|4.3.49 - Statement on North Atlantic Pact
Today is a sad day for me. I am sad because tomorrow we shall witness an act which will show clearly how far from our real problems our leaders have strayed; how tragically our common needs are misunderstood. I refer to the signing of the Atlantic Pact by the diplomats of seven non-Communist nations in Washington.
This pact has been heralded by the leading statesmen of the West as a milestone on the road to world peace; damned by those in the East as a concrete step to World War III; glorified by leading writers as a realistic solution to a tense international situation; branded by others as a capitalist move toward world domination; called "defensive" and "preventive" on one side of the "curtain," "offensive" and "aggressive on the other.
I am neither a politician nor a writer, just a simple individual caught like many others between Great Powers. But I must raise my voice again against another illusion of security as I did once against the United Nations.
I speak for neither bloc. I speak for the undivided world: humanity. This Atlantic Pact is of course as aggressive as any so-capped "defense" pact between sovereign nations whether signed in Moscow of Washington. When sovereign nations group for "defense" against other sovereign nations, fear and insecurity is intensified between them rather than abated. The "enemy" is challenged into corresponding action. The armament race continues and war approaches swiftly.
To my mind this Atlantic Pact simply announces to the world that the world of nations is formally split into two armed camps, that the United Nations had been officially recognized as impotent, and that the armament race between East and West continues but now out in the open.
I accuse no one of bad faith. These men serve well the institutions they represent as they served the United Nations which they have now forsaken and as their confreres served the League of Nations. And so we must expect that they tell the world that they are protecting their people against potential Russian aggression; that the Soviets are "enemies" preparing World War III. The Russian leaders also serve their state well with the same accusations against the West. therefore both sides manufacture their offensive weapons purely for "defense." Both sides seek satellites for the approaching battle. Both sides share equally in future war guilt.
I am not concerned with these charges and counter-charges. Though they degrade the accusers and confuse the real issues, they are inevitable between diplomats of sovereign nations. I am concerned as we all are with those who will pay when the last diplomatic bluff is called: the "little" people of the world who don't want war whether they live in Philadelphia, London, Paris or Stalingrad, yet who will do the fighting and the dying.
This is the reason reason for my sadness.
While our representatives in Washington and Moscow threaten each other in our names, playing with our lives at the conference tables, we sit fearfully, resignedly, waiting patiently for the order to march against one another.
So to me, the Atlantic Pact is fact clarifies our individual choice. Our statesmen, in recognizing the emptiness of the United Nations, are demonstrating by this backward step into even smaller alliances, their complete dedication to the oppressive sovereign state system which has led to two previous world wars. In this dedication, both Communist and non-communist leaders are in complete agreement.
They have chosen nationalism, sovereign-state imperialism, world lawlessness and eventual war. But fortunately, the decision of war and peace ultimately rests with us. Therefore, we the world's people whose common problems extend beyond any one nation or groups of nations, must now make our choice. We can follow our separate diplomatic meekly into obvious destruction, or we can reach across frontiers to join fellow beings in positive action for world sovereignty, world citizenship and world government. There is no longer any room for compromise.