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WHAT BRITISH VICTORY MEANS
TO SYRIA. Dr. Iloskins hag spent a lifetime in Syria, and for the last seventeen years has been editor of the Presbyterian mission press at Beirut. He knows conditions in the Far East as do few other Americans. He is not at liberty to tell all he would like, but the fol lowing will give readers a constructive idea of some of the results of British conquest of Arabia and Syria: The effect and importance of the capture of Bagdad by the British can not be exaggerated. It retrieves the loss of prestige by the unfortunate catastrophe at Kut el Amara and will go far to restore the prestige of the British not only with the Turks who are now fleeing westward but among the larger populations of Persia and India who have been more or less dis turbed by the molelike conspiracies and shameless impudence and effron tery of the German propaganda car ried on during the past ten or twelve years. Ever since the German emperor's visit to Syria in 1898 the eyes of the Germans have been on the East. The development of an influence from the days of von Bieberstein to the out break of the war has been pivoted upon the Bagdad railway. This in fluence or dream was crystallized into the cry for the spectacular railway from "Berlin to Bagdad." This dream has now been hopelessly shattered for ever. Great Britain has for years been perfectly willing to establish this great enterprise upon an international basis, but Germany has done every thing in her power to make the scheme wholly her own in spite of all that Russia and France and Great Britain were willing to do. When Germany had apparently suc ceeded in securing the whole right of way to Bagdad by secret machinations and cajolings of the Turks, Great Britain hoisted the British flag at Koweit and gave notice that whatever else happened Great Britain would own and control the section of the Bagdad railway from the city of Bag dad to the only possible terminus at Koweit. At that time Germany formu lated her famous Impudent doctrine of "compensation" for not being allowed to build this section. Germany's vaulting ambition to ward the East soon revealed itself in still more daring plans for invading Egypt and cutting the Suez canal, thus severing Great Britain's artery into India. She actually promised to make Enver Pasha viceroy of Egypt. These facts, now well known, led to the hasty expedition towards Bagdad as well as the ill-fated attempt on Gallipoli, and events occurring since then have re vealed the extent of Germany's des perate attempts to accomplish her ends. The promise of Egypt restored to Turkey and the privilege of wreak ing her revenge upon the Armenians led the present diabolical triumvirate (Envlr, Talaat and Khalll) into the awful meshes of Prussian conspiracy against England. The Berlin-Bagdad dream of Ger many has proved an awful nightmare to that part of the world and the human race. But it is over now ana forever. The German- emperor may now lay aside his title ofHajJ Guilyom and divest himself of the green turban which his Turkish friends have fanci fully placed upon his head, for Great Britain, with her arrtlies now inside of Syria, can reveal and develop her well formed plans for the sultan of Egypt, Syria and Irak. Egypt is already a part of the British empire, with a viceroy. Irak, the ancient name for the country round Bagdad, recalls, like Delhi In India, the former glories of the Mohammedan world of Arabic scholarship and art and robs the pres ent sultan ot Turkey of all his spurious claims to the caliphate and headship of the religion of Islam throughout the world ? another vagary of the German emperor, who attempt ed to pin this supreme decoration upon his Ottoman tarboosh when he for mally proclaimed the German alliance with Turkey at Damascus on that fate ful visit to Syria. All this, and more than can be packed Into ten thousand words, is the meaning of the capture of Bagdad. Jerusalem has loomed large in the Berlin-Bagdad dream. After the em peror's visit in 1898 the empress en couraged an enterprise on the Mount of Olives. It was taken up with en thusiasm for reasons that not even the Germans in Syria could ever fully understand, but with the result that the most extensive and magnificent buildings erected in the Holy Land within five hundred years are now a fact embodying the most complete and perfect specimens of. German archi tecture, tiling, brass work, stained glass. The structure could easily house the court from Berlin. Since the war they have been occupied in part and at times by Jamal Pasha and the German military authorities. The capture of Jerusalem and later of Damascus will complete in a way Great Britain's duty to her millions of Moslem subjects. She now protects Mecca and Medina, which with Jeru salem and Damascus comprise the four holy cities of Islam. These with Cairo and Bagdad clean, orderly, safe, ac cessible to all Moslems and all nations, not to mention Christian mission aries, and ruled by British justice, is the pleasing prospect of better days. The situation in Syria just now is pitiful beyond all description. The known deaths from long continued malnutrition ending in actual starva tion have risen from 80,000 in July to more than 200,000 in January. Those deaths include the caravans of Armenian deportations which are still reported as reaching Aleppo, which marks the north boundary of Syria. We are more than sure that between 1,000,000 and 1,600,000, perhaps 2, 000,000, of those dwelling in Bible lands must now look to us to save them from actual starvation, not to mention the rehabilitation of .their homes and circumstances Just as soon as the way is opened. Relief is ap parently near from Egypt by advance of the allied army at Gaza and the movements of a part of the British fleet. The railroad from Port Said and Ismailiyeh already approaching Gaza with the troops will soon be carrying relief into Palestine and later to Syria. The commander of the fourth army In Syria, Jamal Pasha, has shown him self during the past two years not un friendly, to say the least, to all Ameri cans and no lover of the Germans or of their cause, so that we may hear of other surprises in that section of the world. From what we know of him, if he can be freed from the in fluences which have driven him hither to, we may fully expect the lives of all the Americans to be respected. During the year that closed freedom of movement was under fewer onerous restrictions. American schools belong ing to the Syria mission of the Pres byterian Church in the U. S. A. were all open, which must mean that Jamal Pasha makes it possible to secure at greatly advanced prices, of course, the most necessary items of food. We know the same to be true of the hos pitals for the' Insane and tuberculosis patients. Letters as late as January 8th and February 17th, while not able to mention internal affairs, assure us that all was well with the American community at that date, and cable grams in March assure as that mat ters of finance and relief were going on. about as usual, with no hint of ill ness or death among the American workers. The higher Turkish officials prob ably know more of affairs in Germany than we do, and nothing of auy great value or importance that reaches the Turkish authorities is ever kept con cealed for any great length of time. If they know as well as we do that all is not going well with Germany there is every hope that they will not feel any desire at this stage to Indulge in any frightfulness. ? Franklin E. Hoskins. IS INDUSTRIAL DR. JEKYLL AN ECCLESIASTICAL MR. HYDE? Nearly all the prominent business men of America have some connec tion with the Church; many of them are conspicuous leaders of Christian enterprise. Industrially they are Dr. Jekyll; ecclesiastically they are Mr. Hyde. What use is there in glossing the matter? They are proud of being just and fair where it is an economic necessity; they are brutally callous where it is a religious grace. The em ployer who dare not rip a faithful but gray-haired mechanic from his lathe and throw him upon the mercy of the community will tear a faithful but gray-haired preacher from his pulpit and drop him upon the lean, cold bosom of charity. Perhaps the hor rible anachronism is the last defiance of a defeated feudalism. What fault there Is lies at the door of the wealthier laymen of the churches, particularly the successful business men. Nearly all of them are officers or partners or stockholders in the great corporations of the country. They know perfectly well that prac tically every large and well-establish ed Industry is providing for the dis ability and the old age of its employes; they have almost a flawless knowledge of the action recently taken by various States in respect of employers' liability; they acquiesce in the pen sions paid by the government to the personnel of the army and navy. These and other developments of the cor porate conscience are now fixed fac tors of business and citizenship, jus tified alike by economic justice and humanitarlanism. As sure as there is a conscience in the race there will be a frightful Nemesis if the alternative is not faced. Already there is difficulty in getting a supply of high-calibre candidates for the ministry; the men of broadest mind and most sensitive soul are not willing to pay the toll. And there are many ministers, too old to serve the Church but not too old to sufTer, who secretly envy Jesus of Nazareth who died at thirty-three with his work done. ? Joseph II. Odell, in The Atlan tic Monthly. THE SYRIAN SITUATION. A letter by one whose knowledge of the Syrian situation and whose dis interested, mature judgment is unim peachable, though for the present it seems best to withhold the name, reads in part as follows: "The condition of the inhabitants of Beirut and vicinity is daily becom ing worse and worse. The value of the Turkish paper currency has fallen to thirty piasters to the pound. Very few people have any work and the streets are full of beggars whose piteous wailing for alms is most dis tressing." "The poor people for lack of funds, are unable to buy the smallest amount of food necessary to keep body and soul together, and in consequence are dying off, especially In the Lebanon, at an alarming rate. Sugar, coffee, rice, tea, kerosene oil, tinned butter and other canned goods generally im ported from abroad, have all practi cally disappeared from the market, having been consumed during the two years and more that this coast has been blockaded. Hardly any horses are left in the country, and the few cabs left In town are reported to be so full of disease bearing vermin that few people care to ride in them and walk by preference, although one must pay from f 15.00 to $20.00, gold, for a good pair of boots, as all the leather in this country has been prao tically exhausted." "The situation at present is quiet. The town has been without bread for five days. I have no idea when I will be able to send this dispatch." "An investigation of the condition of the refugee Cireeks in the city and in the provinces, reveals the follow ing: These people who were, gen erally speaking, small farmers in Thrace and the towns and villages around the Marmora, have been driven from their homes, involving the loss of all their possessions, and are here quartered upon an already over crowded city. I found the Greek com munity pretty well disorganized. Most of the leading men left the city some months ago, the deportation spoken of above, and the more extensive ones in Asia Minor, of refugees, mostly women and children, whose bread winners have been killed or are in the army. Appeals are pouring in from the bishops and other leading people, from the once thriving villages of the Black Sea, Marmora and Aegean Seas, all telling the same story, which, like that of the Armenian community, is in brief this: A once thriving and prosperous peo ple, possessed of homes, of business property, farms and gardens, living in comfort and in many cases in af fluence, have suddenly been stripped of all their possessions, driven from their homes and left to wander in the interior, or to find such a livelihood as they can obtain in places already overcrowded, among people to whom they are strangers, and where their coming seriously complicates an already well-nigh insolvable food problem." "The condition of the inhabitants is becoming daily worse and worse. The refugees are In a critical condi tion, naked and bodily exhausted. Wherever we go we hear the same cry. Clothing has been given In small quantities by native committees, but it barely covers their nakedness. They are eagerly awaiting our coming with warm garments. The housing of the refugees is very bad, cold, damp, un comfortable and unsanitary." "Awful havoc has been wrought amongst the refugee Armenian artisans, so that when they return to their country there will be a great dearth of tradesmen. We thought If we could begin to train the boys in handicrafts while they are here In exile they would be more able to sup port themselves when they return.*' "One department of the work at Alexandropol Is in charge of two women. They began by visiting and encouraging the women, distributing aid to those in dire distress, includ ing the lame, the sick and the blind. One of their responsibilities is to find mothers of new born babes. There are many little ones who have only a manger to lie In and the mother sometimes tears up her own clothing for swaddling clothes. To these mothers the young women give $5.00 and a blanket for the little one. An other work for which they^ire respon sible is that of listing fatherless chil dren, to whom we make a monthly grant of $2.00."