By David Swanson, March 21, 2021 Remarks at the Cold War Truth Commission
The Cold War didn’t have a hard and fast beginning that transformed the world or that turned heroic anti-Nazi Soviets into Satanic Commies on a particular afternoon.
The rise of Nazism had been facilitated in part by Western governments’ pre-existing enmity for the USSR. That same enmity was a factor in the delay of D-Day by 2.5 years. The destruction of Dresden was a message originally scheduled for the same day as the meeting at Yalta.
Upon victory in Europe, Churchill proposed using Nazi troops together with allied troops to attack the Soviet Union — not an off-the-cuff proposal; the U.S. and UK had sought and achieved partial German surrenders, had kept German troops armed and ready, and had debriefed German commanders. General George Patton, Hitler’s replacement Admiral Karl Donitz, and Allen Dulles favored immediate hot war.
The U.S. and UK violated their agreements with the USSR and arranged new rightwing governments with bans on the leftists who had fought the Nazis in places like Italy, Greece, and France.
With a new Cold War heating up between the U.S. and Russia and China, Witness for Peace Southwest, Addicted to War and CodePink organized a Truth Commission on the original Cold War on March 21st, which brought together the testimony of historians, activists and others who lived through the period.
Following a hearing three years ago, the Zoom event was hosted by Frank Dorrel, publisher of the popular anti-war text Addicted to War, and Rachel Bruhnke, a high school Spanish teacher and member of Witness for Peace Southwest.
In her opening remarks, Bruhnke emphasized that the Cold War should rank as one of three great crimes in U.S. history, the first two being the genocide of the native Americans, and enslavement of African-Americans.
Bruhnke said that the aim of the Truth Commission was to “expose U.S. illegal and immoral actions in the name of anti-communism” and “150-year drama of red-baiting,” and to “unravel the web of lies.”
The truth-telling will help “enhance public understanding of today’s domestic and international events,” and avert new catastrophes.