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But above all, Tito provides the Kremlin with a new opening to the West. The European Communist Parties outside the Iron Curtain have diminished everywhere except in France and Italy; and in these two countries, while they hold their strength, they are isolated and sterile. A new way of infiltrating Western Europe is neededa way of bringing down the barriers that Stalin's madness erected against Russia. The active hostility of the Western world must be numbed; perhaps even the military resolution of NATO can be sapped. At the height of the cold war each side knew where it stood; now the Communists seek to blur distinctions, so that Moscow Communism fades imperceptibly into "independent" Communism, which in turn fades imperceptibly into neutralism, so that in time the neutralist may be hard to distinguish from the indifferent antagonist. In all this blurring of attitudes, Tito is useful, and the old hacks are in the way.
If the Thorezes and Togliattis hold back and hesitate to discredit Stalin's memory too quickly, it is not because they hold Stalin's memory green, but because they fear that in the process they themselves may be effaced.
Inevitable Difference. A confident Tito announced in Moscow last week that "there are no longer any important problems to solve" between Russian Communism and Yugoslav Communism. In the Kremlin's lofty, alabaster-white, great Hall of St. George, a reporter drew Tito's attention to U.S. congressional threats to cut off U.S. aid to Yugoslavia. Said Tito, resplendent in his blue uniform: "It is not important. Our relations with the U.S. remain as before." But will they?
In the past the U.S. had been guarded in its trust of Tito, but generous with its money. Now that he was back in his old camp, with a certain stature of his own, he may not miss the dollars he will now lose. He knows that the U.S. will still find it necessary to talk to him and through him. But from now on, there will be an inevitable difference. Denying him dollars will itself solve little. A more fundamental response to Moscow's new calculated blurring of distinctions is to keep distinctions clear. Tito's return to Moscow is a useful first lesson: a Communist is a Communist.