Book Reviews

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.

Target Patton 

            Target Patton deals with the possible assassination of General George Patton.  Wilcox concludes, “No one can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that General Patton was assassinated.”  However, this meticulously researched book points to the conclusion that he was, in fact, assassinated.  Although Wilcox keeps the question open some of his critics see it was closed: “Anyone who wants to believe that Patton was assassinated is simply DEAD WRONG.”  I suppose this individual has some inside information not available to the author. 

            The book reveals more than the facts surrounding Patton’s death.  Wilcox obviously did a great deal of research on this book.  He consistently ran into cases where important documents were either destroyed or otherwise unavailable.  This is a problem many researchers on this period face.  Clearly there has been an army of Sandy Bergers stuffing embarrassing documents in their socks and underwear.  This is not done when there is nothing to hide.

            Five years before Diana West’s controversial American Betrayal Robert Wilcox claimed that President Roosevelt “was basically in the Soviet’s pocket.”  He states, “There were Soviet spies in virtually every part of the U.S. government during the war, stealing secrets and influencing policy – all to aid Stalin and the USSR.”  This is a direct contradiction of respected historian Harvey Klehr’s assertion, “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.”  Wilcox mentions Harry Dexter White’s role in demanding that Japan leave Manchuria, a demand that led to Pearl Harbor.  Obviously Soviet agents played an important role in manipulating U.S. foreign policy.

            FDR told William Bullitt, “Bill, I don't dispute your facts; they are accurate. I don't dispute the logic of your reasoning. I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of man. Harry [Hopkins] says he's not and that he doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.”  FDR was many things but he was not a naïf.  

            Finally, could the U.S. government be involved in assassinations?  That is what that great bugaboo, conspiracy theorists, believe.  Perhaps we should ask Ngo Dihn Diem, Patrice Lumumba or Fidel Castro.

Operation Snow, John Koster               

John Koster's Operation Snow is the most comprehensive account in the English language of Harry Dexter White role in provoking war with Japan. This period of history is still an emotionally charged subject as several of the reviews demonstrate. There is still lingering hostility towards Japan and this is supplemented by the need of progressives to maintain many of the myths that surround the period. Were the Japanese ruthless? Certainly. Koster is accused of "glossing over" Japanese atrocities which Christopher Best found "disgraceful." The Chinese have condemned the Japanese for not dealing with the subject of the Rape of Nanking in their textbooks. Do the Chinese deal with the tens of millions of deaths under Mao in their textbooks? Chris might check out The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Planning for atrocities that have been "glossed over." Chinese workers were migrating to Manchuria while it was under Japanese rule.

Koster's critics are very revealing. A book review that begins with, "I have not read Koester's (sic) book," is bound to be informative. Another critic states, "this book did not hold my attention long." This individual is an authority because he once sat on Stalin's toilet seat. Other criticisms include, the book "truly demonstrates the paranoid nature of some in these times." "The Reds under every bed conspiracy theory still has legs." And "only conspiracy theorists and the very gullible would believe." In other words if you believe Koster's theory you are either stupid or crazy. Name calling is not a convincing argument.

One criticism of the book involves the subtitle. It states that White "triggered" Pearl Harbor. This led Kenneth Goff to ask, "Could an assistant treasury secretary have precipitated the attack on Pearl Harbor?" Steve Daugherty "was unconvinced . . . that HDW was almost exclusively responsible for the US-Japan war." I did not draw that conclusion from the book. Koster deals with Stanley Hornbeck in the State Department who was part of the pro-Chinese group and certainly Lauchin Currie and Harry Hopkins, White House advisors, supported White pro-Soviet position. White played a key role in composing the "ultimatum" sent to the Japanese as well as in the oil embargo that preceded it.

White still has his defenders. He was a "victim of prejudice and bias," who "got seduced by falsified claims of Soviet economic gains." It has been pointed out that White helped the Soviets because he "wanted to help whoever was fighting Hitler." This is an excellent argument except for the fact that White met with Pavlov in May 1941 while the Soviets and Nazi were still allies. White is frequently referred to as a humanitarian. Dietz Ziechmann claims White, "felt the need for . . . government action against poverty and human suffering."
HDW was not merely a Communist. He was a Stalinist. He conscientiously worked for the second greatest mass murderer of all times. He also played a role in bringing the greatest mass murdered in history to power in China.

It has been pointed out that White had an incredible impact on history. Yet he is virtually unknown even to many members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; two organizations he was instrumental in founding. There is indeed "a great deal more to this story." White played a major role in eliminating the two world powers containing the Soviet Union. His story is yet to be told. 

American Betrayal, Diana West

I give American Betrayal five stars only because it is not possible to give it six. I have read extensively on the subjects dealt with in this book, yet several items West deals with were entirely new to me. I had previously accepted the progressive myth that the policy of "unconditional surrender" had spontaneously popped out of FDR's head during the Casablanca Conference. As West points out this policy was the product of a committee which included several influential Soviet agents.

I have only one criticism of her book, one that I believe she would agree with. She frequently uses the term "we." When discussing the forced repatriation of Soviet citizens towards the end of the war, she states, "We became accessories to a Soviet atrocity." When discussing U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union during the Ukrainian famine she claims "we" became "a passive accomplice to Stalin in the Ukraine." "We" is a favorite tool of what might be called the Howard Zinn school of historiography. "We" exterminated native Americans. "We" enslaved blacks. "We" have committed every atrocity imaginable. Yet when dealing with this period of history it is all about The Four Freedoms, The Atlantic Charter, and The Marshall Plan.

West claims that in our dealings with the Soviets, "We had things to hide, too." Well "We" had and have nothing to hide. Once this is made clear the conundrum is solved. West points out that, "officialdom was enraged not by the danger posed by Hiss, but by Chambers for testifying to the danger." Progressives are more outraged by Joseph McCarthy than by Joseph Stalin. West quotes Vladimir Bukovsky who explains "we now understand why the West was so against putting the communist system on trial. There was ideological collaboration between left-wing parties in the West and Soviet Union." As she has written, "The forces of concealment, East and West, had a common enemy in the forces of exposure, East and West." Diana West is a member of the "forces of exposure" and as such is not a "We."

One might be tempted to ask, "What difference at this point does it make?" Well, although most Communists were removed from government in the early 50's their progressive comrades remained. Their offspring have captured the commanding heights of our society. They have almost total control of the media, academia and the government bureaucracy. From these commanding heights they are transforming our society. In order to do this they must conceal the part played by progressives in the massive crimes that they were a party to.

One subject West did not cover was the progressives' involvement in the modern slave trade. Perhaps she avoided this subject because it is obviously an absurd accusation. However, according to Secretary of State, James Byrnes in his inappropriately entitled Frankly Speaking, "Forced labor camps are a symbol of Hitler's regime that we should eliminate as rapidly as possible." This would be fertile ground for an aspiring historian wanting to make a name for himself by exposing how evil "We" were.

Finally, I enjoyed West's book for her reference to my book, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, which she described as "devastating."  
Koster's book and The Morgenthau Plan are a good start.  

Eisenhower and The German POW's, Steven Ambrose

Steven Ambrose and the Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace have compiled a critique of James Bacque subtitled "Facts Against Falsehood." Two pages of acknowledgements show that they did not lack for resources. Eight "professional" historians dispute Bacque's claim that approximately 1 million POWs perished while in custody of the Western allies. Their objective is not only to discredit Bacque, but to maintain the progressive fairytale that U.S. postwar policy was largely humanitarian. In the process they inadvertently provide ammunition to critics of this policy. They do not appear to have coordinated their story and the book contains some glaring contradictions.
The authors provide numerous warnings about amateur historians. Revisionists like James Bacque and Nikolai Tolstoy cannot be relied upon because the "awareness of the ineluctable quality of historical evidence is less present in the mind of the untrained." Yet many of the accusations lodged against Bacque can be applied to the authors of this book. All thinking people have a perspective that determines what they will emphasize and what they will ignore. Even "objective" reporters must rely on the information they have access to. Eyewitnesses to an accident or a crime render entirely different accounts of what took place. When the witnesses have an agenda they want to further the report is further distorted. The authors provide several examples of potential distortions.
Ambrose claims, "The available evidence, however, clearly does not support such a conclusion (of mass deaths)" (p. 13). How reliable is the "available evidence," and how eager are the professional historians to recognize inconsistencies in this evidence? We can refer to participant's memoirs. One example is a statement by Fleet Admiral William Leahy, President Roosevelt's Chief of Staff, recorded in his ironically entitled memoir, I Was There: "A number of important political questions were considered at this meeting [Quebec], but I did not attend the political sessions." In fact every account of the Quebec Conference places him there. In addition to memoirs of participants, intelligence analysts provide an excellent source of information. Thomas Barker gives the example of Nigel Nicolson (p. 193). When Nicolson sent a situation report warning that returnees were likely to be butchered, he was reprimanded by his divisional commander. Barker claims, "He rapidly changed his tune." Ambrose gives the example of a statement made by General Eisenhower ("We should have killed more of them" (p. 8)) that Department of Defense reviewers ordered removed from Eisenhower's published papers. Ambrose probably saw no need to delete it because he thought it was a jocular comment. This is very revealing about Ambrose's sense of humor. Thomas Barker reveals that Nikolai Tolstoy's book on the repatriation is virtually banned in Britain. The distribution of the "Mashke Commission" report on POWs was limited by Willy Brandt "to avoid exacerbating relations with the Soviet Union (p. 203)." Clearly, the record was not accurately kept in spite of Thomas Barker's claim that, "Although never deliberately swept nude the rug, the story was unknown to most readers of English (p. 189)."
To repeat, writers have their biases. I am no exception. I make outrageous allegations. Do not take them at face value. Be skeptical. A source that I might find credible might not meet your standards. I allege that the United States government at the direction of progressive politicians was massively involved in the slave trade. This was in violation of the U.S. Constitution and international agreements. I have many sources for this allegation including Steven Ambrose and his fellow contributor, Brian Loring Villa. Ambrose in his refutation of Baque's allegation that prisoners were starved claims they were not starved but transferred "mostly to be used as labor (p. 23)." Villa is much more frank which is uncharacteristic of these critic. He frankly states: "the EAC (European Advisory Commission) terms became convenient for the British and for any other nation that wanted German POW slave labor (p.63)." Later he writes, "It is interesting to observe that Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who presumably represented the interests of working men, insisted on exploiting German slave labor (p. 68)." Reudiger Overmans appears to praise the U.S. for its POW policies. "The United States was the first of the Allies to release all its POWs (p. 148)." Yes, the United States released these POWs. The Army did this by surrendering control of its camps to the British and French.
George Orwell observed, "Food is a political weapon." It had been used with great "success" by the Soviets in the 1930s. An integral part of the Morgenthau Plan was to use this weapon in Germany. Ambrose begins his criticism of Bacque by quoting the JCS 1067 Directive's provision for preventing "disease and unrest." This "disease and unrest" provision was contained in the original "Handbook for Military Government in Germany" which was rejected by FDR. The modified JCS provision states, "You will estimate requirements of supplies necessary to prevent starvation or widespread disease or such civil unrest as would endanger the occupying forces." This is a significant difference that I am sure Ambrose was aware of. Yet he failed to quote the entire provision. Ambrose et al. repeat the claim that there was a world food shortage. For some reason James Tent mentions that Secretary of Agriculture Clinton P. Anderson told President Truman, "Fortunately for this country and the world American farmers produced record crops of both wheat and corn again in 1946 (p. 109)." The book deals primarily with the treatment of POWs. It claims that they were not starved. However, if U.S. forces were willing to starve women and children, would they hesitate to starve soldiers? Tent dismisses the possibility of "hunger edema of massive proportions," by saying, "Patently this did not happen in postwar Germany." Yet Herbert Hoover reported during his 1947 mission, "Famine edema is showing in thousands of cases, stated to be 10,000 in Hamburg alone. The increased death toll among the aged is appalling." Possibly the most damning and most discreditable sentence in the book is provided by Tent: "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)." "Some observers!" Would Bacque be allowed to make such an egregious attribution? The editors of this screed failed Tent in a major way. On page 123 they provide an example "normal consumers." Seven German infants picked at random from a Catholic children's hospital in Berlin showing malnutrition in various stages. October 23, 1947." This answers Ambrose's question, "Was Eisenhower a monster?" Yes he was. But Ambrose is correct in that these were not Eisenhower's initiatives. Eisenhower was merely a large cog in an even larger machine: The Leviathan. His successor General Clay would not allow humanitarian organizations to operate in Germany because, according to Tent, his "distaste for carpetbaggers (p. 108)." As we all know, the Catholic Relief Services, the American Friends Service Committee and the Unitarians are infamous for employing carpetbaggers.

Caught Between Roovevelt and Stalin, Dennis J. 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.  

The Rebuttal, Diana West

When Diana West took up her little sling and aimed at Communism, she hit something else.  Maybe she should be called Chambers on steroids.  The level of vitriol unleashed against her reveals that she hit a sensitive spot.  She has responded in a responsible way with The Rebuttal.  West has been accused of being "very angry very self-centered," with a "paranoid streak."   I view her as being modest to a fault.  Her behavior does not match their psychological diagnosis.  Her opponents have made a major miscalculation.  The time tested method of dealing with uncomfortable facts is to completely ignore them.  By attacking Diana West in such an amateurish fashion they have increased the circulation of these facts.  Such attacks are counterproductive.  Diana West fears that these attacks undermine her integrity.  I think it is clear that they have undermined the integrity of her opponents.

Progressive defenders of the Consensus have suffered defeat after defeat.  The truth about the Ukrainian famine, Katyn Forrest Massacre, the guilt of the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and untold others, eventually came out in spite of their heroic efforts.  These defenders of the Soviet conspiracy make no apologies.  They do not need to.  Their mistakes are conveniently assigned to the Memory Hole.  As Vladimir Bukovsky points out such incompetence would have severe consequences in any other field.

Ned May describes how professional historians view their field: "the masters of the guild get angry when someone less worthy than they are ventures into the orchard in which only they are privileged to harvest.  The harvest the outsiders brought in, they ritually burn."  Amateurs are incapable understanding "historical context." Professional historians tell us if you want to write history you must have formal training.  The arrogance of her critics does not compare favorably with her modesty.

Maintaining the "Consensus" requires censorship.  M. Stanton Evans has pointed out, "many relevant records have been buried, censored or omitted from official archives.  Presidential secrecy orders, disappearing papers, folders missing from files," have been used to keep information from the public.  We know from the Kliefoth memo the New York Times had an agreement with the Soviets whereby Walter Duranty's dispatches would always reflect the official opinion of the Soviet regime."  Mark Tapson's review has disappeared.  He was incompetent.  Clare Lopez's review disappeared and she received a pink slip from the Gatestone Institute.  Thank God for the internet.  It is a bucket beneath the Memory Hole.  I have no evidence, but I can assure you that publishers and broadcaster have been contacted and advised that it would not be in their best interests to deal with Diana West.  Horowitz claims that she should not have written the book.  Is there any doubt that if Horowitz had the power to ban the book he would not do so?  

The major conflict arising from her book is the extent of the government infiltration.    Aside from the people who were actively working for the Soviets there were a large number of people like Secretary of State Dean Acheson who stated, "I do not intend to turn my back on Alger Hiss," after Hiss was convicted of perjury.  Hiss was a Stalinist who spied for the Soviet Union.  Yet Acheson and many others could sympathize with him.  How many Americans died as a result of his work of the Far Eastern postwar settlement?  One of the most successful defense tactics used to defend the government officials is to claim they were "duped."  In response I quote Jean-Francois Revel: "One of the abiding myths of the twentieth century is that many Western intellectuals sympathized with the Soviet Union because they were unaware of the true nature of the regime established by the Bolsheviks."  The Germans who lived under a dictatorship and a controlled press probably knew more of what was happening than progressive politicians and bureaucrats.  

One of the points that really agitates progressive is her statement "Stalin - an even greater totalitarian monster than Hitler." This is sacrilegious.  Although Hitler comes in third, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, in contest for greatest mass murderer, it is something not mentioned in polite society.  

I have two criticisms of the defense in Rebuttal.  I will make them without questioning the sanity or paternity of the sources.  I was disappointed to read that M. Stanton Evens appears to believed that FDR signed the Morgenthau Plan because of his failing health.  The records amply demonstrate that he had given this decision a great deal of thought.  Secondly, even Vladimir Bukovsky has stated, "We have been accomplices to mass murder."  "We" were not accomplices!  The accomplices in the U.S. government did these things in secret and many of their acts have been concealed to this day.  Progressive historians further their careers by researching crimes committed by Americans.  Imagine the accolades a historian would receive if he could show that Benjamin Franklin was a pedophile.  However, clear example of government involvement in the slave trade and an attempt to reproduce the Ukrainian famine in the heart of Europe do not interest them.  

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