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Monday, June 24, 2013

Chiang Kai-shek: War between Justice and Force

Chiang Kai-shek gave this speech on December 26, 1938 as an answer to Japan's Premier, Prince Konoye.

The year and a half’s war has laid for us a solid foundation for national regeneration. We fear no problems, nor are we concerned over impending dangers. We merely lament the fate of Japan, the present status of which was brought about by the hard efforts and sacrifices of her reformist patriots. Today, her people are powerless, her throne without prerogative, and her politicians without integrity and knowledge, thus allowing a few hot-headed young militarists to do as they please. They are sapping Japan’s national strength, shaking her national foundations and advancing savagely on the infamous road of self-seeking at the expense of others. In the eyes of these young Japanese militarists, China does not exist, nor do the other countries of the world. They have regard neither for discipline, nor for law, nor yet for their own government. Guided by their greed, cruelty, and violence, they do as they please. If such conduct be allowed to continue, the future of Japan is indeed full of danger. Although we are sworn enemies of the Japanese militarists, yet we are still neighbours to the Japanese people, who share with us a language of a common origin. Reviewing Japan’s history and looking forward to her future, we not only see danger in her path but lament her lot.

Comrades, you should realize that the Japanese militarists are now heading blindly into a maze. They have forgotten their own history, their own position, and can neither see the outsideworld and their own crisis, nor recognize their neighbour, a revolutionary China. There are but two aspects to their thought. On the one hand they are so blind to facts as vainly to hope that China might accept their outrageous terms, and on the other hand they rely on their cunning to achieve some tour-de-force and to benefit by hoodwinking the world. Because they themselves are stupid, they believe the peoples of the world are to be befooled. Because they themselves are violent, they believe that force can dominate this world.

As borne out by the terms embodied in his statement, Konoye wants to close China’s Open Door and break the Nine-Power Treaty by establishing a so-called "new order in East Asia," and to expel European and American influence from China by creating a so-called "unity of East Asia" and "economic bloc," and to revive the Twenty-one Demands presented to Yuan Shih-kai by "stationing troops in China" and setting aside "Inner Mongolia as a Special Area." Summing up, Japan intends to force China to destroy by her own hand the principles of Open Door and Equal Opportunity, the League of Nations Covenant, the Nine-Power Treaty, the Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and other international treaties, by resorting to such terms as "creating a new order in East Asia." They wish to bind our hands, squeeze our arteries, yet they expect us to follow in their footsteps by breaking faith and despising loyalty to hasten the realization of their domination in East Asia, after which they might direct the world. Throughout five thousand years, China has always been guided by good faith and sincerity, in her statecraft. How can we be made to yield by threats and abandon our stand?

China as a state is founded on the principles not to oppress the undefended, nor fear the aggressive. More particularly, she is not willing to violate pacts or break faith and thus destroy the righteous principles governing the relations of mankind. I remember the meeting of Tanaka and our late Tsungli (Dr. Sun Yat-sen) in Shanghai in the third year of the Republic which coincided with the outbreak of the Great War in Europe. Tanaka proposed that East Asiatics should at that time denounce all ratified relations with foreign countries and erect a new order in East Asia. Dr. Sun queried: "Would it not involve the breaking of international treaties?" To which Tanaka answered: "Is not the denunciation of treaties and termination of unequal obligations advantageous to China?" "Unequal treaties should be terminated by straightforward and legitimate procedure," solemnly declared Dr. Sun, "and China is not prepared to become a party to the illegal denunciation of treaties even though advantageous to our country." Comrades, such is China’s spirit. It is also the spirit of the Three People’s Principles.  We have relied on this spirit to resist invasion; we have depended on this spirit to resist all forms of domination, force and violence. We should be sustained by this spirit to restore order in East Asia and offer it as a contribution towards enduring world peace.

To conclude, this war on the part of Japan is violent banditry brought about by the total collapse of morals and sound principles in that country. Insofar as China is concerned, we have courageously taken upon our shoulders the world responsibility of fighting for justice and righteousness. Of late, the Japanese militarists have lost their senses, and prompted by sheer inertia, are rapidly going the way to exceed all bounds and damage the civilization and happiness of mankind. Nations of the world which are bound by treaty obligations should have acted to maintain the sanctity of treaties and apply punitive measures against the aggressor so that light might have been restored to the present scene of impenetrable darkness. But the nations hesitated and looked on. China, unmindful of any sacrifice, however, took upon herself the immense responsibility at the time when the fate of righteousness and justice was in the balance.

Our object in prosecuting this war of Resistance, is to complete the task of national revolution and secure for China independence, liberty and equality. Internationally, our object is to support righteousness and justice, restore the prestige of treaties, and re-establish peace and order. This is a war between good and evil, between right and wrong. It is a war between justice and force, and a war between an abider by the law and a breaker of it. It is also a war between righteousness and brute-force.

A Chinese proverb says: "Virtue never lacks company; it will ever find support." The force of world justice will rise, and men of goodwill ultimately co-operate in the interests of rectitude. On our part, we should hold fast to our stand and fix our eyes steadfastly on our goal, and be firm in our determination. Our firmness should increase with greater difficulties, and our courage should rise with prolonged Resistance. The entire nation should carry on with oneness of heart. The final victory will be ours. I urge my comrades, our army, and our people to redouble their efforts in order to attain success.

Fumimaro Konoye: The Triple Alliance

Fumimaro Konoye gave this speech a day after Japan joined Germany and Italy in the Second World War.

World history is at a turning point. The Japanese Government has entered into the triple alliance for peace and for development of the world. We are aware of our heavy responsibility. I shall tell you the true state of affairs and ask you to awaken to our position.

Affairs in East Asia have gradually deteriorated, and settlement of the China affair has been diflicult, so the government has decided radical measures were needed to settle what is really a civil war.

It is natural that Germany and Italy, who were making a new order in Europe, should make common cause with Japan. The division of the world into several spheres of co-existence and mutual prosperity would benefit all nations. The European war has been caused by efforts to suppress this desire.

We face an emergency unprecedented in our history. Enforcement of the treaty of alliance may become necessary. However difficult the position may become, the government is determined to face its responsibilities.

During the past three years Japan has made tremendous sacrifices and has lost many loyal soldiers. Prolongation of the China war on one hand and establishment of the new order and armament replenishment on the other have exacted heavy sacrifices and have made life difficult.

Taking internal conditions and the international outlook into consideration, the government decided the triple alliance was Japan’s best way. Our efforts will decide our fate. No effort will be too great. I ask the people to rise to overcome the nation’s difficulties.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Joseph Stalin: Scorched earth

Joseph Stalin gave this speech after the Nazi invasion to inspire and call to arms the people of the Soviet Russia.

Comrades! Citizens! Brothers and Sisters! Men of our Army and Navy!

I am addressing you, my friends!

The perfidious military attack on our fatherland, begun on June 22 by Hitler Germany, is continuing.

In spite of heroic resistance of the Red Army, and although the enemy’s finest divisions and finest air force units have already been smashed and have met their doom on the field of battle, the enemy continues to push forward, hurling fresh forces into the attack.

Hitler’s troops have succeeded in capturing Lithuania, a considerable part of Latvia, the western part of Byelo-Russia [White Russia] and a part of the Western Ukraine.

The Fascist air force is extending the range of operations of its bombers and is bombing Murmansk, Orsha, Mogilev, Smolensk, Kiev, Odessa and Sevastopol.

A grave danger hangs over our country.
How could it have happened that our glorious Red Army surrendered a number of our cities and districts to the Fascist armies?

Is it really true that German Fascist troops are invincible, as is ceaselessly trumpeted by boastful Fascist propagandists? Of course not!

History shows that there are no invincible armies, and never have been. Napoleon’s Army was considered invincible, but it was beaten successively by Russian, English and German Armies. Kaiser Wilhelm’s German Army in the period of the first imperialist war was also considered invincible, but it was beaten several times by Russian and Anglo-French forces, and was finally smashed by Anglo-French forces.

The same must be said of Hitler’s German Fascist Army today. This army has not yet met with serious resistance on the Continent of Europe. Only on our territory has it met serious resistance, and if as a result of this resistance the finest divisions of Hitler’s German Fascist Army have been defeated by our Red Army, it means that this army, too, can be smashed and will be smashed as were the armies of Napoleon and Wilhelm.

As to part of our territory having nevertheless been seized by German Fascist troops, this is chiefly due to the fact that the war of Fascist Germany on the U. S. S. R. began under conditions favorable for German forces and unfavorable for Soviet forces.

The fact of the matter is that troops of Germany, as a country at war, were already fully mobilized, and 170 divisions hurled by Germany against the U. S. S. R. and brought up to the Soviet frontiers were in a state of complete readiness, only awaiting the signal to move into action, whereas Soviet troops had little time to effect mobilization and move up to the frontiers.

Of no little importance in this respect is the fact that Fascist Germany suddenly and treacherously violated the nonaggression pact she concluded in 1939 with the U. S. S. R., disregarding the fact that she would be regarded as an aggressor by the whole world. Naturally, our peace-loving country, not wishing to take the initiative of breaking the pact, could not resort to perfidy.

It may be asked: How could the Soviet Government have consented to conclude a non-aggression pact with such treacherous fiends as Hitler and Ribbentrop? Was not this an error on the part of the Soviet Government? Of course not!

Non-aggression pacts are pacts of peace between two States. It was such a pact that Germany proposed to us in 1939. Could the Soviet Government have declined such a proposal? I think that not a single peace-loving State could decline a peace treaty with a neighboring State even though the latter was headed by such fiends and cannibals as Hitler and Ribbentrop.

But that, of course, only on one indispensable condition -- namely, that this peace treaty does not infringe either directly or indirectly on the territorial integrity, independence and honor of a peace-loving State.

As is well known, the non-aggression pact between Germany and the U. S. S. R. is precisely such a pact.

What did we gain by concluding a non-aggression pact with Germany? We secured for our country peace for a year and a half and the opportunity of preparing its forces to repulse Fascist Germany should she risk an attack on our country despite the pact.

This was a definite advantage for us and a disadvantage for Fascist Germany.

What has Fascist Germany gained and what has she lost by treacherously tearing up the pact and attacking the U. S. S. R.?

She gained a certain advantageous position for her troops for a short period, but she has lost politically by exposing herself in the eyes of the entire world as a bloodthirsty aggressor.

There can be no doubt that this short-lived military gain for Germany is only an episode, while the tremendous political gain of the U. S. S. R. is a serious and lasting factor that is bound to form the basis for development of decisive military successes of the Red Army in the war with Fascist Germany.

That is why our whole valiant Red Army, our whole valiant Navy, all our falcons of the air, all peoples of our country, all the finest men and women of Europe, America and Asia, and, finally, all the finest men and women of Germany, condemn the treacherous acts of the German Fascists and sympathize with the Soviet Government, approve the conduct of the Soviet Government and see that ours is a just cause, that the enemy will be defeated, that we are bound to win.

By virtue of this war which has been forced upon us our country has come to death grips with its most malicious and most perfidious enemy -- German fascism.

Our troops are fighting heroically against an enemy armed to the teeth with tanks and aircraft. Overcoming innumerable difficulties the Red Army and Navy are self-sacrificingly disputing every inch of Soviet soil.

The main forces of the Red Army are coming into action armed with thousands of tanks and airplanes. Men of the Red Army are displaying unexampled valor. Our resistance to the enemy is growing in strength and power. Side by side with the Red Army the entire Soviet people is rising in defense of our native land.

What is required to put an end to the danger hovering over our country, and what measures must be taken to smash the enemy?

Above all, it is essential that our people, the Soviet people, should understand the full immensity of the danger that threatens our country and abandon all complacency, all heedlessness, all those moods of peaceful, constructive work which were so natural before the war but which are fatal today when war has fundamentally changed everything.

The enemy is cruel and implacable. He is out to seize our lands watered with our sweat, to seize our grain and soil secured by our labor.

He is out to restore the rule of landlords, to restore Czarism, to destroy national culture and the national State existence of Russians, Ukrainians, Byelo-Russians, Lithuanians, Letts, Estonians, Uzbeks, Tartars, Moldavians, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanians, and the other free peoples of the Soviet Union, to Germanize them, to convert them into slaves of German princes and barons.

Thus the issue is one of life or death for the Soviet State, for the peoples of the U. S. S. R.: the issue is whether peoples of the Soviet Union shall remain free or fall into slavery.

The Soviet people must realize this and abandon all heedlessness, they must mobilize themselves and reorganize all their work on new, wartime lines, when there can be no mercy to the enemy.

Further, there must be no room in our ranks for whimperers and cowards, for panic-mongers and deserters; our people must know no fear in the fight and must selflessly join our patriotic War of liberation, our war against the Fascist enslavers.

Lenin, the great founder of our State, used to say that the chief virtue of the Soviet people must be courage, valor, fearlessness in struggle, readiness to fight together with the people against the enemies of our country.

This splendid virtue of the Bolshevik must become the virtue of millions and millions of the Red Army, of the Red Navy, of all peoples of the Soviet Union.

All our work must be immediately reconstructed on a war footing, everything must be subordinated to the interests of the front and the task of organizing demolition of the enemy.

The peoples of the Soviet Union now see that there is no taming of German fascism in its savage fury and hatred of our country which has insured all working people labor in freedom and prosperity.

The peoples of the Soviet Union must rise against the enemy and defend their rights and their land. The Red Army, Red Navy and all citizens of the Soviet Union must defend every inch of Soviet soil, must fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages, must display the daring initiative and intelligence that are inherent in our people.

We must organize all-round assistance to the Red Army, insure powerful reinforcements for its ranks and supply of everything it requires, we must organize rapid transport of troops and military freight and extensive aid to the wounded.

We must strengthen the Red Army’s rear, subordinating all our work to this cause, all our industries must be got to work with greater intensity to produce more rifles, machine guns, artillery, bullets, shells, airplanes; we must organize the guarding of factories, power stations, telephonic and telegraphic communications, and arrange effective air raid precautions in all localities.

We must wage a ruthless fight against all disorganizers of the rear, deserters, panic-mongers, rumor-mongers, exterminate spies, diversionists, enemy parachutists, rendering rapid aid in all this to our destroyer battalions. We must bear in mind that the enemy is crafty, unscrupulous, experienced in deception and dissemination of false rumors.

We must reckon with all this and not fall victim to provocation. All who by their panic-mongering and cowardice hinder the work of defense, no matter who they are, must be immediately haled before a military tribunal.

In case of a forced retreat of Red Army units, all rolling stock must be evacuated; to the enemy must not be left a single engine, a single railway car, not a single pound or grain or a gallon of fuel.

Collective farmers must drive off all their cattle and turn over their grain to the safekeeping of State authorities for transportation to the rear. All valuable property including non-ferrous metals, grain and fuel which cannot be withdrawn must without fail be destroyed.

In areas occupied by the enemy, guerrilla units, mounted and foot, must be formed, diversionist groups must be organized to combat enemy troops, to foment guerrilla warfare everywhere, to blow up bridges, roads, damage telephone and telegraph lines and to set fire to forests, stores and transports.

In occupied regions conditions must be made unbearable for the enemy and all his accomplices. They must be hounded and annihilated at every step and all their measures frustrated.

This war with Fascist Germany cannot be considered an ordinary war. It is not only a war between two armies, it is also a great war of the entire Soviet people against the German fascist forces.

The aim of this national war in defense of our country against the fascist oppressors is not only elimination of the danger hanging over our country, but also aid to all European peoples groaning under the yoke of German fascism.

In this war of liberation we shall not be alone.

In this great war we shall have loyal allies in the peoples of Europe and America, including German people who are enslaved by Hitlerite despots.

Our war for the freedom of our country will merge with the struggle of the peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic liberties. It will be a united front of peoples standing for freedom and against enslavement and threats of enslavement by Hitler’s Fascist armies.

In this connection the historic utterance of British Prime Minister Churchill regarding aid to the Soviet Union and the declaration of the U. S. A. Government signifying readiness to render aid to our country, which can only evoke a feeling of gratitude in the hearts of the peoples of the Soviet Union, are fully comprehensible and symptomatic.

Comrades, our forces are numberless. The overweening enemy will soon learn this to his cost. Side by side with the Red Army and Navy thousands of workers, collective farmers and intellectuals are rising to fight the enemy aggressor. The masses of our people will rise up in their millions. The working people of Moscow and Leningrad already have commenced to form vast popular levies in support of the Red Army.

Such popular levies must be raised in every city which is in danger of an enemy invasion, all working people must be roused to defend our freedom, our honor, our country -- in our patriotic war against German fascism.

In order to insure a rapid mobilization of all forces of the peoples of the U. S. S. R., and to repulse the enemy who treacherously attacked our country, a State Committee of Defense has been formed in whose hands the entire power of the State has been vested.

The State Committee of Defense has entered into its functions and calls upon all our people to rally around the party of Lenin-Stalin and around the Soviet Government so as self-denyingly to support the Red Army and Navy, demolish the enemy and secure victory.

All our forces for the support of our heroic Red Army and our glorious Red Navy! 
All the forces of the people---for the demolition of the enemy! 
Forward, to our victory!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Vyacheslav Molotov: The Nazi war on Russia

Vyacheslav Molotov, the Foreign Minister of U. S. S. R., gave this speech after German troops invaded Soviet Russia territory with having decared war.

Citizens of the Soviet Union:

The Soviet Government and its head, Comrade Stalin, have authorized me to make the following statement:

Today at 4 o’clock A.M., without any claims having been presented to the Soviet Union, without a declaration of war, German troops attacked our country, attacked our borders at many points and bombed from their airplanes our cities Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, Kaunas and some others, killing and wounding over 200 persons.

There were also enemy air raids and artillery shelling from Rumanian and Finnish territory.

This unheard of attack upon our country is perfidy unparalleled in the history of civilized nations. The attack on our country was perpetrated despite the fact that a treaty of nonaggression had been signed between the U. S. S. R. and Germany and that the Soviet Government most faithfully abided by all provisions of this treaty.

The attack upon our country was perpetrated despite the fact that during the entire period of operation of this treaty the German Government could not find grounds for a single complaint against the U. S. S. R.  as regards observance of this treaty.

Entire responsibility for this predatory attack upon the Soviet Union falls fully and completely upon the German Fascist rulers.

At 5:30 A.M. -- that is, after the attack had already been perpetrated, Von der Schulenburg, the German Ambassador in Moscow, on behalf of his government made the statement to me as People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs to the effect that the German Government had decided to launch war against the U. S. S. R. in connection with the concentration of Red Army units near the eastern German frontier.

In reply to this I stated on behalf of the Soviet Government that, until the very last moment, the German Government had not presented any claims to the Soviet Government, that Germany attacked the U. S. S. R. despite the peaceable position of the Soviet Union, and that for this reason Fascist Germany is the aggressor.

On instruction of the government of the Soviet Union I also stated that at no point had our troops or our air force committed a violation of the frontier and therefore the statement made this morning by the Rumanian radio to the effect that Soviet aircraft allegedly had fired on Rumanian airdromes is a sheer lie and provocation.

Likewise a lie and provocation is the whole declaration made today by Hitler, who is trying belatedly to concoct accusations charging the Soviet Union with failure to observe the Soviet-German pact.

Now that the attack on the Soviet Union has already been committed, the Soviet Government has ordered our troops to repulse the predatory assault and to drive German troops from the territory of our country.

This war has been forced upon us, not by the German people, not by German workers, peasants and intellectuals, whose sufferings we well understand, but by the clique of bloodthirsty Fascist rulers of Germany who have enslaved Frenchmen, Czechs, Poles, Serbians, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Greece and other nations.

The government of the Soviet Union expresses its unshakable confidence that our valiant army and navy and brave falcons of the Soviet Air Force will acquit themselves with honor in performing their duty to the fatherland and to the Soviet people, and will inflict a crushing blow upon the aggressor.

This is not the first time that our people have had to deal with an attack of an arrogant foe. At the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia our people’s reply was war for the fatherland, and Napoleon suffered defeat and met his doom.

It will be the same with Hitler, who in his arrogance has proclaimed a new crusade against our country. The Red Army and our whole people will again wage victorious war for the fatherland, for our country, for honor, for liberty.

The government of the Soviet Union expresses the firm conviction that the whole population of our country, all workers, peasants and intellectuals, men and women, will conscientiously perform their duties and do their work. Our entire people must now stand solid and united as never before.

Each one of us must demand of himself and of others discipline, organization and self-denial worthy of real Soviet patriots, in order to provide for all the needs of the Red Army, Navy and Air Force, to insure victory over the enemy.

The government calls upon you, citizens of the Soviet Union, to rally still more closely around our glorious Bolshevist party, around our Soviet Government, around our great leader and comrade, Stalin. Ours is a righteous cause. The enemy shall be defeated. Victory will be ours.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Benito Mussolini: First year into World War II

Benito Mussolini gave this talk at the anniversary of Italy's entry into second World War.

Comrades, this is a memorable, solemn day. It is just a year since our entrance into the war. A year filled with events, giddy, historical developments. A year during which Italian soldiers on land, sea and in the sky fought heroically, mostly on the fronts of Europe and Africa. No one doubts any longer, in the light of unquestionable published documents, that between Italy and Greece there should be a rendering of accounts. At Athens, newspapers begin finally to disclose the criminal backstage of Greek policy. Since August, 1940, I had proof that Greece no longer was keeping even the appearance of neutrality. In the same months there was a period of tension which was followed by a few weeks of calm.

Thus, on Oct. 15, it was unanimously decided to break hesitancies and take to the field at the end of the month.

It was absolutely mathematical that in April, even if nothing happened to change the Balkan situation, the Italian Army would have broken through and annihilated the Greek Army.

It is necessary to state honestly that many Greek detachments fought courageously. It is sad to affirm, furthermore, that the Greek Army would not have held for six months without the aid of England. The Greek Army was fed, supplied and armed by the English. Aviation was English. Anti-aircraft and artillery also was English. Not less than 60,000 English were in services and special groups flanked the Greek Army.

Material aid furnished by Turkey was modest. Its value did not amount to 2,000,000 Turkish pounds.

While Italian troops were pushing to liquidate the Greek Army Yugoslavia revealed through a coup d’├ętat its real sentiments. The Axis war against Yugoslavia, therefore, was rendered inevitable. Axis armies acted together with lightning rapidity. While the second Army of the Alps was moving down along the Dalmatian Coast with forced marches which tried the resistance of our soldiers, the Greeks retired fighting to the rearguard and tried a last moment trick in genuine Ulysses style to hold us at the border of Albania, offering an armistice to the Germans and not to us.

They were called energetically to reason by me and finally surrendered unconditionally.

Regarding Yugoslavia, it revealed almost immediately the inconsistency and, it may be said "falsity" of its state organism in the third mosaic State artificially created at Versailles. With exclusively anti-Italian function it falls into pieces at the first shock.

The Yugoslav Army for which Paris and the Little Entente circle had created a reputation of "invincibility" was put out of action with the first blows. The English still made a few appearances on battlefields, but found Hellenic soil also burned under their feet and they abandoned -- fleeing by the usual sea route -- dying Greece.

Political and military consequences which sprang up by the elimination of England from her last European bases have profoundly changed the map of that region -- changed for the better, especially if every one will keep a sense of proportion -- that is to say, change toward a more reasonable arrangement according to justice, taking into account all elements which go to make them up and frequently snarl problems.

Here also it has not been possible to reach an arrangement perfect in every way, but one must not hope for the absolute in such matters.

Bulgaria annexes Macedonia, which is prevalently Bulgarian, and Western Thrace.

Hungary has enlarged her confines and Germany has carried hers to the left bank of the Sava. The rest of Slovenia has become an Italian province with a special regime. The most important fact is resurrection, after two centuries, of the Croat State.

With the annexation of almost all of the islands of the Dalmatian Peninsula, with the creation of two provinces of Split and Kotor and the enlarging of old, extremely faithful Zara, the Dalmatian problem may be considered solved, especially taking into account relations between the Kingdoms of Italy and Croatia, whose crown has been offered to a Savoy-Aosta.

If we wished We could have pushed our borders from Velebiti to the Albanian Alps but we would, in my opinion, have made a mistake. Without counting others, we would have brought within our borders several hundred thousand foreign elements naturally hostile.

The conquest of Crete places at the disposition of the Axis air and naval bases very close for mass attacks on the Egyptian coast. Life will become ever more difficult for the English naval forces stationed at the bases of Egypt and Palestine. The objective, which consists of expelling Britain from the Eastern Mediterranean, will be reached and with it a gigantic step will be taken toward a victorious epilogue of war.

Collaboration between the powers of the Tripartite Pact is under way. But above all, collaboration between Germany and Italy is under way.

Ridiculous rumors which were speculating on eventual frictions or dissensions, come of the feeble minded who worked even further like the English Prime Minister in his useless Christmas Eve speech, are reduced to silence.

Added to this Japan is in perfect line with the Tripartite Pact. The Japanese are a proud, loyal people which would not remain indifferent in the face of American aggression against the Axis powers.

With the other powers adhering to the Tripartite Pact, namely, Hungary, Slovakia, Rumania and Bulgaria, relations are more than cordial even where special political accords do not exist.

Regarding Turkey, that country has until now refused all English solicitations. President Inonu has seen the tragic fate that awaits all nations which in any way trust themselves to Britain. But I wish to take this occasion to say to President Inonu that Italy intends to follow toward Turkey that policy of comprehension and collaboration which was inaugurated in 1928 and which for us is still in effect.

If Spain and Turkey are out of the fighting there is one transoceanic State which seems likely to enter it. It is well that it be known that American intervention does not bother us excessively. Specific declaration of war would not change the present situation, which is one of de facto war, if not de jure. American intervention, when employed completely, would be late, and if it were not later would not remove the terms of the problem. American intervention will not give victory to Britain but will prolong the war; will not limit the area of war but will extend it to other oceans; will change the United States regime into an authoritarian, totalitarian one in comparison with which the European forerunners -- fascist and nazi -- will feel themselves far surpassed and perfected.

When it is desired to be called a dictator in the pure classical meaning of the word, Sulla is cited. Sulla appears to us a modest amateur compared with Delano Roosevelt.

By agreement with the German command, almost all of Greece, including Athens, will be occupied by Italian troops. This lays a very serious problem before us, especially from the point of view of food, but we shall face it seeking to alleviate as far as possible miseries inflicted upon the Greek people by their governors subordinated to London and having in mind that Greece re-enters into Italy’s vital Mediterranean space.

Many times after Cheren the English have announced the campaign in Italian Africa might be considered more or less virtually concluded. But after Cheren they had to go up against Amba Alagi, where for the second time Italian resistance reached epic proportion. After the fall of Amba Alagi the English again proclaimed that all was now finished. Instead, they are still fighting. There are three zones where our barricaded troops are still giving the English plenty of wool to twist -- Tankali, Gimma and Gondar.

How long it may last cannot be known, but it is certain that resistance will be protracted to the limits of human possibility.

Even the whole conquest of the empire by the English has no decisive importance toward the ending of the War. This is a vendetta of strictly personal character which could have no influence on the result: of a war which has dug even deeper chasms between Italy and Britain I cannot tell you today when or how, but I affirm in the most categoric manner that we shall return to that land bathed by our blood and our dead shall not go unavenged.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Benito Mussolini: Before Ethiopia's Invasion

Benito Mussolini gave this speech before invading Ethiopia in 1935.

Black shirts of revolution, men and women of all Italy, Italians all over the world, beyond the mountains, beyond the seas, listen. A solemn hour is about to strike in the history of the country. Twenty million Italians are at this moment gathered in the squares of all Italy. It is the greatest demonstration that human history records. Twenty millions, one heart alone, one will alone, one decision.

This manifestation signifies that the tie between Italy and Fascism is perfect, absolute, unalterable. Only brains softened by puerile illusions, by sheer ignorance, can think differently, because they do not know what exactly is the Fascist Italy of 1935.

For many months the wheel of destiny and of the impulse of our calm determination moves toward the goal. In these last hours the rhythm has increased and nothing can stop it now.

It is not only an army marching towards its goal, but it is forty-four million Italians marching in unity behind this army. Because the blackest of injustices is being attempted against them, that of taking from them their place in the sun. When in 1915 Italy threw in her fate with that of the Allies, how many cries of admiration, how many promises were heard? But after the common victory, which cost Italy six hundred thousand dead, four hundred thousand lost, one million wounded, when peace was being discussed around the table only the crumbs of a rich colonial booty were left for us to pick up. For thirteen years we have been patient while the circle tightened around us at the hands of those who wish to suffocate us.

We have been patient with Ethiopia for forty years. It is enough now.

The League of Nations instead of recognizing the rights of Italy dares talk of sanctions, but until there is proof to the contrary I refuse to believe that the authentic people of France will join in supporting sanctions against Italy. Six hundred thousand dead whose devotion was so heroic that the enemy commander justly admired them -- those fallen would now turn in their graves.

And until there is proof to the contrary, I refuse to believe that the authentic people of Britain will want to spill blood and send Europe into a catastrophe for the sake of a barbarian country, unworthy of ranking among civilized nations. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to overlook the possible developments of tomorrow.

To economic sanctions, we shall answer with our discipline, our spirit of sacrifice, our obedience. To military sanctions, we shall answer with military measures. To acts of war, we shall answer with acts of War.

A people worthy of their past and their name cannot and never will take a different stand. Let me repeat, in the most categorical manner, that the sacred pledge which I make at this moment before all the Italians gathered together today, is that I shall do everything in my power to prevent a colonial conflict from taking on the aspect and weight of a European war.

This conflict may be attractive to certain minds which hope to avenge their disintegrated temples through this new catastrophe. Never, as at this historical hour, have the people of Italy revealed such force of character, and it is against this people to which mankind owes its greatest conquest, this people of heroes, of poets and saints, of navigators, of colonizers, that the world dares threaten sanctions.

Italy! Italy! entirely and universally Fascist! The Italy of the black shirt revolution, rise to your feet, let the cry of your determination rise to the skies and reach our soldiers in East Africa. Let it be a comfort to those who are about to fight. Let it be an encouragement to our friends and a warning to our enemies. It is the cry of Italy which goes beyond the mountains and the seas out into the great world. It is the cry of justice and of victory.