America’s Nazis, American fascism, Part 2
The post-World War II entwining of the American spirit with totalitarianism in Europe was tightened further at home. Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon and a legion of other American politicians and like-minded citizens helped to whip up anticommunist hysteria at home. Their political “stock-in-trade ” included defaming the patriotism of other Americans who disagreed with their own maddened social impulses. At the same time, the CIA was busy inserting Eastern European Fascists into American politics. Even though the CIA’s founding charter declared it illegal for the organization to involve itself in domestic affairs, the CIA sponsored “dozens” of exile operations in the United States during the early 1950s.
The most influential of these operations involved the “Captive Nations” movement. Captive Nations was the name given to American political lobbying groups comprised of mainly Eastern Europe and Soviet Union immigrants who were appealing to the United States Government to help free their native homelands. The illegal CIA domestic activity within the movement helped to skew the political aspirations of these immigrants towards the shrillest of demands, including one to initiate conventional and nuclear war against the Soviet Union. The CIA stewarded into Captive Nations organizations the members of Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Ukrainian and even Natsional’no-Trudovoi Soyuz, a Soviet fascist group. Founded in the early 1930s, Natsional’-no Trudovoi Soyuz proclaimed Germany’s Nazi Party as their model, and rallied to Nazi Germany when World War II began.
Surely, it is a next-to-impossible task to present evidence of a Nazi and Fascist tainting of the U.S. perspective of the Soviet Union to Americans who matured during the Cold War years and expect many to accept the possibility that their own post-World War II view of Soviet Communism was based on a carefully manufactured social hysteria. The default American view of the Soviet Union from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990 is based on the Russian boast that Soviet Marxism-Leninism’s goal was to destroy Capitalism. It is therefore easy to understand how the post-World War II American view of the Soviet Union was so black-and-white.
But there are other historical factors to consider about the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union if one is to move beyond such a simplistic view of the sparring that occurred between the two Great Powers since 1917:
1) The Soviet condemnation of Capitalism was based on Karl Marx’s analysis of the American-generated economic system. Marx and Vladimir Lenin were not the only historical agents, however, to perceive Capitalism’s exploitation of human beings and natural resources. Capitalist observers have never needed to be Communists or Socialists to challenge Capitalism for the same weaknesses first identified for the historical record by Karl Marx.
2) The United States and other Western Powers sent their militaries into Russia soon after the victorious Bolshevik Revolution in an attempt to topple them from power. The U.S. and its allies hoped to replace the Bolsheviks with “White Russians.” The Bolsheviks were able to repel the Western Powers and the White Russians, but the lesson had been learned: The Marxist-Leninists would have to bolster their military forces in order to protect themselves from all future threats of invasion.
3) Many American and Western observers of the Soviet Union perceived that the Soviets were more interested in protecting their own “sphere of influence” than in establishing a worldwide empire the likes of The United States’. An estimated twenty million Soviet Union citizens died during World War II. During Joseph Stalin’s thirty year rule of the Soviet Union (1922-1952), another fifteen to twenty million Soviet citizens died as a result of both failed Soviet domestic policies and the military gulag. Such a drastic loss of lives was not conducive to establishing an empire beyond the borders of the “Iron Curtain” which World War II’s Allied Powers agreed to at the end of the war.
Although the above analysis and history of the Soviet Union was well known and understood by many Americans in the 1950s, such sophistication was lost in the face of McCarthyism and the myriad other means of American Cold War hysteria. Even today, nearly a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, too many Americans are still inclined to label as Communist or Socialist those who disagree with their own political beliefs. Indeed, since the “Reagan Revolution” swept through American politics beginning in 1980, the term “liberal” has been so effectively demonized by conservative Americans that to them, at least, American “liberals” are now considered to be no better than real and imagined communists or socialists.
Unfortunately, the first post-Cold War generation of Americans did not have to wait long to see how quickly American hysteria can follow the most tragic of events, and how such a carefully choreographed whipping-up of emotion can result in too high of a cost to both American and world society.
By the night of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush and his administration were already targeting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for being one of the parties responsible for the murderous attack on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. The Bush Administration’s accusation flew in the face of such seasoned U.S. counterterrorism experts as Richard C. Clark, who was the head of the American counterterrorism program at the time of the 9/11 attacks. The two wars that resulted from those attacks—the widely supported war in Afghanistan and the widely unsupported war in Iraq—have led to a loss and damage of life and a weakening of American “treasure” unseen since the United States’ last tragic military misadventure in Southeast Asia.
Such American imperialism must come to an end.
The Paperclip Conspiracy: The Hunt for the Nazi Scientists, by Tom Bower. Magill Books, 1988
Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists and Project Paperclip, 1945-1990, by Linda Hunt. St. Martin’s Press, 1991
General Reinhard Gehlen: The CIA Connection, by Mary Ellen Reese. George Mason University, 1990
Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis, and Its Effect on the Cold War, by Christopher Simpson. Collier Books, 1988