Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Libertarians at Play

I briefly interrupt this program to throw up a quickie. As will be frequently seen, I will interrupt my ongoing narrative with tidbits from around the web, and instead of sending replies, I’ll simply post it all here.

Our first example of this technique will be to nod at the boys over at antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo and his pal Pat Buchanan, that hotbed of libertarian zeal. Actually, like all other “isms” and “arians” they get a lot right. But when the facts get in the way of their ideology, they happily stoop to what they darkly accuse their enemies in the neocon and Zionist camps of, the dreaded revisionism.

Today’s exercise will introduce to my eager readers a man of unusual logic, and a nearly inexhaustible passion for research on which to apply it. And, he’s a damn fine photographer in the bargain. Plus, he writes with a clarity and wit that I hope someday to achieve. His name is David McGowan, and I’ll refer to his work quite often as he has been a reliable guide into the darkest recesses of our brave new world, which is, of course neither brave or new, as he so eloquently illuminates.

Lets begin with a quote from yesterday’s offering from Raimondo. (By the way, I think he’d been watching too many foreign movies when he came up with his nom de guerre and staged that rather dramatic photo on his byline). In any case, in that article regarding the Bushbrain in Eastern Europe he states this:

“By entering the war at all, and opening up a ‘second front’ in the West – at the urging of American leftists and other friends of the Soviet Union – the U.S. saved the Bolsheviks from probable extinction at Hitler's hands.”

Hmmmm. Here’s McGowan’s take on that:

Myth #7: The opening of the Western Front was the event that turned the tide of the war and played an essential role in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Not quite. By D-Day it was abundantly clear that Germany was facing near imminent defeat with or without us. By July of 1944, with the Allies yet to break out of their secure beachhead to form the Western Front, the USSR had reclaimed all its pre-war borders and made clear that it wasn't going to stop there.
Having been subjected to two massive invasions from the West in the preceding twenty-five years, they fully intended to create a permanent buffer zone and to fully dismantle the German war machine. Already, they had begun penetrations into Poland and Lithuania.
This was precisely the time when the aforementioned coup attempt was made that would have replaced Hitler. Knowing that Germany could not stop the Red Army from rolling on through Eastern Europe, the goal was to seek a negotiated peace by pasting a new face on the fascist regime.
US intelligence services were fully complicit in this attempt to preserve the Reich. America’s premier spymaster - Allen Dulles - working through his post as OSS chief in Bern, Switzerland, had brokered the deal with the Nazis. Dulles believed, correctly no doubt, that Western public opinion would not support a negotiated peace leaving Hitler in power.
At around this same time, Dulles was involved in other secret negotiations with the SS, dubbed Operation Sunrise, aimed at achieving a German surrender in northern Italy – which would have allowed the Allies to advance to the port city of Trieste. From there, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia could all have been quickly penetrated in advance of the Red Army.
Had the coup proven successful, that could conceivably have ended the war before the Western Front was even formed, and with Eastern Europe securely in Axis hands. It’s quite possible - indeed quite likely - that the USSR would have rejected this ‘peace.’ It is also possible that the Allies could have at that time joined with the Axis in waging war on the Soviets – who could have been painted as the aggressors for failing to accept the armistice.
But we will never know since the coup attempt failed, and five days later - on July 25 - the Allies broke out from their beachhead and the fabled Western Front was born. The Red army was at that time less than 100 miles from Warsaw and pushing on. Fully eighty percent of Germany’s troops were engaged on the Eastern Front.
The war in Europe would be over in just nine months. From there on out, it became essentially a race for Berlin, a race that the Allies on the Western Front would ultimately lose. Interrupting their westward push somewhat, the Soviets also sent troops in to occupy and fortify the Baltics, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Hungary.
The battle lines of the Cold War were being drawn – battle lines that would almost overnight see the United States and Britain embrace the European Axis powers of Italy and Germany as allies in opposition to their former ally in the east. Sound confusing? Not really. In truth, the Cold War battle lines weren’t so very different from the battle lines of World War II, or of World War I for that matter."

I urge all readers to click on your favorite bookstore and order the book from which this is excerpted, Understanding the F-Word; American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion. Clearing up all the disinformation spewed out in history classes from sea to shining sea can be hard work, but this one tome provides a counter-narrative that explodes a regiment of myths along with the one above.

Now for Pat’s turn, who needs no further introduction. The piece asks the grand question Was WWII Worth It?, and he goes on to state that what we got as a result of England’s declaration of war on Germany in defense of Poland was worse than if they had let the Nazis run amuck. After all, who ended up with Poland and all of Eastern Europe?

“It was Stalin, the most odious tyrant of the century. Where Hitler killed his millions, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, and Castro murdered their tens of millions.”

Now this is breathtaking, indeed. The clear implication is that somehow Stalin and the Soviets were the sole cause of the rise of that colorful cast of characters and is a leap of faith so grand as to leave one dizzy. Secondly, he is saying right out loud that Hitler wasn’t such a bad guy, after all. Hmmmmm. Since Hitler’s fame needs no embroidery here, let us turn instead to Joseph Stalin. This from McGowan’s fascinating website:

“[On March 5, 1953, Joseph Stalin died under conditions that "to this day are shrouded in mystery." Stalin, as I noted, had "held the rampant imperialism of the West largely in check for eight years following World War II." In August 1953, just five months after his death, the U.S. directed a bloody coup in Iran.]

And so began an endless series of bloody coups, rigged elections, and assassinations -- all aimed at bringing all of the world under the control of the West, even while Western leaders justified their actions with claims that it was the Soviet Union that had its sights set on world domination. Strangely though, Time had earlier admitted, in yet another Man of the Year offering (1942), that Stalin was "concentrat[ing] on building socialism in one state," and wanted "no new territories except at points needed to make Russia impregnable against invasion."
(http://www.time.com/time/special/moy/1942.html)

It is also interesting to note that, even in the midst of demonizing Stalin in an earlier Man of the Year offering (1939), Time begrudgingly admitted that after twelve years of his rule, "There were accounts of big dams built, large factories going up, widespread industrialization, big collective-farming projects. Five-Year plans were announced. Free schools and hospitals were erected everywhere. Illiteracy was on the way to being wiped out. There was no persecution of minorities as such. A universal eight-hour and then a seven-hour day prevailed. There were free hospitalization, free workers' summer colonies, etc."
(http://www.time.com/time/special/moy/1939.html)

That same MOY article also made a passing reference to "Soviet Russia's meticulously fostered reputation of a peace-loving, treaty-abiding nation," and noted that "Soviet Russia had definitely gained some measure of respect for its apparent righteousness in foreign affairs. It had supported against reactionary attacks popular governments in Hungary, Austria, China, Spain."

... It should go without saying that the excerpts from Time's two profiles of Stalin sound nothing like the dreaded "Stalinism" that we all love to hate. Instead, we find a peace-loving, treaty-abiding nation that consistently sides with the people to oppose fascist regimes, that offers free, quality education and healthcare for all, that has guaranteed worker protections, and that is known for racial tolerance.

Compare that with what we have now: a war mongering, outlaw nation that consistently backs brutal, fascistic regimes against the will of the people, that barely bothers to fund public education and that offers medical care only to those who can afford the exorbitant fees charged for such services, that has declared war on labor by invoking the Taft-Hartley Act under entirely contrived circumstances, and that could, shall we say, use a little work in the area of racial tolerance.

Now bear with me here, because I'm just thinking out loud, but it seems to me that 'Stalinism,' even as presented through the biased eyes of Time, would be a vast improvement over this fabulously 'free' and 'democratic' system that we now have. And it seems kind of funny to me, quite frankly, that we have all been taught to so thoroughly and universally despise the one man on the world stage who could honestly take credit for doing what the U.S. likes to pompously boast of: defeating the fascist powers of Europe.

Any reasonably honest reading of history reveals that it was the Red Army that crushed the Nazi war machine, with only nominal 'help' from the West coming late in the fourth quarter. And it was Joseph Stalin who commanded that Red Army. According to Time, Stalin put in sixteen-hour days personally directing the war effort, while living in a modest three-room apartment.

This may not be a 'politically correct' statement, but the world owes an incalculable debt of gratitude to Joseph Stalin for slaying the fascist beast -- or at least sending it underground until, in case you haven't noticed yet, it recently resurfaced.”

I’m not sure one can get any more politically incorrect than that, even at this late date.

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