Thursday, March 26, 2015

Soviet Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy

     I recently asked: did Soviet agents influence American policy before, during and immediately after World War Two?  I asked this in response to Harvey Klehr’s claim that Soviet agents within the U.S. government did not influence American policy.  Klehr wrote in the January 2014 issue of the New Criterion: “West’s American Betrayal makes serious historical interpretive errors that incorrectly attribute American military and diplomatic policy decisions to a coordinated plot by Soviet intelligence. In our more than twenty years of archivally based research on Soviet espionage in America, we have uncovered ample documentation of Soviet intelligence obtaining American technical, military, and diplomatic information but very little indicating successful policy manipulation.”  

I found Klehr’s assertion hard to believe.  I was wondering how widespread this belief was.  I wrote to R. Bruce Craig, the author of Treasonable Doubt, an excellent account of Harry Dexter White activities.  On March 15th he responded: “I can address the Klehr statement now without any hesitation: He is exactly and totally correct and its good to hear his views on the influence of Soviet espionage on American foreign policy has mellowed over time.  The evidence of policy manipulation is simply not clearly evident in the Soviet record or for that matter in the western sources I might add.  Policy manipulation, as you well know (as one who has focused years of work on the Morganthau Plan) is very difficult to prove and it is far too easy to stretch evidence to fit ones point of view.  That can be said of those who see sinister manipulation behind the Morganthau Plan (which as the evidence clearly shows was NOT the Soviet plan for Germany) and the same can be said of those who put great credence in the story of Operation Snow.  So often researchers have a theory and try to make the evidence fit their views ignoring the preponderance of evidence to the contrary.”

     I also contacted Benn Steil, the author of The Battle of Bretton Woods.  He responded: "I’m certainly not an expert on this subject, broadly, but with regard to White it is largely true.  FDR, for example, rejected a large post-war loan to Moscow despite White having lobbied for it intensively.  One episode in which White did make important policy on behalf of Moscow, however, was in 1944 when he managed to orchestrate delivery of US currency plates for the German occupation to the Soviet Union."

     I have a great deal of respect for these gentlemen.  Through their research they have become intimately familiar with the activities of men like Harry Dexter White.  However, evidence of Soviet manipulation of American policy is so overwhelming that it is hard to believe that well respected experts in the field do not recognize it.  I do not believe I have “stretched evidence” to fit my point of view.  I have studied U.S. postwar planning policy and found it highly favorable to the Soviets.  I am certain a study of America’s Far Eastern policy would prove the same.  White played a role in this policy also.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review - Inside the State Department: A Candid Appraisal of the Bureaucracy by Bryton Barron

This book is cited in Diana West’s American Betrayal. Barron reveals the difficulties people face when trying to get information from the government. He points out that the Chief of the Historical Division in the State Department advised Dean Acheson that the Yalta papers should not be published because they would “embarrass the Administration.” Also the historian in charge of the Potsdam papers informed his superiors that he had found documents “too hot for public eyes.” These papers were eventually published in a bowdlerized fashion. Barron reports, “Some 100 pages . . . were removed from the Yalta compilation after it was already in type.”Details about U.S. involvement in the slave trade and the Far Eastern settlement among other things were left out for the most part.” Also, “the first compiler of the Yalta papers were not permitted to see certain files.”

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Diana West's No Fear

Diana West’s appropriately entitled book, No Fear, is an extensive account of United States policy toward the Middle East. She demonstrates that President Obama’s policy is essentially a continuation of the Bush policy. This policy is heavily influenced by political correctness, or a fear of accurately describing the enemy we are confronting. She quotes Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s comment at his Harvard address: “Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?” What are people afraid of? In the United States this might include social ostracism, loss of employment or assignment to a re-education camp, sometimes called sensitivity training. In Europe it could include a jail sentence. In the Middle East it could involve beheading.
She quotes Secretary of State Clinton: “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of other.” This from a government that has sacrilegious subsidized “art works” like “Piss Christ,” “Tongues of Flame,” “The Holy Virgin Mary,” “Tie Rack,” etc., etc., etc. As columnist John Leo stated: “In paintings and sculpture, the bashing of Christian symbols is so mainstream that it’s barely noticed.” The defenders of these examples of “artistic expression” are the same people who are outraged by the slightest criticism of islam.
More disturbing is the fact that numerous terrorists have been released from prison while U.S. servicemen are serving terms in federal prisons for apparent violations of the Rules of Engagement. These rules are so ludicrous that it prompted her to write, “They call this strategy COIN and wear uniforms, but really it’s psychosis and these strategist should be wearing hospital robes.”
This book illustrates how the elite has created much of the problems in the Middle East. Their nation building efforts have resulted in a surfeit of arms in the Middle East and the overthrow of admittedly corrupt regimes replaced by even more dangerous regimes. We must question the depth of the elite’s commitment to the U.S. by their actions. Our survival is at stake. As Diana West writes, “When a civilization no longer inculcates an overriding attachment to its own survival it no longer survives as a civilization.”