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The Soviet Union, Propaganda, and World War II

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For the propagandists and the propaganda analysts, "our" propaganda is always "good" (actually is not "propaganda," per se) and "theirs" is always "bad." Nazi Germany's Josef Goebbels was a brilliant inventor of modern propaganda and its tools and rules. As eloquently pointed out by my dear friend and valued colleague, Michael Faulkner, throughout the decades of the Cold War the major part played by the Soviet Union in the wartime alliance against Hitler was ignored or downplayed. This continues to this very day. For example, in the U.S., the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp on January 27, 2015, in the United States was often noted without noting that it was the Soviet Red Army that did the liberating.

It has been widely noted the Western imperialist nations, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, very publicly dissed Russia on the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. This despite the fact that the Soviet Union had the predominant role in the winning of World War II. Very briefly: it tied down the Germans on an increasingly difficult front which eventually, finally, after the United States and Great Britain delayed their pledged invasion of France from 1942 to 1944 became a Second Front (the Western allies followed Churchill's preferred serial invasion of the "soft underbelly of Europe through North Africa, Sicily and Italy); denied the Germans access to the oil of the Caucasus; used up enormous amounts of German equipment which they found increasingly difficult to continue to manufacture; killed many German and German-satellite soldiers who could have been used elsewhere; prevented the Germans from fully exploiting the Ukrainian agricultural heartland which they desperately needed, and so on and so forth.

Panorama Bitwy Stalingradzkiej
Panorama Bitwy Stalingradzkiej
(Image by Futuredu /
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Why the ongoing campaign of propaganda down to this very day to diminish the understanding of people in the West of the predominant role of the Soviet Union in winning WW II? Because of the necessity of carrying through to what became its eventual conclusion of "The 75 Years War Against the Soviet Union," and now to continue it against a prominent capitalist rival, that refuses to buckle under to U.S.-led Western capitalist imperialism. That war, which Winston ("Soft-underbelly-of-Europe-first") Churchill, as a leader of the original Western imperialist Intervention against the Russian Revolution, was instrumental in starting, began virtually the day after the beginning of the Russian Revolution, on November 7 (new calendar), 1917. Then Churchill, who was very happy to have the Soviet Union enmeshed in WWII for the reasons mentioned above, many years later signaled the beginning of the Cold War with his "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton, MO on March 5, 1946, less than one year after the Allied victory in WWII.

Western propaganda since then has always couched the speech in terms of an announcement that Stalin had done this dreadful thing, and was dividing Europe. Actually, at that time Stalin was still very hopeful of establishing an era of "Peaceful Co-existence," (much as Khrushchev would later call for it in the early 1960s") (see Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin's Wars, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006, chap. 10). It was the West that was dividing Europe, beginning with the independent, U.S.-led currency reform in what became "West Germany" (that led directly to the "Berlin Blockade," a fact never noted in Western propaganda about that event), the refusal to include the Soviet Union in the Marshall Plan for European recovery (which was at its center a scheme to rebuild German capital as quickly as possible as a blunt instrument aimed at the Soviet Union and its recovery as a major industrial power), and then the formation of the "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" (which is more correctly known as the "anti-Soviet Alliance" and now as the "anti-Russia Alliance").

In reality, the Cold War was simply a continuation of the campaign to eliminate the Soviet Union as a nation state that began, as noted above, with:

The hot war of the foreign "Intervention," 1917-21, in the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War;

Followed by a cold peace (during which the United States refused to recognize the Soviet Government until the election of Franklin Roosevelt, 1932; recognition coming in 1933);

Followed by the ignoring of many overtures from the Soviet Union to Great Britain and France made to form a common front against Nazi Germany during the 30's;

Before the USSR finally gave in to buying some time with the Nazi-Soviet Pact before the expected eventual Nazi invasion --- Stalin's HUGE mistake was misestimating when it was actually going to occur and failing to establish a defensive rather than the offensive posture he did approve for the Red Army which made it totally incapable of withstanding the blitzkrieg strategy and tactics of the Nazis for over a year until the Battle of Stalingrad, Sept. 1942-January 1943, which finally turned the tide against the Nazis;

Then continuing after World War II with greater or lesser intensity during the Cold War until the US-led Western imperial powers, in the last stages led by the arch-reactionaries Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, had spent the Soviet Union into the ground during the long-lasting arms race that characterized the Cold War period.

And now, as Mike Faulkner so dramatically illustrates, Western Imperialism is once again trying to bring Russia (not even the Soviet Union) to its knees and so pave the way for the expansion of Western capitalism into that sphere, even though Russia itself is a thoroughly capitalist country (albeit a very peculiar one). The appetite for the making of profits and the further accumulation of capital, which as Karl Marx laid out for us in such detail as the central characteristics of capitalism, for Western capitalist imperialism, is absolutely insatiable.

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY). As well as having been a regular political columnist on several national websites for over 20 years, he is the author/co-author/editor/co-editor of 37 books Currently, on the columns side, in addition to his position on OpEdNews as a Trusted Author, he is a regular contributor to From The G-Man.  In the past he has been a contributor to, among other publications, The Greanville PostThe Planetary Movement, and  He was also a triathlete for 37 seasons, doing over 250 multi-sport races.  Among his 37 books (from the late 1970s, mainly in the health, sports, and health care organization fields) are, on politics: The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022; A Futuristic Novel (originally published 1996; the 3rd version was published by Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, Brewster, NY, sadly beginning to come true, advertised on OpEdNews and available on  (more...)

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