Liberal historians, which is most of them, love Roosevelt, so they ignore his massive betrayal of Eastern Europe at Yalta. From James Bovard at fff.org:
This year is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. One of the biggest frauds of the final stage of that war was the meeting at Yalta of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Franklin Roosevelt. Yalta has become a synonym for the abandonment of oppressed people and helped inspire the 1952 Republican campaign theme, “20 years of treason.”
The American media uncorked a barrage of tributes to Roosevelt on the 75th anniversary of his death in April. CNN, for instance, trumpeted Roosevelt as “the wartime president who Trump should learn from.” But there was scant coverage of one of his greatest betrayals.
Roosevelt painted World War II as a crusade for democracy — hailing Stalin as a partner in liberation. From 1942 through 1945, the U.S. government consistently deceived the American people about the character of the Soviet Union. Roosevelt praised Soviet Russia as one of the “freedom-loving nations” and stressed that Stalin is “thoroughly conversant with the provisions of our Constitution.” But as Rexford Tugwell, one of Roosevelt’s Brain Trusters and an open admirer of the Soviet system, groused, “The Constitution was a negative document, meant mostly to protect citizens from their government.” And when government is the personification of benevolence, no protection is needed.
Harold Ickes, one of Roosevelt’s top aides, proclaimed that communism was “the antithesis of Nazism” because it was based on a “belief in the control of the government, including the economic system, by the people themselves.” The fact that the Soviet regime had been the most oppressive government in the world in the 1930s was irrelevant, as far as Roosevelt was concerned. As Georgetown University professor Derek Leebaert, author of Magic and Mayhem, observed, “FDR remarked that most of what he knew about the world came from his stamp collection.”
Most of what people were told in 1945 about the necessity of dropping atomic bombs on Japan was wrong. From Brett Wilkins at antiwar.com:
Seventy-five years ago, the United States waged the only nuclear war in history. Among the truths held self-evident by millions of Americans is the notion that the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved lives, both American and Japanese. The choice, Americans are told starting as school children and throughout their lives by largely uncritical media, was between nuclear war and an even bloodier protracted invasion of Japan, whose fanatical people would have fought to the death defending their homeland and their divine emperor.
As with so many other dark chapters in US history, the official narrative of the decision to unleash the most destructive weapon humanity has ever known upon an utterly defeated people is deeply flawed.
‘Anxious to Terminate’
The Japanese had in fact been trying to find a way to surrender with honor for months before the atomic bombs were dropped, and US leaders knew it. Japan could no longer defend itself from the ruthless, relentless US onslaught; years of ferocious firebombing had reduced most Japanese cities, including the capital Tokyo, to ruins. General Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay, commander of strategic bombing, even complained that there was nothing left to bomb there but “garbage can targets.”
After years of war and privation, Japan’s people had had enough, and so had many of its leaders. The Allies, through a secret cryptanalysis project codenamed Magic, had intercepted and decoded secret transmissions from Shigenori Togo, the Japanese foreign minister, to Naotaki Sato, the ambassador in Moscow, stating a desire to end the war.
The argument for the US not fighting in World War II is much stronger than most people believe. From John L. Chapman at antiwar.com:
Should the United States have fought in World War II? Given the remembrances across Europe and here this past weekend evincing the usual trope about the war being a patriotic, heroic, and unavoidable good-versus-evil clash for the United States, it’s a propitious moment to ask this unusual – and in polite society, impertinent – question. But an honest assessment of usually ignored facts yields an unusual answer, in the negative, and the retrospective exercise offers lessons for the current moment.
Seventy five years ago last week, “Victory in Europe” was declared in Londonby British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a speech broadcast to the nation at 3PM on May 8, 1945, followed by similar remarks before Parliament. Known ever after as “V-E Day,” at 9PM that same night King George VI addressed the British people by radio. And shortly thereafter in Berlin, the third and final capitulation of all German land, sea, and air forces took place, with the surrender signed on behalf of the German High Command by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (Wehrmacht), Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff (Luftwaffe), and Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg (Kriegsmarine). Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov signed the document on behalf of the Supreme High Command of the Red Army, and signing on behalf of General Eisenhower was British Air Marshal Arthur W. Tedder, the Deputy Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force.
Most wars America has fought in have required lies to get the American people’s approval. From Hunter Derensis at theamericanconservative.com:
Before Pearl Harbor, there was an elaborate British influence operation of forged documents, fake news, and manipulation.
A World War II era poster showing portraits of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill with the title “Liberators of The World”. The poster also shows the flags of the Allies, and the sinking of the Japanese battleship Haruna. (Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images)
Seventy-eight years ago, on December 6, 1941, the United States was at peace with world. The next morning, local time, the Empire of Japan bombed the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Four days later, Nazi Germany issued a declaration of war against the United States. The American people were now unalterably involved in a global conflict that would take the lives of over 400,000 of their native sons.
But before Japan opened this door to war, the United States had been the target of an elaborate, covert influence campaign meant to push public opinion, by hook or by crook, into supporting intervention on the side of the British. Conducted by the United Kingdom’s MI6 intelligence service, it involved sometimes witting (and often unwitting) collaboration with the highest echelons of the U.S. government and media establishment.
In the early summer of 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill dispatched intelligence agent William Stephenson to North America to establish the innocuous-sounding British Security Coordination (BSC). The Canadian-born Stephenson was a World War I flying ace and wealthy industrialist who had been a close Churchill confidant for several years. Adopting the codename “Intrepid” during his operations, spymaster Stephenson served as the main inspiration for James Bond (whose creator, Ian Fleming, worked with the BSC).
Posted in Civil Liberties, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, War
Tagged America First, Great Britain, William Stephenson, Winston Churchill, World War II
History is written by the winners, quickly and tendentiously. Only later does the truth come out. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:
“The Lies About World War II” (https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/05/13/the-lies-about-world-war-ii/) is my most popular column of the year. It is a book review of David Irving’s Hitler’s War and Churchill’s War, the first volumn of Irving’s three volume biography of Winston Churchill. A person does not know anything about WW II until he has read these books.
Historians, and even book reviewers, who tell the truth pay a high price. For reasons I provide in my review, generally it is decades after a war before truth about the war can emerge. By then the court historians have fused lies with patriotism and created a pleasing myth about the war, and when emerging truth impinges on that myth, the truth-teller is denounced for making a case for the enemy.
Wars are fought with words as well as with bullets and bombs. The propaganda and demonization of the enemy are extreme. This is especially the case when it is the victors who start the war and have to cover up this fact as well as the war crimes for which they are responsible. When decades later the covered up crimes of the victors are brought to light, truth is up against the explanation that has been controlled for a half century. This makes the truth seem outlandish, and this makes it easy to demonize and even destroy the historian who brought the truth to the surface.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Adolf Hitler, Germany, Great Britain, Winston Churchill, World War II
If you think the federal government’s effort to control the “narrative” is a recent phenomenon, read on. FDR was a master. From Steve Penfield at unz.com:
Republican Hoover built the federal broadcasting shield in 1927. Roosevelt fashioned it into a weapon in 1934 and Democrats have never put it down since. One might consider the elaborate FCC speech barriers: A Poll Tax on Public Debate
One of the more enduring myths accepted as reality in our modern society is that America has a relatively free press. The ruling authorities and their entrenched accomplices promote that lie as diligently as they work to ensure that it never again becomes true.
America did have a mostly free and independent press until the rise of broadcasting in the 1920s. Within a few years, a small group of Republicans, progressives and corporate interests successfully nationalized the airwaves with restrictive licensing that blocked competition, rewarded insiders and squelched dissent.
Over the next few decades, the increasingly powerful medium of radio and then television drowned out the previously broad spectrum of information and ideas—with often three or more diverse choices of daily newspapers in many U.S. cities—and turned free speech into carefully rationed federal broadcasting privileges, their anointed urban newspaper monopolies and a few approved magazines.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Government, History, Labor, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Charles Lindbergh, FDR, H.L. Mencken, John Flynn, New Deal, Robert McCormick, William Randolph Hearst, World War II
The US is switching roles from the world’s policeman towards unilaterally pursuing its own interests. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
Is the prospect of looming global recession merely an economic matter, to be discussed within the framework of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 – which is to say, whether or not, the Central Bankers have wasted their available tools to manage it? Or, is there a wider pattern of geo-political markers that may be deduced ahead of its arrival?
Fortunately, we have some help. Adam Tooze is a prize-winning British historian, now at Columbia University, whose histories of WWII (The Wages of Destruction) – and of WWI (The Deluge) tell a story of 100 years of spiraling; ‘pass-the-parcel’ global debt; of recession (some ideologically impregnated) , and of export trade models, all of which have shaped our geo-politics. These are the same variables, of course, which happen to be very much in play today.
Tooze’s books describe the primary pattern of linked and repeating events over the two wars – yet there are other insights to be found within the primary pattern: How modes of politics were affected; how the idea of ‘empire’ metamorphosed; and how debt accumulations triggered profound shifts.
But first, as Tooze notes, the ‘pattern’ starts with Woodrow Wilson’s observation in 1916, that “Britain has the earth, and Germany wants it”. Well, actually it was also about British élite fear of rivals (i.e. Germany arising), and the fear of Britain’s élites of appearing weak. Today, it is about the American élite fearing similarly, about China, and fearing a putative Eurasian ‘empire’.
Posted in banking, Business, Currencies, Debt, Economy, Eurasian Axis, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, History, Imperialism, Money
Tagged China, Europe, Germany, Russia, World War I, World War II
The history of World War II, the “Good War” and the last war the US won, has been stretched and distorted. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
Given the predictable accolades regarding the 75th anniversary of D-Day in World War II — it’s important for Americans to keep in mind some discomforting facts about the so-called good war:
- Prior to U.S. entry into World War II, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entering the conflict. That’s because of two things: (1) the non-interventionist foreign policy that was the founding policy of the United States and that had remained the foreign policy of the United States for more than 100 years; and (2) the horrible waste of men and money that had been expended on America’s intervention into World War I, not to mention the massive destruction of liberty that came with that war.
- It was only because President Franklin Roosevelt intentionally provoked and maneuvered the Japanese into attacking at Pearl Harbor, where U.S. battleships were conveniently based (FDR had wisely removed the carriers), that the U.S. ended up entering the conflict. Even many Roosevelt apologists now acknowledge what he did but defend it by arguing that his actions were for the greater good, i.e., preventing the Nazis from supposedly conquering the world. But what does it say about a democratic society in which people are overwhelmingly opposed to entering a particular war and in which their president circumvents that will by provoking and maneuvering a foreign regime into attacking the United States?
- Hitler never had the ability to conquer the United States, much less the world. After all, his forces proved unable to cross the English Channel to conquer England. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it would have been militarily impossible for Hitler’s forces to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and successfully invade and conquer the United States.
- Mainstream historians and newspapers have long pointed out that defeating Germany saved Europe from Nazi control. But it was always clear from the beginning that Hitler was moving east, not west — toward the Soviet Union, whose communist regime he considered the real enemy of Germany (just as the U.S. would consider the Soviet Union to be the real enemy of the United States after the war was over). It was England and France that declared war on Germany, not the other way around. If England and France had not declared war on Germany, it is a virtual certainty that the war would have been between Germany and the Soviet Union — i.e., Nazism versus communism, while the Western powers stood aside and let them fight it out among themselves.
- The reason that England declared war on Germany was to honor the guarantee that England had given to Poland. But it was an empty guarantee because England knew that it lacked the military capability to free the Poles from German control. At the end of the war and ever since, mainstream historians and newspapers have waxed eloquent about how “we” defeated the Nazis. The operative word, however, is “we” because “we” included the Soviet Union, which was ruled by one of the most brutal communist regimes in the world. It was the Soviet Union that ended up controlling Poland … and Czechoslovakia … and all of Eastern Europe … and also the eastern half of Germany. So, yes, the Poles were freed from Nazi tyranny at the end of the war, only to be made to suffer for the next 45 years under communist tyranny. U.S. officials and mainstream historians and commentators have always called that a “victory” for freedom. The Poles and Eastern Europeans have always felt differently about such a “victory.”
- Virtually no Jews were saved by the war. By the time the war was over, almost all of them were dead. Of course, it should be kept in mind that when Hitler offered to let German Jews leave Germany in the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration, like all other nations around the world, said that they could not come to the United States. The reason? Anti-Semitism, the same anti-Semitism that afflicted Nazi Germany. Google “Voyage of the Damned” for more information.
- After the war was over, U.S. officials immediately converted Hitler’s enemy (and America’s wartime partner), the Soviet Union, into America’s new official enemy, which, Americans were told, was an even bigger threat to the U.S. than Hitler had been. The fierce anti-communist mindset that had driven Hitler was now adopted by U.S. officials. Their Cold War against their wartime partner and ally was used to convert the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of totalitarian structure that brought coups, assassinations, regime-change operations, alliances with dictatorial regimes, installation of dictatorial regimes, and ever-increasing budgets and power to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. In fact, the national-security branch of the federal government ultimately became the most powerful branch. Additionally, there was the entire anti-communist crusade engaged in by U.S. officials and the mainstream press against anyone who had socialist, communist, or even leftist leanings. (“Have you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”)
- The Cold War brought U.S. interventions in North Korea and Vietnam, which cost the lives of more than 100,000 American men as well as countless injuries, not to mention the massive death and destruction that U.S. forces wreaked on the people of North Korea and North Vietnam. U.S. officials claimed that absent intervention, the dominoes would fall to the Reds, with the final domino being the United States. Despite the stalemate in Korea and the total defeat of U.S. forces in Vietnam at the hands of the communists, the dominoes never fell and the United States is still standing.
- Mainstream historians and newspapers claim that Hitler would have ultimately conquered the United States and the world had he not been stopped. Of course, that’s impossible to say but it’s a problematic assertion given that Germany would have been just as weak and devastated as the Soviet Union was by the end of the war. War makes a nation weaker, not stronger. What we do know is that after the war, U.S. officials said that the Soviet Union, Hitler’s enemy and America’s wartime partner, was hell-bent on conquering the United States and the world. They never succeeded or even came close. If the United States could survive the communist Soviet Union, there is no reason to conclude that it couldn’t have survived a Nazi Germany.
A U.S. president surreptitiously embroils the country in a war that the American citizenry overwhelming opposed, a war that left Eastern Europe and half of Germany under communist control for 45 years and that also gave us the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War as well as the conversion of our government to a totalitarian-like national-security state, along with the anti-communist crusade, assassination, coups, regime-change operations, and alliances with dictatorial regimes. That’s quite a “victory.”
For more discomforting facts about World War I, World War II, and America’s other foreign wars, read FFF’s book The Failure of America’s Foreign Wars, edited by Richard Ebeling and Jacob Hornberger.
Christmas 2018 is hardly the most dire Christmas America has faced. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” goes the old Christmas carol. “‘Tis the season to be jolly.” Yet if there were a couplet less befitting the mood of this capital city, I am unaware of it.
“The wheels are coming off,” was a common commentary on the Trump presidency on Sunday’s talk shows. And the ostensible causes of what is looking like a panic in the political establishment?
The December crash of the stock and bond markets, the worst since the Great Recession. The shutdown of a fourth of the U.S. government over the Trump border wall. The president’s decision to pull 2,200 troops out of Syria. Resignation, in protest of Donald Trump’s treatment of U.S. allies, by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
But there has to be more to it than this. For America has endured, in the lifetime of its older generations, far worse Christmases than this.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Politics, Religion, War
Tagged Christmas, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor, President Trump, Syria, World War II
Sometimes the reasons you’re wrong turn out to be the reasons you’re right.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Old Wall Street adage
Anyone who has consistently sounded cautionary or outright bearish notes during the last nine years of relentlessly rising equity markets has been cast aside. Wall Street is bipolar. You’re either right or wrong, and wrong doesn’t buy mansions and Maseratis. Like that broken clock, the so-called permabears have had a couple of minutes when they were right, far outweighed by those 1438 minutes when they were wrong.
Or maybe it’s all a matter of perspective, and it’s the last nine years that amounts to two minutes. In geologic time nine years isn’t even a nanosecond. Perhaps even on time periods scaled to human lifetimes and history, the last nine years will come to be seen as an evanescent flash that came and ignominiously went.
Markets don’t listen to reasons. They’re exercises in crowd psychology and crowds are emotional and capricious. That doesn’t mean that reason is a useless virtue in market analysis, quite the opposite. It’s reason that allows the few who are consistently successful to separate themselves from the crowd and capitalize on its emotion and caprice.
Reason identifies rising stock markets as one symptom of a sugar high global economy. Since 2009, staring into the abyss of debt implosion, central banks acting in concert have promoted furious debt expansion as the finger-in-the-dike remedy. Governments expanded their fiat (aka out of thin air) debt, and central banks monetized that debt with their own fiat debt. Not only did that create loanable reserves within the banking system—private debt fodder—it drove interest rates so low that yield-deprived investors were herded into the stock market. Borrowers won, savers lost.
Posted in Academia, banking, Business, Capitalism, Collapse, Debt, Economics, Economy, Financial markets, Governments, History, Investing, Money, Politics, War
Tagged Federal Reserve, Fiat debt, Intellectuals, Statism, World War I, World War II