Opposition to War in Europe

U.S. News and World Report, 9 June 1950, pp 25-26
section 3a: Cold War Launched



Underneath the surface, tide of opinion is running against the U.S. in both Europe and Asia. Resistance to U.S. ideas is growing. Irritation with U.S. power and behaviour is mounting. U.S. popularity overseas is fading.

New U.S. idea, all-out “cold war,” is unpopular even with people who have most to fear from Russia. Reason is most people think an all-out cold war can only end in shooting war. Average person on the Continent, or around the rim of Asia, is backing away from war. He wants no part of it. And he’s beginning to blame the U.S., rightly or wrongly, for pushing the world toward World War III. [...]

These are the attitudes you run across in Paris, Rome, Tokyo, elsewhere: Frenchmen are talking up neutrality. Schuman Plan, pooling West Europe’s coal and steel, appeals to many as a good start. West Germans like the neutrality idea, show little interest in rearming. Italians are more interested in jobs, land, food, Trieste than in cold war. Austrians have had all the cold war they want. British leftists, though committed by their Government to U.S. partnership, really prefer independence, with Britain as mediator between U.S. and Russia. [...]

In Japan, people hint it’s time to end the U.S. occupation. They want peace treaty but don’t want U.S. bases that might involve them in a U.S.-Soviet war.

Asiatics generally show little stomach for the U.S. idea of an all-out cold war. [...]

Moscow’s propagandists, it’s clear, have outshouted Washington’s. Moscow keeps saying Russia is for peace, keeps pinning the warmonger label on the U.S. Bystanders don’t believe Moscow at first, but do tend to when Washington puts most of its emphasis on cold war, not on peace. [...]

Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, has advice for Western nations on how to get along in Asia. Speaking with Britain’s long experience in mind..... [...]

Recognize China ? Might as well. The Communists won the civil war. It’s not up to Britain--or others--to postpone recognition because it doesn’t like the form of government in China. [...]

Nationalist drive, Bevin goes on, is a fact of life throughout Asia. West better face up to it, as Britain has in India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon. France would be better off in Indo-China, Bevin thinks, to follow Britain’s lead.

In short, Bevin implies, the West’s only chance to keep a foothold at all in Asia is to roll with the punches, to admit that Asiatics now run Asia.

Source: No author, "Opposition to War in Europe," U.S. News-World Report, June 9, 1950. Notes: pp. 25-26

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