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美国20世纪最伟大的100篇演讲Harry Truman - Truman Doctrine

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AmericanRhetoric.com


Harry S. Truman:
“The Truman Doctrine


Delivered
12
March 1947
before
a
Joint Session
of
Congress


AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED:
Text
version below
transcribed
directly
from
audio

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Congress of the United States:

The gravity of the situation which
confronts the world today necessitates my appearance
before a joint session of the Congress. The foreign policy and the national security of this
country are involved. One aspect of the present
situation, which
I present
to you at
this time
for your consideration and decision, concerns Greece and Turkey. The United States has
received from the Greek Government an
urgent
appeal
for financial and economic assistance.
Preliminary reports from the American Economic Mission now
in
Greece and reports from the
American
Ambassador in Greece corroborate the statement of the Greek Government
that
assistance is imperative if Greece is to
survive as a free nation.

I do
not believe that the American people and the Congress wish
to turn a deaf ear to the
appeal of the Greek Government. Greece is not
a rich
country. Lack of sufficient
natural
resources has always forced the Greek people to work hard
to make both
ends meet. Since
1940, this industrious, peace loving country has suffered invasion, four years of cruel enemy
occupation, and bitter internal strife.

When forces of liberation entered Greece they found that the retreating Germans had
destroyed virtually all the railways, roads, port facilities, communications, and merchant
marine. More than a thousand villages had been burned.
Eightyfive
percent of the children
were tubercular. Livestock, poultry, and draft animals had almost disappeared. Inflation
had
wiped out practically all savings.
As a result of these tragic conditions, a militant minority,
exploiting human want and misery, was able to
create political chaos which, until
now, has
made economic recovery impossible.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
1



AmericanRhetoric.com


Greece is today without
funds to
finance the importation of those goods which are essential to
bare subsistence. Under these circumstances, the people of Greece cannot
make progress in
solving their problems of reconstruction. Greece is in desperate need of financial and
economic assistance to
enable it to
resume purchases of food, clothing,
fuel, and seeds. These
are indispensable for the subsistence of its people and are obtainable only from abroad.
Greece must
have help to
import
the goods necessary to
restore internal order and security,
so essential for economic and political recovery. The Greek Government has also asked for the
assistance of experienced American administrators, economists, and technicians to
insure that
the financial and other aid given
to
Greece shall
be used effectively in creating a stable and
selfsustaining
economy and in improving its public administration.

The very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several
thousand armed men, led by Communists, who
defy the government's authority at a number
of points, particularly along the northern boundaries. A Commission appointed by the United
Nations security Council
is at present investigating disturbed conditions in
northern
Greece
and alleged border violations along the frontiers between
Greece on the one hand and
Albania,
Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia on the other.

Meanwhile, the Greek Government is unable to
cope with the situation. The Greek army is
small and poorly equipped.
It needs supplies and equipment
if it is to restore authority of the
government
throughout
Greek territory. Greece must
have assistance if it is to become a selfsupporting
and selfrespecting
democracy. The United States must supply this assistance.
We
have already extended to
Greece certain
types of relief and economic aid.
But
these are
inadequate. There is no other country to which
democratic Greece can
turn. No other nation
is
willing and able to provide the necessary support for a democratic Greek government.

The British
Government, which
has been
helping Greece, can give no further financial or
economic aid after March
31st. Great
Britain finds itself under the necessity of reducing or
liquidating its commitments in several parts of the world, including Greece.

We have considered how
the United Nations might assist
in this crisis. But
the situation
is an
urgent one, requiring immediate action, and the United Nations and its related organizations
are not
in a position
to extend help of the kind that is required.


It
is important to
note that
the
Greek Government has asked for our aid in utilizing effectively
the financial and other assistance we may give to Greece, and in improving its public
administration. It
is of the utmost importance that we supervise the use of any funds made
available to
Greece in such a manner that each
dollar spent will count toward making Greece
selfsupporting,
and will
help to build an economy in which a healthy democracy can flourish.

No government
is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that
its defects
are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected. The
Government of Greece is not perfect. Nevertheless it
represents eightyfive
percent of the
members of the Greek Parliament who were chosen
in an election
last year. Foreign
observers, including 692 Americans, considered this election to be a fair expression of the
views of the
Greek people.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
2



AmericanRhetoric.com


The Greek Government has been operating in an atmosphere of chaos and extremism. It
has
made
mistakes. The extension of aid by this country does not
mean that the United States
condones everything that
the Greek Government
has done or will do. We have condemned in
the past, and we condemn now, extremist measures of the right or the left. We have in the
past advised tolerance, and we advise tolerance
now.

Greek's [sic] neighbor, Turkey, also deserves our attention. The future of Turkey, as an
independent and economically sound state,
is clearly no
less important
to the freedomloving
peoples of the world than the future of Greece.
The circumstances in which Turkey finds itself
today are considerably different
from those of
Greece. Turkey has been
spared
the disasters
that
have beset
Greece. And during the war, the United States and Great Britain furnished
Turkey with
material aid.


Nevertheless, Turkey now needs our support. Since the war, Turkey has sought additional
financial assistance from Great Britain and the United States for the purpose of effecting that
modernization necessary for the maintenance of its national
integrity. That
integrity is
essential to
the preservation of order in the Middle East. The British government
has informed
us that, owing to
its own difficulties, it
can no
longer extend financial or economic aid to
Turkey. As
in
the case of Greece, if Turkey is to
have the assistance it needs, the United
States must supply it. We are the only country able to provide that
help.


I am fully aware of the broad implications involved if the United States extends assistance to
Greece and Turkey, and I
shall discuss these implications with you at this time. One of the
primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in
which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion. This was
a fundamental issue in the war with
Germany and Japan. Our victory was won over countries
which
sought to
impose their will, and their way of life, upon other nations.

To ensure the peaceful development of nations,
free from coercion, the United States has
taken a leading part
in establishing the United Nations. The United Nations is designed to
make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members. We shall
not realize our
objectives, however, unless we are willing to
help free peoples to maintain their free
institutions and their national integrity against aggressive movements that seek to
impose
upon
them totalitarian regimes. This is no
more than a frank recognition
that
totalitarian
regimes imposed upon
free peoples, by direct or indirect aggression, undermine the
foundations of international peace, and hence the security of the United States.

The peoples of a number of countries of the world have recently had
totalitarian regimes
forced upon them against
their will. The Government of the United States has made frequent
protests against coercion and intimidation
in violation of the Yalta agreement in Poland,
Rumania, and Bulgaria.
I must also
state that
in a number of other countries there have been
similar developments.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
3



AmericanRhetoric.com


At
the present moment
in world history nearly every
nation must
choose between alternative
ways of life. The choice is too often
not a free one. One way of life is based upon
the will of
the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free
elections, guarantees of individual
liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from
political oppression. The second way of life is based upon
the will of a minority forcibly
imposed upon
the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio,
fixed elections, and the suppression of personal
freedoms.

I believe that
it must be the policy of the United States to support
free peoples who are
resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out
their own destinies in their own way.

I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is
essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.

The world is not static, and the status quo is not sacred.
But we cannot allow changes in the
status quo
in violation of the Charter of the United Nations by such methods as coercion, or by
such
subterfuges as political infiltration. In helping free and independent
nations to maintain
their freedom, the United States will be giving effect to
the principles of the Charter of the
United Nations.

It
is necessary only to glance at a map to realize that the survival and integrity of the Greek
nation are of grave importance in a much wider situation. If Greece should fall
under the
control of an armed minority, the effect
upon its neighbor, Turkey, would be immediate and
serious. Confusion and disorder might well spread throughout
the entire Middle East.
Moreover, the disappearance of Greece as an
independent state would have a profound effect
upon
those countries in Europe whose peoples are struggling against great difficulties to
maintain their freedoms and their independence while they repair the damages of war.

It would be an
unspeakable tragedy if these countries, which
have struggled so long against
overwhelming odds, should lose that victory for
which
they sacrificed so
much. Collapse of
free institutions and loss of independence would be disastrous not only for them but
for the
world. Discouragement and possibly failure would quickly be the lot of neighboring peoples
striving to
maintain
their freedom and independence.

Should we fail to aid Greece and Turkey in
this fateful hour, the effect will be far reaching to
the
West as well as to
the East.

We must take immediate and resolute action. I
therefore ask the Congress to provide
authority for assistance to
Greece and Turkey in the amount of $400,000,000 for the period
ending June 30, 1948. In
requesting these funds, I
have taken into consideration the
maximum amount of relief assistance which would be furnished to
Greece out of the
$350,000,000 which I
recently requested that the Congress authorize for the prevention of
starvation and suffering in
countries devastated
by the war.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
4



AmericanRhetoric.com


In addition
to funds, I ask the Congress to authorize the detail of American civilian and
military personnel to
Greece and Turkey, at
the request of those countries, to assist
in the
tasks of reconstruction, and for the purpose of supervising the use of such financial and
material assistance as may be furnished. I
recommend that authority also be provided for the
instruction and training of selected
Greek and Turkish personnel. Finally, I ask that the
Congress provide authority which will permit the speediest and most effective use, in terms of
needed commodities, supplies, and equipment, of such funds as may be authorized.
If further
funds, or further authority, should be needed for the purposes indicated in this message, I
shall
not hesitate to bring the situation before the Congress. On
this subject the Executive and
Legislative branches of the Government
must work together.

This is a serious course upon which we embark.
I would not
recommend it
except
that the
alternative is much more serious. The United States contributed $341,000,000,000 toward
winning World War II. This is an investment in world freedom and world peace. The assistance
that
I am recommending for Greece and Turkey
amounts to
little more than 1 tenth of 1
percent
of this investment. It
is only common sense that we should safeguard
this investment
and make sure that
it was not in vain. The seeds of totalitarian
regimes are nurtured by
misery and want. They spread and grow
in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach
their
full
growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died.


We must keep that
hope alive.


The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms. If we falter
in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world.
And we shall surely endanger the
welfare of this nation.

Great responsibilities have been placed upon
us
by the swift movement of events.

I am confident
that
the Congress will face these responsibilities squarely.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
5


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