August 8, 2007

THEY ONLY GOT NIXON, THOUGH VIETNAM PAID AN AWFULLY HIGH PRICE (via Qiao Yang):

Propaganda Redux: Take it from this old KGB hand: The left is abetting America's enemies with its intemperate attacks on President Bush (ION MIHAI PACEPA, August 7, 2007, Opinion Journal)

Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels. This same strategy is at work today, but it is regarded as bad manners to point out the Soviet parallels. For communists, only the leader counted, no matter the country, friend or foe. At home, they deified their own ruler--as to a certain extent still holds true in Russia. Abroad, they asserted that a fish starts smelling from the head, and they did everything in their power to make the head of the Free World stink.

The communist effort to generate hatred for the American president began soon after President Truman set up NATO and propelled the three Western occupation forces to unite their zones to form a new West German nation. We were tasked to take advantage of the reawakened patriotic feelings stirring in the European countries that had been subjugated by the Nazis, in order to shift their hatred for Hitler over into hatred for Truman--the leader of the new "occupation power." Western Europe was still grateful to the U.S. for having restored its freedom, but it had strong leftist movements that we secretly financed. They were like putty in our hands.

The European leftists, like any totalitarians, needed a tangible enemy, and we gave them one. In no time they began beating their drums decrying President Truman as the "butcher of Hiroshima." We went on to spend many years and many billions of dollars disparaging subsequent presidents: Eisenhower as a war-mongering "shark" run by the military-industrial complex, Johnson as a mafia boss who had bumped off his predecessor, Nixon as a petty tyrant, Ford as a dimwitted football player and Jimmy Carter as a bumbling peanut farmer. In 1978, when I left Romania for good, the bloc intelligence community had already collected 700 million signatures on a "Yankees-Go-Home" petition, at the same time launching the slogan "Europe for the Europeans."

During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.

The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S.

Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, for example, Bush critics continued our mud-slinging at America's commander in chief. One speaker, Martin O'Malley, now governor of Maryland, had earlier in the summer stated he was more worried about the actions of the Bush administration than about al Qaeda. On another occasion, retired four-star general Wesley Clark gave Michael Moore a platform to denounce the American commander in chief as a "deserter." And visitors to the national chairman of the Democratic Party had to step across a doormat depicting the American president surrounded by the words, "Give Bush the Boot."

Competition is indeed the engine that has driven the American dream forward, but unity in time of war has made America the leader of the world. During World War II, 405,399 Americans died to defeat Nazism, but their country of immigrants remained sturdily united. The U.S. held national elections during the war, but those running for office entertained no thought of damaging America's international prestige in their quest for personal victory. Republican challenger Thomas Dewey declined to criticize President Roosevelt's war policy. At the end of that war, a united America rebuilt its vanquished enemies. It took seven years to turn Nazi Germany and imperial Japan into democracies, but that effort generated an unprecedented technological explosion and 50 years of unmatched prosperity for us all.


Except that FDR and the New Dealers ran one of the uglier campaigns in American history in 1942, essentially accusing the GOP of being pro-Nazi. They'd rather seriously misunderstood how hostile the American people were to another European war and ended up losing effective control of Congress to conservatives, many of whom happened to be Southern Democrats at that point. But the Republic withstood the disunity and ugliness rather well.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2007 8:05 AM
Comments

I wish somebody like Tom Wolfe would write the story of the big lie.

Posted by: erp at August 8, 2007 11:54 AM

oj,
I'm really unclear on where all this animosity is centered.
FDR was clearly an intellectual incompentent when it came to fighting the Depression, they believed it as a structural failing of Capitalism "over capacity of production".
That said, his most memorable, and heroic, times were in the run-up to Pearl Harbor. His support of our anglo "mother" was instrumental for Britain's survival.
If he'd only seen Stalin for what he was, FDR would deserve the worship the historically/hysterically ingnorant Left gives him.

Posted by: Mike at August 8, 2007 10:18 PM

Remember, no shooting Democrats for treason until after they have had a trial before a military commission.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 8, 2007 10:25 PM

Except that portrait is all New Dealer cant, not reality. Britain was never in much danger and FDR was taken completely offguard by the damage at Pearl Harbor because he was too racist to take the Japanese seriously.

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2007 7:11 AM
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