In a possible prelude to World War III, America invades Russia following World War I.
London, July 26 – The former Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, speaking at Edgware today, said: “I regard with bewilderment and apprehension the part this country is playing in Russia. The country wants a clearer definition than has yet been given of what are our commitments, definite and prospective. I sincerely hope that the attempt to commit us further in Russia will be successfully resisted. The future government of Russia is a matter for the Russian people and for no one else.”
PRECISELY, and the same is true of Hungary, as to which unfortunate country we learn this week that it is to be starved by Christian America and the Allies until it abandons the Government of Bela Kun. This with the consent and approval of Woodrow Wilson, who said to the Central Powers on December 4, 1917: “We owe it, however, to ourselves to say that we do not wish in any way to impair or to rearrange the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is no affair of ours what they do with their own life, either industrially or politically. We do not propose or desire to dictate to them in any way.” Starving a people until they choose a different form of government is, of course, no affair of ours, and if Mr. Wilson were not morally bankrupt, if he were not unfaithful to his own idealism and to that of America, he would never consent to it.
As to Russia, what do we see? Silence and suppression of the truth as to what is going on behind the scenes; a twisting and ever-changing policy–for war one day, for peace the next. One month, an official announcement of an encircling policy as outlined by M. Pichon; the next, a peace offer to Lenin in the handwriting of Lloyd George’s private secretary; the third, a decision to invade at once. A fourth sees the encouragement of the Finns to attack Petrograd, and the coldblooded sinking of Russian warships by British battleships, coincident with the withdrawal of the American troops from Archangel and the announcement by Lloyd George that no more English troops will be sent in. And then, last week, Mr. Wilson’s explanation that we are in Siberia merely to aid the somnolent Mr. Stevens in rebuilding the Siberian railway and in protecting it so that Russia may have food–carefully suppressing the fact that this road is the great reliance of Kolchak. And on top of all, we recognize, or partially recognize, the impossible Kolchak!
Never, we believe, has there been, in any international entanglement in recent years, such contemptible fumbling, such tortuous diplomacy, such breathing war and peace at the same time. Why is it that there is such widespread disrespect for the four old men of Versailles? Well, the Russian policy alone would warrant it. Can anyone find fault with Chicherin and Lenin for speaking of the hypocrisy of the Allied and American policy toward Russia? Let him merely run over the files of the newspapers for the last six months and see how the Prinkipo proposal has alternated with acts of war–absolutely unconstitutional acts of war so far as America is concerned–the Bullitt proposal for peace, and Lloyd George’s announcement that while no more British soldiers are to go to Russia, British tanks, uniforms, guns, cannon, and ammunition are going both to Denikin and Kolchak. Fifty times we have had the announcement that this policy was entirely successful and that the Bolsheviki were defeated; fifty times we have heard of Bolshevist victories. Today Kolchak, Denikin, and the Finns are all in hasty retreat, despite their Allied aid, while correspondents of the Philadelphia Public Ledger and the London Times declare that “the Bolshevists have got Russia”; that “the situation in Russia is exceedingly grave, almost hopeless, for the plans of the international financial interests seeking the downfall of the Bolshevists.”