By Martin J. Medhurst, H. W. Brands

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Recording Douglas's comment in his diary in capital letters, Forrestal welcomed evidence for his contention that the Soviet Union posed a menace to the postwar peace. 2 Although the third world war supposedly declared on February 9 never occurred, what did begin on that date, many policy makers and scholars would later conclude, was the so-called Cold War. This essay moves beyond previous discussions of Stalin's speech through close reading of the speech's language and rhetorical structure and through analysis of Stalin's objectives in terms of the production of memory and myth.

France may then capitulate to the Communists. ”10 Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan accepted the administrations prescription uncritically. He warned in a letter dated March 12: “Greece must be helped or Greece sinks permanently into the Communist order. Turkey inevitably follows. Then comes the chain reaction which might sweep from the Dardenelles to the China Sea. S. ambassador to Turkey, declared that the aid bill was essential to stop further Soviet expansion. “If unchecked,” he said, “Russia will inevitably overrun Europe, extend herself into Asia and perhaps South America.

Soviet rhetoric had long predicted Communism's ultimate conquest of the world. For those Americans who took the Soviet rhet- < previous page page_21 next page > < previous page page_22 next page > Page 22 oric seriously, the Soviet Union, as the self-assigned leader of world Communism, possessed the power and will to incite or support Communist-led revolutions everywhere, imposing on them its influence, if not its direct control. Ideological expansionism, assuring future Soviet triumphs without war, transcended the limited possibilities and high costs of military adventurism by enabling the Soviet Union to extend its presence over vast distances without military force.

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