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[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #6, Feb. 4, 1966, p. 14.]
JUST when the Johnson Administration is speeding up the pace towards a wider war of aggression against Vietnam, the Soviet Government is ready to make a new deal with U.S. imperialism.
In his “7-point programme” to the 17-nation disarmament conference which resumed its meeting on January 27 in Geneva, Johnson called for agreement on “non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.” The representative of the Soviet Government, Semyon Tsarapkin, openly told reporters that “non-proliferation of nuclear weapons” was one of the issues “that are ripe for solution” and that there was a possibility of agreement. The Soviet Union, he said, was “prepared ta sign a non-proliferation agreement as soon as possible.”
The U.S. Administration declared that the “differences among the members of the conference on Vietnam ... make our common interest in preventing nuclear spread and curbing the nuclear arms race all the more important to pursue.” And the Soviet government delegate said: “I do not want to make our discussions dependent on Vietnam.”
The United States and the Soviet Union join in a duet - all very harmonious and chummy!
U.S. imperialism is right now running up increased military expenses, calling for more draftees and stepping up its armament supplies. It is transferring troops from Western Europe and the Atlantic to Asia and the Pacific. It is continuing to “escalate” its war of aggression against Vietnam and trying to expand it to the whole of Indo-China and even to China. Obviously the Johnson Administration thinks that its plan for a wider war in Vietnam and Asia in general makes its “common interest” with the Soviet leaders “all the more important to pursue.”
The Soviet leaders, it would seem, are no less eager than Johnson to pursue their “common interest” with U.S. imperialism. This is putting things mildly. Indeed, it is shocking to find the leaders of what is said to be the most powerful socialist country deserting another socialist country which is being subjected to ruthless aggression, and seeking agreement with U.S. imperialism, even declaring that, in doing so, the Vietnam question can be set aside. But it is a fact. This clearly shows to what depths the Soviet leaders have sunk in their quest for American-Soviet co-operation.
The speech by the Soviet government delegate in Geneva is another self-exposure. It shows that the high-sounding utterances made in the past by the Soviet leaders are not worth a brass kopeck. It may be recalled that the Soviet Government had issued a statement telling the United States that it could not expect to improve American-Soviet relations when it was making armed attacks on Vietnam. And yet the delegate of the same government said in Geneva that the Vietnam question could be set aside and agreement could be reached with the United States on what he called “measures facilitating the easing of international tensions.” What can this volte-face be if it is not deliberate betrayal?
It cannot be that the Soviet leaders have forgotten what they said. The fact is they never suit their actions to their words. Once action is to be taken, whatever fine words they have uttered are of no consequence.
The struggle now being waged by the great Vietnamese people to resist U.S. aggression and save their country is the focus of all the struggles of the peoples of the world against U.S. imperialism. How to treat the Vietnam question is the touchstone by which to test whether one is truly against U.S. imperialism or only pretending, and whether one wants genuine peace or sham peace. It is inconceivable that one can speak of “the easing of international tensions” at a time when U.S. imperialism is further expanding its war of aggression against Vietnam and wildly slaughtering the Vietnamese people. What Johnson wants to achieve at the Geneva disarmament conference is merely to benumb the people of the world and gloss over the sinister designs of the United States to expand its aggressive war. In their eagerness to reach agreement with the United States for the sake of “common interest,” the Soviet leaders are, in reality, helping U.S. imperialism to deceive the peoples and conniving with it in its attempt to widen the war and slaughter still more people in Vietnam.
Aren‘t the Soviet leaders crying for “united action” day in and day out? It should be noted with whom they are taking united action! They must be told frankly that so long as they take united action with U.S. imperialism, no Marxist-Leninist, no revolutionary people in the world will take united action with them.
(“Renmin Ribao” editorial, January 30, 1966.)
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