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—Wide World Photo
General Matthew B. Ridgway
Peiping's past actions, has been moved
to term this latest imprisonment of
Americans as "outrageous," and has
said it deals a heavy blow to Bed
China's ambition to be admitted to the
I N. The British Foreign Office accused
the Chinese Communists of "bad
ACTION HAS BACKFIRED
Whatever the motives of the Chinese'
Communists, their action has backfired.
In the war for world opinion, Bed China
has been overwhelmingly defeated. The
I nilccl Stales has everything to gain by
making sure that no rash action on our
part will now turn the tables.
President Eisenhower's task of deciding what action this nation will lake Ice
secure the release of the imprisoned
Americans is an unpleasant and an
The President musl be faithful to his
responsibility for acting in accordance
with what is to the best interests of the
I nilccl Slates in the long run. But
while deliberating on a course of action,
he is beleaguered by demands for strong
action by everybody from retired army
captains up to the chief Senate Republican.1'
Unless the public is ready to wage
war on Heel China, we must act diplomatically rather than militarily. War
with Keel China could succeed only at
terrific cost to the U.S. and at grave
jeopard) to the over-all effort to stanch
Ihe tide of Moscow-directed world envelopment.15
Best estimates place Bed China's capability feu ground warfare at a thousand
divisions. The United States, at the peak
of World War II, had managed to field
ninety-six divisions. Our naval and air
superiority would help offset this troop
disparity, but the entire resources of the
I nitcd States, and probably of our
allies, would have to go into the fight.
FACTS FORUM NEWS, January, 1955
And while um- forces were bogged
down in China, Bussia would doubtless
seize the opportunity to make sweeping
territorial conquests in Europe.
Bed China is an outlaw nation, and at
the moment there does not seem to be
anything we can do but protest when
our citizens are abused at its hands.
Our best chance to achieve justice for
Americans in China is to behave ourselves in the humane and civilized wa)
that will keep world opinion on our side.
In this way, we will ultimately prove
to the Chinese Communists that they
cannot be looked upon as a civilized nation until they behave like a civilized
ALLIES ARE WORRIED
Our allies have long been fearful that
the United States, by some hasty and
ill-considered action, would plunge the
world into a third great war. They have
watched the United States, as a strong
and wealthy nation, exhibit patience and
diplomacy in the face of many outrages.
But their uneasiness stems from the unauthorized, ill-advised statements of
demagogues and vote-hunting politicians.1
Even while standing stanchly at our
side in the face of this latest Communist outrage, they cannot help being
worried by such proposals as Senator
Knowland's that we blockade the China
coast, cut off diplomatic relations with
Communist countries, and thereby invite the destruction of the entire world.
President Eisenhower and Secretary
Dulles have done much to inspire confidence in us on the part of our allies
by resisting such reactionary pressures
and standing their ground for wise and
President Eisenhower knows that because of the destructiveness of the hy-
drogen weapons, there is, as he says,
"no alternative to peace." He is fully
aware that war could be forced upon
the West by reckless Communist action
and that willingness to resist aggression
i- tin- best way to avert aggression. That
is a chance the world must take. In the
meantime, we must preserve and use
every peaceful avenue of pressure and
influence to solve our international
problems. In retaliation for the unlawful jailing of American soldiers in
China, President Eisenhower and Mr.
Dulles are following the course that true
statesmanship prescribes — they are exerting intense diplomatic pressure on
the lied regime in China and they are
making the Beds squirm.20
The Chinese first announced the jailing of our men in tones of arrogant self-
assurance. Apparently dismayed by the
hornet's nest of disapproval which they
stirred up, they quickly changed their
tone. They have become almost apologetic in their desperate efforts to explain and justify their illegal action.14
Mr. Dulles has said that we must act
within the framework of the United Nations Charter. Such action will keep the
spotlight of world attention focused on
the Communists' outrageous conduct;
and it will prove to the world that we
in America are a sane and sober people,
dedicated to maintaining world peace
at all costs.
It will prove to our allies beyond any
doubt that we are worthy of the support they have offered us, and it will
cement the unity of the free world into
a formidable force against any similar
Communist action in the future.
There, in quick review, are two
.sides of a Facts Forum question:
"Should the United States impose
a blockade of Communist China
to force the release of American
t Bibliography on Page 39)
(Upper) United Nations Command negotiators at Panmunjom in summer of 1952; (lower)
Red truce team at Korean truce talks.