The United States' Stand for Freedom the Same Energy That Supported Eastern Europe's Drive for Democracy Should Now Be Turned toward Asia

Article excerpt

WHEN the history of the 20th century is definitively written, America will be renowned for many contributions.

There is American culture, derided by some, but a culture nonetheless that through film, and video-tape, and music, has swept the world and impressed itself upon communities from Patagonia to St. Petersburg.

There is the innovative technology of American inventors and engineers that has made life easier and more enjoyable for millions, and now, in the area of communications, is about to unleash an information revolution whose extent we can barely grasp.

There is American generosity, now crimped as a result of reckless spending, but still evident in gifts of foreign aid, and remembered for such far-sighted projects as the Marshall Plan after World War II.

There is American marketing genius, which may not have been successful in selling cars to the Japanese, but has Russians chomping on Big Macs, and saffron-robed monks in Thailand sipping Coca-Cola, and fastidious Englishmen exploring offerings from Pizza Hut, and superior Frenchmen snapping up American jeans.

There is, although Americans are not a militaristic people, military might at the ready which, in time of need, has been committed at great human cost.

But when the century's encompassing history is written, it will be for its defense of freedom and human rights that America will best be remembered.

It was the United States that was critical in vanquishing the two greatest threats to freedom in this century - fascism and communism.

True, in World War II, the British bore the initial brunt of Hitler's Nazi onslaught. But without the moral and military support of the US, that terrible tyranny would not have been halted and destroyed.

In the post-war world, America has been the sturdy center-piece of the alliance that stood against, and ultimately triumphed over, Soviet-directed communism.

Dwight Eisenhower, the warrior-turned-statesman, was the first to recognize that in addition to a defensive armory of military weapons, the US must propagate the word of truth and the ideals of democracy to captive peoples behind the Iron Curtain. …