The Shame of Bohlen
Charles E. Bohlen '27, the President's choice for Ambassador to Russia, would be the logical man for the job in either a Republican or Democratic administration. A career diplomat, with years of training in Soviet affairs and the Russian language, he surpasses in qualifications for the post every other man in the State Department, with the possible exception of George Kennon. For this reason, it is unusual that his choice has any opposition.
Yet even after the Foreign Relations Committee approved him without dissent, a number of Senators, led by Senator McCarthy, are sharpening their axes today to destroy Bohlen's reputation on the floor of the Senate. Their case is not one of disloyalty or incompetency; they are declaring guilt by proximity.
Bohlen, it seems, was at Yalta interpreting Roosevelt's English into Russian and Stalin's Russian into English. This, say the Senators, makes Bohlen partially responsible for what they feel the biggest sellout since Munich. Perhaps Bohlen deliberately misinterpreted conversations to bring on the Great Tragedy. Anyway, they say he is a poor security risk, and are bucking their President and their party to stop him.
It is interesting to see some Republicans still blaming all the woes of the world on Yalta. Ever since the abortive resolution "blaming" Roosevelt and Truman for the plight of Eastern Europe, Senators who know something about foreign policy have realized that the "Yalta sellout" is nothing but campaign ballyhoo. Regrettably, other Senators, without the time or interest to learn the facts, have accepted the political slogan as gospel. It is a case of infatuation with one's own campaign oratory.
It is too late now for Senator Taft to explain to these men that one acts quite differently when his party is in the minority than when it has power. The Senators have learned their speeches too well.
Some things are more important than rewriting history for the benefit of future political campaigns. One of them is sending ambassadors to vital points of the world with the confidence of the country in back of them. It is unfortunate for the country that the little men attacking Bohlen on the floor of the Senate today do not realize this.