From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 42, 16 October 1944, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for MIA.
The press has come out in bold headlines announcing that a world peace plan has been agreed upon. Upon examination, however, it turns out that the agreement is still only ninety per cent. It is obvious that if after ninety per cent of agreement you have to go to war over the remaining ten per cent, you do not go to war only to the extent of ten per cent. Even if you agree on ninety-nine per cent and then go to war over one per cent, the war is a one hundred per cent war.
This ninety per cent business comes from a statement by Roosevelt. There were ninety per cent when Russia left the conference. At that time Churchill made a long speech on the war, during which he touched on the question of Poland. He said that it would be most unfortunate if some agreement was not arrived at. Otherwise, the following situation might arise:
The British government might find itself supporting one Polish government and the Russian government might find itself supporting another. That, said Churchill, would be very unfortunate. That is a sufficient per cent to cause a war, even if Churchill and Stalin were ninety per cent agreed on Brazil, India, Burma, Canada, and even Latvia, Esthonia and Lithuania. People never fight about what they agree upon. They fight always upon what they disagree about.
This does not mean that Britain and Russia are going to go to war tomorrow about Poland. But what it does mean is that here before the Second World War is finished and even while the fraternal Allies have the best of all moral reasons for agreement, they have to threaten one another and agree to differ. It is not impossible that some sort of final agreement may be patched up. Churchill, for instance, may have to bow to Russia’s superior strategic position in regard to Poland. But Churchill did not work for the destruction of German domination of the continent for the purpose of substituting Russian domination. Neither did Roosevelt go to the support of British imperialism for any other purpose except to keep European capital divided. Whatever agreement they may come to, the seeds of the Third World War are there for everyone to see. Nobody knows it better than they. And that is why they cannot come to an agreement on the question of voting on the Council. Everyone wants to be in a situation where, as the difficulties sharpen, the voting relations are such that he can put the blame on somebody else. Thus, of course, he will be able to present himself to the workers at home not as the aggressor but as the one who kept to the law and was forced by greedy enemies to take up arms purely in self-defense.
That is exactly what all the seven weeks of conference were about. To fool the people with the idea that the Second World War is the last world war. And, further, to arrange matters in such a way that, when war does approach, each one is in a position to say:
“See, workers and farmers, if only the others had stuck to the peace plan, as we arranged at Dumbarton Oaks, there would have been no war. However, inasmuch as war has been forced upon us, you have once more to shed your blood. At any rate, you can be sure that this time, when it does come to an end, we shall arrange a perfect peace plan, which will work, etc., etc.”
Last week I pointed out the preparation for the future that these peace plans were making. America is seeking bases all over the world. Stalin has a military academy where he is preparing boys of the age of eight to be soldiers. General Marshall is preparing America’s peacetime army so that America will not be caught “unprepared” in the future. To these may be added de Gaulle, who is frantically exciting the French people about the necessity of France once more becoming a great power. By this, of course, he means a heavily-armed, imperialist power, and observers of French politics do not hesitate to say so openly. At the same time he hopes by this means to distract the French people from the difficulties which are to be solved at home.
But the very course of the war itself shows exactly how much these gentlemen believe in peace plans. Thus Russia during the past few weeks has been engaged in strategic military operations in Finland, in the Baltic states, in Hungary and in the Balkans. Russia has been busy everywhere, except in front of Warsaw, where she allowed the Germans to massacre the Polish masses. These Polish masses, we may note, were the very ones who objected to Russian domination of Poland.
The British, as we know, are very much interested in the imperialist domination of Greece. It is perfectly obvious that it is only a matter of time before Stalin’s army will administer a smashing defeat to the German troops in the Balkans. But Britain cannot wait for this. Oh, no. Churchill is so anxious to deliver the Balkans from German domination that he also must take a part in the defeat of the German armies now stranded in that area.
This is the way they settle their problems. This is the way they have always settled them. So that even now, while they still have to finish off Germany, they are busily engaged staking out claims in the only way they can understand – by force of arms.
Last updated on 16 February 2016