While the mindless miscreants among us celebrate the event of 100 years of Communist genocide, the mainstream media joins the Party by trumpeting new “revelations” concerning “collusion” between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.
While the subject of Russia — and any existing imbecilic Republican admiration thereof — is the everlasting story of the year, Democrats and (Democrat) media pundits should more carefully use the mirrors which so few of them can pass without preening.
“Why is Trump so pro-Russia?” MSNBC has asked. This is a valid question; but MSNBC is not the appropriate entity to ask it. Democrat barks of “Russia is our adversary” are more than factual, but if one looks into the past, it would not appear they have always believed such assertions — especially when they came from those they despised.
The question of whether or not the Trump campaign joined forces with Russia to undermine its opponents is a question which anybody is welcome to attempt to answer — but Democrats are not in an appropriate position to do so.
For instance, the recent unmasking of actual collusion between Putin’s Russia and the Obama administration — in order to undermine the Trump presidential campaign itself, no less — is the tip of the iceberg.
Not long ago, Democrats and “progressives” seemed to find Russia far less of an adversary.
On November 28, 2008, in the wake of Barack Obama’s election, The New York Times editorial board published an op-ed entitled “Obama and Putin: How to improve relations.” In the pages of the Gray Lady itself it is written,
Given all he faces, Barack Obama may be tempted to put Russia on a back burner. We hope he does not.…
Obama should signal to the Russians that he wants better relations. That would mean cutting back on belligerent talk and inviting the Russians to high-level consultations on areas in which the two countries can achieve cooperation quickly — say, on combating piracy.
The media were horrified when candidate Trump appeared to soften the Republican position on the defense of Ukraine; yet, the Times piece continues: “[Obama] also could tone down demands for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, especially since neither country is ready, and review plans to station defensive missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic.” The defensive missiles mentioned comprised the defense shield which the Bush administration had planned to station in Eastern Europe as a deterrent against future Russian nuclear aggression (an idea which TIME magazine seemed to ridicule when it was proposed in 2007). The same shield which Obama canceled on September 17, 2009 (on the seventieth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland), and was caught on camera in early 2012 offering to further abandon in favor of the Russians once he had been safely re-elected.
…[F]rom all that we’ve seen and heard, [my opponent] want[s] to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.
After all, you don’t call Russia our number-one enemy — not al-Qāi‘dah, Russia — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.
The former president even added, “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Běijīng if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally” (placing America’s relationship with a genocidal Communist country — the most murderous regime in human history — over those with genuinely dear friends such as England or Israel).
MSNBC reeled back in horror when candidate Trump idiotically praised Putin; are they “stuck in a Cold War mind warp,” by the logic of their beloved Obama? Rachel Maddow would seem to agree when, three days before Obama’s 2012 DNC speech, she criticized the Republican presidential platform for offering “an extra bonus of threatening Russia.”
Trump is a “threat” to national security on account of rather puzzling attitudes toward our age-old enemy and the connections of some around him — but the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton saw fit to sell uranium (not vodka) to Russia in 2013.
The inconvenient truth is that, looking back much further into history, Democrat distaste for Russia is possessed of a disturbing novelty.
Journalistic support for Russian Communism existed from the very beginning.
By far the most famous English-language account of the 1917 Bol’shyevik Revolution in Russia is Communist writer John Reed’s iconic Ten Days That Shook the World, in which he dismissed Western concerns about the wild summary executions committed during the Red Terror.
In 1919, progressive New York journalist Lincoln Steffens wrote a friend with his first impressions of the young Soviet Union (in which approximately 9 million people would eventually die on account of the Revolution by 1922). “I have seen the future and it works,” he said breathlessly. (Not long after that declaration, Steffens made another crisp remark: that the Almighty had “formed Mussolini out of the rib of Italy.”)
Herbert Croly — author of The Promise of American Life (1909) and regarded as the father of American progressivism — his newspaper The New Republic unflinchingly defended the Soviet Union. When the murder and starvation of millions of small landowners called kulaki (meaning “fists,” for they clung to what little property they owned) became public, the paper claimed it was necessary to exterminate such people for the common good. For this reason Croly’s New Republic rationalized genocide in the name of Stalin’s “Five-Year Plan” to industrialize Russia through universal collectivization. On March 5, 1930, Vera Micheles Dean wrote in an article entitled “The Struggle in Russia”:
The success of large-scale collective farming depends in the last analysis on the cooperation of the peasant masses, on their conscious interest in the fate of Communism in Russia. The kulaks, in the opinion of the government, contribute an obstacle to the …Five-Year Plan. Opposition, or even indifference, is now nothing short of treason. The kulaks as a class must be “liquidated.” In Communist terminology “liquidation” can mean only one of two things: exile or death.
…In essence, the kulak is a “capitalist in embryo.” He is afflicted with capitalist psychology. His interest in private gain for private ends outweighs his loyalty to society. Not only does he constitute an obstacle to the development of the economic policies of the Soviet government: he is a political danger as well. …To paraphrase Lenin, it may be said without exaggeration that within the boundaries of Russia, Communism is now engaged in fighting a last and decisive battle against capitalism.
Though Dean was careful to place key words in quotation marks, the richness of the description of the Russian Communist plan cannot be dismissed as a mere news report.
Walter Duranty, The New York Times’ chief Moscow correspondent from 1922 to 1936, flatly denied what Croly and The New Republic had only justified — that the state-created famine in the Ukraine (resulting in the slow deaths of between 3.3 and 10 million peasants) was even occurring. Five discreet quotations are sufficient:
• “There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.” (November 15, 1931)
• “Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin’s program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding.” (December 9, 1932)
• “There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.” (March 31, 1933)
• “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” (May 14, 1933)
• “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” (August 23, 1933)
The Pulitzer Committee declined in both 1990 and 2003 to rescind the Prize awarded to Duranty in 1932 for excellence in reporting — the Times later barely apologizing on its behalf.
F. D. R.
Such affection for the beauty of the “Soviet experiment” was hardly confined to the impressionable ranks of the press.
President Franklin Roosevelt himself was an admirer of the Soviet Union. So much so that The New York Times covered the Soviet commemoration of the centenary of his birth in 1982, held in honor of his official recognition of the Soviet state in 1933 (a policy heavily influenced by Walter Duranty’s rose-tinted Times coverage). As Soviet-born writer Sana Krasikov writes in TIME,
It’s impossible to know exactly what motivated Roosevelt, but it’s clear that his affinity for Stalin was more than just strategic. It is known from Roosevelt’s statements that he believed that the Russians and the Americans were on a path to convergence. He believed that as the U.S. was moving away from unfettered capitalism toward state-managed socialism, the Soviet Union was moving from autocratic communism to socialist democracy. Though a member of the elite, FDR was at heart a populist, and he saw in Stalin, “a man of the people,” a reflection of his own mandate. He was intrigued by Stalin’s autocratic style and admired him as a man who, to lift up his nation, was not afraid to knock heads.
One could summarize these pro-Soviet sentiments quite succinctly. Stuart Chase, a member of Roosevelt’s “Brain Trust” and the coiner of the very phrase “New Deal,” wrote in his 1932 book, deliberately and proudly titled A New Deal, “…[W]hy should Russians have all the fun remaking a world?”
Such was Roosevelt’s naïve admiration that on November 29, 1940 (nearly a year before there was any great alliance to justify such support) he told Representative Martin Dies, Jr. that
I do not regard Communism as any present or future threat to our country. In fact, I look upon Russia as our strongest ally in the years to come. As I told you when you began your investigation [into Soviet moles in the U.S. government], you should confine yourselves to Nazis and Fascists. While I do not believe in Communism, Russia is far better off and the world is safer with Russia under Communism than under the tsars. Stalin is a great leader, and although I deplore some of his methods, it is the only way he can safeguard his government.
As part of the Lend-Lease program, which Roosevelt signed into law on March 11, 1941 — nine full months before the United States entered the war, and three before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union — the Russians received $11.3 billion (roughly equivalent to the poignant figure of $150 billion today) to buy and manufacture military equipment for their war effort. Though it has never been proven beyond circumstantial and testimonial evidence, given money’s fungibility, it is likely that the Soviets did not spend all of the money during the war, and that a portion of what remained was later used to crush post-war anti-Communist uprisings in East Berlin (1953), Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), and other captive Eastern Bloc countries. (It has even been suggested that the aid was also used to assist Kim Il-sŏng and Hồ Chí Minh against the United States during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.)
In the wake of the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland, the Red Army, precisely as the Nazis, attempted to decapitate Polish society by murdering 21,857 imprisoned Polish army officers and educated civilians per Stalin’s edict of March 5, 1940. When in 1943 the Nazis publicized their discovery of a number of the assorted mass graves located in the forests of Katyń in Smolyensk Oblast, containing 4,443 of the victims, Roosevelt’s admiration for and war-time trust in Stalin could not be moved. When presented with obvious evidence disproving the Soviet lie, manufactured by the NKVD, that not they, but the Nazis, had executed the prisoners, the President of the United States adamantly refused to believe the truth: “I’m absolutely convinced that the Russians didn’t do this,” he told his special emissary George Earle. (The Russians eventually proved Roosevelt wrong upon finally admitting to the slaughter on April 13, 1990).
American traitors employed as spies for the NKVD and KGB also possessed a troubling habit of not being Republicans.
The VENONA intercepts — an intelligence project in operation between 1943 and 1980 to obtain and decode NKVD, KGB, and GRU transmissions — revealed the names of hundreds of American civil servants (some unwittingly, most voluntarily) passing information to Dzyerzhinskiy Square — including details of the Manhattan Project.
Among them was Alger Hiss — once an assistant to the Secretary of State and former General Secretary at the United Nations’ founding conference in 1948 — who was denounced by former Communist Whittaker Chambers. When Chambers alerted President Roosevelt to the fact that Hiss was in fact a Soviet spy in 1941, it was reported that upon receiving the documentation from “Brain Trust” member Adolph Berle — as with the truth of the Katyń massacre two years later — the president laughed and refused to believe the evidence. He responded by promoting Hiss to higher posts.
Hiss was not the only one. Less well-known Soviet spies and well-placed sympathizers specifically exposed by name, whether by VENONA or other operations, included John J. Abt (a chief council to CPUSA no less), Lauchlin Currie, Noel Field, Henry Wallace, and Harry Dexter White, to name a few — none Republicans.
Immortalized by Jewish socialist cultural hero Tony Kushner in his iconic, seven-hour play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, the Rosenbergs (Ethel in particular), are portrayed as stalwart martyrs to supposed Jewish liberalism — and evil Republican Roy Cohn’s self-loathing sadism. Though there has been controversy over whether or not Ethel was actively involved in her husband Julius’s efforts to slip the secrets of the Manhattan Project to the Soviets, she nevertheless has been posthumously rewarded with a plea for a presidential pardon, and a New York City Council honor. If the shoe were on the other foot — a person connected to the Trump presidential campaign or White House accused, however inconclusively, of spying for Russia — no pleas for pardons or Democrat-dominated city council honors would be forthcoming.
“The Lion of the Senate”
President Roosevelt was not the last major American politician to smile upon the Kremlin; and 2016 was not the first time Democrat political figures had colluded with the Russians to influence a presidential election.
In an internal memo dated May 14, 1983, KGB chief Viktor Chyebrikov informed then-Soviet General Secretary Yuriy Andropov that none other than Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts — the “Lion of the Senate” — had been in touch with the Kremlin concerning strategies to defeat Ronald Reagan in his upcoming 1984 re-election campaign.
So fervent was Kennedy in his passion to destroy the opposition party’s president, his intended audience was not simply the Kremlin — but the dreaded KGB itself.
Through his friend of many years, former California senator John Tunney, Kennedy sought to convey to the Soviet secret police his own suggestions as to how the United States’ bitterest enemy could assist in bringing about President Reagan’s defeat in the following year’s election.
The text of the memo includes an assortment of Reagan’s exploitable weaknesses which Tunney, who was in Moscow on Kennedy’s behalf on May 9 and 10, 1983, explained to the KGB officers present.
According to Kennedy, the current threat is due to the President’s refusal to engage any modification on his politics [of nuclear build-up].…
…The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations. These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign. The movement advocating a freeze on nuclear arsenals of both countries continues to gain strength in the United States. The movement is also willing to accept preparations, particularly from Kennedy, for its continued growth. In political and influential circles of the country, including within Congress, the resistance to growing military expenditures is gaining strength.
…Kennedy believes that, given the current state of affairs, and in the interest of peace, it would be prudent and timely to undertake the following steps to counter the militaristic politics of Reagan and his campaign to psychologically burden the American people. In this regard, he offers the following proposals to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Y. V. Andropov.
…Kennedy believes that in order to influence Americans it would be important to organize in August-September of this year, televised interviews with Y. V. Andropov in the USA. A direct appeal by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. The senator is convinced this would receive the maximum resonance in so far as television is the most effective method of mass media and information.
…Kennedy asked to convey that this appeal to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is his effort to contribute a strong proposal that would root out the threat of nuclear war, and to improve Soviet-American relations, so that they define the safety of the world. Kennedy is very impressed with the activities of Y. V. Andropov and other Soviet leaders, who expressed their commitment to heal international affairs, and improve mutual understanding between peoples.
The gravity of this international overture cannot be denied — the fact that so few people know of it is proof.
One of the more embarrassing aspects of the memo is Chyebrikov’s curt reference to one of the Democrat Party’s favorite radical causes of the 1980s. The “movement advocating a freeze on nuclear arsenals” refers to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a wildly popular and influential leftist movement which The Huffington Post remembered with great fondness on the thirtieth anniversary of the famous June 12, 1982 march against the Reagan administration’s nuclear build-up. Mainstream Democrats would never admit then or now that the movement was pro-Communist, but the indisputable fact that the Soviets saw the freeze movement as a friend in the enemy camp is likely a fatal blow to this paper-thin argument. The hysterical CND marchers truly were the KGB’s useful idiots; and the Russians wished to engage them as agents in Democrat-Soviet collusion to unseat an American president who would, in fact, win his re-election campaign with a massive 58.7% of the vote. (The fact that President Reagan eventually did fulfill his promise to build down once the nuclear build-up had sufficiently cornered the Soviets only rubber-stamps the movement’s comic stupidity.)
The comparison to today, however, is even more striking. Among the most damning journalistic charges against President Trump is that his eldest son, Donald, Jr., met with the Russian lawyer Natal’ya Vyesyel’nitskaya at Trump Tower in June of 2016 — a woman whose clients have long included the FSB (the post-Soviet successor to the KGB). While the seriousness of this episode has been subject to furious debate, John Tunney’s actual visit to the Kremlin on the behalf of one the Democrat Party’s most beloved figures did not involve people who possessed mere connections to the Russian state security bureau. They were, in fact, members of the KGB. The on-air reaction to Donald, Jr. having done such a thing as this does not require an active imagination to envision.
As the evidence of the Democrats’ collusion mounts, and in the light of history, we must ask the question CNN and MSNBC do not want us to ask. Is the Democrat and media outrage over President Trump’s alleged dealings with Russia an act of a changed party, or simply to distract America from their own deep-rooted affinity with America’s longest-standing enemy?
As the record of the century-long tango between the the Democrats and Dzyerzhinskiy Square undoubtedly shows, there is “no thing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).