Formalizing the Sellout
by Jonathan Goodwin
Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover
conference was held November 27 to December 1, 1943. The participants
were Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Hoover describes two commitments
made at this conference as the greatest blows to human freedom
in this century.
The first of
these was that the Soviet Union would be allowed to annex seven
peoples that had been under Russian rule before the First World
War but had been freed as an outcome of that war. These seven included:
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bessarabia, Bukovina, part of Finland,
and part of Poland.
commitment was that the Soviets would be allowed a buffer of friendly
border states, meaning in practical terms states that would
be condemned to communist rule. The states were western Poland,
East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia,
There was no
written agreement. Hoover explains that there also is no direct
record of this agreement. Roosevelt did not want the agreement made
public, explaining that there was an election upcoming in 1944,
and with six million Poles in the United States (as well as millions
more of Eastern European descent), he did not want to lose this
constituency. However, that these agreements were made are clear
by the subsequent actions and comments of the actors present, as
well as the actions taken by others on behalf of these actors. Hoover
catalogs these actions and comments in great detail.
Hoover is quite
troubled by this turn. He refers regularly to the principles formulated
in the Atlantic Charter, principles agreed to by Roosevelt and Churchill,
and subsequently agreed to and confirmed on more than one occasion
by Stalin. Hoover views the crime as one of going back on the principles
of the Charter the key principles in this case including
that of no territorial aggrandizement, territorial changes must
comport with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned,
and that the people have the right to choose their form of government.
But was the
crime in this turn, this sellout? Condemning all of Eastern Europe
to direct or indirect Soviet control? Whatever Roosevelts
motivations for entering the war, and entering on the side of the
Soviets, it was clear from the beginning that this would be the
fate for countless millions in Eastern Europe. Many people predicted
that this would be the outcome, including Hoover himself in June,
If we go
further and join the war and we win, then we have won for Stalin
the grip of Communism on Russia and more opportunity for it to
extend in the world.
took much of this territory when they were allies with the Germans,
before the Americans entered the war. Further gains were made during
the course of the war, as the Russian armies were proceeding westward
and capturing territory while they drove the Germans in retreat.
It was certain that the Russian army would control even more territory
by the conclusion of the fighting.
would not give up these gains without a fight was obvious. It was
as obvious at the end of 1943 in Tehran as it was before the United
States entered the war. Even if Roosevelt ever intended what he
said when he agreed to the Charter, was he prepared to take the
fight to the Russians, after the hoped-for victories still to come
over Germany and Japan? In practical terms, it did not seem likely
that this would have been possible, even if one believed Roosevelt
was a man of principle.
More to the
point, why did Roosevelt and Churchill have to agree to anything
at all? Just because Soviet control over these regions was a virtual
certainty, did this require validation or concurrence by the Americans
and the British? Why attach the good name of the United States,
the country supposedly fighting for the freedoms of those same Eastern
Europeans, to the deed of condemnation?
I might have to these questions would be speculation. I have speculated
before that one possible reason Roosevelt took the actions he did
to get into the war on the side of the Soviets was to broaden the
sphere of communist influence in the world this certainly
seems to be Hoovers bent. Another possibility was that Roosevelt
was laying the groundwork for the future cold war the statists
dream of perpetual war resulting in perpetual health for the state.
Perhaps Stalin threatened to stop fighting once he had regained
the lands that the Germans took in the previous two years. All speculation
on my part.
this treacherous move through a distorted lens. He sees the previous
wars of the United States through a lens of bringing freedom to
of freedom for other peoples lies deep in American history and
the American heart
. It was in response to the cry for liberation
and freedom of peoples that we established the Monroe Doctrine,
that we fought the Mexican War, the Spanish War, and the first
to say, there were countless hundreds of thousands if not millions
on the other side of these fights listed by Hoover who felt they
too were fighting for freedom and against oppression and tyranny.
Hoover seems blind to this, and views this turning at Tehran as
the first great immoral act perpetrated by the American government
an act of reneging on a solemn pledge to the weak and impoverished.
Hoover is looking
in the wrong place, and he does so because he has a wrong view of
American history. Hoover is looking to blame events in Tehran, when
the end game was certain the day the United States entered the war.
Once the United States entered the war on the side of the Russians,
sooner or later the two great armies were going to meet somewhere
in the middle smashing Hitlers armies from both sides.
That flowery words said beforehand would somehow control the movement
of these lines later was not possible certainly not for Stalin.
This was obvious to many observers at the time.
Later, at Yalta,
similar agreements were made with Stalin regarding certain territories
in the Far East, these made in exchange for getting Russia to join
the fight against the Japanese once the Germans were defeated. Hoover
also anguishes over these concessions as he did regarding those
made at Tehran.
The words of
the Atlantic Charter could be looked at as a promise of something
that could not be delivered, in order to place a righteous and therefore
religious purpose to entering the war. Nothing more.
these annexations by the Soviets in various tables. Following is
a brief summary:
annexed by Russia: 24 million people, 182 thousand square miles.
transformed into communist states: 196 million people, 9 million
Asia annexed to Russia: 155 million people, 2.1 million square miles
wishes to refer to secret agreements made in Tehran and Yalta the
crime against these people, their fate was sealed when the United
States entered the war, and entered on the side of the Russians.
Hoover himself saw this at the time, and offered an alternative:
keep out of the war, allow those two bastards annihilate themselves,
keep the lamp of liberty lit at home, and therefore clean up the
mess from a position of both military and moral supremacy.
his conclusion to these agreements as follows:
after many of these agreements with Stalin had become public,
the London Economist gave a succinct interpretation of
abandoned principle for what they thought was policy, the Western
Powers are now left with neither principle nor policy
have no right to denounce the Communists for betrayal of values
which have never been theirs
I think there
were at the time many people who would have said that these values
have for a very long time not been ours either.
with permission from the Bionic
© 2012 Bionic