Joseph Hansen

Bevin and Vyshinsky – A Study of Hypocrisy
Within the UNO

(16 February 1946)

Source: The Militant, Vol. X No. 7, 16 February 1946, p. 6.
Transcription/Editing/HTML Markup: 2018 by Einde O’Callaghan.
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The Stalinist press is vociferously applauding a new champion of peace and democracy. This champion is none other than Andrei Y. Vyshinsky, chief prosecutor for Stalin in the notorious Moscow frame-up trials that liquidated Lenin’s generation.

Vyshinsky has donned the toga of a tribune of the little nations and the oppressed colonial peoples. In the United Nations Organization he has demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Greece and an "investigation” of the use of British and Dutch troops in Indonesia.

But certain unfortunate facts cast doubt upon the high motives and shining idealism of the frame-up artist Moscow sent to the UNO.

First of all this champion of democracy in far-off places exhibits a singular lack of concern about democracy in his homeland. Stalin counts his working class political prisoners by the millions. Vyshinsky himself is a pillar of support to the reign of terror waged by the GPU secret police. His hands are red with the blood of the Old Bolsheviks he helped frame up.

Prison House

Stalin’s totalitarian regime has converted the Soviet Union into a vast prison house. So undemocratic is Stalinist rule that candidates for office in the “elections” this very week are limited to one per office – even with articulate oppositionists in prison or in their graves – and these candidates are carefully handpicked.

In assessing the real worth of this Stalinist defense of democracy, another fact must be noted. Moscow's charges against Britain were filed January 21. The British troops did not leave Greece; the British did not cease supporting reaction; they did not stop constituting a threat to world peace. Yet on February 6 the Stalinist champion suddenly withdrew his charges and shook hands with his opponent Bevin like any professional wrestler after a put-up bout!

This is not all. The champion of democracy in places far away from home did not even raise his charges until after the Iranian delegate accused the Stalinist regime of intervening in the internal affairs of Iran! Since the Iranian government has long been notoriously under the influence of the British, it is self-evident its charges were filed only in consultation and agreement with the British imperialists. Thus observers at the UNO would seem justified in their conclusion that in bringing up Greece and Indonesia, Moscow was simply conducting a diplomatic counter-offensive.

Why the Delay?

This all appears damaging enough to the champion of democracy far beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. But there is still more. Britain’s brutal slaughter of the Indonesian people has been in the headlines for months. Why did Stalin wait until the Iran accusation before noticing Indonesia? It can scarcely be argued he didn’t know about the bloody campaign of the British and Dutch,

for the Indonesian Government sent a special appeal to the Soviet Union for help. But Stalin did not even deign to answer – until Bevin’s Iranian friend filed charges against Moscow.

Picture of Perfidy

To complete this picture of Moscow’s perfidy and hypocrisy, let it be recalled that in the spring of 1944 Stalin made a secret agreement with Churchill, the watchdog of British imperialism. This secret agreement divided up the Balkans into spheres of influence. Stalin OK’d British troops moving into Greece. Stalin's agents in Greece even welcomed these armies sent into Greece to put down the people. What hypocrisy to now point a finger at the crimes of the British bandit!

For his part Bevin is running neck and neck with Vyshinsky in the struggle for chief honors in hypocrisy. This Social- Democrat who replaced the Tory Anthony Eden as Foreign Minister, fits Eden’s imperialist shoes better than Eden. His record in office begins with harsh blows against the trade unions of Nigeria and continues with the landing of troops to secure Hongkong from reverting to China. It is highlighted by the repression of Indian nationalists, the ferocious slaughter of the Indonesian battlers for independence, and the continuation of Churchill’s imperialist policy in Greece.

In the light of these fast, both Bevin and Vyshinsky are clearly nothing but cynical hypocrites in their protestations about democracy and peace.

But there is a most sinister aspect to these squabbles in the UNO. Vyshinsky accused the British of endangering peace by their actions in Greece and Indonesia. Bevin on the other hand charged “the danger to the peace of the world has been the incessant propaganda from Moscow.”

War Preparations

This is nothing but diplomatic preparation for the Third World War. At this stage of the conflict the future foes are simply jockeying to unload the blame on the antagonist. The Bevin-Vyshinsky exchanges are reminiscent of the diplomatic preparation for the Second World War in which first Finland and then Poland became the excuse for starting the holocaust, just as “little Belgium" and Serbia were utilized in World War I.

Who can say when the diplomatic sparring in the UNO will give way to atom bombs?

The truth is that the world has been divided into two great spheres, one dominated by Anglo-American imperialism and the other by the Stalinist bureaucracy. The basic differences between the economic system of the Soviet Union and that of London and Wall Street makes conflict inevitable. It is this basic antagonism in the economies which is reflected in the squabbles in the UNO. All the talk about democracy, peace and the rights of the little nations is simply hypocritical camouflage to cover this fundamental fact.


Last updated on: 19 September 2018