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Dave Silver June 5, 2004

The Soviet Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Molotov as early as 1938 urged the Allied powers, particularly the U.S., Britain and France for a Collective Security Pact against Nazi Germany. We should recall that it was British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French Premier Daladier that signed the Munich Agreement in which Czechoslovakia ceded the Sudetenland to Germany. “Peace in Our Time” Chamberlain shouted.

In August 1939, certain of an attack on the Soviet Union, Molotov signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Germany. This was followed by a “phony war” period from approximately October 1939-March 1940 in which there was almost no military operations on either side. Churchill desperately wanted the Wermacht to turn east against the real enemy-the Bolsheviks. Wasn’t it none other than Harry Truman who later said if the Russians are beating the Germans we’ll help the Germans and vice-versa.

Operation Barbossa, the Nazi invasion of the USSR, took place on June 22, 1941, giving the Soviet Union 2 years to prepare since the Pact signing. Moscow not only moved entire industries east of the Urals but tens of thousands of Soviet Jews to safer places like Tashkent in Uzbekistan. After unspeakable death and destruction inflicted by the Nazis, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met at the Teheran Conference in August of 1943, in which Stalin agreed to launch a military offensive from the east to coincide with the planned invasion of France from the west. The Normandy invasion we call D-Day didn’t take place until a year later.

The ultimately decisive blows against fascism took place in Stalingrad (1942-3) with over 1 million Soviet casualties and 800,000 Germans. In July 1943 the Red Army won the largest Tank battle in history at Kursk. These facts in no way diminishes the contribution of primarily U.S. forces on D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, Anzio or Iwo Jima. Rather we should put into perspective the respective roles of the Allies in the defeat of fascism: 27 million Soviet citizens killed and millions of square miles of the country devastated. The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sent a message to Moscow that US imperialism is in charge and initiated the Cold War.

How obscene for Bush to go to ceremonies of the 60th anniversary of D-Day and equate the heroism and cause of the anti-fascist struggle with that of Iraq. The political representatives of our profit system headed by GW Bush are the new Nazis.

They have no need for gas chambers and crematoria; we now have missiles, napalm uranium and billion dollar killing machines. We also have concentration camps in Guantanamo, Abu Graib and in many of our state and federal prisons.

Our Remembrances of those who died in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and Iraq must include the question WHY? How did those tragedies happen. Whether it was “Jewish Bolsheviks” responsible for the misery of the Third Reich or was it IBM, G.E and other corporations that did business with IG Farben and Thyssen to build a sophisticated and powerful military. We must ask why of all the wars. We cannot feed the illusion that changing the occupant of the White House will have any significant effect on changing the foreign policy or economic goals of US imperialism.

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