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Forum: Red Threat: Burning Out?

7 minute read

To the Editors:

I am well aware of the Italian political situation [June 14], being Italian born and educated. What really scared me was the title on your cover, “The Red Threat,” and, above all, the cover itself. Somehow I don’t see the whole situation as entirely negative.

Either the Communists could come to power and eventually burn themselves in the process, as has been the case of every government in Italy, or they would gain power and choose not to relinquish it when the time comes. Either way, they would provide a clearcut case of “democratic development” for all nations to see and to learn from.

In either case, they would lose in the long run, and the rest of the world would finally understand what Communism means and what it really stands for.

(The Rev.) Mario Pacini, S.A.C. New York City

Our fear of the expansion of Communism in Western Europe stems not from its supposed threat to democracy —we have supported several totalitarian leaders sympathetic to U.S. commercial interests—but from our assumption that Communism would eliminate capitalism and individualism, the “American way.”

Bruce Macmillan Nashville, Tenn.

What if Communists were to participate in an Italian government? In that case, Party Secretary Enrico Berlinguer has asserted: “Who could prevent us from following our own path? The frontiers are what they are.” This statement implies that NATO might defend “Communism with a human face” in Italy from the Red army. If the Italian comrades believe that a “democratic Communism” can only exist behind the shield of the free world, I suggest that they take the decisive step: break their link with Moscow.

Thomas R. Sykes Norman, Okla.

If the Italian Communists were elected, they would prove once and for all, by the time their term of office is up, that they are as incapable of solving Italy’s problems as all of the others preceding them. Amazing, the mystique of the hammer and sickle.

Paul Kurm New York City

I recall dozens of small shop owners and other individuals telling me in early 1948, when queried about the possibility of a Communist victory, “ho paura nel mio cuore ” (I have fear in my heart). What has changed to diminish that? I doubt that anything has among all those bright Italians.

Aldon M. Hoffman

Colonel, U.S.A. (ret.)

Moscow, Idaho

While over two-thirds of the eligible voters stayed away from the U. S. primary elections, thousands of Italian emigrant workers sacrificed earnings and comfort to vote in the elections of June 20. In which country is democracy more meaningful and alive?

James and Suzanne Cowan Highland Park, Mich.

Around this time last year your cover story concerned the Red threat in Portugal. Now it tells of the Red threat in Italy. What will we be reading about next summer—the Red threat in Montana? Stop this asinine Red baiting.

Mitchell A. Sommers Lancaster, Pa.

Another F.D.R.?

I am a liberal Democrat, and I have given Jimmy Carter my time and support for the past four months. He is not my ideological dream, but no one, to my mind, has given him much competition as a candidate. There is a lot more to this man than his critics give him credit for and, barring any catastrophe, he will be the Roosevelt of the ’70s and ’80s.

Bob Finkel San Francisco

The surprise of some at Jimmy Carter’s success has surprised me. Who else has caught the present emotional climate? We have been through Watergate, Elizabeth Ray and disillusionment with the old-time Washington crowd and, fairly or not, the Republican Party. Our hopes are with the American Dream, which Carter appears to personify. Although we may not know the man, we feel we know the symbol.

Christine Waisanen Washington, D.C.

While I may not necessarily be “for” him, Carter will be elected President by a sweep reminiscent of 1936.

Joseph E. Palmer Indianapolis

Jimmy Carter says he wants to reduce and reform the massive federal bureaucracy. If Carter is serious, he is in the wrong party. Democratic Congresses have worked tirelessly since 1933 to build the huge bureaucracy that Jimmy now opposes.

Do Americans really want less bureaucracy? If so, the best hope would be to elect Ronald Reagan as President, plus a Republican Congress. Carter may be a nice guy, but he can’t change a donkey into an elephant.

Frank C. Worbs Vanport, Pa.


If I were persuaded that the end of the world is at hand, I would never look to Sun Myung Moon or anyone like him for the Second Corning [June 14]. He does not fit the requirements of prophecy: “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his fay” (Luke 17:24).

But if Moon is correct and these are the last days, there is another prophecy that would apply to him: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:23-26).

R.S. Parson Washington, D.C.

I believe in upholding the right to practice your religion freely as granted in the Bill of Rights. However, I don’t feel it should be at the cost of Americans’ losing the right to think, a right Moon seems determined to take away. P.J. Engel Peekskill, N. Y.

I wonder if the Moonies’ motto is Arbeit macht frei (Working makes you free). Sound familiar?

David Lapin New York City

Up Yuba

I take offense at the comparison your reporter made of Yuba City to something “right out of American Graffiti” [June 7]. I have lived in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Dallas, Cheyenne and many more places. Without putting those places down, because each has something to offer, I believe Yuba City has the most to offer.

We have miles of orchards and rice fields and fields of flowers. Yuba City is a fresh, smart, small town with many churches and good schools and teachers (one of whom died in the tragic accident with our children). Believe it or not, we even have art galleries, tennis courts, a country club, golf course, several good restaurants and many lovely homes. We can ski in the breathtaking Sierras and sail in the beautiful Pacific. Yet in one short sentence you conveyed the impression that Yuba City is a lackluster town.

(Mrs.) Darlene Koepke Yuba City, Calif.

Soldiers v. Lawyers

What price honor at West Point?

[June 7]. Well, you don’t handle it like either of the congressional ethics committees, which to date have yet to cull out any of their fellow wayward stalwarts.

What you do is sift out all those intelligent young cadets who have demonstrated that they cannot comprehend the honor code and you send them home to become attorneys. Afterward, in the jungle, they can develop feathers that will put a peacock to shame. Armed with a law degree, they enter the political service of our country. They can then enact new laws and set their new standards. They will eliminate such abominable Victorian absurdities as West Point’s honor system.

Until they came along, the Academy clearly demonstrated it was a failure for 174 years and turned out Americans such as Pershing, MacArthur, Eisenhower, McAuliffe, Bradley, Abrams and Westmoreland.

Harlan G. Koch San Francisco

To clear up the cheating scandal, the Point would rather throw the baby out with the bath water because the important thing is a clean tub. Right?

Eleanor E. Rittenour Princeton, Minn.

Miki’s Message

It was highly encouraging to read Prime Minister Takeo Miki’s “Message to America” [June 14]. In these difficult times for liberty one of our closest allies is remaining strong and keeping its friendship with America. Japan, unlike many who have been smothered by either apathy or Communism, has shown to the world that democracy for all its shortcomings is the best system.

Bruce James Dyke Methuen, Mass.

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