Pegler: On the second front (10-7-42)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 7, 1942)

Pegler: On the second front

By Westbrook Pegler

New York –
That matter of the second front is one that should be discussed only by men who know the military facts and can measure the chances, but inasmuch as our communists have tried to stampede our military men, we ought to remind ourselves of a few truths.

The first is that Russia is fighting this war for Russia’s own life first, and only incidentally for ours. True, it is a war of an alliance on a one-for-all basis, but there is in the communist propaganda a note of suggestion that Russia’s motives are purely altruistic and this we know to be untrue, because Russia not only stood by and saw France go down and saw Britain stand alone against the Nazis for a terrible year, but, according to the terms of the Russo-German treaty which touched off the war, actually helped the Nazis with supplies.

The extent of that help we do not know, and it may have been little and a bargain price to pay for the extra time that Russia needed to complete her preparations for an onslaught which may have been foreseen.

But the Germans did not start their second World War in a quarter-century until they had assured themselves, or thought they had assured themselves, of Russia’s military neutrality and her commercial cooperation, and they probably would not have started it unless Russia had given that assurance with whatever mental reservations there were.

Russia had no intention to come to the help of the British and, indirectly, of the Chinese and, subsequently, of the United States for altruistic reasons. Russia accepted war only because Russia was invaded suddenly, at which time Winston Churchill immediately made a speech reiterating his old and well-known stand against communism in Britain, but welcoming this diversion and the aid that Russia might give and promising Britain’s cooperation with Russia.

Communists were pro-Nazi

Up to that date, June 22, 1941, the communists in the United States and the one man in the U.S. Congress who always votes according to the Communist Party line – and the only man who has ever done this, Vito Marcantonio of New York, Mayor La Guardia’s protégé – were anti-British and thus pro-Nazi. They said this war was a war of British imperialism and their slogan was “the Yanks aren’t coming.”

They did everything in their power to impede the efforts of the American people to prepare for a war which, to many Americans, and obviously to the American government, seemed inevitable, and this obstruction will probably be paid for eventually by the loss of American and Russian lives.

In France, they exerted themselves tirelessly, not to defeat the Nazis but to undermine and defeat France. In view of the fact that they were much more numerous and powerful in France than here, and remembering that they were then fiercely devoted to the success of the Nazi arms, it follows that they contributed to the destruction of France and were themselves, in an important degree, responsible for the terribly perilous problems of establishing today that second front which they demand.

If it is impossible, from the military standpoint, to make a second front on the continent, then those communists who conspired and contrived toward the collapse of France and the expulsion of the British from France deliberately earned an important share of the blame. If Russia must suffer for the lack of that second front, Earl Browder and all the other American communists and the communists of France share the guilt.

Russia had large army already

It is suggested that the British have great forces at home only standing by to repel invasion. The strength of those forces we do not know, but we have learned, to our amazement, and to Hitler’s surprise, too, that Russia had even greater and better forces standing by all during the time while the British Expeditionary Forces were fighting the Germans and Italians in the Near East and taking terrible beatings in the Balkans and on Crete, which their Navy was fighting alone, and while the British people were being slaughtered and their cities blasted by the Nazis whom the communists in the United States were cheering and helping.

But while Britain stood alone and the United States began to prepare, the communists in this country pulled strikes in the war industries and, along with those other traitors of the Nazi Bund, whooped it up for appeasement and the military triumph of the Nazis.

So, any judgment on any second front must ignore the agitations of the American communists who would have had us helpless now if they could have had their way.

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Well we never did like the communists so not a surprising take on it.

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