The Threat to Europe's Liberty: Is Italy Next?
In a show of strength some months ago, thousands of Communist partisans paraded the streets of Milan dressed in American uniforms. The only non-GI item in the costume was the red kerchief each marcher wore jauntily around his neck. If the Cominform this spring or summer makes its bid for power in Italy by force, these same paraders will be the elite corps at the hard center of the putsch. It ought to surprise nobody if such an uprising—aimed, as usual, against “conspirators with the fascist-capitalist West”—rolls in GI jeeps and shoots its way to glory with GI guns.
This writer remembers looking down the barrel of an American-made tommy gun when a Red Army sergeant arrested him in Austria for stopping to eat lunch while traversing the Soviet zone with a Soviet pass. He remembers watching Hungarian Communists shepherd truckloads of sure voters to the Budapest polls in Dodge weapons carriers donated by the Soviet high command. He recalls how UNRRA textiles which were to become pants for Yugoslav peasants got made instead into Russian-style uniforms for the Yugoslav Army and how US gun caissons and assorted vehicles shipped as lendlease to Moscow turned up in a ten-mile procession of the “new democratic Yugoslavia’s” military power deploying past Marshal Tito’s reviewing stand in Belgrade. The occasional raids by Italian police these days on Communist arms depots cannot possibly keep pace with the nightly deliveries of weapons all along the Adriatic coast by motor launch out of Yugoslavia. It is quite safe to predict that if and when the hour strikes for Italy, it will be struck partly with carbines, automatic pistols, and sub-machine guns marked “Made in America.”
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