Monday, August 31, 2009

Stalin planned to annex parts of Iran, China & Turkey

The above article was written by Paul Goble and posted on his website, Window on Eurasia, on 8-31-09. It is entitled “Stalin Planned to Annex Parts of Iran, Turkey and China Using Molotov-Ribbentrop ‘Model,’ Azerbaijani Scholar Says.” I’ll quote several passages from this article and comment below:

“ . . . Stalin viewed the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which allowed Moscow to seize the Baltic countries, Bessarabia, and part of Poland as ‘a model’ for the subsequent annexation of portions of Iran, Turkey and China, an Azerbaijani scholar has suggested.”

“. . . the Soviet dictator did not succeed . . . largely because of Stalin’s dependence on the West after Hitler invaded his former ally in June 1941 and because of Western opposition. . . the existence of these plans demolishes the arguments of those who insist that the pact was only a defensive rather than also an offensive accord.”

“. . . Jeyhun Najafov calls attention to an aspect of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that has attracted little attention during this year’s debate on the 70th anniversary of the accord between Hitler and Stalin (”

“. . . the secret protocol attached to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact put part of Poland, Finland, Bessarabia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in Moscow’s sphere of influence . . . .”

“Stalin’s supporters argue that this was a defensive maneuver, designed to protect the Soviet Union from what the Soviet dictator assumed would be an eventual German attack on the USSR, while critics of Stalin argue that the Soviet agreement with the Nazis was simply about the territorial aggrandizement of Stalin’s empire.

“Research conducted by Dzhakhangir Nadzhafov . . . show that Stalin planned to use the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as “a model” for annexing other neighboring regions.”

“. . . Nadzhafov focused on Stalin’s plans to annex the northern regions of Iran, Xinjiang Region of China and some of the eastern districts of Turkey.

“In 1941, Nadzhafov wrote, Mirdzhafar Bagirov, the Communist Party boss of Azerbaijan, invoking Stalin, said that ‘in Iran it is necessary to undertake the tactic and strategy of the model of uniting Polish territories to Ukraine and Belorussia,’ an indication that Moscow’s plans for annexing portions of Iran were ‘practically ready.’

“Additional evidence of the way in which Stalin viewed the secret protocols as a model concerns Xinjiang and the eastern portions of Turkey . . . The Politburo planned to annex completely the Turkish districts of Kars, Ardahan and part of Avdina and divide the 26,500 square kilometers of territory between Armenia and Georgia.

“Moscow had also defined the exact dimension of the territory of Iran that would be united with the Azerbaijan SSR, so all three of the republics of the South Caucasus would have expanded significantly, Armenia by 80 percent, Georgia by eight percent, and Azerbaijan more than doubled.

“The Politburo was so committed to these territorial transfers and so certain . . . they would take place that it had the foreign ministry work up the necessary documents . . . the Iranian provinces were to be absorbed on November 7, 1941 – and the names of the Communist officials who would be assigned to these places.

“Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 put all these plans on hold. Stalin needed Western assistance, and much of it flowed through Iran. As a result, the British insisted that Moscow recognize the territorial integrity of that country, something the Soviet Union did in a trilateral agreement with the US and the United Kingdom in January 1942.”

“. . . the Western powers considered that Stalin and the Soviet leadership had received an enormous zone of influence in Europe and therefore must not be permitted in any way to expand into Central Asia. . . .”

“. . . For the USSR, Iranian Azerbaijan was about the annexation of new territories, but for the West this was the expansion of communism. . . .”

“. . . the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact not only was the product of a far more aggressive Soviet policy than its defenders want to admit but also cast a larger and more ugly shadow than even the victims and opponents of the Hitler-Stalin accord had thought.”


If what Najafov and Nadzhafov say is true, and it seems to be, this whittles away at the underpinnings of Putin’s “Sovereign Democracy.” To build the Sovereign Democratic edifice to some extent upon Stalin causes a trembling each time some new bit of Stalinistic chicanery is discovered. “No, no,” we hear. “Stalin was a great war leader. And he did everything for the good of the Soviet people.”

We have seen evidence that Stalin was not a great war leader. He didn’t prepare to fight Hitler. He misread Hitler. Hitler tricked him. He prepare properly to meet Hitler’s attack. Huge numbers of Soviet soldiers were killed in the early part of the war through Stalin’s ineptitude. Also, prior to the war, Stalin slaughtered most of the officers most capable of fighting that war. The Red Army defeated the Germans despite Stalin’s efforts, not because of them.

Now as to these new Azerbaijani revelations, I suppose a modern Stalinist, if he were cynical enough, could argue that Stalin even here had the interests of the USSR at heart because (had not Hitler double-crossed him) he would have increased the size and wealth of the Soviet Union and that would have been a good thing.

This would have been a “good thing” perhaps by Tsarist standards and I suppose the “Sovereign Democrats” do look back with longing at the Tsarist successes, but by modern standards, Stalin’s plans seem reprehensible.

I have always suspected that Stalin was sensitive in regard to Trotsky who argued that Communists should be out there spreading the Good News of Communist Salvation to the world rather than hunkering down at home and attempting to build the USSR into a great empire. Had Trotsky been able to come back from the dead (after having been assassinated by Stalin’s henchmen) and have a debate with Stalin, Stalin might well have argued that he had expanded Communism more than Trotsky would have or could have by his methods. Stalin probably thought that the Molotov-Ribbentrop expansion into new territory was not only good but justified by Communist standards.

So are the Sovereign Democrats really going to be surprised that Stalin was planning to do it again in Iran, China and Turkey? Perhaps they’ll simply take that tried and true approach of their Communist forebears and deny everything.

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