Understanding September 1983
So much has been said and written in the past two weeks about the callous and deliberate destruction of a regularly scheduled airliner, together with its 269 passengers, including women and children, that it would seem almost obsolete as editorial material. There are, however, a few significant points which fit so well with our correct series on society, that it might be well if they were brought out.
The basic facts of the case seem to be simple and indisputable. Whether through pilot error or computer malfunction, the airliner had, for several hours been substantially off course, and had entered what the Soviet Union declares to be its ‘air space’. A number of Soviet military aircraft had been following the straying airliner for hundreds of miles without having made any significant effort to inform it of its error or to correct its course. It was admitted that the closest approach made by any of the Soviet planes was about two kilometers. (Almost a mile and a half.) Why the Soviet planes did not close in on the straying plane, and guide it into its proper course, was never explained. Surely the Soviet pilots were not afraid that the unarmed passenger plane would shoot them down? (There have been dozens of cases where Soviet military aircraft have deliberately intruded into U.S. air space for the purpose of spying upon OUR secret tests or military operations. These planes have been warned away, and on some occasions, escorted from the area by our planes, but never have we made any attempt to shoot them down, even though they were obviously doing exactly what the Soviets said they thought the innocent airliner might be doing!) It is plain that the Soviet society and that of the U.S. march to very different drummers!
Our last month’s newsletter was quite prophetic in pointing out the insignificance of the individual in the Communist doctrine. Any number of human lives, even of their own citizens will, unhesitatingly be sacrificed, if it appears that the State can benefit in any way by the act. If the lives to be sacrificed are those of any other country or doctrine, they are not considered at all!
It has been pointed out by western politicians and newsmen, that the Soviet leaders who ordered the destruction of the plane must have been intelligent enough to know that the wanton and needless slaughter of innocent citizens of many countries, would inevitably generate a world wide wave of revulsion and anger against any government or any society that would tolerate such a totally inhuman act. In all of the media discussion, the one unanswered question seemed to be, Why? Why would any Soviet official, however callous and indifferent he was to human life, order the commission of an act which he must have known would, in the end, cost his country far more than it could possibly gain by such a ghastly deed. The true answer, and one which is seldom given in the public media, is embodied in the one word FEAR.
Few persons in the western world can begin to realize the full extent to which life in the Soviet Union is shaped and directed by fear. The majority of the population of the Soviet Union has long since be come disenchanted with its government, but is afraid to say so, since those who do are severely punished. Consequently, people are afraid to speak freely, even among themselves, lest they be reported to the ‘authorities’. Most of the lower authorities also disapprove of the government’s position but fear that they may be reported to higher authorities, etc. The top echelon of government is well aware of the wide spread disaffection, and constantly fears that a revolution may result if the people are allowed to communicate freely with each other. Therefore, people must be allowed to hear or to read only those things which are favorable to the government.
The Soviet government is also well aware of the fact that the more liberal societies and governments of the world disapprove of the constant repression of the people which is practiced in Soviet countries. It is so painfully aware of this widespread disapproval, that it has a degree of paranoia that, in many cases blocks out all rational thinking. For example – In the Soviet televised interview with the Russian fighter pilot who shot down the Korean passenger plane, he stated that, having eliminated the possibility that it was a Soviet plane, it automatically became an enemy plane. On three occasions during the interview he referred to the Korean plane, with passengers from 13 different countries, as an enemy plane, although Russia is not at war with any country, except possibly Afghanistan! The unconscious assumption that any plane not Russian, must be an enemy plane, is typical of the advanced state of paranoia that has infected the entire Soviet system, and especially the military organization.
In a country where the people fear both their neighbors and their government; where the government officials fear each other and their own people, as well as all other governments and peoples, a situation of constant tension and indecision is inevitable. The Soviet government cannot permit any real detant or close communication to develop between its people and those of other societies, because of the unfavorable comparisons its people would inevitably make. It must, at all times, maintain a certain level of political and military tension even if it must deliberately create the causes of that tension.
With the death of Leonid Brezhnev, and the succession to power of Yuri Andropov many politicians, and a few statesmen felt that, at last there might be some chance of a genuine meeting of the minds between the east and the west, or at least between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In the November 29th, 1982 issue of Newsweek Magazine, Henry Kissinger wrote an extensive article entitled, How to Deal With Moscow. It was excellently written and made some points that needed to be made. Subsequent events have proven however, that there simply is no successful or dependable way in which any normal nation or society can deal, in any meaningful manner, with a government, a nation or a society which insists upon maintaining enemy with other governments, nations and societies as a means of controlling its own people, and keeping them in subservience.
(signed) Daniel W. Fry
Even though we had no close friend or relative aboard the Korean 007, we are stunned into disbelief that such an abominable thing should occur. Dr. Fry’s editorial explores the ‘WHY’ of it in full detail.
Death is a subject 99% of our populace make every effort to avoid discussing and, perhaps, right this moment, you are wishing that I would not do so! Yet every second ticking away on the clock, from the moment we are born, brings us just that much closer to departure time. Some have a short stay here on earth – some much longer. Usually one may ‘go home’ when one’s work is finished.
We received a close shock these past few days, when a well liked lady left us so suddenly. She and her husband were happily married & busy as bees. They danced together, dined out together, swam together daily. She came out of the pool from a good swim & said, “My head aches.” An aneurysm in the brain exploded at that moment and she was gone. It shocked me into the fullest realization that do not live, “one day – at – a time.” We live one moment at a time!
I suggest to each of you that if there is anything you wish to tell someone dear to you – do it Now. Don’t wait. If there is something you neglected to give someone – give it now! If you planned to travel somewhere, – go now!
Who among us knows the hour or the day of departure – much less the exact moment? Only God decides, & that’s alright with me, for do I not say daily, “THY will be done”?
Count your present blessings & oh, — do love one another!
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry