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Restoring the World, 1945 by Nicolas W. Proctor

Restoring the World, 1945 by Nicolas W. Proctor

Author:Nicolas W. Proctor
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Reacting Consortium Press


X. Unconditional Surrender

At a time like this it is necessary to concentrate with clarity and command of mental perseverance upon the main, practical issues with which we are confronted, and upon which we hope and believe we are in accord with our principal Allies. What, for instance, should be our attitude toward the terrible foe with whom we are grappling? Should it be unconditional surrender or should we make some accommodation with them for a negotiated peace, leaving them free to regather their strength for the lengthy struggle after a few uneasy years?

The principle of unconditional surrender was proclaimed by the President of the United States at Casablanca, and I endorsed it there and then on behalf of this country. I am sure it was right at the time when it was used, when many things hung in the balance against us and which are all decided in our favour now. Should we then modify this declaration which we made in days of our comparative weakness and lack of success now that we have reached a period of mastery and power?

I am clear nothing should induce us to abandon the principle of unconditional surrender and enter into any form of negotiations with Germany or Japan, under whatever guise such suggestions may present themselves, until the act of unconditional surrender has been formally executed.

The Casablanca Conference was a January 1943 meeting in Morocco that was attended by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Free French leader Charles de Gaulle.

But the President of the United States, and I, in your name, have repeatedly declared that enforcement of unconditional surrender upon the enemy in no way relieves the victorious powers of all their obligations to humanity, or of their duties as civilized and Christian nations. I read somewhere that when the ancient Athenians, on one occasion, overpowered the tribe in the Peloponnesus which had wrought them great injury by base, treacherous means, and when they had the army herded on the beach naked for slaughter, they forgave them and set them free, and they said: “This was not done because they were men; it was done because of the nature of Man.”

Similarly, in this temper, we may now say to our foes, ”We demand unconditional surrender, but you well know how strict are moral limits within which our action is confined. We are no extirpators of nations, or butchers of peoples. We make no bargain with you. We accord you nothing as a right. Abandon your resistance unconditionally. We remain bound by our customs and our nature.”

There is another reason why any abrogation of the principle of unconditional surrender would be most improvident at the present time, and it is a reason by no means inconsistent with, or contradictory to, that which I have just given. We should have to discuss with the enemy, while they still remained with arms in their hands, all the painful details of settlement which their indescribable crimes have made necessary to the future safety of Europe and the world, and



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