Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review - Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case by R. Bruce Craig

R. Bruce Craig has written a comprehensive study of Harry Dexter White, Treasury Secretary Morgenthau’s most influential advisor. By 1945 White, “was numbered among the most powerful and influential men in the government.” He was also what can be termed a “trusted individual” by the Soviets. According to Soviet defector Igor Gouzenko a trusted individual was “worth 20 agents to us.” Craig provides a detailed account of White’s activities. Yet he can still come to the conclusion that White was looking out for the best interests of both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union and the United States were wartime allies. It is natural that their interests would “dovetail.” However, when White met with Vitalii Pavlov to discuss U.S. policy toward Japan, the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany. The Soviets were attempting to manipulate U.S. policy in order to cause conflict with Japan.
White was the major architect of the Morgenthau Plan. Craig states, “There is simply no convincing evidence in the Venona decrypts , the Russian archives, or in any other collection to conclude that the Morgenthau Plan was devised to weaken Germany so the Soviets could march in and take over the country as claimed by right-wing conservatives.” There is no written confession, no video tape, nothing. Therefore is cannot be true. Many of White’s defenders rely on the contention that this economic genius was naive. When White helped the Soviets obtain material to produce German occupation currency, Craig remarks, "Neither White nor anyone else in a position of authority in the Treasury or State departments could have anticipated the serious economic repercussions that developed in the ensuing months as a result of the War Department's failure to address occupation-currency redemption policies and practices."
Craig makes much of White’s apparent attachment to Lithuania. White was born in Boston of Lithuanian immigrant parents. He writes, “White’s loyalties transcended any that he may have felt for his ancestral homeland, Mother Russia, the country of his birth.” Of course Craig was aware of White’s birthplace. Considering the atrocities committed by the Communists if he had any affection for Lithuania he would have been a rabid anti-communist.

Harry Dexter White was a devoted Stalinist. For some reason Craig does not want to admit that. He claims both Morgenthau and White “possessed strong humanitarian instincts.” “The internationalist solution was perceived by representatives in both departments (State and Treasury) as the soundest means for averting the punitive vengeance embodied in the peace of Versailles that ended World War I.” These are odd statements to make about the authors of the genocidal Morgenthau Plan. In spite of what I believe are erroneous conclusions, I give the book four stars for its thorough research.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Review - Caught between Roosevelt and Stalin: America's Ambassadors to Moscow by Dennis Dunn

Dennis Dunn's book provides an excellent account of the five ambassadors to Moscow appointed by FDR. The consistent theme is that these individual went to Moscow with enthusiasm for the Soviet "experiment" and returned disillusioned with the exception of Joseph E. Davies who returned with a looted art collection. Dunn points out that, "If a whole succession of representatives and experts are nearly unanimous in their view of a policy or issue, the president should have absolutely no qualms about implementing their recommendations." Roosevelt did not question why these enthusiasts became critics.

There are several explanations for FDR's proSoviet policies. One explanations is that FDR was a foreign policy naif. Dunn quotes George Kennan's remark, "The truth is that Franklin Roosevelt, for all his charm and for all his skill as a political leader, was, when it came to foreign policy, a very superficial man, ignorant, dilettantish, with a severely limited intellectual horizon." (p. 272). Others attributed it to his illness in the latter part of his administration. It has also been suggested that he was not receiving good advice. However, Dunn points out that, "the concessionary policy was consistent from the very beginning of FDR's relationship with Stalin."

Proof of Roosevelt's enthusiasm for the Soviets began shortly after his inauguration. He recognized the Soviet Union during its government engineered Ukrainian famine. His enthusiasm did not wane during the purge trials, the Nazi-Soviet pact, the Soviet attack on Finland and the Baltic States, the Katyn Forest massacre, the stalled assistance for the Warsaw uprising and numerous other indications that the Soviet were not great humanitarians.

Dunn repeats the myth, reported by FDR's son, that FDR came up with the concept unconditional surrender during the Casablanca Conference after he recalled U.S. Grant's moniker during the American Civil War. Diana West points out in her American Betrayal that this decision was made in 1942 by a committee that included several Soviet agents, among them Harry Dexter White.

The most significant revelation in Dunn's book is his account of Soviet efforts to involve the U.S. in a war with Japan. One of the first subjects Stalin brought up in his initial meeting with Ambassador Bullitt was his concern about Japan. When Ambassador Joseph Davis met with Commissar Litvinov the first subject brought up was relations with Japan. In 1935 Bullitt informed Secretary of State Hull, "Moscow hoped for a war between the United States and Japan, and then it would move in a take Manchuria and spread Communism into China at the war's end." These efforts give more credibility to John Koster's book, Operation Snow, and his account of Harry Dexter White's role in provoking war between the U.S. and Japan.

Book Review - No Fear by Diana West

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.”

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review - Orderly and Humane by R.M. Douglas

    Orderly and Humane is an account of the ethnic cleansing of Germans from Eastern and Central Europe following World War II.  Douglas points out the almost total neglect of this subject in modern accounts of German history.  He cites Mary Fulbrook’s History of Germany 1918-2008 which “disposes of the episode in a single uninformative paragraph.”  He points out this massive catastrophe took place in full view of tens of thousands of journalists, diplomats and relief workers from countries with free presses and it aroused little interest.  He provides the reasons for this neglect.  For American progressive historians “it invites scrutiny of the complicity of their leaders and people in one of the largest episodes of mass human rights abuses in modern history.”  These people would much rather discuss the Atlantic Charter, the Marshall Plan and various UN declarations.  Douglas points out the dangers of covering this episode.  There is a fear that this information “counterbalances” the crimes of the Nazis.  A author can  be accused of being pro-Nazi. 

      This whole problem is based on the belief in collective guilt.  German women and children had to be punished for the crimes of the Nazis.  Americans do not want to investigate this problem because they will experience guilt for America’s role in this tragedy.  During this chaos a large number of women and children and even some Jews and Western POWs were murdered. German women and children were not guilty and Americans were not responsible for this tragedy.  Individual Nazis committed these crimes and Americans were kept in the dark about these policies by their progressive politicians.  To this day documents remain classified or have been destroyed.  Progressive historians do not want to reveal this story.

      It is one thing to ignore historic events.  It is quite another to fabricate history.  Douglas quotes Andrew Bell-Failkoff: “It goes without saying that the transfer has to be conducted in a humane, well-organized manner, like the transfer of Germans from Czechoslovakia by the Allies in 1945-47.”  There are other examples of distorted history.  Professor James F. Tent claimed, “By the spring of 1947, and thereafter to the end of the military occupation, the number and variety of supplemental programs expanded to the point that some observers asked with only slight irony if there were any normal consumers – that is, those consuming 1,550 calories per day – left in the British and American zones.” (p. 111 Eisenhower and the German POWs) And Robert Dallek who found postwar policies "refreshing."  “It is refreshing to study a record of American foreign policy toward Western Europe since the Second World War.  . . .instead of an imperialistic America exploiting Europe's weakness, these documents reveal a generous and often realistic government of the United States aiding a prostrate Europe to regain economic health, defend herself from internal and external threats, and integrate a rebuilt, democratic Germany into the mainstream of her economic and political life.  Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Robert Dallek LaFeber, The Dynamics of World Power, Western Europe, Vol. I (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1973), p. 3.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ethnic Cleansing

Part of the mythology of the “Good War” (WWII) is that after the defeat of Germany and Japan the U.S. rebuilt Europe with the Marshall Plan.  The two years following the defeat of Germany and the implementation of the Marshall Plan are completely ignored.  Another aspect of the “peace” plan totally ignored is the ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe.  There are subject that are best ignored by historians.  To fabricate a story about what happened is courting trouble.  Andrew Bell-Failkoff, a Phd and an apparent expert on ethnic cleansing wrote:  “It goes without saying that the transfer has to be conducted in a humane, well organized manner, like the transfer of Germans from Czechoslovakia by the Allies in 1945-47.” Ethnic Cleansing (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), pp. 230, 220

 The decision to move the German frontier west was probably made as early as 1943 at the Tehran Conference.  Here Churchill recorded in his Triumph and Tragedy how he illustrated with the use of three match sticks his idea of moving Poland’s borders to the West. By October, 1944 when the Russian forces captured the town of Nemmersdorf the western leaders must have known what “orderly and humane” meant.  This period still arouses passion so any account must be viewed with skepticism, but the overwhelming evidence shows that it was far from orderly and humane.  The Nazi massacre at Lidice is well known.  It is even the subject of a movie.  On 10 June 1942, all 173 men over 15 years of age from the village were executed.  184 women and 88 children were deported to concentration camps.  After the war ended, only 153 women and 17 children returned.  This does not necessarily mean the missing women and children were killed, only that they were the only ones to return.  How many people know about Hori Modtenice?  On June 18–19, 1945 Slovakian soldiers removed 71 men, 120 women and 74 children from a train and made them dig their own graves.  They did not transport the women and children to camps.  Like the men they were shot in the back of the head.  Remarkably this is mentioned in Wikipedia.  There are no accurate figures on the number of people who perished during this process.  The level of barbarism in this ethnic cleansing compares with the atrocities committed by the Nazis.  The records of the wartime conferences have been bowdlerized and much of the documentation that was not purged in the beginning has disappeared, a la Sandy Berger.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Was The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Necessary

          The passions aroused by the attack on Pearl Harbor and wartime propaganda prevented U.S. leadership from negotiating a reasonable surrender of Japan.  Therefore the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a necessity.  In fact it was a humanitarian act, saving millions of American and Japanese lives.  An article in the Chicago Tribune  dated Aug 14, 1965 entitled “Ignored Japanese Peace Bids Plague U.S., West, with What Might Have Been” by Walter Trohan, Washingtonn Bureau Chief, gives another perspective:

The first Japanese peace overture came in 1944, but this was not made public until last June when the State Department published official papers bearing on America’s foreign relations in 1944. 
 Wider Bagge, the Swedish minister in Tokyo, cabled the surrender offer to the Swedish foreign office, for transmittal to Britain, which relayed it to the United States.
 Japan was prepared to relinquish all the territory it took in the war and Manchukuo, Manchuria, which it had seized in 1931.  
 President Roosevelt was committed to the “unconditional surrender” formula he had carelessly tossed off at the Casablanca conference with Winston Churchill in 1943. He replied that the United States could accept no other terms.
 Later, in November 1944, a peace overture was made through the Vatican, as reported by Robert Morris, president of the University of Dallas in his book, “No Wonder  We Are Losing.” 
 Two days before Roosevelt left on Jan. 22, 1945 for the Yalta conference with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, Gen. Douglas MacArthur sent a 40 page message to  the White House outlining five unofficial Japanese peace overtures.  The terms were identical with those subsequently concluded by Roosevelt’s successor, Harry S.  Truman.
 The MacArthur message was on the desk of Fleet Adm. William D. Leahy, chief of staff to the President, when he revealed its terms in the strictest confidence.
 In 1953 former President Herbert Hoover, who had saved a copy of the story, asked MacArthur for the original.  MacArthur verified the story, but said he didn’t have the  original, having sent all his papers to the defense department.  A search of these papers has failed to produce the original.   It was lost or removed from the files.
 At the Yalta conference, Feb. 3 to Feb. 11, 1945, Roosevelt and Churchill arranged with Stalin to get Russia into the war against Japan.
 The government of Adm. Kangaroo Suzuki undertook negotiation for peace thru Russia.
 Russia stalled the negotiations in determination to secure a dominant position in the orient.
 In “Triumph and Tragedy,” Churchill made it clear that he had no part in the sellout of China.  He wrote of the far eastern agreement at Yalta which led to the  communization of China:
 “I must make it clear that, altho on behalf of Great Britain I joined in the agreement, neither I nor Eden took any part in making it.  It was regarded as an American affair  and . . . we were not consulted but only asked to approve.”

         A primary objective of the Soviet Union was to engage Japan in a war with the United States.  Dennis J. Dunn’s Caught Between Roosevelt & Stalin chronicles Soviet efforts in this direction beginning with our first ambassador in 1933.  In this they were aided by Soviet asset Harry Dexter White at the Treasury (see John Koster’s Operation Snow.)  The attack on Pearl Harbor was anything but a surprise.  Roosevelt knew that cutting off their oil would lead to war.  The U.S.-     A negotiated peace allowing Japan to retain Korea and Manchuria would most likely have prevented China falling to the Communists and would have made the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unnecessary.  There would have been no Korean War and probably no Vietnam conflict.  Japan would eventually grante these areas their independence.  Instead our leaders provided the Soviets with considerable Lend-Lease equipment in order to induce them to violate their agreement with Japan (nobody ever says they stabbed Japan in the back.)  They gave the Soviets control over Manchuria and two ports in China without the prior consent of the Chinese.  This was a Czarist dream going back to 1903 when the Russian Minister to Japan, Roman Rosen, proposed a division of Korea along the 39th parallel.  Nice way to treat an ally.  The Roosevelt and Truman administrations destroyed the two powers that contained the Soviet Union.  They made agreements that led to the deaths of millions of people following the war and provided the Soviets with millions of slave laborers for their gulag.   Much of the documentation, like the MacArthur papers, has been destroyed or is still classified.  Academics are doing their best to conceal the truth.  They are eager to condemn the  U.S. for any failing but these crimes by our progressive leadership get a pass. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Conrad Black Goes On The Attack Again

     Angelo Codevilla recently wrote a review of Henry Kissinger’s new book, World Order for the Claremont Review of Books.  He was rebuked by Conrad Black in an article in National Review entitled Contra Codevilla on Kissinger.  Black writes he, “was astounded by his (Codevilla’s) nasty and unrigorous attack on Henry Kissinger.”  Black’s attack on Codevilla is similar in many ways to his attack on Diana West.  This led Dymphna at Gates of Vienna to write, “Makes you wonder if the inestimable Mr. Black suffered any head blows while in the pokey.”  I have not followed the career of Henry Kissinger so I don’t feel I can comment of this part of the Black-Codevilla dispute.  However, I have read extensively on the Yalta Conference and this is the first time I have seen it posited that FDR manipulated Stalin into demanding the Western powers attack across the English Channel as Black claims in his article.  He calls it, “a stroke of genius!” What are you smoking Conrad? Black claims, “Franklin D. Roosevelt was overwhelmingly successful.” By whose standards? FDR surrendered what Black calls the “much less strategically important areas of Eastern Europe;” Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw and Prague (less strategically important?). Roosevelt agreed to force millions of people into slave labor (this is in the Morgenthau Plan and the Yalta Agreement.)  He agreed to the ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe which resulted in the deaths of perhaps two million people, mainly women and children.

     Black repeats the fact that the, “Russians took 95 percent of the casualties,” in World War II. This is supposed to give credit to the Soviets and justify concessions FDR made to them. How many of these casualties were self-inflicted? Nearly one million Soviet citizens fought for the Nazis, knowing that the Nazis believed that they were subhuman. This should have shown FDR who he was dealing with.  He had been informed about the Katyn Forest massacre and Soviet atrocities in Poland.  Still, he followed a pro-Soviet policy to the end.