Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
Berlin Airlift, June 30, 1948
An S-R editorial was supportive the Berlin Airlift during which the U.S. and its allies supplied non-Soviet zones of the city.
“Short of shooting our aircraft down, the Russians can not starve out the Americans in Berlin. They can perhaps make a good beginning to the starving out of the Germans who live in the besieged zone. At present, airborne supply can be maintained only at the rate of 300 tons per day, against about 2,000 tons needed to supply the total population, German and allied, in the isolated area. Stored supplies will up the difference for a time.
“Russia is, to all indications, unable to fight a shooting war with us. That is why we must not give up in the face of these harassments. If we appease Russia by yielding in this attempt at mass strangulation, it will signal the end of our influence in the struggle for European and world freedom. If we withdraw, it would have to be only to a new line of resistance where we would soon be engaged again in a similar struggle with Russia.”
Korean Conflict, June 27, 1950
An editorial reflected on the news that North Korean troops had poured across the border with South Korea.
“News from Korea gave Americans an uncomfortable weekend, altogether too reminiscent of the fateful Sunday when we heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Again there is talk in the streets of war and all it means – interruption of our peaceful pursuits, the draft, sacrifices, partings, tragedies.
“When and if we decide to risk being drawn into war, we know the only effort we can embark upon is an all out one, with all the power of our arms, skill, wealth and material.
“Whatever the course decided upon in this Korean incident, the paramount question we must all think about is: Are we ready to fight? If we are not, why not?”
Evaluating Korean War, June 25, 1960
An S-R editorial looked back at the Korean War 10 years after it began.
“The president seemed to have no clear idea of what we were getting into. Air and naval forces quickly proved not enough. Then it was the Marines, whose efforts Truman later was to belittle as “a police action.” Actually, we were drawn into a war, the only one in history in which we fought and did not win.
It continued: “Korea is still divided, and the United Nations pledge to reunify the country still is unredeemed. There exists only a truce in the fighting, and it is based on an armistice which has been flouted by the communists almost from the time it was signed, especially as to the ban against adding to the forces, bases and equipment stationed north of the dividing line.
“Not until Korea is reunited as a sovereign country, without partial control by foreign communists, will the U.N. obligation be fulfilled. Until then the situation will continue, as it has through most of the past decade, without the achievement of permanent peace.”
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