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Fear may be understood. But a curious and characteristic emotional weakness of Empire is: A complex of vaunting and fear.

The vaunting is from what may be called that Titanic feeling. Many passengers on the doomed Titanic would not believe that a ship so big and grand could sink. So long as it was above water her listing deck seemed safer than a life boat on the open sea. So with the people of Empire. They are mighty. They have performed prodigious works, even many that seemed beyond their powers. Reverses they have known but never defeat. That which has hitherto been immeasurable, how shall it be measured?

So those must have felt who lived out the grandeur that was Rome. So the British felt while they ruled the world. So now Americans feel.

As we assume unlimited political liabilities all over the world, as billions in multiples of ten are voted for the ever expanding global intention, there is only scorn for the one who says: "We are not infinite. Let us calculate our utmost power of performance, weigh it against what we are proposing to do, and see if the scales will balance." The answer is: "We do not know what our utmost is. What we will to do, that we can do. Let us resolve to do what is necessary. Necessity will create the means."

Conversely, the fear. Fear of the barbarian. Fear of standing alone. Fear of world opinion, since we must have it on our side. The fear which is inseparable from the fact—or from a conviction of the fact—that security is no longer in our own hands.

A time comes when the guard itself, that is, your system of satellites, is a source of fear. Satellites are often willful and the more you rely upon them the more willful and demanding they are. There is, therefore, the fear of offending them, as it might be only to disappoint their expectations.

Reflect on the subtle change that takes place in Anglo-American relations when we have our atomic bomb outpost in England, great bases there, a mighty air force in being, and thirty thousand military personnel. The Republic was not afraid to make the British lion roar when he was big and strong; now the State Department is uneasy if he ceases to make a purring sound. On Great Britain's part it is assumed that the United States cannot afford to let her down. On our part there is the beginning of awareness that if security is your treasure and you bury a part of it in the garden of a friend you have given hostage to friendship.

And then at last the secret, irreducible fear of allies —not this one or that one invidiously, but foreign allies in human principle, each with a life of its own to save.

How will they behave when the test comes?—when they face, in this case, the terrible reality of becoming the European battlefield whereon the security of the

United States shall be defended? If they falter or fail, what will become of the weapons with which we have supplied them? What if they were surrendered or captured and turned against us?

The possibility of having to face its own weapons on a foreign field is one of the nightmares of Empire.


Garet Garrett -