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THE AMERICAN BOYS WHO
DIED IN FRANCE
“It is wicked not to try to live up to high ideals and to better the condition of the world.” THEODORE ROOSEVELT
December 11, 1918
That for which Hugo Grotius plead is coming to pass: war is to be outlawed. Certain kinds of war are to be regarded, for the first time in history, as illegal; and, that which is of equal importance, the nebulous thing known as international law is, likewise, for the first time in history, to have a sanction so that the word “illegal” as applied to the action of States will have real significance.
This is the subject of Mr. Harley's treatise. Few things could be more timely and few statements could be more basic, more refreshingly new nor more happily made. Take this bit, summarizing the kinds of war which are now become illegal for the signatories to the Paris Covenant:
“1. A war of conquest or external aggression is illegal;
“2. A war resorted to by one member after the matter in dispute has been the subject of an arbitral award which is complied with by the other disputant is an illegal war;
“3. A war is illegal if resorted to by a member in disregard of a unanimous recommendation by the Council (excluding disputants) which is complied with by the other disputing member;
“4. All wars between members of the League are illegal if begun before a delay period of from three to nine months has elapsed.”
Under the Paris Covenant a signatory beginning war illegally is deemed, ipso facto, to “have committed an act of war against all other members of the League,” who must thereupon discontinue intercourse of every kind with the offender and may be called upon to make war upon it.