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rise to the high level of the new demands upon our strength and our resources.
“Of course, we must remember not to judge any public servant by any one act, and especially should we beware of attacking the men who are merely the occasions and not the causes of disaster. Let me illustrate what I mean by the army and the navy. If twenty years ago we had gone to war, we should have found the navy as absolutely unprepared as the army. At that time our ships could not have encountered with success the fleets of Spain any more than nowadays we can put untrained soldiers, no matter how brave, who are armed with archaic black powder weapons, against well drilled Regulars armed with the highest type of modern repeating rifle. But in the early '80's the attention of the nation became directed to our naval needs. Congress most wisely made a series of appropriations to build up a new navy, and under a succession of able and patriotic secretaries, of both political parties, the navy was gradually built up, until its material became equal to its splendid personnel, with the result that last summer it leaped to its proper place as one of the most brilliant and formidable fighting navies in the entire world. We rightly pay all honor to the men controlling the navy at the time it won these great deeds, honor to Secretary Long and Admiral Dewey, to the Captains who handled the ships in action, to the daring lieutenants who braved death in the smaller craft, and to the heads of bureaus at Washington who saw that the ships were so commanded, so armed, so equipped, so well engined, as to insure the best results. But let us keep ever in mind that all of this would not have availed if it had not been for the wisdom of the men who during the preceding fifteen years had built up the navy. Keep in mind the Secretaries of the Navy during those years; keep in mind the Senators and Congressmen who by their votes gave the money necessary to build and to armor the ships, to construct the great guns, and to train the crews; remember also who actually did build the ships, the armor and the guns; and remember the Admirals and Captains who handled battleships, cruisers and torpedo boats on the high seas, alone and in squadrons, developing the seamanship, the gunnery and the power of acting together, which their successors utilized so gloriously at Manila and off Santiago. And, gentlemen, remember the converse, too. Remember that justice has two sides. Be just to those who built up the navy, and for the sake of the future of the country, keep in mind those who'opposed its building up. Read the Congressional Record. Find out the Senators and Congressmen who opposed the grants for building the new ships, who opposed the purchase of armor without which the ships were worthless; who opposed any adequate maintenance for the navy department, and strove to cut down the number of men necessary to man our fleets. The men who did these things were one and all working to bring disaster on the country. They have no share in the glory of Manila, in the honor of Santiago. They have no cause to feel proud of the valor of our sea captains, of the renown of our flag. Their motives may or may not have been good, but their acts were heavily fraught with evil. They did ill for the national honor; and we won in spite of their sinister opposition.
“Now, apply all this to our public men of to-day. Our army has never been built up as it should be built up. I shall not discuss with an audience like this the puerile suggestion that a nation of seventy millions of free men is in danger of losing its liberties from the existence of an army of one hundred thousand men, three-fourths of whom will be employed in certain foreign islands, in certain coast fortresses, and on Indian reservations. No man of good sense and stout heart can take such a proposition seriously. If we are such weaklings as the proposition implies, then we are unworthy of freedom in any event. To no body of men in the United States is the country so much indebted as to the splendid officers and enlisted men of the Regular army and navy; there is no body from which the country has less to fear; and none of which it should be prouder, or which it should be more anxious to upbuild.
“Our army needs complete reorganization—not merely enlarging—and the reorganization can only come as the result of legislation. A proper general staff should be established, and the positions of ordnance, commissary and quartermaster officers should be filled by detail from the line. Above all, the army must be given the chance to exercise in large bodies. Never again should we see, as we saw in the Spanish War, major-generals, in command of divisions, who had never before commanded three companies together in the field. Yet incredible to relate, the recent Congress has showed a queer inability to learn some of the lessons of the war. There were large bodies of men in both branches who opposed the declaration of war, who opposed the ratification of peace, who opposed the upbuilding of the army, and who even opposed the purchase of armor at a reasonable price for the battleships and cruisers, thereby putting an absolute stop to the building of any new fighting ships for the navy. If during the years to come any disaster should befall our arms, afloat or ashore, and thereby any shame come to the United States, remember that the blame will lie upon the men whose names appear upon the roll calls of Congress on the wrong side of these great questions. On them will lie the burden of any loss of our soldiers and sailors, of any dishonor to the fag; and upon you and the people of this country will lie the blame, if you do not repudiate, in an unmistakable way, what these men have done. The blame will not rest upon the untrained commander of untried troops; upon the civil officers of a department the organization of which has been left utterly inadequate; or upon the Admiral with unsufficient number of ships; but upon the public men who have so lamentably failed in forethought as to refuse to
remedy these evils long in advance, and upon the nation that stands behind those public men.
"So at the present hour no small share of the responsibility for the blood shed in the Philippines, the blood of our brothers and the blood of their wild and ignorant foes, lies at the thresholds of those who so long delayed the adoption of the treaty of peace, and of those who by their worse than foolish words deliberately invited a savage people to plunge into a war fraught with sure disaster for them; a war, too, in which our own brave men who follow the flag must pay with their blood for the silly mock-humanitarianism of the prattlers who sit at home in peace.
"The army and the navy are the sword and the shield which this nation must carry, if she is to do her duty among the nations of the earth—if she is not to stand merely as the China of the western hemisphere. Our proper conduct toward the tropic islands we have wrested from Spain is merely the form which our duty has taken at the moment. Of course, we are bound to handle the affairs of our own household well. We must see that there is civic honesty, civic cleanliness, civic good sense in our house administration of city, State and nation. We must strive for honesty in office, for honesty towards the creditors of the nation and of the individual; for the widest freedom of individual initiative where possible, and for the wisest control of the individual initiative where it is hostile to the welfare of the many. But because we set our own household in order, we are not thereby excused from playing our part in the great affairs of the world. A man's first duty is to his home, but he is not thereby excused from doing his duty to the State; for if he fails in this second duty it is under the penalty of ceasing to be a free man. In the same way, while a nation's first duty is within its own borders, it is not thereby absolved from facing its duties in the world as a whole; and if it refuses to do so, it merely forfeits its right to struggle for a place among the peoples that shape the destiny of mankind.
“In the West Indies and the Philippines alike we are confronted by most difficult problems. It is cowardly to shrink from solving them in the proper way; for solved they must be, if not by us, then by some stronger and more manful race; if we are too weak, too selfish or too foolish to solve them, some bolder and abler people must undertake the solution. Personally I am far too firm a believer in the greatness of my country and the power of my countrymen to admit for one moment that we shall ever be driven to the ignoble alternative.
“The problems are different for the different islands. Porto Rico is not large enough to stand alone. We must govern it wisely and well, primarily in the interest of its own people. Cuba is, in my judgment, entitled ultimately to settle for itself whether it shall be an independent State or an integral portion of the mightiest of republics. But until order and stable liberty are secured, we must remain in the island to insure them; and infinite tact, judgment, moderation and courage must be shown by our military and civil representatives in keeping the island pacified, in relentlessly stamping out brigandage, in protecting all alike, and yet in showing proper recognition to the men who have fought for Cuban liberty. The Philippines offer a yet graver problem. Their population includes half caste and native Christians, warlike Moslems, and wild Pagans. Many of their people are utterly unfit for self-government and show no signs of becoming fit. Others may in time become fit, but at present can only take part in self-government under a wise supervision at once firm and beneficent. We have driven Spanish tyranny from the islands. If we now let it be replaced by savage anarchy, our work has been for harm and not for good. I have scant patience with those who fear to undertake the task of governing the Philippines, and who openly avow that they do fear to undertake it, or that they shtink from it because of the expense and trouble; but I have even scanter patience with those who make a pretense of humanitarianism to hide and cover their timidity, and who cant about 'liberty' and the ‘consent of the governed,' in order to excuse themselves for their unwillingness to play the part of men. Their doctrines if carried out would make it incumbent upon us to leave the Apaches of Arizona to work out their own salvation and to decline to interfere in a single Indian reservation. Their doctrines condemn your forefathers and mine for ever having settled in these United States.
"England's rule in India and Egypt has been of great benefit to England, for it has trained up generations of men accustomed to look at the larger and loftier side of public life. It has been of even greater benefit to India and Egypt. And finally and most of all, it has advanced the cause of civilization. So, if we do our duty aright in the Philippines, we will add to that national renown which is the highest and finest part of national life; will greatly benefit the people of the Philippine Islands; and above all we will play our part well in the great work of uplifting mankind. But to do this work, keep ever in mind that we must show in a very high degree the qualities of courage, of honesty and of good judgment. Resistance must be stamped out. The first and all-important work to be done is to establish the supremacy of our flag. We must put down armed resistance before we can accomplish anything else, and there should be no parleying, no faltering in dealing with our foe. As for those in our own country who encourage the foe, we can afford contemptuously to disregard them; but it must be remembered that their utterances are saved from being treasonable merely from the fact that they are despicable.
"When once we have put down armed resistance, when once our rule is acknowledged, then an even more difficult task will begin, for then we must
see to it that the islands are administered with absolute honesty and with good judgment. If we let the public service of the islands be turned into the prey of the spoils politician, we shall have begun to tread the path which Spain trod to her own destruction. We must send out there only good and able men, chosen for their fitness and not because of their partizan service, and these men must not only administer impartial justice to the natives and serve their own Government with honesty and fidelity, but must show the utmost tact and firmness, remembering that with such people as those with whom we are to deal, weakness is the greatest of crimes, and that next to weakness comes lack of consideration for their principles and prejudices.
“I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country call not for the life of ease, but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease, and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the lift of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us not shrink from strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified; for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.”
In continuation of the application of strenuous life to the affairs of the world, the President has referred to the "many excellent people who have praised Tolstoi's fantastic religious doctrines, his fantastic advocacy of peace. The same quality that makes the debauchee and the devotee alternate in certain decadent families, the hysterical development which leads to violent emotional reaction in a morbid nature from vice to virtue, also leads to the creation of Tolstoi's 'Kreutzer Sonata' on the one hand, and of his unhealthy peacemysticism on the other. A sane and healthy mind would be as incapable of the moral degradation of the novel as of the decadent morality of the philosophy. If Tolstoi's countrymen had acted according to his moral theories, they would now be extinct.”
The preference for war rather than peace sometimes, was stated in the following, in which he denounces “the great danger of indiscriminate advocacy of peace at any price":
“The great blot upon European international morality in the closing decade of this century has been not a war, but the infamous peace kept by the joint action of the great powers, while Turkey inflicted the last horrors of