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AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY
Egypt. The Turks had been building wells on the Sinai peninsula to use in case war broke out with England; England was destroying these wells and the Bedouins, said Talaat, had interfered to stop this destruction.
At this meeting Talaat frankly told me that Turkey had decided to side with the Germans and to sink or swim with them. He went again over the familiar grounds, and added that if Germany won—and Talaat said that he was convinced that Germany would win—the Kaiser would get his revenge on Turkey if Turkey had not helped him to obtain this victory. Talaat frankly admitted that fear—the motive, which, as I have said, is the one that chiefly inspires Turkish acts—was driving Turkey into a German alliance. He analyzed the whole situation most dispassionately; he said that nations could not afford such emotions as gratitude, or hate, or affection; the only guide to action should be cold-blooded policy.
"At this moment," said Talaat, "it is for our interest to side with Germany; if, a month from now, it is our interest to embrace France and England we shall do that just as readily."
"Russia is our greatest enemy," he continued; "and we are afraid of her. If now, while Germany is attacking Russia, we can give her a good strong kick, and so make her powerless to injure us for some time, it is Turkey's duty to administer that kick!"
And then turning to me with a half-melancholy, half-defiant smile, he summed up the whole situation."Ich mit die Deutschen," he said, in his broken German. Because the Cabinet was so divided, however, the Germans themselves had to push Turkey over the preci-