Worl War II and Tragic Consequences

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CHAPTER 2

Although the Council on Foreign Relations had almost gained controlling influence on the government of the United States as early as 1941, it had failed to indoctrinate the American people for acceptance of what Colonel House had called a „positive“ foreign policy.


In 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt (although eager to get the United States into the Second World War and already making preparations for that tragedy) had to campaign for re-election with the same promise that Wilson had made in 1916–to keep us out of the European war. Even as late as the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, the American people were still overwhelmingly „isolationist“–a word which internationalists use as a term of contempt but which means merely that the American people were still devoted to their nation’s traditional foreign policy.


It was necessary for Roosevelt to take steps which the public would not notice or understand but which would inescapably involve the nation in the foreign war. When enough such sly involvement had been manipulated, there would come, eventually, some incident to push us over the brink into open participation. Then, any American who continued to advocate our traditional foreign policy of benign neutrality would be an object of public hatred, would be investigated and condemned by officialdom as a „pro-nazi,“ and possibly prosecuted for sedition.

 

The Council on Foreign Relations has heavy responsibility for the maneuvering which thus dragged America into World War II. One major step which Roosevelt took toward war (at precisely the time when he was campaigning for his third-term re-election on a platform of peace and neutrality to keep America out of war) was his radical alteration of traditional concepts of United States policy in order to declare Greenland under the protection of our Monroe Doctrine. The Council on Foreign Relations officially boasts full responsibility for this fateful step toward war.


On pages 13 and 14 of a book entitled The Council on Foreign Relations: A Record of Twenty-Five Years, 1921-1946 (written by officials of the Council and published by the Council on January 1, 1947) are these passages:


„One further example may be cited of the way in which ideas and recommendations originating at Council meetings have entered into the stream of official discussion and action.“

 

On March 17, 1940, a Council group completed a confidential report which pointed out the strategic importance of Greenland for transatlantic aviation and for meteorological observations. The report stated:

„The possibility must be considered that Denmark might be overrun by Germany. In such case, Greenland might be transferred by treaty to German sovereignty.“ It also pointed out the possible danger to the United States in such an eventuality, and mentioned that Greenland lies within the geographical sphere ‚within which the Monroe Doctrine is presumed to apply.“

 

Shortly after this, one of the members of the group which had prepared the report was summoned to the White House. President Roosevelt had a copy of the memorandum in his hand and said that he had turned to his visitor for advice because of his part in raising the question of Greenland’s strategic importance.


„Germany invaded Denmark on April 9, 1940. At his press conference three days later, the President stated that he was satisfied that Greenland was a part of the American continent. After a visit to the White House on the same day, the Danish Minister said that he agreed with the President.


„On April 9, 1941, an agreement was signed between the United States and Denmark which provided for assistance by the United States to Greenland in the maintenance of its status, and granted to the United States the right to locate and construct such airplane landing-fields, seaplane facilities, and radio and meteorological installations as might be necessary for the defense of Greenland, and for the defense of the American continent. This was eight months before Germany declared war on the United States.


„The Council’s report on Greenland was only one item in an extensive research project which offered an unusual instance of wartime collaboration between Government agencies and a private institution…. The project … exhibited the kind of contribution which the Council has been uniquely equipped to provide….“

The Danish colony of Greenland–a huge island covered by polar ice–lies in the Arctic Ocean, 1325 miles off the coast of Denmark. It is 200 miles from Canada, 650 miles from the British Isles. The extreme southwestern tip of Greenland is 1315 miles from the most extreme northeastern tip of the United States (Maine). In other words, Canada and England, which were at war with Germany when we undertook to protect Greenland from Germany, are both much closer to Greenland than the United States is.


But history gives better proof than geography does, that the learned Council members who put Greenland in the Western Hemisphere, within the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine, were either ignorant or dishonest. The Monroe Doctrine, closing the Western Hemisphere to further European colonization, was proclaimed in 1823. Denmark, a European nation, colonized Greenland, proclaiming sole sovereignty in 1921, without any hint of protest from the United States that this European colonization infringed upon the Monroe Doctrine.

 

Members of the Council on Foreign Relations played a key role in getting America into World War II. They played the role in creating the basic policies which this nation has followed since the end of World War II. These policies are accomplishing:

 

(1) the redistribution to other nations of the great United States reserve of gold which made our dollar the strongest currency in the world;
(2) the building up of the industrial capacity of other nations, at our expense, thus eliminating our pre-eminent productive superiority;
(3) the taking away of world markets from United States producers (and even much of their domestic market) until capitalistic America will no longer dominate world trade;
(4) the entwining of American affairs–economic, political, cultural, social, educational, and even religious–with those of other nations until the United States will no longer have an independent policy, either domestic or foreign: until we can not return to our traditional foreign policy of maintaining national independence, nor to free private capitalism as an economic system.

 

The ghastly wartime and post-war decisions (which put the Soviet Union astride the globe like a menacing colossus and placed the incomparably stronger United States in the position of appeasing and retreating) can be traced to persons who were members of the Council on ForeignRelations.

 

Consider a specific example: the explosive German problem.

 

In October, 1943, Cordell Hull (U. S. Secretary of State), Anthony Eden (Foreign Minister for Great Britain), and V. Molotov (Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs), had a conference at Moscow. Eden suggested that they create a European Advisory Commission which would decide how Germany, after defeat, would be partitioned, occupied, and governed by the three victorious powers.

 

Molotov approved. Hull did not like the idea, but agreed to it in deference to the wishes of the two others. Philip E. Mosely, of the CFR, was Hull’s special adviser at this Moscow Conference. The next month, November, 1943, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt went to Tehran for his first conference with Stalin and Churchill. Aboard the U. S. S. Iowa en route to Tehran, Roosevelt had a conference with his Joint Chiefs of Staff. They discussed, among other things, the post-war division and occupation of Germany.

 

President Roosevelt predicted that Germany would collapse suddenly and that „there would definitely be a race for Berlin“ by the three great powers. The President said: „We may have to put the United States divisions into Berlin as soon as possible, because the United States should have Berlin.“

 

Harry Hopkins suggested that „we be ready to put an airborne division into Berlin two hours after the collapse of Germany.“ Roosevelt wanted the United States to occupy Berlin and northwestern Germany; the British to occupy France, Belgium, and southern Germany; and the Soviets to have eastern Germany.


At the Tehran Conference (November 27-December 2, 1943), Stalin seemed singularly indifferent to the question of which power would occupy which zones of Germany after the war. Stalin revealed intense interest in only three topics:

 

(1) urging the western allies to make a frontal assault, across the English Channel, on Hitler’s fortress Europe;
(2) finding out, immediately, the name of the man whom the western allies would designate to command such an operation (Eisenhower had not yet been selected); and
(3) reducing the whole of Europe to virtual impotence so that the Soviet Union would be the only major power on the continent after the war.

 

Roosevelt approved of every proposal Stalin made. A broad outline of the behavior and proposals of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin at Tehran can be found in the diplomatic papers published in 1961 by the State Department, in a volume entitled Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers: The Conferences at Cairo
and Tehran 1943.

 

As to specific agreements on the postwar division and occupation of Germany, the Tehran papers reveal only that the European Advisory Commission would work out the details. We know that Roosevelt and his military advisers in November, 1943, agreed that America should take and occupy Berlin. Yet, 17 months later, we did just the opposite.

 

In the closing days of World War II, the American Ninth Army was rolling toward Berlin, meeting little resistance, slowed down only by German civilians clogging the highways, fleeing from the Russians. German soundtrucks were circulating in the Berlin area, counseling stray troops to stop resistance and surrender to the Americans. Some twenty or thirty miles east of Berlin, the German nation had concentrated its dying strength and was fighting savagely against the Russians.

Our Ninth Army could have been in Berlin within a few hours, probably without shedding another drop of blood; but General Eisenhower suddenly halted our Army. He kept it sitting idly outside Berlin for days, while the Russians slugged their way in, killing, raping, ravaging. We gave the Russians control of the eastern portion of Berlin–and of all the territory surrounding the city.

 

To the south, General Patton’s forces were plowing into Czechoslovakia. When Patton was thirty miles from Prague, the capital, General Eisenhower ordered him to stop–ordered him not to accept surrender of German soldiers, but to hold them at bay until the Russians could move up and accept surrender. As soon as the Russians were thus established as the conquerors of Czechoslovakia, Eisenhower ordered Patton to evacuate.

 

Units of Czechoslovakian patriots had been fighting with Western armies since 1943. We had promised them that they could participate in the liberation of their own homeland; but we did not let them move into Czechoslovakia until after the Russians had taken over.

 

Czechoslovakian and American troops had to ask the Soviets for permission to come into Prague for a victory celebration–after the Russians had been permitted to conquer the country.


Western Armies, under Eisenhower’s command, rounded up an estimated five million anti-communist refugees and delivered them to the Soviets who tortured them, sent them to slave camps, or murdered them. All of this occurred because we refused to do what would have been easy for us to do–and what our top leaders had agreed just 17 months before that we must do: that is, take and hold Berlin and surrounding territory until postwar peace treaties were made.

 

Who made the decisions to pull our armies back in Europe and let the Soviets take over? General Eisenhower gave the orders; and, in his book, Crusade in Europe (published in 1948, before the awful consequences of those decisions were fully known to the public), Eisenhower took his share of credit for making the decisions. When he entered politics four years later, Eisenhower denied responsibility: he claimed that he was merely a soldier, obeying orders, implementing decisions which Presidents Roosevelt and Truman had made.


Memoirs of British military men indicate that Eisenhower went far beyond the call of military duty in his „cooperative“ efforts to help the Soviets capture political prisoner’s and enslave all of central Europe. Triumph in the West, by Arthur Bryant, published in 1959 by Doubleday & Company, as a „History of the War Years Based on the
Diaries of Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff,“ reveals that, in the closing days of the war, General Eisenhower was often in direct communication with Stalin, reporting his decisions and actions to the Soviet dictator before Eisenhower’s own military superiors knew what was going on.


Regardless of what responsibility General Eisenhower may or may not have had for formulating the decisions which held our armies back from Eastern Europe, those decisions seem to have stemmed from the conferences which Roosevelt had with Stalin at Tehran in 1943 and at Yalta in 1945.

 

But who made the decision to isolate Berlin 110 miles deep inside communist-controlled territory without any agreements concerning access routes by which the Western Powers could get to the city? According to Arthur Krock, of the New York Times, George F. Kennan, (a member of the Council on Foreign Relations) persuaded Roosevelt to accept the Berlin zoning arrangement. Kennan, at the time, was political adviser to Ambassador John G. Winant, who was the United States Representative on the three-member European Advisory Commission.

 

Mr. Krock’s account (in the New York Times, June 18, 1961 and July 2, 1961) is rather involved; but here is the essence of it:
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed to enclose Berlin 110 miles within the Soviet occupation zone. Winant submitted a recommendation, embracing this agreement. Winant felt that it would offend the Soviets if we asked for guaranteed access routes, and believed that guarantees were unnecessary anyway.
When submitting his recommendation to Washington, however, Winant attached a map on which a specific allied corridor of access into the city was drawn.

 

Winant’s proposal was never acted on in Washington. Therefore, the British submitted a recommendation. Roosevelt rejected the British plan, and made his own proposal. The British and Soviets disliked Roosevelt’s plan; and negotiations over the zoning of Berlin were deadlocked.

 

George F. Kennan broke the deadlock by going directly to Roosevelt and persuading him to accept the Berlin zoning agreement, which Mr. Krock calls a „war-breeding monstrosity,“ and a „witless travesty on statecraft and military competence.“ Mr. Krock says most of his information came from one of Philip E. Mosely’s articles in an old issue of Foreign Affairs–which I have been unable to get for my files. I cannot,
therefore, guarantee the authenticity of Mr. Krock’s account; but I can certainly agree with his conclusion that only Joseph Stalin and international communism benefitted from the „incredible zoning agreements“ that placed “ Berlin 110 miles within the Soviet zone and reserved no guaranteed access routes to the city from the British and American zones.“

 

It is interesting to note that Philip E. Mosely (CFR member who was Cordell Hull’s adviser when the postwar division of Germany was first discussed at the Moscow Conference in 1943) succeeded George F. Kennan as political adviser to John G. Winant of the European Advisory Commission shortly after Kennan had persuaded Roosevelt to accept the Berlin zoning agreements.


It is easy to see why the Soviets wanted the Berlin arrangement which Roosevelt gave them. It is not difficult to see the British viewpoint: squeezed between the two giants who were his allies, Churchill tried to play the Soviets against the Americans, in the interest of getting the most he could for the future trade and commerce of England.

 

But why would any American want (or, under any conditions, agree to) the crazy Berlin agreement? There are only three possible answers:

(1) the Americans who set up the Berlin arrangement–which means, specifically, George F. Kennan and Philip E. Mosely, representing the Council on Foreign Relations–were ignorant fools; or
(2) they wanted to make Berlin a powder keg which the Soviets could use, at will, to intimidate the West; or
(3) they wanted a permanent, ready source of war which the United States government could use, at any time, to salvage its own internationalist policies from criticism at home, by scaring the American people into „buckling down“ and „tightening up“ for „unity“ behind our „courageous President“ who is „calling the Kremlin bluff“ by spending to prepare this nation for all-out war, if necessary, to „defend the interests of the free-world“ in Berlin.

 

George F. Kennan and Philip E. Mosely and the other men associated with them in the Council on Foreign Relations are not ignorant fools. I do not believe they are traitors who wanted to serve the interests of the Kremlin. So, in trying to assess their motives, I am left with one choice: they wanted to set Berlin up as a perpetual excuse for any kind of program which the Council on Foreign Relations might want the American government to adopt.

 

Long, long ago, King Henry of England told Prince Hal that the way to run a country and keep the people from being too critical of how you run it, is to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.


A study of President Kennedy’s July 25, 1961, speech to the nation about Berlin, together with an examination of the spending program which he recommended to Congress a few hours later, plus a review of contemporary accounts of how the stampeded Congress rushed to give the President all he asked–such a study, set against the backdrop of our refusal to do anything vigorous with regard to the communist menace in Cuba, will, I think, justify my conclusions as to the motives of men, still in power, who created the Berlin situation.