Joseph Hansen

Truman Urges Pact Binding
America to New World War

Puts Pressure on Congress to Arm North Atlantic Bloc

(31 January 1949)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 13 No. 5, 31 January 1949, pp. 1 & 2.
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The immediate political purpose of Truman’s saber-rattling inaugural address was to smooth the way for the Atlantic Pact, the most far-reaching military alliance in history, now being readied in secret for rubber-stamp approval by Congress. The larger aim of this bristling speech was to try to justify Truman’s astronomical armaments budget and the open preparations for the third world war projected by American imperialism.

The heavy barrage against “communism” was designed to lay the guilt for atomic war preparations on the prospective enemy, the Soviet Union. Its hypocrisy can be judged in the light of Truman’s highly-publicized avowals of warm regard for Stalin, the fountainhead of all bestial crimes which revolt class-conscious workers, American Big Business has no. differences with the Kremlin over morals. It has willingly covered up. Stalin’s crimes when it suited its aims, made deals with the. Moscow, bureaucracy at the expense of the working; people, and will do so again if it appears expedient.

Truman’s praise of capitalism was a heavy-handed attempt to psychologize America for a holy war in behalf of the profit-gougers, industrial barons and munition kings. In this respect the speech was obviously patterned on those made by Roosevelt who, in preparation for World War II, called for a "quarantine” on the aggressors and the conversion of America into an “arsenal” of democracy.

However, where Roosevelt promised “again and again and again” not to send the Youth of America overseas to fight on foreign battlefields, Truman promised nothing. His immediate objective is to push through at top speed a military pact with the old imperialist powers of Europe that will commit, the government in advance to send America’s youth onto the battlefields of the new war Wall Street is planning.

4-Point Program

The four-point program he announced is in direct continuity with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. It picks up the thread, temporarily dropped during the election campaign, of the drive of American imperialism for world domination. All of Truman’s pre-election promises, about battling against Wall Street in behalf of world peace have now been filed in the ash can.

As the first of “the courses of action” of his administration “in the coming years,” Truman listed continued support of the United Nations. Most of the capitalist press dismissed this as a diplomatic gesture toward the organization that is awaiting burial alongside the League of Nations as a peace-making body.

As the second item, Truman listed continuation of the European Recovery Program. The real meaning of this program, the Marshall Plan, has become fully apparent in Greece. Under guise of giving economic aid to this war-torn land, the Truman Administration at the end of the War took over the puppet government set up by the British. Economic aid gave way more and more to military aid to the reactionary Glucksburg dynasty until the prosecution of the civil war that has been raging for four years completely overshadowed all other aspects of the Truman program for Greece. The course of events in Greece is a foretaste of what is projected for all of Europe.

Third point in Truman’s keynote address was the North Atlantic Pact. The military and diplomatic representatives of the imperialist powers of Western Europe have been meeting in secret in Washington for some time, drawing up this sinister alliance for war on the Soviet Union.

Modelled on the Rio de Janeiro Pact which binds all of Latin America in advance to participate on the side of American imperialism in the plotted conflict, the North Atlantic Pact will enroll Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Canada. It has been leaked in the press that Franco and Italy and a revived German capitalism will come under its provisions.

Under Pressure

Terrific pressure is being placed on the traditionally neutral countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Ireland and Portugal to sign on the dotted line. They are no longer to be permitted to try to avoid participation in the slaughter or wait until the outbreak of hostilities to line up, as in World War I and World War II.

Under the North Atlantic Pact, preparations will be speeded to build strategic military bases, re-arm Wall Street’s satellite powers and convert Western Europe into a giant springboard for the eventual attack. The Truman administration is openly preparing to carry out the project undertaken by German capitalism in World War II of smashing the Soviet Union.

Truman’s fourth point was a call for a “new” type imperialism under American leadership in the “under-developed areas” of the world. He spoke about investments and “new economic developments” to “benefit the peoples of the areas in which they are established.” This is the same language used by the old imperialist powers in subjugating colonial peoples. It is Truman’s way of voicing Wall Street’s drive to become the dominant imperialist power in the colonial regions whether by open conquest or through merger with the imperialists already entrenched there. Precisely in the epoch when the colonial people are rising against Britain, France, the Netherlands and Belgium, American imperialism mobilizes its vast economic and military power to force the yoke back on their necks.

Truman’s inaugural address was not a ceremonial speech tossed off for the occasion. It was a deliberately-timed programmatic declaration outlining the perspective for his administration in the next four years. That perspective is to utilize the full power of the government to advance the strategic aim of American imperialism – conquest of the entire world.


Last updated on: 29 February 2024