January, 1987            HOPES FOR THE NEW YEAR

We are entering the year 1987 with all of the hopes and new resolutions that accompany each new year. It is natural to hope that the coming year will be better than any of the previous ones. Usually however, by the time the Christmas bills begin to arrive in the mail, and as we continue to read in the newspapers and see on television, the depressing things that, are going on all over the world, and when our neighbor angrily blames us for an event with which we had nothing whatever to do, our hopes and resolutions begin to fade, and soon it is just another year which we are struggling to get through!

In 1987 however, although our country, and the rest of the world, face a multitude of serious problems, many of which will not be easy to solve, the hopes and aspirations of the people of the world seem to have a little more realistic base than ever before, although not many of our leaders have yet been able to see it, and even those who do, may find it difficult to describe the reasons for it. Your editor can only say that a few small but definite signs appearing in the acts and policies of world leaders, including our own, seem to indicate that at last, the true world situation is beginning to be realized by them. Perhaps the prejudice, the bias and the fears that have overshadowed the political, the economic and the social relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for the past four decades, are beginning to fade with the growing realization that both sides are truly in danger, and that danger cannot be escaped or even minimized on either side by any amount of weapons development, whether offensive or defensive in its nature.

On January 26, 1955, at the American Legion Banquet, at the Am­bassador Hotel in Los Angeles, General Douglas MacArthur delivered an oration on the subject of Peace, which the newsmen who covered and reported it said was probably the most important and significant speech that had been given by anyone during this century, yet it was given little attention at the time it was delivered, and its text has been moldering in the archives of forgotten history ever since. We believe that it should be required reading for every top level negotiator, on the eve of every summit meeting. Its pronouncements have proven to be so precise in their analysis of the world situation, and so accurate in their predictions of the future results, that they cannot help but impress and influence anyone who reads them now.

Thirty-two years ago, General MacArthur said, “The present ten­sions, with their threat of national annihilation, are kept alive by two great illusions. The one, a complete belief on the part of the Soviet world that the capitalist countries are preparing to attack them; that sooner or later we intend to strike. And the other, a com­plete belief on the part of the capitalistic countries that the Soviets are preparing to attack us; that sooner or later they intend to strike! Both sides are wrong. Each side, so far as the masses are concerned, is equally desirous of peace. For either side war with the other would ­mean nothing but disaster. Both equally dread it. But the constant acceleration of preparation may well, without specific intent, ultimately produce a spontaneous combustion.” In his talk the General also said, “We are told we must go on indefinitely as at present – some say 50 years or more. With what at the end? None say – there is no definite objective. They but pass along to those that follow, the search for a final solution. And, at the end, the problem will be ex­actly the same as that which we face now! Must we live for generations under the killing punishment of accelerating preparedness without an announced final purpose or, as an alternative, suicidal war; and trifle in the meanwhile with corollary and indeterminate theses – such as limitation of armament, restriction on the use of. nuclear power, adoption of new legal standards as propounded at Nuremberg – all of which are but palliatives, and all of which, in varying form, have been tried in the past with negligible results?” (Note that although 32 of the 50 years he mentioned have already passed, the situation which the General described so precisely, has not changed one whit, nor have any final solutions been reached, or even proposed!

The hope that 1987 seems to hold forth, stems from the fact that world leaders are apparently beginning to realize, at long last, that of all ‘endangered species’ on earth, the Genus Homo heads the list, and that the hazard will not go away by itself! Someone will have to do something about it! After all these years it should be possible to find a way to get along with our neighbors on this tiny planet even if we don’t agree with them. We must remember that they don’t agree with us either, and nobody really wants to be incinerated!

In 1956 H.C. Urey, the nuclear wiz., said he thought life might be possible on other planets. We agreed with him and added that, with a little more UNDERSTANDING , it might become possible on this one!

A HAPPY, PROSPEROUS AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR TO YOU!

(signed by Daniel W. Fry)

(hand written) Speak peace, Think Peace, Feel Peace and Pray for Peacy – daily.  (signed Cleona Q.)