Giraud – Disciple of Roosevelt – II

(26 July 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 30, 26 July 1943, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for MIA.

The Giraud business lights up the inside of American class politics, the aims of the war and the future crises of Europe. The American workers must dig into it until they have it all clear.

First of all, a great body of the American people believe that Giraud is a fascist and a tool of the Roosevelt Administration. Take the press during the last few weeks.

Edgar Mowrer, New York Post, July 8:

“Not a mess? Ha, ha, ha!” This guy is bitter, for, as a famous foreign correspondent, he knows the truth.

New York Post (editorial, same date):

“So we pass from insults against de Gaulle, to insults against the French people.

“We could not recognize a democratic French movement when it stood before us, and now we can’t recognize the French people themselves ... Vive la Republique! Vive de Gaulle!

New York Post (editorial, July 9):

“If we persist in our present wrong-headed policy toward the French we shall precipitate a disastrous crisis ... It must result inevitably in French civil war.”

The Press in a Dilemma

Life, July 19: “Those who understand France are profoundly disturbed by General Giraud’s visit.”

Life magazine demands that the government recognize both Giraud and de Gaulle.

“The French ... are baffled and increasingly resentful that their old friends across the Atlantic should encourage an opposition, at the risk of plunging them eventually into a bloody civil war.”

Walter Lippman, New York Herald Tribune, June 24:

“The prejudice which we have displayed against General de Gaulle will strengthen him amongst the French ... We are rapidly making this man the symbol ... of French, and not only of French but of European independence.”

PM editorial by Max Lerner, July 8):

“De Gaulle’s real crime in the eyes of these ‘high officials’ is ... the fact that he is making a fight for French national sovereignty.”

New York Post (editorial, July 19):

“The conviction is inescapable that there is an understanding between England and the United States against the resistance movement of France and its leaders.”

Johannes Steel (Radio Station WMCA, June 20):

“The much-touted Giraud plan for French unity was issued in Washington today. Stripped of its verbiage it means only this: General Giraud wants to do to France what Franco did to Spain ... namely, use French colonial troops or troops trained in the colonies for the political re-conquest of France by the reactionary elements that back him. The whole thing is a farce!”

The New York Times, of course, is backing Giraud (in a dirty, under-handed manner), but even Anne McCormick on June 30 said:

“It would be unfortunate if the visit (of Giraud) gave the impression that the government is backing General Giraud against General de Gaulle.”

Walter Lippmann on July 20 showed how far the scandal has gone. Roosevelt, as we know, has refused to recognize the French National Committee, of which Giraud and de Gaulle are co-chairmen. Roosevelt said that France does not exist. Says Lippmann, point-blank: “It is a false and therefore unworkable doctrine.” And he ends: “May the President and his Secretary of State be granted the humility and the wisdom which men must have in order to decide rightly issues of such depth and consequence.” Lippmann is obviously on his knees, praying to God for help.

Roosevelt Steers the Course

It should be perfectly clear by now to any intelligent American worker what is happening. The French masses have rallied round de Gaulle as a symbol of national resistance. Roosevelt, representing the ruling classes of this country, and Churchill, the ruling classes of Britain, are working with the French ruling classes to crush the masses the day after the victory over Hitler.

The French capitalist class is fascist in its heart. But Roosevelt does not care. The thing is to have an army trained and ready, and anything will do to get it. An army for this purpose cannot have two leaders. So with the whole world watching, Roosevelt sticks to Giraud and defies all popular sentiment in America, and even the warnings of the New York Times. If you want a proof of what the war is being fought for, there it is before you.

There is, however, another point which the workers must grasp, and this is as difficult as the first is easy. The liberals are screaming their heads off for de Gaulle. This is typical of their usual stupidity. It must be clearly understood that neither Giraud nor de Gaulle has any real power except the power that Roosevelt gives to them. They have no army to speak of, they have no weapons. They are completely dependent on the United States and on England.

The French ruling class is bankrupt as no ruling class was ever bankrupt, except perhaps the present Polish ruling class. The struggle between Giraud and de Gaulle is the struggle to get hold of the power that Roosevelt has to give.

Against Workers’ Power

Now the American workers have had some experience with Roosevelt and the American ruling class. It is perfectly clear by now that these are determined to crush the French proletariat. If they do make some sort of compromise with de Gaulle, it is because they have come to an agreement with him as to how this should be done.

Roosevelt will never give any armed power to anyone who is going to use it to fight for even ordinary parliamentary democracy for the workers. He wouldn’t give it to the Republican government in Spain and he will not give it to de Gaulle. The liberals can shout now (as they shouted about Spain) until their throats catch fire. That is the truth about Roosevelt.

What will de Gaulle do? We can tell you where he will end. You remember Kerensky in Russia, Ramsay Macdonald in England, Negrin in Spain, Chiang Kai-shek in China, Gandhi in India? Whatever they said and did, they ALWAYS capitulated to the big powers, and the workers were left to shift for themselves and fight as best they could for their own workers’ democracy. That is the truth about de Gaulle and will be the truth, as history will show.

We must not be fooled again. There is only one real power to oppose to the imperialist power, and that is the power of the workers. De Gaulle would choke if he tried to call for the power of the workers in France.

The American workers must make clear to all that they are heart and soul for the French workers in their struggle for national independence, but that they support neither Giraud nor de Gaulle, candidates of Roosevelt to be used for Allied war purposes.

The only power they can trust to ensure independence and democracy for the workers in France is the power of the workers themselves.

Last updated on 12 June 2015