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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH EDITOR 
ROBERT LASCH'S PULITZER PRIZE 
EDITORIALS 


Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. President, one 
of the most respected editorial paces in 
the Nation is edited by Mr. Robert Lasch 
• of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mr. 
Lasch has recently won the Pulitzer Prize 
for distinguished editorial writing. His 
profound editorials on U.S. foreign pol- 
icy and' especially the Vietnam crisis 
have attracted nationwide attention. 
The Pulitzer Prize judges cited' three 
editorials in particular by Mr. Lasch 
which appeared in the Post-Dispatch on 
January 17, 1965, November 26. 1965, and 
December 19. 1965. The first two edi- 
torials dealt with the U.S. involvement 
in Vietnam and the third one centered 
on United States-China relations. 

I ask unanimous consent that these 
three editorials be printed at this point 
in the Record. 

Z ' There being no objection, the editorials 
were ordered to be printed in the Record, 
as follows: 

[From the St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch, 
May 9, 1966) 

The Containment or Ideas 

(Note. — T he three leading editorials on tills 
page were cited by the Advisory Board on the 
Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University, In 
awarding the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished 
editorial writing in 1966 to Robert Lasch, 
Editor of the Editorial Page of the Post- 
Dispatch.) 


In the meantime, however, American policy 
increasingly liaa tended to confute the con- 
talmr.cutof Russian (and later Chinese) na- 
tion!! power with the containment of Com- 
munism. We undertook to apply the mctlv 
out. appropriate to a national power struggle— 
flic methods of diplomatic maneuver, armed 
confrontation and in some cates war itself— 
In a realm where they are totally ineffective 
Communism as an idea cannot be contained 
by such methods, but only by a better Idea. 

It is not the American function to combat 
revolution everywhere — to stand as the uni- 
versal, all-embracing guardian of the status 
quo. Tills is an odd role, by the way, to be 
thrust upon a nation that was Itself born of 
revolution less than two ccntures ago. More 
Important, it is a role that lies beyond the 
capabilities of any nation. Change Is the law 
of life. Social change will sometimes take 
revolutionary forms in some countries, no 
.matter what the United States or any other 
nation thinks about it. A wise foreign policy 
begins with recognition of this fact. 

American foreign policy Is in deep trouble 
in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America precisely 
because wo have let ourselves be pushed into 
a counter-revolutionary posture. Wherever, 
oppressed masse? struggle toward a better 
llfo millions of persons look upon the United 
States as their natural enemy, which means 
: that they inevitably look elsewhero for 
friends. 

Ours is not a revolutionary society, and 
we should not try to behave as if it were. 
But we can behave like a mature nation 


Coming events in South Viet Nam promise 
for many Americans a profound psychological 
shock, which a foreslghted Administration 
would be preparing to offset. When the day 
comes for American forces to leave Viet Nam 
after 10 years of vain effort to build an anti- 
communist bastion there, not only will our 
national pride be hurt, but some basic as- 
sumptions of our postwar foreign policy will 
be called Into question. As fresh thinking is 
always more painful than mouthing shibbo- 
leths, this Is going to cause a certain degree 
of anguish. 

Unpleasant os it may be, the time for re- 
appraisal has come, and thoughtful Ameri- 
cans should resolve to be realistic about it. 
The first step is to cast off the illusion of 
omnipotence, under the spell of which many 
of us have for years assumed that our mis- 
sion In the world is to contain, roll back, 
destroy or otherwise combat Communism. 

After World Wax II, the Soviet Union 
sought to expand Its national power wherever 
possible. The United States, as the leader of 
the free world, was thoroughly Justified in u n - H 
dertaking to contain that thrust, and it was 
contained. Only where the Red Army stood 
on land taken from the Nazis— which is to 
cay, only In Eastern Europe — were the Rus- 
sians able to impose their national will on 
other peoples; and the passage of time has 
indicated that even thcro, subjugation is 
most likely temporary, National identities 
havo survived and are persistently asserting 
themselves. There could be no better evi- 
dence that the Communists are not going to 
rule the world, and neither are we. Aspira- 
tions for Independence, self-respect And self- 
government are too universal and too power- 
ful to be subdued by any ideology. 


which knows that it has no right and no’ 
power to riocldo for the people of Cuba, Viet 
Kara or central Africa what form of revolu- 
tion they should have. We can behave like a 
nation which is prepared to accept change, 
even in forms unpalatable to It, and Is ready 
to work with peoples of any political faith 
for a peaceful world of diversity. 

It Is often said that we must hang on In 
Viet Nam, even to the point of an escalated 
war, because the effects of defeat there would 
be so damaging elsewhero In Asia and Africa. 

Unfortunately it is true that if wo got' 
thrown out of Viet Nam, millions of pooplo 
would be delighted. That is ouc reason why 
our Government would be wise to cncourago 
a political settlement through negotiation 
before we are thrown out — unless It is nl- 
read too late. Whatever happens in Saigon, 
however, the American cause will not be dam- 
aged thereby half so much as it is already 
being damaged by the growing conviction 
that our power and Influence are dedicated 
to the suppression of social revolution and 
political change wherever they occur. 

We shall improve our position with the 
developing nations and the world at largo not 
by proving that we can wage endless war In 
Viet Nam, but by showing, through actual 
conduct, that the CL^ls not enfranchised to. 
swagger around UiTworld setting up govern- 
ments and knocking them down; that we do 
: not undertake to dictate the form and paco 
of political chango anywhere; that wo are 
prepared to accept revolutions even when wo 
do not approve of tbepi: and that wo have 
enough faith in the ideas of freedom to en- 
trust to them, rather than to arms, tho task 
of containing the ideas of Communism ^ 

January 17 , 1965 . • . 


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