Dr. Alex Bebler

Peace and Greece


Gen. Van Fleet: "Capture and Kill"

It is evident that the direct and principal aim of the American so-called economic aid to Greece is to throttle the insurrection of the Greek people. From the report of the American Mission which we have already quoted, there is no doubt left about this. We read there, "since the end of the offensive of the Greek army in the Spring of 1947, the Greek military forces limited themselves to defensive tactics. That is the reason why the bandits were able to recapture territories and organize attacks. Since its arrival the American Mission has consistently exerted its influence to instigate offensive tactics

Since the end of last year, American officers arrived in Greece and were sent to all military units, in the capacity of "advisors" and "liaison officers." A mixed American High Command was created#8212;a High Command which was "mixed" only in the sense that it was composed of American specialists for infantry, marine and aviation.

The new chief of the American Mission in Greece, General Van Fleet, who arrived in Greece on February 20th of this year, immediately made a declaration about the necessity of undertaking a large-scale offensive against the democratic army.

This American general is today notorious because of his brutal slogan: "Capture and kill," which recalls the words of gauleiters in the days of the occupation of my country, as well as all the other occupied countries of Europe, and reminds me also of the well-known order given by Kaiser Wilhelm to his troops when leaving for China: "Gefangene werden nicht gemacht"—"No prisoners are to be taken."

Describing the subservience of armed forces of the Athens Government to the United States military, Mr. Kenneth Spencer, the British observer with the Anti-Balkan Commission wrote in an article reported in the New Statesman and Nation: "The Greek Army lights in British battledress with British and American equipment, and is now virtually under the command of American officers right down to battalion level. General Van Fleet, Chief of the Military Observer and Advisor Teams operating with the Greek Army, personally inspired the Army's spring and summer offensives and his liaison officers with divisions, brigades and battalions give the commanders operational advice which no officer can presume to ignore." General Van Fleet, like his predecessor, General Livesay, attends all the meetings of the so-called "Council of National Defense" of the Greek Government and all other important military conferences."

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