Thursday, 8 October 2015
This deserves the Full Montague
As per one of the comments, I would love to see the CIA fronting iGREENS go off script and do a VW hitjob by forcing Toyota to make a full pickup recall. Oh phukkmeee!! There would be a Ranch wet team on iGREEN think tank premises within the hour.
Take it away.
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
– John F. Kennedy, 20th Anniversary of The Voice Of America, February 26th, 1962
A nation that is afraid of its people. Once there would have been no doubt about who that was not, as witnessed by the statement above. And once upon a time, “western values” was an honest-to-goodness aspiration, not a punch line. But that was a long time before the boyish President spoke that probably-heartfelt confidence to young postwar America – a country that was growing so fast, both in its economy and its foreign influence, that you could almost feel the ground tremble beneath your feet.
How far do you want to go back? As the newborn Soviet Union began to think urgently about restarting production in a country ravaged by World War I and then three years of brutal and destructive civil war, it urgently needed western equipment and machinery to rebuild its shattered factories and to modernize, to move forward. The Soviet Union was on the gold standard, producing a gold coin called the Chervonets. It would pay in gold for modern machinery.
Except the west wouldn’t take it. Why not? Because a competing currency backed by gold reserves threatened the reach of an emerging financial empire dominated by the American dollar and the British pound sterling. The Chervonets disappeared, to be replaced by a rouble which was not backed by gold. The Soviet Union was then recognized by the west, and shortly thereafter, in 1925, it announced again its wish to accelerate industrialization, and to purchase western equipment and machinery. The west refused again to accept gold, and agreed the only mediums of exchange could be oil, timber and grain. In 1933 the west introduced the Russian Goods Import Prohibition Act. The only means of payment entertained – Soviet grain.
Stalin’s government was faced with a choice: either to give up restoring industry, so capitulating to the West, or continue industrialising, leading to a dreadful internal crisis. If the Bolsheviks took grain away from the peasants, there was the very great probability of a famine which, in turn, might lead to internal unrest and removal from power. So no matter what Stalin chose, the West would remain victorious. Stalin and his entourage decided to force their way through and stop at nothing.
You know what happened. The Holodomor, which Ukraine frequently refers to as a deliberate genocide of Ukrainians, although Ukraine was heavily agrarian – the breadbasket of the Soviet Union – and it stands to reason it was hardest hit.
1939-1945: another war. The Soviet Union was allied with the west against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. As it ground to a bloody close, America was presented with an almost unbelievable set of circumstances, not long after The Voice of America celebrated in the quote above was just getting started. The war was over. Europe was devastated; much of its youth sleeping forever in the earth where they fell, its cities smashed and ruined, its factories and production facilities charred rectangular craters in the lunatic moonscape signature of relentless bombing. A weary and soul-shocked people turned their faces to rebuilding. But how?
America!!! Although the young United States had paid its dues in casualties and war dead, the country itself was untouched. Moreover, its factories and plants and manufacturing facilities were revved up and running at full-bore, accustomed to providing for a world at war. If America played its cards right, it could become the dominant world power for as far as the eye could see, and its allies would be beholden to it for their very existence.
And Germany. What should be done about Germany, the host of the Nazi cancer that had clearly intended to spread and spread if it had not been ripped out and stamped upon by the allies? That was a matter of no small concern to Stalin, because the USSR had borne the brunt of the crushing juggernaut of German metal and artillery and hate. Had mad Hitler not elected to open a second front, he might well have prevailed in Europe and been able to negotiate from a position of strength. But the USSR had paid a terrible price; more than 25 million dead, more than any country in the war, and some of its cities little more than smoldering piles of tumbled bricks. Obviously, the Soviets had not invited this. So who was going to pay for it?
The obvious answer was Germany, and the Potsdam Agreement gave the Soviet Union claim to 25% of German assets. The western allies were to get 75% to divide between them, and Germany was obviously going to get nothing. But somewhere along the line, the plan changed. As the reference points out, “the important point was that the absolute amount of that theoretical asset was within the discretion of the Allied Control Council to determine. Given the de facto acceptance of Soviet and Western spheres of influences, the Western Occupation Powers had the ultimate decision-making power in dividing up Germany industrial assets.” And the United States decided that the Soviet Union was trying to increase its own power at the expense of Germany; and, dash it, that just wasn’t fair. Unaccountably, Stalin declined an American offer to participate in The Marshall Plan, and contribute resources to rebuild Europe before the Soviet Union – incredibly unreasonable man. American leaders put it down to Stalin being reluctant to disclose just how much wealth the Soviet Union had.
Ambitions for Germany was the issue at which their paths divided. The Soviet Union wanted the rich industrial assets of the Ruhr, and considered itself entitled to them. The United States had other plans. Already, despite its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union, the USA was pondering how it could become the preeminent world power, and those plans did not include a potential rival. The USA had already determined that Germany – the former enemy whose Nazi ideology was denounced at Nuremberg – should be rebuilt as a counterweight to America’s erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union.