Whom Is the Soviet Leadership
Taking United Action With?
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #6, Feb. 4, 1966, pp. 10-13.]
WHAT sort of ware is the Soviet leaders’ much-advertised “united action”? This time the answer was provided by U.S. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey in his television talk on January 16.
Accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Humphrey recently conferred in New Delhi with Alexei Kosygin, Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers. This was one of the most important contacts between leaders of the Soviet and U.S. Governments since the fall of Khrushchov. Humphrey disclosed that his meeting with Kosygin was “frank and candid. It was polite, reasonable.” Such talks were “always helpful to the common cause of peace,” he said. “Looking ahead for the next several years,” he added, U.S.-Soviet relations “can and should be improved.”
“Responsible Citizen of the World Community.” If Humphrey’s remarks are a bit guarded about the true state of U.S.-Soviet collusion and the capitulationist line of the Soviet leaders, statements by other high-ranking U.S. officials are much more outspoken. Back on December 7, 1965, Rusk said: “We can take seriously the discussion of peaceful coexistence by the Soviet Union.” On December 9, Averell Harriman said that the United States and the Soviet Union had been brought “closer together” and they would “work in parallel together.” Earlier, on October 21, 1965, U.S. chief delegate to NATO Harlan Cleveland went even further. He praised “the Soviet Union’s conversion from ambitious outlaw to responsible citizen of the world community.”
Indisputable facts prove that the new Soviet leadership has gone further than Khrushchov along the road of U.S.-Soviet collaboration. U.S. imperialism’s counter-revolutionary global strategy has the active support of the Soviet leaders.
“Parallel” Actions. The United States and the Soviet Union have lately taken a series of steps in Asia which the Western press has described as “parallel” actions. The new items in the collusion between the Soviet leaders and U.S. imperialists in Asia include the vigorous peddling of Johnson’s “unconditional discussions,” the much-vaunted Tashkent talks, and the fast-developing “Japanese-Soviet amity.”
The Soviet Leaders’ Stand on the Vietnam Question
On the Vietnam question, the Soviet leaders have been steadily going hand in glove with the U.S. imperialists, busily running errands on behalf of Johnson’s “peace talks” intrigues.
Background to Shelepin’s Visit to Vietnam. The Soviet delegation to Vietnam headed by A.N. Shelepin arrived in Hanoi amid the fanfare of “peace offensive” trumpets blown loudly by the Johnson Administration. What was Shelepin’s attitude to this gigantic fraud, this monstrous conspiracy of U.S. imperialism? He did not expose it, still less did he condemn it. But on the other hand the Soviet press, for obvious ulterior purposes, went out of its way during this period to extol the so-called “Tashkent spirit,” advocating “the settlement of questions through negotiations.” The “Tashkent spirit,” it proclaimed, “far exceeds the confines of the Indian subcontinent”; it even said that it was also “of great importance” to the whole of Southeast Asia. This kind of propaganda in the Soviet papers had the clear implication that the Vietnamese people ought to sit down at the conference table with the U.S. aggressors while allowing the latter to continue their occupation of south Vietnam.
“Events in Vietnam Constitute a Menace to Peace”? If Shelepin felt it inconvenient to echo the Johnson Administration’s “peace offensive” openly in Hanoi, the Soviet leaders felt no such restraint in the Soviet-Japanese talks in Moscow. The joint Soviet-Japanese communique said not a single word about U.S. imperialism’s agression against Vietnam; instead, it declared in general terms that the two sides “stressed that the events in Vietnam constitute a menace to peace.” There is nothing surprising in the Japanese reactionaries saying this. The surprising thing is that the Soviet leaders should join the Japanese reactionaries in saying it. People may well ask: Since it is clearly U.S. aggression that constitutes the “menace to peace” on the Vietnam question, how can the Vietnamese people’s anti-U.S. struggle for national salvation in any way “menace” peace? Without distinguishing between the aggressor and its victim, between the just and the unjust, the Soviet leaders have joined with the Japanese reactionaries in charging that “the events in Vietnam constitute a menace to peace.” This provides fresh proof of their effort to extinguish the Vietnamese people’s raging, fiery struggle by putting up a pretence of “defending peace,” and thereby to bring the Vietnam question within the orbit of U.S.-Soviet collaboration.
The U.S. imperialists, to say the least, understand and appreciate the Soviet leaders’ intentions. Following the Kosygin-Humphrey talks, McGeorge Bundy, special assistant to the U.S. President, was frank when he said on January 16: “It has been made clear to us over a long period of time that the Soviet Government hopes there can be a peaceful settlement [in Vietnam].” Humphrey also openly expressed the desire that the Soviet Union would exert “a moderating influence” on the Vietnam question. The nature of the shady deal the Soviet leaders are trying to make with the U.S. imperialists is as clear as daylight.
The So-Called “Tashkent Spirit”
Tashkent Talks—Product of Joint U.S.-Soviet Plotting. The Tashkent talks, which were initiated by the Soviet leaders, were also a product of joint U.S.-Soviet plotting. As soon as Moscow put forward the proposal for such a conference, Washington voiced approval. And the Johnson Administration lost no time in acclaiming the “Tashkent Declaration” when it was signed. Humphrey said without any reservation over television: “That was well done ... I expressed the commendation of our Government to Mr. Kosygin.”
Attempt to Weaken the United Struggle Against Imperialism in Asia and Africa. During the India-Pakistan conflict, both the United States and the Soviet Union instigated and encouraged the Indian aggressors, and crudely pressured Pakistan which was acting in self-defence to safeguard its sovereignty. Why did they work hard in close co-ordination afterwards to bring the Indian and Pakistan leaders together to “make peace”? The truth is the Soviet leaders went to all that trouble to conjure up a “Tashkent spirit” for the simple reason that they wanted to continue backing up the Indian reactionaries and to use that “spirit” to publicize their general line of “peaceful coexistence,” in order to weaken the united struggle against imperialism in Asia and Africa. As far as U.S. imperialism was concerned, its purpose was to make common cause against China and push ahead with its global strategy, utilizing the Soviet leaders’ intervention in Asian affairs. The New York Times has pointed out that the interests of the United States and the Soviet Union “seem to coincide” on the India-Pakistan question. This remark pinpoints the reason for their united action.
An Important Step in Pursuit of the Policy of U.S.-Soviet Collaboration for World Domination. The Soviet leaders’ stepped-up collusion with the Japanese reactionaries is an important step in pursuit of their policy of U.S.-Soviet collaboration for world domination.
In the past year, the Soviet leaders have shown a special eagerness to express “friendship” towards the Sato government. The recent Soviet-Japanese talks were a great demonstration of the Soviet leaders’ eagerness for “Japanese-Soviet amity.” Ignoring the rapid revival of Japanese militarism under U.S. sponsorship, ignoring the fact that the “Japan-South Korea Treaty” is an instrument of aggression directed against the Korean Democratic People’s Republic and China, the Soviet leaders went so far as to praise the Japanese reactionaries as “a stabilizing force in Asia” and as occupying “a leading position in Asia.” They even expressed the hope that the Japanese reactionaries would “act in close co-ordination [with the Soviet Union] in the international community.” As a result of the Soviet-Japanese talks in Moscow, a number of agreements have been signed. One American paper wrote: “A warm zephyr is wafting between Moscow and Tokyo.”
U.S.-Soviet-Japanese Triangle. The Soviet leaders’ burning desire to co-operate with the Japanese reactionaries is closely related to the U.S. imperialist policy of accelerating the revival of Japanese militarism. Gromyko admitted this in so many words when he said that “to work for the amicable development of Soviet-Japanese relations will do no harm to [Japan’s] relations with third countries.” He went further and made it clear that “by third countries is meant the Western powers.” In other words, the collaboration between the Soviet leaders and Japanese reactionaries will be carried out in the context of recognizing the “U.S.-Japan security set-up.” This makes it clear that Soviet-Japanese collaboration is in fact an extension of Soviet-U.S. collaboration.
Serving U.S. Imperialist Policy of Encircling China
The course taken by the Soviet leaders on the Vietnam, India-Pakistan and Japan questions completely conforms with the requirements of U.S. imperialism, and especially with the latter’s policy of encircling China.
U.S. “Cordon” and Soviet “Containment Wall.” For a long time, U.S. imperialism has been unsparing in its efforts to build an arc as a “cordon” around China, stretching from India in the west to Japan in the east. The occupation of China’s Taiwan, the formation of the SEATO bloc, the revival of the Japanese militarist forces, the signing of the “Japan-South Korea Treaty,” the efforts to rig up a Northeast Asia military alliance, the fostering of the Indian reactionaries, the dispatch of massive forces to occupy south Vietnam and the armed intrusions into the various countries of Indo-China—all these are directed towards this same end. However, China’s steadily growing strength and international prestige and the vigorous development of the national-independence movements in Asia have been causing cracks and breaches in this U.S. imperialist “cordon.” Therefore the Khrushchov revisionists have come forward to help patch it up. Hence Humphrey’s remark that “the Soviets are trying to build a containment wall around communist China.”
The loving care lavished by the Soviet leaders on the Indian reactionaries is intended to make India an instrument of joint U.S.-Soviet opposition to China, and a flank in the encirclement of China.
Their exertions in hawking the “peace talks” swindle of the Johnson Administration are aimed at compelling the Vietnamese people to cease their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save their country and turning Indo-China into a sector of the joint U.S.-Soviet effort to “contain” China.
Likewise, the “amity” the Soviet leaders are showing the Japanese reactionaries stems from the requirements of opposition to China. The Japanese reactionaries understand this perfectly. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the opinion that the special goodwill recently shown by the Soviet Union to Japan was a “link in the strategy to isolate communist China.” It is no accident that Japan has now shifted the emphasis of its military deployment from the north to the west, which is nearer to China, and has stepped up the establishment of missile bases in Kyushu.
To help U.S. imperialism consolidate its positions for encircling China, the Soviet leaders have gone to the lengths of sending delegates to sit side by side at the conference table with its lackeys, the Chiang Kai-shek gang, and the south Vietnamese and south Korean puppet groups, and to discuss what they call the “cause” of “Asian development.”
L.I. Brezhnev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, recently led a large delegation to Mongolia. It is not hard to see what they were up to.
In a word, the Khrushchov revisionists are ready to do anything in order to co-ordinate with U.S. imperialism in its opposition to China.
Policy of Appeasement in Europe
Simultaneously with their stepped-up collusion with U.S. imperialism in Asia, the Soviet leaders are pressing further ahead with their policy of appeasement in Europe.
One Retreat After Another on European Question. On the European question, Khrushchov on several occasions fired blank shots about “the conclusion of a German peace treaty” and he made some empty gestures on the West Berlin question. But since taking office the new Soviet leaders have hauled down the flag and muffled the drums in an effort to “freeze” the European status quo. After visiting the Soviet Union in July last year Averell Harriman said confidently: “The status quo, at least for the foreseeable future, is what the Russians want in Europe. I don’t believe Moscow will be interested in discussing a German settlement in the next five or six years.” At the beginning of November last year, the headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe officially declared: “The Berlin crisis has ended and no new Eastern threat is expected soon.” In fact, the U.S. policy of fostering West German revanchist forces remains unchanged. There is no real relaxation in the situation in Europe. The temporary shelving by the United States of the multilateral nuclear force plan, the central aim of which is to arm West Germany with nuclear weapons, is only a gesture. Yet the Soviet leaders have made one retreat after another on the European question. This is of great service to U.S. imperialism in its global strategy. It is under these conditions that U.S. troops in Western Europe are being constantly transferred eastward to south Vietnam.
Accomplices of U.S. Imperialism. Whatever flag the Soviet leaders may wave, whatever signboard they may put up, they cannot, in the face of this weight of evidence, hide the fact that they have long degenerated into accomplices of U.S. imperialism in its opposition to the revolutionary people of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and to the revolutionary people, all over the world.
Is the United States completely satisfied with the Soviet leaders who are so hard at work serving its global strategy? No, not quite. At present, what U.S. imperialism feels particularly dissatisfied with is that the Soviet leaders have not accomplished their mission on the Vietnam question. They resorted to both pressure and deception but failed to make the Vietnamese people lay down their arms and agree to Johnson’s “unconditional discussions.” Therefore while praising the Soviet leaders, U.S. imperialism also complains about them. In this respect, Hubert Humphrey’s remarks are typical. He said that the Soviet leadership “still is not exactly a loving partner of the United States of America.”
Capitulationist Line Meets a Host of Difficulties
The Soviet leaders have failed to give the United States complete satisfaction not because they are unwilling, but because they are unable to do so. Their line of capitulation to U.S. imperialism violates the interests of the people throughout the world, including the Soviet people, and they cannot but therefore come up against a host of difficulties.
Vietnamese People Not to be Taken in by “Peace Talks” Fraud. How can the Soviet leaders compel the Vietnamese people to surrender and give up the struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation? The Vietnamese people refuse to be slaves in a subjugated nation, they are determined not to be taken in by Johnson’s “peace talks” fraud. In his recent letter to heads of state, President Ho Chi Minh declared: “So long as the U.S. army of aggression still remains on our soil, our people will resolutely fight against it.” In the face of the persevering struggle of the heroic Vietnamese people, the Munich scheme of the Soviet leaders will inevitably be seen through by increasing numbers of people.
Revolutionary Struggles Cannot Be Stamped Out. How can the Soviet leaders possibly stamp out the revolutionary struggles of the peoples of the world? So long as imperialism and the reactionaries exist in the world, the oppressed peoples and nations are bound to rise up in revolution. This is the mighty current of world historical development which cannot be stemmed by U.S. imperialism or the Soviet leaders, or by the two acting together.
China Perseveres in Marxism-Leninism. How can the Soviet leaders succeed in helping U.S. imperialism to encircle and “contain” China? China today is no longer the old China of pre-liberation days, nor is it the China of the immediate post-liberation period; it is an increasingly powerful socialist country which is persevering in Marxism-Leninism. China has a growing number of friends, its international prestige is rising higher and higher, and it is playing an ever greater role in international affairs. China is the greatest obstacle to the U.S. imperialists’ counter-revolutionary strategy for world domination, as well as to the Soviet leaders’ general line of U.S.-Soviet collaboration to dominate the world.
The Soviet People Won’t Approve. It is difficult for the Soviet leaders to get their line of U.S.-Soviet collaboration approved by the great Soviet people. It is inconceivable that the Soviet people, who have a glorious revolutionary tradition and who for a long time had Lenin and Stalin as their teachers, will permit the Soviet leaders to unscrupulously push through to the end a line of capitulation to U.S. imperialism detrimental to the interests of the world’s people and the Soviet people themselves.
Because of the reasons mentioned above, the Soviet leaders, in the course of pushing ahead with their line of capitulation to U.S. imperialism, are forced by circumstances to make increasing use of two-faced tactics and offer some anti-imperialist gestures to deceive the people of the world. This shows the cunning of the Soviet leaders, and also their weaknesses.
Praise and the Lash. U.S. imperialism has seen through the weaknesses of the Soviet leaders. The U.S. imperialists express understanding towards the two-faced tactics of the Soviet leaders, but at the same time feel somewhat uncertain about them. At times, they lavish a few words of praise on the Soviet leaders and at times they use the lash a bit. The whole purpose is to make the Soviet leaders serve them better and co-ordinate with them better.
Past and recent events show that cunning as the Soviet leaders are, they have to dance to the tune of the U.S. imperialists. They do not scruple to betray the interests of the people of the Soviet Union and of the other socialist countries, and the interests of the people of the whole world; they do not scruple to sell out Vietnam, to unite with the United States to oppose China; and they have gone further and further down the road of betrayal.
Humphrey Reveals Soviet Leaders’ True Colours. Hubert Humphrey’s television remarks once again unmask the Soviet leaders. They have been prattling about “united action” but with whom, after all, do they unite? They are not uniting with the Marxist-Leninists or with the revolutionary people of the world but with U.S. imperialism, the greatest aggressor of the present era. In so doing the Soviet leaders are simply revealing themselves still further in their true colours as renegades. The people of the world will never forgive them, and the Soviet people will never forgive them. They cannot escape the punishment of history.
(“Renmin Ribao,” February 2, 1966.)
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