This was the reality at the end of World War II… note well that Truman and Churchill HATED it. The USSR didn’t have the ability to start a war at that time, devastated as it was (after all, most of the major battles in Europe occurred on its territory). The “conservative” narrative was a conscious lie from the start… what does that tell us about William F Buckley and his drooling acolytes such as Rod Dreher? I’ll leave that to you…
American “conservatism” was evil from the top… it defended slavery, it defended the Gilded Age rape of the country by the trusts, it defended and defends the post-World War II warmongering of the USA, it defends the successful “war” against the working people of this country waged by the One Percent. No Christian can have anything to do with such a diabolical ideology… if it means that “conservatives” attack me savagely for saying such, so be it. Hier stehe ich… ich kann NICHT anders!
5 March is the 70th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s speech at Westminster College in Fulton MO, considered by many historians to signify the beginning of the Cold War. In a reflective article, Russian historian Dmitri Kosyrev contemplated on the world born by the speech, and its enduring relevance today. In a piece published by RIA Novosti, Kosyrev gave his view of the speech and its ramifications.
The Cold War generals of today have something in common with Churchill, a theoretician, practitioner, strategist, and ideologist of this war, [although naturally they can’t match his historical magnitude]. Certainly, we can see that the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s speech at Fulton (5 March 1946 at Westminster College in Missouri in the USA) was the “birthday” of the Cold War… that is, of the confrontation between the West and the USSR/Russia. However, there’s something much more interesting in this speech; namely, it was the proclamation of an ideology and strategy of a new global era, on which the sun is only just now beginning to set.
However, first, a couple of small details of the larger picture… the term “Cold War” wasn’t Churchill’s creation, but that of his fellow countryman, the writer George Orwell, who first used it in 1945. With these words, the author outlined the future state of relations between countries which would acquire nuclear weapons, but remain afraid to use them. Soon, he’d accuse the USSR of beginning such a war against Britain and the USA. Gradually, the term would take root. However, at Fulton, it didn’t yet exist. Instead, it’d be there that the term “Iron Curtain” would find its first use. It wasn’t Churchill offering to erect it in front of the Soviets; he believed that Moscow had already done so, thus partitioning Europe.
Taken as a starting point for the beginning of the confrontation between the former allies, one could say that the speech was an arbitrary choice… there might have been other pretexts or speeches before it. Nevertheless, the fact is that Churchill was a great strategist, speaker and writer, and although he was no longer the leader of Britain at the time, his thoughts and his words carried weight in and of themselves. Especially, given the fact that US President Harry Truman was with him at Fulton. So, 1946… why did the retired politician decide to come down on the USSR, and, more importantly, why does his speech remain unforgotten to this day? The answer is that Churchill wasn’t speaking only strictly about the USSR. He was laying out his vision of the world that he felt needed to be built following the Second World War… the world as a whole. He took to goal setting, and on a truly global scale.
Most importantly, the world heard him, and the world which he proposed began to be built. In world history, it’s a rare case when one person can formulate the direction in which so many people and countries will then follow for so many decades. Churchill’s speech sounded amidst ideological confusion, fatigue, and vacillation, the cause of which he eloquently described. The post-war devastation, ration cards (including in the UK), communists coming to power across Europe, in half of the latter under the direct influence of the USSR. Churchill answered important questions for the Western world, including “Where will we go? ‘What kind of a world do we want?” Most importantly, “Who are ‘we’?'” The essence of the speech lies in the answer to the last question. At the beginning of the speech, Churchill clearly identified what not every Briton was willing to say out loud; namely, “the USA stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power”. Before the war, the sole superpower was the British Empire, an empire which he would lead. The balance of global power had changed, and he proclaimed this at Fulton.
However, from this shift, from his own country’s disaster, Churchill concluded, “Opportunity is here and now, clear and shining for both our countries… and not only for them, but for the English-speaking peoples; that is, the former dominions of the British Crown… Canada, Australia, New Zealand. That’s what he said in Fulton… the need for not just an alliance between the USA and the UK, as in the days of the war, but for the strengthening of Anglo-Saxon unity, and not for the creation of a US-European “Atlantic” partnership… in this, Churchill’s successors were successful, although this concept wasn’t formalised by any explicit agreement. In Russian, this idea even has a contemporary nickname, born of a high-ranking diplomat, who remains nameless, “Naglo-Saxons” [the word nagliy means “brazen” or “brash” in Russian].
Several days after Fulton, Churchill received a response from [Soviet leader] I V Stalin. In an interview for Pravda, Stalin took great notice of the “Anglophone” idea of his sworn partner at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. Asked whether Churchill’s speech had caused harm to the cause of global peace and security, Stalin replied:
Certainly. The essence of the affair is that Mr Churchill now assumes the position of a warmonger. Mr Churchill isn’t alone in this; he has friends not only in England but also in the USA. One should note that Mr Churchill and his friends strikingly recall in this respect Hitler and his friends. Hitler began the task of unleashing war by proclaiming a racial theory, declaring that only people who spoke the German language constituted a full-fledged nation. Mr Churchill, too, has begun the task of unleashing war with a racial theory, stating that only nations that speak the English language are full-fledged nations that are called upon to rule the destinies of the world… in essence, Mr Churchill and his friends in England and the USA presented non-English-speaking nations with something like an ultimatum… recognise our dominance voluntarily and then all will be in order; in the contrary case, war is inevitable.
Stalin described the weakness of Churchill’s position very accurately, but the Fulton speech compensated for it by clearly proclaiming not just the ideological basis of the confrontation with the communist USSR, but also a moral and values-based “exceptionalism” of the English-speaking nations against everyone else. This is what we continue to hear from them to this day, although communism in our country is long gone; today, this “excpetionalism” is now called “universal values”… the current unenviable fate of Europe, including the Transatlantic Partnership, written according to American standards, all comes from there… from the Fulton speech. Through the eyes of someone living in 2016, Churchill’s idea may seem mad, but in 1946, everything was logical. The nuclear monopoly of the USA plus the joint use of British naval and air bases all across the globe… and, the USSR excepted, there were no competitors. Relations between London and Washington had their ups and downs, but in general, through the past 70 years, they really did build “the world according to Churchill”. Today, we’re living in the sunset of this era.
Of course, in 1946, Sir Winston couldn’t have known that the world would be so different; then, China was in ruins, India was still a part of the British Empire, Africa consisted almost exclusively of colonies, which is not to mention the impending end of the American nuclear monopoly. Nevertheless, in spite of the changes, Churchill and those inspired by his ideology tried very hard, and even only 15 years ago it may have seemed that the goals he had set had been successfully realised. Finally, Churchill stands at the very top of the pyramid of the historical haters of Russia… as a theorist and practitioner, as a strategist and ideologist. It’s possible and necessary to say whatever one likes about him, but he was a figure of immense historical magnitude, including thanks to the Fulton speech.
Today… who do we have today that lives by the symbols of the Cold War? Perhaps, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Philip Breedlove? Let’s take a listen:
Russia doesn’t want to challenge the agreed rules of the international order. It wants to rewrite them; Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the USA and to our European allies and partners. Russia and the Assad régime are deliberately weaponising migration from Syria in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve. The USA and its allies are preparing to fight and win if necessary against Russia.
Perhaps there’s something Churchillian in these words, but Breedlove is no Churchill.
5 March 2016