(VOA Editorial)  (360)

(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America January 1,

reflecting American ideals and institutions.

Dean Rusk, former U.S. Secretary of State, died last month at his home in

Athens, Georgia.  He was 85.  Secretary of State Warren Christopher said

that Rusk "brought strength and steadfastness to his stewardship of

American diplomacy at a time of extraordinary challenge for the United


David Dean Rusk was born in Cherokee County, Georgia, on February 9, 1909.

Through hard work and study he won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford

University, where he earned a master's degree in 1934.  In 1940, he left

the position of dean of the faculty at Mills College in California to serve

as a U.S. Army intelligence officer.  During the Second World War, he

served as a staff officer to General Joseph Stillwell, whose outnumbered

forces were fighting Imperial Japanese troops in southeast Asia.

In 1946, Rusk joined the State Department and soon rose to head the newly

created U.N. desk.  In 1950, communist North Korea attacked South Korea.

Rusk played an important part in the adoption of the U.N. resolution that

authorized intervention to aid the embattled South Koreans.

In 1961, President John Kennedy made Rusk Secretary of State, a position he

would hold for eight momentous years under two presidents.  These were

years of crisis and confrontation with the communist world -- in Cuba,

Berlin, and Vietnam.  In the face of harsh criticism, at home and abroad,

Dean Rusk never lost faith in the rightness or ultimate success of the U.S.

policy of containment.

(BEGIN ACTUALITY) "In the contest between communism and freedom, it has

become increasingly plain that communism is not only politically and

culturally repressive, but economically inefficient."  (END ACTUALITY)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Rusk's

words proved prophetic.  As President Bill Clinton said, "the world has

changed immeasurably since he (Dean Rusk) served at the side of presidents,

but the principles he helped forge -- steadfast American promotion of

freedom and opposition to tyranny -- are as vital as ever."