If the reactionaries and superpatfiots
had their way, America would pursue
rigid, nationalistic policies founded on
the ei-.-iunplion lhat we Americans—just
because we are strong—have the right
to operate on a lake-it-or-leave-it basis
wilh the resl of the world.
If we insisted on selling American
soldiers alool from the citizens and
above the laws of the foreign lands
where' thev are serving, our forces
abroad would no longer have the character ..I Friends participating vvilh their
loreign brothers in a common cause.
I In v would lee looked upon as conquering legions. America would be
branded as ei militaristic aggressor jusl
as the So\ iets are.
In the end, we would find ourselves
hated, isolated, einel alone in a dangerous totalitarian world.
• • •
Th.it was oti<- side. The oilier side
will come nexl.
Here eire views ol some who ilo lint
approve of the Status of Forces
• • •
TUE Slalus nf Forces Treaty abrogates
basic constitutional rights nl American soldiers -crying on foreign soil. It
repudiates one' ni America's oldest and
'"lest traditions: namely, that the
American flag emd ihe- protection nf the
American Constitution follow our sol-
Wers wherevei the) go.
In America, anv spy. subversive, or
''fimined uf whatever kind is guaranteed
j1 fair jury trial in open court. Fie can
"ivoke ihe' Fifth Amendment, refuse to
p8tify. .mil heap abuse upon official
''I'li'-i'nieiiivi'- ol our government, lint
'"i American soldier who is drafted and
torced in serve abroad can nove he ar-
rpsted .en trumped-up charges by foreign
Police officers, tried in ei foreign court,
"■''"ten'-cd and punished, without even
'■'viiiu ein American official present eil
Vmerican soldiers, stationed in
/"'Iv-nini' foreign nalions. have
'"fed in give- up their own careers,
*'r own families, their own homes, in
';" abroad eunl serve the1 interests "I
"feign people. Hut this apparently is nol
''""ugh. The'v musl ;il-i> he deprived of
. "ii nin-t precious constitutional rights
, order io keep out' foreign friends
present administration, as
Roosevell and Truman admin-
. ii is heul taste for America to
"'""I up for American rights. V*7e musl
''uav- yield to the demands of our
'"■-. or we will lose the privilege' ..I
'1'ieiiieli'i in'j American blood anel Amer-
'"i treasure to defend our alii.'-.
'dministration leader- and interna-
'''"■'li-l- in the Senate argued that if
a" 'lid not accepl llii- Statu- nf Forces
I '''aty eunl permil American soldiers to
tried in foreign courts, our NATO
ACTS FORUM NEWS, June, 1955
alliance mighl break up. To an American who knows emd cares anything
aboul our constitutional system, and
who has any pride in American li'adi-
lions. il should be obvious tbal an alliance which can be held together only
eil the cost nl destroying tbe inalienable
rights of our own soldiers is nol worth
\\ hen urging the ratification of the
Status uf Forces Treaty, State Deparl-
inenl officials promised lhal tbe treaty
provisions would not set a precedent for
agreements with anv other nations except those in NATO.
lhe promise wei- -illy and dishonest
on its face. If lhe I nited Slates governmenl will give away lhe rights of its
own -oldier- lo thirteen of ils so-called
allies, what will il say lo all ils other
allies who want similar arrangements?
The answer has already been given.
Within a mailer of weeks afler the
Stains of F'orces Treaty weis ratified.
mu- Stale' Department—ignoring ils own
"no precedent" promises — used the
treaty provisions eis ei precedent for
negotiating executive agreements with
Japan, giving ihe Japanese criminal jar-
isdjetion over American servicemen and
their families stationed in Japan.
Reflect nn lhal for ei moment. Some
American serviceman who fought lhe
savage Japanese from Guadalcanal to
Okinawa now gels arrested hy the
leikvii police' emd eieeused of committing
The American tinny can no longer
take that soldier into custody and give
him a fair Iritil in an American mililarv court The American army cannot
even counsel with him or observe his
trial lo he sure lhal he gels a fair one.
The army -imply has lo turn ils back
on lhe American soldier and let him • 31
whatever Japanese justice wants to give
When the soldier's people back in the
States discover that he has been sent
to a Japanese prison for two years or
five years or life, they frequently cannot even find out from their own gov-
ernmenl what the soldier did or whal
In' wee- charged with. All lhat bis wife
and children know is thai their army
allotment has been cut off.
No one really knows bow much of
Ibis has been going on. The Pentagon
w ill not rcle'eise- figures even lo congressmen—on ihe number of American
soldiers sentenced bv foreign courts as
a result of the Status of Forces agreements.
POLITICAL HEADS WOULD ROLL
Foreign governments, of course, already have these figures. They know
how many Americans they have in jail.
Whv. then since the) are nol Irving
to keep this information from foreign
governments do Pentagon officials
label il "top secret"? Obviously, lo keep
the American people ignorant of what
is going on.
If the American public knew how
many of our servicemen—and their
wives—arc in foreign prisons, with no
American constitutional protection,
political heads would roll.
The American voters would drive out
of public office every person who
recommended the Status of Forces
Treaty, every senator who voted for il.
and every senator who was eiliv-r too
cowardly or too busy lo get up on the
floor and register his vote on July 15.
—Wide World KMotos
GIs IN EUROPE—Berlin orphans (upper left) are feted at a Christmas party arranged bv
L Company. U.S. Sixth Infantry Regiment. Bottom left, an American serviceman is entertained
in the home of a German couple in Stuttgart, who responded to a campaign to invite
occupation forces into their homes. At right, a corporal stops a German policeman for