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The Militant, 18 May 1946

Charles Carsten

U.S. Imperialism Steps Up Drive Toward War

Plans to Tighten Military Grip Over Entire Western Hemisphere

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 20, 18 May 1946, pp. 1 & 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Diplomatic deadlock and heightened tension in the Big Four Paris Conference of Foreign Ministers was accompanied last week by further military preparation and intensified war-propaganda on the part of American imperialism.

Washington moved to expand its worldwide ring of military bases. It began to formally press for a unified military command of the entire Western Hemisphere.

President Truman proposed “a program of military collaboration with other American states including the training, organization and equipment of the armed forces” of all the countries on the North and South American Continents.

Twofold Aim

Under Truman’s super-imperialist plan the United States would provide modern weapons, Standardize military training, organization and equipment. The President would be authorized to "transfer military and naval equipment” to other governments in the Western Hemisphere.

Truman’s proposal to centralize the command and standardize the armaments of the Western Hemisphere military bloc has a twofold aim. First, it would help Wall Street tighten its imperialist, stranglehold on the Latin American countries. Second, through it the nations of the Western Hemisphere can be more effectively organized for the contemplated war against the Soviet Union.

The whole American ruling class is moving in unison on this decisive question of war preparations. Both Republicans and Democrats combined last Thursday to rush through the Senate an extension of the Draft Act which was to expire May 15.

On May 11 the State Department revealed that it wanted sovereignty over three strategic Pacific Islands formerly held by the British. “These would be part of a vast United States defense system in the Pacific,” stated James Reston in the May 12 N.Y. Times.

Meanwhile, the Paris Conference, called to divide the plunder of World War II and establish spheres of influence, neared a complete breakdown on Thursday of last week.

Secretary of State James Byrnes insisted, in view of the stalemate between representatives of the Big Four, on convening a session of the 21 victor nations on June 15 to draft pacts formally ending the war with Italy and Axis satellite nations in the Balkans.

Aim at USSR

The Foreign Ministers and press agents of the capitalist powers blamed Russian delegate Molotov for the diplomatic deadlock. While both sides may make minor concessions, no one expected agreement on any basic issues being considered in the present conference. Thus, Washington and London, in calling for an expanded meeting, indicate an intention to make treaties, if need be, without Russia’s agreement.

The N.Y. Times correspondent C.L. Sulzberger, reporting from Paris on May 12, stated “There are some persons who say that if this Council fails the United States must adopt a ‘two-worlds’ policy.” This would hasten the march toward war.

Although such a policy hasn’t been openly admitted by Washington, both diplomatic and political commentators speak in terms comparing the present situation to that during the Munich crisis in 1938.

At the height of the Conference crisis, on May 9, Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, who accompanied Byrnes to Paris, reported to Washington in these sinister terms:

“The outlook is pretty grim – unless you want to go to Munich every day. And I am not willing to go to Munich.” Vandenberg made it clear that he and Senator Tom Connolly, also a member of the American diplomatic gang, saw “eye to eye” with delegation head Byrnes.

To exert additional pressure upon the Kremlin, political commentators in the capitalist press speak openly of strained relations and hint at the possibility of a diplomatic break with the USSR. Walter Lippman, conservative columnist for the N.Y. Herald Tribune, stated on May 11 that the most important question to answer “is whether the dividing line through Central Europe is the frontier at which the Russians and the Anglo-Americans are destined to clash.

“The belief that they will clash,” he continued, “or that they may, is the determining element in the calculations of all the governments, and of every political party ...”

Ambassador George S. Messersmith, recently appointed to Argentina, in a farewell speech to the American colony in Mexico City on May 11, declared that Russia’s policy at present is similar to that of Germany during 1933–38.

“Armed Truce”

Calling for “complete collaboration in the Western Hemisphere-political, military, strategic and economic,” he said, “Today I know that we have nothing better than an armed truce.”

Thus, on the very first anniversary of Germany’s surrender, the Allies of World War II are maneuvering for the most favorable positions in the coming conflict. Instead of attempting to lay the basis for “lasting peace,” the representatives of the Anglo-American powers are actually preparing for war.

Confronted with the threat of another imperialist attack on the USSR, the Kremlin continues th play the same perfidious role it has played in the past. Instead of following the revolutionary course of Lenin and Trotsky, who based the defense of the Soviet Union, on the sympathies and struggles of the world working class and the policy of extending the October 1917 Socialist Revolution throughout the world, the Kremlin resorts to sordid deals with the imperialists. It engages in power politics, lies to the workers, participates in secret diplomacy, and alienates its only reliable ally, the workers. Such despicable policies serve to undermine and weaken the real defense of the USSR and to facilitate the war plans of the Anglo-American imperialists.

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