Category Archives: the Soviet Union

Children’s Teeth, Collected Decades Ago, Can Show the Damage of Nuclear Testing

Nuclear Weapon Test, Bikini Atoll, 1954

In 2020, Harvard University’s T. C. Chan School of Public Health began a five-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that will examine the connection between early life exposure to toxic metals and later-life risk of neurological disease. A collaborator with Harvard, the Radiation and Public Health Project, will analyze the relationship of strontium-90 (a radioactive element in nuclear weapons explosions) and disease risk in later life.

The centerpiece of the study is a collection of nearly 100,000 baby teeth, gathered in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information.

The collection of these teeth occurred during a time of intense public agitation over the escalating nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Soviet governments that featured the new hydrogen bomb (H-bomb), a weapon more than a thousand times as powerful as the bomb that had annihilated Hiroshima.  To prepare themselves for nuclear war, the two Cold War rivals conducted well-publicized, sometimes televised nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere—434 of them between 1945 and 1963.  These tests sent vast clouds of radioactive debris aloft where, carried along by the winds, it often traveled substantial distances before it fell to earth and was absorbed by the soil, plants, animals, and human beings.

The hazards of nuclear testing were underscored by the U.S. government’s March 1, 1954 explosion of an H-bomb on Bikini Atoll, located in the Marshall Islands.  Although an area the size of New England had been staked out as a danger zone around the test site, a heavy dose of nuclear fallout descended on four inhabited islands of the Marshall grouping and on a Japanese fishing boat, the Lucky Dragon—all substantially outside the danger zone—with disastrous results.

Criticism of the nuclear arms race, and especially nuclear testing, quickly escalated.  Prominent individuals, including Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, and Benjamin Spock, issued spirited warnings.  New mass membership organizations arose, among them the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) in the United States, the National Council for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Tests (which morphed into the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) in Britain, and the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.

The public grew alarmed, particularly by the fact that strontium-90 from nuclear tests was transmitted from the grass, to cattle, to milk, and finally to human bodies—with special concern as it built up in children’s bones and teeth.  By the late 1950s, polls found that most Americans considered fallout a “real danger.”

Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, emerged as one of the most trenchant and effective American critics, circulating anti-testing petitions signed by thousands of U.S. scientists and even larger numbers of scientists abroad.  Pauling charged that the nuclear bomb tests through 1958 would ultimately produce about 1 million seriously defective children and some 2 million embryonic and neonatal deaths.

Determined to maintain its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. government was horrified by the popular uproar and anxious to suppress it.  U.S. intelligence agencies and congressional investigations were unleashed against groups like SANE and antinuclear leaders like Pauling, while U.S. information agencies and government officials publicly minimized the dangers of nuclear testing.  In a Life magazine article, Edward Teller, often called “the father of the H-bomb,” insisted that nuclear test radiation “need not necessarily be harmful,” but “may conceivably be helpful.”

Even so, public concern grew.  In August 1958, Herman Kalckar, a biologist at the National Institutes of Health, published an article in the journal Nature, calling on public health agencies in multiple nations to engage in large-scale collection of baby teeth. Kalckar proposed testing teeth for strontium-90 from bomb fallout, as children are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of radioactivity.

Washington University scientists recognized that a tooth study could change public policy. In December 1958, they joined with leaders of the Committee for Nuclear Information, a citizen group opposed to nuclear war and above-ground bomb tests, and adopted a proposal to collect and test teeth for strontium-90 concentrations.

For the next 12 years, the Committee worked furiously, soliciting tooth donations through community-based institutions like schools, churches, scout groups, libraries, and dental offices. A total of 320,000 teeth were collected, and a Washington University lab measured strontium-90.

Results clearly showed a massive increase in strontium-90 as testing continued. Children born in 1963 (the height of bomb tests) had an average of 50 times more than those born in 1951 (when large-scale tests began). Medical journal articles detailed results.  Information on the tooth study was sent to Jerome Wiesner, science advisor to President John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy, already seeking a test ban treaty, was clearly influenced by the uproar over the fate of children.  In his July 1963 speech announcing the successful conclusion of test ban negotiations by the governments of the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom, he argued that governments could not be indifferent to the catastrophe of nuclear war or to “children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs.”  The outcome was the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water.

According to the ongoing tooth study, the average strontium-90 in baby teeth dropped by half in just four years after the test ban. With their goal apparently accomplished, the Committee on Nuclear Information and the University halted tooth collection and testing.  Soon thereafter, the Committee dissolved.

Three decades later, Washington University staff discovered thousands of abandoned baby teeth that had gone untested. The school donated the teeth to the Radiation and Public Health Project, which was conducting a study of strontium-90 in teeth of U.S. children near nuclear reactors.

Now, using strontium-90 still present in teeth, the Radiation and Public Health Project will conduct an analysis of health risk, which was not addressed in the original tooth study, and minimally addressed by government agencies.  Based on actual radiation exposure in bodies, the issue of how many Americans suffered from cancer and other diseases from nuclear testing fallout will be clarified.

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I’m Still Here, Though My Country’s Gone West

Berlin, Fackelzug zur Gründung der DDR

A mass rally with the Free German Youth that marked the founding of the German Democratic Republic in the Soviet Occupation Zone, October 1949.

A full generation has elapsed since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in late 1991. Two years earlier, in 1989, the communist states of Eastern Europe dissolved, with the first salvo fired when Hungary opened its border. On 3 March 1989, Hungary’s last communist prime minister Miklós Németh asked the USSR’s last President Mikhail Gorbachev whether the border to Western Europe could be opened. ‘We have a strict regime on our borders’, Gorbachev told Németh, ‘but we are also becoming more open’. Three months later, on 15 June, Gorbachev told the press in Bonn (West Germany) that the Berlin Wall ‘could disappear when the preconditions, which brought it about, cease to exist’. He did not list the preconditions, but he said, ‘Nothing is permanent under the Moon’. On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was knocked down. By October 1990, the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) was absorbed into a unified Germany dominated by West Germany.

As part of the unification, the structures of the DDR had to be demolished. Headed by the Social Democratic politician Detlev Rohwedder, the new rulers created the Treuhandanstalt (‘Trust Agency’) to privatise 8,500 public enterprises that employed over 4 million workers. ‘Privatise quickly, restructure resolutely, and shut down carefully’, Rohwedder said. But before he could do this, Rohwedder was assassinated in April 1991. He was succeeded by the economist Birgit Breuel who told the Washington Post, ‘We can try to explain ourselves to people, but they will never love us. Because whatever we do, it’s hard for people. With every one of the 8,500 enterprises, we either privatise or restructure or close them down. In every case, people lose jobs’. Hundreds of firms that had been public property (Volkseigentum) fell into private hands and millions of people lost their jobs; during this time, 70% of women lost their jobs. The stunning scale of the corruption and cronyism only came out decades later in a German parliamentary inquiry in 2009.

LPG Mansfeld, Solidaritätsbekundung mit Vietnam

Cooperative farmers handing over a flag of solidarity with the motto ‘Solidarity Hastens Victory’ written on it to the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1972.

Not only did the public property of the DDR slip into the pockets of private capital, but the entire history of the project vanished in a haze of anti-communist rhetoric. The only word that remained to define the forty years of DDR history was stasi, the colloquial name for the Ministry for State Security. Nothing else mattered. Neither the de-Nazification of that part of Germany – which was not conducted in the West – nor the impressive gains in terms of housing, health, education, and social life occupy space in the public imagination. There is little mention of the DDR’s contribution to the anti-colonial struggle or to the socialist construction experiments from Vietnam to Tanzania. All this vanished, the earthquake of the reunification swallowing up the achievements of the DDR and leaving behind the ash heap of social despair and amnesia. Little wonder that poll after poll – whether in the 1990s or the 2000s – show that large numbers of people living in the former East Germany look back longingly for the DDR past. This Ostalgie (‘nostalgia’) for the East remains intact, reinforced by the greater unemployment and lower incomes in the eastern over the western part of Germany.

In 1998, the German parliament set up the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany, which set the terms for the national appraisal of communist history. The organisation’s mandate was to fund research on the DDR that would portray it as a criminal enterprise rather than a historical project. Fury governed the historical undertaking. The attempt to delegitimise Marxism and Communism in Germany mirrored attempts in other countries in Europe and North America that hastened to snuff out the reappearance of these left ideologies. The ferocity of efforts to rewrite history suggested that they feared its return.

This month, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research partnered with the Internationale Forschungsstelle DDR (IF DDR) to produce the first of a new series, Studies on the DDR. The first study, Risen from the Ruins: The Economic History of Socialism in the German Democratic Republic, goes beneath the anti-communist sludge to unearth, in a reasonable way, the historical development of the forty-year project in the DDR. Based in Berlin, the authors of the text sifted through the archives and memories, interviewing those who helped construct socialism in Germany at different levels of society.

Peter Hacks, a poet of the DDR, said in retrospect, ‘The worst socialism is better than the best capitalism. Socialism, that society that was toppled because it was virtuous (a fault on the world market). That society whose economy respects values other than the accumulation of capital: the rights of its citizens to life, happiness, and health; art and science; utility and the reduction of waste’. For when socialism is involved, Hacks said, it is not economic growth, but ‘the growth of its people that is the actual goal of the economy’. Risen from the Ruins lays out the story of the DDR and its people from the ashes of Germany after the defeat of fascism to the economic pillage of the DDR after 1989.

Leipzig, Straßenschild Lumumbastraße

A monument to Patrice Lumumba built by Leipzig’s Free German Youth; the street was later renamed ‘Lumumba Street’ in a ceremony with Congolese students, 1961.

One of the least known parts of the DDR’s history is its internationalism, wonderfully explored in this study. Three brief extracts make the point:

  1. Solidarity Work. Between 1964 and 1988, sixty friendship brigades of the Free German Youth (the DDR youth mass organisation) were deployed to twenty-seven countries in order to share their knowledge, help with construction, and create training opportunities and conditions for economic self-sufficiency. A number of these projects still exist today, though some have taken on different names, such as the Carlos Marx Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua; the German-Vietnamese Friendship Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam; and the Karl Marx Cement Factory in Cienfuegos, Cuba, to name but a few.
  2. Learning and Exchange Opportunities. Overall, more than 50,000 foreign students successfully completed their education at the universities and colleges of the DDR. The studies were financed by the DDR’s state budget. As a rule, there were no tuition fees, a large number of foreign students received scholarships, and accommodation was provided for them in student halls of residence. In addition to the students, many contract workers came to the DDR from allied states such as Mozambique, Vietnam, and Angola as well as from Poland and Hungary seeking job training and work in production. Right until the end, foreign workers remained a priority, with contract workers growing from 24,000 to 94,000 (1981-1989). In 1989, all foreigners in the DDR received full municipal voting rights and began to nominate candidates themselves.
  3. Political Support. While the West was slandering Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) as terrorists and ‘racists’ and conducting business with the apartheid regime in South Africa – even providing arms shipments – the DDR supported the ANC, provided the freedom fighters with military training, printed their publications, and cared for its wounded. After black students in the township of Soweto launched an uprising against the apartheid regime on 16 June 1976, the DDR began to commemorate international Soweto Day as a sign of solidarity with the South African people and their struggle. Solidarity was even extended to those in the belly of the beast: when Angela Davis was tried as a terrorist in the United States, a DDR correspondent presented her with flowers for Women’s Day and students led the One Million Roses for Angela Davis campaign, during which they delivered truckloads of cards with hand-painted roses to her in prison.

The memory of this solidarity no longer remains either in Germany or in South Africa. Without the material support provided by the DDR, the USSR, and Cuba, it is unlikely that national liberation in South Africa would have come when it did. Cuban military support for the national liberation fighters at the 1987 Battle of Cuito Cuanavale was crucial for this defeat of the South African apartheid army, leading eventually to the collapse of the apartheid project in 1994.

Berlin, 10. Weltfestspiel, Demonstration, Ehrentribüne

The Free German Youth, a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, hosted the Tenth World Festival of Youth and Students in Berlin, 1973.

Organisations such as the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany (Berlin) and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (Washington, United States) exist not only to denigrate the communist past and to malign communism, but also to make sure that communist projects in the present carry the penalty of their caricatures. To advance a left project in our time – which is imperative – is made much more difficult if it must carry the albatross of anti-communist fabrications on its back. That is the reason why this project, led by IF DDR, is so important. It is not merely an argument about the DDR; it is also, at its core, a broader argument about the possibilities opened by experiments to create a socialist society and the material improvements they create, and have created, in the lives of the people.

Socialism does not emerge fully fledged nor perfectly formed. A socialist project inherits all the limitations of the past. It takes effort and patience to transform a country, with its rigidities and class hierarchies, into a socialist society. The DDR lasted for a mere forty years, half the life expectancy of the average German citizen. In its aftermath, the adversaries of socialism exaggerated all its problems to eclipse its achievements.

Volker Braun, an East German poet, wrote an elegy to his forgotten country in October 1989 called Das Eigentum or Property.

I’m still here: my country has gone West.
PEACE FOR THE PALACES AND WAR ON THE SHACKS.
I myself have given my country the boot.

What little virtue it possessed burns in the fire.
Winter is followed by a summer of desire.

I might as well get lost, who cares what’s next
And no one will ever again decipher my texts.

What I never possessed, from me was taken.
I will eternally long for what I didn’t partake in.

Hope appeared on the path like a trap
You grope and grab at the property I had.

When will I say mine again and mean we and ours.

Our quest here is not to reverse direction and exaggerate all the achievements while hiding the problems. The past is a resource to understand the complexities of social development so that lessons can be learnt about what went wrong and what went right. The IF DDR project, in collaboration with Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, is invested in this kind of archaeology to dig amongst the bones to discover how to improve the way we humans stretch our spines and stand upright with dignity.

The post I’m Still Here, Though My Country’s Gone West first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Solzhenitsyn: Everyone’s Pain in the Neck

When you are too close to something, someone, you are not the best analyst. Your feelings get in the way. You reveal more about who you are than who or what you love/hate. But you can see better from afar. That sums up Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who, despite accurately predicting the collapse of the Soviet Union, and being instrumental in achieving that, was deeply flawed in his understanding of his nemesis, provided really bad advice on how to extricate the huge Eurasian, multinational entity from its many crises, and contributed to the suffering of, in the first place, his beloved Russians. Hardly the most Christian act for the devout soul he claimed to be.

Live not by the lie! is a great sound byte, but lacks any prescription about how to live, and how to get rid of the lies. His prescription was to break up the Soviet federation, keep only the Slavic bits, ethnically cleanse the whole complex web of life, privatize everything (slowly!), keep the safety net, and cut the military budget. That’s more or less what happened, but everyone (except US-Israel) was unhappy with the results. Amazingly, he insisted all the time that he was not interested in politics, that he was ‘above politics’, but, oh yes, politics must be based on morality and don’t forget to destroy communism. Let the reader who expects this book [Gulag] to be a political expose slam its covers shut right now. The lady doth protest too much.

Yes, morality trumps politics. But that is the US liberal rally cry, too. Biden would agree, though US presidents despised Solzhenitsyn, and from Ford (Solzhenitsyn is a goddam horse’s ass), to Reagan (Solzhenitsyn loved him), right up to Bush II, refused to fete him at the White House. And who has a good word for US pious human rights activism? The results of US ‘morality’ in politics has been a disaster. Solzhenitsyn was blind to his own highly politicized life and work, even as he fired off diatribes to the Central Committee, the Writers Union, sundry western media, blinded by intense anticommunism, which did nothing to improve the lot of his people, a biblical figure like Samson, who brought the temple crashing down around, killing one and all.

Solzhenitsyn led a truly remarkable life: humble beginnings, university, war, prison camps, return to Moscow, writer, dissident, Nobel prize, celebrity abroad, triumphal return, the ear of Putin. When I first heard his voice when he hit the world stage in 1974, he was a bete noire for me, expelled in 1974 by the Soviets, celebrated by imperialists, THE angry anticommunist. A dour, unpleasant face, scraggly beard. Women were attracted to his grim, macho, crusader energy, but I suspect he didn’t have any real friends.

Babyboomer truth

The 1970s for my generation were heady days: the liberation (not ‘defeat’) of Vietnam brought a long overdue realism to East-West relations, the flowering of detente. Though the Soviet Union by then did not attract the fervent left-wing enthusiasts of the 1930s-40s, its longstanding policy of peace and disarmament was finally embraced, not only by young people, but even by US politicians! The Soviets had been proven right: imperialism is nasty business, and mercifully the US was in a rare period of remorse, even repentance, for its warlike behavior. Solzhenitsyn would have none of this.

Despite his hysterical soap opera, I ‘caught the bug’ and became a sovietophile, fascinated at the real, live experiment to build a noncapitalist modern society. I learned Russian, studied Russian/ Soviet history, trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. No question, lots of chaff, but lots of nuggets of a better way too. Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago was jarring and so full of anticommunist hatred, it felt like, it was a replay of the odious McCarthyism of the 1950s. When he was soon dismissed by everyone as a reactionary crank, I put him aside, wanting to see and judge Soviet reality for myself. I did, and was both disturbed and, despite misgivings, confirmed in my belief that socialism was the way forward, and that the Soviet Union, though flawed, was the key to that future, hardly ‘radiant’ but not a prison full of unhappy slaves. Then Afghanistan, Gorbachev, and — poof! — the Soviet Union was gone. No key. No future. Thatcherism. TINA. The collapse of the left, invasions, wars, arms race ad infinitum.

What went wrong? One of the worst things about the Soviet Union had been its state-imposed atheism. I witnessed the Soviet Union at its most smug, prudish, and at the same time, paranoid in the 1970s. Revolutions were succeeding, mostly, in Africa (Ethiopia, Angola), Asia, but Maoist China and the dissident movement challenged Sovietism. Though economic frustrations were pressing, there was no room for debate about the radical reforms which clearly were needed. Intellectual life required lip-service to orthodoxy. Yes, lies. But what politicians speak the truth?

Roschild-Clausewitz truth

Despite all this evidence, I knew that any positive future for mankind required some kind of socialism. Marx (Solzhenitsyn’s advice to Soviet leaders was to chuck Marx) taught me that. But how to get there? Russia’s revolution ultimately failed. Christianity was already down there with the Russian revolution as a failure, reduced to irrelevance under capitalism. My own journey since then led me to Islam, as much a radical shift as becoming a communist. Unlike Christianity and Judaism (at least in their present form), Islam is still against usury. And reading about the Prophet while in a hospital bed in Tashkent in the 1990s, after ‘the Fall’, showed me a world figure almost for the first time, as our western upbringing, whether Christian or secular, has no room for such a real life revolutionary.

The Judaic prophets, followed by Jesus and Muhammad, and the nineteenth century secular prophet of revolution Marx, rejected usury and interest, as representing ill-gotten gain, with good reason. Marx condemned this mode of extraction of surplus as the highest form of fetishism, based on private property and exploitation of labor. They all rejected this exploitation on a moral basis as unjust, insisting that morality be embedded in the economy, a principle which was abandoned when capitalism took hold. While Judaism and Christianity adapted, Islam did not. (All of this seems to have passed Solzhenitsyn by.)

Interest, and today’s money based on US military might alone, are the root cause of the current world financial crisis; A corollary to Rothschild’s dictum about money and politics (Give me control of a nation’s currency and I’ve got control of its politics), and Clausewitz’s dictum about politics and war (War is the continuation of politics) is: Bankers determines politics in the interest (sic) of waging war. Interest is the primary instrument facilitating (and benefiting from) the wars today in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the world political crisis. QED.

And what stands in the way? However beleaguered? Islam. AND it is under intense pressure, subversion, occupation where necessary, to destroy Islam. Just as the socialist world was, from the get-go, under intense pressure, subversion, occupation where necessary, to destroy any shred of communism. I finally started to read some Solzhenitsyn. (I’m a sucker for Nobel prizes.) Cancer Ward (1965) was thought-provoking, well written, critical but without Solzhenitsyn’s hatred of the system swamping the text. It turns out it was almost published in 1966 in the Soviet Union, but the neoStalinists in the leadership stalled it until Solzhenitsyn gave up and went into high gear with his jeremiad.

Then I struggled through some of Gulag. Solzhenitsyn’s first wife Natalia Reshetovskaya in an interview with Le Figaro in 1974, called Gulag merely a collection of camp folklore, an unscholarly study of a narrow theme blown out of all proportion in West. Solzhenitsyn used facts that supported his preconceived notions. Gulag is very uneven, hardly a text worthy of the highest literary award. I dare anyone to read Gulag‘s three volumes. This Nobel gift is surely the most underread, especially by Russians. It does have merit, but more as the story of how suffering leads to transcendence, belief in God. Solzhenitsyn is a born-again Orthodox Christian and his subsequent work is infused with this spirituality. Gulag was just something Solzhenitsyn had to do before he got on to his real love – Russian history. His August 1914 is up there with Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but was dismissed in the West as ‘medieval rubbish’.1

Yes, Stalinism was a blight on humanity. But that one tyrant doesn’t disprove the iron logic of socialism. The things that Hitler did right (full employment, control of the economy and money supply, connection with the land, uniting the nation) are all socialistic. I was more struck by Solzhenitsyn’s transformation in prison, his and other prisoners’ belief that prison is where they felt free-est, that they are grateful for it. Freedom is not ‘more consumption’. On the contrary, it is freedom from things. The key to freedom and happiness is self-restraint. The paradox of the golden rule: liberty points the way to virtue and heroism. Liberty devoid of responsibility is the road to ruin. If we shirk responsibility, evil triumphs. Great message, but Solzhenitsyn is now remembered, if at all, as the dour Gulag guy. Without the hope.

Could i keep it up? The day when I deliberately let myself sink to the bottom and felt it firm under my feet–the hard, rocky bottom which is the same for all–was the beginning of the most important years in my life, which put the finishing touches to my character. Life is more than just the physical day-to-day reality. Our relationships take place on a different level too. The fortunate few are graced with this kind of insight.

Suddenly, the reactionary crank who shouted ‘live not by the lie!’ until the Soviet walls came tumblin’ down, loathed and despised by both communists and capitalists, was making sense. His message of spirituality and hope is universal.

Default to truth

Truth sayers are never popular, and are usually unpleasant people. Harry Markopolos, the man who exposed Madoff, is a classic example. A ‘quant guy’, only numbers, so as not to make a ‘Neville Chamberlain mistake’. He had solid proof of the financial theft going on, but was dismissed as a crank until Madoff had, well, ‘made off’ with millions, and the whole banking system collapsed in 2008. All his efforts had little effect and no one remembers him. Unlike Markopolos, Solzhenitsyn had the trump card of anticommunism that allowed this unpleasant truth teller his (brief) moment of fame in the West.

We have an inner program in our make-up to default to truth.You give the benefit of the doubt, often accepting lies in the interest of social harmony, the compassion gene. A survival mechanism. People are excellent judges of who is telling the truth (90% of the time). Only 10% of the time do we mistakenly accuse someone of lying. Solzhenitsyn came to believe that everything was a lie in the Soviet Union, that citizens were too stupid or brainwashed to see that. One of those 10%.2

Solzhenitsyn is the classic truth sayer. But his truth was flawed. He was even sued (successfully) for libel in 1983 for implying that a notorious American publisher of smut, Alexander Flegon, had KGB connections. He was fixated on destroying the Soviet system, to replace it with what? a theocracy? Certainly not western consumerism. The result of his Reagan-like anticommunism, the collapse of the Soviet Union, was worse than he imagined it would be, and led to the ‘third time of troubles’ 1985-2000 (no 1 in 1600, no 2 in 1917). Mr Truthie whined, went home in the aftermath, was politely ignored, then became a grudging fan of Putin. So Solzhenitsyn and I came to the same view, but mine from a Marxist perspective, which according to Solzhenitsyn is evil and wrong.

Solzhenitsyn’s rapid eclipse in post-Soviet Russia suggests that Russians were/are quite capable of seeing the great lie that lay at the root of his great ‘Truth’: communism was not all bad and was superior to the West in many ways. 60% of Russia believe that 30 years after its collapse. Solzhenitsyn became a comical figure in Moscow — a sort of The End Is Nigh, sandwich-board old man with feet of clay.3

Enlightenment truths

Solzhenitsyn was right about the real problem being the Enlightenment, ‘materialism’ and godlessness. Yes, communism was/is the logical end of the Enlightenment game. Get rid of the exploiters and we all live happily ever after (or, for Solzhenitsyn, as prisoners in a living hell). And it’s wrong to divorce morality from political, to dismiss categories of Good and Evil from our discourse. There are fundamental truths. My Rothschild-Clausewitz clincher in the first place.

But his understanding of Marx must have been from rigid Stalinist textbooks, because Marx’s ‘materialism’ is an indictment of capitalism, a freeing of humanity from material cares, needs. And that’s precisely what Solzhenitsyn is after too. Solzhenitsyn was a communist true believer but a bad Marxist. His prescription from his retreat in Vermont was ‘defeat the godless communists’. No room for detente, no tolerance for the Evil Empire. Ironically, Reagan was talked out of any special meeting with Solzhenitsyn at the White House by Kissinger, despite Solzhenitsyn’s approval of Reagan. (By then, Solzhenitsyn’s fervent Orthodox Christianity was an embarrassment to everyone, including evangelical Bush II.)

So the Soviet critique — that Solzhenitsyn was a dupe of the imperialists — was more or less true, as Solzhenitsyn had no use for imperialism of any kind and yet relied on the imperialists to destroy communism. He loathed communism and approved of capitalism. Solzhenitsyn was wrong about communism = evil, but not about his broader critique of the Enlightenment.

Islamic truths

Solzhenitsyn gave no thought to Islam, even though it was clear to all that a genuine theocracy, Solzhenitsyn’s implied ‘good society’, came about on the Soviet Union’s southern border, even as the faux communist utopias (both the Soviet Union and Afghanistan) were disintegrating. Shia Iran pretty much fills Solzhenitsyn’s checklist.4 Though persecuted, Iran was distant enough and with a strong enough culture to resist the capitalist trap, and its 1979 revolution was overwhelmingly popular, unlike the mini-revolution in Afghanistan in 1978, which was really more a palace coup.

On the contrary, Solzhenitsyn was recommending that the Soviet government abandon its Muslim republics and unite only the ‘good’ Slavs. No room for Islam in Solzhenitsyn’s god’s earthly kingdom. The most Solzhenitsyn did was to taunt the West after 9/11, describing radical Islam as an understandable reaction to western secularism and inequalities of wealth. But by then no one was listening.

Contrast this with Iran at the time, where the revolution reached out to likeminded (i.e., anti-imperialist) nations, including the Soviet Union. In 1988, just a year and a half before he died, Ayatollah Khomeini reached out to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, in a gesture of anti-imperialist solidarity. This was at a time of war against Iraq and continued subversion of Iran by the US and Israel. The Soviet Union was the first nation to recognize the new Islamic government in 1979, but Khomeini ruled that close relations with atheist Soviet Union were not Islamic, and then the Soviet Union sold arms to both Iraq and Iran during the 1980s Iraq-Iran war, as if to prove his point. But as religion became acceptable in Gorbachev’s perestroika, Khomeini sent Gorbachev his only written message to a foreign leader. An Iranian delegation to Moscow brought a sincere offer of support to the faltering Soviet leader. The Ayatollah warned him not to trust the West, which should have been crystal, crystal to Gorbachev, as the last Soviet troops were retreating in a hail of US-made bullets, as Afghan basmachi (the Soviets’ term for 1920s mujahideen) were downing Soviet helicopters with Reagan’s gift of Stinger missiles. Khomeini: “If you hope, at this juncture, to cut the economic Gordian knots of socialism and communism by appealing to the center of western capitalism, you will, far from remedying any ill of your society, commit a mistake which those to come will have to erase.” Gorbachev dismissed the offer as interfering with Soviet internal affairs.

What was Solzhenitsyn doing then? He was exhorting Reagan to kill as many commies as possible. So who is the religious leader genuinely committed to peace? Solzhenitsyn had fewer illusions about the West at this point, but his illusions about socialism/ communism were alive and well. He was soon bemoaning the post-Soviet oligarchy, but his tears were crocodile tears. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran are already playing key roles in establishing a new anti-imperialist reality, building on the first step taken by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1988. The world’s problems will only be solved based on a new geopolitical reality with Russia and Iran at its heart, the kernel of truth in the Ayatollah’s historic gesture in 1988. No thanks to ‘apolitical’ Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn was wrong about socialism, wrong about nonSlavs and non-Christians, but right about the godless West, and the need for morality to be the foundation of our economics, politics, art. His writings are ‘true’ only if you believe that (and if you ignore his anticommunism). The West couldn’t abide Solzhenitsyn’s fire-and-brimstone Orthodox Christianity, his denunciation of western society’s decadent materialism (though it loved his anticommunism). The West can’t abide Iran’s fire-and-brimstone Islam, its denunciation of western society’s decadent materialism, and, what’s worse, its enmity with US-Israel. Which, to remind the reader, was the basis of Soviet foreign policy, which was why it had to be destroyed. And just like communism, Islamic resistance to imperialism must be destroyed. Solzhenitsyn’s vision was of a religious leadership of society. But Solzhenitsyn is no perennialist. It’s my (Slavic Orthodox) road or no road.

Solzhenitsyn denounced the West for its immorality and said we must return to a truly Christian society. Everyone laughed at him. Couldn’t he see that the West was godless? But the current crises are making it clearer every day that Solzhenitsyn was right about a moral foundation for our society. And it is Iran that is an important experiment in building a new world order with spirituality at its core, much like the secular Soviet Union was in its day, but minus God. Both have a wealth of experience to share. They were/are not the ‘enemy’. We are our own worst enemy, and we must repent and atone for our sins. Amen.

Is Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979 more robust than Russia’s 1917? Is it perhaps the logical end of the Enlightenment journey from capitalism to communism? That nagging suspicion of mine about legislating atheism being, well, wrong suggests to me that Iran has a fighting chance. That is if US-Israel don’t succeed in destroying it first. As for Solzhenitsyn’s hope for a Christian moral Russia, that’s at least as iffy. By the late 1980s, Christianity was restored and Russians flocked to churches to be baptized. But interest soon waned. Since 2017, atheists have gone from from 7% to 14% of the population. Is it the fault of Soviet godlessness or just the same drift to godlessness everywhere (except the Muslim world)? After an initial flurry of baptizing in the 1990s, Orthodoxy never really caught on. But both nationalism and Islam are alive and well in Russia.

My biggest gripe with Solzhenitsyn is the way he interprets Truth as a thing, an end, that a Word can vanquish Evil. No! Truth is the process of bring thought, action into harmony with the divine will (Stoicism), the dialectic of history (Marxism). There are moral values underlying our actions, and if the actions are in harmony with God, with the world, that correspondence will be true. But Solzhenitsyn’s equating the Soviet Union with Evil, and (once he had experienced it) the West too, and then the new Russia, suggests the flaw, the great lie, in his thinking. In his Nobel prize speech, Solzhenitsyn whines about solipsistic writers, exhorting writers to imitate in microcosm the original creator’s making of the real world, to sense more keenly the harmony of world, the beauty and ugliness of man’s role in it, to communicate this to mankind. Great stuff, but he’s hoisted on his own (anticommunist) petard. His rueful attitude to post-Soviet Russia suggests his truth was conditional, subjective, after all. Where is God’s will in post-Soviet reality, Russian or the West? His fetishizing the old (Russian, of course) saw: ‘One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world’, my foot. How about ‘5 chess moves ahead well analyzed’, ‘don’t shake the boat’, ‘a stitch in time’?

Peasant truth

Solzhenitsyn was a master of media manipulation. He delayed his return to Russia until 1994 and then came via Alaska to Magadan, considered the capital of the gulag, as a member of the zek nation-within-a-nation. He kissed the ground and intoned: “Under ancient Christian tradition, the land where innocent victims are buried becomes holy ground. The need for purification comes from repentance for both individual and national transgressions of the Soviet era.” Then by train, with lots of pit stops along the way, the BBC in tow.

But he was given a dose of his own truthiness at one Siberian stop by a babushka: “It is you and your writing that started it all and brought our country to the verge of collapse and devastation. Russia doesn’t need you. So go back to your blessed America.”

Unfazed, Solzhenitsyn shot back: “To my dying day I will keep fighting against the evil ideology that was capable of slaying a third of my country.” Solzhenitsyn saw — with horror — that communism has remained in our hearts, in our souls and in our minds. But Russians complicit in Soviet ‘evils’ (i.e., everyone) resent this self-righteous jeremiad.

Heritage Foundation’s Ariel Cohen strips Solzhenitsyn’s vision bare: “This revived orthodox world view makes Russia closer to China and the Muslim world. The Polish pope was shunned, but the ayatollahs, Hamas and even Chinese Godless Communists are embraced. Catholicism and Protestantism are declared alien, while Islam is hailed as an ‘authentic’ religion of Russia.”5

There are bits of truth in both these thrusts, and self-serving lies. Use your own judgment of who’s really telling the truth.

And compare Solzhenitsyn’s fate with Vaclav Havel, whose life had a similar trajectory as writer, dissident and underminer of socialism, and who became figurehead president of a Disneyland NATO satrap. In contrast, and to his credit, Solzhenitsyn refused such token public political plums (he refused Yeltsin’s offer of the Order of St Andrew from a state authority that had brought Russia to its present state of ruin) and predicted: “If we look far into the future, one can see a time in the 21st century when both Europe and the US will be in dire need of Russia as an ally.”6

My truth — thinking 5 chess moves ahead to try to align with the universal moral truth – tells me he’s finally got it right.

  1. Raymond Rosenthal, ‘Solzhenitsyn and the defeated’ Nation, February 12, 1973.
  2. Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers (2019). We are good at recognizing when someone tells the truth, but lousy at discerning liars. We miss them 90% of the time.
  3. Sunday Times Bookshop, February 15, 1998.
  4. The Sunni equivalent is not tribal monarchy Saudi Arabia, but the ill-fated Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
  5. The new cool war’, May 17, 2006. see ed Edward Ericson jr and Alexis Klimoff, The Soul and barbed wire: An introduction to Solzhenitsyn, 2008, p237.
  6. 1994 interview and Der Spiegel in 2007. Op. cit., p237.
The post Solzhenitsyn: Everyone’s Pain in the Neck first appeared on Dissident Voice.

USSR to Russia

In the early 1960s, the intensifying Cold War confrontation between the U.S. and the USSR was not only a terrifying nuclear-arms race, but also a struggle for prestige and influence vis-a-vis non-aligned Third World nations.  The “Soviet” Union — founded on the promise of a dictatorship of proletarian councils — had long since become a highly centralized and corrupt, Party-run system, in which massive worker uprisings could only prove embarrassing in the “court of world opinion” (and dangerously disillusioning to the well-indoctrinated populace).  Thus, the efficient cover-up of this 1962 massacre of striking workers at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant — which is realistically depicted, with some fictional elements, by director Konchalovsky (Siberiade, Runaway Train).

Lest American viewers come away feeling overly complacent about their “democracy,” the rarely acknowledged 1894 massacre of Pullman strikers by 12,000 U.S. Army troops bears some startling resemblance to the events depicted.  Even so, in more recent decades, U.S. administrations have preferred to “export” their initiated and/or heavily backed massacres (Indonesia, East Timor, e.g.; cf. also documentaries The Panama Deception and RAI’s Fallujah, the Hidden Massacre).

The fact that the making of this film was heavily funded by Russia’s Ministry of Culture should also alert us to its possible use as favorable propaganda for President Putin.  Young Russians, many of whom remember little about the Soviet Union, may come away with the impression that living under Putin’s government must be “much better” than under Krushchev’s Communist regime.  (Under Putin, brutal suppression of rebellion has been more likely to occur, from time to time, in remote regions like Chechnya.)  I particularly found the movie’s ending suspect: in the aftermath of the killings, having feared that her daughter was among the dead, stalwart Communist official Lyudmila expresses nostalgia for the days of Stalin (who “reduced food prices”) — and also comes to appreciate her KGB acquaintance as basically a helpful, nice guy.  Former KGB operative Putin, who reportedly plans to oversee Russia for a longer period than Stalin’s reign, would most likely appreciate the character Lyudmila’s outlook.

The script could also have provided more explanation for the causes of the events depicted.  Why the increase in food prices in the first place — which first ignited the workers’ rage?  Bad harvest, hoarding (price-fixing), and/or diversion of budget into “defense”?  Why did plant managers cut wages precisely at this time (talk about bad timing)?  And why didn’t the higher-ups immediately reverse this terribly ill-timed measure — thereby quelling the massive spread of the labor protests?  The film does seem to depict realistically an incompetent, decision-evading process, whereby officials preferred a brutal “quick fix” to patiently resolving the crisis (and possibly being blamed for ineffectiveness).  In sum, this viewer is left with many unanswered questions.  Of course, the ultimate irony, historically, is that Poland’s Solidarity labor movement, begun in 1980 among Gdansk dockworkers, was the beginning of the end for the bureaucratic Communist regimes of Russia and Eastern Europe.                          

The post USSR to Russia first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Return of the Leviathan: The Fascist Roots of the CIA and the True Origin of the Cold War

In whose interest did the creation of the Cold War serve and continues to serve? Cynthia Chung addresses this question in her three-part series.

*****

In 1998, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), at the behest of Congress, launched what became the largest congressionally mandated, single-subject declassification effort in history. As a result, more than 8.5 million pages of records have been opened to the public under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (P.L. 105-246) and the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act (P.L. 106-567). These records include operational files of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA, the FBI and Army intelligence. IWG issued three reports to Congress between 1999 and 2007.

This information sheds important light and confirms one of the biggest-kept secrets of the Cold War – the CIA’s use of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a secret campaign against the Soviet Union.

This campaign against the Soviet Union, which began while WWII was still raging, has been at the crux of Washington’s tolerance towards civil rights abuses and other criminal acts in the name of anti-communism, as seen with McCarthyism and COINTELPRO activities. With that fateful decision, the CIA was not only given free reign for the execution of anti-democratic interventions around the world, but anti-democratic interventions at home, which continues to this day.

With the shady origin of the Cold War coming to the fore, it begs the questions; ‘Who is running American foreign policy and intelligence today? Can such an opposition be justified? And in whose interest did the creation of the Cold War serve and continues to serve?’ This paper is part one of a three-part series which will address these questions.

Allen Dulles, the Double Agent who Created America’s Intelligence Empire

Allen Dulles was born on April 7th, 1893 in Watertown, New York. He graduated from Princeton with a master’s degree in politics in 1916 and entered into diplomatic service the same year. Dulles was transferred to Bern, Switzerland along with the rest of the embassy personnel shortly before the U.S. entered the First World War. From 1922 to 1926, he served five years as chief of the Near East division of the State Department.

In 1926, he earned a law degree from George Washington University Law School and took a job at Sullivan & Cromwell, the most powerful corporate law firm in the nation, where his older brother (five years his senior) John Foster Dulles was a partner. Interestingly, Allen did not pass the bar until 1928, two years after joining the law firm; however, that apparently did not prevent him in 1927 from spending six months in Geneva as “legal adviser” to the Naval Armament Conference.

In 1927 he became Director of the Council on Foreign Relations (whose membership of prominent businessmen and policy makers played a key role in shaping the emerging Cold War consensus), the first new director since the Council’s founding in 1921. He became quick friends with fellow Princetonian Hamilton Fish Armstrong, the editor of the Council’s journal, Foreign Affairs. Together they authored two books: Can We Be Neutral? (1936) and Can America Stay Neutral? (1939). Allen served as secretary of the CFR from 1933-1944, and as its president from 1946-1950.

It should be noted that the Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) based in London, England. It should also be noted that Chatham House itself was created by the Round Table Movement as part of the Treaty of Versailles program in 1919.

By 1935, Allen Dulles made partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, the center of an intricate international network of banks, investment firms, and industrial conglomerates that helped rebuild Germany after WWI.

After Hitler took control in the 1930s, John Foster Dulles continued to represent German cartels like IG Farben, despite their integration into the Nazi’s growing war machine and aided them in securing access to key war materials.1

Although the Berlin office of Sullivan & Cromwell, (whose attorneys were forced to sign their correspondence with “Heil Hitler”) was shut down by 1935, the brothers continued to do business with the Nazi financial and industrial network; such as Allen Dulles joining the board of J. Henry Schroder Bank, the U.S. subsidiary of the London bank that Time magazine in 1939 would call “an economic booster of the Rome-Berlin Axis.” 2

The Dulles brothers’, especially Allen, worked very closely with Thomas McKittrick, an old Wall Street friend who was president of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Five of its directors would later be charged with war crimes, including Hermann Schmitz, one of the many Dulleses’ law clients involved with BIS. Schmitz was the CEO of IG Farben the chemical conglomerate that became notorious for its production of Zyklon B, the gas used in Hitler’s death camps, and for its extensive use of slave labour during the war. 3

David Talbot writes in his “The Devil’s Chessboard”:

The secretive BIS became a crucial financial partner for the Nazis. Emil Puhl – vice president of Hitler’s Reichsbank and a close associate of McKittrick – once called BIS the Reichsbank’s only ‘foreign branch.’ BIS laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in Nazi gold looted from the treasuries of occupied countries.

The Bank for International Settlements is based in Switzerland, the very region that Allen Dulles would work throughout both WWI and WWII.

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed on June 13, 1942 as a wartime intelligence agency during WWII. This was a decision made by President Franklin Roosevelt. William J. Donovan was chosen by Roosevelt to build the agency ground up and was created specifically for addressing the secret communication, decoding and espionage needs that were required for wartime strategy; to intercept enemy intelligence and identify those coordinating with Nazi Germany and Japan.

The OSS was the first of its kind, nothing like it had existed before in the U.S., it was understood by Roosevelt that such an agency held immense power for abuse in the wrong hands and it could never be allowed to continue once the war against fascism was won.

Allen Dulles was recruited into the OSS at the very beginning. And on November 12th, 1942 was quickly moved to Bern, Switzerland where he lived at Herrengasse 23 for the duration of WWII. Knowing the shady role Switzerland played throughout WWII with its close support for the Nazi cause and Allen Dulles’ close involvement in all of this, one should rightfully be asking at this point, what the hell were Donovan and Roosevelt thinking?

Well, Dulles was not the only master chess player involved in this high stakes game. “He was a dangle,” said John Loftus, a former Nazi war crimes investigator for the U.S. Justice Department. They “wanted Dulles in clear contact with his Nazi clients so they could be easily identified.” 4 In other words, Dulles was sent to Switzerland as an American spy, with the full knowledge that he was, in fact, a double agent, the mission was to gain intel on the American, British and French networks, among others, who were secretly supporting the Nazi cause.

One problem with this plan was that the British MI6 spy William Stephenson known as the “Man Called Intrepid” was supposedly picked to keep tabs on Dulles5; little did Roosevelt know at the time how deep the rabbit hole really went.

However, as Elliott would write in his book As He Saw It, Roosevelt was very aware that British foreign policy was not on the same page with his views on a post-war world:

You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren’t in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of ’em: any number of ’em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!” I was told… six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It’s like the British Foreign Office….

As the true allegiance of BIS and Wall Street finance became clear during the war, Roosevelt attempted to block BIS funds in the United States. It was none other than Foster Dulles who was hired as McKittrick’s legal counsel, and who successfully intervened on the bank’s behalf.6

It should also be noted that Bank of England Governor Montague Norman allowed for the direct transfer of money to Hitler, however, not with England’s own money but rather 5.6 million pounds worth of gold owned by the National Bank of Czechoslovakia.

With the end of the war approaching, Project Safehaven, an American intelligence operation thought up by Roosevelt, was created to track down and confiscate Nazi assets that were stashed in neutral countries. It was rightfully a concern that if members of the Nazi German elite were successful in hiding large troves of their wealth, they could bide their time and attempt to regain power in the not so distant future.

It was Allen Dulles who successfully stalled and sabotaged the Roosevelt operation, explaining in a December 1944 memo to his OSS superiors that his Bern office lacked “adequate personnel to do [an] effective job in this field and meet other demands.” 6

And while Foster worked hard to hide the U.S. assets of major German cartels like IG Farben and Merck KGaA, and protect these subsidiaries from being confiscated by the federal government as alien property, Allen had his brother’s back and was well placed to destroy incriminating evidence and to block any investigations that threatened the two brothers and their law firm.

Shredding of captured Nazi records was the favourite tactic of Dulles and his [associates] who stayed behind to help run the occupation of postwar Germany,” stated John Loftus, former Nazi war crimes investigator for the U.S. Justice Department  7

It is without a doubt that Roosevelt was intending to prosecute the Dulles brothers along with many others who were complicit in supporting the Nazi cause after the war was won. Roosevelt was aware that the Dulles brothers and Wall Street had worked hard against his election, he was aware that much of Wall Street was supporting the Germans over the Russians in the war, he was aware that they were upset over his handling of the Great Depression by going after the big bankers, such as J.P. Morgan via the Pecora Commission, and they hated him for it, but most of all they disagreed with Roosevelt’s views of a post war world. In fact, they were violently opposed to it, as seen by his attempted assassination a few days after he won the election, and with General Smedley Butler’s exposure, which was broadcasted on television, of how a group of American Legion officials paid by J.P. Morgan’s men 8 approached Butler the summer of 1933 to lead a coup d’état against President Roosevelt, an attempted fascist takeover of the United States in broad daylight.

Roosevelt was only inaugurated March 4, 1933, thus it was clear, Wall Street did not have to wait and see what the President was going to do, they already had a pretty good idea that Roosevelt intended to upset the balance of imperial control, with Wall Street and the City of London as its financial centers. It was clear Wall Street’s days would be marked under Roosevelt.

However, Roosevelt did not live past the war, and his death allowed for the swift entry of a soft coup, contained within the halls of government and its agencies, and anyone who had been closely associated with FDR’s vision was pushed to the sidelines.

David Talbot writes in his The Devil’s Chessboard:

Dulles was more instep with many Nazi leaders than he was with President Roosevelt. Dulles not only enjoyed a professional and social familiarity with many members of the Third Reich’s elite that predated the war; he shared many of these men’s postwar goals.

The True Origin Story of the Cold War

In L. Fletcher Prouty’s book The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, he describes how in September 1944, while serving as a captain in the United States Army Air Forces and stationed in Cairo, he was asked to fly what he was told to be 750 U.S. Air crewmen POWs who had been shot down in the Balkans during air raids on the Ploesti oil fields. This intel was based off of his meeting with British Intelligence officers who had been informed by their Secret Intelligence Service and by the OSS.

Prouty writes:

We flew to Syria, met the freight train from Bucharest, loaded the POWS onto our aircraft, and began the flight back to Cairo. Among the 750 American POWs there were perhaps a hundred Nazi intelligence agents, along with scores of Nazi sympathetic Balkan agents. They had hidden in this shipment by the OSS to get them out of the way of the Soviet army that had marched into Romania on September 1.

This September 1944 operation was the first major pro-German, anti-Soviet activity of its kind of the Cold War. With OSS assistance, many followed in quick succession, including the escape and carefully planned flight of General Reinhart Gehlen, the German army’s chief intelligence officer, to Washington on September 20, 1945.

In Prouty’s book, he discusses how even before the surrender of Germany and Japan, the first mumblings of the Cold War could be heard, and that these mumblings came particularly from Frank Wisner in Bucharest and Allen W. Dulles in Zurich, who were both strong proponents of the idea that the time had come to rejoin selected Nazi power centers in order to split the Western alliance from the Soviet Union.

Prouty writes:

It was this covert faction within the OSS, coordinated with a similar British intelligence faction, and its policies that encouraged chosen Nazis to conceive of the divisive “Iron Curtain” concept to drive a wedge in the alliance with the Soviet Union as early as 1944—to save their own necks, to salvage certain power centers and their wealth, and to stir up resentment against the Russians, even at the time of their greatest military triumph.

The “official history” version has marked down the British as the first to recognise the “communist threat” in Eastern Europe, and that it was Winston Churchill who coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” in referring to actions of the communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe and that he did this after the end of WWII.

However, Churchill was neither the originator of the phrase nor the idea of the Iron Curtain.

Just before the close of WWII in Europe, the German Foreign Minister Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk made a speech in Berlin, reported in the London Times on May 3, 1945, in which he used the Nazi-coined propaganda phrase “Iron Curtain,” which was to be used in precisely the same context by Churchill less than one year later.

Following this German speech, only three days after the German surrender, Churchill wrote a letter to Truman, to express his concern about the future of Europe and to say that an “Iron Curtain” had come down. 9

On March 4 and 5, 1946, Truman and Churchill traveled from Washington to Missouri, where, at Westminster College in Fulton, Churchill delivered those historic lines: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent.”

The implications of this are enormous. It not only showcases the true origin of the source that trumpeted the supposed Cold War threat coming from Eastern Europe, the very Nazi enemy of the Allies while WWII was still being waged, but also brings light to the fact that not even one month after Roosevelt’s death, the Grand Strategy had been overtaken. There would no longer be a balance of the four powers (U.S., Russia, Britain and China) planned in a post war world, but rather there would be an Iron Curtain, with more than half of the world covered in shadow.

The partners in this new global power structure were to be the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Japan, three of the WWII victors and two of the vanquished. It did not matter that Russia and China fought and died on the side of the Allies just moments prior.

With Ho Chi Minh’s Declaration of Independence on September 2nd, 1945, the French would enter Vietnam within weeks of WWII ending with the United States joining them a few months after Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech. And thus, in little over a year after one of the bloodiest wars in history, the French and the Americans set off what would be a several decades long Indochinese war, all in the name of “freedom” against a supposed communist threat.

Prouty writes:

As soon as the island of Okinawa became available as the launching site for [the planned American invasion of Japan], supplies and equipment for an invasion force of at least half a million men began to be stacked up, fifteen to twenty feet high, all over the island. Then, with the early surrender of Japan, this massive invasion did not occur, and the use of this enormous stockpile of military equipment was not necessary. Almost immediately, U.S. Navy transport vessels began to show up in Naha Harbor, Okinawa. This vast load of war materiel was reloaded onto those ships. I was on Okinawa at that time, and during some business in the harbor area I asked the harbormaster if all that new materiel was being returned to the States.

His response was direct and surprising: ‘Hell, no! They ain t never goin’ to see it again. One-half of this stuff, enough to equip and support at least a hundred and fifty thousand men, is going to Korea, and the other half is going to Indochina.’

The Godfather of the CIA

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.

The inscription chosen by Allen Dulles for the Lobby of CIA Headquarters from John 8:31-32

On September 20th, 1945, President Truman disbanded the OSS a few weeks after the official end of WWII. This was the right thing to do, considering the OSS was never intended to exist outside of wartime and President Roosevelt would have done the same thing had he not passed away on April 12th, 1945. However, Truman was highly naïve in thinking that a piece of paper was all that was required. Truman also had no understanding of the factional fight between the Roosevelt patriots who truly wanted to defeat fascism versus those who believed that it was always about war with the Soviet Union, and would even be open to working with “former” fascists in achieving such a goal.

Truman thought of the OSS as a homogenous blob. He had no comprehension of the intense in-fighting that was occurring within the United States government and intelligence community for the future of the country. That there was the OSS of Roosevelt, and that there was the underground OSS of Allen Dulles.

Soon thereafter, on September 18th, 1945, the CIA was founded, and was to be lamented by Truman as the biggest regret of his presidency. Truman had no idea of the type of back channels that were running behind the scenes, little did he know at the time but would come to partially discover, the disbanding of the OSS which took control away from William J. Donovan as head of American intelligence opened the door to the piranhas. The FDR patriots were purged, including William J. Donovan himself, who was denied by Truman the Directorship of the CIA. Instead Truman foolishly assigned him the task of heading a committee studying the country’s fire departments.

In April 1947, Allen Dulles was asked by the Senate Armed Services Committee to present his ideas for a strong, centralized intelligence agency. His memo would help frame the legislation that gave birth to the CIA later that year.

Dulles, unsatisfied with the “timidity” of the new CIA, organised the Dulles-Jackson-Correa Committee report, over which Dulles, of course, quickly assumed control, which concluded its sharply critical assessment of the CIA by demanding that the agency be willing to essentially start a war with the Soviet Union. The CIA, it declared, “has the duty to act.” The agency “has been given, by law, wide authority.” It was time to take full advantage of this generous power, the committee, that is Dulles, insisted.

Dulles, impatient with the slow pace of the CIA in unleashing chaos on the world, created a new intelligence outpost called the Office of Policy Coordination in 1949. Frank Wisner (who worked as a Wall Street lawyer for the law firm Carter, Ledyard & Milburn and was former OSS, obviously from the Dulles branch) was brought in as OPC chief, and quickly brought the unit into the black arts of espionage, including sabotage, subversion, and assassination 10  By 1952, the OPC was running forty-seven overseas stations, and its staff had nearly three thousand employees, with another three thousand independent contractors in the field.

Dulles and Wisner were essentially operating their own private spy agency.

The OPC was run with little government oversight and few moral restrictions. Many of the agency’s recruits were “ex” Nazis.11  Dulles and Wisner were engaged in a no-holds-barred war with the Soviet bloc with essentially no government supervision.

As Prouty mentioned, the shady evacuation of Nazis stashed amongst POWs was to be the first of many, including the evacuation of General Reinhart Gehlen, the German army’s chief intelligence officer, to Washington on September 20, 1945.

Most of the intelligence gathered by Gehlen’s men was extracted from the enormous population of Soviet prisoners of war – which eventually totaled four million – that fell under Nazi control. Gehlen’s exalted reputation as an intelligence wizard derived from his organization’s widespread use of torture.12

Gehlen understood that the U.S.-Soviet alliance would inevitably break apart (with sufficient sabotage), providing an opportunity for at least some elements of the Nazi hierarchy to survive by joining forces with the West against Moscow.

He managed to convince the Americans that his intelligence on the Soviet Union was indispensable, that if the Americans wanted to win a war against the Russians that they would need to work with him and keep him safe. Therefore, instead of being handed over to the Soviets as war criminals, as Moscow demanded, Gehlen and his top deputies were put on a troop ship back to Germany! 12

Unbelievably, Gehlen’ spy team was installed by U.S. military authorities in a compound in the village of Pullach, near Munich, with no supervision and where he was allowed to live out his dream of reconstituting Hitler’s military intelligence structure within the U.S. national security system. With the generous support of the American government, the Gehlen Organization –as it came to be known – thrived in Pullach, becoming West Germany’s principal intelligence agency12  And it should have been no surprise to anyone that “former” SS and Gestapo officials were brought in, including the likes of Dr. Franz Six. Later, Six would be arrested by the U.S. Army counterintelligence agents. Convicted of war crimes, Six served a mere four years in prison and within weeks of his release went back at work in Gehlen’s Pullach headquarters!. 13

For those who were able to believe during the war that the Russians were their true enemies (while they died for the same cause as the Americans by the millions in battle) this was not a hard pill to swallow; however, there was pushback.

Many in the CIA vehemently opposed any association with “former” Nazis, including Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the CIA’s first director, who in 1947 strongly urged President Truman to “liquidate” Gehlen’s operation. It is not clear what stood in the way of this happening, but to suffice to say, Gehlen had some very powerful support in Washington, including within the national security establishment with primary backing from the Dulles faction. 13

Walter Bedell-Smith, who succeeded Hillenkoetter as CIA Director, despite bringing Allen Dulles in and making him deputy, had a strong dislike for the man. As Smith was getting ready to step down, a few weeks after Eisenhower’s inauguration, Smith advised Eisenhower that it would be unwise to give Allen the directorship of the agency. 14 (18) Eisenhower would come to deeply regret that he did not heed this sound advice.

With the Eisenhower Nixon victory, the culmination of years of political strategizing by Wall Street Republican power brokers, the new heads of the State Department and the CIA were selected as none other than Foster and Allen Dulles respectively; and they would go on to direct the global operations of the most powerful nation in the world.

It is for this reason that the 1952 presidential election has gone down in history as the triumph of “the power elite.”15

  1. David Talbot, Devil’s Chessboard, pg 21.
  2. Ibid., pg 22.
  3. Ibid., pg 27.
  4. Ibid, pg 26.
  5. Ibid, pg 23.
  6. Ibid., pg 28.
  7. Ibid., pg 29.
  8. Ibid., pg 26.
  9. L. Fletcher Prouty,  The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assasinate John F. Kennedy, pg 51.
  10. David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard, pg 128.
  11. Ibid., pg 128.
  12. Ibid., pg 228.
  13. Ibid., pg 229.
  14. Ibid., pg 174.
  15. C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, February 15, 2000.
The post Return of the Leviathan: The Fascist Roots of the CIA and the True Origin of the Cold War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The health which I see is disease (… if the Hierarchical Church so defines)

Gates:  The Fauci Project

In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius Loyola, the man credited with the establishment of the Society of Jesus, to which the reigning Roman Catholic pontiff belongs, stipulated Rules to have the true sentiments, which we ought to have in the Church Militant. The thirteenth rule is:

To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of all souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the Ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.

— Rule 13

It is conspicuous that the de facto NATO chief drug lord, Anthony Fauci, was trained by Jesuits before he became head of the US biological and chemical warfare research machine embedded in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The regimental genealogy of the NIAID can be traced to the War Research Service, the US regime’s secret biological and chemical weapons research office, run by George W. Merck, president of one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world. In 1948, coincidental with the importation of Japanese and German war criminals with their cases of prison experimentation results, the War Research Service was transformed into the US Microbiological Institute.1 The War Research Service had been hidden in the Federal Security Agency, a Roosevelt organisation that included a variety of civilian programs deemed to have national security relevance. Federal security meant programs to protect against anything that could destabilise the US regime during the 1929 Great Reset.

After 1945 and the adoption of the UN Charter, repeating the injunction of the Kellogg-Briand Pact and establishing the offense at Nuremberg of “crimes against the peace”, wars did not stop.2 Instead names were changed. Names make a difference. The Washington Naval Treaty (1922) restricted the tonnage and types of ships that could be built. Hence ship classes were also renamed. At the same time armament and displacement were reallocated among new ship classes so that construction could continue. The US sought not only to buttress its secret first strike strategy against the Soviet Union but also later to circumvent the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties (starting 1972) by maintaining the same number of missiles and introducing the so-called MIRV, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles. In other words one missile was turned into a delivery system that could deliver the same number of warheads as additional missiles.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), America’s Gestapo, could not have been sold to the states had it been called a police force.3  In 1947, the National Security Act was also a response to the need for new language. If war was illegal then one could not have a “war department”. So the national military establishment was renamed the Department of Defence. After the ceasefire in Korea, the US was also forced to rebrand the programs developing weapons it denied ever having or using—namely the chemical weapons, already prohibited and the biological weapons it had inherited from the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army and the Japanese war criminals of Unit 731 Douglas MacArthur hid from exposure or trials.4 The principal war criminals from this secret Japanese military research facility no doubt joined their German colleagues recruited through the good offices of Allen Dulles.5

Although military research continued under the auspices of the US Army’s Chemical Corps and biological weapons research was still conducted, mainly at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD—with other major facilities such as Dugway Proving Ground, Wendover, UT—World War II had also raised the petrochemical industry and its sister pharmaceuticals to a major role in the military – industrial – complex. Atomic weapons had enormously expanded the already firm hold of DuPont on the munitions side. The Army Air Corps and the vastly expanded aeronautical and aerospace industry joined behind the new Air Force. Thus it should be no surprise that petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals needed their State bureaucratic partner for the massive post-war armaments program. It is important to remember here that one of the benefits of US strategic success in the war was the plunder of some of the most lucrative basic research and capture of the most ruthless research personnel available in Germany and Japan. When the leaders of the US regime whine about alleged intellectual property theft by China, they are merely sobbing at the inevitable trickle down from their historical larceny and brain draining.

It simply would have been impossible after the war in Korea to openly foster a biological warfare service in the US war machine. A solution was found. This was supported by trends already well established in the US. Since Frederick Taylor Gates assumed control over the General Education Board (GEB) within the Rockefeller tax dodge, the two largest tax dodges of the time, Carnegie and Rockefeller, had agreed to allocate the theatres of ideological warfare in defence of their fortunes, their class and the system that had come to be called capitalism. Rockefeller money would be devoted to manipulation of the domestic political environment and Carnegie money would be used to buy control of the international side.6

At the same time Gates advised Rockefeller to invest his loot in scientific medicine. Although Gates, like Rockefeller, came from a Baptist background, both had come to recognise that medicine is more powerful and intimate even than religion. Scientific medicine, based on the work of professionals operating with “security clearances” could turn the laboratory into technology for social transformation. Just as John D. Rockefeller had legalised his criminal activities to establish the Standard Oil monopoly, Gates proposed a strategy for establishing an ideological monopoly on medicine and thus a practically invincible defence of the gangster class’ prerogatives to rule.

Today’s complicity of the Johns Hopkins University (Bloomberg) School of Public Health should not be a surprise to anyone who recognises that history did not begin in 2019 or 2020. It was GEB money that founded the JHU School of Public Health (in 2001 named after the financial propaganda magnate, Michael Bloomberg, whose tax dodging has permitted him since 1995 to buy reputation at the nation’s premier population control academy).

Corporate control over scientific medicine, especially through funding of medical schools and medical research laboratories, combined with the integration of the pharmaceutical industry into the military-industrial complex. This process reached its international apex when the Rockefeller tax dodge, which had already made substantial financial donations to the United Nations organisation (notoriously supplying part of its feudal estate in Manhattan to build a kind of international “Vatican City”), managed the foundation of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The chief US delegate to the 1946 International Health Conference was Thomas Parran, the US Surgeon General, who would also be credited with the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on unwitting African-Americans (1932-1972).7  Rockefeller sent five official observers to the conference. Without a doubt the most powerful delegation at the conference was on the side of corporate medicine and pharmaceutical weaponry.

Recently those few critics of the WHO to be found complain about the amount of money it receives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.8  However, it is important to note that WHO was deliberately underfunded when it was started. A proposal that the organisation be funded by the United Nations was defeated in favour of separate contributions by members and a provision for financial gifts (bribes) from other sources.9

In 1955, the US Microbiological Institute was again renamed. It became the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1946, the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas, a military operation was renamed the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) and later becomes part of the US Public Health Service—itself a derivative of military/naval hygiene operations. In 1951, the CDC established its cadre program keeping with the ultimately military tradition to which it belongs. The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) was intended to satisfy “the need for an adequate corps of trained epidemiologists who can be deployed immediately for any contingency, including chemical or biological warfare”.

Consistent with US first strike strategy in its war against the Soviet Union, the 1950s were full of experiments to test human reactions to the radiation and the radioactive materials that formed the core of the atomic weapons economy. By 1954, the US was waging overt and covert war against all those countries that took the UN Charter seriously and attempted to establish themselves as independent and self-governing nations. As early as 1943, another operative of the Rockefeller tax dodge was leading what was called then the “Green Revolution”. In 1943 Norman Borlaug took the chemical-biological weapons research product from the US and invaded Mexico, preparing the foundation for the fertilizer-seed monopolies that together with official US policy would destabilise the largest country in Central America. The subsequent destruction of indigenous agriculture would not only stimulate migration of cheap labour to the North but contribute to the country’s debt crisis—despite its immense oil reserves.

The same technology that deceptively promised miracle harvests would be applied in the form of the herbicide Agent Orange during the 30-year US attempt to subordinate the Vietnamese population. On one hand the US wanted Vietnam to continue—with Korea—to subsidise its Japanese vassal with cheap food (rice). On the other, it was necessary to control the region’s huge opium sources inherited from France.10

1972 was a watershed in the world of war. Richard Nixon visited Mao in China. British Army units committed the massacre in Ireland known as Bloody Sunday. US aggression and bombing of Vietnam escalates massively. The assassination of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics, attributed to a terrorist group named “Black September”, provides the first pretext for major security controls at international airports. The US signs SALT I and the ABM Treaty. The Club of Rome publishes its eugenics treatise The Limits to Growth. The television whitewash of the war against Korea, M*A*S*H is first aired by CBS. The concepts of molecular biology and recombinant DNA (Stanley Cohen, Herbert Boyer, Paul Berg) receive public scientific recognition. Edelman and Porter are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for providing a picture of the structure and action of biologically important substances previously unavailable to immunology.11   US government officials admit that they had secretly used African-Americans as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee Study. Also the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was signed.12

The BTWC requires that each state “never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain: 1. Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; 2. Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.”

The US regime, in particular the CIA, already admitted during the so-called Church hearings one notorious incident although Senator Frank Church refrained from designating it as a possible violation of international law.13  Although the US regime ratified the treaty it has consistently resisted acceptance of inspection (enforcement) protocols consistent with its general self-exemption from international criminal law; e.g., self-exemption from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court whose establishment it forced. The treaty retains an advantageous loophole since it exempts prophylactic and protective purposes. This is very consistent with the renaming practices that began after 1945. Since the US by its own policy definitions does not wage offensive war all activities by its military establishment are prophylactic or protective.

In 2001, on the anniversary of the US-sponsored overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973, the NY World Trade Center towers were demolished following the crash of two passenger airliners into its upper floors. This triggered what became known in the US defence jargon as the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Within days of the spectacle, a sequestered federal legislature adopted the USA Patriot Act, the legislative framework for comprehensive domestic and foreign surveillance and policing. It also induced a “new normal” of invasions and occupations by US military and secret services as well as private contractors, massive air and ground travel restrictions. The Department of Homeland Security was created modelled on the CIA’s Phoenix Program in Vietnam.14  In fact, the “new normal” that has continued since 2001 is the globalisation of the Phoenix program, surveillance, kidnapping, assassination, torture, corruption and subordination of civil authority, black marketing of all manner of contraband—in short permanent covert war against the civilian population.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan, patron saint of the United States, declared during a sound check for radio broadcast, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes”. The Sandinista National Liberation Front wins elections in Nicaragua, triggering US covert war against the poor Central American country under the patronage of the re-elected St. Ronald. A methyl isocyanate leak due to an engineering design defect at a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, kills up to 23,000 people. NASA and the FAA performed an intentional crash of a Boeing 720 airliner using remote techniques for flying the Boeing 720 as a drone aircraft. In 1984, Anthony Fauci was promoted from Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation to director of NIAID and chief medical advisor to the POTUS.

It was the year after which George Orwell’s novel had been named. It was the year following the assertions by researchers Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier in 1983 that a novel retrovirus may have been infecting people with “AIDS” HIV. As director of NIAID, Anthony Fauci would lead and manage the dispersal of research funds to find treatment or cures for what was presented as a health threat of epidemic proportions. In the course of his career Dr Fauci would become the effective lord and master over HIV research and subsequent immuno-threats attributed to viruses, real or imagined. It has been said that although the mission of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is to reduce the threat of such afflictions, the number and frequency of allergies and infection diseases has increased since 1984.15

Dr Anthony Fauci is not only the highest paid federal employee; he has held his post under seven POTUS, even surpassing the 48-year reign of J Edgar Hoover as head of the secret police. Now he apparently is the drug lord with the last word on corona viruses, in particular the one known since 2020 as SARS – CoV2. Together with Bill Gates (no relation to the Rockefeller lieutenant, Frederick Taylor Gates) Anthony Fauci is in charge of defining the “new normal”. The Global War on Terror has now been turned into a biological war. The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) augments the NATO and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish new more intimate and saturated means of surveillance than those adopted in Washington two decades ago.

A comparison of the strategic language of the GHSA, the Third Offset and COVID-19 The Great Reset, shows just how effective the work of a century of financial malevolence has been.16  At the beginning of the 20th century Frederick Taylor Gates bought ruling class control through the domination of scientific medicine because “freedom from disease is the great longing of all peoples” and the desire for health as a unifying force “whose values go to the palace of the rich and the hovel of the poor”—where medicine is “a work which penetrates everywhere”.17 Today the great acolyte of John D. Rockefeller, William Henry Gates III, with Anthony Fauci as his medical field marshal, tell us that scientific medicine must first deliver us from disease by means of injections (aka vaccines) that will defend us against viral threats.18 The owner of a monopoly created selling software that cannot be protected from viruses is joined with a lifelong medical bureaucrat whose institution has proven incapable of protecting anyone from viruses converge in the war games held by the “ark” of Rockefeller-based medicine, Johns Hopkins University, the medical school and school of public health.19 Can that really be for the benefit of humanity?

Others have asked this question. The question leads to historical questions of great importance for understanding the biological war being waged since December 2019. Who is Bill Gates?20  Who is Anthony Fauci?21  Who is Klaus Schwab?22  What do the GHSA 2024 Framework, the Third Offset strategy and the WEF “Great Reset” have in common? If the “new normal” of 2001 has been so firmly imposed that the US offshore prison and torture system is no longer even mentioned—twenty years later—can anyone seriously expect that the “new normal” in 2021 will not be imposed. Repeatedly it is said that crises are opportunities. It ought to be clear by now for whom.

Could it be that there is a deeper, historical origin to the present crisis? In 1947 the business of war was renamed “defence”. Perhaps the business of biological war was renamed too. For decades the military – industrial – complex has been no secret. Its necessity was kept a secret until the 1970s.23 However, since 1992, the enemies of the Western ruling class have been reduced to China and the world population at large. The NATO war against the Federated Republic of Yugoslavia, nominally waged against Serbia, not only destroyed the last surviving socialist state in Europe, it destroyed the residue of the already anaemic Left. The framework was created for the integration of the environmental movement into the neo-liberal global system, in part under the umbrella of reactionary war profiteer George Soros’ Open Society consortium.24

Quietly what then might have been called the “Bilderberg” class was adopting the language of the compatible environmentalists. Using their control over the world’s mass media—intensified after a round of mergers under POTUS Bill Clinton—the Club of Rome jargon was reiterated especially through what became Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, formed shortly thereafter. Then in 2001 the first World Social Forum was convened in Brazil, ostensibly an opposition response to the Davos meetings. Just as the Davos meetings are paid from the troughs of multinational corporations and taxpayers, the WSF meetings could only be convened with the funds from taxpayers and corporate tax dodges funnelled through NGOs. Inevitably this has led to the creation of an international cadre whose special mission is the interface between the rulers under capitalism and the ruled. Although it would be an exaggeration to compare both institutions one-on-one, the gravy train of international conferences corrupts activists as often if not more so than scholars and scientists on the academic lecture circuit.

This harmonisation process gradually brought the jargon of the WSF, mediated by NGOs, into alignment with that of the WEF. This was most blatant with the explosion of the Swedish Alberich, Greta Thunberg, with her millenarian Climate Doom in 2019. The “Ring” cycle continued into 2020 with at least the populations of Anglo-America and the white dominions completely cowed by her doomsday performances. Thus the stage was set. It did not take much psychological pressure to turn a variant of the common cold into the “war of the worlds”. Moreover not only was the dynamic duo in Bethesda and Atlanta ready and waiting at “bat time and bat channel”, the de facto lord of the digital branch of the military-industrial-complex was able to activate all those integrated circuits in the GHSA and WEF to establish battlefield supremacy. The Colossus of Seattle and the Fauci Project presented to the planet: two worlds from which to choose—obedience or fear.

It was an appeal to Loyola’s Eighteenth Rule:

Although serving God our Lord much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all, we ought praise much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear—when the man reaches nothing else better or more useful—helps much to get out of mortal sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all acceptable and grateful to God our Lord, as being at one with Divine Love.

— Rule 18

  1. “US Microbiological Institute Established to Study Malaria, Polio, Typhus and Colds”, New York Times (23 October 1948).
  2. General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy (1928).
  3. Geheime Staatspolizei, secret state police—the undercover branch of the extensive policing apparatus subsumed by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) under Germany’s National Socialist dictatorship from 1933 – 1945. Like the FBI, the Gestapo performed as a national political police as well as conducting detective criminal investigations.
  4. See also Report of the International Scientific Commission for the Investigation of the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and China (1952).
  5. Most of this is associated with the CIA program known as Operation Paperclip. However, there were numerous programs for absorbing know-how from German scientific experiments wherever performed. IG Farben, a major industrial beneficiary from concentration camp exploitation, offered a natural channel, even to US corporations, through capture or cooperation among the constituent entities restored to operations after the war; e.g., Bayer AG.
  6. E. Richard Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America (1981).
  7. Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, conducted by the US Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was conducted in cooperation with the historically black college, Tuskegee Institute (University). Participants were told that they were receiving free medical care when, in fact, medical care was pretended so that the effects of syphilis could be studied on these unwitting, poor black sharecroppers. The 40-year study is only the most notorious of the unethical (in fact, criminal) research performed in violation of the derived Nuremberg principle of “informed consent“. Cornelius P. Rhoads performed similar experiments in the US colony of Puerto Rico in 1932. Rhoads stated (but later denied) that he had injected cancer cells into test subjects. Rhoads was also credited with developing the use of mustard gas—a chemical weapon—as a cancer therapy. He would be appointed head of research at what became Memorial Sloan – Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.
  8. The WHO program budget anticipated contributions in the amount of $7,969,367,000 of which only $956,900,000 were assessed from members. $5,242,480,000 came from “voluntary contributions”. As of Q4 2020, BMGF was the biggest funder of the WHO (11.8%) plus the 6.8% of the GAVI Alliance. The corporate interest in directing the WHO can be seen together with the funding from several other friends of humanity, 0.42% from the Bloomberg Family Foundation, 0.15% from Wellcome Trust, 0.13% from Sanofi-Aventis, 0.12% from the Rockefeller Foundation, 0.11% from Gilead Sciences Inc, 0.09% from Merck & Co. Inc, 0.06 from Bayer AG, 0.01% from Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies Contribution Fund Inc.
  9. See UN World Health Organization Interim Commission (June 1948) Official Records of the World Health Organization, Summary Report on Proceedings, Minutes and Final Acts of the International Health Conference held in New York from 19 June to 22 July 1946.
  10. For a discussion of the US war against Vietnam, see also “A Fly’s Eye View of America’s War Against Vietnam” in Dissident Voice, April 30, 2015.
  11. Gerald Edelman (1929-2014) went from the US Army Medical Corps to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (Rockefeller University) until 1992 when he joined the faculty of Scripps Research Institute as a professor of neurobiology.
  12. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction. It entered into force in 1975.
  13. C-Span, Clip of William Colby, Church Committee Hearing, 16 September 1975. The treaty entered into force 26 March 1975. US Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, chaired by Senator Frank Church (D) of Idaho.
  14. See Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (1990) and The CIA as Organized Crime (2017).
  15. Children’s Health Defence, statement by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  16. See e.g. Global Preparedness Management Board, 2019 Annual Report A World at Risk, Eric P. Hillner, “The Third Offset Strategy and the Army modernisation priorities”, Center for Army Lessons Learned (May 2019) and Klaus Schwab, Thierry Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset (2020).
  17. Brown (1981), p. 122.
  18. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NAID Biodefense Research for CDC Category A Agents (February 2002).
  19. 201 Event:  A global Pandemic Exercise.
  20. James Corbett, Who is Bill Gates? Corbett Report (05/01/2020).
  21. Dr David Martin, The Fauci/COVID-19 Dossier (2021) David Martin World YouTube channel.
  22. Johnny Vedmore, “Schwab Family Values”, Unlimitedhangout.com (21 February 2021) Vedmore mentions the cross-border support of the Nazis in which the Schwab family was involved. It is most likely that Allen Dulles, who was stationed in Switzerland at the time especially to monitor such relationships during WWII, knew about this and may well have provided later references for the post-war order he helped to construct.
  23. Journalism and Pornography”, Dissident Voice (5 January 2017).
  24. George Soros, Interview on CBS 60 Minutes (1998) Archive.org.  In the interview Soros explains that if he had not been profiting from the expropriation and deportation of Hungarian Jews during WWII, someone else would have done it.
The post The health which I see is disease (… if the Hierarchical Church so defines) first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Anti-Communist Political Science: Propaganda for the Yankee Capitalist State

Orientation

I returned to college 20 years after dropping out in the late 1960s. After a couple of weeks in the political science class I was taking, I challenged the instructor by asking:  “Where are the Marxists and anarchists in your presentation of political science?” Here is what I was told. “Marxists and anarchists are political ideologies and not scientific. In political science we have no ideologies. It’s strictly science. We measure and count. We are objective. You should take a class in political theory if you want to discuss those subjects.” This article is about how “objective” political science actually is.

Assumptions of political science

The image political science presents to students and to anyone who cares to listen is the following:

  • It is an objective science that investigates politics, yet somehow remains outside of politics
  • Its most basic concepts have nothing to do with the national interest of Yankeedom
  • Since it is a science, it can be applied to any society rather than a distinctive Yankee view of politics

The historical relativity of “liberalism and democracy”

American political scientists automatically associate political science with liberalism and democracy as if these terms were the foundations of all types of human societies from hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists, agricultural states, herding societies to maritime states. In fact, both liberalism and representative democracy are relativity recent.  In spite of this, political scientists categorically support liberal democracy while ignoring their absence in different types of societies and even most of the history of Yankeedom itself. Yet the rah, rah touting of liberalism and democracy is presented as a self-evident objective science.

Political centrism as the norm

Even within modern contemporary societies liberal democracy occupies a relatively small slice of the political spectrum. The spectrum of politics, if measured by the actual interest and support by the world’s peoples, stretches from anarcho-communists on the left to right-wing libertarians or fascists on the right. Liberal democracy is a point on the centralist spectrum, yet it is treated as the default normative position. What kind of objective science is this?

The Anti-Communist nature of political science

The field of political science has never supported an oppositional movement against capitalism which was entrenched since its founding around the 1880s. There has never been an objective attempt to evaluate the viability of socialism using scientific instruments.  During the Cold War political science was so “objective” that it changed its name from “social science” to “behaviorism” because social science sounded too much like socialism for the foundations that supported it. This term “behaviorism” was a desperate attempt to call it something, anything but “social” even though the new label had nothing to do with behaviorism that was the psychological discipline founded by Pavlov, Watson or Skinner.

Cross-national insensitivity of political science: we’ve got it all figured out

Neither has there been an objective attempt to weigh Yankee political science against how other states evaluate politics in order to develop a real cross-national political science.  Perhaps other states have different concepts which might explain a greater range of political phenomenon. For most political scientists, US institutions are robust and require no learning from other countries. This triumphant form has little to gain from states. In the form of modernization theory, political scientists actively insisted that the rest of the world has much to learn from the US. Other political scientists claim that the Yankee political institutions should not be the model for other states because the circumstances of Yankeedom are so exceptional that no society could measure up to Yankee political institutions. In fact, the central thesis of Dorothy Ross’s The Origins of American Social Science is that her subject owes its distinctive character to its involvement with the national ideology of American exceptionalism. No matter how you roll the dice, Yankee liberal democracy comes up seven. Political scientist Ido Oren claims that the welfare of America is the master value of the discipline.

In short, as Oren claims, political science uses the term ideology for human thought that avoids reflection on the circumstances in which it is embedded or the interests it serves. But they almost never apply this concept to their own discipline.

My claim

The claim in this article is that political science is not a science but a promoter of anti-communist extreme centralist Yankee foreign policy. This can be seen in that:

    1. Its concepts of the state, bureaucracy, fascism, communism and democracy do not stand the test of time but change historically with the triumphs and defeats of the Yankee state; and,
    2. The major practitioners of political science were deeply enmeshed with national security agencies, the State Department and even counter-insurgency movements. To make these claims I will be referring to the terrific book by Ido Oren called Our Enemies and US: America’s Rivalries and the Making of Political Science.

Political Science Concepts Do Not Stand the Tests of Time But Change According To The Triumphs Or Defeats Of The Yankee State

Rise and fall of the concept of the state

After the Civil War, the pioneers in political science located their state roots in an American Teutonic heritage. A Teutonic theory claimed most western state societies, including the English, French, Lombards, Scandinavians, Germans and North Americans were part of an Aryan civilization with German origins. These countries had an obligation to uplift the dark races including Native Americans, Asiatics and Africans, who were viewed as having no political civilization to contribute. John Burgess, a Civil War veteran who viewed states’ rights and non-Teutonic immigration as threats to America’s political stability, regarded Germany as a model of centralized political order. From the 1880s to the 1930s, generations of public administration scholars looked to Germany’s efficient bureaucratic state in their quest to energize the American state. But after fighting Germany in World War I, the American state no longer identified Germany as part of its political roots. Now, political scientists make fun of it as a theory of the state.

The United States admired the 2nd German Reich as a model bureaucracy to learn from.  Even at the end of the 19th century when Germany became a major economic powerhouse with whom it had to compete, the United States still admired the Prussian bureaucracy. Political scientist William F. Willoughby thought there were advantages of the unitary over the multiple forms of the state. He saw centralization of power in Germany as a potential model for shifting the balance of power in America from the states towards a political center in Washington. However, as a result of two world wars, the once efficient Prussian state was now named a bureaucratic authoritarian regime.

As far back as the 1920s, in the hands of political pluralists the whole concept of the state became suspect and was replaced in political science by the word “government”. After two world wars with Germany pluralism became even stronger. Pluralism’s weak state, pluralistic interest group politics and racial diversity came to be seen as sources of political strength.  Germany’s strong state and Teutonic identity became fatal flaws. Imperial Germany was now far from being an impressive model of bureaucratic efficiency. Instead, the German state was seen as a precursor to Nazism as opposed to the new Anglo-American and French political development. Funny how times change.

In fact, as Oren points out, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the importance of the state as a category of political science and the actual involvement of political scientists with the state. For example, during the early Cold War the pluralists stopped using the state as a concept in political science the very moment that many political scientists were recruited into the state to fill government and national security posts.

The same thing happened earlier. Before World War I, when the state was the centerpiece in political science, there were few direct contacts between the political scientists and the existing Yankee state. Then in the post-Vietnam era, radical political theoreticians like Theda Skocpol called to “bring the state back” into political analysis, and the profession’s actual ties to the state were becoming strained. This is a way of saying that when political scientists become actually involved in the state, they stop using it as a political concept. If they didn’t stop using it, it might lead to some awkward moments being caught crossing boundaries, like foxes caught in the hen house!

Bureaucracy as part of the state

According to Oren, before the World Wars began German administration was the envy of the United States. The German model had poverty relief, insurance, saving banks, as well as the maintenance and supervision of railways. These bureaucratic techniques seemed to be a separate undertaking from politics. But after 1917 Woodrow Wilson changed his tune.  In 1917 he declared Germany to be an autocracy. Still, even as late as the 1930s, the Nazi administration was still seen as better than the spoils system in US.

At first, Woodrow Wilson commended Japan’s leaders for their wisdom in modeling their constitution on Prussia. But as the Japanese became more aggressive internationally and allied with Germany against the Yankees, its former wisdom turned into something else. In the eyes of those who claimed to track world political development, both Germany and Japan were thrown off the train of “progress” and they became “special cases” as happened with the Soviet Union. My, how times change!

Even up until the end of World War II the United States still thought it was possible to separate administrations from politics. It was only after the horrid efficiency of what the Nazi doctors did to the Jews that the administration became inseparable from politics. In fact, the world “administration” lost all credibility as a political science term. It was only then that American political scientists discovered Max Weber’s pessimistic view of bureaucracy. At that point the whole public administration field fell into a prolonged identity crisis soon after the war.

The evolution of fascism in the minds of political scientists

No political scientist today would argue that Nazi Germany had anything positive to offer political scientists. After all, they were totalitarians. But things haven’t always been so. Mainstream political scientists in the 1930s were far from hostile to Nazism. For one thing, Oren points out that anti-Semitism and admiration of Nazi Germany were widespread in the interwar years. Anti-Semitism in the field of political science made it easier not to come down too hard on the Nazis. Some American eugenic scientists and social work experts regarded Nazi Germany as an interesting experimental laboratory for their ideas.

Some celebrated new immigrations statutes which “preserved the Northern European elements in our community. The laws cut out the influx of inferior Eastern people which brought about decay of ancient civilizations.” (53) Publicist Ivy Lee worked to upgrade Mussolini’s image among Yankee business leaders and later became a paid Nazi propagandist. In his book Political Power, published in 1934, Merriam portrayed Hitler as an underdog and compared him to Gandhi.

When political scientists were worried about urban “instabilities”, they talked to officials in German cities to see how the Nazis did it. When Albert Lepawsky visited Germany, he wrote “Goebbels would make an interesting professor of propaganda at the University of Chicago”. After all, the press, the posters, the radio and the movies were all coordinated. Political scientist James Pollock in 1934 avoided dealing with the morality of Nazism: “The German experiments were admirable – for example the camaraderie, the discipline and the goodwill fostered by German labor camps” (77). Roger Wells regarded Hitler as no more than a German conservative who could do Germany some good by stabilizing the economy. He commended Hitler for rescuing the German municipal government from the multi-party system of the Weimar Republic

Willoughby urged Americans to examine carefully the institutions of the Germans for the purpose of the possible integration of popular government with the advantages of autocracy. Carl Friedrich who wrote Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy in 1956, which saw Nazi Germany as one of three totalitarian systems, was not raising alarm bells 20 to 30 years earlier. It wasn’t until 1936 that political scientists changed their tune.

Communism: from interesting experiment to the devil incarnate

Mainstream political science in any period was always against socialism, let alone communism. However, during the insecurity of the late 1920s and early 1930s, they couldn’t help noticing how little the USSR was being affected economically compared to their own capitalist economy. As early as 1926 Russian expert Samuel Harper was opposed to calling the Soviet Union totalitarian.

Some political scientists ignored the suppression of their precious civil rights in the Soviet Union. I would think for liberal democrats that might be the first thing they noticed. Merle Fainsod, great scholar of the Soviet Union, looked favorably upon Russian, state-guided industrial rationalizing. The examination of socialist farming ignored mass starvation and liquidation the Soviet Union was later accused of. Frederic Schuman pointed out that Soviet constitution included the right to employment, free medical care, material security in sickness and in old age. Charles Merriam, probably the most famous political scientist of the 1930s, writes that the Soviet Union was a “most interesting experiment in civic education”. While the Stalin-Hitler pact was the Rubicon for most political scientists, a few said that the pact with Hitler was a defensive maneuver imposed on Stalin after the West refused to form a pact with Stalin against Hitler. What is vital to understand is that none of these political scientists were socialists, let alone communists.

After the pact between Stalin and Hitler “totalitarianism” became a term that was applied to both Germany and Russia. After the War, America’s flaws in political participation were recast as virtues and the former virtues of the Soviet Union were seen as flaws. Political scientists once again reversed their fields in the concepts for both fascism and communism.

Democracy from economic stability to voting

Before the Cold War, political scientists tended to define democracy in ways that played down the importance of the electoral process. In the 19th century, John Burgess opposed universal suffrage and was reluctant to endorse elections as the best method for selecting the nation’s top leaders. Woodrow Wilson wanted to make the world safe for democracy – but he wanted to entrust it to a professional managerial class. He thought a civil service examination was an eminently democratic method for leadership selection.

After WWI, the managerial view of democracy was rearticulated in the political science of Charles Merriam. Under the banner of democratic social control, Merriam and Harold Lasswell envisioned America as a state in which the American would be guided towards progressive democratic ends by an enlightened elite of social planners. On the left, Merle Fainsod believed that democracy should be economic. It should be concerned with the eradication of poverty with the guarantee of a living wage and with the alleviation of unemployment. He was less concerned with universal suffrage.

After World War II, economic and managerial visions of democracy fell into disfavor because they made US appear too similar to our enemies.  For example, Burgess’ vision of democracy via constitutionalism became a casualty of the first German-American conflict because, measured against its standards, England, which did not have a constitution, appeared less democratic than Germany. We couldn’t have that since England was on our side.  David Truman, in his book, The Governmental Process and Dahl’s A Preface to Democratic Theory, emphasized voting as the ultimate criteria for democracy as did Seymour Martin Lipset in his book Political Man, and Gabriel Almond in The Civic Culture.

Political Scientists Have Been Enmeshed With Yankee Foreign Policy For Over 100 Years

Charles Merriam

Towards the end of World War I in 1917 and 1918, political scientists participated in the massive campaign to promote the war.  Led by publicist Edward Bernays they attempted to persuade a reluctant American pubic to rally around Wilson’s decision to enter the war. Charles Merriam was the most important political scientist of the time, but objectivity did not stop him from taking charge of psychological warfare division in Italy.

Harold Lasswell

Political scientist Harold Lasswell received a sizable grant from Rockefeller Foundation in 1930s to study immigrants’ susceptibility to Soviet propaganda. He consulted with the Office of Strategic Services, the US Office of War Information and the War Department’s Psychological Warfare branch.

Evron and Jeane Kirkpatrick

When the OSS was disbanded in late 1945, its research and analysis staff was transferred to the State Department, and Evron Kirkpatrick remained with the intelligence section of the state department for eight years. He played a central role in a covert effort to recruit Eastern European refugees and scholars, including Nazi collaborators. He also worked with Hubert Humphrey and the liberal anticommunist camp of the Democratic Party. He became active in Humphrey’s political campaign along with Brzezinski. His wife Jeane Kirkpatrick promoted the liberal anti-communist wing of the Democratic Party. She had covert ties to US intelligence agencies.

Clyde Kluckhohn, Margaret Mead, Geoffrey Gorer

These anthropologists were all involved in consulting with the secret service psychological warfare operations against Japan in World War II.

Gabriel Almond

Gabriel Almond was among the most famous of all political scientists. He held teaching posts at Yale, Princeton and Stanford Universities. In his books, he depicted Anglo-American culture as a model for the world. He consulted with the Air University, the State Department, the Office of Naval Research and the RAND corporation from 1948 -1955. His book The Civic Culture was designed to steer third world countries away from communism.  His book Appeals of Communism addressed the power of the French and Italian communist parties. Both books were funded by the Carnegie Corporation.

 Lucian Pye and Samuel Popkin

Pye worked for MIT’s Center for International Studies. His book Guerrilla Communism in Malaya portrayed colonial authorities favorably. He expanded his studies to Asia to the investigation of the appeals of communism. He did a report for the Office of Naval Research which urged the government to award contracts to social scientists for counterinsurgency research. He taught courses in counterinsurgency for the State Department. Samuel Popkin also did counter-insurgency research.

Edward Shils

Shils was central activist for CIA sponsored Congress for Cultural Freedom.  This organization covertly recruited Trotskyists and non-communist leftists to the cause of cultural freedom in an attempt to divide left forces against communism.

Seymour Martin Lipset

Lipset received two sizable grants from the US Air Force in the late 1960s to examine the implication of comparative national development for military training and to study emerging leaders in developing nations.

Daniel Lerner

His research was used by CIA in designing the Phoenix program which sought to “neutralize Vietcong.

Samuel P. Huntington

Famous political scientist Samuel Huntington was a busy man. Not only did he work with national security and foreign policy agencies, but he advised Lyndon Johnson on the Vietnam War. He lectured and consulted at war colleges and some of his published research was funded by the CIA. Is Huntington’s scholarly career independent of his foreign policy career? Is Huntington’s scholarship unaffected by the politics of US foreign policy in which he took an active part?

Juan Linz and Amos Perlmutter

Confirmed anti-communist from Franco’s Spain, Linz developed a typology of differences between authoritarian and totalitarian typology. Amos Perlmutter was part of the Operations and Policy research on how to improve understanding of the role of foreign military forces in “stabilization” of the Middle East.

Whatever the intentions of these comparative political scientists, one effect of their research was to give theoretical support for the United States to overthrow regimes not to its liking and installing right-wing military dictatorships. Up to now, political scientists had the world divided up into “traditional” societies “democratic societies” and “totalitarian societies”. When Linz and Perlmutter inserted “authoritarian” regimes and developed the typological differences between them and totalitarian states, it provided the ruling-class with a wedge for US foreign intervention. In order to control rebelling masses in third world countries, the US all too often picked a military dictator to restore “law and order” while doing the bidding of foreign capitalists. But what do we call the military dictatorship? They must be characterized as authoritarian rather than totalitarianism to spare the State Department the embarrassment of overthrowing a government while installing a totalitarian regime. At the same time, socialist governments, no matter how democratically elected would always be called “totalitarian”. The regimes of Chavez and Maduro are examples.

Every political scientist named was no marginal right wing-nut. Every one of these political scientists were the biggest names in the field. I haven’t even mentioned Arthur Schlesinger, Walt Rostow, Talcott Parsons and Daniel Bell, all of whom are discussed in my article Dictatorship and Democracy as Loaded Language. In fact, before Michael Parenti in the 1960s, I doubt there were more than a handful of political scientists, at best, in the entire field of political science who were communists. I doubt the same is true in the fields of sociology, political sociology or history.

Conclusion

I hope to have convinced you that political science in the United States has little, if anything, to do with objectivity. Firstly, its concepts of the state, bureaucracy, fascism, communism and democracy are not stable political concepts that have stood the test of time over decades. Rather, these terms have changed dramatically based on the triumphs or defeats of US foreign policy. Secondly, the most famous political scientists between 1914 and 1964 served as advisors or promoters of US foreign policy, as you can see in Table A. In Ido Oren’s summary he writes “Political scientists were, on balance, more supportive of the administration’s policy than were other American intellectuals.” (153)

In the 1960s there was a rebellion within political science against professional involvement with the deep state. What has happened since? Oren concludes:

Collaboration with the national security agencies did not stop after Vietnam. To site one example:  Soviet specialist Myron Rush openly accepted a scholar-in-residence position at the CIA. Oren closes with a recent investigation of the state and political science relations in international studies which found that the line between political scientists and the state has pretty much vanished.  “According to H. Bradford Westerfield, a Yale University political scientist with ties to the CIA, cooperation between university professors and US intelligence agencies is now very much to the fore…There is a great deal of actually open consultation, and there’s a lot more semi-open, broadly acknowledge consultation” (170-171).First published in Socialist Planning Beyond Capitalism

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What Planet Is NATO Living On?

NATO headquarters in Brussels (Photo: NATO)

The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China.

This theme was emphasized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a Washington Post op-ed in advance of the NATO meeting, insisting that “aggressive and coercive behaviors from emboldened strategic competitors such as China and Russia reinforce our belief in collective security.”

Using Russia and China to justify more Western military build-up is a key element in the alliance’s new “Strategic Concept,” called NATO 2030: United For a New Era, which is intended to define its role in the world for the next ten years.

NATO was founded in 1949 by the United States and 11 other Western nations to confront the Soviet Union and the rise of communism in Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, it has grown to 30 countries, expanding to incorporate most of Eastern Europe, and it now has a long and persistent history of illegal war-making, bombing civilians and other war crimes.

In 1999, NATO launched a war without UN approval to separate Kosovo from Serbia. Its illegal airstrikes during the Kosovo War killed hundreds of civilians, and its close ally, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, is now on trial for shocking war crimes committed under cover of the NATO bombing campaign.

Far from the North Atlantic, NATO has fought alongside the United States in Afghanistan since 2001, and attacked Libya in 2011, leaving behind a failed state and triggering a massive refugee crisis.

The first phase of NATO’s new Strategic Concept review is called the NATO 2030 Reflection Group report. That sounds encouraging, since NATO obviously and urgently needs to reflect on its bloody history. Why does an organization nominally dedicated to deterring war and preserving peace keep starting wars, killing thousands of people and leaving countries around the world mired in violence, chaos and poverty?

But unfortunately, this kind of introspection is not what NATO means by “reflection.” The Reflection Group instead applauds NATO as “history’s most successful military alliance,” and seems to have taken a leaf from the Obama playbook by only “looking forward,” as it charges into a new decade of military confrontation with its blinders firmly in place.

NATO’s role in the “new” Cold War is really a reversion to its old role in the original Cold War. This is instructive, as it unearths the ugly reasons why the United States decided to create NATO in the first place, and exposes them for a new generation of Americans and Europeans to examine in the context of today’s world.

Any U.S. war with the Soviet Union or Russia was always going to put Europeans directly on the front lines as both combatants and mass-casualty victims. The primary function of NATO is to ensure that the people of Europe continue to play these assigned roles in America’s war plans.

As Michael Klare explains in a NATO Watch report on NATO 2030, every step the U.S. is taking with NATO is “intended to integrate it into U.S. plans to fight and defeat China and Russia in all-out warfare.”

The U.S. Army’s plan for an invasion of Russia, which is euphemistically called “The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations,” begins with missile and artillery bombardments of Russian command centers and defensive forces, followed by an invasion by armored forces to occupy key areas and sites until Russia surrenders.

Unsurprisingly, Russia’s defense strategy in the face of such an existential threat would not be to surrender, but to retaliate against the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.

U.S. war plans for an assault on China are similar, involving missiles fired from ships and bases in the Pacific.  China has not been as public about its defense plans, but if its existence and independence were threatened, it too would probably use nuclear weapons, as indeed the United States would if the positions were reversed. But they’re not—since no other country has the offensive war machine it would need to invade the United States.

Michael Klare concludes that NATO 2030 “commits all alliance members to a costly, all-consuming military competition with Russia and China that will expose them to an ever-increasing risk of nuclear war.”

So how do the European people feel about their role in America’s war plans? The European Council on Foreign Relations recently conducted an in-depth poll of 15,000 people in ten NATO countries and Sweden, and published the results in a report titled “The Crisis of American Power: How Europeans See Biden’s America.”

The report reveals that a large majority of Europeans want no part in a U.S. war with Russia or China and want to remain neutral. Only 22% would support taking the U.S. side in a war with China, 23% in a war with Russia. So European public opinion is squarely at odds with NATO’s role in America’s war plans.

On transatlantic relations in general, majorities in most European countries see the U.S. political system as broken and their own countries’ politics as in healthier shape. Fifty-nine percent of Europeans believe that China will be more powerful than the United States within a decade, and most see Germany as a more important partner and international leader than the United States.

Only 17% of Europeans want closer economic ties with the United States, while even fewer, 10% of French and Germans, think their countries need America’s help with their national defense.

Biden’s election has not changed Europeans’ views very much from a previous survey in 2019, because they see Trumpism as a symptom of more deeply rooted and long-standing problems in American society. As the writers conclude, “A majority of Europeans doubt that Biden can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.”

There is also pushback among Europeans to NATO’s demand that members should spend 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense, an arbitrary goal that only 10 of the 30 members have met. Ironically, some states will reach the NATO target without raising their military spending because COVID has shrunk their GDPs, but NATO members struggling economically are unlikely to prioritize military spending.

The schism between NATO’s hostility and Europe’s economic interests runs deeper than just military spending. While the United States and NATO see Russia and China primarily as threats, European businesses view them as key partners. In 2020, China supplanted the U.S. as the European Union’s number one trading partner and at the close of 2020, the EU concluded a comprehensive investment agreement with China, despite U.S. concerns.

European countries also have their own economic relations with Russia. Germany remains committed to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a 746-mile natural gas artery that runs from northern Russia to Germany—even as the Biden administration calls it a “bad deal” and claims that it makes Europe vulnerable to Russian “treachery.”

NATO seems oblivious to the changing dynamics of today’s world, as if it’s living on a different planet. Its one-sided Reflection Group report cites Russia’s violation of international law in Crimea as a principal cause of deteriorating relations with the West, and insists that Russia must “return to full compliance with international law.” But it ignores the U.S. and NATO’s far more numerous violations of international law and leading role in the tensions fueling the renewed Cold War:

  • illegal invasions of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq;
  • the broken agreement over NATO expansion into Eastern Europe;
  • U.S. withdrawals from important arms control treaties;
  • more than 300,000 bombs and missiles dropped on other countries by the United States and its allies since 2001;
  • U.S. proxy wars in Libya and Syria, which plunged both countries into chaos, revived Al Qaeda and spawned the Islamic State;
  • U.S. management of the 2014 coup in Ukraine, which led to economic collapse, Russian annexation of Crimea and civil war in Eastern Ukraine; and,
  • the stark reality of the United States’ record as a serial aggressor whose offensive war machine dwarfs Russia’s defense spending by 11 to 1 and China’s by 2.8 to 1, even without counting other NATO countries’ military spending.

NATO’s failure to seriously examine its own role in what it euphemistically calls “uncertain times” should therefore be more alarming to Americans and Europeans than its one-sided criticisms of Russia and China, whose contributions to the uncertainty of our times pale by comparison.

The short-sighted preservation and expansion of NATO for a whole generation after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R and the end of the Cold War has tragically set the stage for the renewal of those hostilities – or maybe even made their revival inevitable.

NATO’s Reflection Group justifies and promotes the United States’ and NATO’s renewed Cold War by filling its report with dangerously one-sided threat analysis. A more honest and balanced review of the dangers facing the world and NATO’s role in them would lead to a much simpler plan for NATO’s future: that it should be dissolved and dismantled as quickly as possible.

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What happened to JFK and a Foreign Policy of Peace?

Sixty years ago, John F Kennedy (JFK) was inaugurated as president of the USA. In less than three years, before he was assassinated in November 1963, he initiated major changes in foreign policy.

These foreign policy changes are documented in books such as JFK and the Unspeakable (2008) and Betting on the Africans (2012). One of the foremost scholars on JFK, James Di Eugenio, has an excellent new article of the Kennedy foreign policy at Covert Action: “Deconstructing JFK: A Coup d’Etat over Foreign Policy?“ Despite this literature, many people in the West do not realize the extent to which JFK was an exception. This article will briefly review some of the actions he took while alive, and what happened after he was gone.

While JFK was a staunch advocate for capitalism and the “free world”, in competition with the Soviet Union and communism, he promoted acceptance of non-aligned countries and supported nationalist movements in Africa, the Middle East and Third World generally.  In the summer before he was killed, he reached out to the Soviet Union and proposed sweeping changes to promote peace and prevent war.

The previous Eisenhower administration was hostile to post WW2 nationalist movements in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In 1953 the CIA supervised the overthrow of Iran’s elected government. They supported the Saudi monarch and undermined the popular Egyptian Nasser. In contrast, Kennedy was sympathetic to the “winds of change” in Africa and beyond. He criticized France’s repression of the Algerian independence movement and was sympathetic to Patrice Lumumba leading the Congo’s independence from Belgium. Kennedy worked with UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold to preserve Congo’s independence and try to restore Lumumba to power. The CIA managed to have Patrice Lumumba executed three days before Kennedy’s inauguration.

Under Kennedy, the United States started voting against the European colonial powers in Africa. Kennedy provided tangible aid to Nasser in Egypt. After Kennedy’s death, the US policy returned to support for European powers and CIA intervention. The US supported NATO ally Portugal in its wars in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea Bissau. The US supported secessionist and tribal forces in the Congo, Angola, Somalia, and many other countries with hugely damaging results. The US supported apartheid South Africa until the end. The US supported the sectarian Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser.

This was also a critical time for Israel Palestine. JFK was more objective and balanced than most US politicians. Just 22 years old in 1939, Kennedy visited Palestine and wrote his observations/analysis in a 4 page letter to his father. He is thoughtful and recognizes the Palestinian perspective. He speaks of the “unfortunately arrogant, uncompromising attitude” of some Jewish leaders. In May 2019, more documents were released from the National Security Archives. They show that JFK, as president, was intent on stopping Israel from surreptitiously building a nuclear weapon. In a letter to the new Israeli Prime Minister Eshkol, Kennedy gives a diplomatic ultimatum that US support of Israel will be “seriously jeopardized” if Israel did not comply with inspection visits to the Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona. After JFK’s death, the Johnson administration was submissive to Israel and pro-Israel supporters. Johnson showed the ultimate political subservience by preventing the rescue and hiding Israeli treachery regarding the USS Liberty. The Israeli attack killed 34 and injured 172 US sailors. Would Israel have had the arrogance and chutzpah to do this if Kennedy had been in the White House? Unlikely.

The invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs took place just three months after Kennedy took office. The CIA and generals expected Kennedy to provide US air support for the anti-Castro attackers. Kennedy said no and resolved to get rid of the long-standing CIA Director who had managed the operation. Allen Dulles and two Deputy Directors were forced to resign by the end of the year. The Pentagon, CIA and anti-Castro Cubans were furious at JFK. When the Soviet Union sent nuclear capable missiles to Cuba, the hawks demanded that the US attack. Kennedy opposed this and ended up negotiating an agreement whereby the US removed its nuclear missiles in Turkey as Soviet nuclear missiles were removed from Cuba.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country with vast natural resources and strategic location. President Sukarno led the country to independence and was a leader in the global Non-Aligned Movement seeking a middle ground between the poles of the USA and Soviet Union. The Eisenhower/Dulles administration tried to overthrow Sukarno. In contrast, JFK changed the policy from hostility to friendship. Sukarno invited JFK to visit the country and the invitation was accepted. Following JFK’s assassination, the policy returned to hostility and just two years later, in 1965, the US engineered a coup leading to the murder of about half a million Indonesian citizens suspected of being communist.

JFK visited Vietnam in 1951 as the French colonial powers were trying to assert their control. He saw the situation as 400,000 French soldiers were losing to the Vietnamese nationalist movement. Thus, when he became president, he was skeptical of the prospects. President Kennedy authorized an increase of US military advisers but never sent combat troops. As the situation deteriorated, JFK finally decided the policy was wrong. In October 1963 Kennedy issued National Security Action Memorandum 263 directing US withdrawal to begin in December and be completed by the end of 1965. After JFK’s death, President Johnson reversed course and began sending massive numbers of US soldiers to Vietnam. Twelve years later, after 58,000 American and about two million Vietnamese deaths, the US military departed Vietnam.

The Soviet Union was the largest communist country and primary challenger to the US and capitalist system. The Cold War included mutual recriminations and a huge amount of military spending as both sides designed and produced ever more hydrogen bombs, air and sea delivery systems. During the Cuba crisis, Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khruschev both realized how dangerous the situation was. Nuclear war could have accidentally or intentionally begun. In June 1963, JFK delivered the commencement address at American University. It was probably his most important speech yet is little known. JFK called for a dramatic change in US posture, from confrontation to mutual acceptance. He called for re-examination of US attitudes toward peace, the Soviet Union, the Cold War and peace and freedom within the USA itself. He called for a special communication line between Washington and Moscow to allow direct communications between the two leaders. And then Kennedy declared that the US would end nuclear testing as a first step toward general and complete disarmament.

In the last months before his death, JFK opened secret communications with Soviet Premier Khruschev and used a journalist to communicate directly with Fidel Castro. JFK proposed face-to-face talks aimed at reconciliation with Cuba.

Kennedy’s initiatives toward reconciliation and peace were opposed by the CIA and militarist elements in the government. As reported in the NY Times, Kennedy privately told one of his highest officials he “wanted to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds”. Before that could happen, JFK was assassinated, and his policy changes reversed.

From Moscow to Cairo to Jakarta, Kennedy’s death was met with shock and mourning. Leaders in those countries sensed what the assassination meant.

The day after JFK’s funeral, President Johnson supplanted Kennedy’s planned withdrawal from Viet Nam with National Security Action Memorandum 273. This resulted in 12 years of aggression and bloodshed in southeast Asia. Coups were carried out in the Dominican Republic and Indonesia. US resumed support for South African apartheid and Portuguese colonial wars. Assassination attempts on Fidel Castro escalated while military coups took place in numerous Latin American countries. In the Middle East, the US solidified support for Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The author of “JFK and the Unspeakable”, Jim Douglas, writes “President Kennedy’s courageous turn from global war to a strategy of peace provides the why of his assassination. Because he turned toward peace with our enemies, the Communists, he found himself at odds with his own national security state.”

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The Russian Revolution: Separating Truth From Myth

There is a deceitful and ahistorical myth that frequently resurfaces in right-wing circles seeking to discredit socialism with lies about the Russian Revolution. No matter how many times it has been invalidated as fabrication, the reactionary mythos endures. As might be expected, the author is referring to the preposterous claim that American capitalists — or “Wall Street bankers” — secretly financed one of the most epochal political revolutions in world history which overthrew the Romanov dynasty and ended the Russian Empire, leading to the establishment of the Soviet Union. One would be hard pressed to find anyone on the political left who has not encountered this mendacious propaganda which has a few variations depending on how far to the right its adherent lands on the political spectrum, but it usually shares the same core set of evidence-free claims.

Leaving aside whether or not the absurd premise makes any sense politically, what can be acknowledged is that at the heart of these false assertions are tiny elements of truth that have been distorted and overstated to the point of deception. Any research into this allegation inevitably leads one to its most popularly cited source, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution by British-American conservative academic, Antony C. Sutton. The primary argument deduced by Sutton is that “Wall Street” indirectly funded the Bolsheviks via the Swedish financier Olof Aschberg, a prominent banker and communist sympathizer who supported a variety of left-wing causes throughout his life, including later the Popular Front in the Spanish Civil War. During WWI, Aschberg was a banker in neutral Sweden before expanding his business into Germany where he then transferred sums to aid the Bolsheviks in Russia. However, the links that Sutton makes between Aschberg and “Wall Street” are contradictory and tenuous at best.

While it is evident that Aschberg visited New York in 1916 to convince a group of private American businessmen that the wartime financial opportunities in Russia would continue to flourish after its conclusion, by Sutton’s own admission he was in the United States on behalf of the Tsarist government to negotiate a $50 million loan for the imperial Russian Ministry of Finance. Sutton then debunks his own claim by alleging that Aschberg simultaneously siphoned money “from the German government” to the Russian revolutionaries just as he was acting as an agent in place of Nicholas II’s finance minister, Pyotr Bark. If that is the case, then the socialist Aschberg likely defrauded a partnership of American private bankers into inadvertently lending financial support to the Bolsheviks, at the very time he was employed as a representative for the Russian monarchy. It should be noted that this deal occurred during America’s neutrality in the war at the time, as the U.S. would not enter the conflict until the following year and Aschberg is known to have gotten into trouble with the Allies. Apparently, Sutton could not discern that these Yankee capitalists were being duped by the “Bolshevik Banker” and instead assigned conscious intent to their money passing through the Swede financier to the communist revolution.

Even if true, the conduit of funds from Aschberg’s Nya Banken would have constituted a minuscule portion compared with the primary subsidies for the Bolsheviks which came via the fortunes they seized from wealthy merchants, landed nobility, and senior members of the Russian Orthodox Church, not to mention the ruling class of the Tsar and his family who amassed incalculable riches going back hundreds of years. After the Russian Civil War, Aschberg founded the USSR’s first foreign trade bank, Roskombank, as one of the inaugural decrees of the Soviet government was the nationalization of the financial industry where the assets of private bankers were confiscated by the state. Thereafter, banking in the USSR functioned solely for the purpose of sponsoring foreign trade and the rapid industrialization of the agrarian country into a modern global superpower. If any American bankers were fooled by Aschberg into funding a Marxist revolution, they sealed their own fate.

Sutton’s accusation that the German state sponsored the Bolsheviks first came from the Alexander Kerensky-led Provisional Government which took power following the abdication of Nicholas II in the February Revolution. The short-lived interim government based its claims on telegraphic cables which purportedly showed payments between Berlin and the revolutionaries which was then used as evidence to smear Vladimir Lenin as a “German agent.” Historians have since debated the authenticity of the telegrams, but if Germany did divert funds toward the Bolsheviks, it was only because the revolutionary opposition to Russian participation in the imperialist war was an opening to undermine its enemy. For this reason in April 1917, German intelligence permitted Lenin’s return to Russia from exile in Switzerland via train through Germany, Sweden and Finland in an arrangement made by the Social Democrat Alexander Parvus. However, this meddling was no different than similar interference by the British and French governments who also attempted to influence Russia’s affairs. In fact, it was reportedly the French who intercepted the dispatches given to the Provisional Government showing the supposed transactions between Germany and the Bolsheviks.

If any Bolshevik was truly an agent of a foreign government, that distinction would belong to Leon Trotsky who was not admitted to the majority faction of the Russian socialist movement until September 1917 after previously siding with the Menshevik wing during the initial party split before straddling the fence for years as a self-described “non-factional social democrat.” If the truth should be told, Trotsky was never a dedicated Bolshevik and his opportunism proved useful to the interests of Western imperialism, namely, the British who suspiciously ordered Canadian authorities to release him from internment in Nova Scotia that April. Why the British would free a revolutionary to return to Russia and presumably withdraw another Allied nation from the war might seem puzzling, except Trotsky’s advocation of “neither war nor peace” was an opportunity to obstruct Lenin’s efforts to make a separate cease-fire with Germany and accept the Central Powers terms. This would have consequences five months after the October Revolution during the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918, where Trotsky led the negotiations as Foreign Minister and nearly sabotaged the peace talks by disrupting them with his unauthorized tactics.

Of the original incumbents in the first Soviet cabinet, Trotsky was the only minister of Jewish descent. However, this did not prevent the Tsarist White movement from spreading propaganda during the Russian Civil War about the predominance of “Jews” within the Bolsheviks. Apart from the racism of such conjecture, it also turns out to be factually incorrect as shown in statistics published by the Moscow-based Vedomosti newspaper:

If we discard the speculations of pseudoscientists who know how to find the Jewish origin of every revolutionary, it turns out that in the first composition of the Council of People’s Commissars of Jews there were 8%: of its 16 members, only Leon Trotsky was a Jew. In the government of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic of 1917–1922 Jews were 12% (six out of 50 people). Apart from the government, the Central Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks) on the eve of October 1917 had 20% Jews (6 out of 30), and in the first composition of the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) — 40% (3 out of 7).

This sensationalist big lie of “Jewish Bolshevism” was really an extension of the infamous hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which itself had been forged in 1903 by Okhrana, the secret police of the Russian Empire, who disseminated the fabricated text to deflect growing discontent under the Tsarist regime against a scapegoat. After the Romanovs were ousted in 1917, the White movement turned the propaganda against its opponents in the Russian Civil War while this sentiment was promoted by its backers in the West such as Winston Churchill and Henry Ford. At some point, the “Judeo-Bolshevism” hoax became “Jewish bankers” or “Wall Street” funding the Bolsheviks.

Sutton alleges the German-born Jewish-American banker, Jacob Schiff, was a clandestine financier of the Bolsheviks. This too is demonstrably false, as Schiff was a supporter of the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom, a transatlantic organization which was as vehemently anti-Bolshevik as it was anti-tsar. Today, reactionary historical revisionists would like us to forget that the treacherous Provisional Government, which was to some extent financed and backed by foreign bankers, ever existed in the months between the February and October Revolutions. Schiff had previously backed the failed 1905 Revolution because of the numerous anti-semitic pogroms that occurred under the Russian Empire but immediately withdrew his support from the 1917 Revolution once the Bolsheviks removed the pro-war Provisional Government, as explained by Kenneth Ackerman in Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution:

Schiff’s gripe against Russia had been its anti-Semitism. At home Schiff had never shown any sympathy for socialism, not even the milder Morris Hillquit variety. Schiff had declared victory for his purposes in Russia after the tsar was toppled in March 1917 and Alexander Kerensky, representing the new provisional government, had declared Jews to be equal citizens. In addition to repeated public statements of support, he used both his personal wealth and the resources of Kuhn Loeb to float large loans to Kerensky’s regime. When Lenin and Trotsky seized power for themselves in November 1917, Schiff immediately rejected them, cut off further loans, started funding anti-Bolshevist groups, and even demanded that the Bolsheviks pay back some of the money he’d loaned Kerensky. Schiff also joined a British-backed effort to appeal to fellow Jews in Russia to continue the fight against Germany.

Another member of the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom was the American explorer George Kennan, second cousin of future U.S. diplomat and influential strategist during the Cold War, George F. Kennan. Kennan is quoted in a March 1917 New York Times article explaining how Schiff and the Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom funded the February Revolution. However, the elder Kennan was also adamantly against the October Revolution and when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson approved American participation in the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, it was after being persuaded by his report in 1918 criticizing the Bolsheviks. If Wall Street bankers funded the Bolsheviks, why did the Anglo-Americans send their army to join the Allied nations to invade Russia and fight the Reds? Kennan’s final denunciation of the Soviets was written in 1923:

The Russian leopard has not changed its spots…. The new Bolshevik constitution… leaves all power just where it has been for the last five years — in the hands of a small group of self-appointed bureaucrats which the people can neither remove nor control.

Years later, part of the inspiration as an envoy for George F. Kennan to found anti-communist Soviet émigré groups like the American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (ACLPR, AMCOMLIB) stemmed from his knowledge of the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom begun by his great uncle during the Russian Empire. Also going by the name of the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AMCOMLIB was set up in 1950 as part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Project QKACTIVE in which U.S. intelligence also established Radio Liberation, later known as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, to broadcast behind the Iron Curtain. So not only was the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom anti-Bolshevik, its activities became the impetus for part of Kennan’s influential Cold War containment strategy.

Oddly enough, it was George F. Kennan who later proved the infamous ‘Sisson Documents’ purporting that Lenin and his associates were “German agents” to be forgeries in a 1956 article for the Journal of Modern History. The 1918 documents published by Edgar Sisson of the U.S. government’s Committee on Public Information ministry were part of a propaganda operation to discredit the Bolsheviks which reinforced the theory of a German-Bolshevik plot and gave further grounds for the Allied invasion of Russia. With eerie parallels to U.S. media coverage of the Iraq War, apart from war correspondent John Reed, most of the yellow press at the time accepted the Sisson Documents uncritically. While it is now generally acknowledged that the German Foreign Office funded the Bolsheviks to some degree, Kennan’s scholarly work showed the danger of believing deceptive information when it affirms preconceived notions and provides justification for desired actions, especially war.

In recent years, such fiction about the Russian Revolution has not been relegated to the margins but even found its way into the pages of The New York Times when it allowed pseudo-historian Sean McMeekin to take out an op-ed on the 100th anniversary resurrecting the hoax that Lenin was a “German agent.” The ratcheting up of tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the new Cold War and the bogus allegations of interference by Moscow in American elections has normalized disinformation and fake narratives made up of anecdotes and distortion. Now, it is not just the right-wing which is a gullible audience for such psychological warfare regarding Soviet history but credulous Western liberals. In his defense, at least paleolibertarians like Sutton are willing to question the ‘official’ narrative of the Russian Revolution but unfortunately, because of the Red Scare begun by Sisson’s forgeries, like a matryoshka doll there is only more propaganda within the propaganda regarding communism which runs deeper than any right-wing canard. If those seeking the truth about history are sincere, they will keep searching even when it reveals truths that call their whole political views into question. Keep searching.

The post The Russian Revolution: Separating Truth From Myth first appeared on Dissident Voice.