Joseph Hansen

UNO and the Fine Art of Camouflage

(9 February 1946)

Source: The Militant, Vol. X No. 6, 9 February 1946, p. 3.
Transcription/Editing/HTML Markup: 2018 by Einde O’Callaghan.
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Predatory animals have developed camouflage to a high degree. The eyes and nostrils of a crocodile, for instance, look like knots on a dead log as it floats just below the surface, waiting for its hapless victim.

But camouflage did not reach full flower until the capitalists picked it up from the beasts of prey. What endless resource and cunning in camouflage have the capitalists displayed in their savage struggles for world domination! Bomb factories photograph as peaceful parks and lawns. Powerful gun emplacements resemble quiet groves of trees. Mighty battleships blend into the vacant sky and sea.

Out-Do Nature

In all fields, the capitalists have brought camouflage to heights far beyond the miracles of nature. Colonial rule, to cite another example, depends as much on properly wrought camouflage as on artillery, tanks, bombers and modern rocket-firing planes.

The French imperialists shoot down the fighters for Indochina’s freedom – as Felix Gouin, new President of France, explained on taking office – solely “in the interests of the native populations themselves.”

The. Dutch and British likewise are most meticulous about their camouflage in Indonesia. The Dutch only want to give the Javanese “equal partnership” in the old colonial empire. And the British pour death and destruction on the people of Java solely to bring about “an amicable settlement” between the Dutch Government and Indonesian battlers for independence.

But the acme of camouflage was reached last week when the capitalists and their agents fitted up the United Nations Organization with a President and a Secretary General. The figureheads chosen for these eye-catching posts were Paul-Henri Spaak and Trygve Lie.

“Democratic” UNO

Consider the marvelous perfection of this job of camouflaging the UNO successor to the League of Nations which Lenin called a “thieves’ kitchen.” Neither Spaak nor Lie are citizens of the Big Three powers who completely dominate and operate this new thieves’ kitchen. Spaak is from Belgium, Lie from Norway. Thus representatives of the little nations appear in the most conspicuous posts in the UNO. What could be more “democratic?”

Moreover neither of these decorative screens is a banker, an industrialist or a landlord. In fact both Spaak and Lie are nothing less than “socialists”!

Right now the world political terrain is germinating socialism. Consequently the capitalist camouflage artists have attempted to give the UNO the coloration of its political surroundings. Perhaps in moving Spaak and Lie into public view they thought of the rattlesnake which so closely resembles the surrounding terrain it is scarcely ever observed until it is within striking distance.

As late as 1934 UNO President Spaak travelled so far to the left in taking on the hues of socialism that he visited Leon Trotsky ostensibly to learn the correct way to fight for trade union democracy in Belgium. And UNO Secretary-General Trygve Lie went so far to the left while building a reputation as a “socialist” that he at one time joined the Communist International when, under Lenin and Trotsky, it was a revolutionary organization.

The beauty of Spaak and Lie as UNO camouflage is their well-tested dependability. For years these two “socialists” have proved their sterling loyalty to king and capitalist rulers.

Both Betrayers

Spaak betrayed his comrades in the trade unions, and took a post in the Belgian government. There he faithfully and cynically learned all the ins and outs of serving as “socialist” camouflage for a foul, corrupt and utterly reactionary institution – the Belgian monarchy.

Trygve Lie likewise distinguished himself as Minister of Justice for King Haakon and the Norwegian shipping interests. During the 1936 Moscow purge trials, Trygve Lie arrested and interned Leon Trotsky and his wife in Norway to prevent them from exposing the shameful lies and filthy slanders heaped on Trotsky’s name by the Stalinist frame-up specialists. He did this in response to pressure from the shipowners who feared a break in commercial relations with Moscow. Trygve Lie prevented the persecuted exiles from resorting to court action or the press in answering the Stalinist liars. Finally Trygve Lie threatened his captive with deportation, that is, delivery into the hands of Stalin’s GPU gangsters. Only a passport granted by the Mexican government saved Trotsky’s life for a few more years.

Stalinist Support

What more could world imperialism and the Stalinist bureaucracy demand in proof of Trygve Lie’s dependability? Small wonder that Vyshinsky, who was in charge of the Stalinist frame-up against the old Bolsheviks in the purge trials, pressed the UNO to select Trygve Lie for camouflage! In the entire kingdom of beasts of prey and the whole history of capitalism, it would be difficult to find more treacherous and perfidious camouflage than the one selected by Anglo-American imperialism and Stalin for the UNO.


Last updated on: 19 September 2018