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Jack Weber

March of Events

(2 March 1935)

From The New Militant, Vol. I No. 11, 2 March 1935, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

American Imperialism Arrives at a Decision

When Roosevelt granted recognition to the U.S.S.R. his move was Interpreted correctly as being aimed at Japanese imperialism. Undoubtedly it gave pause to the Japanese militarists in the ruthless plundering of China. For to them it meant the prelude to a military alliance, a view that was made highly plausible by the fact that recognition was soon followed by the sending of military and naval attaches to the Soviet Union by the U.S., by the fact that even prior to recognition the Curtis-Wright aircraft concern had been granted permission by the U.S. Army (naturally with the consent of the State Department) to conclude a technical assistance contract with the U.S.S.R. and to build airplane factories in Russia, etc. Only a few weeks, before open announcement of recognition the attitude of the Soviet Union towards Japanese aggression in connection with the Chinese Eastern Railway had undergone a distinct change; the tone of Soviet diplomacy hardened and became less conciliatory. Temporarily the Japanese generals, faced with the possibility of two such foes, whose interests ran parallel only momentarily in common opposition to Japanese aims, uniting against them, were forced to wait and move more cautiously. But since then the international situation has taken new form, new alignments are in process of achievement, and the American capitalists have arrived at a decision. This decision, to make perfectly plain to Japan that there would be no military alliance between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., is unquestionably related to the stand taken by England in support of the rearmament of Hitler Germany. Thus the whole international situation has become threatening to the Soviet Union. The signal for the war of intervention may be given at any moment.

* * *

American Policy

The question of the debts owed by Russia to the U.S. played only a minor role in Roosevelt’s decision to withdraw military attaches and consuls from the Soviet Union. It provided merely the plausible diplomatic excuse for justification of a provocative act before the masses. For such an act will be (and has been!) interpreted by Japanese militarism and German fascism as a guarantee that they may proceed with the attack on the Soviet Union without fear of interference by U.S. imperialism. The German Tageblatt thus stated that “Apparently Washington intends to demonstrate that there is no military alliance between the two powers.” Washington feels that the interests of American imperialism will be best served by pushing Japan into war against the Soviet Union and then waiting till both countries have become exhausted by the conflict in order to step in and reap the harvest at the expense of both.

* * *

Militarizing of the Pacific

Meantime Roosevelt pursues the “New Deal” policy in the Pacific. That is, he is completely militarizing the Pacific coast and the island “possessions” and laying the necessary foundations for properly carrying on the colossal naval battles of the future. The preparations involve political changes as well as physical ones. Thus the New Deal as applied to Hawaii means the change to a “mainland” governor completely under instruction of the U.S. navy. Millions of dollars are being poured out to construct in Hawaii the largest air base in the Pacific. In addition air bases are being set up rapidly on certain of the Aleutian Islands which form the northern and the safest approach to the Japanese Isles. The Philippines will undergo a similar process at the first opportunity. The propaganda for tightening the military grip on the Philippines is already evident in the announcement by American business interests in the islands of the “discovery” of rich chromite deposits, valuable in war time. Thus it is clear that he U.S., under the guidance of a President who, under the cloak of liberalism, pursues the ends of imperialism, is embarked on a course directed against both the U.S.S.R. and Japan. War between these two countries would afford Roosevelt the full opportunity to go even further in “mechanizing and modernizing” both the army and the navy, and in building the largest navy in the world to carry out the greedy aims of world hegemony of the American financiers.

* * *

War and Fascism

An unforgettable lesson that the capitalists learned in the last world war is that the ruling class must protect itself not only against the rival imperialists abroad, but also against the working class enemy at home. For just as the capitalists carry out similar policies of exploitation at home and abroad, so the working class under proper leadership pursues internal and international policies directly antagonistic to those of capitalism. During war in particular the workers are apt to learn the lesson that no nation can be free at home that exploits other peoples abroad. Hence the capitalist class attempts to guarantee its rear (at home) in wartime by suppressing all working class liberties and wiping out their independent, particularly their revolutionary, organizations. Thus war breeds fascism and the working class must oppose both.

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