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Perhaps the sweetest of Old Balkan Hand Tito's satisfactions was the vengeance he was taking on the men who had spoken loudest in denunciation of him during his 1948 quarrel with Stalin. Satellite leaders who once denounced him have been shoved aside, or tremble in their jobs. Men who went to their deaths accused of trafficking with him have had their reputations posthumously "rehabilitated." The Cominform which expelled him has been dissolved. Molotov has resigned. All these things, Tito indicated, make for a good start, but he still" has some names on his list. He has a score to settle with an old enemy, Hungarian Communist Boss Matyas Rakosi. And the Yugoslav party newspaper Borba has made clear Tito's displeasure with France's Maurice Thorez. Little Albania has not yet properly recanted.
Moscow needs Tito, and the price is high.
The New Role. For a long time the standard U.S. attitude has been that "Tito is too smart to get himself back into the bear's claws," and to let it go at that. A reappraisal is now needed. Obviously Tito is not willing to become a satellite again. But a new role is emerging for him in the Communist worlda role gratifying to his considerable ego and suited to his considerable talents.
Last week it was becoming clear what the Kremlin wants of Tito. It does not mean to destroy his independence, but to put it to use. Stalin's old cronies and legitimate heirs want Tito to vouch for them in the world of friendly but doubting nations of Europe and Asia, when the full facts of Stalin's crimes become known. They want Tito as a kind of ambassador extraordinary among the neutral nations, selling the Kremlin line from a new stand, using his influence to reestablish what is now, or soon will be, wholly discredited.
What will Tito gain? Behind his lordly impassivity is there a dream of becoming the great ideological and organizational genius of the world Communist Parties, laying old leaders aside and restoring order in the confused and resentful ranks of the Italian, French, German and satellite parties, a dream perhaps of uniting the world's Communist and Socialist Parties in some kind of new International?
Tito has already shown himself skilled in pursuing the direction Moscow now wants to take. He has found a way of talking to the outside world. He has kept a tight security rein on his country without some of the more flagrant severities of Moscow. It is true that he has botched the running of his economy; the peasants are still poor and dissatisfied. But in this he is no worse than the Russians (neither dares admit that the difficulty is in the system itself). And he has shown agility and a certain style in diplomacy.