'WHAT IS TREASON?'
Reprinted from "The Catholic Times" (London) of July 26th, 1946
Written by the Diplomatic Correspondent
General Mihailovich has been put to death for having served his country to the best of an honest intention. He was shot by a band of foreign sponsored Communist revolutionaries who succeeded in conquering the country, and who, by virtue of their authority, so usurped, gave a legal veneer to the process of murder.
During the so-called trial no evidence was admitted except that collected by the murderers themselves. Neither American nor British evidence was allowed. Official representations made for instance, by the British Foreign Office, and transmitted in the correct diplomatic procedure to "the Yugoslav Government," were not passed on to what was called the "Court." Nor was such a suppression of the evidence in the least surprising, because the Government and the judges were one and the same people.
What General Mihailovich was accused of was labelled "treason." How serious was the legal pretense, could be gauged from the fact that in advance of the "trial" the Yugoslav Government issued a pamphlet about Mihailovich in which the word "treason" appeared in the title.
In fact there was no trial at all. What took place was an elaborately staged act of propaganda, which is the normal Communist way of life.
Now the interesting thing--interesting, that is an indication of the depth to which the modern world has sunk, is that this "Yugoslav Government" was accorded all the privileges of diplomatic practice. In order (one must presume) not to jeopardise the technical state of peace obtaining between the British and Yugoslav Governments, The Times newspaper in London published a leading article on the condemnation of Mihailovich, arguing that as Mihailovich had taken action against the actual Government of Yugoslavia, he was in fact properly convicted of treason.
What does that argument amount to? Mihailovich had led the Yugoslav people in resistance against the German invader until he found that under the cloak of a rival resistance movement Marshal Tito was in effect engaged in conquering Yugoslavia on behalf of Moscow.
In so far therefore as Mihailovich continued to drive out the Germans he was merely helping to hand his country over to the Russians. It was a cruel dilemma.
In his honest belief the Communist menace was an even greater menace than that of the Nazis. He therefore resisted both. Inasmuch as the Communists (with the help of the British Government, which stopped their supplies to Mihailovich and sent them instead to Tito) won their fight and succeeded in setting up what was in truth a foreign occupying Government, Mihailovich became technically a traitor to that Government.
The world is upside down. Mihailovich, an honest Yugoslav patriot, fell a victim and a martyr to a successful Communist invasion from the East. The invaders are now engaged in suppressing Christianity in the country. Let us at any rate be honest and courageous, and recognise what has taken place for what it truly is.
Reprinted from "The Catholic Times" (London) July 26, 1946 under 'Fair Use' provision.