it was a war
we need not be ashamed of as a country, and our soldiers were heroes.
That was over thirteen years ago, and somehow the mission for which
the boy enlists as a soldier seems to be in danger of becoming perverted.
Today the capitalists of Wall street are clamoring for troops to be sta
tioned where they can call upon them to mow down the mob in case the
mob ever dare riot on Wall street.
Today the militia is being used in labor agitations to defend the prop
erty of the mine owners against the men who are striking for a living wage.
Today, under orders of their superior officers, who are under orders
from the governors of the states, the men whb have enlisted that they may
nobly defend our nation if its citizens are oppressed, or may give their
lives to save other nations from oppression, are riding down defenseless
women, striking with their drawn sabres at old men, shooting recklessly
into crowds where sometimes there are little children.
Somehow I cannot place the blame at the door of the soldier boy,
somehow I think he is sickened when he is compelled to indulge in what
amounts to murder when it is a case of killing men in the defense of the
property of the capitalist, but there isn't any doubt but that his mission is
in danger of becoming perverted.
And now capitalists are trying to force the president to intervene in
Mexico. So far it would not seem that we have any cause for war; for
Americans have not been molested, save those who deliberately placed
themselves in the line of battle through idle curiosity. And the civil war
fare of which the American capitalists are making so much in our coun
try means nothing to Mexico, where they have revolutions whenever the
bull fight ceases to interest.
Mexico is the American gamblers' Ipng chance. The country is rich
in oil and in ore. Speculators buy tracts of land and sell again at immense
profits. Companies are organized, stock is issued; for no other purpose than
to buy a hacienda and sell it a few months later.
And it is to protect these gamblers that the United States is requested
to send its soldier boys there.
What does it matter to the gambler that many lives will be sacrificed?
The gambler doesn't stand in the firing line and face the enemy. He sits
in his luxurious office in Chicago or in New York and reads the bulletins
from the seat of war.
What does it matter to him how many mothers will never see their
boys &gain; how many wives will never be clasped in the arms of their hus
bands again; how many little children will never be able to run to the doo$