Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/49

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25
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

Halim to the Grand Vizierate. Saïd Halim was an Egyptian prince, the cousin of the Khedive of Egypt, a man of great wealth and great culture. He spoke English and French as fluently as his own tongue and was an ornament to any society in the world. But he was a man of unlimited vanity and ambition. His great desire was to become Khedive of Egypt, and this had led him to trust his political fortunes to the gang that was then ascendant in Turkey. He was the heaviest "campaign contributor," and, indeed, he had largely financed the Young Turks from their earliest days. In exchange they had given him the highest office in the empire, with the tacit understanding that he should not attempt to exercise the real powers of his office, but content himself with enjoying its dignities.

Germany's war preparations had for years included the study of internal conditions in other countries; an indispensable part of the imperial programme had been to take advantage of such disorganizations as existed to push her schemes of penetration and conquest. What her emissaries have attempted in France, Italy, and even the United States is apparent, and their success in Russia has greatly changed the course of the war. Clearly such a situation as that which prevailed in Turkey in 1913 and 1914 provided an ideal opportunity for manipulations of this kind. And Germany had one great advantage in Turkey which was not so conspicuously an element in other countries. Talaat and his associates needed Germany almost as badly as Germany needed Talaat. They were altogether new to the business of managing an empire. Their finances were depleted, their army and navy