We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Admit nothing, explain nothing and apologize for nothing

In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage
J.E. Haynes & H. Klehr
Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2003

“We should recognize the issue of communism and Soviet espionage has become an antiquarian backwater. After all, the Cold War is over.” With these words, a typical leftish US historian, Ellen Schrecker, recommends that a whole sector of an historical era should be ignored and work on it effectively closed down. “It is time to move on,” remarks another academic, using the modern terminology that neither denies nor accepts responsibility, but leaves a mess behind for someone else to clear up. Now historians are, by definition, paddlers up backwaters, investigators of things that are “over” and move in, not move on when invited to examine data never before available. When World War Two ended historians started, not stopped, writing about it, just as an unending stream of books about Napoleon has continued in the nearly two centuries since he was bundled off to St Helena. The idea that, just as enormous quantities of material from Soviet and other archives are being released, work on them should be called off is so ludicrous that it could only have been suggested by those who feel the foundations of their beliefs and attitudes crumbling beneath their feet. However, though public apathy is what they would like, the hard facts, and writers such as Haynes and Klehr, have forced some response.

According to the authors of In Denial, the two examples quoted are not isolated oddities, but characteristic of the mindset of a large, perhaps predominant section of US academic historians. Certainly those they cite, or otherwise mention, whom I list at the end of this review, make up a considerable body. They also must include at least the majority of the editors of The American Historical Review and The Journal of American History which rarely publish articles critical of Communism, or have done for the past 25 years at least. Yet these two must be distinguished from Radical History Review which avowedly “rejects conventional notions of scholarly neutrality and objectivity’ (p. 44)”. The Encyclopedia of the American Left omits such matters as the large subsidies the Soviet Union transmitted to the American Communists, specifically for subversion (pp 70-72), the evidence that Alger Hiss spied for the Soviet Union (p. 106), indeed that American Communists had anything to do with espionage, even after opened Soviet files had massively documented the fact that this was so. After all, if something is in print in an accepted reference work, as the Encyclopedia is, it becomes history – an interesting example of history being written by the losers, for a change. Why, though, did the editors of the “highly prestigious”, 24 volume American National Biography for its entry on the Rosenberg spies commission a Communist academic who then, not surprisingly, brushed aside recent confirmatory evidence of their guilt as “discredited” (p. 104)? Just as with the denial of its acceptance of Soviet subsidies, there has been a strong attempt by leftish historians (termed by Haynes and Klehr “revisionists”) to absolve the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) from the accusation that its policy slavishly followed that of the USSR. In fact, any sign of independence was smacked down by Stalin himself (p. 135) and the leaders who claimed their position by right of election were expelled at his orders from the CPUSA, which published the reason for it in a pamphlet. The Party’s endorsement of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact was unconditional and it opposed bitterly all attempts by Roosevelt to help Britain during the year when we stood alone (p. 133). Perhaps insufficient study has been made (I for one am not aware of any) of British Communist resistence to our own war effort during this vital period.

As evidence mounts of subversion and spying by American Communists on behalf of the USSR, some of their defenders have moved from denial to approval, if not always of their actions, certainly of their motives, while any attempt to stop them, let alone punish them “is part and parcel of vile McCarthyism (p. 207).” The Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White (the last two very high White House officials) are now defended as pure idealists who wanted to make the world safer by sharing secrets with the Soviets – a one-way traffic, of course. Longtime defenders of the Rosenbergs “have reacted to the new evidence with a confused mixture of denial, acceptance and defiance (p. 198)”. In New York there is even an Alger Hiss Chair of Social Studies, appropriately filled by one Joel Kovel who proclaims that the United States is the “enemy of humanity (p. 211)”. White is, so to speak, being whitewashed in a forthcoming book by, it is disconcerting to read, someone who has got about as far up as it is possible to get in the directorship of a number of historical institutions (p. 212). Sometimes defenders want to have it both ways – Alger Hiss wasn’t guilty (he still has defenders of his innocence, the case for which Haynes and Klehr still have to demolish on pp. 152-162), but if he was, it was only “in technical violation of the law (p. 195)”. Other, now forgotten persons – such as Lauchline Currie (as highly placed as Hiss) and Theodore Hall (as important a spy as Klaus Fuchs) – get the same treatment. In case anyone thinks that the authors have limited their examination of American Communist spies to those discussed above, I have added a list of all (or perhaps I should say most) they have at least mentioned.

What is it that motivates people obviously intelligent enough to enter elite universities, pass their degree exams, research and write theses and books and gain tenured positions, and yet defend a political philosophy justifying regimes responsible for millions of deaths, aggressive wars, and a command economy inadequate for their needs? Is it too simple a solution to suggest that these are people so conscious of the the shortcomings of their own society that they idealise another? Thus “I wanted the Soviet Union to be a successful experiment in socialist democracy and so I checked my critical faculties . . . I still need that belief even if the particular vision I embraced has turned to ashes, (p. 42)” explains “post-Marxist feminist” Gerda Lerner, emeritus professor of History at the University of Wisconsin. But, though a refugee from Nazism and disillusioned with Communism, this has “done little to mitigate her loathing for the United States” and she has compared “life in America to living under Adolf Hitler.” Incredible though this must sound to most people, it must be taken seriously as evidence of a certain state of mind. Unfortunately we are not given the parallels between her experiences in Austria and in America which might justify it. Others want to make America responsible for all the deaths caused by war since World War II, though including those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki for good measure (p. 49). That the Americans initiated none of these wars seems to be no excuse, nor is the far greater death toll brought about by Communist governments by engineered famines, labour camps and straightforward terror and genocide set against this so-called American guilt.

With nothing left to believe in, the default position of these leftish academics and intellectuals is a sort of nihilistic anti-Americanism. “We need a civil war, class war, whatever, to put an end to US policies that endanger all of us,” declared Professor Robin Kelley after September 11th (p. 49). Who is going to fight whom with what is not explained. Presumably another American Civil War, by this logic, will persuade Al Qaida that terrorism is unnecessary, since America will destroy itself. Over here, Scott Lucas, hired to teach “American Studies” at Birmingham University, by his own confession taught “anti-American studies (p. 48)”. He has not been alone, of course; anti-Americanism is perhaps America’s largest intellectual export – and it is entirely negative. Its missionaries have no substitute to offer; if successful it would leave a moral and political power vacuum which only Islamic fanatics seem willing, if not able, to fill. Is that what those “in denial” want to happen?

The Academics etc:

Leslie Adler, Herbert Aptheker, Rudy Baker, Alexander Bittelman, Ethan Bronner, Michael Brown, Paul Buhle, Nicholas Callather, Michael Carley, Peter Carroll, David Caute, Blanche W. Cook, Bruce Craig, Marion Davis, Michael Denning, Eugene Dennis, Frederick V. Field, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Barbara Foley, Isaac Folkoff, Eric Foner, William Z. Foster, Grover Furr, Dan Georgakas, Marvin Gettleman, J. Arch Getty, Jacob Golos, Robert Griffith, Ruth Hall, Michael J. Heale, Gerald Horne, Jerry F. Hough, Peter M. Irons, Maurice Isserman, Edward Johanningsmeier, Michael Karni, Aaron Katz, Robert D.G. Kelley, Robin Kelly, Bernard Knox, Gabriel Kolke, Robert Korstat, Joel Kovel, Aileen Kraslitor, William Kunstler, Corliss Lamont, Gerda Lerner, Nelson Lichtenstein, Robbie Lieberman, George Lipstitz, John Lowenthal, Scott Lucas, Paul Lyons, Norman Markowitz, Robert Meeropol (ne Rosenberg), Mark Naison, Victor Navasky, Anna Kasten Nelson, Fraser Ottanelli, Herbert Packer, Michael F. Parrish, Thomas Paterson, James Patterson, William Pemberton, William Reuben, Alfred Rieber, Michael Rogin, James Ryan, Roger Sandilands, Bernice Schrank, Ellen Schrecker, Bernard Schuster, Samuel Sills, Gregory Silvermaster, Malcolm Silvers, Mark Solomon, Athan Theoharis, Robert Thurston, Brian Villa, Theodore Von Laue, Alan Wald, Max Weiss.

The Spies:

Iskhak Akmerov, Jacob Albam, Johanna Beker, Joseph Bernstein, Lucy Booker, Raymond Boyer, Harry Bridges, Earl Browder, Morris and Jack Childs, Judith Coplon, Lauchlin Currie, Laurence Duggan, Noel Field, Klaus Fuchs, John Gates, Eve Getsov, Harold Glasser, David and Ruth Greenglass, Gus Hall, Theodore Hall, Maurice Halperin, Alger Hiss, Felix Inslerman, Philip Jaffe, Joseph Katz, Charles Kramer, Harry Magdoff, Carl Marzani, Floyd Miller, Victor Perlo, Jozsef Peters, John Reed, Vincent Reno, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Andrew Roth, Alfred Sarant, Saville Sax, George Silverman, Robert Soblen, Jack and Myra Soble, Henry and Beatrice Spitz, Lincoln Steffens, Arthur and Martha Dodd Stern, William Ludwig Ullmann, Julian Wadleigh, Donald Wheeler, Harry Dexter White, Milton Wolfe, Ilya Wolston, Mark Zborowski, Jane Foster and George Zlatowski.

19 comments to Admit nothing, explain nothing and apologize for nothing

  • sark

    excellent post! it is good that the people who were willfully blind to the fate of millions behind the iron curtain and who wanted the same for us, are not allowed to vanish down the memory hole. we need to constantly remind ourselves and other what these people said and did. these people were nothing less than useful idiots for brutal totalitarianism (at best) and often as not, simple traitors.

  • toolkien

    I think the gist of the article boils down to the dual ideas that people will idealize that which is more removed from themselves coupled with ‘familiarity breeds contempt’.

    At the risk of being lumped with the frizzy hairs, I am an anti-imperialist and have no doubts that the US engaged in actions which squarely were. Whether it was through simple confiscation or through ‘noble missionary-ism’ the effects were the same. I have little desire for my government to provide public services financed with booty. I certainly don’t want public finances used to recondition foreigners to better ways of living. Markets free from State burdens provide the best means of allocation while maintain liberty for everyone. The US has a history of slavery, conquest, quasi-collectivism through a privileged class (e.g. railroad parcelling).

    But the left takes all this history (which to some extent was whitewashed during the period when ‘conservatives’ controlled the insitutions of conditioning) and uses it in a reactionary way, and the measure of the reaction is proportionate to their pre-existing need for an Ideal. They are fundementalists after their own causes, and they have to distort history just as much as the ‘conservatives’ did to make sense of the world and make it fit their template. Suffice it to say I would love a source of History that isn’t spun and biased but gives a survey of the facts and balanced perspectives. But very few willing to devote the time and effort to such writings is going to do so unless they have a spin they want to impart (I’m currently reading Shirer’s The Collapse of the Third Republic and his soft-left Statist frame of reference is so obvious (except of course to himself)).

    So while I see the point of the left which dominates education that the ‘industry of history’ was biased in favor of traditionally conservative perspectives, they simply supplanted such views with their own warped perspectives. The difference is one idealized the past and wanted to sanctify it, the other idealized some ‘progressive’ future and needed to justify it. But essentially they both were essentially Statists with differing agendas. People who want simply to be free from Force and want to investigate the positives and negatives of how people lived in the past are left high and dry.

  • dick

    Maybe I am naive, but I wonder at the use of “progressive” to mean giving up your freedom to a statist government that will control what you do and what you eat and what you read and what you believe – or else. What in the world is “progressive” about that. To me “progressive” means that the individual has the ability to progress his life and livelihood.

    I read about these people and I think maybe they believe that come the revolution, the proletariat will recognize their great knowledge and give them control. They seem to miss that the first people the protelariat destroy when they revolt is the intellectuals. I think that these people really do not understand that Lenin meant what he said when he called them “useful idiots.”

    I don’t care what -ism you call it, these post-modern or whatever you think they are are really “useful idiots” and we need to offset them asap. I will admit that in the past history may have been bathed in a golden light, but what was needed was not a complete perverse and dishonest replacement; what was needed was a real honest look at history in all its ramifications. That is still what is needed and these people who have kept promoting each other should be the first to go unless they want to actually do some honest research.

  • Doug Collins

    To me, some of the many virtues of Samizdata are the more than occasional references to interesting books that I might not otherwise hear about. I’ve already patronized amazon.com for this one. I’m currently reading Bare Branches, and hoping to cure the ‘gross ignorance’ I was accused of when that book was mentioned.

    I have been puzzled by the continuing adherence of many academics to marxism when it is so manifestly a failure. I have recently heard two otherwise intelligent lecturers make the ridiculous claim that Marx should not be held accountable for the excesses of the Soviet Union or for Stalin on the basis that “It is foolish to blame a little old man in the British Library in 1850 for the acts of a megalomanic in the 20th century” in one case; and that old chestnut: “The Soviet Union didn’t practice true marxism” in the other. I will not insult the intelligence of the commentariat by bothering to refute this stuff.

    If I set aside Pavlov as a source of explanation, I have to look for some rationale. It is likely to be an irrational one. Rational explanations seem hard to come by. I think that the concentration of affection for marxism in academe and in its journalistic and NGO fellow travelers has significance. So too has the special hatred these people seem to have for the US and its institutions.

    I suspect that these folks pine for feudal times, when their academic credentials would entitle them to awe and reverence as ‘Authorities’. They would pontificate on morals, on the nature of man and the state, even on God; and all of us little people would just draw in our breath with wonder and do their bidding.

    Communism has been called many unsavory things, mostly well deserved. I have rarely heard it called a reaction to the Age of Reason though. I think it deserves that too. It replaces God with the state, then raises the state to a god over individuals, neatly rebuilding the feudal relationships, in which each person stayed determinedly in his or her place, each believing that leaving one’s place is the worst sort of sin. “From each, according to his abilities, To each, according to his needs” Can you hear the echos? How delicious for a lazy, egotistical professor!

    America, a country which has no feudal inheritance, a country which was formed and founded at the culmination of the age of reason, but outside of the later idiocies and horrors of the enlightenment, where one man is as good as another, is a special enemy of anyone in love with feudalism. George Bush’s greatest sin, for example, is that he is so American. Nobody would think of calling Clinton or Kerry a cowboy, neither do these men gather the ire of the marxists.

    If I am to be a proper heir to the age of reason, I should make a testable, (Popper would say falsefiable), prediction based on my hypothesis, not just pretend that I am another authority to be accepted. Very well. I predict that, with marxism heading for the rubbish heap of history, the European Union will become feudalism’s next best hope. Probably in the next five years or so. Any takers?

  • Solovetsky

    Although Tsarist Russia was doomed by military failure in the Great War, there was nothing fore-ordained about the type of regime which replaced it. Kerensky’s Provisional Government, with a little more time and luck, might have grown into a system suitable for maintaining what was already the world’s fourth largest industrial power.

    Communism was imposed by a German-backed cabal under Lenin on unwilling, ignorant or indifferent masses. It began as a putsch in Petrograd with hardly any support elsewhere.

    A majority in the early Politburo were Jews. Any discussion of the ideology’s lingering attraction which ignores this dimension is evasive. Bolshevism was first and foremost a secular-messianic heresy of Judaism. The Russian Revolution can be seen as an institutionalised expression of revenge for Tsarist pogroms against Jews.

    Given the enormous disproportion of Jews among American academic historians (look at the names on your list) it is hardly surprising that they are unwilling to denounce the “Soviet experiment”. Piety towards one’s ancestors and racial solidarity survive loss of faith in Judaism.

    The longest-lasting strain of this atavistic pietism is Trotskyism. Lev Davidovich Bronstein held that after Stalin had begun to purge prominent Jews from the leadership, communism had become “deformed” into state capitalism. This has made it possible for American Jewish teachers to go on admiring the early “heroic” USSR while complaining about “excesses” under Stalin, culminating in his own post-war pogrom.

    However, as Robert Conquest, Solzhenitsyn and others have shown, the seeds of totalitarianism were present from the outset. It is not surprising that so many American Jewish apologists for their ancestors want to close the debate down before ex-Soviet documents get too far into the public domain. No doubt their lobbyists will soon be trying to silence “hateful antisemitic” discussion of what really happened to Christian Russia between Lenin’s arrival at the Finland Station and Trotsky’s exile.

  • DSpears

    “At the risk of being lumped with the frizzy hairs,”

    Any ideology that lumps railroad parcelling in the same category with systemic, intentional mass murder by the state is not to be taken seriously. The fact that you can’t seem to see the difference relegates you to the lunatic fringe.

    America’s history is not perfect, but no society on earth has ever lived up to Rothbardian standards.

  • Jacob

    “A majority in the early Politburo were Jews…. Bolshevism was first and foremost a secular-messianic heresy of Judaism. The Russian Revolution can be seen as an institutionalised expression of revenge for Tsarist pogroms against Jews.”

    Solovetsky,

    We already knew that Jews control the media, entertainment, academy and law all over the world. We also know that every calamity is their fault. Hitler told us so.

    In serious, I think you have wandered, maybe inadvertently, into another bastion of world Jewish power. Would you please, kindly, take your “ideas” to some other site and get lost ?

  • snide

    Solovetsky = Charles Copeland

  • toolkien

    “At the risk of being lumped with the frizzy hairs,”

    Any ideology that lumps railroad parcelling in the same category with systemic, intentional mass murder by the state is not to be taken seriously. The fact that you can’t seem to see the difference relegates you to the lunatic fringe.

    America’s history is not perfect, but no society on earth has ever lived up to Rothbardian standards.

    Well you’ve missed the point then I guess. I said pretty much what you said in that the left uses history in a reactionary way. What I said (or intended to say) is that history up through the 50′s was sanitized by the then reigning conservative elements in academia. The US was merely invoking God given rights of manifest destiny to steam roll to the Pacific, and anything that stood in the way was bad, and any Statist construct was good.

    The true frizzy hairs, in reaction to that canon, swung far in the other direction to the left dominant structure we have today. All I said, in trying to tap into objective, versus subjective, history is that I wish history, pre-50′s and post 50′s, wasn’t so distorted. I certainly didn’t compare railroads to mass murder of the ultra-Statists. I just wanted to show that history of rugged pioneers a la John Wayne, or the good ole Union boys in blue fighting for a just cause and much else of the history we (or at least I) was taught was through a generally traditional/conservative filter that wore off the rough edges of reality.

    We now have a history dominated by apologists of left idealists whereas we once had it dominated by right idealists. Those who are neither, but are individualists, are left out in the cold. Perhaps this is functionally so in that history by necessity generalizes and views itself through broad bases and strata’s of people and causes versus the impact of various Statist mentalities on individuals.

    Regardless, the history of the US is not as lily-white as the average 50′s historian would portray, nor is it as vile as the average 00′s historian would portray it. I do think that the average left historian takes much of what is bad of US history and takes it out of context of the times in which all countries operated shamefully (at least in terms of how an individualist/libertarian would view it).

  • Paul Marks

    Well first, the Soviets were the enemies of most Jewish people from day one (after all most Jews were either petty traders or other such – not people who did well under “War Communism”).

    Later, when Stalin came to power, Jews were attacked because they were Jews (not just for class reasons)

    And (as should be well known) many of the greatest foes of socialism (Ludwig Von Mises and Milton Friedman) have been Jews.

    Yes many Jews did feel alienated from society (because of Progroms and the long history of wicked treatment that went before them). And yes many Jews have been led by their interest in ideas into the horrible folly of socialism.

    However, what percentage of Jews were Communists in the Russia of 1917? Do the antisemites know, or care?

    As for the United States. Have even 5% of Jews ever supported the Communists? Ture even 5% would be a much higher percentage than the general population – but what about the other 95%?

    “He would say all this, look at his family name” – true although I am an Anglican and my “blood” is mostly Irish and English I do have “Jewish blood” in me. So I will stop talking about this matter.

    As for leftists (of whatever ethic origin), they wish to shut down discussion of the past because they do not wish to be shown to have been wrong. And (in some cases) they also wish to cover up shameful deeds in their own past.

    The left have been very successfull. Few people know that the the Marxists in both Russia and China killed TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE and that they were (and are) dedicated to taking over the world – i.e. no nation (no matter how noninterventionist its policy) was to be spared.

    With the collapse of the world economic life (after a total Marxist world take over) their would have no prices of capital goods (or anything else) in free countries for the Marxists to copy (because there would have been no even semi free areas).

    The great majority of the population of the planet could not be sustained in the long term by world statism. Most people would have died and civilization would have died with them. The end result of total victory for the Marxists would have evil to the point of of being satanic.

    I doubt if even one in a hundred people knows the above.

    Take even a “little thing” like the Vietnam war. When I was young (in the late 1970′s) the leftists faced a problem. Even if the vast numbers of murders in Communist Vietnam could be kept from public attention the millions of “boat people” could not.

    However, influnce and hard work have solved the leftist problem – few people now remember the boat people (or what they had to say). Most people have taught to associate the word “Vietnam” with American wickedness.

    As for Cambodia: It suited the pro Soviet Marxist of Vietnam to allow the actions of the pro Chinese Marxists in Cambodia to become known – these actions were the mass killing of about one third of the entire population of Cambodia.

    However, if these actions are now remembered at all they are blamed on American bombing – which supposedly drove Pol Pot and his friends mad and/or brought them to power (such nonsense was published in the British “Independent on Sunday” only a few days ago).

    For all his many faults (and he indeed has many) there are much worse people than Mr Bush about. And although I oppose many of his policies (wild government spending and so forth) I am very wary of siding with the enemies of Mr Bush – as behind many of the antiBush (or generally anti America) moverments are wicked men and women, people who know at least as much about Marxism as any of us do and who support it for the very reasons it should be opposed.

    It is well to remember in these days of concentration on radical Muslims, that the Marxists have not gone away and nor are the sleeping.

  • Paul Marks

    I apologize for the many typing errors in my comment. My only excuse is that reading the post (and some of the comments) moved old memories and distracted me.

    A fully admit that this is a poor exuse and again apologize.

  • Freddiesback

    Solovetsky: “No doubt their lobbyists will soon be trying to silence “hateful antisemitic” discussion of what really happened to Christian Russia between Lenin’s arrival at the Finland Station and Trotsky’s exile.”

    Jacob: “Would you please, kindly, take your “ideas” to some other site and get lost?”

    Q.E.D.

  • DSpears

    “For all his many faults (and he indeed has many) there are much worse people than Mr Bush about. And although I oppose many of his policies (wild government spending and so forth) I am very wary of siding with the enemies of Mr Bush – as behind many of the antiBush (or generally anti America) moverments are wicked men and women, people who know at least as much about Marxism as any of us do and who support it for the very reasons it should be opposed.”

    This is where the LewRockwells and the extreme libertarian left go astray in my mind. Unfortunately these people can be Useful Idiots just like the various Democratic Socialist factions in Europe and America are. Bush is certainly not perfect, but the one reason I tend to defend him is I know where the criticism of him comes from: The maxist-lunatic-left.

    As badly as the various libertarian sects like to criticize America and lump it in with all the other statist governments in the world, America is different, mainly because our people deep down have libertarian and individualist tendencies that either never existed or have been extinguished long ago most everywhere else. These characterostics have more than once kept America from going over the abyss into socialism and totalistarianism both after the Civil War and during the great depression and after WWII, just to name a few.

    Even if you listen to his worst critics, the people behind Bush in the end are just trying to make a profit, an impulse libertarians should find no fault with. The people behind the Bush haters are trying to clear the way for world Socialism under one world govenment administered by the UN.

    I know what is worse.

  • Luniversal

    “America is different, mainly because our people deep down have libertarian and individualist tendencies that either never existed or have been extinguished long ago most everywhere else.”

    Too deep down ever to be revived, judging by their panicky acceptance of the USA Patriot Act, which most congressmen voted through without reading.

    Ah, America, that bastion of resistance to socialism where the State already takes over 30% of GDP and more than half the land west of the Mississippi/Missouri is owned by the Federal government!

    “The one reason I tend to defend him is I know where the criticism of him comes from: The maxist-lunatic-left.”

    Au contraire, Bush’s intellectual acolytes are themselves direct descendants of that very faction. Realising the impossibility of achieving their universalist fantasies through mass action (communism), this manipulative post-Trotskyite elite– who masquerade as “neoconservatives”– switched to operating through the “world’s only hyperpower” and through global corporations which are at least as sinister, and a lot less accountable than, the UNO.

    The principled criticism of Bush’s banal and foredoomed stabs at world domination comes from the sort of American who has always preferred a republic of freemen to a warfare/welfare empire. They remain loyal to the foreign policy tenets of the Founders. The neocons and liberventionists are the real traitors to Americanism.

  • Shawn

    “Au contraire, Bush’s intellectual acolytes are themselves direct descendants of that very faction.”

    This is the myth that the Bush admin is run by neocon’s, and that all neocon’s are secretly Trotskyite’s out for world revolution. Hang on a minute while I get my tin foil hat.

    It is of course complete rubbish. At most only Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle could reasonably be called neocons, and they are not the only voices in the administration.

    In fact, since Sept.11 Bush has run a realist foriegn policy, not a neoconservative one. Anyone familiar with the ideas of neocon’s like Irving Kristol and Max Boot would know this. If anything, Bush’s response to 911 has been something of a dissapointment to neocons. Neocons wanted a total Middle East strategy combined with massive military enlargement. Instead Bush and Rummy have taken a minimalist approach and resisted calls for an enlargement of the Army.

    “The principled criticism of Bush’s banal and foredoomed stabs at world domination”

    Oh please, grow up. Since Sept.11 we have taken out two regimes in two countrys, one of which was the base of al-Qaeda, those responsible for the worst attack on American citizens since Pearl Harbour, and the other which we had been in conflict with since 1991 because of Saddam’s aggression.

    Two countrys, moreover, two countrys AFTER the horror of Sept.11, does not make for world domination, and claiming it does is truly stupid,

    There is nothing principled about the criticisms of Bush from the libertarian left, LewRockwell included. They are nothing but the fact free rantings of conspiracy theorist nutbars.

    ” The neocons and liberventionists are the real traitors to Americanism.”

    The real traitors are those vile scum on the libertarian left who used the 911 atrocity as an excuse to spit on their country and its military.

    Osama bin Laden decalred war against the US. He backed up that declaration with attacks on thousands of innocent civlians around the word, the attack on the USS Cole, and the 911 atrocity. To call our nations leader a warmonger and imperialist for responding to that and choosing to defeat those who initiated force against us is sick and immoral.

  • Had we a shred of integrity or honor, we’d lynch the academicians who for so long covered up, extemporized for, preached on behalf of, and recruited to help the murderous reds. They did a lot of damage to our social fabric, and it seems to me we owe the treasonous bastards one. At a bare minimum, we’d exile whole English Lit, History, Poli Sci and Law faculties to some modern penal colony – perhaps we could find a guano island or some place equally suitable.

    True, very few of them did any of the actual wet work. They merely sharpened the knives, carried the cloak, opened the door for, and cheered on the blood-soaked communists.

    Kind of like what Jimmah Carta does for Castro and Kim Jong Il these days, only on a much wider scale.

  • Luniversal

    Shawn: “It is of course complete rubbish. At most only Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle could reasonably be called neocons, and they are not the only voices in the administration.”

    Douglas Feith? Scooter Libbey? David Frum? Frank Gaffney? Dick Cheyney? Rumsfeld?

    Colin Powell told Bob Woodward that the neocons had become a shadow government after 9/11. Shawn thinks the realists stayed on top because the US only attacked Iraq instead of knocking off all the PNAC’s other targets simultaneously. Wow, such restraint already.

    FYI, Lew Rockwell’s site isn’t “libertarian left”. It is anarcho-capitalist with minarchist and paleocon leanings. It is interested in the founding principles of the USA’s foreign policy and unimpressed by this left/right labelling scam, judging statists and warmongers by their deeds. Ditto http://www.antiwar.com.

    “Osama bin Laden declared war against the US. He backed up that declaration with attacks on thousands of innocent civlians around the word, the attack on the USS Cole, and the 911 atrocity. To call our nations leader a warmonger and imperialist for responding to that and choosing to defeat those who initiated force against us is sick and immoral.”

    None of which has anything whatever to do with illegally invading Iraq, but what the hell– let’s not be fussy about whom we kill, we don’t want the rest of the world to feel sorry for us, do we?

    Incidentally, Shawn, accusing everybody who disagrees with you of insanity and immorality is what those terrible “reds” used to do to their dissidents.

  • Tom

    Mostly off-topic: If you want people to take your statements as serious, sober suggetions, possibly true, and thus deserving real consideration, you probably shouldn’t use as a screen name “Luni—”. I’m just saying…

  • Andy

    It is a very good book. I’ve just started and have reached the part where Gabriel Kolko and Peter Irons are diminishing the massacre of Polish officers by the Soviets [Katyn Forest]. Irony is that the GORBACHEV investigation of 1990 located both Pyotr Soprunenko [KGB commander of all camps in which the Soviets interned the Poles] and Vladimir Tokaryev [KGB commander at Kalinin]. Stalin’s order was signed March 5 1940, and Tokaryev – like a Nazi death camp commandant – had to kill 250 Polish officers per night across April 1940. Do Kolko and Irons similarly diminish the Holocaust? THEY MIGHT.

    So in a way it quickly becomes a very sad book, and not because of the murder and bloodshed but because of the liberal denial, or worse, acceptance of that as the fruition of dreams and the best which could be expected. They don’t seem to set very high or ‘rigorous’ standards for themselves, their associates, or – by default – anybody else [though of course they freely carp and criticize].

    Andy