Copyright © 1956 Lithuanian Student Association, Inc.
No. 2(7) - June 1956
Editor of this issue: L. SabaliŻnas
A CASE FOR LIBERATION
STASYS LOZORAITIS, Jr.
LOZORAITIS, Jr., entered the Lithuanian Diplomatic Service in 1945.
Since 1947 he serves as secretary at the Lithuanian Legation in Vatican
THERE can be no doubt that the liberation of the enslaved Eastern European nations is one of the fundamental aims of the foreign policy of the United States. The road to it has been, however, and remains, not only extremely difficult but enveloped in a thick haze. For we have every reason to believe that the Soviets wlil never unburden themselves of their occupied satellite territories unless forced to do so, and it is very doubtful whether the newly enunciated policy of "peaceful liberation" contains sufficiently powerful elements which might convince Russia to relinquish her hold on Eastern Europe or any other area under her control.
On the other hand, I believe, that now it is a generally accepted truth that the ultimate objective of Communism is global paramountcy and that this objective is consistantly pursued by all possible means. Sometimes it is a military action in a limited area like Korea or Indochina, sometimes a political action tending to disintegrate a bourgeois system or an alliance of free western nations. Lately the Kremlin has tried to sell the idea of ' coexistence," which is nothing else but the continuation of conquest by different means. Since the revolution, the Soviet Union has never relented in applying pressure against capitalist countries; and, when she seemed to abandon her aggressive attitudes, it only meant that a new move was being planned, and a sleeping pill had to be administered to the patient before an unpleasant operation. Unfortunately, a great number of naive neurotics in the West were clinging to the pills and hoping that a good night's rest would eliminate the danger. The reality, however, was harsh, and to those, who had the courage to look at it, it taught that Soviet thrusts, whether political or military, could only be stopped by power. When realizing that an aggressive action is likely to provoke a strong reaction of the West and thus endanger the already conquered Communist positions, the Kremlin stops. Let us only remember the examples of Persia, Greece, or the Berlin air lift, where a strong Western reaction successfully checked the Red moves.
The present balance of power between the free West and the communist East, we may assume, will remain unchanged for some time. On the basis of past experiences, which I have already mentioned, we may also conclude that the military preparedness and solidarity of the West will deter the Soviet Union from military adventures on a global scale in the forseeable future, although all other means, including local armed aggression, might be skillfully used by the Kremlin. As long as the United States and other western countries remain united and sufficiently armed, peace, a very uneasy, wary and costly peace, will be ensured. It is, of course, beyond our power to predict whether a case of mental aberration among the Soviet rulers will not brutally disrupt the flow of events.
But even peace does not imply an agreement to live and let live between the West and the East. Such an agreement is practically impossible with aggressive authoritarian regimes. Therefore, the only other possibility is to defend the free nations by fighting communism, and fighting communism means helping the enslaved peoples of the East.
What, under such circumstances, should and could be done for the peoples under Soviet domination?
Following is the point of view of one among those who lost their country but not their hopes.
After the last presidential elections in 1952, one of the first moves of President Eisenhower was to proceed with the reorganization of the American armed forces, on the assumption that a long term military preparedness of the United States would be necessary and that it would have to be maintained without too great a strain on the American economy. In the course of that reorganization the armed forces were trimmed, emphasis was shifted from quantity to quality and specialization, red tape was eliminated. It now seems that this operation resulted in a somewhat greater efficiency and overall improvement in military power.
In view of the present political situation and of the slightly different expedients that have been used since Stalin's death, I feel that a similar reorganization to the one started by President Eisenhower should be carried out in the field of policy and political organizations connected with the liberation of the Communist countries, a reorganization that would make them more effective and powerful.
The only significance which at this moment can be given to the concept of "peaceful liberation" of Eastern Europe is that it will endeavour to weaken the Soviet Union in all spheres of her life and eventually lead to an even partial disintegration of the regime, thus creating a new situation, when other, different and more appropriate means for achieving the goal of liberation could be considered. This process will take time, and the implementation of the liberation policies will have to be done on a long term investment basis.
It is beyond the scope of this article to analyze all the political and economical possibilities of weakening the Soviet Union. One of the most effectual ways, however, of exerting pressure on Russia and thus impairing her position is to strengthen the enslaved peoples.
There are three main roads by which the free West can reach the men and women of satellite countries and influence them: direct propaganda; the carrying out of clear and courageous anti-Communist policies; and the supporting of those dynamic exile organizations, which are more concerned with efficient work than futile party politics. The radio is and will remain a channel of paramount importance through which the West can directly communicate with millions of human beings in the East and help them and guide them. In spite of the unique and tremendous opportunity supplied by radio, I fear that the present use of such a propaganda weapon is far from being completely and fully exhausted. Although the Voice of America is qualitatively well equipped to cope with the problems of a limited propaganda program and deserves the gratitude of our countries, it is not in the position to use the radio medium to its full extent. By transmitting mainly news, it is not able to attract a sufficiently large segment of the population nor can it exert enough influence on the younger generations. The peoples of the East, because all their other communication ties with the West are severed, are thirsty for all kinds of information regarding every aspect of life in the free world — be it cultural, spiritual, or economic. They even need entertainment, for it is as rigidly controlled in the Soviet Union as are all other activities. Nor should we forget that a man in a Communist state is practically living in a vacuum that the party tries to fill with Marxist teachings. I think therefore that the following are some specific problems which call for greater propaganda efforts on the part of the free nations. They are, namely: patriotic education and counselling on the ways and means of resistance;
Strenghtening of religious faith which so many times has been the sole refuge and comfort of the suffering man and which is one of the most precious allies in stemming the spread of Communist ideology. Yet, even in democratic communities, religion is the object of constant care. It requires education and inspiration. Therefore much more attention should be given to the Communist areas, where children of proper religious preparation are especially in danger;
Democratic education and defense against the indoctrination of Communist ideology. The Red party machine is making a huge effort in massive brainwashing. I don't think that it is enough to refute Marxist falsities. The western way of life is the only way-'which could replace the present system. Therefore, however paradoxical it may sound, democracy has to be explained and, if one may do so, properly advertised. This does not mean that the satellite countries have already been gained to the Communist cause. But nobody could assure us that the compulsory teachings of Marxism and Leninism might not, one day, have a certain effect, however small, on the minds of peoples. In the past decades we have witnessed old and civilized countries falling prey to extremists who sometimes succeeded in convincing them the loss of liberty can be easily counterbalanced by economic improvements. Freedom, the primary and essential condition for progress and the development of the human personality, did not seem to be essential for the citizens of those authoritarian countries.
Closely connected with this question is another problem which deserves our utmost efforts and attention: the youth. There are today several million young people who have never directly experienced life in a free and independent, non-Communist, country. To attract their attention and kindle their interest in the West should not be too difficult. A radio program ranging from popular science and jazz to the more serious subjects of education could easily achieve great popularity among the youngsters and have consequences which we now can hardly imagine;
Finally, a cultural and entertainment program would keep the peoples behind the iron curtain in touch with the more important events which are the true expression of the western values. What it means to be cut off from free cultural manifestations we can judge by the enthusiastic reception of foreign artist even in Moscow.
It is of course obvious that such an enlargement of propaganda directed to the East presumes very great financial and organizational efforts. It would practically mean the creation of national radios working round-the-clock for each occupied country. However, all these sacrifices would appear reasonable if we considered the fact that, short of liberation, at least the defense of about one billion men and women against Communist spiritual aggression could be the decisive factor in the future.
To help carry out such a plan, special groups could be set up and the services of a great number of specialized and able exiles employed. Such groups concerned with "psychological warfare" could even be eventually extended and used to counter Communist propaganda in the free world. The lack of such a specialized and centralized directing organization has been often felt in the West. Thus we could also much more thoroughly exploit the skills and the professional competence of exiled peoples who are presently wasting their precious know-how out of their domain. And I also think that such a realistic and concrete approach to the problems of liberation would help to stifle the politicking of some of the exile groups, thus giving way to a healthy competition of abilities and driving power.
Propaganda, of course, can only be a
part of a whole in the fight for liberation. The peoples behind the
iron curtain want to feel that their resistance, their sufferings, and
their patient waiting are not in vain and will some day be rewarded.
They want to be part of a moral and physical force which is fighting
for a better world. And in that respect it is essential that the West,
and above all the United States, have a determined, consistent, and
inspiring foreign policy, which would be able to convince every man and
woman in the East that the liberation of their country IS the
fundamental objective of that policy and that it will be pursued not
only by hopeful declarations but also by deeds. The occupied countries
do not wish war. But they think that between war and political
stagnation there are many possibilities which should be exploited, at
least with the same energy and careful planning as the methods
practiced, unfortunately with considerable results, by the Soviets. In
order to stop the Red thrust it is not enough to contain it. There must
be a constant pressure on their huge empire which so many times has
been practically helped by the West out of an almost catastrophic
situation. It has been helped by a complete lack of initiative in the
free half of the world. Such a lack of initiative, such lack of what I
call "power-appeal," is of course the best way not only to discourage friends but to create so called neutralists as well. The countries beyond the iron curtain are extremely sensitive to the political fluctuations of the West and very often tune their spirit of resistance to the ups and downs of the western, and especially, of the American policies. But we may also say that the peasants in Sicily or the fishermen in Norway are almost as sensitive to American foreign policy and are inclined to watch with great suspicion declarations which are not followed by a determined and strong political action. Few, alas too few, inspiring examples could be enumerated which would convince us that such courageous policy is a reality. How many small mistakes and tremendous blunderings, hesitations, and timid decisions have occurred in those past years of cold war. And what depressing effects they had on millions of freedom loving men wherever they were. We fully realize the importance of the obstacles the Western allies had to overcome, while not only resisting and containing the Soviet expansion but at the same time having to grapple with diffident friends and neutrals alike. Yet the historical mission which those countries, and America in the very first place, have to accomplish calls at times for a more forceful political action which would deter the enemy, encourage the friend, and attract the irresolute.
The defense of freedom and the
preservation of peace is the primary necessity of our times. And we are
happy that this task rests mainly in the friendly and judicious hands
of the United States. Yet it will remain only a beautiful and
tantalizing drama if one billion men and women have to stay under the
Communist yoke on the Red half of our globe.