Joseph Hansen

U.S. Imperialists Intensify Drive
Toward New War

(7 September 1946)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 10 No. 36, 7 September 1946, pp. 1 & 3.
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The index of Wall Street’s preparations to plunge the United States into a Third World War reached a new high last week. The dispatch of a battleship to Turkey a short while ago was considered an ominous indication of the mounting war fever. But on August 27, a 45,000-ton aircraft carrier and six other warships were ordered to visit Greek ports in the first week of September in a bristling display of military power.

The new war crisis pivoted this time on Greece. Anglo-American imperialism is consolidating its grip on this unhappy land in preparation for eventual war on the Soviet Union.

Greece is a strategic area, controlling the entrance to the Black Sea and to the countries of Eastern Europe, flanking the Danube river. Military control of Greece likewise constitutes an “anchor” for British sea lanes running through the Mediterranean. Control of Greece, moreover, reinforces the imperialist stranglehold on the oil-rich Middle East.

In World War III, Greece can constitute a jumping-off place for armies that will knife up into Eastern Europe. It can become an invaluable base for warships that will steam into the Black Sea; and for planes loaded with atomic bombs.

That is why Washington and London disregarded public condemnation for packing up the foul, reactionary Glucksberg dynasty in a plebiscite modelled on the Nazi pattern. Where capitalism is at stake, these shouters about “democracy” do not hesitate a moment to copy fascist methods.

That is why “Bull” Halsey, in command of the U.S. fleet sent into Grecian waters, snarled like a heel-clicking fascist admiral in response to criticism about such imperialist power politics: “It’s nobody’s damn business where we go; we will go anywhere we please.”

The ominous tension over Greece is heightened by the rabid war propaganda fostered by Wall Street at home.

Herbert Hoover, speaking at Palo Alto, Calif., August 30 to naval officers, declared “there is more danger now than ever before in the history of the United States.”

Hoover demanded, “We must hold onto the islands (in the Pacific) because we must extend our perimeter of defense.”

On August 31, a Congress-approved treatise of 140 pages was released, comparing the prospective military power of the United States and the Soviet Union in 1970. The pamphlet, Communism in Action, declared, “The present military strength of the Soviet Union is not equal to that of U.S. ... The potential military might of the Soviet Union is, however, very impressive.”

The document calculates that “The Soviet Union’s 32 million men in 1970 will almost equal the combined military-age manpower of the U.S., Britain, Ger- [some text missing] selection of countries indicates that Wall Street’s aim is to unite all the leading capitalist countries, including Germany, into a bloc against the Soviet Union in the projected war.

A group of Congressmen in Tokyo, members of the Powerful House Military Affairs Committee, attacked the Soviet Union and declared there was “imminent danger of another Pearl Harbor.”

John Sheridan, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, said, “After what I’ve heard I wouldn’t give the Russians an index to the atomic bomb.”

Sikes, another Democrat, declared, “Russia is maintaining about five times the number of occupation troops, mostly in Korea, that we have.” Sikes concluded: “We must strengthen the forces we have in the Far East. They are inadequate now to defend themselves if the need arose.” It was no secret that MacArthur issued the propaganda repeated by these Congressmen.

The influential U.S. News openly called for attack on the Soviet Union in its issue of August 30.

“We know when we are threatened. We know what is needed now to assure our own defense. We must take those steps now ... Let us prepare to finish the job if need be ... There can be no nobler cause for which to die than in defense of the ideal of world peace. Let us not shirk the task.”

Add to these developments another significant item: The Mead Committee that has been ballyhooed as “exposing” wartime graft, on August 31 made an annual report, the gist of which is a demand to build up militarism in America.

Meanwhile Hanson W. Baldwin, well-known spokesman of the military caste, has been writing a series of articles outlining the military policy of American imperialism. This policy aims at the biggest air force in the world, at a navy larger than the navies of the rest of the world combined, and a land force that can be expanded overnight into armies exceeding in size anything ever dreamed by the Axis. The purpose is war on the Soviet Union.

Both the “United Nations” and the Paris “Peace” Conference have been utilized as sounding boards for Wall Street’s war preparations. All the tough talk, the shouting and fireworks are designed to poison the public mind in preparation for war. As N.Y. Times correspondent James Reston observed from Washington September 2, “A war psychology is developing before the peace treaties have been signed ...”

The present crisis over Greece is only the latest and biggest of a long series. Wall Street is tightening an iron noose around the Soviet Union. This noose follows a vast perimeter, from China and Korea, up north around the Arctic, down and around Europe to Trieste and Greece, through Turkey and Iran.

As Wall Street tightens this iron noose, trouble flares. In Iran, for instance, Wall Street stiffened the resistance against the Soviet Union. Iran is one of the most valuable oil areas in the world. Iran k likewise a gateway to the sea for landlocked Russia. A great crisis flared over this country and it became the occasion for diplomatic blows and pounding on the war drama.

The iron noose passes through Trieste and around Soviet-dominated Yugoslavia. When Wall Street tightened the line, Trieste soared into the headlines. The roll of the war drums grew louder. The bureaucratic Tito regime permitted itself to be provoked into shooting down two American planes that somehow were flying on the other side at the Adriatic. And the war propaganda in the capitalist press looked like the days of 1939 and 1940.

Cold Policy

Wall Street’s policy is cold and calculated. No sooner is one crisis passed, than another is deliberately set off. The talk of springing a surprise attack on the Soviet Union grows ominously louder, corresponding to the mounting size of the stock of atomic bombs.

At bottom the conflict is between two irreconcilable economic systems – the nationalized econmy of the Soviet Union and the rapacious imperialism of world capitalism in its death agony. Capitalism needs the Soviet Union as a market and field for investment.

To this end it must conquer the Soviet Union and restore capitalism in the former Czarist Empire.


Last updated on: 18 June 2021