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John G. Wright

Truman Rejects Stalin’s Bid
for New Conference

(15 March 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. XII No. 11, 15 March 1948, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

It was clear from the outset that the Czech events were intimately connected with the intensified “cold war” between

Washington and Moscow. Now new evidence has been made public which throws additional and alarming light on the progress of the “cold war” and its connection with what is transpiring in Czechoslovakia.

There have been rumors for some time that the Kremlin had made a direct bid to Washington for another deal and that these “peace feelers”, had been flatly rejected. This is. now authenticated by such authoritative business periodicals as the weekly United States News and Business Week.

According to the March 5 U.S. News, Stalin’s offer to meet with Truman was made “late in January.” Despite official denials of any such offer, this article goes on to say flatly: “The fact is that the proposal was brought to Washington and turned down.”

The March 6 Business Week corroborates this by an equally categoric assertion that “official Washington – and that means the State Department and the military – has brushed aside Russia’s January peace feelers.”

Stalin’s Czech coup is thus directly linked to this rejection by Washington of his overtures.

What this sensational evidence highlights is the determination by Wall Street to force matters to a showdown. The U.S. News goes so far as to say that the official policy goes beyond any plans merely to hurl back the Kremlin to its original borders, but actually involves the destruction of the regime itself. “U.S. now is committed to a policy of attempting to upset the existing Russian regime by means short of shooting war.”

There is little reason to dismiss this as journalistic phrase-mongering. Thus far there has been no sign of willingness on Washington’s part to give an inch. In pursuit of their line the Wall Street war-makers have been dragging this country into one adventure after another, as witness their determination to step up military intervention in Greece.

The fact that previous moves have brought little results (as in Greece and China) has only tended to increase loose talk of “action” not only by means of dollar “aid” but through military “assistance” of one type or another.

What such talk and such moods imply hardly needs any comment, This situation, obviously, cannot be prolonged indefinitely. There are only two possibilities in the situation: war or – another deal.

Temporary Deal

A temporary deal with the Kremlin, despite Washington’s openly aggressive policy, is certainly not excluded. The Kremlin is anxious for such a deal, as attested by its January proposals. On the other hand, Wall Street’s war plans do not exclude the possibility of a new deal with the Kremlin. A temporary “armistice” would fit into Wall Street’s plans of aggression, as Hitler’s pact with Stalin in 1939 fitted into the Nazis plans.

The effects of such a deal would make themselves felt most immediately on the domestic political scene. The Stalinists would execute still another one of their countless flip-flops. They would drop their current mask of opposition to “American imperialism.” They would drop Wallace like a hot potato. They would start beating the drums once again for the preservation of “unity” among all “progressive forces,” and throw their support without reservations behind any deal that Stalin may be able to reach with the U.S. State Department.

In connection with these new revelations, it is interesting to recall Churchill’s recent speech where he proposed that a final meeting be held with Stalin at which time Anglo-American imperialism would deliver an ultimatum: “Either accept our terms along these and these lines, or we will use the atom bomb to destroy you.”

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Last updated: 7 October 2020