60th Anniversary VE Day (Reprint)

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Focus On Socialism the political journal of Canadians for Peace & Socialism Focus On Socialism: 60th Anniversary VE Day (Reprint) First Published March 15, 2010 www.FocusOnSocialism.ca
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    The   60 th   Anniversary   of   VE   Day   The   Way   I   See   (Reprint   for   the   Occasion   of   65 th   Anniversary   of   VE   Day)   www.FocusOnSocialism.ca     Don   Currie   Chair   Canadians   for   Peace   and   Socialism   Editor   Focus   on   Socialism   First   Published   March   14,   2005      He   who   thinks   about   the   past   has   the   future   in   mind   also.   He   who   speaks   of    the   future   has   no   right   to   forget   the   past.   I   who   have   passed   through   the   fire   of    many   battles ‐ I   am   against   war.   (Marshall   Vasili   I.   Chuikov,   Former    Supreme   Commander    of   Soviet   Land   Forces.   The   Fall   of   Berlin ‐ Ballantine   Books   Inc.   New   York   NY  ‐ May   1969   page   272)   As   the   people   of   the   world   approach   the   60th   Anniversary   of   the   Allied   Victory   in   Europe,   (V.E.   Day),   on   May   8th   2005,   the   media   is   releasing   a   flood   of   commentary   designed   to   diminish   the   legacy   and   achievement   of   the   anti ‐ Nazi   coalition   of   the   Union   of   Soviet   Socialist   Republics,   the   United   States   of   America   and   Great   Britain.   Dishonouring   the   USSR's   contribution   to   the   defeat   of   Hitler    Germany   and   its   post ‐ war    role   in   framing   the   UN   Charter    is   the   goal ‐ distortion   of   history   the   means.   Cold   War   Historians   Canadian   historian   Margaret   MacMillan   provost   of   Trinity   College   at   University   of   Toronto   presents   the   standard   anti ‐ Soviet   version   of   the   February   4 ‐ 12,   1945   Crimean   Conference   of   Churchill,   Roosevelt   and   Stalin   at   Yalta   preceding   the   defeat   of   Nazi   Germany   on   May   8,   1945.   Entitling   her    article,   Yalta's   shadow   still   darkens   our    lives   (Globe   and   Mail,   February   11,   2005)   MacMillan   complains   bitterly   of   the   Soviet   victories   on   the   battlefield   that   compelled   Churchill   and   Roosevelt   to   take   Stalin's   views   into   account.   The   audacity   of   the   Soviet   Union   presuming   to   have   a   viewpoint   about   post ‐ war    Europe   seems   particularly   galling   to   MacMillan.   www.FocusOnSocialism.ca   60 th   Anniversary   of   VE   Day   (Reprint)   Page   2   of   18      The   Road   to   Yalta   Being   a   historian   of   note,   MacMillan   could   have   written   a   less   subjective   account.   She   could   have   explained   that   Yalta   was   a   critical   but   by   no   means   the   only   Allied   war  ‐ time   meeting.   The   USA   and   Britain   first   met   their    Soviet   counterparts   in   Moscow   Sept ‐ Oct,   1941   to   consider    western   aid   to   the   Soviet   Union's   war    effort.   They   met   again   at   the   Moscow   Foreign   Minister's   Conference   Oct   19 ‐ 30,   1943   to   consider    steps   to   speed   the   end   of   the   war    and   to   prepare   the   agenda   of   the   Nov   28   to   Dec   1,   1943   Tehran   Meeting   of   Stalin,   Roosevelt   and   Churchill.   On   the   way   to   Teheran   Churchill   and   Roosevelt   met   Chiang   Kai ‐ shek   in   Cairo   on   Nov   22 ‐ 26   to   agree   on   plans   for    defeating   Japan   including   guarantees   of   Korea's   unity   and   to   gain   the   agreement   of   the   Soviet   Union   to   enter    the   war    against   Japan   as   soon   as   Hitler    was   defeated.   Teheran   resulted   in   the   historic   decision   to   open   the   Second   Front   before   May   1,   1944   (it   actually   opened   June   6,   1944).   Teheran   began   the   debate   on   the   shape   of   the   post ‐ war    world   and   form   and   substance   of   the   United   Nations.   The   Steps   to   the   United   Nations   Stalin,   Churchill   and   Roosevelt   put   forward   their    respective   basic   proposals   at   Yalta   in   the   period   when   Hitler    was   in   the   grip   of   a   two   front   war.   The   end   was   near.   Churchill   met   with   Stalin   grudgingly   and   with   ill ‐ disguised   malice   frustrated   at   the   decline   of   British   empire   to   an   also   ran   behind   the   USA.   The   poodle   status   of   Britain   remains   to   this   day.   Yalta   was   followed   by   the   San   Francisco   Conference   of   April   25,   1945   attended   by   46   countries   to   refine   the   Yalta   proposals   into   the   fundamentals   of   the   United   Nations.   Hundreds   of   delegates,   supported   by   1200   advisors   and   in   the   full   glare   of   the   world's   media   debated   the   raw   politics   of   post ‐ war    Europe   and   the   world   in   the   context   of   the   formation   of   the   United   Nations.   www.FocusOnSocialism.ca   60 th   Anniversary   of   VE   Day   (Reprint)   Page   3   of   18      Preceding   the   San   Francisco   meeting   the   USA   cobbled   together    a   Conference   in   Mexico   City   of   its   client   Latin   American   states   which   had   played   no   role   in   the   defeat   of   Hitler    to   ensure   th   USA   had an   obedient   jority   at   the   San   Francisco   meeting.   It   used   its   majority   to   lude   as   participants   Poland,   Albania,   the   Mongolian   Pe 's   Republic,   all   with   records   of   struggle   against   Hitler.   Soviet   Byelorussia   and   Ukraine   were   invited   as   founding   members.   On   the   insistence   of   the   oviet   Union   Poland   was nonetheless   reserved   a   seat   a   a   founding   member.   Following   inclusion   of   representatives   of   the   Polish   émigré   London   group   into   the   Polish   cabinet,   the   United   States   and   Britain   recognized   Poland   in   June   1945   and   it   tooke   maexcopleS   s   its   place   at   the   UN   in   due   course.   eat   having   emerged   from   Yalta   when   the   whole   world   saw   it   as   its   best   hope   for    peace.   The   US   role   at   the   San   Francisco   Conference   was   to   attempt   to   shape   the   United   Nations   into   a   creature   of   US   post ‐ war    expansionist   goals ‐ it   failed.   The   organization   was   founded   on   the   principles   of   the   sovereignty   of   nations,   the   equality   of   all   member    states   and   the   principal   of   Great   Power    unanimity   embodied   in   the   Security   Council   and   the   fundamental   principals   of   the   UN   Charter.   The   San   Francisco   Conference   passed   on   its   decisions   to   a   meeting   of   experts   including   representatives   from   Canada   that   met   at   Dumbarton   Oaks,   Washington   DC   Sept   21 ‐ Oct   7   1944   to   finalize   the   actual   wording   of   the   United   Nations   Charter.   Their    work,   a   joint   effort   of   the   Allied   nations,   produced   the   documents   which   to   this   day   remain   the   best   hope   of   humankind   for    peace.   Margaret   MacMillan   sees   nothing   but   post ‐ war    def   www.FocusOnSocialism.ca   60 th   Anniversary   of   VE   Day   (Reprint)   Page   4   of   18  
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