More old editorials from the Prairie Post, written by my father, Bob Wilson.
Communism was always in the news back then, and reading these editorials has helped me understand the fear that gripped America. My father eventually built a bomb shelter, though he called it a "storm shelter" for us kids, and it was years before I figured it out.
October 9, 1958
QUEMOY IS FOR THE BIRDS
It may be that John Foster Dulles is at last awakening from his infatuation with Chang-Kai-Chek, the old Tiger of Taipei.
For military reasons, our country has built a ring of steel about Soviet Russia, with airbases on all her flanks which could strike Moscow within minutes. From Iceland to England to Spain to North Africa to Saudi Arabia on the West; and on the East, Formosa is part of a chain including South Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam.
Mr. Dulles describes all these points of military occupation as parts of the “Free World.” The truth is that the people of many of these lands have NEVER KNOWN EITHER FREEDOM OR DEMOCRACY, and have no idea what the “FREE WORLD” is.
They make their choices simply between Russian promises and American money. Chang Kai-Chek and his army have been living on American money for a decade. He lost China, not for any lack for guns, but because his government was so corrupt and so undemocratic that the people turned against him.
It must be remembered that Communism took root in China only after Chang-Kai-Chek seized control of the original Chinese Revolution of Dr. Sun-Yat-Sen, and perverted it into a personal military dictatorship.
There was the infamous occasion when his own Seventh Route Army locked him up and presented him to the Communists. (The Communists turned him loose!)
He is at present occupying Formosa against the will of the Formosan people. The new Formosan soldiers in his army were forcibly conscripted. His Chinese soldiers have been away from their families FOR NINE YEARS.
A Britisher who for many years held important positions in the Chinese Government has told us that if Chang's army landed on the mainland, they would do just two things – 1) Sell their guns to the Communists, and 2) Go home.
Chang freely states that he is committed to World War III, is impatient to pull us into it. Quemoy at Matsu are essential to his plans for re-invading the Chinese mainland. For this reason he has garrisoned one-third of his forces on these rocky islands in order that we cannot afford to permit them to be taken.
Quemoy and Matsu have no significance to the defense of Formosa. It seems incredible that Mr. Dulles would commit America once again to the brink of war in their behalf.
The Whole American Far East policy is a mess. We are still behaving as if the Red Chinese government does not exist. Not long ago in Geneva, Mr. Dulles refused to shake hands with the Red Chinese representative. We shudder to think how many American lives may someday pay for that piece of rudeness.
We have not recognized them because they are Communists and seized power by a violent revolution.
Is this a little strange? We long ago recognized the Soviets, are are the Granddaddies of them all. So recognition does not mean we approve of them. It simply means PERCEIVING THEY ARE THERE AND MUST BE DEALT WITH.
A seat in the U.N. is much the same. IT IS NOT AN AWARD FOR VIRTUE: bringing a “bad” country into the U.N. simply places them where they must answer to the forum of world opinion.
Mr. Dulles has been watching too much television. He thinks the world can be divided into “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys.”
He is a Christian; does he not know that evil is sometimes done by good people, and good by evil ones? Does it confuse him to find so many people who fit neither classification?
As a Christian, does Mr. Dulles sometimes suspect that Final Judgement on who are “Good Guys” and who are “Bad” is to be found only in the one “Top-secret” file that he will never see, kept by a firm but gentle Hand that winnows, winnows, every life, discarding the bad and searching always for the good?
November 6, 1958
HAIL THE BRAVE!
There are certain big-mouthed “Patriots” in this country who make a great show of damning the Communists. In some circles it is a required ritual, like taking a bath now and then.
We wonder how much of this big-mouthed bravery would fall to a whisper as one approached the Iron Curtain? How many among them could do as Boris Pasternak has done; to live INSIDE RUSSIA, with their families, and to publish a book abroad which exposes the destruction of the dignity and human rights of the individual under Communist dictatorship?
Hail the brave! We salute Boris Pasternak; may Fortune treat him kindly.
Official Russian behavior in this matter was childish. Pasternak, a poor man, refused the $50,000 Nobel Prize awarded him in Stockholm, and remained quietly in his native Russia. He was thrown out of the Soviet Writer's Union, and denounced as a traitor. It a fit of rage at the Swedes, Mr. Khrushchev awarded the “Lenin Prize” to one of the few Communist writers he could find in Sweden.
Meanwhile they were boasting because three other Russians had also been awarded Nobel Prizes for accomplishments in nuclear physics!
The Russians are difficult to live with. But let us remember there are gentle and thoughtful people east of the Iron Curtain, people who hate the Totalitarian Machine which enslaves the Russian people.
Boris Pasternak stands at the center of the Soviet monolith, he sees the rot at its core, and he cries aloud to the world to witness it. There must be many Boris Pasternaks inside Russia, men who feel the same but have not his gift for expression nor his courage.
The big-mouthed “Patriots” in this country hate all Russians. (They hated all Germans a few years ago.) They want to atom-bomb all Russians off the face of the Earth.
Let them remember Boris Pasternak, who spoke his piece, stood his ground, and now is waiting to be killed!