The Cold War and Its Origins: The Inception of the Soviet Union (1917-1950)
The media is currently in the midst of an anti-Russian hysteria that many have dubbed Cold War 2.0. Of course the first cold war never really ended as the wars in Yugoslavia, Chechnya, and even Afghanistan were aimed at Russia as was the relentless NATO expansion. This manufactured panic is a form of psychological warfare that went into high gear during the Sochi Olympics in 2014 as the US was working to launch a fascist coup in Ukraine.
Since most ordinary people would be shocked to discover that Nazis had been installed in power in Ukraine an anti-Russian hysteria was launched to discredit and intimidate any possible critics of this criminal policy. Of course this was also the moment that I decided to launch my blog for the purpose of exposing the history and methods of the American Empire from the “Cold War” (or World War 3) to World War 4 (which goes by many names.)
The fascist coup in Ukraine resulted in a genocidal civil war when the people of Novorossia (the Donbass region of Ukraine) seceded from Ukraine and to the amazement of the world managed with Russian assistance to smash the NATO backed Ukrainian army and their fascist death squad allies attempt to crush the Novorossiyan revolt. Four years later the new cold war has only intensified and frankly gotten so absurd I feel as if I am living in a satire. Only a few courageous voices like Robert Parry have dared to question the current madness. For a discussion of this new cold war I recommend the excellent “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Russia” by Dan Kovalik.
This article however will examine the origins of the first “Cold War.” I will be relying on a forgotten classic on the topic “The Cold War and It’s Origins” By D.F. Fleming which he wrote to oppose the madness of his own time which like today threatens to plunge the world into a nuclear war which it is unlikely anyone will survive.
His book was published in 1961 shortly before the Cuban missile crisis nearly ended the world and also shortly before John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the national security state in broad daylight in front of cheering crowds in Dallas Texas. JFK’s crimes were to avoid a nuclear war over Cuba, resisting a massive escalation in Vietnam, and attempting to halt the cold war with Russia. D.F. Fleming actually began writing his monumental work as the post-world war 2 cold war was starting in the late 1940’s and was doubtless risking career suicide for daring to write an objective account of events at the height of McCarthyism. Thus it is my pleasure to rescue his name from obscurity.
The Myth of the Cold War is that the Soviet Union was attempting to conquer the world while freedom loving America was forced to stop them.
Yet as we shall see the last thing the Soviet Union wanted was another world war they had suffered 27 million dead during world war 2 and their only goal was to rebuild after the enormous destruction the nazis wrought.
America on the other hand was undamaged save the 250,000 soldiers they lost in the war (7 million Soviet soldiers were killed) and they had just acquired the atom bomb. Far from defending freedom America was busy allying with every fascist it could find and would overthrow countless democracies installing brutal military dictators in the years to come. America’s main goal was to stop the people of the world from doing anything to combat the terrible poverty and oppression they lived under. America fought on the side of the rich against the poor and dared to call this democracy despite the fact that the poor are the vast majority of the world and the rich a tiny minority of the planet.
The myths of the original cold war live on and are accepted as true despite the mountains of evidence discrediting these myths. Americans prefer to remember the comforting lies rather then to face the awful truths of their own history.
The cold war was in retrospect one of the most successful psychological warfare campaigns in history it aimed to crush dissent at home and revolution abroad. It unleashed fascism at home and abroad. By purging communists from American society it did great damage to the labor, peace, and civil rights movements and created a toothless cowardly american left that slowly but inevitably lead to the completely bankrupt politics of today where no one in the public eye dares to oppose capitalism, imperialism, or even fascism. A world where al Qaeda terrorists receive Oscars and Ukrainian fascists are celebrated as champions of democracy.
But let us turn our attention to the origin of this “Cold War” D.F. Fleming begins his history not with the end of World War 2 but much earlier in Tsarist Russia in the years before 1905.
He outlines the utter misery and ignorance that the vast masses of Russians were forced to live in. The dirt, the disease, the crowding, the cruelty of those times is difficult for us to imagine. Most Russians had no access to health care or education. Any attempt to demand better pay or working conditions was met with brutal reprisals. Unions were illegal. A spirit of revolution born of utter desperation began to spread. Lenin had only recently split his Bolshevik faction off from the other marxists because he foresaw that only a tightly organized revolutionary party would stand a chance against the Tsar’s secret police.
The Tsar’s expansion of his empire into China and Korea lead to a war with the expanding Japanese empire. The Russian government was so corrupt the troops supplies never seemed to arrive and the war resulted in a humiliating defeat. The secret police created their own fake opposition so that they could control it. However conditions were so bad one of their agents a priest Father Gapon was forced to disobey orders and lead a massive demonstration begging the czar for help in a petition. Instead of help the Tsar ordered a massacre. This sparked the 1905 Revolution.
Western “Democracies” sent the Tsar Billions in loans so that he could brutally suppress this revolution since they owned much of the Russian economy and didn’t want Russia’s people interfering with their profits. The Tsar unleashed his proto-fascist “Black Hundreds” death squads who massacred the workers and the peasants along with any jews or “subversives” they could lay their hands on. The Tsar was forced to allow a parliament but broke most of his promises for democratic reform. On the eve of world war 1 nearly ten years later revolution again threatened as the country was paralyzed by massive strikes. However the Tsar foolishly entered the war despite the fact his regime was already tottering.
World war 1 was a disaster for Russia it had some success against the Austro-Hungarian empire but was no match for the crack German troops. The Germans with their modern artillery were able to obliterate the Russian armies their guns were so powerful they could bury the Russians alive from a distance and millions of soldiers perished.
The Russian Officers were so cruel to their men that mutiny was rampant. Again because of corruption and industrial backwardness they were ill trained and poorly supplied. Despite this they did make an important contribution to the allied victory but by 1917 Russia was facing a complete collapse. The women of St. Petersburg sparked a revolution when they marched demanding bread and instead of massacring the people the troops mutinied. However this initial revolution was quickly hijacked by the new provisional government although the Tsar was forced to resign.
The people of Russia desperately needed peace and some relief for their incredible poverty. The new provisional government was committed to continuing the war and delayed putting any socialist reforms into place. It also faced competition from the “Soviets” which meant councils of soldiers workers and peasants.
Lenin newly returned from exile saw an opportunity to turn Russia’s liberal democratic revolution into a communist revolution willing to carry out the will of the people. He won over the Russian people with the slogans “Land, Peace, and Bread” and “All power to the Soviets” Even many in his own party thought this was impossible but of course by November 7 of 1917 only a few months later the Russian October Revolution had succeeded in seizing power.
This is when the cold war began both their former enemies the Germans and their former allies Britain, France, and the US along with 10 other countries were now bent on destroying the Russian Revolution. Luckily for Lenin World War 1 was still ongoing and the Germans’ main priority was to make peace with Russia so that it could send its forces to the western front. They knew Russia was weak and so demanded a large amount of Russian territory in exchange for peace.
Thanks to Trotsky’s bungling they were also able to seize huge amounts of extra territory that had belonged to Russian empire in the Baltic, Poland, and Ukraine which the Germans seized after Trotsky told them he would neither make peace nor war with them. Russia was forced to make peace with the humiliating treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Britain and France were momentarily distracted but provided funding to a series of would be fascist Russian dictators or “White Generals” as they were then called. Men like Generals Denikin and Kolchak. They committed horrendous atrocities and also brought untold disaster and suffering to the men under their command when each of them failed in turn. To give only one example imagine the disaster faced by the men who were forced to retreat without supplies back into Siberia. Once World War 1 Ended the whole world was free to unite in attempting to destroy Socialist Russia.
They not only hoped to destroy the Revolution each also sought to balkanize the country and seize huge territories as loot. The Japanese sought to seize Siberia. France sought to seize Odessa and Crimea. Britain Sought to seize the rich oil fields in the black sea region near present day Chechnya. Germany installed fascist puppets in the Baltic. Poland seized a huge portion of Russian territory. Encircled and invaded on every side amazingly the communists were victorious and regained control of most of their territory. It was one of the most glorious victories in human history.
I hope to revisit the topic of the Russian “Civil War” later this year. For now I’ll merely point out that the Cold War began with the imperialist world invading and attempting to conquer what would become the Soviet Union.
Nor did the west seem very concerned about freedom and democracy when they gave the Tsar billions of dollars to unleash his secret police and death squads on his own people in the failed revolution of 1905. Yet thanks to myth people believe that it is the Soviets who were out to conquer the world. For daring to withdraw from the war and for daring to build a new type of society that would benefit the vast majority of Russians the Soviet Union was targeted for destruction.
Their people were massacred their factories burned. American troops were part of this invasion and yet most Americans have no idea that their country ever invaded Russia. This is because not only was a conventional war declared but also from the start a psychological war a propaganda war. Newspapers printed the most absurd lies about the Soviet Union such as that all women were shared in common. The bolsheviks were portrayed as insane and sadistic killers and the papers were full of fake atrocity stories. The media also constantly portrayed the Soviet Union as being in complete chaos and on the verge of collapse.
Thus one of the most amusing parts of D.F. Fleming was a discussion by Walter Lippman (who coined the phrase the “Manufacture of Consent”) in 1920 printed in the New York Times discussing the terrible failure of the press to provide accurate news on events in Russia calling the coverage a disaster and admitting that the paper had wrongly predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union 91 times since November 1917. Yet of course this coverage was no accident but rather the result of the fact that the western media is owned by rich capitalists who always portray every revolutionary as an insane and cruel madman. The difference being that today they don’t even bother to apologize for their blatant lies.
Not only did America wage war on Russia it also waged war on itself shocking even the reactionary Europeans. American Capitalists were equally terrified of the majority of their own population who lived in dire poverty not to mention the Indians whose children they were kidnapping and brainwashing while the adults lived in concentration camps. They were especially terrified of the blacks kept under brutal apartheid rule and targeted at will by american fascist death squads like the KKK.
They were also suspicious of the new immigrants many who were Catholics or Jews and brought dangerous foreign ideas like socialism, anarchism, and communism. Thus in conjunction with their anti-Russian hysteria they launched a brutal attack on labor unions, blacks, and immigrants. People were held without charges like after 9/11 and many immigrants were deported for the crime of dreaming or organizing for a better world. Full scale war was launched on black communities who were forced to take up arms to defend themselves. These were part of a long pattern of “Race Riots” one of the most brutal was in St Louis in the summer of 1917 where thousands of blacks were murdered before the Russian Revolution had even occurred.
Lynch mobs were unleashed on catholics, jews, and of course blacks and even union members. Prior to world war 1 the Media had been organized to wage a massive propaganda war to convince people of the necessity of entering World War 1. Now with the start of the cold war the media would wage an unending propaganda war that continues to this day. Inspired by the example of the Russian Revolution the american communist party was formed demonized by the press erased from history they would play a vital if forgotten role in the creation of the civil rights movement, the passage of new deal social reforms, the creation of the 1st racially integrated unions, the fight against fascism, war, and imperialism. They would be imprisoned, beaten, tortured, murdered and blacklisted. American prisons are still full of communist political prisoners from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.
After many humiliating and disastrous defeats the imperial powers were forced to give up their war on the Soviet Union. Their own war weary people demanded an end and staged strikes to halt the war. The next strategy the west pursued was one of demonization and isolation. They refused to recognize the new government for years.
The Soviets were desperate to rebuild their society. During the war they had built a form of “War Communism” but Lenin believed socialism must make a temporary retreat and trade restored. The era of NEP began and Russia was even willing to allow foreign trade to resume and foreign investment. Yet not even the prospect of being allowed to exploit the USSR’s rich natural resources could convince the west to relax tensions.
The US and UK refused to even recognize the government let alone resume trade. This turned out for the best since the soviet union would instead once again move the country towards socialism and a planned economy. In 1924 tired of being isolated by the west the Soviets signed instead a deal with the Germans who were also still isolated after loosing the war and being forced to pay massive reparations. Russia received vital industrial equipment in exchange for raw materials. It would be a faustian bargain which while helping the Soviets industrialize also helped the Germans to re-arm. However the British and Americans would soon be funneling billions of dollars into Germany to build up Hitler to attack the Soviet Union.
It was with the rise of Hitler and also the great depression that the next major phase of the cold war would begin. In America Franklin D. Roosevelt finally recognized the USSR in 1933 because the US now needed any potential trade and as a counter-balance to Hitler.
In the Soviet Union they immediately recognized the danger Fascism posed and would try desperately to unite with the imperialist democracies to oppose this new threat. D.F. Fleming spends a whole chapter on Litvinov’s repeated attempts to create an alliance to oppose wars of aggression to keep the peace. Yet as D.F. Fleming demonstrates at great length the west would turn down the Soviet Union’s offers of alliance again and again. The British hoped that Hitler would smash the Soviet Union and it’s policy of appeasement was meant to clear the path east for Hitler while evading it’s treaty commitments in Eastern Europe. During these same years the Germans and Italians invaded republican Spain in aid of the fascist General Francisco Franco who fought to seize power.
The west including FDR banned the shipment of weapons to aid the Spanish loyalists resisting these fascists. It was the Soviet Union alone that sent weapons troops and advisers to preserve democracy in Spain. The USSR also encouraged communists and anti-fascists from around the world to volunteer to aid Spain. The US and Britain on the other hand prosecuted these volunteers as criminals. American newspapers demonized the Spanish republic just as it had demonized the Russian Revolution. Many papers openly supported the fascists. France doomed Spain by barring Russian weapons or supplies from entering the country. The west deliberately insured a fascist victory in Spain and seldom is the Spanish civil war even mentioned in discussing the origins of World War 2.
The fall of Spain was greeted with horror and disgust in Russia. It was increasingly clear that the west would do nothing to stop the march of fascism. Despite this obvious fact the Soviets continued to try to form an alliance against Hitler at every step of the wests appeasement. It offered to fight to defend Czechoslovakia the UK on the other hand rejected this offer and forced the Czechs to surrender. It offered to send troops defend Poland (which had signed a nonaggression pact with Hitler in 1935) Poland denied them permission. The UK attempted to get the USSR to sign a unilateral defense agreement with Poland while turning down their offer of a mutual defense pact. This would have embroiled the USSR into war with Germany as soon as they invaded Poland. In the final months before war began the British and French did their best to delay forming an alliance and insult the soviets by sending low level negotiators with no power to make a deal. American and British capitalists had spent billions of dollars arming the German war machine. Germany was poised to invade Poland. Thus Stalin was forced into his brilliant but infamous gamble of the non-aggression pact with Germany. With this move he forced Britain and France to enter the war against Germany. He also managed to regain the Russian territory Poland had won during the “Russian Civil War” and got a free hand to take back the baltic. Of course from a geo-political perspective it was a smart move but politically it was an embarrassing disaster. Communists around the world had been at the fore front of the fight against fascism and were now in the embarrassing position of having to explain this devils bargain. It would be used to blacken the reputation of the Soviet Union until our own time despite the fact that the west had already signed similar deals with Hitler long before. However it bought the Soviet Union one year in time and a valuable buffer zone that would prove vital in managing to survive the war. It should be remembered that Russia stopped the Germans less then 16 miles from Moscow without this non-aggression pact they could easily have lost the war.
Stalin had hoped Hitler would be bogged down for years on the western front. Unfortunately many in the french military feared communists and socialists far more then Fascism of which they were openly sympathetic. Thanks to their treachery France would collapse quickly and the British would be forced to flee back to Britain. The Nazis forces were the best trained and equipped in the world. They were masters of tactics and strategy. Hitler had always dreamed of conquering Russia enslaving and massacring it’s people and seizing it’s valuable natural resources. He dreamed of the conquest of Eurasia. Thus June 22 1941 he launched his invasion of the Soviet Union. If he had been delayed an extra year he would have faced a much harder war because the soviets were just starting to mass produce their next generation of tanks and planes. Most Soviet forces were armed with obsolete equipment in 1941 and were no match for the battle hardened germans in the first months of the war. It was only in 1942 that the Soviets famous T-34 Tanks and Illuyshin bombers would be produced in enough numbers to give the Soviet Union a fighting chance.
The Soviets suffered defeat after defeat and the world doubted it would survive more then a couple months. Luckily Stalin managed to transfer the more experienced troops from the east in time to save Moscow under General Zhukov’s command. For the first time the Nazis were not only stopped but pushed back hundreds of miles. It was the winter of 1941 and the Americans had finally entered the war making it an ally. Churchill who had been in charge of waging war on Russia during the civil war seemingly put his hostility on hold and allied with Russia. However as D.F. Fleming make clears this change was only an illusion and Churchill would play a sinister game during the war. FDR promised Stalin a second front against Hitler in 1942 to take the pressure off Russia. Churchill instead manipulated them into invading North Africa and then Italy. America and Britain would play an only minor role in the war. Instead it was the Soviets who did the vast majority of the fighting and dying. 90% of German troops died on the eastern front. Sadly thanks to textbooks, hollywood and the media the average American doesn’t even realize Russia fought in World War 2 let alone that they nearly single handedly won the war.
In 1942 Hitler launched his summer offensive to capture the Baku oil fields the British had once tried to steal (and nearly bombed at the start of the war which would have insured a Nazi victory.) However the Nazis had to cover their flank by taking Stalingrad and in the most epic battle in history met their doom. Against all odds the Soviets refused to surrender the city which German bombers quickly reduced to ruins. The Soviets defended every house every block to the death. While the Germans were bogged down in the city; Stalin once again moved in reinforcements from the east the Germans didn’t even suspect existed. Under General Zhukov’s able leadership they launched a counter attack smashing thru the Romanians assigned to guard the german lines. Soon the Germans were completely surrounded and were forced to surrender. It was the the most decisive victory in the war. The Summer of 1943 Hitler Gambled on one last major counter-offensive at Kursk. It was the greatest Tank battle in history and the soviets managed to smash the germans. Now the Red Army began the massive task of liberating eastern Europe. It was only in 1944 that the Western Allies finally opened a second front. Even then Churchill had wanted to invade the Balkans to counter the Russians instead of landing at Normandy. The Soviets had to race the allies to liberate Berlin. A secret deal had been cut and the Germans were offering only token resistance in the west while fighting to the last man on the eastern front against the soviets. Finally after an epic battle the Red Army finished off the nazis in the battle of Berlin. As D. F. Fleming points out the Russians saved countless american and British lives by taking the brunt of the fighting. They suffered untold suffering at the hands of the Germans. Americans who have not known any real war or invasion since the war of 1812 have no idea what it is like to suffer a war let alone what Russia suffered at the hands of Germany. They had no sympathy for the Russians just like they have no sympathy for the Yemenis, Iraqis or the Syrians. America will never understand the horror and folly of war until the instant it is obliterated in a nuclear war by which time their will be no one left to understand anything.
Thus with the arrogance born of their spoiled ignorance America wasted no time after the end of world war 2 to claim the Russians were the new nazis. They choose to ignore the huge debt it owed Russia in defeating Fasc