In all the sweet twittering from above, there was only one harsh bellow from below, as H.L. Mencken might have written it. This was the remarkable full page editorial in the Saturday Evening Post, “Playing the Red,” on November 8, 1941. It was one of the few tough ruminations on the likely outcome of the war as it was now shaping up. The editors called the partnership between the U.S. and Britain on one side and Stalin on the other “morally and politically false,” involving both of the former in “shocking political insincerities.” And, anticipating the Cold War of 1946 et seq., they asked rhetorically, should the war end with the Soviet Union “the paramount land power in Europe,” “Having saved the world from Nazism, should we not go on and save it from Bolshevism?” The Cold Warriors of four years later and after always acted as though such inconvenient thinking had never been expressed this early. For the pro-war seers among the most ardent interventionist camp followers, the editors had still another irritating query:
We ask the revelationists — such as Secretary [of the Navy Frank] Knox, with his vision of a tenth of a millennium for an Anglo-American world, and Mr. [Supreme Court] Justice [Robert H.] Jackson, with his international order of the Golden Rule that shall come to pass when America has outstripped, as he says she must, “All the rest of the world in naval, air and perhaps military forces” — we ask them, what will they do with 180,000,000 Russians who may no more want our world order than we want theirs or Hitler's?
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