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between Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, with the definite object of opposing the encroachments of the United States.
A recent writer in a Spanish periodical, in discussing this policy, attributes it to the “instinct of self-preservation that impels the South American countries to draw together and to increase their armaments.” He mentions the summary way in which we attempted to dispose of the Alsop claim as an example of how the South American republics may be treated. He feels that the slightest fault committed by any LatinAmerican power, that affects seriously the interests of any one of the great powers, generally results in the sending of an ultimatum, and in the humiliation of the LatinAmerican country.
The Spanish author further points out the significant fact that the “ABC” alliance is based on the constantly increasing naval resources of the three leading South American republics. Do we realize that Argentina will soon have in commission two of the most powerful dreadnoughts in existence, and that the construction of a third is
contemplated? Yet in addition to her present battleships and protected cruisers, she has a fleet of forty torpedo boats and has been purchasing submarines. Chile has likewise contracted for two first-class dreadnoughts and is considering a third. She is also purchasing torpedo boats and submarines. Brazil has actually in commission three first-class dreadnoughts, seven cruisers, fifteen torpedo boats, and a number of submarines.
Undoubtedly our neighbors feel that they must do something to counteract that wellknown willingness of the American people to find good and sufficient reasons for interfering and intervening; for example, for relieving Mexico of Texas and California, for taking Porto Rico from Spain, for sending armies into Cuba, for taking Guantanamo Bay, for handling the customs receipts of Santo Domingo, for taking a strip of territory which (South Americans believe) belongs to the Republic of Colombia, for sending troops into Nicaragua, and for mobilizing an army on the Mexican frontier. (In regard to the latter point, it may be stated
in passing that it is not the custom for South American nations to mobilize an army on a neighbor's frontier merely because that country is engaged in civil war or revolution.)
Is it wonder that the talk of alliances is in the air ? Are we to continue holding to the Monroe Doctrine despite all warning?
Is it worth our while to heed the “writing on the wall” ?
Is it not true that it is the present tendency
of the Monroe Doctrine to claim that the United States is to do whatever seems to the United States good and proper so far as the western hemisphere is concerned ? Is there not a dangerous tendency in our country to believe so far in our own rectitude, that we may be excused from any restrictions either in the law of nations, or in our treaty obligations, that seem unjust, trivial, or inconvenient, notwithstanding the established practices of civilized nations? Our attitude on the Panama tolls question, our former disregard of treaty rights with China, our hesitation at passing Mr. Taft's
carefully considered arbitration treaties, and our willingness to read into or read out of existing treaties whatever appears to us justifiable and proper, have aroused deep-seated suspicion in our Southern neighbors which it seems to me we should endeavor to eradicate if we have our own highest good at heart.
Are we not too much in the state of mind of Citizen Fix-it, who was more concerned with suppressing the noisy quarrels of his neighbors than with quietly solving his own domestic difficulties ? Could we see ourselves as our Southern neighbors see us in the columns of their daily press, where the emphasis is still on the prevalence of murder in the United States, the astonishing continuance of lynching, the freedom from punishment of a majority of those who commit murder, our growing disregard of the rights of others, bomb outrages, strikes, riots, labor difficulties, --- could we see these things with their eyes, we should realize how bitterly they resent our assumed right to intervene when they misbehave themselves, or when a local revolution becomes particularly noisy.
So firmly fixed in the Latin-American mind is the idea that our foreign policy today means intervention and interference, that comments on the splendid sanitary work being done at Panama by Colonel Gorgas are tainted with this idea.
On the west coast of South America there is a pest-hole called Guayaquil, which, as Mr. Bryce says, “enjoys the reputation of being the pest-house of the continent, rivalling for the prevalence and malignity of its malarial fevers such dens of disease as Fontesvilla on the Pungwe River in South Africa and the Guinea coast itself, and adding to these the more swift and deadly yellow fever, which has now been practically extirpated from every other part of South America except the banks of the Amazon. . It seems to be high time that efforts should be made to improve conditions at a place whose development is so essential to the development of Ecuador itself.” Recent efforts on the part of far-sighted Ecuadorian statesmen to remedy these conditions by employing American sanitary engineers and taking advantage of the offers of American capital