Memorandum by Mr. John Foster Dulles
It is difficult to define Soviet aggression in terms of our old international conceptions. It does not involve the marching of hostile troops across a boundary line. The aggression is primarily against individual rights and freedoms and the use of terror to stifle opposition.
Today there is hardly anyone in Europe or Asia who does not feel that if he asserts himself in a manner displeasing to the Soviet Communist Party, he will be, or shortly may be, liquidated. That terror is having a tremendous effect upon the willingness of people to oppose Soviet penetration and upon their ability to plan and work creatively. That is not a tolerable state of affairs.
The United Nations was designed to prevent such a condition. The Preamble to the Charter expresses the faith of the peoples of the United Nations in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person and their determination to practice tolerance. The United Nations was designed to develop such ideals into international law and to establish a police force to protect them. It was recognized that to do this on a universal basis would be slow, but it was assumed that victory in World War II would provide a period of time in which to develop protection against another World War before such a war would be a substantial risk. Now it seems that that assumption was unfounded. It may, therefore, be necessary in the first instance to establish law and order on a less than universal basis for fear is spreading and the ideals of the United Nations already are being undermined.
The Charter does not prevent progress on a less than universal basis. It expressly recognizes the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense. We believe that those nations which can agree on what are human rights and fundamental freedoms and who can agree on what constitutes an attack upon those rights and freedoms, should at once do so. Also, we believe that they should establish a joint force to protect those who would exercise those rights. It would be purely defensive and not aggressive against any nation. It would stop the growing reign of terror and would liberate effort for what is creative.