Russian Anglo-American relations

The Federal Reserve is in the news. Ron Paul’s End the Fed and James Corbett’s Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve provide thoughtful and interesting sources on this financial body. In 1913, the year prior to World War I, the Federal Reserve was created, in order to turn money making into a private enterprise. Putting money making into the hands of a small group of bankers took finance out of the realm of the public state (See: Glossary of Open Politics in The Road to 9/11 Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America by Peter Dale Scott) and allowed for direct control of financial warfare. Removal of “international obstacles” in the way of world financial hegemony was a task not far down the road. The first target was Russia with its stubborn monarchy sitting on wealthy resources. An assertion that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a private enterprise funded by the West is well researched ( See Anthony Sutton’s Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution) but not a common knowledge. The events that ended the Romanov’s dynasty were brought about by Kerensky and his Provisional Government, which rapidly led to the Bolsheviks takeover. The Bolsheviks negotiated the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany which gave Germany all its territorial gains in the war. After the Allied victory, concessions as well as Romanovs’ treasures and gold were given to Western groups looking to plunder Russian resources while the United States did not officially recognize the Bolshevik regime and complained about Russia’s funding of Bolsheviks in the U.S.
Isn’t it interesting that after Stalin’s deportation in 1929 of the “Internationalists”, supporters of the “world revolution”, and the head of the Concessions Committee – Trotsky, that the U.S. markets collapsed in October 1929? Did Stalin’s renegotiations of Trotsky’s concession deals affect the U.S. economy in 1929 after “freebies from Russia” were no longer available? It certainly led to a 1930 embargo by France and America. In 1933 Britain no longer allowed Russia to use gold to buy or sell anything but grain. In 1933 the U.S. pulled the rug out from any gold payments by going off the gold standard. This in turn pushed and stimulated Stalin’s removal of Kulaks (individual households and farms of prosperous peasants) in the expansion of Collective Farms for the increase in grain production for export. In essence Stalin’s nationalization and socialism were aimed to increase defense abilities and industrialization of the country, devastated after the 1st World and the Civil Wars. This sounds familiar because of Hitler’s National Socialism and its arms buildup agenda in similarly broken and downfallen Germany.
Mistrust of the Soviet Union seemed to be the prevalent Western position through the 1920-s and 1930-s. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty, signed August 23, 1939, is still pointed to as a sign that Russia today cannot be trusted as the Soviet Union then could not be. This Treaty was a non-aggression pact which, if one can put themselves in Russia’s shoes, was necessary considering the defeat it recently received by the Germans. A treaty with the last war’s victor was a deal. One also must consider the loss Russia experienced in the Sino-Russian war of 1905 and remaining concern about the instability of its Eastern boarders. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty provided Russia with Germany’s promise not to support Japan against Russia. Britain was instrumental in helping Japan to develop its navy which won the major victory in 1905 at the Battle of Tsusima. The British Royal navy gave a lock of Admiral Nelson’s hair to the Imperial Japanese navy to commemorate that victory.
The actual border that resulted after the annexation of Poland in September 1939 approximated the border of the Russian Empire prior to the outbreak of the 1st World War in 1914. If it is difficult to follow this track being taken to describe Stalin’s position then the situation is not being looked at from the Russian defensive point of view at that time of the impending new world war. Military solutions to diplomatic and political disputes were legitimate strategies in the mindset of the pre-nuclear era. Russia lost a in a direct conflict with Great Britain and France and Ottoman Turkey in the Crimean War of 1853-1856 and again in an indirect conflict with Britain against Japan in the Sino-Russian war of 1905. One may agree that old powers don’t forget old grudges.
The beginning of the mistrust and envy of the West toward Russia might have begun with the abdication of Napoleon on April 6th 1814. The French failed campaign against Russia in 1812, resulted in the coalition of nations called the Sixth Coalition, led by Emperor Alexander I of Russia and Fredrick William III – emperor of Prussia. They defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, and pursued him and his army to Paris with the intention of occupying it. Napoleon went into exile on Elba on April 11, 1814, from which he escaped ten months later.
The one hundred days of Napoleon saw his escape and gathering of forces. This galvanized a Seventh Coalition to confront the outlaw. The British were first to engage Napoleon’s small army at Waterloo and defeated him on June 18, 1815. The Duke of Wellington issued the Malplaquet Proclamation on June 22, 1815, restoring King Louis XVIII to his French throne, and so the world believes that the British defeated Napoleon not the Russians. That same year, 1815, another alliance was signed by Russia’s Alexander I and Prussia’s William III. It was the Holy Alliance which was not signed by the Prince Regent of Britain. It was an alliance of autocracy and its ally patriarchy. It was touted as a threat to liberty and self-determination in Central and Eastern Europe. It lasted until the Crimean War of 1853-1856 where Austria failed to aid Russia against Britain. A last stab in the corpse of that German Russian alliance was the 1866 Austro-Prussian war that separated those two German powers. [This alliance was strengthened through royal families’ relations and a long history of cultural and economic connections.] It took fifty years to separate Russia and the German speaking world after their joint effort to save Europe from Napoleon and one hundred years later the Romanov dynasty was gone in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution. Is there a mind guiding the course of history?
If the answer is “no”, we can still see a trend and say that in the early 19th century Napoleon tried to unify Europe under dictatorship and after mid-century the unity created to resist Napoleon was dissolved. By early 20th century, post-World War I, we see further isolation of Russia after a terrible war between it and Germany and with the Russian Revolution. Patterns, trends and results do suggest some intentionality. It might be ridiculous to expect the media to have a memory as that can see this, but it is still a plausible theory that Western empire builders had been trying to isolate and destabilize Russia for a long time.
Despite the attempts to isolate Russia in the 30-s, the West and Russia needed each other to defeat the Third Reich. By 1942 Stalin’s clamoring for a Second Front to be opened against Germany reached a deafening pitch and to the point, that Churchill and Roosevelt were concerned that Stalin would reach a separate peace with Hitler. To assure Stalin that the West was honest about opening a Western Front, Churchill met Stalin in Moscow in the summer of 1942. After a formal diplomatic meeting that achieved nothing, the two great leaders met in Stalin’s Moscow apartment for dinner and drinks. Archibald Clark Kerr, the British diplomat in Moscow who later helped put together the Yalta and Potsdam conferences for the “Big Three”, stated in his diary that Churchill was in a ‘triumphant mood’ when he returned to his dacha early in the morning from the personal meeting with Stalin. He also quoted Churchill as having said that Stalin was a ‘great man’ with whom he had ‘cemented a friendship’.
Let’s jump less than three years forward to Fulton Missouri in May 1946, after the defeat of Hitler, to Winston Churchill’s speech to the crowd in that small town of 7,000 in the American Midwest. He told the crowd of 40,000 about the great treaty Britain has had with Portugal since 1384 as a historic record of the Temple of Peace, and the greatness of the Magna Carta, and the Bill of Rights. He also mentioned the trust and mutual assistance between Britain, America and Canada inside that Temple. The main point of the speech after that was to exclude Russia, the Soviet Union from that temple on ideological reasons and proclaim that an Iron Curtain had descended upon Eastern Europe at the hands the Soviet Union and international communist organizations. Why didn’t Churchill try harder to meet for drinks with his good friend? Did he change his mind about the ‘great man’, Stalin at Yalta and Potsdam? Why didn’t Churchill give a somewhat different speech in Moscow? It was easier to go to rural America to draw a large crowd and “woo” Americans into an ideological struggle. Let’s not forget that NATO was formed in 1949 before the Soviets responded with the formation of the Warsaw Pact. Someone’s grandparent or great-grandparent may say that NATO was created in response to the Soviet’s denying Western forces access to their sectors of Berlin, which was landlocked by East German, the Soviet zone of Germany. This crisis is known as the Berlin Blockade when in September 1948 Soviets blocked western allied road, rail and canal access to their sectors of Berlin in an attempt to supply all of Berlin with Soviet food, fuel etc. It was like having Berlin in the Soviet trade zone. Western allies stubbornly held on to their claims in Berlin with the Berlin airlift. Let’s also not forget that France and Britain did not invite any Soviets to the negotiations that led to the signing of the treaty of Brussels, signed by Britain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands in March 1948, six months before the Berlin Blockade. This treaty is considered the precursor to NATO. If the Soviets had been invited and included on defense treaties, as they should have been since they were at the conferences in Yalta and Potsdam, it isn’t difficult to imagine that Stalin’s friend Churchill might have received an invite to Stalin’s 70th birthday party in 1949 for a great evening of drink and reminiscences of the dark days in 1942. But Stalin was still in power and Churchill had been voted out as Prime Minister and Churchill had already given his Iron Curtain speech.
Is it of any benefit to the United States to take sides in this two hundred year old relationship of competition, shaky alliances and backstabbing between Britain and Russia? Who keeps their agreements and is more trustworthy? Clearly today Britain lines up with the U.S. often and Russia pushes back. Grandparents and great-grandparents, professors in American Universities and the U.S. government still point to the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 as reasons to distrust Russia. It is not apologetic to propose that the Soviets were responding to Warsaw Pact treaty obligations. Hungary and Czechoslovakia were in that pact. Ukraine is not part of NATO. Drang nach Osten, thrust to the East, is an inevitable reality for a western peninsula like Western Europe. This term carries connotations of Teutonic knights and their moves into Slavic lands for war and colonization. The term was revived during German nationalist movements in the late 19th century and adopted by Nazi ideology. Drang nach Osten translates into Vladivostok in Russian. Russia and Europe have more in common than Sir Winston Churchill knew. It is time to set aside our grandparent’s and great-grandparent’s mistrust of Russia. The world would experience greater prosperity and peace if the United States and Russia would put aside differences and cooperate.

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