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Truman Urges Militarist Policy

Seeks Extension of Draft, Universal Training for War

(13 April 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 15, 13 April 1946, pp. 1 & 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

President Truman’s Army Day speech in Chicago on April 6 served notice that American imperialism is pushing the mightiest and most ruthless program of militarism ever conceived. Behind the thin screen of Truman’s diplomatic phrases could be heard the rattle of the saber.

His speech and program were a bellicose proclamation that Wall Street imperialism intends to impose its rule on the whole globe by force and threat of force.

The swaggering arrogance of American capitalism flaunted itself in Truman’s pointed assertion: “The United States today is a strong nation; there is none stronger. This is not a boast. It is a fact ...”

Grandiose Program

To assure this position of supreme might, Truman made plain that the whole American people are to be regimented and Prussianized through a grandiose militarization program.

The heart of Truman’s speech was his three-point program for the maintenance of a military machine capable of sweeping any opponent or combination of opponents from American imperialism’s path.

Truman demanded: “First, unification of all our armed services in a single department; second, temporary extension of the Selective Service Act; third, universal training.”

Truman proposes the complete streamlining of the armed forces in keeping with technical, advances, particularly atomic warfare, which have outmoded the previous military structure. Wall Street wants a military organization designed to inflict atomic destruction to the maximum.

Simultaneously, it wants the extension of the draft – originally passed as a “temporary” wartime measure. This is but a stepping stone to permanent conscription of America’s youth into the bloody services of American imperialism.

This demand is brazenly proclaimed after millions of GIs abroad, now forced to serve as tools for tyrannizing over conquered and colonial peoples, have asserted demonstratively their desire to come home at once.

Hypocritical Assertion

On top of this, Truman wants to impose universal military training – “not conscription,” he blandly assures, “unless Congress declares an emergency and calls upon them to serve in the armed forces ...” That is, whenever Wall Street’s political agents decide to make war.

Just a few months ago the tide of popular protest and indignation against such proposals for universal militarization and regimentation was so strong that only the most outspoken militarists and reactionaries were openly calling for such measures.

Since then a monumental propaganda drive has been unleashed to ready public opinion for a new bloodbath, a third World War. The Army Day proclamation of American imperialism’s leading political representative was timed to take advantage of the terrific warmongering campaign and diplomatic offensive’ against the Soviet Union.

What is the purpose of this gigantic militarization that Truman demands? Truman asserted first that “victorious nations cannot, on the surrender of a vicious and dangerous enemy, turn their backs and go home.” But no one will believe that American imperialism fears shattered and prostrate Germany and Japan. Clearly, it is against revolting peoples of conquered and colonial countries that mighty occupation armies are to be used.

Worldwide Preserve

But Truman’s main threats are reserved for his “allies”, above all the Soviet Union. Hypocritical American imperialism, which is maintaining vast military forces throughout the world, is shaking its mailed fist at the Soviet Union. “We expect recognition,” Truman sharply warned, “that we also have an interest in maintaining peace and security” in the Far East and “insist that the sovereignty and integrity of the Near East and Middle East must not be threatened ...” American imperialism, he thus proclaims, has staked out worldwide preserves.

Though the greatest slaughter in human history ended only a few short months ago, Truman is already warning that “on short notice, each man must be ready to take his place and go forward – not at the end of a few months, or a few days, but immediately.”

Truman has thus spoken for a new war, for American imperialist domination of the globe and for military regimentation and repression at home.

That program of Wall Street can be halted only if the American people rise in their wrath and mobilize their full powers of organized resistance against it.

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