Dark clouds of civil war are gathering in some of the most explosive political areas in the world today and it is distressing to note the total cynicism with which the big powers so-called are viewing it. In Algeria, some of the most amazing specimens of diehard colonialism are piling atrocity upon atrocity. With hopes of a negotiated peace thus jeopardised and with bitterness and local resentment increased beyond control, the six year old war in Algeria may now become an all-out death struggle with the Big Powers openly pitching in. And now, Laos has joined the list. With North Vietnam openly threatening intervention, it is already near civil war in this hell –hole of big power intrigue. Is it by pitching Afro-Asian against Afro-Asian that the Big Powers intend settling their ideological war? What is most disturbing about these developments is the fact that the so-called democratic West has a big hand in them. In the case of Algeria, it is a case of unadulterated colonialism where the settlers do not want to give up or face the wind of change. Their stand is no doubt strengthened by the tacit moral and material support other NATO members are obliged to extend to them. In Laos and in the Congo, western role is even more sinister because the upheavals in these two countries are the direct outcome of western machinations in the name of containment of Communism. Because the elected Government of Mr. Lumumba was no camp follower of the United States, and because the Government of Prince Souvanna Phouma displayed dangerous neutralist tendencies, the “Free World” found it necessary to go out of its way to prop up rightist elements and thereby lead to bitter clashes. We cannot resist the feeling that these tragic developments can be traced directly to the old Dullesian line of anti-communism justifying anything and everything. President-elect Kennedy very significantly said the other day that the new administration’s policy will not be merely anti-communist but something positive besides. But will several countries of Afro-Asia have to go under before the new administration gets a chance to make positive a policy that is dangerously negative and anti-today?
15th December 1960