We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Past Is Prelude: Stalin Was Right About National Defence (Part 2 of 2)

Click here to access article by Michael Jabara Carley from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Note: This is the final segment of the essay which I posted yesterday.)
Sovietophobia remained strong in both the United States and Britain. British generals hated the Soviet Union, and did not hide their animosity. Churchill, who was no Roosevelt, had trouble hiding his fear of the Soviet "crocodile". In the British Foreign Office, not a bastion of Sovietophilia, officials worried about the raving British generals who could set back Anglo-Soviet relations by 100 years. Those officials were right to worry. If you start the clock in 1917, the centennial comes up next year, not exactly a date to celebrate.

Perhaps, the people in Moscow making Russian foreign policy should keep in mind the history of western-Soviet and western-Russian relations since 1917. With the partial exception of the Grand Alliance, this history is one of unrelenting western hostility toward Russia… before 1941 and after 1945. Let’s call it Acts 1 and 2 of the Cold War.
As I see it, the Grand Alliance that consisted of Britain, USA, and Soviet Union was solely an alliance of necessity that was held together only by their mutual interests to defeat Nazi Germany and its allies of Italy and Japan. This was in an era of a true multi-polar capitalist world in which a powerful Nazi Germany emerged due to the encouragement and support from capitalists of the other countries who saw Germany as a useful agent to destroy their non-capitalist nemesis, the Soviet Union. But when Germany threatened both the dominance of the British Empire and its ally USA, things dramatically changed.

It all began when capitalists all over Europe and the US reacted with indifference to Germany's unilateral abrogation of many of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, the treaty concluded after WWI to constrain German militarism. The fascist powers first demonstrated their usefulness with their crushing of the leftist Spanish Republic in 1938 while the US, Britain, and France maintained strict neutrality. Soon they stood passively by as Germany went on to take control of Austria, Czechoslovakia, and finally Poland. Because the latter country had a mutual defense treaty with Britain, the latter formally declared war on Germany. What ensued over the next nine months was widely referred to as "the phony war" because Britain and France did nothing militarily against Germany. But then Germany made the great mistake of attacking Belgian, Holland, France, and Britain which greatly upset Western capitalists and threatened the British Empire. 

The alliance began formally in January of 1942, but really didn't function seriously until after the winter of 1942-43 during which the Battle of Stalingrad saw the German armies decisively defeated by Russian forces. Only then did the US and Britain aid and collaborate with the Soviets, and opened a second front to defeat the Axis powers. Thus the alliance immediately fell apart after the conclusion of the war.

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