By Bradley Lightbody
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Extra resources for The Cold War
As always, Stalin's threat was more internal than external. 52 and 22 million', all in an unceasing quest for blind obedience. Khrushchev, in delivering his denunciation of Stalin at the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in February 1956, utterly condemned Stalin's style of government and blamed him for 'many gross mistakes in his direction of the Soviet Union's foreign policy'. Stalin rarely sought the 24 opinions of his Politburo but tended to act on instinct, and he forced those around him to engage in a deadly dance of survival to predict correctly and endorse his policies.
Secretary of State John Foster 41 Dulles appeared on television in January 1953 and promised 'all those suffering under communist slavery.. you can count on u s ' . The overt deployment of nuclear weapons on Okinawa in May 1953, in striking range of Communist China, raised a general fear of nuclear war. In July 1953 the new Soviet leadership of Malenkov and Khrushchev brokered a peace settlement and ended the Korean War in the first act of peaceful coexistence. However, a significant dispute remained as the United States refused to recognise the government of Mao Zedong and blocked the admission of Communist China to the United Nations while continuing to recognise Jiang Jieshi and his Nationalist army as the legitimate government of China.
A new 'get tough' policy was rapidly in evidence as the United States attached conditions to aid, ended reparations from Germany, refused to share nuclear technology and began to rebuild the German economy. In addition, a series of anti-Soviet press briefings began to alter press and public opinion that had given a hostile reception to Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' speech. In September 1946 Newsweek warned Americans, 'the Soviet Government has made up its mind that capitalism must be destroyed if communism is to live'.