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begun to regard the situation with different eyes. Since there are no longer rain-clouds coming up from the east, why should a friend, however well intentioned, insist on holding an umbrella over us? We are quite able to do that for ourselves if necessary. Mr. Bryce continues: “It is as the disinterested, the absolutely disinterested and unselfish, advocate of peace and goodwill, that the United States will have most influence in the western hemisphere, and that influence, gently and tactfully used, may be of incalculable service to mankind.”
So widespread and malevolent are the agencies now at work throughout Latin America to prejudice the public against the United States, we ought to make every effort to have our real feelings known. Our foreign policy must be clearly formulated. We ought to take one road or the other, either to publicly repudiate this outgrown Monroe Doctrine, or else accept the logical consequences and hold ourselves responsible for the maintenance of law and order throughout the Latin-American republics. This last is such an enormous, not to say impertinent,
undertaking, that it is really unthinkable. Why should we not definitely abandon a doctrine which is regarded with deep resentment and ill-concealed antagonism by many of the best citizens of South America, and which enables Europe to hold us responsible for the actions of any member of the lawless group near the Caribbean Sea?
Finally, if we agree to turn our backs on the Monroe Doctrine, whither shall we go? What road shall we take in order to secure the friendship of our neighbors? How can we show them that we wish to be an “absolutely disinterested and unselfish advocate of peace and goodwill” ?
These are questions that require most serious thought and attention. I cannot pretend to have found the best solution for this knotty problem. It has been suggested that we form an alliance with the“ ABC” powers.
It will not be easy to secure such an alliance. They will answer that such a proposal is only another method of imperialistic ab
sorption. There must be no halfway measures. No doubt whatever must be allowed to remain that we are really in earnest. As a starter we might let it be known that we should be glad to exchange ambassadors with Argentina and Chile as well as with Brazil and Mexico. This would show that we have learned to regard them as worthy of respect.
This could be followed by other acts of international courtesy which would soon pave the way for a friendly alliance that should take the place of the Monroe Doctrine.
Incidentally, we might do well to assume with the best grace we may our obligations to provide handsomely for the Second PanAmerican Scientific Congress.
Furthermore, the very next time any awkward situations arise in one of the less firmly established republics, let us at once call a family gathering and see what, if anything, needs to be done.
If it is necessary to maintain order in some of the weaker and more restless republics, why not let the decision be made, not by ourselves, but by a Congress of leading American powers? If it is found necessary
to send armed forces into Central America to quell rebellions that are proving too much for the recognized governments, why not let those forces consist not solely of American marines, but of the marines of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile as well?
As a matter of fact, it would be better to ask one of their squadrons to act alone, as the representative of the family. The important thing is — we must show our good faith. They doubt us. It must be our business to convince them of our integrity.
Old ideas, proverbs, catchwords, national shibboleths, die hard. No part of our foreign policy has ever been so continuously held and so popularly accepted as the Monroe Doctrine. Hoary with age, it has defied the advance of commerce, the increase of transportation facilities, and the subjugation of the yellow-fever mosquito. Based on a condition that has long since disappeared, owing its later growth and development to mistaken ideas, it appears to our South American neighbors to be neither disinterested nor unselfish, but rather an indisput
able evidence of our overweening national conceit. The very words “Monroe Doctrine" are fraught with a disagreeable significance from our neighbors' point of view. There is no one single thing, nor any group of things, that we could do to increase the chances of peace and harmony in the western hemispherecomparable with the definite statement that we haveoutgrown the Monroe Doctrine, that we realize that our neighbors in the New World are well able to take care of themselves, and that we shall not interfere in their politics or send arms into their territory, unless cordially invited to do so, and then only in connection with, and by the cooperation of, other members of the family.
In some such way as this we can convince “the other Americans” of our good faith, and of the fact that we have not made up our minds to conquer South America." By adopting a foreign policy along these lines we can establish on a broad and solid foundation the relations of international peace and goodwill for which the time is ripe, but which cannot arrive till weare convinced that the Monroe Doctrine is not worth while.