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The Militant, 20 July 1946

Atomic Bomb Blasts Upon Guinea Pig Fleet
Underline Wall Street Drive for New War

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 29, 20 July 1946, p. 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Truman administration is methodically continuing its demonstration in the Pacific of the most frightful weapon of war yet produced by capitalism – the atomic bomb. As a curtain-raiser, Washington exploded bomb No. 4 in mid-air over a $400,000,000 guinea-pig fleet. Now the militarists will explode bomb No. 5 under the surface of the sea among the ships anchored inside Bikini atoll.

American imperialism had already demonstrated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki that a single bomb is capable of destroying an entire populous city. The present costly show is designed to remind the rest of the earth, particularly the Soviet Union, that Wall Street is continuing to manufacture and store these bombs. The Bikini demonstrations are being held under guise of “scientific experiments.” But leading scientists have denied their value and labelled them as nothing but military tests.

In the June 15 issue of Foreign Policy Reports, Dr. Harold C. Urey, one of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb, paints a frightening picture of the future as Washington attempts to maintain its present monopoly of atomic energy.

“The consequences,” he says, “will be an armaments race in the production of atomic bombs, and a feverish development of new modes of destruction, perhaps even more effective than atomic bombs. The end of that race can only be an atomic war.”

In his opinion “international relations” with atomic bombs stock-piled by the big powers and their satellites “will be qualitatively very different from a world in which the great powers maintained large armies and navies.” Every diplomatic crisis “will make government officials as well as all average citizens of each country wonder whether an unannounced attack by atomic bombs will not start at any moment.”

Although he does not believe a “completely rational” official would “wish to plunge his country into an atomic bomb war,” still the “fear itself would destroy the probability that rational behavior would occur.”

Target: USSR

Urey sees “the Soviet Union” as “the most probable enemy of the United States in the event of another major war.” He calls attention to the fact that strangely enough the Kremlin is playing down the atomic bomb. He speculates on the reasons: “The Soviet press has paid very little attention to the new weapon, presumably because it does not wish to discuss a subject so dangerous to Russia under the present circumstances.” He wonders if “Soviet pride has also been injured by the fact that America succeeded in producing the atomic bomb first.” Then he adds ominously, “Moscow’s policy of constructing a ring of buffer or satellite states since V-E Day may mean that the reality of the atomic bomb has not yet become fully clear to Russia’s political and military leaders.”

The attitude of the Kremlin toward the atomic bomb, however. follows consistently from its world view. Since he seized power, Stalin has preached that the Soviet Union could live peaceably in a capitalist world, quietly constructing “socialism in one country.”

The Nazi invasion disproved this thesis. And now the atomic bomb proves even more conclusively – if that is possible – that socialism must be built on a world scale as advocated by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, or civilized man kill perish. But the Kremlin is incapable of shifting to the policy pi building world socialism, for this would mean furthering revolutions of the working class in the very heart of the capitalist world.

The Kremlin rejects this policy because such revolutions would quickly find their reflection inside the Soviet Union and unseat the privileged caste which keeps Stalin and his gang in power. Thus the Kremlin is utterly incapable of advancing world socialism as the only real alternative to a Third World War. That is why it buries its head in the sand. That is why it has resurrected the completely unrealistic slogan of the pacifists, proposing, as the July 2 Daily Worker puts it, that “this weapon must be outlawed and all atomic warfare must be outlawed.”

Wall Street must smile cynically at that helpless proposal. Wall Street can readily agree to the proposal, knowing that it is absolutely meaningless except to delude the people and blind them to the danger. Even Hitler as part of his war preparations proposed , “disarmament.”

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