RUSSIAN GENERALS IN ALBANIA
Western politics lacks dynamism. It, for fear of war complications, not only exposes danger to ongoing peace, but neglects all the circumstances conducive to securing advantageous positions of defense and offense in the hour of the greatest feat, which no one can seriously affirm has been removed. The war brought by the forces of the United Nations beyond the thirty-eighth parallel again covers the international horizon with black clouds. In Korea, America at last had the power to vigorously oppose aggressive Soviet aims. Already the beneficial effects of this act of conscious power are spreading throughout the world and the oppressed or threatened peoples are climbing the slope of the deadly mistrust into which the inexplicable passivity of the West, in the face provocations by the Kremlin, carried them.
In Albania, the Western powers have missed an excellent opportunity. The condition of insularity, in which the Albanian communist state had been reduced after the detachment of Tito from the Cominform, created multiple possibilities with a clever and determined policy of pressing on the Enver Hoxha regime. At first, Russia seemed to ignore the tiny country. The Council given to Enver Hoxha on his last trip to Moscow to reconnect economic ties with Italy could be interpreted as a weakening of the Soviet interest in a country territorially detached from the system of its satellites and therefore difficult to defend and unnecessarily expensive to maintain.
The bloody slaughter of the small dictator falters fearfully. The state administration was crumbling from internal corrosion. The internal disagreements in the Albanian Communist Party resulted in violent discussions punctuated by revolver shots.
Senior officers of the Red Army, heroes of the partisan struggle, pillars of the Soviet-branded regime, mysteriously disappeared from dusk to dawn and their end is not yet known. The desertions of soldiers first on the Hellenic soil and later in Yugoslavia, now rebellious to the Kremlin, increased day by day. With a slight shock, Albania could have fallen six months ago from the western part with serious shame of the Moscow prestige.
The Albanians who, on the hard roads of exile, are trying to cling to any favorable situation from which the hoped-for liberation of their country from the tyranny of the Moscovite emissaries can result, did not fail to point out to those who were able to effectively support them that the situation for a coup, quick and victorious, looked ripe. Their claim was supported by handheld evidence. It was enough then that those who authoritatively guided the politics of the Western Bloc, peremptorily ordered the Yugoslavia and Greece not to make a move for the operation to succeed successfully and without risk for peace. The people would rise up as one man.
Russia showed no sign of sovereign interest.
She had stopped the fortification works on the Adriatic coast. Many of its technicians and organizers returned home. Korea has shown that the Soviet Union is not ready for war.
Excessive prudence prevented the West from scoring a good point, susceptible of further unforeseeable developments, to the assets of its own policy. Nothing is attempted at the right moment. This lack of initiative, which seemed strange to the Albanian Communists themselves reduced to a thin group of fanatics at that time, allowed the Enver Hoxha regime to overcome the crisis and the Russians, perhaps already resigned at first to abandoning the Adriatic shore, to change his mind and return in strength to Albania. News recently received from Tirana indicate the arrival of about five hundred Soviet and Russian army officers by air in Albania at the end of September and their immediate installation in key administration posts.
Thereby, the chains of the unfortunate Albanian people, who deluded themselves for a few months the regain of freedom and return to the family of Western nations, are clenched.
But the Yugoslavs and the Greeks have a reason to be happy.
Tito, surrounded by enemies, needs a relief of pressure on the side of the border with Albania. But his propaganda, which insists on the old motive of overthrowing the Cominformist regime and replace it with one of the (illegible) and counterproductive type; increases the embarrassment and hesitation of the Albanian people who hate every species and subspecies of communism. Yugoslav politics could obtain good results among the Albanians if it assured them that they did not want to interfere in the internal affairs of the country after the collapse of Enver Hoxha and his Cominformist regime, which always remains a serious threat to Tito.
The same must be said for the Greeks, who insist on reclaiming areas of the already small territory of Albania, provoking inappropriate reactions among the entire Albanian people and emphasizing their uncertainty about a change of regime with all their soul.
If Tito’s Yugoslavia and Greece had carefully examined, at the opportune moment, the enormous advantages that a free independent Albania, integrated in its own national territory and detached from the Cominform certainly brings them, perhaps even the Great Western Powers would have been convinced to act during the absence of the bulk of Russian technicians and organizers from Albania.
Not indenting to give up on the frenzied expansionist challenges, Yugoslavs and Greeks are reduced to undergoing the inspection that Russian generals are carrying out along the border line from San Giovanni di Medua to Lake Presba and from Bilishti to Konsipoli.