Americans with a realistic understanding of world conditions know that the neutrality policy being followed by the United States during the present war in Ethiopia is important mainly because of the precedents which will be set. Neither in present trade nor in the prospect of war orders is there much immediately involved; Ethiopia has not been and cannot be a customer, and the financier or trader who would give Italy credit would be a fit subject for a sanity examination. But it is America's peace two or five years hence that is at stake now. The real wars are coming--one in Europe when Nazi Germany decides that der Tag has come, and one in the Far East, as every dispatch from Japanese army headquarters in China reveals. The latter will furnish the supreme test for American neutrality. To insure that the bulwarks of neutrality will hold when these vital tests come, they must be made holeproof now and placed beyond the caprice of any man.
A country abandons its neutrality because of basic compulsions of national interest, and propaganda is, after all, mainly the promotional expression of deep economic and spiritual drives. Yet, preceding and accompanying the sharp international crisis, it is the violent conflict of propaganda forces that decides the issue of peace or war. Modern wars can be fought only with the consent of an overwhelming majority of the population.
Among the actual and potential fomenters of war are the following: First, manufacturers of armaments and munitions. Under modern conditions of war, munitions include most of the products of agriculture and industry.____________________