President Truman's Radio Report to the American People on Korea and on U.S. Policy in the Far East, April 11, 1951


President's Radio Report to the American People on Korea and on U.S. Policy in the Far East, April 11, 1951, Public Papers of the Presidents, p. 223.


"I want to talk to you plainly 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.

* * *

"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: What is the best time to meet the threat and how is the best way to meet it?

"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 probably would have been no World War II.

"If history has taught us anything, it is that aggression anywhere in the world is a threat to the peace everywhere in the world. When that aggression is supported by the cruel and selfish rulers of a powerful nation who are bent on conquest, it becomes a clear and present danger to the security and independence of every free nation.

* * *

"I have another secret intelligence report here. This one tells what another Communist officer in the Far East told his men several months before the invasion of Korea. Here is what he said: 'In order to successfully undertake the long-awaited world resolution, we must first unify Asia . . . Java, Indochina, Malaya, India, Tibet, Thailand, Philippines, and Japan are our ultimate targets. . . . The United States is the only obstacle on our road for the liberation of all the countries in southeast Asia. In other words, we must unify the people of Asia and crush the United States.'

* * *

"The dangers are great. Make no mistake about it. Behind the North Koreans and Chinese Communists in the front lines stand additional millions of Chinese soldiers. And behind the Chinese stand the tanks, the planes, the submarines, the soldiers, and the scheming rulers of the Soviet Union."


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Vol. 1 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), p. 588-89


Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Vietnam War Page