25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

June 13, 2022

June 23, 1997

In his recent travels, president William Clinton has been touting the Marshall Plan between 1948 and 1951 as a model for peace and economic development. Under this scheme, the U.S. rulers provided $13 billion in loans to restart industry and rebuild the infrastructure of the war-torn capitalist countries in Europe.

The Marshall Plan represents the most finished and thought-out scheme of American imperialism to bend ruined and prostrate Europe to its needs and realize hegemony of the continent.

The Marshall Plan bases itself on the new relationship of forces: Not only America’s military and industrial superiority vis-a-vis Russia, but the disintegration of the British Empire and its inability to maintain the pretensions of a first-rate power; the helplessness of the European capitalist classes; and the out-and-out bankruptcy of Europe.

June 23, 1972

Three B-52s can obliterate an area more than half a mile wide and nearly two miles long. There are more than 100 B-52s and over 1,000 U.S. warplanes altogether now striking North and South Vietnam daily.

The aim is “sealing off North Vietnam’s coast and harbors with mines, followed by the systematic and relatively unrestricted destruction of military and industrial targets,” New York Times correspondent Neil Sheehan reported June 9.

In an effort designed to conceal U.S. control of the “pacification” program in South Vietnam, the U.S. Public Affairs Office — which headed “psychological and political warfare” — is being closed out. It organized a “campaign of selective terror,” Times correspondent Malcolm Browne reports,” seeking to kill known Vietcong agents in ambushes or in their beds and making sure the lessons were not lost on local residents.”

June 21, 1947

JUNE 17 — With only three days left before the veto deadline, [President] Truman has not yet broken his silence on the Taft-Hartley Bill, the most ruthless piece of anti-labor legislation this country has seen in decades. Every worker must recognize that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are political organizations of Wall Street.

The policy of permitting Wall Street to exercise a monopoly of politics is suicidal. The bill will be followed by other legislation even more dangerous in character. In the struggle against Taft-Hartley, the labor bureaucrats gave aid to the capitalist class by sabotaging effective mass protest action.

If workers make up their mind that no more delays can be countenanced in organizing an independent Labor Party, then Wall Street’s success in pushing the Taft-Hartley bill will prove a hollow victory.