I want to talk to you tonight about what we are doing in Korea and about our policy in the Far East. In the simplest terms what we are doing in Korea is this: We are trying to prevent a third world war.
I think most people in this country recognized that fact last June. And they warmly supported the decision of the Government to help the Republic of Korea against the Communist aggressors. Now, many persons, even some who applauded our decision to defend Korea, have forgotten the basic reasons for our action.
It is right for us to be in Korea now. It was right last June. It is right today.
I want to remind you why this is true.
The Communists in the Kremlin are engaged in a monstrous conspiracy to stamp out freedom all over the world. If they were to succeed, the United States would be numbered among their principal victims. It must be clear to everyone that the United States cannot--and will not--sit idly by and await foreign conquest. The only question is: When is the best time to meet the threat and how?
The best time to meet the threat is in the beginning. It is easier to put out a fire in the beginning when it is small than after it has become a roaring blaze.
And the best way to meet the threat of aggression is for the peace- loving nations to act together. If they don't act together, they are likely to be picked off, one by one.
If they had followed the right policies in the 1930's--if the free countries had acted together, to crush the aggression of the dictators, and if they had acted in the beginning, when the aggression was small--there
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Publication information: Book title: Harry S. Truman:Presidential Rhetoric. Contributors: Halford R. Ryan - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 165.
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