Toward Intervention

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[In the bourgeois press and among those who echo what it says it was widely alleged that I had said at a meeting that occupation by the Germans was preferable to occupation by the Japanese. Novaya Zhizn picking up this dirty gossip, raised the question of what plans and diplomatic combinations were hidden behind this statement. – L.T.]

I have actually spoken on this subject already, and, alas, more than once.

Ever since the Anglo-French (especially the French) press began to insist upon the need for military intervention in Russian affairs by the Allies, so as to push our country into war with Germany, I have declared, in complete conformity with general Soviet policy, that we cannot regard interference by the Allied imperialists in any other light than as a hostile attempt on the freedom and independence of Soviet Russia.

This means that if they try to effect a landing, we shall resist with all the means at our disposal.

So far as that matter is concerned, we see no difference between encroachment by the Germans and ‘friendly’ encroachment by the Allied armies.

Furthermore, in order to illustrate this idea of mine, I have said more than once that the ‘Allies’ would be able to make a serious military attack only with the help of the Japanese army. Fools alone can imagine that the Japanese army will invade Russian soil for no other purpose than to help the Allies and free Russia from the Germans.

If Japan interfered in Russian affairs it would be solely in order to enslave Russia and, on encountering the German forces, to extend to them the hand of friendship.

If, I added, Russia were to find herself, even if only temporarily, faced with the necessity of choosing between a Japanese and a German occupation, then, certainly, we should have to recognize that a Japanese occupation would be not less but more dangerous for the fate of the Russian people, for we have incomparably fewer grounds to hope for the possibility of profound internal changes in Japan, in the near future, than in the case of Germany.

That was the gist of what I said at the meeting.

I expressed myself in exactly the same sense not only at the meeting but in my talks with French officers, British representatives and the Serbian minister Spalaikovich, a few months back.

Those who interpret this argument, which is logically quite irrefutable, as pointing towards an alliance with Germany against the ‘Allies’ must be persons who either understand nothing or are being paid not to understand.

As regards the statement published in one newspaper that I spoke about possible co-operation by Germany in the fight against the Czechoslovaks, this, too, belongs to the category of those provocative rumors, spread by the Right SRs and Mensheviks, which played a substantial role in stimulating the Czechoslovak mutiny. At the joint meeting in the Bolshoi Theater[1] I have already declared for all to hear that only scoundrels can spread such rumors. I have no reason to change anything in that declaration.

  1. The reference is to the joint session of the Fourth All-Russia CEC and the Moscow Soviet of Workers’, Peasants’ and Red Army Men’s Deputies on June 4, 1918.