Internal Military Intervention in the United States
6. Internal War and the External Enemy Image Page 15

Title/Summary page

1. Defining the Problem
Pages 1-2

2. Internal Military Interventions before 1877
Pages 3-4-5

3. The Era of Industrial Warfare
Pages 6-7-8-9

4. Internal Military Interventions since World War II
Pages 10-11

5.Internal Military Surveillance
Pages 12-13

6. Internal War and the External Enemy
Pages 14-15-16

7. Relevance for Peace Researchers and Activists
Pages 17-18-19

Table I

Page 20

Table II

Page 21

Table III

Page 22

Page 23

Copyright Agreement
Page 24


The 'rage militaire' pervaded the thinking of military intelligence not only during the war, but after as well. For example, one finds the following analysis described by Scheips (1989) quoting from a report written by a Major Dowell and issued secretly by the Command and General Staff School of Fort Leavenworth in 1922-3:

There were (count them!) 1,042,000 ultra-radicals in such places as Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, in that order, who were bent upon 'the ultimate extermination of the so- called capitalistic class' and all that went with it. ' About ninety percent of the anarchistic agitation traceable to aliens.'

Throughout the history of the Military Intelligence Division, its officers have been guided by the belief that foreign agents are responsible for the militancy of labor leaders (Jensen, 1991, p. 265).

The Russian Revolution gave substance to what had previously been only a shadowy enemy image. Before the communists gained power in Russia in 1917, it was difficult to say what foreign power was being served by domestic labor agitation. After the Russian Revolution, it became easy. Many US radicals openly supported the new communist government of the Soviet Union, and some formed the Communist Party of the USA. Meanwhile, the US government sent 12,000 troops to Murmansk, Russia, in 1918 as part of the international drive to overthrow the new regime. From that point on, anti-communism as domestic policy could be linked directly to anti-communism as foreign policy.

The enemy image of the Soviet Union and the hunt for spies became a rationale after World War II for the systematic destruction of militant trade unionism in the USA. The militant unions of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) which had formed during the 1930s were dismantled by a combination of government and company attacks. The period is usually recalled as 'McCarthyism', named after the Senator who headed a committee which claimed to find communists throughout all levels of government, and whose investigations destroyed the careers of many radicals of the time.

(continued on next page)

previous page
home page
next page