Redz

by Ares Demertzis (May 2008)

Throughout history, every country has had an army; either its own, or a foreign one. 
                                                                                               -- Anonymous


(i)

It was an unseasonably chilly September.  We were sitting on his porch on large, comfortable wicker chairs, separated by a small table on which the butler had set a silver tray with two glasses and a decorative cut crystal decanter of vodka.  We had changed into casual clothing from our riding outfits, jodhpurs and tall leather riding boots, after an early morning outing through the pristine woodlands surrounding his dacha; the stable boy taking charge of our two splendid Arabian stallions on our return.  A maid solicitously placed over each of our shoulders a warm mantle.

I looked up into a serene and cloudless sky as a flock of wild geese arrowed their way south.  “Another year going down the toilet,” I remarked, and he chuckled in courteous response, not necessarily out of agreement.

He had scratched and clawed his way up through the tribalism of a corrupt and violent patronage system of politics, now reaping the extraordinary rewards available only to the ruling political elites of his country.  Years ago I begged him, only half in jest, to allow me access into the Lubyanka in order to watch as his inquisitors tore the fingernails from the hands of their prisoners; he didn’t consider that request humorous. 

“They’re all Capitalist, CIA fabrications,” he remarked, continuing our conversation in an uncharacteristically confrontational tone; his unusual pale blue eyes unflinchingly holding my gaze, as he always did when he was lying.

“Ah, come on Vladimir.  We can either have this conversation as professionals in the business of politics, or you can treat me like a civilian.”

“You’re right.”  And he served for both of us two more generous glasses of vodka.

When the Evil Empire finally collapsed in 1991, the Russians resolutely insisted that the United States abstain from boasting of a victory for capitalism, in an unsuccessful attempt to maintain their self-esteem.  During the ensuing thaw in the formerly belligerent relations of the two nations, top secret Communist documentation was tentatively disemboweled from the catacombs of the Lubyanka and made publicly available.  It is claimed by those who know that the Lubyanka is the only structure in Moscow from whose basement the Gulags of Siberia can be effortlessly perceived by its captives; political prisoners mostly, those citizens assumed troublesome by the established Communist regime.  Some claim that the terrified screams of those thousands who were brutally interrogated there can still be heard over the crackle of gunshots for the more fortunate vrag naroda, the enemies of the people, who were summarily executed in the courtyard.

These unexpectedly divulged confidential Soviet archives and an American counter-espionage project code named Venona, de-classified in 1995, exposed that Communist spying in the United States during the Cold War was more extensive than anyone at the time suspected.  Soviet intelligence had infiltrated the State Department, The Treasury Department, the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA), the War Production Board, the Board of Economic Warfare, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, the Office of War Information and the Los Alamos National Laboratories where the atomic bomb was developed.  Almost every American military and diplomatic agency had been penetrated.  Spies also worked in the White House; Venona was such a secretive program that not even Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt nor Harry Truman had any knowledge of its existence.

Aggressively expansionist Communism from Eastern Europe to China became a growing concern for predominantly Republican politicians in the United States.  The House Committee on Un-American Activities and Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy were two separate and distinct entities holding inquiries into espionage activity; they are sometimes erroneously confused as being synonymous.  Senator McCarthy initiated his probe into Communist infiltration in 1951; HUAC was formed in 1937, and began interrogations of suspected Communists in 1947, using the now infamous phrase: “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”  It was Senator McCarthy who made the vociferous allegations that there were a large number of Communist spies working in the federal government, most particularly in President Truman’s State Department.

"The son of a bitch should be impeached!” Senator Joseph McCarthy referring to President Truman after the dismissal of General Douglas Mac Arthur, who as military commander wanted to pursue the Chinese and North Korean armies across the thirty eighth parallel and into their politically inviolable sanctuaries during the Korean War.

"Let me have him (McCarthy) for three days in public hearings, and he'll never show his face in the Senate again.” Democratic Senator Millard Tydings.

McCarthy’s charges are a “fraud and a hoax…to confuse and divide the American people.” Senator Millard Tydings.

“McCarthyism has become a synonym for witch-hunting.” Democratic Congressman George H. Bender.  McCarthyism was first used with slanderous connotation by the Communist newspaper, The Daily Worker.

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness…Senator, you have done enough.  Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?  Have you left no sense of decency?”  Joseph Welsh, lead attorney for the Army-McCarthy hearings.

The Senate voted 67-22 to condemn Senator Joseph McCarthy; 46 separate counts were considered, he was found guilty of one: insulting his fellow Senators by calling them “handmaidens of the Communist Party.”

“Upon what meat does Senator McCarthy feed?...Two of the staples of his diet are investigations and half-truth.”  Edward R. Murrow, on his TV program “See It Now.”

Lawrence Duggan, an employee at the State Department, was a close friend of Edward R. Murrow; after questioning he leapt to his death from an office window.  Murrow vehemently denied Duggan was a spy.  Soviet archives and Venona decryptions have belatedly proven his subversive activities beyond doubt. 

“You’re going to prove McCarthy was right, because all he was saying is that the system was loaded with Communists.  And he was right…I’m worried about the kind of book you’re going to write and about cleaning up McCarthy.  The problem is that everybody said he was a liar; you’re saying he was right…I agree that the Party was a force in the country.” Albert Bernstein, American Communist Party member to his son Carl Bernstein, Washington Post reporter.

McCarthy investigated “with careful planning and masterful discretion. He is patient with witnesses whose FBI files would give ordinary citizens the creeps. He has consistently protected the anonymity of highly suspect witnesses…liberals are loathe to acknowledge (this).”  Alistair Cooke, political liberal and former McCarthy critic on his BBC radio program “Letter from America.”

"You cannot offer friendship to tyrants and murderers...without advancing the cause of tyranny and murder."  Senator Joseph McCarthy.


 
(ii)

In the entire history of the United States there have been fewer than forty prosecutions for treasons and even fewer convictions; no one was ever executed for this capital offence.  Eight individuals were executed for the crime of espionage; six in 1942, during World War II, and two, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, after having been found guilty of passing information on the American atomic bomb to Communist Russia.

"We are the first victims of American fascism."  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

"A legal lynching which smears with blood a whole nation…your country is sick with fear... you are afraid of the shadow of your own bomb.”  Jean Paul Sartre, the “poputchik,” a Communist fellow traveler.

Sartre was undoubtedly correct regarding American dread concerning this apocalyptic weapon that history has revealed was only months away from being perfected by both the Third Reich and Emperor Hirohito.  The circumstances are not unlike those of the anonymous ape in Stanley Kubrick´s film “A Space Odyssey” discovering the first weapon.  After raising the femur high above its head, and then smashing it down to break with a previously incomparable violence the surrounding skulls and bones, it can be safely assumed that this incipient, primitive species became suspect of others pretending an imitation of his discovery.  We can comfortably infer that it has always been so for the Genus Homo; from Homo habilis, through Homo erectus and Homo Neanderthalensis, to our current condition as Homo sapiens.

"The hours count. The minutes count. Do not let this crime against humanity take place.” Pablo Picasso, Communist Party member and recipient of the Stalin Peace Prize and the International Lenin Peace Prize; author of the painting “Massacre in Korea,” denouncing the United States and United Nations intervention in the Korean War.

When parts of South Korea were under Communist control after the North Korean invasion, tens of thousands of civilians who were considered unreceptive to Communism were systematically killed; the murders were intensified when North Korean troops were forced to retreat from the South as General Mac Arthur’s army regained occupied South Korean territory.  It has been estimated that 83,000 South Korean citizens were kidnapped by the retreating North Korean forces, disappearing without a trace into the Communist north.

A multitude of voices were raised protesting the Rosenberg’s innocence; many more condemned the sentence.  One could rightly ask if the United States was being held to a different standard; where were the insistent voices protesting the “crime against humanity” for those millions throughout the world whose bodies were shattered and their lives forfeited to the incessant terror advancing the cause of universal collectivism in the name of Socialism?

 Stalin:  “One mans death is a tragedy, millions of deaths are a statistic.”

Nikita Khrushchev praised Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in his memoirs for their “very significant help in accelerating the production of our atomic bomb.”

Judge Irving Kaufman on sentencing the Rosenbergs: “I consider your crime worse than murder… (it) has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000, and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price for your treason.”


(iii)

A precise duplication of the blatantly unprovoked invasion by Communist North Korea of its southern neighbor in a determined endeavor to impose a Socialist regime was initiated by the North Vietnamese against the people of South Vietnam.  In the earlier conflict, President Truman had originated what was to be an ineffective new policy of American warfare: the “police action,” the “war of containment,” the “half war,” that was to be repeated subsequently in Viet Nam.  Neither North Korea, nor North Viet Nam was to be invaded by the United States and subdued for their gratuitous military aggression.  The American government’s chosen policy for all future wars was to be a limited war of attrition, a prolonged indecision to prevent the exercise of absolute American military force; there would be no winner, only a stalemate. 

This irrational, premeditated strategy by the government of the United States for both the Korean and Viet Nam wars was designed to maintain an existing status quo; the forty ninth parallel for Korea, the Ben Hai River for Viet Nam.  The American people were arguably unaware of this official policy during Korea; with Viet Nam, a more knowledgeable citizenry rejected their government’s strategy of war as an exercise in containment by sacrificing American lives for partial, indefinite results.  One would assume that the children of true democratic societies are never willing candidates for political sacrifice.

And yet, possibly invalidating the above hypothesis, President Nixon won a second term in an unpredicted landslide against a pacifist and outspoken opponent of the Viet Nam war, George McGovern.  Nixon was later hounded from office for attempting to conceal a botched political burglary; some would now argue this breach of principled conduct constitutes no more than a tu quoque to the stealing, and ensuing public denial of the theft of classified documents from the National Archives by President Clinton’s National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger.

President Nixon’s resignation had something to do with a lack of ethical conduct, rather akin to semen being accidentally ejaculated on a blue dress, or lying under oath, or delving into the inexact meaning of the word “is,” or signing 141 questionable pardons during the last hours in the Oval Office, of a later and apparently inconsequentially disgraced colleague.

Unlike during the Clinton Presidency, I can’t remember a single flattering photograph of Nixon published in any mainstream newspaper, notwithstanding he was not a particularly attractive individual, and accepting that William Clinton possessed the features of a Hollywood celebrity.  Perhaps this simply demonstrated a fundamental lack of creative ability by the entire nationwide cadre of professional news photographers to find an attractive angle; or more correctly, it was a conscious effort to express pictorially a visceral loathing.

President Truman ordering the dismissal from duty of five star General Douglas Mac Arthur, the most decorated general in United States history, for failing to support Truman’s “limited war” of stalemate:  “General of the Army Douglas MacArthur is unable to give his wholehearted support to the policies of the United States and the United Nations.” 

General Douglas MacArthur in his final address to the United States Congress after being relieved of command:  “I called for reinforcements but was informed that reinforcements were not available. I made clear that if not permitted to destroy the enemy built-up bases north of the Yalu, if not permitted to utilize the friendly Chinese Force of some 600,000 men on Formosa, if not permitted to blockade the China coast to prevent the Chinese Reds from getting succor from without, and if there were to be no hope of major reinforcements the position of the command from the military standpoint forbade victory.”

“It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.”

“War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.  In war there is no substitute for victory.”

“I have just left your fighting sons in Korea. It was my constant effort to preserve them and end this savage conflict honorably and with the least loss of time and a minimum sacrifice of life. Its growing bloodshed has caused me the deepest anguish and anxiety. Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.”

There is a tradition in the United States that the military is subordinate to the civilian leaders; it remains to be determined whether in an American democracy this policy can withstand the hemorrhaging of the nations blood by arbitrary political fiat.


(iv)

"I'd ask questions like when is the war going to end? Well, we don't know. How many more men do you think we're going to lose? Well, we really don't know. Then I finally got down to it and said, 'What is our plan to win the war in Vietnam?' Turned out there wasn't any. The plan was just to stay with it, ultimately hoping that the enemy would finally give up."  Clark Clifford, Secretary of State.

“Hell no, we won’t go!”  No one wants to return home maimed or in a box for the burlesque of a war you are not permitted to win, and waged not by military professionals, but by inept politicians inexperienced in military strategies.

Perceiving American discontent for this grossly flawed military strategy, a political campaign of manipulative distortion and outright lies was instigated.  The raucous participants were, among others, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Jane Fonda and John Kerry.  The anti-war movement vociferously denied having been co-opted and financed by covert Communist sources, a certainty now public knowledge, and recognized by North Vietnam as their “second front.”  The American anti-war movement ultimately served to extend the conflict and the bloodshed; it proved successful for those whose objective was political and societal fragmentation, and the attendant military embarrassment of the United States that would diminish the possibility of future global military intervention.

Colonel Tin, North Vietnamese Army: “Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9am to follow the growth of the anti-war movement.”  Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

"Never have we had military and political conditions so perfect or a strategic advantage as great as we have now.” North Vietnamese First Party Secretary Le Duan.

"If you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become Communist." Jane Fonda at the University of Michigan.

"I, a socialist, think that we should strive toward a socialist society, all the way to

Communism."  Jane Fonda at Duke University.

The American military has “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam." John Kerry testifying before the United States Congress prior to being elected Senator from the State of Massachusetts, and subsequently receiving the Democratic Party nomination for the office of President.  At the Democratic National Convention, in a superlative display of cynical, egocentric ambition, the ex-Swift Boat officer raised his arm and gave a chic military salute, proclaiming to an adulating multitude: ”Reporting for duty!”

Imagine all the high school drop outs turned philosopher rock and rollers joining forces with perpetual grievance advocates, Marxist-Leninist wannabees, and affluent, pampered college students in search of a revolution for their epoch.  This unlikely alliance embarked the nation in witness of an extensive, irresponsible and self indulgent immature temper tantrum; the serial madness that pretended an American Cultural Revolution.  Their Helter Skelter was ultimately ineffective in its declared attempt to provoke armed societal conflict using the Vietnam War to legitimize a concealed ambition: the irresistible pursuit of random violence for the love of violence. 

Domestic terrorism and bloody guerrilla tactics were enabled by the New Left, Students for a Democratic Society, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Black Panthers, and the Weather Underground, all venerating charismatic third world revolutionaries: Cabral, Castro, Che, Ho Chi Minh, Mao; those humane, indulgent, moderate, gentle hearted Socialist liberators of the Common Man who ultimately deprived their people of life and liberty, indulging in impunity, censorship, corruption, non-accountability, official secrecy, clandestine surveillance, purges, forced labor, torture, show trials, injustice, re-education camps, gulags, execution, and fear.  Red diaper babies, having reached a less than expected maturity, insisted that their wanton violence was necessary to achieve freedom from an oppressive and tyrannical American democracy; to forge through bloodshed a more equitable society for the United States of America.  Peace and Love.

“Kill all the rich people.  Break up their cars and apartments.  Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at.” William Ayers, son of the wealthy Chairman and Corporate CEO of Commonwealth Edison, Chicago.

“I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough.” William Ayers.

“God, what a great country, it makes me want to puke.” William Ayers.

“Guilty as sin, free as a bird, America is a great country.” William Ayers after all charges against him were dropped on the technicality of “improper surveillance” by the government.

“There is no way to be committed to non-violence in one of the most violent societies that history has ever created.”  Bernardine Dohrn, Weather Underground.

“Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!” Bernardine Dohrn at a Weathermen “War Council” meeting regarding the Manson Family murders.

During the Days of Rage in “Pig TownChicago: “From here on its kill or be killed!”

“We came to Chicago to tear the mother fuckers apart.  We came to attack because we know that the only things to defend in honkie Amerika are the privileges – the cars, the apartments, the hotels, the TV’s…It was war.  We knew it and the Pigs knew it.”

Bernardine Dohrn led the Weathermen in a song chiding Richard Elrod who was crippled for life during the Chicago riots to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay”:

 

Lay, Elrod, lay,
Lay in the street for a while.

Stay Elrod, stay,

Stay in your bed for a while.

You thought you could stop the Weatherman,

But up-front people put you on your can.

Stay, Elrod, stay,

Stay in your iron lung.

Play, Elrod, play,

Play with your toes for a while.

Brian Flanagan, the twenty two year old Weather Underground terrorist accused of the crime was acquitted by a Chicago jury.  His defense attorney, Warren Wolfson, in an impassioned closing argument included the plea: “It’s time now to heal the wounds, close that gap, because this is one country and one nation; and a nation that hates its young people has no future.”  No mention was made concerning the future of a nation whose young people loathe their neighbors and seek to destroy their society.

Outside the courthouse a liberated, yet still irate and unrepentant Flanagan raised his left arm and clenched his fist: “Law and order in Chicago is a farce.  I want to get back in the streets where I can fight…I plan to make love and war.”

Notwithstanding the angry roar of explosions, with the attendant bloodshed to innocent bystanders by those ostensibly seeking a nonviolent society, and the coarse, rasping scrape of guitar strings counseling that the times they were a changing, the American proletariat maintained a remarkable equanimity.  Ultimately nothing changed, the urban terrorists, without so much as a whimper, submissively metamorphosed into comfortable, respectable upper middle class capitalist stock brokers, attorneys, and members of Congress; a curiously revealing choice of professions that may lead one to suspect that they all possess some peculiar, to date undetermined distinctively common characteristic.

For some, like William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, changing Amerika into a Socialist State through armed insurrection proved ineffectual; a stealth approach, working within the system and programming future generations would prove a more effective instrument for the impending Communist revolution.  William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois; Bernardine Dohrn is Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University.

Whatever happened to the radical’s mantra: “Don’t trust anyone over thirty!"

There was additional support encouraging the Viet Nam debacle from a cooperatively mendacious Media; Viet Nam was the first American war to be waged and won by mainstream journalism.  The hero of the conflict was Walter Cronkite, “Uncle Walter,”  “the most trusted man in America,” who, among other distortions, misrepresented the Tet offensive as an awesome defeat for the United States military, instead of the devastation of the invading Communist North and the annihilation of the exposed VC sleeper cells in the cities of South Vietnam that it actually was.  In reality Tet was an unmitigated disaster for the Viet Cong who imagined a peoples uprising against the Americans that never took place; on the contrary, Tet provoked the South Vietnamese to fight against the North.

During their short occupation of Hue, 2,800 innocent civilian South Vietnamese considered unsympathetic to Communism were murdered by the Viet Cong in that customary practice of determined Communism everywhere; the single worst massacre of the war, which resulted in no media coverage.  The indiscriminate slaughter in Hue dwarfed the much publicized My Lai of American Army Lieutenant William Calley.  When Tet concluded, approximately 5,000 North Vietnamese, 421 South Vietnamese and 216 U.S. Marines had been killed; the defeated North Vietnamese disengaging and retreating to safety.  This was the North Vietnamese victory acclaimed and celebrated by an admiring American media.

“Pinko Cronkite,” as he was known to his detractors, affirmed unquestionably, in his self assumed role of faux military analyst, that the Viet Nam war was unwinnable; “…And that’s the way it is.”  One could consider his fabrications wishful thinking, although they more probably illustrate agenda driven reportage.  Following Cronkite’s news report, Lyndon Johnson is alleged to have said: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the American people.”  Finally, a congress controlled by the Democratic Party delivered the coup de grace by prohibiting funds for combat, thereby mandating the certainty of defeat.

“Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.” Melvin Laird.

Colonel Tin, North Vietnamese Army: "Through dissent and protest (America) lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."

 

END

No.  It isn’t the end, politics are a never ending; horrific saga provoked by those few who would sacrifice freedom and enslave the human spirit for personal gain, and those manipulated, credulous many who perceive a common good justifying any means.

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