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The Evening Star MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1914.

Ox Saturday Mr Balfour, speaking at Bristol, characterised, not for the first time, the war in which the world is now engaged as " a crime against civilisation." It is this truth which constitutes its absorbing fascination, to the relegatiun into a minor and subordinate place of all other mundane things ;and it is for this reason that eminent statesmen, and thoso whose words carry to the uttermost ends of the earth, do well from time to time to remind their countrymen of the vital significance of the conflict in which they are engaged. We are all prono to forget that the crime which horrified us yesterday becomes a half-forgotten memory on the morrow. And with this fading of our first emotions of righteous auger and holy wrath there come a laxity and a falling off in our desire to inflict 'punishment. In the quick rush of ever new sensations that which first caused us to leap to our feet and cry for justice and judgment and adequate penalties may lose its rightful position, and tcrapt us to regard the Kaiser of Germany and his war party not as enemies against that civilisation in which we live and move and have our being, but as opponents with whom wo and our Allies have been unhappily but not angrily drawn into a quarrel that*could only be settled by the sword. Such an outlook is not only wrong, but, if indulged in, would prove the fruitful parent of even greater disasters than those that have gone before. Already there are men in England—men whose whole past career as public advisers should disqualify them for ever from daring to offer an opinion as to what should or should not be done with Germany—who aro saying that Germany must not be crushed and humiliated*. That the Allies will ever retaliate against Germany in kind—that they will, when their hour comes, as come "it will, visit upon Cologne and Strasburg the fate of Louvain and Termonde and Itheims—may be dismissed without hesitation. Neither the British, nor the Belgians, nor the French are made that way. The Allies are not fighting against women and chil- , dren and historic buildings. Nor aro they fighting for territory—although there will be a change of frontiers and of possessions as a result of tho war—or power, save such power as may be used for the advancement of mankind. But the nations on whom has fallen the main burden of tho awful sacrifices that at this hour are being paid in blood and treasure will, none tho less, exact payment to the uttermost farthing, if by payment is meant the imposition of conditions that shall make it impossible for many generations for another such catastrophe to afflict tho

Two Opinions

lives <A r&eo. Our Empire, in a sense, and the world a* we know H to-day are the fruits of war, bnt not of war involving the destruction of those religious faiths and ethical standards on which their continued existence was based

It is not the least noteworthy among the many factors that the war is constantly disclosing that Oermany, the challenger of present-day civilisation, appears, as Ist aft can be gathered, largely if not entirely unconscious of the intensity of tho loathing and detestation she has inspired, as well as o£ the thoroughness and universality of the determination to combat and sunless her. That "kultur" which Mr Balfour truly says is to be rammed down British throats with German bayonets, and which is approved by German professors, theologians, artists, authors, teachers, and (the pity of it!) women, has been repudiated by a horrified and indignant world. It has made no converts save the " Unspeakable Turk," and even his conversion may bo assigned to gold rather than to belief. In any event, tho alliance between the authors and perpetrators of Bulgarian, Armenian, and Macedonian massacres, and the upholders of a cross befouled with tho venom of Nietzsche, Treitschke, and Bernhardi can only be, viewed as a logical and natural one. If the Christ is to bo dethroned, if Essen guns and Zeppelin homhs and not the teachings of the Sermon on tho 3i(ount iare henceforth to govern this j earth, then what is more filling than a combination of German '"kultur" and i Turkish Islamism to cany it through! ) Mr Balfour denounces Germanism as a crime and its author, therefore, us a criminal. Tho Khedive of Egypt, a man who owes what he is and all ho has to British rule, proclaims this sama criminal as "our greatest living statesman," and a man "whom I revere"! Alas, poor Egypt! Thirty yearn ago, a land of hopeless poverty, human misery, intertribal anarchy, and despair. To-day, a new land and a new people. Of the thriving province of Dongola in 1897 Dr Wallis Budgo said: " Thorns and briads and " brambles had taken possession of nearly "all tho land which had formerly been "fertile fields. . . . I'uin and desola-

" tion were everywhere, men and cattle " were rarely seen, and even the dogs had "been wiped out." What this same land is to-day the world knows; and that it is what it is is duo to British brains and courage and enterprise. Egypt at this hour is a living witness of the superiority of British rule to German "knltur." But tho Khedive has blinded his eyes. He has chosen, and chosen wrongly. There is nothing now that he can offer to his betrayed tfnd forsaken people. Willingly and arrugantly, and with tho smoke of the fires of desolated Belgium yet rising before him, and with the unconquerable determination of her homeless millions to die rather than yield to inspire him, he has chosen to cast in his lot with tho men who have made Belgium the hell it is, and to strike as best he can the nation that will yet save and restore it. A pitiful choice, the wages whereof arc death.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141214.2.17

Bibliographic details

The Evening Star MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1914., Issue 15675, 14 December 1914

Word Count
993

The Evening Star MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1914. Issue 15675, 14 December 1914

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