“Operation Suicide”

Category:  Historical Reprints
Source:  “De Gaulle Invites Red Army into France”, On Target, 1 December 1967.


“Operation Suicide”

“We wholly endorse the view expressed by Mr. Dumitri Danielopol in Aurora Beacon News of 31 July, 1967 in which he reported:  ‘On one side of the Stettin harbour, American wheat was unloaded from freighters.  On the other side of the same harbour, weapons are loaded which are used against American soldiers,”‘ — October issue of East West Digest (England).

During the Senate Elections we suffered a frightening experience at one meeting as Victorian Country Party Senator J. Webster supported continued Australian exports to the Communists fighting Australians in Vietnam, and displayed an appalling ignorance about the flood of economic and military aid being poured into North Vietnam from the Soviet Union bloc of Communist nations.  He was followed by Minister for the Navy, Mr. Don Chipp, who said that we had to go on exporting to the Communists so that we could solve the “balance-of-payments” problem and thus be able to “afford” to arm ourselves with modern, sophisticated weapons.  Mr. Chipp clearly believed what he said, but he did not explain why Australia could not, for example, obtain planes from the United States without first sending wheat or other production to Red China or the Soviet Union bloc.

In more robust times, exporting to enemies was termed treason.  But psychological warfare has done its deadly work.

Only those who have made it their business to understand the true nature of the Communist conspiracy can resist this type of warfare.  One of these is Mr. Eugene Lyons, a former United Press correspondent in Moscow, a senior editor of the Reader’s Digest, and a recognised expert on Soviet affairs.  Mr. Lyons has written a book, which he rather aptly describes as Operation Suicide.  He does not see trade with the Communists as anything but a policy of suicide.

Dealing with American shipments to Communist Europe, Lyons points out that these have included rapid-communication equipment, combustion engines, refrigeration compressors, synthetic fibres, computers, containers for explosives and nuclear radiation and detection instruments.  There are chemical fertlisers, which U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman has said are as important as bullets.

Lyons writes that, “Directly or indirectly such items end up as ingredients in the Soviet-made anti-aircraft system of North Vietnam.”

Criticising D. Walt Rostow, U.S. Presidential adviser and chief architect of U.S. policy, who claims to see signs of “pragmatism and moderation” in the Soviet bloc which may lead to “reconciliation and co-operation”, Lyons warns that Rostow and the “bridge building brigades rest their case on hopes, speculations and conjectures related to supposed changes in the USSR and its European empire since the passing of Stalin.”

Lyons dismisses “This fanciful prognosis” as one which sustains the desire in the West to be relieved of the “unpleasant and costly challenge” of defending itself.  The result is that Soviet-American “rapprochement” works to support De Gaulle’s policies and to erode what remains of Western solidarity.  Eugene Lyons warns that “Never before has a great and powerful nation based its world policies on such flimsy foundations of wishful thinking geared to self-deception.”

Unfortunately, there is far too much of this “wishful thinking” and
“self-deception” in Australia also, particularly at Canberra.

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