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Peace or no peace

07 June 2013

June 6th, 1913.

EUROPE hails a triumph of diplomacy, with Sir Edward Grey as hero of the pageant. We do not question the justice of this appreciation, but we entertain grave doubts of the value to the world of the services which the diplomatists have been rendering. So long as they were bent on keeping a ring, isolating the war of the Balkans, and inhibiting the intervention of interested Powers, they have done well, and the countries that are saved from war owe them the warmest thanks. But in so far as they have put pressure on the combatants of the Balkans to bring about the peace which was declared last week, we count them little better than marplots. It is possible that they could not have achieved the one success without obtaining the other. In that case, we hang in doubt whether to congratulate the world on the result.


This will seem to many a hard saying. War is so great an evil that cessation from it on any terms can seldom be regretted. In this case the continuance of war in the Balkans meant a continued peril of war in Europe, and its cessation is doubly welcome. Yet there is a peace that is no peace, and worse than war; there have been many treaties of peace that were nothing else but a letting out of strife. If peace between the Balkan Allies and the Ottoman Empire means war between the Allies - and that contingency is not remote - where is the gain? It will be harder than ever to keep the ring, and Europe may find itself the poorer by the suppression of some gallant rising nationalities. . .

The entire overthrow, the total disappearance, of the Ottoman system, is the one hope for the Levant. . .

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