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Adam Hochschild: A Corporation Goes to War
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So much that matters in our world and on our planet happens in and remains in the shadows. This website is dedicated to shining at least a small light into some of those shadows. Commenting recently on the failure of the U.S. war on terror as well as the war against the Islamic State, Andrew Bacevich wrote: “To label [such a] problem ‘terrorism’ is to privilege convenience over understanding. It’s like calling big-time college football a ‘sport.’ Doing so entails leaving out all the grimy, money-soaked activity that occurs off the gridiron.” In fact, much of the activity that truly shapes our world happens off that “gridiron” and out of sight. And what you don’t see (or see reported), you often can’t imagine either.

Sometimes history helps. Today’s dispatch is an example. It is adapted from Adam Hochschild’s new book, Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, a dramatic account of the thousands of Americans who volunteered to fight the war against fascism before it was faintly fashionable and the correspondents who covered them. It’s a vivid tale of some very well known people like Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, and George Orwell who saw the socialist-led Spanish Republic’s defeat firsthand, but also of quite ordinary Americans who had the urge to stop a terrible force before it could storm the world. (Unfortunately, in that they failed.) It also offers an unforgettable picture of a past America under stress and possibly of the last moment before the arrival of Bernie Sanders when “socialism” was not a curse word in this country.

In researching the book, Hochschild came across one of those crucial figures working in the shadows — an unforgettable oilman with a Trumpian personality whose acts in support of Spanish general Francisco Franco and then Adolf Hitler helped ensure that fascism would come to power in Spain and, in the end, that the globe would be bathed in blood. Somehow, his role was missed by the hundreds of journalists covering the war. As you read this piece, ask yourself who and what is no one noticing at this very second as our world spins so madly on.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: Oil Industry 
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  1. Marcus says:

    Sounds like a good man, the Nationalists weren’t perfect, but they saved Spain from communism and being a Soviet satellite state. Unlike Mussolini, Franco wisely stayed out of WW2 and gradually rebuilt Spain’s economy, which has since fallen apart.

  2. but also of quite ordinary Americans who had the urge to stop a terrible force before it could storm the world.

    I’m glad they stopped Communism from storming the world. Oh, wait. You meant Franco-ism, Fascism, and National Socialism. My bad. Outside of a small strip of Northern Africa and Abyssinia, I don’t see where “Fascism” came close to storming “the world.”

    • Replies: @Marcus
  3. Marcus says:
    @TomSchmidt

    It’s pretty rich how he complains about the ambiguity of the “war on terror” then regurgitates the commie myth of a crusade against a catch-all “fascism.”

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  4. @Marcus

    It’s always nice to include CPUSA materials from the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact to June, 1941 to remind them of who they rooted for against England.

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