Communist Comment, No. 17
Date:15th August 1970
Organisation:Irish Communist Organisation
Publication:Communist Comment
Issue:Number 17
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Discuss:Comments on this document

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

1st January 2018

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This publication, issued by ICO in late 1970 engages with the ‘Recent Riots in the North’. It argues that the ICO does not support ‘these struggles’. It continues:

When the ICO was of the opinion that there was a progressive element in the military conflict in Belfast – in the defence of the Falls in August 1969 – it did not issue incitements to resistance from afar. It participated physically in the struggle in a very definite manner, and in the critical days made a very substantial contribution to this defence. The trotskyists moralised from a distance.

The reason why the ICO has not supported conflicts with the Army, is because of the central position of the Catholic/Protestant contradiction in these conflicts. We have explained our view of this contradiction in detail over the past year. It has been disagreed with but it has never been refuted.

There are a number of articles, one on the rebuilding of Bombay Street, another arguing that there are not ‘too many unions’ and another on anti-partitionism.

This argues that:

The Protestant community prefers to remain within the UK than to come under a souther Catholic government. They are perfectly entitled to that preference. To deny them that right in the name of anti-imperialist, as has been done by all Catholic bodies from FF, through the Republicans, to the ‘revolutionary socialists’ is sheer political trickery.

There’s more on ‘Why The Cold War is Over’ and ‘Soclialism ‘Comes in From the Cold’.

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  • By: Jim Monaghan Mon, 01 Jan 2018 16:31:03

    Sticks before their time

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  • By: Starkadder Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:46:56

    “Sticks before their time”.

    Not quite, although there would have been some similar ideas shared between the ICO and the Officials.

    Some very sloppy writing from Jack Lane on page 6. “The Hiroshima
    bombing was the beginning of the Cold War and had nothing to do with the second world war as such.”

    That might be news to Lane’s beloved Joseph Stalin, who entered the USSR in WW2 3 days after said bombing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria

    “The Cold War continued until the early ‘sixties, and was no longer necessary once revisionism had firmly established itself in the Soviet Union”.

    Did this clown even remember the Berlin Wall? Ample proof of Mr.
    Lane’s non-existent Cold War.

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  • By: Joe Wed, 03 Jan 2018 21:31:06

    “That might be news to Lane’s beloved Joseph Stalin, who entered the USSR in WW2 3 days after said bombing.”

    Em, no. Not sure what the mix-up is there Starkie? Do you mean 3 days after Pearl Harbour, maybe?

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  • By: Starkadder Wed, 03 Jan 2018 21:39:55

    Should have written:

    That might be news to Lane’s beloved Joseph Stalin, who entered the USSR in the war against Japan 3 days after said bombing.

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  • By: Joe Wed, 03 Jan 2018 22:57:19

    Ta. Get it now.

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  • By: Jack Lane Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:18:43

    Trying to get my head round to explaining something I wrote 48 years ago is not that easy.
    The Cold War was a new war after WW 2 and the biggest signal that it had arrived was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was there a more significant event that said so? Stalin decided to respond by acquiring the bomb and the scene was set.
    The Berlin wall was one of the consequences of the Cold War and not a cause.
    The beginning of the end of the Cold War was set long before it formally ended in 1989.

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  • By: Starkadder Thu, 04 Jan 2018 19:21:39

    Hello, Mr. Lane.

    First, my apologies for calling you a clown; that was bad manners.

    But I don’t believe your arguments about the Cold War hold water.

    “The Cold War was a new war after WW 2 and the biggest signal that it had arrived was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was there a more significant event that said so?”

    Webster’s Dictionary defines the historical Cold War as:

    the ideological conflict between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the second half of the 20th century. .

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cold%20war

    While ”Access to History: The USA & the Cold War 1945-63” by
    Oliver Edwards, (a school textbook) defines it as:

    In current historiography, the term ‘Cold War’ describes the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States from 1945 until 1989. It was popularised by the American journalist Walter Lippman in 1947 and widely used thereafter to describe US-Soviet relations.

    Now, the US and Soviets were (uneasy) allies during the period that the atom bomb was being created and used. Indeed, the primary motive for the bombings was to end the war with a minimum of US military causalities (Truman feared the military cost of a land invasion
    of Japan). Stalin was informed of the bomb’s existence by both Truman and Soviet spies prior to the bombings, and seems to have had no objection to its use on the Japanese.

    (In his memoirs, Truman recalled that when he told Stalin that the
    US had created a new weapon of “unusual destructive force”, that

    “he [Stalin] was glad to hear it and hoped we would make ‘good use of it against the Japanese’.”

    Quoted in “109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos” by Jennet Conant).

    So while the bombings were a revelation of a hideous new weapon
    which could be used in any future war, they were not a “signal” of an “ideological conflict” between the US and Soviet Union.

    No more, indeed, than the invention of the Vickers Machine Gun was a sign that there was going to be a war between Britain and Germany.

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  • By: Jack Lane Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:17:54

    My understanding of the bombing is that it was aimed primarily as a warning to the Soviet Union that the US would use such a weapon and thereby dominate world politics. I doubt if Truman actually told Stalin what the weapon was. He spoke of a new weapon as you say and Stalin probably knew what it was but pretended not to know what exactly it was. The ideological Cold War was inevitable because as you say the alliance of the US and the USSR in WWII was ‘uneasy’. In fact it was really unnatural and unreal that two such opposite systems should have been co-operating in the first place. But it did not remain just an ideological war once atomic bombs entered the scene and particularly when one side showed it was prepared to use them. That is why I say that the Cold War really began with that bombing. By the way, I think the next turning point was the Cuba crisis in 1963 when each side backed down. The USSR withdrew its bombs etc. from Cuba and the USA did the same from Turkey.
    Jack Lane

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Fri, 05 Jan 2018 07:49:30

    Is that entirely correct re it being intended as a warning? I imagine that part of its justification was precisely that – but there were also immediate concerns in regard to an invasion of Japan (not that that justifies either the manner or use of the bomb per se – a demonstration prior to military use would have been one might think the absolute least that might have happened).

    I’m not entirely convinced that ‘opposite systems’ cooperating was so curious. Stalin himself -had in fairness, and I’m no fan, had worked for an alliance against Hitler prior to the outbreak of WWII so he clearly didn’t see that as an issue – and in truth relations between the USSR and the US while cool to cold did actually follow reasonably rational courses throughout the existence of the former bar the obvious (indeed one might point to the curiosity of it being under Kruschev rather than the more cautious Stalin that it threatened to go hot over Cuba).

    Anyhow these are details in a way and open to long discussion – many thanks for actually discussing this on here and giving an insight into the genesis of the piece.

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  • By: FergusD Fri, 05 Jan 2018 10:45:17

    There is a “debate” about Hiroshima and Nagasaki here between (non-marxist AFAIK) historians:

    http://www.historyextra.com/article/premium/should-america-have-dropped-atomic-bombs-hiroshima-nagasaki-justified-debate

    Two of these suggest one reason Truman authorised the use of the A-bombs was concern over the USSR’s involvement in the war against Japan i.e. if would give the USSR influence over post-war developments in Japan. These historians argue there were other reasons as well and they are the ones who regard the use of the A-bombs as unjustified.

    Here is a report in New Scientist of the work of two US historians who claim to have evidence that at least part of the reason for use of the A-bombs was to influence the USSR:

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7706-hiroshima-bomb-may-have-carried-hidden-agenda/

    I suppose we will never know, but it does seem to be, or has been, a matter of debate among some historians.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:41:52

    Good links and thanks, just so I’m clear I’m sure Jack and you are right to a degree, the US clearly did intend some exemplary effect just it also seems to have been rooted in availability etc (and of course the whole programmer was shaped initially as a response to Nazi efforts to build a bomb).

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