May 24, 2017

How U.S. politicians helped create the Soviet Union

Did U.S. policies play a role in creating the communist threat? Retweet

By Perry Willis

I’ve been writing a series of articles reviewing U.S. wars and interventions….

Now comes…

Did U.S. intervention in WW1 help create the Soviet Union?

The answer is yes. To understand why you must appreciate something most people don’t understand…

There were TWO Russian revolutions, NOT just one!

Both revolutions happened because of WW1.

  • The Kerensky revolution deposed the Czar because the war was going badly.
  • The Bolshevik revolution succeeded because the Kerensky government continued the war past the point where the people supported it. Only the Bolsheviks were proposing peace, so they triumphed.

This view of what happened is uncontroversial. Kerensky himself thought that continuing the war was the crucial mistake. He said as much during an interview with British newspaper publisher Lord Beaverbrook…

Beaverbrook: What would have happened if you had made peace with Germany?
Kerensky: Of course we’d be in Moscow now (not in exile).

In other words, there would’ve been no Soviet Union if Kerensky had made peace with Germany (see page 316 of Comrades by Brian Moynahan). Historians like Edward Crankshaw agree. He wrote in the “The Atlantic” (October, 1954)…

“The Provisional (Kerensky) Government, if it had immediately sued for peace with Germany…could have remained in power, leading Russia into some kind of democratic system. But because it held to the war…because it knew it would depend in future on the favors of the Entente (Britain, France, and the U.S.)…it could not begin to alleviate the misery of the people, greatly aggravated by the war. It was this misery which Lenin deliberately set himself out to exploit.”

So what role did U.S. politicians play in these matters?

U.S. intervention extended the war, providing time for the Bolshevik revolution to happen. Remember the points made in the previous article

  • Nearly 1,000 days passed between the start of WW1 and U.S.entry on April 6, 1917
  • Neither side had gained any advantage. “Breakthroughs” were measured in yards or miles, and quickly reversed
  • Between April 16 and June 1917 nearly half the French army mutinied
  • Similar things were happening on the Russian front in 1917

The war was clearly winding down. It appeared likely to end in a draw. So why didn’t it end? What gave The Great War nearly two more years of life, providing time for Lenin to create the Soviet Union? The answer is chilling…

U.S. intervention made new dreams of victory possible for Britain, France, and Russia, fueled by U.S. dollars and lives.

But Germany had a reaction too. Germany sent Lenin to Russia in a sealed train a mere ten days after the U.S. declaration of war. Consider the logic of that…

  • The Germans had just gained the United States as a new enemy
  • Perhaps they could compensate by losing an old enemy — Russia
  • Lenin pledged to take Russia out of the war, so the Germans gave him money and sent him back for that purpose

The Germans probably would have done this anyway. It made strategic sense given the Russian revolution that had begun in February. But it became even more urgent after the U.S. entered the war. There are obvious connections between…

  • The U.S. entry into the war
  • The Germans use of Lenin as a tool
  • Kerensky’s continuation of the war
  • The ultimate triumph of the Bolshevik revolution

Please recall what Edward Crankshaw said in the quote above…

  • The Kerensky government continued the war because it expected future support from its allies, including its wealthy new friend, the United States of America
  • Lenin exploited the war to gain power

But U.S. politicians aided the formation of the Soviet Union in one other way. Recall that

Britain and France were dependent on U.S. supplies and money to continue fighting. U.S. politicians could have stopped the war simply by prohibiting trade and loans for Britain and France. Which is worse? Ending trade that was enabling the commission of a crime, or sending innocent young Americans to die by participating directly in that crime?

U.S. politicians chose the worst option.

It’s a simple fact — U.S. politicians could have forced a peace settlement long before the Germans sent Lenin back to Russia. Think of the consequences! Think how much better the world would have been had the Soviet Union never been born. That likely would have meant…

Hundreds of millions of lives might have been saved, and untold poverty and misery might have been avoided, if only the U.S. had not intervened in WW1. Alas, the harm caused by that intervention does not end there. In the next article, we’ll examine how U.S. politicians helped give birth to Nazi Germany.

Thank you for being an ACTIVE DC Downsizer. If you like our work please consider making a contribution or starting a monthly pledge here.

Perry Willis
Co-founder, Downsize DC
Co-creator, Zero Aggression Project

PS: Please remember the three points I am trying to demonstrate with these articles…

  1. Our “patriotic holidays” need to honor soldiers without mischaracterizing U.S. wars.
  2. The claim that U.S. soldiers “defended our freedom” is sweet-sounding but false. Freedom may be what our soldiers wanted to defend, but that’s not how our politicians actually used them.
  3. We must curtail the future ability of politicians to aggress against foreign countries.

Please also remember this crucial point — I’m not blaming America for anything, but I am blaming U.S. politicians for lots of things.

P.P.S: Here’s a list of books I’ve consulted in this series.

If you buy these books using the links below, Downsize DC will get credit we can use to expand our research library. Thank you for your interest and support.

The Russian Revolution

Comrades by Brian Moynahan
Russia Leaves the War by George F. Kennan

World War 1

The Illusion of Victory by Thomas Fleming
World War I by Richard Maybury
The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson
The Forgotten Depression by James Grant

The Spanish-American War, the conquest of the Philippines, and Teddy Roosevelt’s betrayal of Korea…

Bully Boy by Jim Powell
The Politics of War by Walter Karp
The War Lovers by Evan Thomas
Honor in the Dust by Gregg Jones
The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley

The Mexican War

A Wicked War by Amy S. Greenberg

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