BOOK FOUR: THE NEW INQUISITION
Indeed, if such reaction should develop— if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920s— then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt January 11,1944
Chapter XIII — DEATH OF THE NEW DEAL
This war that I saw going on all around the world is, in Mr. Stalin’s phrase, a war of liberation. It is to liberate some nations from the Nazi or the Japanese Army, and to liberate others from the threat of those armies. On this much we are agreed. Are we agreed that liberation means more than this? Specifically, are the thirty-one United Nations now fighting together agreed that our common job of hberation includes giving to all peoples freedom to govern themselves as soon as they are able, and the economic freedom on which all lasting self-government inevitably rests? . . .
Our very proclamations of what we are fighting for have rendered our own iniquities self-evident. When we talk of freedom and opportunity for all nations, the mocking paradoxes in our own society become so clear they can no longer be ignored. If we want to talk about freedom, we must mean freedom for others as well as ourselves, and we must mean freedom for everyone inside our frontiers as well as outside.
Wendell Willkie, One World, 1943
According to the London Times, the expression “iron curtain” was coined by von Krosigk, Hitler’s Minister of Finance, and was used by Goebbels, in his propaganda for some years before Mr. Churchill adopted it.
Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 1948 Edition
I. War’s Legacy
Twenty million men had died in battle. Tens of millions of men, women and children had perished by starvation and disease, and in concentration camps and death chambers. Great warehouses at Nazi extermination centers remained still crammed with the myriad possessions of the murdered dead, with clothing, children’s toys and women’s hair. Where cities world-famed for their beauty had once stood, there now stretched endless miles of gutted skeletons of buildings and mountainous piles of rubble. Countless human beings wandered destitute and homeless across the blood-soaked continents of Europe and Asia. In the wake of the war stalked famine, plague, misery and mass impoverishment.
And all of this ineffable suffering and loss had stemmed from the fierce Counterrevolution following the First World War, and from the savage measures of world reaction during the ensuing years to frustrate the democratic aspirations of the masses of mankind. It was this global conspiracy to protect the privileges of the few by the repression and enslavement of the many that had conjured Fascism into being. It was this treason against the people that had culminated inevitably in the Second World War.
Yet out of this dark and dreadful epoch of bloody terror, antidemocratic intrigue, treachery, fascism and total war, the peoples of the world had triumphantly emerged with greater power in their hands than ever before in history.
The monstrous prison-empire of the Axis lay in crumbled ruins, and the liberated milUons were marching inexorably toward the achievement of their ancient goals. In Eastern Europe, great sections of the land were being divided up among the impoverished peasantry, and prodigious reconstruction programs had been swiftly begun. Indonesia, IndoChina, Palestine, Korea and other colonial and semi-colonial parts of the world were in a ferment of popular revolt. Across the great land mass of China, a people’s revolution was gathering momentum like a vast and irresistible storm.
In every land the hearts of men and women were filled with hope for a new era of freedom, friendship among the nations and lasting peace on earth.
The cornerstone of world peace and security was the United Nations Organization; and the fruitful functioning of this body, all knew, depended essentially on the maintenance of the close alliance that had been forged during the war between the Western democracies and the Soviet Union.
But on both sides of the Atlantic there were powerful reactionary forces which had Httle interest in the maintenance of this alliance. Their primary concern, as after the First World War, was to protect their vested interests, dam the swelling tide of democratic revolt and prop up the archaic system of the past. And once again, linked with the struggle against world democracy, the counterrevolutionary cry for an international crusade against “Communism” was heard.
Barely six months after V-J Day, on the heels of the smashing defeat of his Tory Party in England and faced with a mounting crisis in the British Empire, Winston Churchill rediscovered the “menace of Bolshevism.” In a widely publicized speech delivered in the United States on March 5, 1946, Churchill called for an antiSoviet alliance between Great Britain and the United States against “the growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization” from Russian Communism.
Churchill’s internationally sensational speech was delivered on the occasion of his being awarded an honorary degree by Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The little-known college was located approximately 150 miles from President Truman’s hometown of Independence; and the President who had previously read Churchill’s speech, was conspicuously present at the time of its delivery.
Following his inauguration. President Truman had fervently echoed Roosevelt’s repeated warnings against disunity among the United Nations. But almost as soon as Truman took office, members of his Administration embarked upon a course which would inevitably create dissension within the United Nations . . .
The first serious split in the United Nations developed at the San Francisco Conference in the summer of 1945. The issue of dispute was whether or not Argentina should be invited to join the Conference and become a UN member. British and American delegates supported and secured Argentina’s admission, against the opposition of the Soviet delegate, Vyacheslav Molotov.
Some months later, the U.S. Government released an ofiicial report entitled Blue Book on Argentina which conclusively proved the “Nazi-Fascist character of the Argentine regime” and established that the Argentine “mihtary government collaborated with enemy agents for important espionage and other purposes damaging to the war effort of the United Nations” . . .
The most basic aim of the United Nations was the complete extirpation of fascism in the world; but in forcing Argentina’s admission to the San Francisco Conference, the American and British delegates had championed, not opposed, the cause of a fascist power. In this fashion, the Anglo-American Governments initiated the so-called “get-tough-with-Russia” policy.
During the months that followed, this policy was to become the dominant political orientation of the Governments of Great Britain and the United States.
Nowhere was the postwar betrayal of the fundamental principles of the United Nations more flagrantly demonstrated than in the policies pursued by the British and American Governments toward their recent arch-enemy, Germany.
Months after Germany’s surrender, uniformed units of German troops totaling a force of almost half a million men were still intacl in British-occupied German territory; and in the American zone of occupation, the U. S. Army was equipping and arming thousands of fascist Polish, Yugoslavian and Ukrainian troops to serve in “labor service companies” and as “guards.” “Most members of these service companies,” reported Raymond Daniell in a dispatch to the New York Times on February 3, 1946, “are as anti-Semitic and antiRussian as any Nazi.” Many of them, according to Daniell, had fought with the Nazi Wehmacht on the Eastern Front * . . .
Following V-E Day, Senator Harley M. Kilgore, Chairman of the Sub-Committee of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, repeatedly warned that the German cartel apparatus, instead of being destroyed, was being deliberately rebuilt in the western zones of occupation. By the spring of 1946, I. G. Farben stock had risen on the Munich and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges from 68 to 142.5.
“It is still not clear to me whether Mr. Byrnes intends to scrap the Allied program of Quebec, Yalta and Potsdam . . . ,” declared former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., in a radio address on May i, 1946, denouncing the policy being pursued in Germany by Secretary of State James F. Byrnes. “If it is Mr. Byrnes’ intention to scrap the Potsdam pact . . . then I prophesy we are simply repeating the fatal mistakes of Versailles, and laying the foundations of World War III.”
* On March 31, 1948, John O’Donnell reported in the Washington Times Herald: “. . . we are now about to make military sense in Germany. Despite denials from some sources, we have drawn up plans to reactivate some of those tough fighting German Panzer and SS divisions, give them plenty of food and first-rate American equipment . . . The Germans, always good soldiers, would rather fight against their historic enemies— the Mongol-Slavs of eastern Europe— than against their blood cousins to the west— Scandinavians, British, Americans and French . . . Years and years ago, we pointed out that FDR was backing the wrong horse in this war— that the continent of Europe, so far as sternly isolationist America was concerned was better off under Germanic rule than under Joe Stalin.”
On September 1 1, 1946, Edwin Hartrich of the New York Herald Tribune reported in a dispatch from Germany that “German businessmen and industrialists” were satisfied that “America and Britain have definitely decided to build up western Germany as a balance against the Russian zone.”
The replacement of James F. Byrnes by General George C. Marshall as Secretary of State in January 1947 brought about no change in American foreign policy. Shortly afterwards, Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson declared:
We must push ahead with the reconstruction of those two great workshops of Europe and Asia— Germany and Japan . . . We must take whatever action is possible immediately, even without full Four Power agreement, for a larger measure of European, including German, recovery.*
* On January 7, 1949, Dean Acheson was appointed Secretary of State.
In the Far East, as in Europe, the American get-tough-withRussia pohcy went hand in hand with the support of the militarists and reactionaries.
Following Japan’s surrender, the American Army in China proceeded to train and equip forty Kuomintang divisions, numbering more than 700,000 men— a force twice as large as the American Army had trained and equipped during the entire Second World War. With GeneraHssimo Chiang Kai-shek desperately striving to keep his feudal corrupt regime in power, the Truman Administration granted the Kuomintang more than $600,000,000 in loans for the purchase of American surplus arms from the Pacific Islands. By 1947 the total value of American war material and other aid given to Chiang Kai-shek exceeded four billion dollars.
As early as November 26, 1945, Congressman Hugh DeLacey of Washington had warned that Truman’s Far Eastern pohcy represented the logic of American big businessmen, wanting unrestricted economic exploitation of Asia. It is the logic of dollar imperialism. It is the logic of a new world war, this time against the Soviet Union, launched from great bases in the Pacific, from a Japan whose militarists we have not yet rooted out, from anti-Communist bases in North China . . .
The continuation of this policy, declared DeLacey, would make “civil war inevitable” in China . . .*
* By the summer of 1946, civil war was raging in China. At first the Communists, vastly outnumbered and confined to a few provinces in North China, suffered setbacks at the hands of Chiang Kai-shek’s well-equipped troops. Within two years, however, as increasing millions rallied to the support of the Communists, their armies assumed the off^ensive on one front after another. In October 1948, Mukden, chief city of industrial Manchuria, fell to the Chinese Red Army. In the following twelve months, in an extraordinary military campaign, the Communist armies swept across the vast expanse of China, with the Nationalist forces reeling before them. In rapid succession Peiping, Nanking, Shanghai, Canton and Chungking fell to Mao Tze-tung’s victorious forces.
On December 9, 1949, Communist troops occupied Chengtu, the last Nationalist stronghold, and reached the Indo-Chinese border. Except for the island of Formosa, to which the nationalist remnants had fled, the entire nation of 470,000,000— almost one-fourth the population of the world— had been won by the Chinese Communists.
In August 1949, in a letter sent to the President along with a State Department White Paper on Sino-American relations. Secretary Acheson declared that “the ominous result of the Civil War in China was beyond the control of the government of the United States.” Acheson added that “nothing . . . was left undone” by America to prevent the outcome of the war.
On March 12, 1947, the get-tough-with-Russia policy reached an historic climax. On that day, President Truman appeared before a joint session of the United States Congress to deliver a momentous address requesting a loan of $400,000,000 and military assistance for the Greek and Turkish Governments. The acknowledged purpose of the loan, although it was not specifically mentioned as such by Truman, was to halt “Soviet expansionism” and the spread of “Bolshevism” in Europe.
The Chicago Daily News characterized Truman’s address as an “open invitation to war” with Soviet Russia.
“It is not a Greek crisis that we face, it is an American crisis . . .,” former Vice-President Henry Wallace, who had been ousted as Secretary of Commerce because of his opposition to Truman’s foreign policy, declared over a nationwide radio hook-up on the day after Truman’s speech. “When President Truman proclaims the world-wide conflict between East and West, he is telling the Soviet leaders we are preparing for eventual war . . .”
While officially presented to the American public in terms of an anti-Communist crusade, the Truman Doctrine reflected other considerations of a more compelling, if unoflicial, nature. As Time magazine reported on March 24, 1947:
The loud talk was all of Greece and Turkey, but the whispers behind the talk were of the ocean of oil to the south.
As the U.S. prepared to make its historic move, a potent group of U.S. oil companies also came to an historic decision. With the tacit approval of the U.S. and British Governments, the companies concluded a series of deals— biggest ever made in the blue-chip game— to develop and put to full use this ocean of oil. . . . Jersey Standard and its partners were going to spend upwards of $300,000,000 in the stormy Middle East to bring out this oil.
The headlines of the feature article in Business Week on March 22 read: “New Democracy, New Business; U.S. Drive to Stop Communism Abroad Means Heavy Financial Outlays for Bases, Relief and Reconstruction. But in Return, American Business is Bound to Get New Markets Abroad.”
“All of this,” wrote Ralph Henderson, financial editor of the New York World-Telegram, “is a much safer and profitable state of affairs for investors. It is good new^s of a fundamental character.”
At the same time, American big businessmen were finding equal cause for enthusiasm in the postwar domestic policies of the Truman Administration.