"A separate peace with the Central Empires could accomplish nothing but our eternal disgrace . . ." WOODROW WILSON, at San Francisco, September 17, 1919.
THE POPPIES were now growing for the second spring on the graves of American boys in France. Other American boys were helping keep the watch on the Rhine. Millions of men all over the world were under arms, and brother was still killing brother. The fine ideals of ending war and establishing a lasting peace seemed now but hollow mockery. As the Los Angeles Times cynically observed, "It is quite impossible to tell what the war made the world safe for."
The first meeting of the Council of the League of Nations had convened at Paris on January 16, 1920, in response to an invitation issued by President Wilson. The American delegate was conspicuously absent, and the presiding officer, Léon Bourgeois, regretted the absence of the United States. Without the active participation of the freshest and most powerful of the nations, the League was getting off to a wobbly start. Men had no real confidence in what they were doing.
In America, the "irreconcilables" pointed to the tramping hordes of men in Europe, and said: "Aha, we told you so. Wilson's League is powerless to prevent war!" The friends of international cooperation rejoined that some of these clashes antedated the birth of the League, and that one should not expect a babe in swaddling clothes to go forth and do battle with Mars. To internationally minded persons the weakness of the League was a challenge to make it stronger; to nationally minded persons the weakness of the League and the disorders