OCR Interpretation

New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, January 04, 1920, Image 68

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1920-01-04/ed-1/seq-68/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 2

A Bolshevist
. <
Poland Seen as the Only Wall to
Withstand the "Red"
By Frank H. Simonds
Washington, D. C.
THE more one touches th?
situation at the national
capital at the present hour
the more one is struck with
the astonishing indifference to inter?
national problems, the enormous con?
centration upon domestic questions,
and, beyond all else, the rather puer?
ile effort to discuss and view ques?
tions which are essentially interna?
tional from a totally parochial point
of view. It is as if by common con?
sent all men\in public office were
seeking to abolish, by silence and by
avoidance, the great events and the
great deeds of recent years end be?
lieved that by such a course one could
dispose of the great problems which
have resulted from recent world dis?
.The most striking illustration of
this tendency is found in the atti?
tude toward Bolshevism. We have
in Washington, as everywhere else
in the United States at the present
moment, discussions of the so-called
44 'Red' peril." One hears solemn dis
cussions based upon the argument
that the extension of the policy of
deportation to include a few thou?
sands instead of a few hundreds of
alien anarchists will presently re?
move the danger which exists for
the nation in the Bolshevist disturb?
ance in Russia.
Bolshevism's March
Conversely, not the smallest inter?
est is manifested anywhere in the
rapid and still uninterrupted west?
ward movement of Bolshevism itself.
The fact that within a year Bolshe?
vism?that is, Trotzky and L?nine?
has been able to establish its control
over the larger part of Russia, to
dominate upward of 125,000,000 hu?
man beings, to destroy the armies
made up of Russians who have chal?
lenged its control; to break through
the cordon sanitaire of the Paris
Conference; to reach the Baltic and
the Black seas, excites no comment
and no apprehension.
While the discussion of the rati?
fication of the Treaty of Versailles
periodically languishes and recurs
with renewed energy, there is an
ever-increasing conviction that the
right policy for America is complete,
separation from Europe, and even
the crusade against the "Reds" takes
on in some degree the character of
an effort to reinforce our with?
drawal from Europe by the expul?
sion from America of a certain
number of undesirable Europeans.
A year ago we were, officially at
least, embarking upon our huge
campaign to make the world safe
for democracy by imposing Ameri?
can ideals upon Europe; to-day it
would seem we are, with more de?
liberation, seeking to make the
United States safe for Americans
by exiling certain European ideas.
This reaction is natural enough;
it was probably inevitable; yet if
the country is at the present hour
impressed with the very great dan?
gers of too considerable inter?
mixture in European affairs, can
we safely accept a course which
leads straight to complete separa?
tion from European affairs and
thus leaves us condemned in the end
to fight single-handed certain Eut?
pean diseases, of which Bolshevism
is the most conspicuous, which maj
owe their greatest and most menac?
ing expansion to our indifference?
Believe War Over
Washington would have you be?
Heve?and the country believes il
with unmistakable readiness?thai
the World War is over. All through
the country one hears urgings that
the Treaty of Versailles be ratified
by the Senate without reservations
or with reservations?neither cir?
cumstance seems much to signify
as the last circumstance in the
restoration of peace. It seems to ?be
a common, notion that the mere
ratification of the peace document
will in sojne mysterious manner
dose this chapter of history and
fordbly ?lmrm the minions who,
tt*m tfcft aulf o# Finland to tha
Dalmatian coast and from the Vis?
tula to the Tigris, still stand in
But patently the ratification of
peace will not affect the Bolshevists.
Even the sending home of a certain
number of "Reds" cannot be calcu?
lated to strike more terror into the
heart of L?nine than was the dis?
patch of Von Papen and his asso?
ciates to Germany during the war
successful in bringing the Kaiser to
hear reason, We did not stop Ger?
man intrigue in America by our ex?
pulsions, we did not even mitigate
the evil, and the reason was that
the trouble was in Germany, not
in America, and as long as we were
not ready to lend our strength to
crush the evil in its home it con?
tinued to menace us in ours. Our
experience with Bolshevism will not
be diff?rent.
In the present article I am going
to try to retrace certain events, sig?
nificant, in my judgment,: of the
world situation to-day and particu?
larly important in their relation to
the. Bolshevist problem. In recent
days the Bolshevists have reached
the Baltic, the power of resistance
of the Letts and Lithuanians is ex?
hausted, Poland and Rumania, alone
of the border states, remain. Poland
had a large army, but it has also tc
face the German menace, for the Al?
lies have failed to give Poland Dan
zlg, and the title of the mineral dis
tricts of -Silesia awaits adjudicatioi
by plebiscite. Despite an improve
ment in domestic conditions Polani
is incapable of maintaining an arm;
of 600,000 in the field long withou
Allied subventions which are not t
be expected, and with this arm;
the' single remaining bulwar
against the Bolshevists will disap
pear. As for Rumania, she is read
and willing to make peace with th
Bolshevists, having been treafe
with contempt by the Western na
tions, and for the present such
peace falls in with Bolshevist necer
Poland the Only Wall
It is upon Poland that world a<
tention must now be fixed. But th
Western nations, so far from recoi
nizing that Poland is the single wa
against the Russian "Red," are fo
lowing their old policy of procrast
nation, which, in the last war, sa
rificed both Serbia and Rumania. 1
recent days Lloyd George has a
finned that the Western natioi
will not make peace with Bolsh
vism, but for maintaining a sta
of war there is left only Poland t
a cornerstone.
It is of the utmost importance
Germany, if she is to regain her o
position, not mainly or even pi
marily her military station, but h
economic situation, to see Poland d
stroyed. She needs her old Poli
provinces?West Prussia and Pose
she requires certain possession
upper Silesia, now awaiting a pie
iscite ; she needs Danzig and the co
trol of the lower Vistula, and _
yond these she needs contiguity wi
Russia, the one field for her indust
which may open the way to commt
cial renaissance.
Thus, whatever their other diff<
enees, the Bolshevists and the G<
mans, without regard to party fi
tion, political or religious differen
have a common objective?the <
struction of Poland. For the B
shevists the elimination of Pola
would remove the only army
their pathway, the sole menace
their mastery of Russia and th
future expansion into that chaos
hunger smitten districts which I
replaced the comparative order
the old Hapsburg Empire.
The Germans believe that, or
they have crushed Poland and
stored their old unity, they can cc
with the Bolshevists, they can re
ganfze Russia. The Bolshevists 1
lieve that with Poland down t.
can sweep westward, at least to 1
Rhine and the French Alps, cnli
ing the elements of disorder and
anarchy in Germany, Austria, Hi
gary and Italy. But for both 1
' ??. ?? v ___
first step is the destruction of Po?
land. And in the present state of
Allied policy, who can doubt that
Poland is doomed?
The worst phase of the Polish
problem lies in the fact that the so
called liberal elements, all over
America and Europe, have contrib?
uted largely to discrediting the Po?
lish state in advance of its extreme
danger. Thus once more, wholly un?
intentionally, in the main, but not
less fatally, they have prepared the
way for the enemy. The Poles, who
under Sobieski saved Europe from
the Turk, are now necessarily the
main bulwark against the Bolshevist,
Exactly in the same way, the Poles,
who centuries ago blocked German
expansion into Russia and preserved
the Slav from Teutonic conquest, art
again the single barrier to new Ger?
man expansion.
If Poland Falls
Let us suppose that Poland, with
out effective aid from the Westen
nations, succumbs to Russian attack
as the armies of Denikin, Kolchal
and Yudenitch have already sue
cumbed, remembering that it ii
against Poland that the next Bol
shevist assault will infallibly be di
rected, what then? Obviously ther
will remain only the Czecho-Sloval
state as a partial barrier betweei
the Bolshevist and the hopeless ant
wellnigh insane population of Aus
tria on the north and the hardly les
disturbed peoples of Hungary on th
south. And to aid the Czechs th
Allies will have no other chanc
than the dispatch of troops acros
It may be that in this situatio:
Germany will be able to resist Bol
shevism, it may be that she will nc
succumb, that the elements of ur
rest and disorder will continue to b
impotent, but this means that th
military and Junker elements, r<
gaining control, called to power b
the' German people to protect thei
from the Eastern danger, will creat
new armies, fight a new war, prol
ably victorious, but carrying with
a grave menace to the West and a
permanent cessation of any payment
of indemnities, for the Westem na?
tions will be compelled to forego the
payment of moneys while Germany
is fighting a Bolshevist menace, only
less grave for them than for her and
bound to be almost fatal if Germany
is conquered.
If Germany be beaten, Bolshevism
will arrive at the Rhine and the
Alps, at the frontiers of Italy and
of France, and the domestic condi?
tion of Italy makes such a circum?
stance gravely disquieting. But if
Germany is successful she will have
forged new weapons, opened the way
to the commercial exploitation of
Russia and escaped from that state
of military impotence which makes
her resistance to Allied demands
purely formal at the present hour.
Either way, too, the danger for
America is patent. We have been
going through a stage of national
apprehension resulting from the rel?
atively restricted operations of a
handful of "Reds," representing a
Russian anarchy still far removed
from our shores. But what would
be the situation if Bolshevism should
sweep over all Central Europe?
What if the armies of Trotzky and
L?nine should presently acquire the
cohesion necessary to repeat the
achievement of the armies of Rev?
olutionary France? Does any one
suppose that the domestic manifes?
tations would be less disturbing
than now? Would we be able per?
manently to escape the duty of join?
ing with Britain and France in a
new struggle against a foe far more
menacing' than was Germany,
against a doctrine far more de?
structive of our ideas and our civi?
lization than the Prussian?
A German Renaissance
And if Germany were successful 1
Obviously the result would be th(
renaissance of the old Prussian ideal
for only force could defeat Bolshe
vism, and the German military lead
era? restored to national favor bj
fresh victories, which would replace
the memories of recent defeats, would
infallibly seek to regain their old
situation on the Rhine and the Mo?
selle, once they had established it
on the Vistula. For Britain and for
France this would mean the threat
of 1914 ten times magnified. Could
we permit France and Britain to be
destroyed, to pass under the German
yoke, as Germany and Austria
passed under the Napoleonic yoke a
little more than a century ago? If
we did we should find ourselves, like
Britain in the earlier era, engaged
single-handed ,in a struggle against
the Continent of Europe, with prac?
tically no ally.
The Real Peril
American newspapers are filled
with endless columns pi discussion of
the menace constituted by the pres?
ence in this country of a few hun?
dred Russian! "Reds," but the press
and the public men alike seem apa?
thetic in the presence of the rapid
expansion of the world area actually
dominated by leaders who profess
the same doctrine as our handful of
domestic "Reds," and the addition of
millions to their empire, out of whom
they will be able to fashion armies in
the future to carry on that war
their American agents never hesi?
tate to proclaim.
Actually the world situation al
the present hour is such that a Bol?
shevist supremacy in Europe is bj
no means out of the range of pos?
sibility. In the last three years this
Bolshevist, doctrine and the leaden
who profess it have gained control oJ
an empire of more than 125,000,00.
people, that is, of Russia, exclu
sive of the border tribes and o:
eastern Siberia. It is actually ex
tending its control into the terri
tories of the border tribes, and evei
into eastern Siberia. In its path
way westward to-day only tw
feeble states, Poland and Czecho
?Slovakia, separate it from the mid
ile of Europe, which, from Vionm
o Constantinople, has been reduce
o a state of political and economi
anarchy and is filled with millions
of human beings actually on the
verge of starvation. The first three
years of the French Revolution
were far less prosperous for that
new r?gime, yet it took Europe near?
ly a quarter of a century to defeat
the revolution and the empire, which
presently organized France on the
new basis.
It is the pleasant theory of the
careless and thoughtless that each
new age, each new moment ir his?
tory, presents brand new problem^,
America at Paris resolutely elimi?
nated from the discussion of the re
organization of Europe and the
world the facts of the past and in?
sisted that we lived in a world in
which the old had been burned up,
and out of the fire human nature,
and geography as well, had emerged
purified and transformed. With this
in mind the world, but America
more than the rest, has turned its
back upon history at the precise mo?
ment when it is repeating itself in
a striking fashion.
When the Turks were seeking to
break into Europe and were pounding
at the walls of Constantinople, the
Western nations, occupied with their
own interests, the Western peoples,
if one prefer this designation, per?
mitted Byzantium to fall; indeed, led
by the romantic emotions expressed
in the Crusades or by selfish reasons
to the exploitation of the ^Egear
Islands, contributed to the ruin oi
the Eastern Empire. The result was
the arrival of the Turk before the
walls of Vienna and the continua?
tion of wars growing out of Turkisr,
questions of which we can hardlj
believe we have seen the last.
The extinction of Poland, an ad
of pure selfishness, planned by Fred
erick the Great, but consummatec
by Hapsburg, Romanoff and Hohen
zollern dynasties, has led to strug
gles which have in turn ended thi
reign of each of these houses, de
stroyed Austria, given Russia ove:
to anarchy and raised in a new forn
the Slav menace for Germany, whicl
has contin_>td with few interrup
Near Future
America Is Asleep to the Menace
of the L?nine and Trotzky
itions since the Congress of Vienna I
set its final seal of sanction upon
i the extinction of Poland. !
In the World War neither the
?British nor the French could take
full measure of the value of Serbia,
and Britain embarked upon the
fatal Gallipoli venture. The result
was the arrival of Germany at the
Golden Horn, the direct attack;
upon Egypt and the indirect men?
ace to India. Too late, the impor?
tance of a barrier at the Danube
was appreciated and the loss of the
troops sacrificed at the Dardanelles
To-day Poland fulfills the same
r?le that Serbia had in 1915, that
Constantinople had in the fifteenth
century. She is the advanced senti?
nel of our Western democracies, just
as Byzantium was the single bar?
rier of Christianity against the
militant gospel of Mahomet. But
I Poland cannot single-handed hold
j the gate, nor is it for the immediate
! interests of the Germans that she
| should occupy that gate.
Two years ago, at this very hour,
the Bolshevist agents were listen?
ing in Brest-JLitovsk to the harsh
sentence imposed by victorious mili?
taristic Germany. They were com?
pelled to cede provinces, recognize
obligations, yield everything. The
world laughed"a rather wry laugh
at the plight of Trotzky and L?nine.
But to-day the Russian Revolution
is master of most of Russia, the
Ukraine has fallen, the Baltic prov?
inces wait like ripe plums to fall to
the now unresisted invader. The
last semblance of domestic revolt is
being crushed out; only Poland is
left of all 'our policy of the cordon
sanitaire, which becomes now as un?
resisting as a marsh fog, however
impressive it may seem to the eye.
A year ago the world waited im?
patiently upon the Paris Conference,
just coming together, to obtain
peace. It believed that by some mys?
terious legerdemain the few score
of statesmen and politicians, sol?
diers and officials gathered at the
French capital could organize the
chaos created by nearly five years of
destruction, and that by drawing a
few lines on the map, accumulating
a mass of words on white paper,
these men could restore order, pros
I perity, comfort?do everything bul
recall the dead, who lay by millions
on all *?he battlefields, from the
Marne to the Vistula.
The Peace Delusion
To-day a similar delusion takes
the form of a faith that if the treatj
of peace, drafted at Paris, is onlj
ratified by the United States, if th?
Senate sitting in solemn session 01
Capitol Hill, above the Potomac, onlj
sufficiently reverses its previous
stand so that the votes of the two
thirds needed to approve the treat;
be obtained, then peace will result
that from Esthonia to Dalmatia
through all the regions where mei
stand in arms or women and chil
dren starve, order will come auto
The truth is otherwise. Whateve:
else one may say for the ratificatioi
of the Treaty of Versailles by th
United States, nothing is surer thai
that this ratification will not mate
rially affect the situation in Russia
it will not have the smallest in
fluence upon Trotzky and Lenin.
who see opening before them th
same vision of conquest which greet
ed the leaders of the nascent Frene
Revolution when they had reduce
France to their will. It will nc
automatically compel the Kurd t
give over massacring the Armeniar
it will not modify the situation alon
the eastern shore of the Adriatic, i
will not allay the passions roused b
French occupation of Syria or Bril
ish adventure in Mesopotamia.
. Peace can only be restored whe
we have restored a common basis c
cooperation between the gres
masses of men who are now sept
rated by new as well as old intellei
tual, moral and racial animositie
Bolshevism is a state of war agaim
organized society as we know it. W
cannot make peace effective!
within a state of war, even thoug
we sign endless papers and reti?
our influence to its own territor;
American liberals fill the worl
with denunciations of the Westei
governments for their "invasion
of Russia, but what of the Russie
invasion of America, Italy, of s
Western countries?
My neighbors are immensely e
cited at the presence in their cor
mu'nity of one or two or half a doz<
Russian "Reds." But the prospe
of the occupation of a whole provin
on the Baltic by the Russian "Re<
forces, the arrival of Bolshev
armies in the environs of Rig
leaves them .cold. ExacUy in tl
same way fot nearly three years **
I were terribly excited over (fe^
I propagandists and agents in A?J
lica, but admirably self restnS?
! when German armies came to kW
sels, to Antwerp, to ConstaatJaiJ,
Those of us who in that hournjj
our fellow countrymen that in g
end we should have no other ?k^
than to fight the German warn ?.
garded as mad, were treated ?ft
contempt and even with anger a
disturbers of the invaluable ?**
which was being illustrated by g*
Lusitania and other massacres.
Sending the "Reds" home to fa.
sia and permitting the *TuHl
"Reds" to overrun Europe it v
futile a policy as dispatching qsh
at the heads of German officials a*
not so many years ago. The n*
that fetched a real response v?
handed to the Kaiser on the shorn
of the Meuse and not on the bus
of the Spree, and it was transmit??
by cannon, not by cable.
The atmosphere of Washington ?.
day reminds me of the atmospht?
which prevailed in the early autant
of 1915, when I visited the citj
There was the same indifferent? |
the world problems, the same cot
fidence that America was unce
cerned. There was, too, the ?sane ir?
ritation at the domestic che?
stance of German activity. But tin
idea that we should be dragged?
drawn into the World War was he,
by no one as of real importance. !
To say that Germany would ea
tinue to murder Americans wherein
they interfered with Germen plia
directly or indirectly, until thathsj
when we took arms to prevent fo
ther aggression struck Washingta
of September, 1915, as stark ihm
ness. For two years thereafter!
was nagged by Washington joura*
ists and public men for declath
that we should be dragged into?
war?for declaring it in print Bi
their state of mind was only cot
parable to the state of mind ink
now again exists in the nation
Yet the circumstances are una
takably similar. Germanism ?s
before all else, a challenge tow
system of government, to our a
litical, economic and intellectual ?
ilization. Bolshevism is exactly i
open a challenge. We shall not |
rid of it by ignoring it save ai
sends slight tendrils and .shoot? in
our own garden. The near pat
over a few hundreds or thousandi
"Reds" in the United States andt
total disregard of the mounti
millions in Russia, in all of Cent
Europe?these are evidences ftf
total failure to comprehend t
basic facts in the situation, a s
ation which will presently hau? i
us quite as real significance as i
the World War.
Notes Didn't Save Us
We shut our eyes from 1914
1917 to the significance to our?
country of the World War. We
lied upon notes, as we are now ?
ing upon the promised ratifica*
of another "scrap of paper.^ 1
the consequences be less grave if
the present year Poland falls I
the Bolsheviki arrive in the be
of Europe?
The fact which is becoming ?V
er and clearer with each succe*
month is that the World War
not over, that we have not schiel
peace, that the great conflict, 1
the French revolutionary uphetf
which it daily tends to reseo
more, will prove a struggle of W
phases and that we are, in *
merely entering the second phaae.
Europe cannot long continue 1
Bolshevik and half democratic. 1
can Europe, left to itself, fin
moral or the material strength
defeat Bolshevism. The situatioi
the situation of the war, when
Western nations were only **
from defeat by the enlistment
America. I confess that every d
of evidence that comes to
in Washington from Europ
sources, save in the case of Bni
and France, points straight to?
the triumph of Bolshevism on
Continent or else to the restor*
of German militarism to
strength and vigor as the opp*
of the "Reds." Either solutk*
hardly less dangerous for A??
than for Britain and France,
between Ludendorff and Tro<
what is there for us to cheat? i
The way to get into troabb i
run away from it. We proved
in the German case. You cant
long in Washington, at the a*
hour, without feeling that oar 1
sian policy is an exact repW
our German course, and that ?
lead us back to Europe by thai
ignoble and expensive method.
(Copyright, 1920, MeClvre N
paper Syndicate) M

xml | txt