Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/79

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good citizens, not to demand literal interpretation of these illustrations, but to think them out, “each for himself and not for the other.” Whether with our insular possessions we have intruded insolently; whether in our Monroe doctrine we have “swaggered”; these are possibly debatable questions. I do not say that our altruism will remain unrewarded by conversion of savages; but it is not yet definitely decided that the cannibals are not land-hungry, and it is very certain that the missionary is very, very edible.

The question of our national defending, not for aggression, but to prevent aggression, on sea and land, beneath the seas and in the air; this needs to be thought out and legislated out, and acted out. Upon this however full reliance may be placed: that until our great cities can dispense with an adequate police force, the nation will require the defence which trained defenders alone can insure.

Some of us, especially as to activities and non-activities in Mexico, have openly sneered at the administration’s policy of prudence—of so-called “watchful waiting,” candor compels confession that for one having had a military training, and withal having the strongest admiration for “strenuous” action, to refrain would have been difficult indeed. Nevertheless, in view of what is happening in Europe, the feeling can not be repressed that this policy will find justification, not in premature urgency as to our good offices, but when the day comes, as it surely will come, for an umpire, disinterested, unvexed and unhampered by affinity or collusion, as a sincere friend to all nations and to humanity, to urge and to demand guarantees of an enduring peace.