Judging Harry Truman

I am watching a documentary series on Harry Truman. Not with a great deal of interest, but last week dealt with the onset of the Cold War. There were a range of bourgeois historian and near dead Trumanites. I know Lafeber's work and he figured fairly prominently.

It was interesting to watch the ideologues at work. Their fundamental tactic is to never connect up, never not ever. So we get a huge number of disparate and seemingly unconnected facts eg Truman's was in danger of losing the election. Europeans were starving and there was the threat of revolution breaking out. Workers were striking in huge numbers. In 1946 Truman wrote a "silly" speech calling for the "boys" to get back to work and to get rid of the Russians. This was such a joke of a speech that it was never delivered. The old Trumanite wheezed and laughed and almost died on camera. Shame. (I think his name was Clifford Clark or summat).

Then Truman goes to congress asks for money and declares the Cold War open (in response to Stalin of course).

That brings me to the second bourgeois tactic when disconnecting cannot work just lie and lie and lie.

(BTW is there any stuff coming out of the KGB archives about the onset of the Cold War? There was a fleeting reference to the Russian fear on an invasion by the US in a paper recently, but I have seen nothing definite. Surely by now the old canard of Russia declaring the Cold War must be well and truly disproven.)

Generally the program deeply annoyed me, Still I could not help thinking as I watched the old black and white films that here was a nodal moment, when our future was mapped out. The permanent arms economy was declared and money was given to the Europeans to buy American wheat. So military Keynesianism it was.

The all out attack on the liberals and the communists within the US was regarded as just something "Harry" had to do. After all as one commentator said he could not attack the communists abroad while ignoring those at home, now could he?

Of course not. I nearly threw the wine bottle at the tv over that one.


Gary McLennan