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The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1914.

The Kaiser, so the cables advise us, expressed the desire to seo

Who Is This Man?

the town of Arras taken. His request, owing to

tho perversa audacity of the Allies, could not bo granted, but his guns carried!? death and havoc in their wake, and , reduced that once thriving centre to useless ruin. A few weeks earlier tho fiat went forth from tho some death-compelling source ; “ Calais must be taken at any sacrifice," and from that hour to tho present tho intervening country has been transformed into one huge graveyard, wherein tho mangled bodies of countless thousands still lie tinbnried. -for has Calais been taken. And yet earlier tho order was issued: "Defend “ Tsing-tao to tho last; roar Emperor commands it." And again, in obedience to his behest and on tho altar of his ambition there was ottered up in wanton sacrifice many lives in tho attempt to accomplish an impossible task. Tho story might easily bo extended indefinitely. Belgium is a smoking ruin. Tho remnant of her brave sons is still • fighting, still hoping, and still dying. It is all they can do, and they are doing it nncheered by the thought that the mothers who bore them, the wives who loved them, and the sisters they played with are safe from harm. They know, and the world knows, that tho men and women and children of Belgium, some six or seven millions in number, are face to face with starvation. And Belgium, whose wrongs call to Heaven for righteous vengeance, though the supremo example, is not alone in her torment. In Germany, it is said, there are at least one million people who have lost tho breadwinners on whom they were dependent. There are at this hour 50,000 men with torn and shattered bodies lying in the city of Roulers. Brussels is one vast hospital, and nearly every largo centre along the lines of railway has become a city of dreadful night, where laughter has ceased and sighs and lameuta-

tions dire are the more frequent sounds. Wa do not dwell upon these things from choice, but wo dare not try to evade them. They constitute the other side of war, tho one that may be forgotten in tho news of decisive and glorious victories. And that would bo disastrous from every standpoint. It is only by and through the apprehension of what war is and what it means to mankind that wo can hope to boat down the accursed thing beyond hope of redemption. To this end it is essential that the world should realise the nature of the man who has called these appallingly destructive forces into play and made this war possible. We assume, too, that no man and no woman who are in the habit of weighing their words have at this honr any doubt os to the methods and objects of German policy, or with whom the responsibility rests for putting them into operation. With one man and one man only rested the power to say “ Peace,” and that power was not exercised. To the great majority everywhere it came as a shock to Icarn'that one exercising practically unlimited control over the most terrible instrument of destruction the race had known had launched it upon its devastating path simultaneously with an invocation to the Almighty to prosper it in its work. “ The German people are tho chosen r?i " God. On me as German Emperor “ the Spirit of God has descended* “ I am His weapon, His sword, “and His vicegerent. Woo to the “disobedient, death to cowards and “ unbelievers.” In terms such as these the Kaiser ordered his legions to advance uporn Belgium. Nor need there be tho least hesitation in accepting these amazing declarations as the utterances of a sincere heart. It is their sincerity and their author’s commanding influence in the world that have, from tho first, constituted the most ominous threat of all. The prophet and priest, as King and loader of‘armies, have ever been tho most dangerous of rulers. Their faith, or fanaticism, which io tho source and inspiration of their evangel, carries them not only to superhuman heights, but blinds them to the meaning and effects upon humanity of such atrocities and outrages and defiances of the normal as those that in Belgium have astounded and horrified the world. Had William 11. of Germany, mentally and morally, been of the average type of ruler and statesman, he would never have flung this earth of ours back into chaos. Germany within tho last 40 years has built up a nieicantilo marine and a homo and overseas trade that wore tho admiration, perhaps tho envy, of Other nations, and no single Power dreamed of attacking either save in the way of peaceful rivalry. “What I cannot understand,” said Mr Churchill, “is why Gcr- •* many was not satisfied with what she “has, and why she has thrown it all “away.” The answer can only be found in tho character of the Kaiser. Only a man similarly obsessed and similarly able to translate his commands into action would have flung away an Empire and set, tho world in flames.

At this hour of anxiety, when thousands of our own flesh and blood arc falling in pitiful heaps of killed and wounded, when seemingly interminable and endless numbers of fresh victims are pressing forward to their inevitable destiny, when that grand old Mother of free Parliaments, of rational liberty, of order, justice, and righteousness is sore beset to awaken tho laggards to a sense of their duties and privileges, at such an hour it is not only possible, but it is the only thing that men of clear vision and strong faith can say: “God's in his Heaven, all’s right with the world.” The nightmare that afflicts us in common its not, and cannot be, a permanent state of being. The race could not persist if it were so. Thosignoofthcliir.es warrant the assertion that out of tho welter and horror now vexing tho souls of men there are indications of the beginning of tho end. Kaiser ism carries within it tho seeds of its own destruction, and it is already doomed past hope of resurrection. What the world secs to-day is not an allconquering, triumphant Kaiser, but a man baffled and beaten and lost. Ho has played his awful game and failed. He knows beyond peradventur© that the world will not rest until he, at least, can no more issue hie mandates to destroy. Dishonored, too, for with the drawing of the sword fled the respect of all good men and women, and today ho is tho byword and scorn oi the nations:

There’s shame and ‘hissing and contempt. And none but laughs who names me, none but spits Measureless scorn upon me, mo alone— The quack, the cheat, the liar—all on roe! This is tho world’s verdict of to-day, and its justice will be confirmed with the passing of the weeks.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141107.2.39

Bibliographic details

The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1914., Issue 15644, 7 November 1914

Word Count
1,166

The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1914. Issue 15644, 7 November 1914

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