UNWISE PEACE TREATIES A MENACE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
IN studying certain lessons which should be taught the United States by this terrible world war, it is not necessary for us to try exactly to assess or apportion the blame. There are plenty of previous instances of violation of treaties to be credited to almost all the nations engaged on one side or the other. We need not try to puzzle out why Italy and Japan seemingly construed similar treaties of alliance in diametrically opposite ways; nor need we decide which was justified or whether both were justified. It is quite immaterial to us, as regards certain of the lessons taught, whether the treaties alleged to be violated affect Luxembourg on the one hand or Bosnia on the other, whether it is the neutrality of China or the neutrality of Belgium that is violated.
Yet again, we need always to keep in mind that, although it is culpable to break a treaty, it may be even worse recklessly to make a treaty which cannot be kept. Recklessness in making promises is the surest way in which to secure the dis