Origins of NATO. Geopolitics of Atlanticism –  Winston Churchill’s 1946 ‘Iron Curtain’ speech

Events related to the establishment of NATO. March 5 is the 75th anniversary of the infamous speech by the former British prime minister | TONY SEED

1946.03.05.USMOFulton-ChurchillTruman@WestminsterCollege

Winston Churchill and U.S. President Truman arrive at Fulton College in Westminster, Missouri, March 5, 1946, where Churchill would deliver his “Iron Curtain” speech.

(April 6, 2019, Updated March 24, 2021) – Recent U.S. presidents, as past ones, demand that their leadership be accepted on the basis that they alone can establish an international order that will bring about peace and stability. Prior to the advent of the doctrine which claims that the U.S. is the one indispensable nation to which all must submit, that order has traditionally been equated with the interests and demands of an “international community.” In this vein, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently issued a thinly-veiled call for a coup d’état against the constitutional government of Venezuela by demanding that “the international community” must immediately unite behind the illegitimate Venezuelan opposition as they chart their path forward because “the moment for a democratic transition is now.”

The essence of representing this “international community” is that there is adherence to the post-World War II racist conception of the Anglo-American imperialists that it is the “English-speaking peoples” who should decide and rule over the destiny of the world. For them, the “international community” is equated with the “English-speaking peoples” (USA, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand). It includes whoever else they pragmatically deem to be part of it. This is what Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland push today when they present themselves on behalf of a self-proclaimed “international community” dictating who are the representatives of the people of Venezuela in  the name of “a rules-based international order.” The aim of this racist world view is to divert attention from the essence of the matter: the failure to uphold the right of nations to decide themselves their internal affairs without foreign interference, which is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

The most significant document elaborating this racist view and expressing the aims and mandate for which NATO was created was the so-called Iron Curtain speech delivered by Winston Churchill on March 5, 1946 at Fulton, Missouri, officially titled “The Sinews of Peace”. This speech was delivered barely six months after V-J (Victory over Japan) Day, after his Tory Party was crushed in the post-war election in England and the crisis in which the British Empire was mired was deepening. Churchill rediscovered both the Atlanticist race doctrine of “manifest destiny” proclaimed by Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the century and the Hitlerite “menace of Bolshevism” which he combined together.

Churchill’s speech is often said to have signalled the official beginning of the Cold War. However, both Britain and the U.S. had been conspiring and manoeuvring against the Soviet Union long before the end of the war, such as the refusal to open a second front, in the hopes that Nazi Germany would overwhelm the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. British aristocrats supported Hitler, while Wall Street provided loans to the Third Reich and Nazi capital, corporations secretly aided the Hitlerites throughout the entire war, and others funded domestic fascist groups. By 1940, the direct investments of Americans in Germany and Austria were estimated as approximately $225 million (book value) of branch plants of U.S. corporations and $400 million in U.S.-owned German bonds. (See Martin Domke, Trading With the Enemy. New York: Central Books, 1943, pp. 294-95)

Churchill brought the Cold War into the open at Fulton, and the Truman Doctrine of aggressive war declared it official American policy one year later on March 12, 1947.

Staging of the show

Churchill delivers his infamous “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri. At right, U.S. President Harry Truman.

Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech which was the cause of so much uproar was delivered at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, where he went ostensibly to receive an honorary degree. The little-known college was located just west of St. Louis and approximately 240 kilometres east of Independence, Missouri, the hometown of President Harry Truman, who travelled by train from Washington together with Churchill, Admiral William D. Leahy and other top officials to introduce Churchill. Truman’s presence was necessary because without him, the show could not be staged. He was conspicuously present at the time of its delivery not only to introduce Churchill to the audience of 1,500 people but to underline its import and assure saturation media coverage.

There is no doubt that Truman and Churchill had agreed on the contents of the speech and had weighed its consequences. The Anglo-American imperialists were faced with the reality that due to the heroism of the Red Army, Soviet Union and partisan forces in defeating Nazism, socialism and communism enjoyed great prestige after World War II throughout the world. Thus, the Anglo-Americans needed a justification to smash the anti-fascist alliance.

The main propositions were drawn up in agreement with Truman on 10 February at a conference in Washington. “In the light of Truman’s strongly hardened determination to quit ‘babying’ the Soviets, he was probably the originator of the speech,” assesses the American historian D.F. Fleming. Churchill met the heads of the State Department and other offices; it is also beyond doubt that they later made him conversant with George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” of 22 February elaborating the theory of containment, an internal document which was matched by two similar despatches in March sent from Frank Roberts, the British chargé d’affaires in Moscow. Churchill then spent several weeks at a health resort in Florida where he perfected and polished his speech. As is known, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, and also U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes knew that this speech was to be made and had given their approval privately. Canadian Ambassador Lester Pearson also read a draft and later boasted that he was proud to have contributed a line.[1] In other words, the “greatness” of Churchill was to be used to justify any and every kind of infamy and aggression. All these facts prove that Churchill did not only express his personal views, but promulgated the anti-Soviet programme of the ruling elite in Britain, the United States of America and Canada.

In Britain, Churchill could not have publicly announced the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Such a speech could have ended very embarrassingly for him at that time. The British people were militant supporters of the Soviet Union and their leader J.V. Stalin who led the brilliant victory over the Nazi hordes who invaded the USSR. The British had suffered great losses during the war and had just drummed Churchill and his party out of office in the 1945 General Election. Their disagreement with the former government’s foreign policy line which Churchill was to now formulate in the Fulton speech would have been unmistakable. Taking into consideration the state of affairs in Britain, the leaders of the social democratic Labour government did not dare express official solidarity with Churchill publicly; they were to do that obsequiously a few years later.

It was another matter in the United States. The American people were themselves likewise still friendly to the Soviet Union and an influential section of the political establishment adhered to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policy of peaceful coexistence and collective security. In 1943 Life magazine in the USA devoted an entire edition to a laudatory description of the Soviet Union’s accomplishments. It had already named Joseph Stalin as “Man of the Year” in 1941. In mid-1943 Life described Lenin as “perhaps the greatest man of modern times.” Roosevelt, the only president to be elected to office four times, treated Stalin with definite respect, but he had died on April 12, 1945, replaced by Vice-President Harry S. Truman. The government was far from united: the former senator had been elevated to supplant Henry Wallace at the preceding convention of the Democratic Party and imposed on Roosevelt as a sort of coup d’état; he inherited the presidency just 82 days into Roosevelt’s fourth term. Executive power in the USA fell progressively into the hands of circles which had been most closely allied with the German imperialist trusts before the war, through credits, license agreements and cartels. Just one day after Germany’s attack upon the USSR in 1941, Truman had declared cynically: “If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way let them kill as many as possible” (New York Times, 24 June 1941.) In other words, America should use its economic power in such a fashion that Germany and Russia would exhaust themselves in mutual destruction. This strategy came to the fore when Roosevelt’s death forced American policy makers to review the position of the U.S. and reach a consensus on post-war plans. Truman privately remarked, in one of the first conferences with his advisers, that the Russians could “go to hell” if they did not care to “go along with American proposals for the United Nations.”

But Churchill could say things in an “individual” capacity that U.S. administration officials could still not say openly; they had not yet begun to publicly preach Churchill’s anti-Soviet ideas, although  they were already implementing them in Germany in violation of the agreements arrived at by Roosevelt during the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences of the U.S., the USSR and Britain held in 1945 for demilitarization, denazification, decartelization, democratization and “preventing Germany from again becoming a threat to the world.” Truman’s presence at Fulton underlined the importance attached by the U.S. executive power and the ruling elite to this speech. Furthermore, the United States was obliged, by virtue of its position in the imperialist world, to play the leading role in carrying out Churchill’s proposed plan.

Churchill’s declaration

The Soviet Union, having paid with colossal human and material losses for victory over fascism, was solely concerned to restore what had been destroyed by the aggressors, to progress further along the road of socialist construction and to vigorously defend the cause of humanity for liberation and peace, against war. Yet to the great astonishment of his audience, the guest speaker announced that they were in direct and immediate danger of another world war and tyranny, and that the cause of this threat was the Soviet Union and the international communist movement.

Churchill declared that the main purpose of his speech, which lasted only 15 minutes 33 seconds, was to propose the creation of a “fraternal association of English-speaking peoples.” He said this meant

“a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationships between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential danger, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instruction and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in possession of either country all over the world.

“This would perhaps double the mobility of the American navy and air force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire’s Forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings […] Eventually there may come […] the principle of common citizenship, but that we may be content to leave to destiny, whose outstretched arm so many of us can already clearly see.”

Churchill tried to put the wind behind the sails of the ruling elite in the U.S., Britain and other countries:

“Beware, I say: time may be short. Do not let us take the course of letting events drift along till it is too late.”

Who was to be the target of the Anglo-American military alliance? Churchill made his meaning absolutely clear. In the second part of his speech, he  said it was against “the growing challenge to Christian civilization” and for war against “the menace of Bolshevism,” the developing socialist revolution and national liberation struggles:

“No one knows what Soviet Russia and its international communist organisation intend to do in the near future and if there are any boundaries to their expansion.”

He demanded an Anglo-American preponderance of power against the Soviet Union, with reference to Eastern Europe. He made explicit the division of Europe in particular and the world into two spheres of influence, one led by the U.S., the other by the USSR, i.e., two camps, openly declaring the Cold War and enunciating what would be the original mandate of NATO, launching the idea of a military bloc of nations with common ideals, allegedly under the auspices of the United Nations. Churchill stated:

“Courts and magistrates cannot function without sheriffs and constables. The United Nations Organization must immediately begin to be equipped with an international armed force. […] They would wear the uniform of their own countries with different badges. They would not be required to act against their own nation but in other respects they would be directed by the world organization. […] I wished to see this done after the First World War and trust it may be done forthwith.”

Churchill heralded on the one hand the “special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States” and on the other hand declared the cold war on the Soviet Union. He proclaimed Europe and the Anglo-American world as its victim:

“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in the Soviet sphere and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and increasing measure of control from Moscow … The Communist parties … have been raised to preeminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control.  […]

“I do not believe that…Russia desires war [but] the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and their doctrines. […]”[2]

This was the first mention of the phrase “special relationship” but not the first of the “iron curtain” which was to become popular with Cold War propagandists. The 1948 edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations states: “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.” In spite of this, British communist R. Palme Dutt wrote at the time, “[T]his formula is universally stated to have been coined by the genius of Sir Winston Churchill.”[3]

Churchill’s notion of an iron curtain was the salvo to justify every kind of brutality in order to keep the peoples and nations enslaved. It served as a reminder that what the Anglo-American chauvinists feared the most was a world in which all the peoples were liberated from imperialist rule. Instead of having one world united against fascism and reaction, for peace, freedom, independence and democracy, they divided humanity and Europe by championing the anti-democratic and imperialist forces and creating two camps.

Condemning the democratic transformations in the countries of Eastern Europe, Churchill indicated what he had in mind for these countries. “Athens alone,” he said, “with its immortal glories, is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation.” But Athens was a symbol of the shame with which Churchill covered himself on December 3, 1944 when he ordered his troops and local Nazi collaborators to fire on 200,000 unarmed civilians demonstrating in support of the Greek partisans and genuine independence.[4]

Churchill recommended the use of force against the USSR, and soon  –  while the USA had the monopoly on the atomic bomb and the Soviet Union had not yet developed it. Churchill made it absolutely clear that he meant the application of military force against the USSR. “From what I have seen from our Russian friends and allies during the war,” he said, “I am convinced there is nothing they admire so much as strength.” He had earlier proposed achieving in 1946 “a good understanding on all points with Russia.” This meant that if the Soviet Union did not capitulate when threatened with the use of force, then it would be essential to start a preventive war against it which were, in fact, already underway.[5]

Churchill was no longer content with the traditional British principle of a balance of power, when Britain had carried out its policy on the continent of Europe by playing one country off against another. “The old doctrine of a balance of power is unsound,” he said. “We cannot afford, if we can help it, to work on narrow margins offering temptations to a trial of strength.”

On behalf of Truman, he presented a new policy for the Anglo-American imperialists, which was subsequently to become known as the “position of strength” or “peace through strength” policy.

The “good understanding on all points with Russia” which Churchill hoped for was to be “supported by the whole strength of the English-speaking world and all its connections.” In this way, the idea was expressed of setting up Anglo-American world domination.

There was nothing new about this. The “cooperation and fraternity of the English-speaking peoples committed to the ideals of democracy and liberty had long been Winston Churchill’s great interest, and was his greatest hope for the future of mankind.” His literary project, begun in the 1930s, was the four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples – much of which was written by ghost-writers. At the war-time conference of Allied leaders in Potsdam, 1945, he had said “History will be kind to us because we will write it.” Churchill was known to have been harbouring this concept throughout World War II.[6]

Following the collapse of the Maginot Line and the humiliation of “Dunkirk” by the blitzkrieg of Hitlerite Germany, Churchill at that time had then made his “grand gesture” to France: he proposed common citizenship. “Thank God for the French Army,” Churchill had said, time and again. Churchill advocated the subjection of France to England under the auspices of the United States. He held that “the principle of common citizenship may arise later” for the USA and England.[7]

Churchill believed that if Britain and the USA could suppress the revolutionary movements and subject the Soviet Union to their will, they would be able to ensure domination over the world for the next one hundred years. In his Fulton speech he said:

“If the population of the English-speaking Commonwealths be added to that of the United States, with all that such co-operation implies in the air, on the sea, and in science and industry, and in moral force, there will be no quivering, precarious balance of power to offer its temptation to ambition or adventure. [… I]f all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the highroads of the future will be clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time but for a century to come.”

With Napoleonic hubris, Churchill announced that he intended to define the task facing humanity and explain how it should be accomplished. Characteristically he pointed out that in the latter part of the 1930s, when a second world war was imminent, he alone had offered the right advice on how it should be averted, but his efforts had failed because those in power at the time had proved incapable of understanding the full significance of his suggestions. This was more than his habitual self-promotion and aggrandizement. He was also implying that the counsel he was giving to humanity on this occasion was as well-founded and justified as his attitude on the eve of the Second World War.

The thrust of Churchill’s Fulton speech was as follows: The Soviet Union was the main threat to the security and freedom of all other nations and therefore humanity must unite under Anglo-American leadership and avert this threat by use of force. Churchill aimed to stir up the whole world against the Soviet Union. All this was being said less than a year after the Soviet Union, at the cost of appalling sacrifices and sufferings, had ensured the defeat of fascism and had helped bring freedom to the enslaved peoples; after Britain, thanks to these sacrifices, had been saved from the threat of imminent destruction and invasion; and at the time when, as Anglo-American military experts believed, Britain and the USA would have been still fighting a war with Japan in the Far East if the Soviet Union had not stepped in on the side of the Allies, thereby ensuring its swift and early conclusion. The truth is now known about Churchill’s development of “Operation Unthinkable”  –  a plan for war against the Soviet Union that was to have begun on July 1, 1945 with 112-113 divisions, including a dozen Wehrmacht divisions that were kept in readiness in Schleswig-Holstein and southern Denmark until the spring of 1946.[8] The Joint Chiefs of Staff of Great Britain concluded: “The numerical superiority of Russians on land makes the possibility of achieving limited and rapid (military) success extremely doubtful.” The dubious nature of the military operation against the USSR caused these plans to be temporarily put aside to be replaced with other methods.

Coursing through Churchill’s speech was a hatred for the peoples of the Soviet Union, whose crime was that they had built their own life in accordance with their own desires and ways of thinking, and not as he would have approved. Churchill had waged war on the October Revolution in Russia by building the interventionist block of the 14 nations –  including the U.S. and Canada – during 1918, 1919 and 1920, which was thrashed by the newly-formed Red Army and sent packing. He was to declare: “The failure to strangle Bolshevism at its birth and to bring Russia, then prostrate, by one means or another into the general democratic system, lies heavy upon us today.”[9] Then, throughout the twenties, he had preached the menace of the “red revolution,” never losing an opportunity to refer to the leaders of the USSR as “murderers and ministers of hell.”

Now Churchill-Truman were terrified at the democratic and socialist movement sweeping Europe and the vitality of the new governments: the links of the people with these governments were becoming ever stronger, a people’s state power was being consolidated and the first significant victories were being achieved in the work of economic reconstruction without Anglo-American “aid.” In one of his speeches in 1940 Churchill had launched the slogan: “Set Europe ablaze.” In launching this slogan, he had two aims: first, German fascism was to be fought by the peoples, “assisted” with arms and military missions, and second, these missions, wherever they were infiltrated, were to organize pro-British reaction and fight the communist parties and the national liberation fronts which were led by these parties. In other words, while Churchill declared “Set Europe ablaze”, his real aim was to extinguish the fire that had been kindled and ensure that the missions sent everywhere achieve those objectives which the War Office, the Foreign Office, the Political Warfare intelligence service and the Special Operations Executive dictated to them. He wanted the peoples and the communists to be weakened by the war and reaction to emerge from it strong, hence, the fig was to ripen and fall into the mouth of the British.

The success of the Red Army and the partisan war spoiled this fruit. A key feature of Churchill’s speech was the denial of human agency. Whom to blame? The Janus-faced commander of foreign agents and intrigue blames foreign agents, hidden conspirators, master manipulators and outside agitators! These he insinuates were responsible for what was unfolding in “all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe.” Churchill alleges the unprecedented historical achievements were not “genuine” social uprisings, but coups sponsored by Moscow, after which socialism and communism was being forced upon unwilling populations. The emphasis on individuals such as Stalin – cherchez la personne! – played another quite separate role in the kitchen of Anglo-American intelligence, such that it was codified by April of 1950 in the National Security Document 68 (NSC-68), becoming the “domino theory” which bit the dust in Vietnam. It personalized unrest and thus detaches it from social and economic causes. Under this view the people were a contented lot, not given to making trouble until they were stirred up. As soon as he or she is exposed or neutralized, all will be well again. This account is as gilded as his “history” of World War II, more notable for its self-serving rhetoric than adherence to what was actually happening. He also aimed to provide the screen behind which former Nazis and royalists escaped punishment and were given senior posts in Western Europe, since they were, after all, reliable anti-communists. In 1949, Churchill personally contributed to the defence fund of Field Marshall Erich von Manstein of the German high command, murderer of tens of thousands of Russians, Jews and Roma finally brought to trial on charges of war crimes.[10] Against the “reds,” Nazi “black” was being transformed into a democratic and Christian “white.”

Besides taking up the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy theories of the Hitlerites, the great Winston Churchill avidly promoted national chauvinism, the racial division of the peoples into superior and inferior tiers to sow discord and line them up behind the aims of the Anglo-American imperialists and reactionary ruling classes. To the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937, convened to examine the cause of the rebellion of 1936-1939 when Palestinians rose up to reject the British Mandate, he declared: “I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or to the Black people of Australia. . . by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race. . . has come in and taken its place.” That “stronger race” he too divided, excluding the Slavs, the Greeks, the Irish and even the Canadians.

Racism, anti-communism and anti-worker propaganda are the three components of fascist ideology. This is what Hitler pushed and acted on under the banner of national socialism; he began to set war loose by announcing his racial theory, declaring that only those speaking the German language represented a really valuable nation. All others were declared the Untermenschen – non-Aryan “inferior people” often referred to as “the masses from the East”, that is Jews, Roma, and Slavs – mainly Poles, Ukraainians, Serbs, and later also Russians. The aims of the German imperialists was not only conquest but extermination of all those who refused to submit.

Reaction to Churchill’s speech

The essence of the Churchill-Truman speech was first disclosed by Joseph Stalin in an interview with the Pravda newspaper published just nine days later on March 14 (see below for full text). Exposing the true meaning of this summons, Stalin pointed out:

“Mr. Churchill has, in point of fact, taken up the position of war instigator. And Mr. Churchill is not alone in this  –  he has friends not only in Britain, but in the United States of America as well.”

Summing up the policy of the ruling circles of Britain and France in that period, Stalin went on to note that Churchill’s Fulton speech was strikingly reminiscent of Hitler:

“Hitler went about the business of unleashing a war by promulgating a racist theory, announcing that the German-speaking peoples were the master race. Mr. Churchill likewise begins the business of unleashing a war with a racist theory, claiming that the English-speaking nations are the master race called upon to fulfill the destinies of the whole world…. The British race theory leads Mr. Churchill and his friends to the conclusion that the English-speaking nations, as the master race, must dominate the other nations of the world. In point of fact, Mr. Churchill and his friends in Britain and the U.S. are offering the non-English-speaking nations something in the nature of an ultimatum: recognize our domination voluntarily and then everything will be settled  –  otherwise war is inevitable…. There can be no doubt that Mr. Churchill’s aim is war, a call to war with the USSR.”[11]

The Churchill-Truman speech was greeted with indignation and emphatic condemnation in the democratic circles of various countries, including the United States of America, Great Britain and France. The speech caused alarm. Many realized it was a call to unleash another world war. Over 100 Labour MPs in the British Parliament condemned Churchill’s address.

The reaction from the Canadian government however was obsequious. Prime Minister MacKenzie King personally telephoned Churchill and Truman to offer his congratulations about “the most courageous speech I have ever listened to.”

“I felt we must all work together, namely the US, the UK, Canada and other parts, to see that our position is made secure,” he declared. This is the man who in 1908 authored the Keep Canada White report and who, after Hiroshima, manufactured with uranium mined by the Dene people in Canada, on August 6, 1945 recorded in his diary: “It is fortunate that the use of the bomb should have been upon the Japanese rather than upon the white races of Europe. I am a little concerned about how Russia may feel, not having been told anything of this invention or of what the British and the U.S. were doing in the way of exploring and perfecting the process.” [12]

When the reaction in America was unfavourable, Truman promptly disavowed the speech, saying he had not seen it beforehand, as if a President sponsors a speech without an idea of its content. Truman later admitted that he did know what Churchill would say.

From Washington, Lester Pearson of Canada, ever the cheerleader, admitted in an official dispatch: “The popular and press reaction to Mr. Churchill’s Westminster College speech is about what I expected, mixed, but with the preponderance of opinion critical.”

The influential American columnist Walter Lippmann, Pearson said,

“felt that an alliance with the United Kingdom and the Dominions was one thing; an alliance with the British Empire quite another. This is the traditional and deeply rooted fear of being linked with ‘Imperialism’; a fear which is increased at this time as the British Imperial system faces a post-war upsurge of native nationalism which may be expected to express itself violently. Underwriting the United Kingdom is one thing; underwriting Malaya, Burma and Hong Kong something else, though the two can hardly be separated. This is perplexing to the ‘Lippmann’ school.”[13]

Churchill’s attack on Stalin for the so-called “division of Europe” legitimized the perfidious violation of all the important Anglo-American-Soviet agreements then underway  –  of Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam. According to the American historian Jacob Heilbrunn, writing for the Los Angeles Times in 2005 on the occasion of George W. Bush’s “captive nations” speech in Riga attacking the Yalta conference, the case was soon developed by Joseph McCarthy and others of his ilk against “what [they] viewed as a consistent pattern of ‘appeasement’ in the Democratic Party. In parallel, the Trotskyite ‘left’ contended that Stalin ‘sold out’ the French resistance, the Greek communists and even the Palestinians. The right contended that Roosevelt ‘sold out’ Eastern Europe at the Yalta conference by promising the Soviets an unchallenged sphere of influence in the region.”[14]

Heilbrunn added that

“One element of the right-wing mythology developed in those years was that Alger Hiss, who served during the war as an assistant to Secretary of State Edward Stettinius Jr.  –  and who was charged in the years that followed with being a Soviet spy and was convicted of perjury  –  was instrumental in getting Roosevelt to collude with Stalin against Churchill. It was none other than Joseph McCarthy who declared in February 1950 that ‘if time permitted, it might be well to go into detail about the fact that Hiss was Roosevelt’s chief advisor at Yalta when Roosevelt was admittedly in ill health and tired physically and mentally.’ In later decades, conservatives such as Ronald Reagan would denounce any negotiations with the Soviet Union as portending a new ‘Yalta.’” [15]

Read the text of the Yalta Protocol for yourself. It nowhere formally speaks of the “division” either of the continent, of any region, or of any country. Nor is there any informal record. The joint powers agreed on a division of one city, Berlin, under a unified command. The Anglo-American historians such as Geoffrey Roberts themselves have established the canard of the “division of Europe”; it was the U.S. who unilaterally extended the division of Berlin to the unilateral proclamation of West Germany in contravention to the Potsdam Agreement.

Atlanticism

During his visit to the United States in May of 1943, Churchill had propounded the idea of “common citizenship” between the Anglo-Saxon countries and suggested that the structure of their military alliance be kept after the war and that the two countries collaborate closely on the chief questions of foreign policy.

He then revealed in his Fulton speech the blackness of his soul, maintaining in his exhortation that only “English-speaking” nations are fully valuable nations, calling on them to decide the destiny of the world. Churchill attributed to them “constancy of mind, persistency of purpose and the grand simplicity of decision.” Here is the notion of the moral superiority of Anglo-American values, today being raised once again to fever-pitch, in the name of “Euro-Atlanticism,” “trans-Atlantic values” and “the international community”  –  by those who dropped humanitarian bombs on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and are threatening Venezuela and others with the same treatment. Here is replicated the ideology of Anglo-Saxon superiority proclaimed as the justification for the new American imperialist power which used the Spanish-American War of 1898 to devour the Americas and the Philippines  –  the “civilizing mission” of “white man’s burden.” The “greatness” of the “English-speaking” nations advocates the division of the world between superior and inferior peoples, between superior and inferior states which they deemed “developed” and “undeveloped,” “uncivilized” and “backward,” and the idea of the division of society into the strong and weak.

In particular, Churchill aimed to divide Europe between “the enemy” and “the allies.” Germany was defeated but the imperialist system too was also badly shaken. Churchill grimly described Europe as “a rubble-heap, a charnel house, a breeding ground of pestilence and hate.”[16] Churchill’s call was aimed not only at the “English-speaking peoples.” His call constituted a civil war incitement to all the discredited bourgeois nationalist and chauvinist forces in Central and Eastern Europe which were being gathered as he spoke under Anglo-American tutelage  –  from “all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe… all these famous cities.” The bourgeois nationalist counter-revolution of these countries was in deep crisis. Its aristocratic and propertied leaders had compromised themselves by their anti-semitic ties with the Nazi occupation, their pro-Nazi activity and policy, personal profit from occupation, and centuries-old privilege; their parties were swept aside, evaporated or were trying to regroup in Munich (see fn 5). The crisis was spiritual and moral. The Roman Catholic Church, the largest landowner in Central Europe and a big financial power, was on its knees, seriously incriminated by the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini Italy of February 1929, the July 1933 Concordat with the Third Reich, and its blind eye to the slaughter of three million Polish Catholics and European Jewry. The new people’s democracies which emerged in Central and Eastern Europe as a form of a working class state together with the Soviet Union included sixty two per cent of the population of Europe and just over fifty per cent of its area. They were led by indigenous parties with a definite mass character (see Appendix II). These were countries rich in resources, developed agriculture and a socialized economy, societies where the anti-fascist resistance came to embody claims for the transformation of society, an end to divisions of the people with the poison of racism and chauvinism. They lasted as a permanent political force after the war. Their programs called for expulsion of the Germans, radical agrarian reform, the nationalisation of industry and the closest relations with the Soviet Union. The 1936 ‘Stalin’ constitution’s guarantee of national equality for all peoples was not seen as mere words on paper; the USSR a multi-national state composed of 15 republics with more than 100 nations and nationalities (20 autonomous republics, 18 autonomous regions, districts, etc.) was the only country in the world where anti-semitism was punishable by death. Small nations and nationalities, particularly of the non-Russian ones and especially in Central Asia, began to develop in all directions and the unity of the Soviet peoples was further strengthened. In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe the national question became one of the most profound and acute questions taken up for solution in the form of the new people’s democracies.

In parallel, the Anglo-American forces proclaimed a cosmopolitanism of the “world nation” to oppose patriotism and internationalism.[17] Euro-Atlanticism was equated with this “world nation”. “I am for the world nation,” says the racist of the Anglo-Saxon doctrine, “but precisely my nation is the world nation.”

On the basis of this outlook, all other nations must adapt themselves to this Anglo-American nation, dissolve themselves in it, lose their national identity, and forget about  and even curse their national traditions, philosophy and thought material. One does not look at what each people have accomplished as a starting point, namely that “The philosophy and thought material of each people poses problems which are of their own, brings forth those personalities who will tackle these problems and who knows, there is no reason it might not go beyond the previous developments on the world scale.”[16]

To oppose the striving for democratic rights of sovereignty and independence, the Counter-revolution of the Anglo-American powers invoked by Winston Churchill proclaimed that “all nationalism is reactionary.” Any expression of national identity was stamped as outdated and backward. Their policy and practice of denationalization aimed at assimilating other languages. English was decreed the world language and the languages of the peoples outmoded and an obstruction to progress, and they played heavily on the “international division of labour” to justify typically colonial policies. The nation was seen not as a political community of will in the sense of a national people of a definite polity inhabiting a common territory, but rather as a hereditary community based on common blood. It was considered superior to all other peoples. The ideological foundation for the existence of the volk contained varying, partly contradictory elements: a common heredity, a common culture or the will of God, and particularly the concept of “race.” There was no optimism in the modern personality except that found by the atomized individual bound to the consumer society and the volk, no genuine social love and affirmation of one’s own community, no hope for the future, only national nihilism and individual pessimism.

History – presented as a series of accidents – was only realized and defined exclusively through the Anglo-American world outlook. Intellectually, through newly-created specialized centres of “area studies” at elite universities focused on Russia, Asia and later Africa and Latin America financed by the big foundations of Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie, the Counter-revolution promoted abstract constructs of the nation and the pragmatic concept of relativity and ephemerality of all political theories, ideological systems, democratic and human rights, and party passions; many of these centres were later revealed to be kitchens of espionage and subversion. On this basis an aggressive Anglo-Americanism arose, which opposed Russia and the Slavic peoples as a foreign and inimical race, as had anti-Semitism before. The momentous contribution of the collective peoples of the USSR and the partisan movement of the peoples of the occupied countries to the defeat of Nazi Germany and her satellites was falsified. Stalin, a native of Georgia, was declared a “great Russian” and Oriental despot and the USSR the inheritor of the Tsarist “prison of nations.” The corpse of the chauvinist “nationalism” of the East European and White Russian and Ukrainian émigré fascists and the revanchism or revenge of the German fascist state for lost territory was resuscitated under pan-European colours – from a central European confederacy to the subdivision of “Mitteleuropa” (Middle Europe) along the lines of the German “Volkstumspolitik” (ethnic policy) principles; this included not only the regions inhabited by German speaking minorities throughout Europe, but also the German-initiated parceling of Southern Europe – as subservient to imperialism and “Euro-Atlanticism” as it had been before to the Aryan Third Reich (the “Nuremberg Laws” of 1935 divided the German population into “imperial citizens” and state subjects). The Nazi arsenal of “ethnic” victimhood and the hate-filled “captive nation” was adopted holus-bolus. Politically, the thesis of “the two totalitarianisms, of the left and the right” or “the two extremes” equated socialism and communism with fascism as responsible for “hate” while the USA declared itself “the vital centre” (title of the noted 1949 book of James Schlesinger Jr.). The McCarran Act and other laws of the police power criminalized freedom of conscience. Communist parties were forced to register as foreign agents under pain of extinction.

The Atlanticist ideology was expressly opposed to the principles of the bourgeois democratic revolution of the 19th century; it was against the principle of equality proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations because the natural inequality of different peoples was asserted, and against individual liberty because it was not the individual person/citizen but the Volk that was held to be the central category of human and social development.

In these countries, the centres of bourgeois liberties and the liberal conscience, show trials no better than kangaroo courts were hastily convened to target progressive intellectuals and scientists whose opposition to atomic weaponry and the monopoly of the atomic bomb was attributed to duping by Soviet espionage agencies. In the sphere of culture, a pathetic “god that failed” literary school was created by the Anglo-American intelligence services to mobilize the intelligentsia around state-sponsored homeless and nihilist “dissidents” said to represent the modern democratic personality; as the basis for the formation of an official “non-communist left” and “cultural freedom,” the aim was to keep the working class apolitical. [19]

The cosmopolitan theory and geopolitics of Atlanticism forms one of the main underpinnings for NATO and the global drive for Anglo-American supremacy  –  the Anglosphere  –  declaring the cultural unity and community of interests of all peoples of the Atlantic lake, about “world culture” (meaning Anglo-American and Euro-culture), and the reciprocal influence and penetration of cultures. It was and is a Eurocentric, racist doctrine.

“Atlanticism” signifies the “spiritual unity” of “the North Atlantic community,” i.e., states straddling the Atlantic Ocean. “Atlantic Union” is essentially based on an Anglo-Saxon union. It is a successive strategy that takes different political forms of Atlantic unity according to the different offensive periods of American imperialism. At its heart is U.S. Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine.[20]

The proclamation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and the Marshall Plan in 1948 meant that the core of the foreign policy plan proclaimed by Churchill had been accepted as U.S. state policy. As a result of efforts by the U.S., Britain and Canada, NATO was set up as an aggressive military-political bloc in 1949. This was the Fulton programme in action.

MakeCanadaZonePeace-CapturingPeaceCanadians should be clear that this is what the Government of Canada means when it espouses participation in NATO as a foundational value. As mentioned, Lester B. Pearson personally took credit for contributing to Churchill’s speech. Canada aggressively promoted the division of Germany, Europe and all humanity. The post-war records of the Department of External Affairs which speak of a new “non-colonial,” “universalism” and “internationalism” are imbued with the 19th century prejudices of empire-building. On March 19, 1946, George Ritchie, first secretary in the Department of External Affairs and later Canadian Ambassador to West Germany, the United Nations and the United States, wrote frankly that this is “a tussle of power politics” and Canada is “part of an Anglo-Saxon team.”[21] Pearson was to declare in the UN General Assembly that sovereignty was a reactionary concept.

During World War II, Canadians and other peoples of the world shed their blood in the course of five years’ fierce war for the sake of democracy, freedom and independence – not in order to exchange the domination of the Hitlers for the domination of the Churchills. They did not agree with nor did they have a say in the creation of NATO as a war bloc four years later. The NATO and NORAD treaties are incompatible with the desire of the people for a modern and humane conception of security based on defending the rights of all, for an independent foreign policy based on making Canada a Zone for Peace, and for nation-building on a modern basis. Today the vast majority of the population of the world do not agree to submit to a new slavery in the name of an “international community” and “NATO values.” They will have their say on the basis of defending the rights of all nations to decide their own affairs without foreign interference.

Hardial Bains emphasized that during the entire period which followed the October Revolution, “people have been profoundly imbued with change. Everything points to a great upheaval in the making for the renewal of the society again at this time. Workers cannot but draw the conclusion that prejudices and dogmas are no substitute for a clear conscience and scientific analysis, on the basis of which the crisis in the sphere of ideas can be overcome and cognition can take place in favour of the people and that this is the necessary ideological preparation for renewal. Far from making it a bone of contention and an aim of stern ideological struggle, this period in history is increasingly bringing forth the necessity to look at all events in history with an open mind, by depending on the body of knowledge and experience of life itself to come to pertinent conclusions. A grasp of the present, a strong handle on what is going on in front of one’s eyes, has become vital to ward off that blindness which presents events in history as the work of some evil forces, instead of recognizing them as important milestones on the high road of civilization.”

More and more people are now realizing that Winston Churchill wasn’t the person they were brought up to think he was. Statues and place names throughout Canada venerate Churchill, like this one in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was the target of an anti-racist action titled “Walk Against Winston” held in June 2020, covered with his own words written on stickers | CBC, submitted by Stacey Gomez

The Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square – defaced for a second day during a Black Lives Matter protest rally in London on June 7, 2020 | Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images

Notes

1. Pearson’s comments on Churchill’s speech reveal the characteristic hidden Liberal duplicity. Even in 1946, three years before the formation of NATO, the Canadian government was intriguing to form a new aggressive military bloc. This included advancing an argument for “the alteration of the Charter [of the United Nations], if necessary”:

“Finally, Mr. Churchill’s proposals have been vigorously attacked by those who see in a strong and universal  –  or as nearly universal as possible  –  United Nations Organization the only hope for peace. They feel, and with some reason, that an Anglo-American military alliance might weaken and eventually destroy the United Nations Organization. Mr. Churchill, of course, attempted to combat these fears by his ‘In My Father’s House are Many Mansions’ argument. But he has not been successful. He might have been more successful if he had broadened the basis of his ‘fraternal association’ proposals to include all peace-loving states, who might wish to strengthen their defence relationships within the United Nations Organization. From this point of view, and in my opinion from others, also, it would have been better if Mr. Churchill had made a plea for strengthening the United Nations Organization and for the alteration of the Charter, if necessary, to make such strengthening possible. He then would have been on much stronger ground in arguing that, if one state, or more than one, blocked such a strengthening, a special relationship between the others would be justified. However, it is pretty clear that Mr. Churchill did not have this in mind in his speech. He was thinking of an intimate military association of the English-speaking people alone.

“In the draft of the speech which I read, there was a specific reference to the advisability of continuing the Combined Chiefs of staff. I mentioned at the time to Lord Halifax that I thought this would be unwelcome even to those United States and British service authorities who were hoping most for such a continuance, but thought that the best chance of bringing it about was not to call attention to the matter, but to let the wartime arrangements quietly go on. Lord Halifax agreed and the sentence in question was later amended. However, as amended, it was clear enough to what it referred; clear enough already to cause a discussion which may prejudice these arrangements by bringing them into the open. The attached article by Arthur Krock in the New York Times is interesting in this connection.

“You may also have noticed that a question was asked President Truman at last Thursday’s Press Conference on this point. Mr. Truman explained that the Combined Chiefs of Staff were still functioning because peace had not yet been formally made, but that this situation would not, he hoped, last much longer. This part of Mr. Churchill’s remarks, therefore, may have hindered rather than helped the cause he hoped to promote; the closest possible association of the armed services of the two countries.

[…]

“If no real success is achieved at such a conference (of the Big Three), then the United States and the United Kingdom should convert the United Nations into a really effective agent to preserve the peace and prevent aggression. This means revising it radically. If the Russians veto such a revision, agreed on by others, a new organization must be created which, as the guardian of the peace for all nations, and not merely the English speaking ones, can function without the Russians and, as a last resort, against them.”[Emphasis added.] (Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs, DESPATCH 511, Washington, March 11th, 1946.)

At the same time, dispatches from the Canadian Ambassador to the USSR, Dana Wilgress, frankly acknowledged that the Soviet Union was not at all preparing for war. “On the whole,” he reported privately to Ottawa, “the interests of the Soviet privileged class are bound up with the maintenance of a long period of peace.” (Cited in Robert Bothwell, Alliance and Illusion: Canada and the World, 1945-1984 [Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011], p. 46).

The entire justification for the formation of NATO was based on disinformation, in which Canada played a leading role. It was this unprincipled, pragmatic, expedient opportunism and self-interest that drove Canada to side with the U.S. to spearhead the formation of NATO within the concrete conditions of Europe and the world 70 years ago. Likewise it is expedient opportunism and self-interest that is causing sections of the U.S. elite to question whether the U.S. should continue on in NATO within the concrete conditions of today. How will Canada respond?

2. Cited in Daniel Yergin, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Co., 1977), pp. 175-6.

3. The “iron curtain” formula came to be used millions of times by anti-communists. “This formula,” wrote British communist R. Palme Dutt, “… in fact was first used in this sense… by Josef Goebells in an editorial published in Das Reichon February 25, 1945….[It] continues to be used on every side without recognition of its Nazi origin. If a royalty had to be paid for its use each time by Western publicists and politicians to the original author, the shade of Goebbels would now be the wealthiest shade in Hades.” In that article Goebbels wrote:

“If the German people lay down their weapons, the Soviets, according to the agreement between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, would occupy all of East and Southeast Europe along with the greater part of the Reich. An iron curtain would fall over this enormous territory controlled by the Soviet Union, behind which nations would be slaughtered.”

The “Nazi megaphone” himself may have gotten the term from the Wehrmacht propaganda publication Signal which in 1943 published an article by Randall Bytwerk entitled “Behind the Iron Curtain” who stated:

“He who has listened in on the interrogation of a Soviet prisoner of war knows that once the dam is broken, a flood of words begins as he tries to make clear what he experienced behind the mysterious iron curtain, which more than ever separates the world from the Soviet Union.”

4. The question of Greece illustrates both the quagmire faced by the British Empire at the time and the yoke imposed by Atlanticism and NATO.

On October 13, 1944 British forces, led by Lt Gen Ronald Scobie, had entered Athens, the last German-occupied area bringing a government-in-exile headed by Georgios Papandreou who had lived in Athens under the Germans during most of the occupation. The British troops had been diverted from the Second Front, imperilling the Ardennes campaign against the offensive of General von Rundstedt. They found a country in which by April of that year the partisans consisting of Greek workers and peasants organized in ELAS (Greek National Liberation Army) had already liberated 90 per cent of the territory from the Nazis. Meanwhile, the Greek, Yugoslav and Albanian monarchists were being sheltered by the British. Worried by the prospect of a socialist Greece, and the example this might set for other countries in England’s imperialist bailiwick, Churchill bluntly stated his policy as though from the peak of Mount Olympus: “the clear objective is the defeat of EAM” (National Liberation Front, a coalition of parties which led the resistance against the Germans and was a member of the national unity government). Churchill gave orders that a new Greek right-wing secret army had to be set up whereupon, as the Irish journalist Peter Murtagh relates in The Rape of Greece: the King, the Colonels and the Resistance (1994), a “new Greek army unit was established, which came to be known variously as the Greek Mountain Brigade, the Hellenic Raiding Force, or LOK, its Greek acronym (Lochos Oreinon Katadromon).” The unit excluded “almost all men with views ranging from moderate conservative to left wing. Under British military supervision and at Churchill’s express orders, the unit was filled with royalists and anti-republicans.” On December 2, Papandreou and Scobie demanded the disarmament of all guerrilla forces. Six members of the new cabinet resigned in protest. On December 3, British forces fired on part of a huge peaceful march of 200,000 people in Athens demonstrating in support of the partisans. The crowd carried Greek, American, British and Soviet flags, and chanted: “Viva Churchill, Viva Roosevelt, Viva Stalin.’” Twenty-eight civilians, mostly young boys and girls, were killed and 128 more were injured. On December 5th Churchill authorised Scobie to use whatever force was necessary to “restore order.” Civil war began. On December 5, Scobie imposed martial law and the following day ordered the aerial bombing of the working-class Metz quarter. “British and government forces,” writes anthropologist Neni Panourgia in her study of families in that time, “having at their disposal heavy armament, tanks, aircraft and a disciplined army, were able to make forays into the city, burning and bombing houses and streets and carving out segments of the city… The German tanks had been replaced by British ones, the SS and Gestapo officers by British soldiers.” The house belonging to actor Mimis Fotopoulos, she writes, was burned out with a portrait of Churchill above the fireplace.

A 44-day battle ensued, where the British and the puppet government forces attacked Greek resistance fighters with artillery, aircraft, tanks, and a British infantry division shipped in from Italy. The army of the “new” British-backed monarcho-fascist government included members of the collaborationist Nazi Security Battalions whose main job during the Nazi occupation was to kill resistance fighters and Jews. Following a ceasefire of January 15, 1945, the Treaty of Varkiza of February 9 called for demobilization and disarmament of ELAS; however, many ELAS fighters were imprisoned, tortured, and executed, while thousands escaped to the mountains, some with their weapons. The British and the Greek reactionaries launched White Terror against the resistance fighters and the people. Between the Varkiza agreement and March 31 1946, 1,289 resistance fighters were murdered, 6,671 wounded, 31,632 tortured, 84,931 arrested, and 8,624 imprisoned. During this entire period, the British never stopped attempting to crush the growing Greek democratic movement and to restore the hated monarchy.

Britain finally announced it was ending financial support to the monarcho-fascists of Greece and Turkey on February 21, 1947, abandoned its Mandate over Palestine (which contained 100 British bases during World War II) during the same month, fortified Jordan and retrenched to Cyprus. President Truman immediately made occupation a fact by calling upon the U.S. Congress to set aside millions of dollars to support the fascist forces in Greece and Turkey. (Iran was added later.) The American plan was finalized on February 22 and announced by Truman to the U.S. Congress on March 12, 1947.  (The speech in fact was the work of Dean Atcheson, George Kennan and Loy Henderson of the U.S. State Dept., whose work was kept in the shade for some time in order to bolster the tattered prestige of Truman.) This “doctrine” was a frankly imperialist program. This was considered so by progressive forces throughout the world. Even in the capitalist countries the doctrine was received with intense suspicion. The clumsy mask of this doctrine forced the government of the United States to disguise its imperialist objectives in the form of a traditional “aid.” Truman’s speech thus contrasted sharply with the principles expressed by the General Assembly in its resolution of 11th December, 1946, which declared that relief supplies to other countries “should at no time be used as a political weapon.”

The aim of the so-called Truman Doctrine was to ensure the defeat of the democratic struggle, create American bases and thereby guarantee the expansion of the geopolitical interests of the U.S. to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. At the same time, it was an international program. President Truman declared that the defence of “free peoples” was more important than peace and proclaimed that, “The American system could survive in America only if it became a world system.” He said the “American system” could not realize its objectives of becoming “a world system” unless it was “free” to determine and dictate the terms of this “system.”

The new atmosphere of confrontation provoked the expulsion of Communist ministers who participated in coalition governments in Paris, Rome and Brussels in the period from March to May 1947.

By this act, not only was Greece deprived of the right to self-determination but the Greek people were also stripped of their right to conscience. By the end of 1947, the Greek military was entirely dependent on the U.S. ELAS fought valiantly for three years against U.S. aggression. The U.S. imperialists made Greece a “laboratory” for testing their new weapons of mass destruction, using napalm and chemical and incendiary defoliants. Barbed wire compounds were built and used as mass prisons. ELAS was forced back into the mountains and on October 16, 1949, it surrendered. The result of the five-year U.K.-U.S. invasion was at least 100,000 killed, 700,000 displaced persons inside the country, and catastrophic economic disruption. Socialist and communist parties were made illegal. British troops remained until 1949, by which time the Americans had effectively taken over the role of policeman and a fascist state created, the “socialist” Labour Party of Britain playing the role of midwife. The U.S. and British invasion inflicted worse damage on Greece and the Greek people than did the Nazi Germany during its occupation from April 1941 to October 1944. The U.S. exercised dictatorial control over Greek politics and economics, a situation which continued for decades.

The U.S. domination of NATO continually shapes these arrangements. The agreement to buttress the anti-popular governments in Greece and Turkey, as outlined in the Truman Doctrine in 1947, was extended to admitting them into NATO in September 1951 despite the fact that they were not Atlantic countries and they did not fit into the so-called “liberal democratic” ideals of the Atlantic Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty. At the time of the conflict between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus, the NATO countries provided between 37 per cent and 47 per cent of their defence budgets for intervention there. On March 3, 2011, U.S. marines landed at the American-controlled Souda Bay Naval Base as part of the imperialist campaign of regime change in Libya.

5. It is now known that, as Churchill spoke, émigré Nazi forces who had been directly involved in the Holocaust and the murder of millions of civilians were being quietly organized in Munich in Catholic Bavaria, southeastern Germany – occupied by the American army under Gen George S Patton – in new clothes against “the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe.” Self-styled “nationalists” from Hitler’s foreign legions (Waffen SS) had escaped into territories occupied by the United States and Britain in Germany, Austria and Italy. In violation of previous agreements with handing over all Nazis from the eastern front to the USSR for possible war crimes, they were given a new official status of “postwar refugees” as a humanitarian fig leaf and were being reformed into clandestine terrorist and political forces by the OSS (predecessor of the CIA), the Office for Political Co-ordination of the State Department, and the British MI6 or funnelled into Vatican “ratlines”.

6. In a speech on April 27, 1941 following Nazi Germany’s invasion of Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France, ending the so-called “phoney war,” Churchill had quoted poet Arthur Hugh Clough:

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!

7. The British newspaper The Times wrote on May 8, 1945:

“Unable to stem the German rush to the coast, [the French General] Weygand reformed his armies behind the Somme and the Aisne and a small British Expeditionary Force was landed in their support. It was too late, and on June 14 the Germans entered Paris, which had been declared an open city. From Bordeaux, whither it had withdrawn, the French Cabinet requested the British Government to release it from its obligation not to make a separate peace. To this the British Government –  the Coalition Ministry which Mr. Churchill had formed a month before  –  was prepared to consent if the French fleet first sailed to safety in British ports.

“But the British proposal went farther.

“It offered the union of the two States in a common citizenship if France would fight on. The French Cabinet rejected this proposal, M. Reynaud, who had favoured it, resigned, and the octogenarian Pétain took his place to become the central figure in the most humiliating episode in French history.” (“The Long Road To Victory; A Historical Narrative and a Chronological Register Of The Events Of The War In Europe And Africa 1939-1945,” The Times, May 8, 1945.)

8. “‘Operation Unthinkable’ Churchill’s Planned Invasion of the Soviet Union,” July 1945, Yuriy Rubtsov, Strategic Culture Foundation, May 25, 2015.

9. Speech delivered by Churchill March 31, 1949 at Mid-Century Convocation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the same vein, Churchill, head of the War Office in 1920, had planned to try Britain’s newly-developed chemical weapons on the “sub humans” during the Iraqi revolt in Mesopotamia. “I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.” This genocidal attitude manifested itself when Churchill was in power with famine in India. He enforced the conditions which led to the Bengal famine of the 1940s which eliminated over three million people; the policy of Rice Denial during WWII was essentially an order from Churchill to starve India. He even attempted to blame the famine on Indians themselves by declaring “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.” Churchill saw the people of Indian as nothing more than animals that he could treat as he wished for the good of the British Empire.

Comparing the Arabs in Palestine to a dog in a manger, Churchill had remarked:

“I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, or at any rate, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.” (Cited by Clive Ponting, Churchill, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994, p. 254)

10. Churchill was one of the first contributors to the legal defence of German Field Marshall Erich von Manstein on charges of war crimes. His defence was undertaken by the Labour M.P. for Northampton, Reginald Paget (later Baron Paget of Northampton), and Samuel Silkin (the son of Labour Minister Lewis Silkin and later Labour Attorney-General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, 1974-79 and Baron Silkin). Manstein was taken prisoner by the British in August 1945. He testified for the defence of the German General Staff and the Wehrmacht supreme command (the OKW), on trial at the Nuremberg trials of major Nazi war criminals and organisations in August 1946. Under pressure from the Soviet Union, the British cabinet decided only in July 1948 to prosecute Manstein and several other senior officers who had been held in custody since the end of the war. Manstein’s trial was held in Hamburg from August 23 to December 19, 1949. He faced seventeen charges, not on crimes against humanity but violations of the laws of war and co-responsibility for war crimes. These covered activities such as authorising or permitting the killing, deportation, and maltreatment of Jews and other civilians; maltreating and killing prisoners of war; illegally compelling prisoners to do dangerous work and work of a military nature; ordering the execution of Soviet political commissars in compliance with Hitler’s Commissar Order; and issuing scorched earth orders while in retreat in the Crimea. The Nazis deliberately used famine as a political weapon in the East, and it soon became the largest single killer. As the German invasion of the USSR began, Manstein ordered that “the Jewish-Bolshevist system must be exterminated…. In hostile cities, a large part of the population will have to starve.” Nothing, Manstein continued, “may, out of a sense of mistaken humaneness, be distributed to prisoners or to the population – unless they are in the service of the German Wehrmacht.” (Cited by Christopher Simpson, Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis, New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988, p. 15)

“Other features of military regulations promulgated by Manstein on the eve of the war include orders for the immediate liquidation of all captured Soviet political officers or leaders, summary executions for civilians who ‘participate or want to participate’ in resistance to German troops, and ‘collective measures of force’, which soon came to mean murder of entire populations of villages, including children-to punish hamlets in which ‘malicious attacks [against the Wehrmacht] of any kind whatsoever’ had taken place. German soldiers who had committed what would otherwise be crimes under Germany’s own military code were not to be prosecuted if their acts had taken place ‘out of bitterness against . . . carriers of the Jewish-Bolshevik [sic] system’.” (Ibid.)

The collaborationist troops of the eastern front were … integral part of German strategy in the East and deeply involved in Nazi efforts to exterminate the Russians and the Jews. In this regard, Manstein’s role in Crimea deserves special mention. According to historian Alan W. Fisher

“In most Crimean cities, the German advancing army was met with jubilation and calls of ‘liberators’ from the local Tatar population.

Manstein was relatively successful in his attempts to gain active support from the Tatars. According to both German and Tatar evidence, the Germans persuaded between 15,000 and 20,000 Tatars to form self-defense battalions that were partially armed by the Germans and sent into the mountains to hunt down partisan units. From the various Caucasian peoples over 110,000 volunteers were recruited; and the Kalmyks provided about 5000 volunteers.”

Large numbers of Tatar villagers as well as six organized Tatar self-defense battalions fought hard against the Soviet partisans. (Alan W. Fisher: The Crimean Tatars, the USSR and Turkey, in: William O. McCagg and Brian Silver (Eds.): Soviet Asian Ethnic Frontiers; New York; 1979, p. 12)

After the fall of Sebastopol in July 1942, Manstein, “the Hero of the Crimea”, was presented with one of the former Imperial palaces on the Crimean “Riviera.”

Manstein was found guilty on nine of the charges and sentenced to eighteen years in prison. Two months after the conviction, the sentence was reduced to twelve years. His early release on May 7, 1953 after serving fewer than three years of his term is attributed partly because of recurring health problems, but also the result of pressure by Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, B. H. Liddell Hart, and other supporters. The conduct of the trial accompanied by the memoirs of the Hitler generals (Kurt von Tippelskirch, Manstein and Heinz Guderian) is partly responsible for creating the legend of a “clean Wehrmacht“ – to exonerate the German General Staff and German imperialism of the war guilt and of the inhumanities of the nazi army. They put all the blame on Hitler. Manstein eventually became an adviser to the West German Defense Ministry until 1960 and his military methods were avidly studied in the U.S. armed forces. He died on June 9, 1973 at the age of 85 and was buried with full military honours, his funeral attended by hundreds of soldiers of all ranks, with the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Admiral Zimmermann, speaking farewell.

In parallel, the idea of a genocide of the Crimean Tatars created by the Soviet government was concocted to discredit Stalin, undermine the great prestige the Soviet Union had amongst the world’s peoples and exonerate the Nazis. The facts show that while the Soviets finally took extraordinary measures in 1944 to resettle the Crimean Tatars, the Chechens and the German population living in the Volga area in other regions of the USSR due to their active and passive collaboration, the only genocide in Crimea – such as that of the Jewish, Crimean and Roma population of Simferopol (men, women and children) massacred from December 9th to 13th, 1941 – was created by Hitlerite Germany under Manstein’s command. (German Wikipedia; Wilfred Burchett, Warmongers Unmasked: History of Cold War in Germany, Melbourne: World Unity Publications, Melbourne, 1950)

11. J.V. Stalin, “Interview with Pravda Correspondent Concerning Mr. Winston Churchill’s Speech at Fulton,” March, 1946, Source: J.V. Stalin on Post-War International Relations, Soviet News, 1947. The full text is appended below.

12. The infamous statement was later expunged from The MacKenzie King Record, the 1968 biographical project of his literary executors, though his Diary was kept as a record to recount and explain the conduct of public affairs and is described in the official Canadian military history as “the most important single document in twentieth-century Canadian history.” The same liberal statesman also urged in 1944 that all “disloyal” Japanese-Canadians be deported as “soon as physically possible,” while those adjudged “loyal” should be physically dispersed.

13. Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs, DESPATCH 511, Washington, March 11, 1946.

14. “Once Again, the Big Yalta Lie,” Jacob Heilbrunn, Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2005.

15. Ibid.

16. Quoted in John C. Campbell, The United States in World Affairs 1948-1949, Council on Foreign Relations. New York: Harper, 1949, p. 30.

17. Cosmopolitanism: “The word ‘cosmopolitan’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘kosmos’ meaning ‘world’ and ‘polites’ meaning ‘citizen’.” (Eric Partridge, Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English. London; 1958; p. 122, 508). In its etymology, therefore, a cosmopolitan is a “citizen of the world”, rather than a citizen of a particular country.

18. “A Look at Indian Philosophy – The Zero Period,” Discussion, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1992.

19. The God That Failed (TFTF) is a book first published in 1949 that collected together essays from isolated “dissidents” who were disillusioned with communism, e.g., Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, Arthur Koestler, Andre Gide, and Richard Wright. It was continually reprinted until the late 1970s. These “dissidents” were advertised to represent the modern personality, but the features of such a personality and what was modern about it were left in the shade. The work was a literary fraud. With the exception of Silone, all had at best only tangential or brief links to the communist movement, whether open organization or underground activity, and were outside and opposed to the labour movement. Louis Fischer, one of two American contributors, took offence when he was labeled an ex-communist, because he had never joined a Communist Party, having only been sympathetic to the Soviet cause. Silone describes the pre-Mussolini Italy, against which as a communist he had rebelled, as “pseudo democratic.”

British historian Frances Stonor Saunders states in Who Paid The Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, London: Granta, 1999) that TGTF was “as much a product of intelligence as it was a work of the intelligentsia.” In this direction, a leading role was assigned the Official Left as the preferred reserve agency of the NATO bloc. The postwar crisis of international social democracy, referred to in the standard term “Non Communist Left” by the intelligence agencies which had enthusiastically participated in appeasement and played no independent role of merit in the anti-fascist war, therefore posed a serious problem for the ruling class, which aimed to resuscitate it as a preferred weapon against the working class movement.

According to a review of a re-issue of the book, in the Council on Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs of all places and cited by the Powerbase web site, TGTF was allegedly conceived in a chance conversation between Arthur Koestler and Richard Crossman, a British Labour intellectual and politician, prominent Zionist and wartime head of the German section of the Psychological Warfare Executive, a man whom Saunders describes as one who felt “he could manipulate masses of people”, and who had “just the right amount of intellectual sleight-of-hand to make him a perfect professional propagandist.” For his part, Arthur Koestler, an Anglicized Hungarian, was a longtime intelligence operative and never a rank-and-file party member. His claim to fame was that he had been politically interned during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and later in France, yet he had been released by Franco after three months at the request of the British government. How was this possible? In late 1939 as World War II broke out in Europe he issued Darkness at Noon, a fictional work whose tragic hero Rubashov he bases on Nikolai Bukharan, who confessed on June 2, 1937 allegedly out of “loyalty to the Party” and was convicted in the same year of treasonous activities against the USSR in league with Germany. The timing of his slanderous work was fortuitous and hardly accidental. His skills were much appreciated by the ruling elite of Britain and he was richly rewarded. Koestler worked in information operations for Britain, was given citizenship in 1945 and died a wealthy man. At the time of the allegedly chance conversation, Koestler was by then in the employ of the Information Research Department. A secret organization whose existence was not revealed until the mid-1990s, its purpose was to gather confidential information about communism, produce black propaganda for dissemination both abroad and at home, and infiltrate spies into the democratic movements. It played a pernicious role in popularizing the horned-devil spectre of “godless”, atheistic Communism as aliens and agents of a foreign power on which British and American “loyalty” programs and McCarthy’s blacklist depended to justify the criminalization of freedom of conscience and freedom of association. To this end, IRD covertly recruited anti-communist intellectuals and cultural personalities, secretly popularized their works, as well as strove to create an official “third force” “Non-Communist Left” based on European social democracy to oppose the working class taking up independent politics. IRD suggested, edited and then purchased 50,000 copies of Koestler’s Darkness at Noon and energetically distributed them in Germany to popularize TGTF. Henry Luce’s Time magazine printed his book in the United States. Koestler toured the USA, sponsored by the CIA. Through his sister-in-law Celia Kirwan (assistant to Robert Conquest at IRD), he organized George Orwell to compile his notorious list of 150 individuals whom the latter considered sympathetic to communism, which he provided to the IRD shortly before his death. (Orwell also granted permission to the IRD to freely use his works. Orwell was a police informer.) These individuals and organizations were used to compile names and dossiers of democratic personalities, always concentrating attention on those features of their private life and work that could be most distorted with appropriate interpretations in order to slander the policies and democratic ideals they upheld and independent political life. In his history of MI6, Stephen Dorril concludes that disinformation was a routine part of the IRD’s activities: “Although IRD apologists have always denied it, ‘black’ material such as forgeries, lies and fabrications was disseminated for use by its own outlets and by MI6-funded radio stations and news agencies.” (Cited by Howard Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, London: Zed Books, 2004, p. 105)

Crossman involved another psychological warfare veteran, the American C. D. Jackson, in the publication of TGTF and Melvin Lasky, an American based in Berlin, for translation. At the time he was the U.S.’s “official unofficial cultural propagandist” in German; the American occupation government under High Commissioner John J. McCloy sponsored Der Monat, the German monthly magazine Lasky had founded in 1948 and he later was appointed editor of the CIA-funded Encounter magazine published in London.

The history of the publication of TGTF, alongside that of Arthur Schlesinger’s The Vital Center and Orwell’s 1984 – both of which were also published in 1949 – served as a template for the contract between the Non-Communist Left and the “dark angel” of American government. These works provided the ideological theses for the formation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (1950-1967), an anti-communist organisation with offices in 35 countries that was funded by the CIA, of which Koestler and Silone were leading spokesmen. The common targets of Congress literature were familiar: the literature was anti-Communist, social democratic, and anti-neutralist. Other aims promoted by the Congress were cataloged by William Blum:

“a strong, well-armed, and united Western Europe, allied to the United States….support for the Common Market and NATO and…skepticism of disarmament [and] pacifism. Criticism of US foreign policy took place within the framework of cold war assumptions; for example that a particular American intervention was not the most effective way of combating communism, not that there was anything wrong with intervention per se….”

Arthur Schlesinger in The Vital Center traced the evolution of the “non-Communist Left” from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 as “the standard to rally the groups fighting to carve out an area for freedom.” It was within this group that “the restoration of the radical nerve” would take place, leaving “no lamp in the window for the Communists.” This new resistance, Schlesinger urged, needed “an independent base from which to operate. It requires privacy, funds, time, newsprint, gasoline, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from fear.’” The “independent base” was the CIA. Schlesinger provided the ideological rationale for state organization of an Official Left: “for the CIA, the strategy of promoting the non-Communist Left was to become the theoretical foundation of the Agency’s political operations against Communism over the next two decades.” Schlesinger, Jr., the presidential aide to Kennedy, tells Frances Stonor Saunders, “We all felt that democratic socialism was the most effective bulwark against totalitarianism.” (Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper?: CIA and the Cultural Cold War, London: Granta Books, 1999, p.63.)

This was a socialism organized and nurtured by the police powers of the state and not merely this or that political trend in the working class movement, at the head of which were placed (and given credentials) those personalities who were openly referred to as “gods that failed” until they were outed and exposed in 1966-67 (by Ramparts magazine, the New York Times and the CIA’s Tom Braden) only to be publicly cast aside by their sponsors, having outlived their usefulness, as “gods that really failed.”

The origins of this strategy lie not with opposing “Soviet expansionism” and “totalitarianism” after World War II, but in the development of police socialism against the development of the independent working class movement in the wake of the bourgeois democratic revolutions of 1848, against the International of Marx and Engels, against the May Day movement for the Eight Hour Day from the time of the Haymarket Massacre, against the 1905 Revolution when the peoples of Russia rose up against Tsarist rule despite the subversion carried by “Zubatov socialism” (Zubatov was police commissioner of Moscow) from the outbreak of World War I, and so on. Speaking of this phenomena, Canadian journalist and economist K.C. Adams writes:

“The infiltration of capitalist spies and agents into the peoples’ movements, the specialty of the czarist police in Russia and known as ‘police socialism’, has now been institutionalized not only by the CIA, Homeland Security, MI5, MI6 and CSIS but also with non-governmental agencies (NGOs), think tanks and certain labour organizations and charities that openly block the people from organizing to solve problems in their own interests and to resolve the contradictions facing their societies, especially their exploitation by the imperialist empires.” (K.C. Adams, “Invoking the Ghost of Keynesianism to Derail the Workers’ Movement,” TML Daily, December 28, 2010 – No. 224)

20. During World War II the patrician journalist Walter Lippmann, in his 1944 book U.S. War Aims (a sequel to his earlier United States Foreign Policy), sketched a picture of cultural and historical affinities on both sides of the Atlantic –  what he described as an “Atlantic civilization,” which came to be picked up by others.

Charles Cogan, Senior Research Associate at the Kennedy School at Harvard University, wrote of Lippmann’s influence in a 2009 article entitled “American and European Foreign Relations”:

“Little by little, by way of filling a spiritual void, and at the same time of providing a strategic and moral raison d’être for a new engagement of the United States in Europe, a number of American and European intellectuals seemed to take up the theme of the influential journalist Walter Lippmann.” (International Relations, Volume 1, UNESCO/EOLSS, 2009)

Cogan points out that in the post-war period, a joint study was published on the same theme, by a Frenchman, Jacques Godechot, and an American, Robert Palmer, with the title of The Problem of the Atlantic. Cogan cites the authors as follows:

“Lippmann was clearly the first to use the expression ‘Atlantic Community.’ For him the Atlantic Community was a political and economic grouping, established little by little by all the great powers bordering the ocean, strengthened by the ‘Atlantic Charter,’ and destined to develop in the future, thanks to the good neighbor principle and to the organization of increasingly active economic exchanges.”

In U.S. War Aims and other writings, Lippmann proposed a series of “orbits” that would coexist peacefully after the war: an Atlantic orbit, a Soviet orbit, and an eventual Chinese orbit. Lippmann’s view, according to his biographer Ronald Steel, was that “the ‘primary aim’ of American responsibility was the basin of the Atlantic on both sides, and the Pacific islands  –  in other words, the Atlantic community plus a ‘bluewater’ strategy of naval bases and roaming fleets. Outside these regions there should be no permanent military or political commitments.”

The term “Atlantic” had an unwelcome ring to French ears. France’s difficulty with this emphasis on Atlantic affinities, linking the Old World with the New, was that the Atlantic, as Jacques Godechot and Robert Palmer put it, had been dominated by England from the eighteenth century onwards and that at the end of the nineteenth century this hegemony had been replaced by a combined American, British, and Canadian one. Thus, the “Atlantic” world was a world in which France could never enjoy first place.

21. Ritchie was the scion of a prominent British Loyalist family that fled to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley following the American Revolution, bringing enslaved Africans as personal chattel. Most of his descendants were lawyers and members of the ruling elite, including one who defended the Confederacy when a Confederate ship had been seized and brought into the Port of Halifax during the U.S. Civil War. Ritchie’s brother was a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

A version of this article was originally published by TML Weekly, April 6, 2019, No. 12, Supplement.


Appendix I. Pravda correspondent interviews J.V. Stalin concerning Churchill’s speech at Fulton, Missouri

SovietCartoon-ChurchillIronCurtainSpeech

Soviet cartoon showing Churchill delivering his infamous 1946 speech, holding two flags that read “An Iron Curtain over Europe!” and “Anglo-Saxons Must Rule the World!” In the background are Hitler and Goebbels.

Later in March 1946, a Pravda correspondent requested J.V. Stalin to clarify a number of questions connected with Mr. Churchill’s speech at Fulton, U.S.A. Below are J.V. Stalin’s replies to the correspondent’s questions, in which he rightly denounced the speech as “warmongering,” and condemned Churchill’s pious references to the “English-speaking peoples” as imperialist racism. Stalin defended Soviet friendship with eastern European states, which the Red Army had helped to liberate from Nazi rule, as a necessary safeguard against another invasion. He rightfully accused Churchill of trying to install anti-Soviet governments in eastern Europe.

* * *

Question: How do you appraise Mr. Churchill’s latest speech in the United States of America?

Answer: I appraise it as a dangerous act, calculated to sow the seeds of dissension among the Allied States and impede their collaboration.

Question: Can it be considered that Mr. Churchill’s speech is prejudicial to the cause of peace and security?

Answer: Yes, unquestionably. As a matter of fact, Mr. Churchill now takes the stand of the warmongers, and in this Mr. Churchill is not alone. He has friends not only in Britain but in the United States of America as well.

A point to be noted is that in this respect Mr. Churchill and his friends bear a striking resemblance to Hitler and his friends. Hitler began his work of unleashing war by proclaiming a race theory, declaring that only German-speaking people constituted a superior nation. Mr. Churchill sets out to unleash war with a race theory, asserting that only English-speaking nations are superior nations, who are called upon to decide the destinies of the entire world. The German race theory led Hitler and his friends to the conclusion that the Germans, as the only superior nation, should rule over other nations. The English race theory leads Mr. Churchill and his friends to the conclusion that the English-speaking nations, as the only superior nations, should rule over the rest of the nations of the world.

Actually, Mr. Churchill, and his friends in Britain and the United States, present to the non-English speaking nations something in the nature of an ultimatum: “Accept our rule voluntarily, and then all will be well; otherwise war is inevitable.”

But the nations shed their blood in the course of five years’ fierce war for the sake of the liberty and independence of their countries, and not in order to exchange the domination of the Hitlers for the domination of the Churchills. It is quite probable, accordingly, that the non-English-speaking nations, which constitute the vast majority of the population of the world, will not agree to submit to a new slavery.

It is Mr. Churchill’s tragedy that, inveterate Tory that he is, he does not understand this simple and obvious truth.

There can be no doubt that Mr. Churchill’s position is a war position, a call for war on the U.S.S.R. It is also clear that this position of Mr. Churchill’s is incompatible with the Treaty of Alliance existing between Britain and the U.S.S.R. True, Mr. Churchill does say, in passing, in order to confuse his readers, that the term of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance and Collaboration might quite well be extended to 50 years. But how is such a statement on Mr. Churchill’s part to be reconciled with his position of war on the U.S.S.R., with his preaching of War against the U.S.S.R.? Obviously, these things cannot be reconciled by any means whatever. And if Mr. Churchill, who calls for war on the Soviet Union, at the same time considers it possible to extend the term of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty to 50 years, that means that he regards this Treaty as a mere scrap of paper, which he only needs in order to disguise and camouflage his anti-Soviet position. For this reason, the false statements of Mr. Churchill’s friends in Britain, regarding the extension of the term of the Anglo-Soviet treaty to 50 years or more, cannot be taken seriously. Extension of the Treaty term has no point if one of the parties violates the Treaty and converts it into a mere scrap of paper.

Question: How do you appraise the part of Mr. Churchill’s speech in which he attacks the democratic systems in the European States bordering upon us, and criticises the good-neighbourly relations established between these States and the Soviet Union.

Answer: This part of Mr. Churchill’s speech is compounded of elements of slander and elements of discourtesy and tactlessness. Mr. Churchill asserts that “Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia — all these famous cities and the populations around them lie within the Soviet sphere and are all subject in one form or another not only to Soviet influence, but to a very high and increasing measure of control from Moscow.” Mr. Churchill describes all this as “unlimited expansionist tendencies” on the part of the Soviet Union.

It needs no particular effort to show that in this Mr. Churchill grossly and unceremoniously slanders both Moscow, and the above-named States bordering on the U.S.S.R.

In the first place it is quite absurd to speak of exclusive control by the U.S.S.R. in Vienna and Berlin, where there are Allied Control Councils made up of the representatives of four States and where the U.S.S.R. has only one-quarter of the votes. It does happen that some people cannot help in engaging in slander. But still, there is a limit to everything.

Secondly, the following circumstance should not be forgotten. The Germans made their invasion of the U.S.S.R. through Finland, Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The Germans were able to make their invasion through these countries because, at the time, governments hostile to the Soviet Union existed in these countries. As a result of the German invasion the Soviet Union has lost irretrievably in the fighting against the Germans, and also through the German occupation and the deportation of Soviet citizens to German servitude, a total of about seven million people. In other words, the Soviet Union’s loss of life has been several times greater than that of Britain and the United States of America put together. Possibly in some quarters an inclination is felt to forget about these colossal sacrifices of the Soviet people which secured the liberation of Europe from the Hitlerite yoke. But the Soviet Union cannot forget about them. And so what can there be surprising about the fact that the Soviet Union, anxious for its future safety, is trying to see to it that governments loyal in their attitude to the Soviet Union should exist in these countries? How can anyone, who has not taken leave of his wits, describe these peaceful aspirations of the Soviet Union as expansionist tendencies on the part of our State?

Mr. Churchill claims further that the “Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous, wrongful inroads on Germany.”

Every word of this is a gross and insulting calumny. Outstanding men are at the helm in present democratic Poland. They have proved by their deeds that they are capable of upholding the interests and dignity of their country as their predecessors were not. What grounds has Mr. Churchill to assert that the leaders of present-day Poland can countenance in their country the domination of representatives of any foreign State whatever? Is it not because Mr. Churchill means to sow the seeds of dissension in the relations between Poland and the Soviet Union that he slanders “the Russians” here?

Mr. Churchill is displeased that Poland has faced about in her policy in the direction of friendship and alliance with the U.S.S.R. There was a time when elements of conflict and antagonism predominated in the relations between Poland and the U.S.S.R. This circumstance enabled statesmen like Mr. Churchill to play on these antagonisms, to get control over Poland on the pretext of protecting her from the Russians, to try to scare Russia with the spectre of war between her and Poland, and retain the position of arbiter for themselves. But that time is past and gone, for the enmity between Poland and Russia has given place to friendship between them, and Poland — present-day democratic Poland — does not choose to be a play-ball in foreign hands any longer. It seems to me that it is this fact that irritates Mr. Churchill and makes him indulge in discourteous, tactless sallies against Poland. Just imagine — he is not being allowed to play his game at the expense of others!

As to Mr. Churchill’s attack upon the Soviet Union in connection with the extension of Poland’s Western frontier to include Polish territories which the Germans had seized in the past—here it seems to me he is plainly cheating. As is known, the decision on the Western frontier of Poland was adopted at the Berlin Three-Power Conference on the basis of Poland’s demands. The Soviet Union has repeatedly stated that it considers Poland’s demands to be proper and just. It is quite probable that Mr. Churchill is displeased with this decision. But why does Mr. Churchill, while sparing no shots against the Russian position in this matter, conceal from his readers the fact that this decision was passed at the Berlin Conference by unanimous vote — that it was not only the Russians, but the British and Americans as well, that voted for the decision? Why did Mr. Churchill think it necessary to mislead the public?

Further, Mr. Churchill asserts that the Communist Parties, which were previously very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to prominence and power far beyond their numbers and seek everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments prevail in nearly every case, and “thus far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.”

As is known, the Government of the State in Britain at the present time is in the hands of one party, the Labour Party, and the opposition parties are deprived of the right to participate in the Government of Britain. That Mr. Churchill calls true democracy. Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Hungary are administered by blocs of several parties — from four to six parties — and the opposition, if it is more or less loyal, is secured the right of participation in the Government. That Mr. Churchill describes as totalitarianism, tyranny and police rule. Why? On what grounds? Don’t expect a reply from Mr. Churchill. Mr. Churchill does not understand in what a ridiculous position he puts himself by his outcry about “totalitarianism, tyranny and police rule.”

Mr. Churchill would like Poland to be administered by Sosnkowski and Anders, Yugoslavia by Mikhailovich and Pavelich, Rumania by Prince Stirbey and Radescu, Hungary and Austria by some King of the House of Hapsburg, and so on. Mr. Churchill wants to assure us that these gentlemen from the Fascist backyard can ensure true democracy.

Such is the “democracy” of Mr. Churchill.

Mr. Churchill comes somewhere near the truth when he speaks of the increasing influence of the Communist Parties in Eastern Europe. It must be remarked, however, that he is not quite accurate. The influence of the Communist Parties has grown not only in Eastern Europe, but in nearly all the countries of Europe which were previously under Fascist rule — Italy, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Finland — or which experienced German, Italian or Hungarian occupation — France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Greece, the Soviet Union and so on.

The increased influence of the Communists cannot be considered fortuitous. It is a perfectly logical thing. The influence of the Communists has grown because, in the years of the rule of Fascism in Europe, the Communists showed themselves trusty, fearless, self-sacrificing fighters against the Fascist regime for the liberty of the peoples. Mr. Churchill in his speeches sometimes recalls the plain people from little homes, slapping them patronisingly on the back and parading as their friend. But these people are not so simple as may at first sight appear. These plain people have views of their own, a policy of their own, and they know how to stand up for themselves. It was they, the millions of these plain people, that defeated Mr. Churchill and his party in Britain by casting their votes for the Labourites. It was they, the millions of these “plain people,” who isolated the reactionaries and advocates of collaboration with Fascism in Europe, and gave their preference to the Left democratic parties. It was they, the millions of these “plain people,” who after testing the Communists in the fires of struggle and resistance to Fascism, came to the conclusion that the Communists were fully deserving of the people’s confidence. That was how the influence of the Communists grew in Europe.

Of course Mr. Churchill does not like this course of development and he sounds the alarm and appeals to force. But neither did he like the birth of the Soviet regime in Russia after the First World War. At that time, too, he sounded the alarm and organised an armed campaign of 14 States against Russia setting himself the goal of turning back the wheel of history. But history proved stronger than the Churchill intervention, and Mr. Churchill’s quixotry led to his unmitigated defeat at that time. I don’t know whether Mr. Churchill and his friends will succeed in organising a new armed campaign against Eastern Europe after the Second World War; but if they do succeed — which is not very probable because millions of plain people stand guard over the cause of peace — it may confidently be said that they will be thrashed, just as they were thrashed once before, 26 years ago.

Appendix II. Postwar membership in the Communist parties

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