Yesterday marked the 80th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which constituted the central turning point of the Second World War. Given the striking recent reversal by the bulk of our mainstream political and media establishment on the supposed origins of the Covid virus, I’d like to pass along another remarkable Orwellian backflip that just came to my attention a few days ago.
Although I first began writing the articles that now constitute my American Pravda series about a decade ago, the bulk of the material has been produced in the last three years, beginning in June 2018, with one of the earliest pieces being a lengthy presentation of the Suvorov Hypothesis. According to that theory, in 1941 Stalin had been on the verge of unleashing an enormous army of invasion to conquer all of Europe when Hitler’s sudden Barbarossa attack anticipated him, thereby saving Western civilization from suffering decades under the harsh Soviet yoke.
- American Pravda: When Stalin Almost Conquered Europe
The Unz Review • June 4, 2018 • 4,200 Words
The author of that dramatic inversion of the long-accepted WWII narrative was Viktor Suvorov, then a prominent writer on Soviet military affairs and GRU defector living in Britain, and his book was originally released by a leading British publishing house in 1988. But although that English-language edition soon went out of print and became almost impossible to find, the translations of his seminal text went on to sell many millions of copies in Russian, German, and two dozen other languages, probably establishing Suvorov as the world’s most widely read military historian.
Yet even while international academic conferences were being held over the next three decades to debate the Suvorov Hypothesis, our own mainstream media and publishing industry of the Anglosphere maintained such a tight information boycott and blacklist of those revolutionary ideas that only the tiniest sliver of well-educated individuals in the English-speaking world ever became aware of them. I myself was quite shocked when I first encountered the theory in 2010, and this represented an important early step along the road to producing my comprehensive counter-narrative of World War II, the shaping event of our modern world.
Given this background, I was astonished to discover a further Orwellian twist to this story. During 2018, the Western media claimed that Russian military intelligence had attempted to poison the Skripals, a couple of defectors living in Britain, which provoked a major international controversy.
Seeking support for those accusations, the Guardian eventually turned to Suvorov, one of the most prominent former members of that organization living in the West, and Luke Harding, one of the newspaper’s leading foreign policy journalists, published a long and quite friendly interview in December of that year. The discussion included one short paragraph summarizing the historical work that had made the author famous throughout the world except in English-speaking countries:
Suvorov wrote one of the most influential books of the perestroika era, Icebreaker. When it was published in 1988, his argument was heretical: that Stalin had been secretly plotting an offensive against Hitler’s Germany, and would have invaded in September 1941, or at the latest by 1942…Russian liberals supported Suvorov’s thesis; it now has broad acceptance among historians. [my emphasis]
The Guardian is an influential establishmentarian media organ of the global Anglosphere, and Harding one of its stars, so his casual claim that Suvorov’s revolutionary theory now has “broad acceptance among historians”—whether accurate or not—represents an absolutely remarkable ideological reversal. Indeed, I suspect that one buried paragraph may constitute a longer discussion of the Suvorov Hypothesis than had ever been previously appeared in the pages of the Guardian during the three decades since Suvorov’s book was first published, and perhaps longer than had ever been found in any other major English-language newspaper as well.
Those few words suggested that our media elites had decided to reverse their position on a central historical controversy of World War II, suddenly elevating the Suvorov Hypothesis from a “crazy conspiracy theory” too radioactive to ever be mentioned in public to something already so widely accepted by ordinary historians that it hardly even required any lengthy discussion or defense.
A recent book by prominent mainstream historian Sean McMeekin has now further confirmed the reality of Suvorov’s bold theories of 1988, and those further interested can read the lengthy review we published last month that provoked an astonishing 270,000 words of comments, or my own remarks, grouped together on the different thread:
- Barbarossa: Suvorov’s Revisionism Goes Mainstream
A review of Sean McMeekin, Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II
Laurent Guyénot • The Unz Review • May 8, 2021 • 7,300 Words • 1,450 comments
On a different matter, just over a year ago we were suddenly banned by Facebook and had everything on our website placed near the absolute bottom of all Google searches. Unsurprisingly, this has limited the reach of the content that we publish, though the negative impact has been less that expected. In recent months our traffic has only been 10-15% below the absolute peak that we had attained last year during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests and the heated presidential campaign, and we are still doing quite well relative to far more venerable or vastly better funded publications, which also suffer from none of those handicaps:
Still, there are advantages in establishing other means of distributing our alternative perspectives to interested readers, and I’ve just finished spending a few days incorporating a new subscription-based emailing system. Although for years we have distributed a Weekly Digest via email to those so interested, our existing provider recently became unreliable, so we switched to a different one, possessing much better capabilities. This now allows us to offer a wide range of different options.
Readers who are interested can still receive our Weekly Digest, though now provided in a much cleaner and simpler format. We also now offer a Daily Digest, summarizing our featured articles and those other columns or posts that have been published during the previous 24 hours. And in addition, users can separately subscribe to the work of any of our regular columnists or bloggers, each morning receiving any new material they may have published.
The main subscription page may be accessed via the top menu or through links provided in the body or comments of the articles of particular writers. A popup subscription window will also occasionally appear, reminding readers of that available option.
Finally, near the end of 2019 we had created a special category of “Notable Commenters,” whose remarks were distinguished by a star. From the very beginning, this feature had provoked some controversy, and the passage of eighteen months has also considerably changed the landscape. Commenters who are especially prolific and cogent during one period of time may sometimes reduce their involvement during a later one, or even take a general hiatus from activity, only to be replaced by others. Given this natural cycle of changes, I think the feature has now run its course and I have decided to deactivate it, possibly replacing it with some other approach in the future.