For years the eminent Russia scholar Stephen Cohen had ranked President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Republic as the most consequential world leader of the early twenty-first century. He praised the man’s enormous success in reviving his country after the chaos and destitution of the Yeltsin years and emphasized his desire for friendly relations with America, but increasingly feared that we were entering into a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the last.
As far back as 2017, the late Prof. Cohen argued that no foreign leader had been as greatly vilified in recent American history as Putin, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago has exponentially raised the intensity of such media denunciations, almost matching the hysteria our country experienced two decades ago after the 9/11 attack on New York City. Larry Romanoff has provided a useful catalog of some examples.
Until recently, this extreme demonization of Putin was largely confined to Democrats and centrists, whose bizarre Russiagate narrative had accused him of installing Donald Trump in the White House. But the reaction has now become entirely bipartisan, with enthusiastic Trump-backer Sean Hannity recently using his prime-time FoxNews show to call for Putin’s death, a cry soon joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. These are astonishing threats to make against a man whose nuclear arsenal could quickly annihilate the bulk of the American population, and the rhetoric seems unprecedented in our postwar history. Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, I don’t recall such public sentiments ever being directed towards the USSR or its top Communist leadership.
In many respects the Western reaction to Russia’s attack has been closer to a declaration of war than merely a return to Cold War confrontation. Russia’s massive foreign reserves held abroad have been seized and frozen, its civilian airlines excluded from Western skies, and its leading banks disconnected from global financial networks. Wealthy Russian private citizens have had their properties confiscated, the national soccer team has been banned from the World Cup, and the longtime Russian conductor of the Munich Philharmonic was fired for refusing to denounce his own country.
Such international retaliation against Russia and individual Russians seems extremely disproportionate. As yet the fighting in Ukraine has inflicted minimal death or destruction, while the various other major wars of the last two decades, many of them American in origin, had killed millions and completely destroyed several countries, including Iraq, Libya, and Syria. But the global dominance of American media propaganda has orchestrated a very different popular response, producing this remarkable crescendo of hatred.
Indeed, the closest parallel that comes to mind would be the American hostility directed against Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany after the outbreak of World War II, as indicated by the widespread comparisons between Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Hitler’s 1939 attack on Poland. A simple Google search for “Putin and Hitler” returns tens of millions of webpages, with the top results ranging from the headline of a Washington Post article to the Tweets of pop music star Stevie Nicks. As far back as 2014, Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer had documented the emerging meme “Putin is the new Hitler.”
Although enormously popular, such Putin-Hitler analogies have hardly gone unchallenged, and some media outlets such as the London Spectator have strongly disagreed, arguing that Putin’s strategic aims have been quite limited and reasonable.
Many sober-minded strategic analysts have made this same point at length, and very occasionally their contrary views have managed to slip through the media blockade.
Although FoxNews has become one of the outlets most rabidly hostile to Russia, a recent interview with one of their regular guests provided a very different perspective. Col. Douglas Macgregor had been a former top Pentagon advisor and he forcefully explained that America had spent nearly fifteen years ignoring Putin’s endless warnings that he would not tolerate NATO membership for Ukraine, nor the deployment of strategic missiles on his border. Our government had paid no heed to his explicit red-lines, so Putin was finally compelled to act, resulting in the current calamity:
Prof. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, one of our most distinguished political scientists, had spent many years making exactly these same points and blaming America and NATO for the simmering Ukraine crisis, but his warnings had been totally ignored by our political leadership and media. His hour-long lecture explaining these unpleasant realities had quietly sat on Youtube for six years, attracting relatively little attention, but then suddenly exploded in popularity over the last few weeks as the conflict unfolded, and has now reached a worldwide audience of over 17 million. His other Youtube lectures, some quite recent, have been watched by additional millions.
Such massive global attention finally forced our media to take notice, and the New Yorker solicited an interview with Mearsheimer, allowing him to explain to his disbelieving questioner that American actions had clearly provoked the conflict. A couple of years earlier, that same interviewer had ridiculed Prof. Cohen for doubting the reality of Russiagate, but this time he seemed much more respectful, perhaps because the balance of media power was now reversed; his magazine’s 1.2 million subscriber-base was dwarfed by the global audience listening to the views of his subject.
- Why John Mearsheimer Blames the U.S. for the Crisis in Ukraine
Isaac Chotiner • The New Yorker • March 1, 2022 • 3,900 Words
During his long and distinguished career at the CIA, former analyst Ray McGovern had run the Soviet Policy Branch and also served as the Presidential Briefer, so under different circumstances he or someone like him would would currently be advising President Joe Biden. Instead, a few days ago he joined Mearsheimer in presenting his views in a video discussion hosted by the Committee for the Republic. Both leading experts agreed that Putin had been pushed beyond all reasonable limits, provoking the invasion.
Prior to 2014 our relations with Putin had been reasonably good. Ukraine served as a neutral buffer state between Russia and the NATO countries, with the population evenly divided between Russian-leaning and West-leaning elements, and its elected government oscillating between the two camps.
But while Putin’s attention was focused on the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, a pro-NATO coup overthrew the democratically-elected pro-Russian government, with clear evidence that Victoria Nuland and the other Neocons grouped around Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had orchestrated it. Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula contains Russia’s crucial Sevastopol naval base, and only Putin’s swift action allowed it to remain under Russian control, while he also provided support for break-away pro-Russian enclaves in the Donbass region. The Minsk agreement later signed by the Ukrainian government granted autonomy to those latter areas, but Kiev refused to honor its commitments, and instead continued to shell the area, inflicting serious casualties upon the inhabitants, many of whom held Russian passports. Diana Johnstone has aptly characterized our policy as years of Russian bear-baiting.
As Mearsheimer, McGovern, and other observers have persuasively argued, Russia invaded Ukraine only after such endless provocations and warnings were always ignored or dismissed by our American leadership. Perhaps the final straw had been the recent public statement by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he intended to acquire nuclear weapons. How would America react if a democratically-elected pro-American government in Mexico had been overthrown in a coup backed by China, with the fiercely hostile new Mexican government spending years killing American citizens in its country and then finally announcing plans to acquire a nuclear arsenal?
Moreover, some analysts such as economist Michael Hudson have strongly suspected that American elements deliberately provoked the Russian invasion for geostrategic reasons, and Mike Whitney advanced similar arguments in a column that went super-viral, accumulating over 800,000 pageviews. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to Germany had finally been completed last year and was about to go into operation, which would have greatly increased Eurasian economic integration and Russian influence in Europe, while eliminating the potential market for more expensive American natural gas. The Russian attack and the massive resulting media hysteria have now foreclosed that possibility.
So although it was Russian troops who crossed the Ukrainian border, a strong case can be made that they did so only after the most extreme provocations, and these may have been deliberately intended to produce exactly that result. Sometimes the parties responsible for starting a war are not necessarily those that eventually fire the first shot.
Ironically enough, the arguments of Mearsheimer and others that Putin was greatly provoked or possibly even manipulated into attacking Ukraine raise certain intriguing historical parallels. The legions of ignorant Westerners who mindlessly rely upon our disingenuous media may be denouncing Putin as “another Hitler” but I think they may have inadvertently backed themselves into the truth.
A couple of months ago I finally read Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof’s outstanding 2011 volume analyzing the years leading up to the outbreak of World War II, a work that I would highly recommend. The author spent his career as a fully mainstream professional military man, rising to the rank of major general in the German army before retiring, and his account evoked eerie parallels to the current conflict with Russia.
As most of us know, the Second World War began when Germany attacked Poland in 1939 over Danzig, an almost entirely German border city controlled by the Poles.
But less well known is that Hitler had actually made enormous efforts to avoid war and settle that dispute, spending many months on fruitless negotiations and offering extremely reasonable terms. Indeed, the German dictator had made numerous concessions that none of his democratic Weimar predecessors had been willing to consider, but these were all rejected, while provocations increased until war with Poland seemed the only possible option. And just as in the case of Ukraine, politically influential elements in the West almost certainly sought to provoke that war, using Danzig as the spark to ignite the conflict much like the Donbass may have been used to force Putin’s hand.
We should recognize that in many respects the standard historical narrative of World War II is merely a congealed version of the media propaganda of that era. If Russia were defeated and destroyed as a result of the current conflict, we can be sure that the subsequent history books would utterly demonize Putin and all the decisions that he had taken.
Although I was very impressed by Schultze-Rhonhof’s meticulously detailed analysis of the circumstances leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939, his account merely reinforced my existing views, which had already been along entirely similar lines.
However, the bulk of the book focused on the events leading up to the Second World War, and this was the portion that had inspired such horror in McConnell and his colleagues. Buchanan described the outrageous provisions of the Treaty of Versailles imposed upon a prostrate Germany, and the determination of all subsequent German leaders to redress it. But whereas his democratic Weimar predecessors had failed, Hitler had managed to succeed, largely through bluff, while also annexing German Austria and the German Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia, in both cases with the overwhelming support of their populations.
Buchanan documented this controversial thesis by drawing heavily upon numerous statements by leading contemporary political figures, mostly British, as well as the conclusions of highly-respected mainstream historians. Hitler’s final demand, that 95% German Danzig be returned to Germany just as its inhabitants desired, was an absolutely reasonable one, and only a dreadful diplomatic blunder by the British had led the Poles to refuse the request, thereby provoking the war. The widespread later claim that Hitler sought to conquer the world was totally absurd, and the German leader had actually made every effort to avoid war with Britain or France. Indeed, he was generally quite friendly towards the Poles and had been hoping to enlist Poland as a German ally against the menace of Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Although many Americans might have been shocked at this account of the events leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War, Buchanan’s narrative accorded reasonably well with my own impression of that period. As a Harvard freshman, I had taken an introductory history course, and one of the primary required texts on World War II had been that of A.J.P. Taylor, a renowned Oxford University historian. His famous 1961 work Origins of the Second World War had very persuasively laid out a case quite similar to that of Buchanan, and I’d never found any reason to question the judgment of my professors who had assigned it. So if Buchanan merely seemed to be seconding the opinions of a leading Oxford don and members of the Harvard history faculty, I couldn’t quite understand why his new book would be regarded as being beyond the pale.
The recent 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict that consumed so many tens of millions of lives naturally provoked numerous historical articles, and the resulting discussion led me to dig out my old copy of Taylor’s short volume, which I reread for the first time in nearly forty years. I found it just as masterful and persuasive as I had back in my college dorm room days, and the glowing cover-blurbs suggested some of the immediate acclaim the work had received. The Washington Post lauded the author as “Britain’s most prominent living historian,” World Politics called it “Powerfully argued, brilliantly written, and always persuasive,” The New Statesman, Britain leading leftist magazine, described it as “A masterpiece: lucid, compassionate, beautifully written,” and the august Times Literary Supplement characterized it as “simple, devastating, superlatively readable, and deeply disturbing.” As an international best-seller, it surely ranks as Taylor’s most famous work, and I can easily understand why it was still on my college required reading list nearly two decades after its original publication.
Yet in revisiting Taylor’s ground-breaking study, I made a remarkable discovery. Despite all the international sales and critical acclaim, the book’s findings soon aroused tremendous hostility in certain quarters. Taylor’s lectures at Oxford had been enormously popular for a quarter century, but as a direct result of the controversy “Britain’s most prominent living historian” was summarily purged from the faculty not long afterwards. At the beginning of his first chapter, Taylor had noted how strange he found it that more than twenty years after the start of the world’s most cataclysmic war no serious history had been produced carefully analyzing the outbreak. Perhaps the retaliation that he encountered led him to better understand part of that puzzle.
I very recently reread Pat Buchanan’s 2008 book harshly condemning Churchill for his role in the cataclysmic world war and made an interesting discovery. Irving is surely among the most authoritative Churchill biographers, with his exhaustive documentary research being the source of so many new discoveries and his books selling in the millions. Yet Irving’s name never once appears either in Buchanan’s text or in his bibliography, though we may suspect that much of Irving’s material has been “laundered” through other, secondary Buchanan sources. Buchanan extensively cites A.J.P. Taylor, but makes no mention of Barnes, Flynn, or various other leading American academics and journalists who were purged for expressing contemporaneous views not so dissimilar from those of the author himself.
During the 1990s, Buchanan had ranked as one of America’s most prominent political figures, having an enormous media footprint in both print and television, and with his remarkably strong insurgent runs for the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996 cementing his national stature. But his numerous ideological foes worked tirelessly to undermine him, and by 2008 his continued presence as a pundit on the MSNBC cable channel was one of his last remaining footholds of major public prominence. He probably recognized that publishing a revisionist history of World War II might endanger his position, and believed that any direct association with purged and vilified figures such as Irving or Barnes would surely lead to his permanent banishment from all electronic media.
A decade ago I had been quite impressed by Buchanan’s history, but I had subsequently done a great deal of reading on that era and I found myself somewhat disappointed the second time through. Aside from its often breezy, rhetorical, and unscholarly tone, my sharpest criticisms were not with the controversial positions that he took, but with the other controversial topics and questions that he so carefully avoided.
Perhaps the most obvious of these is the question of the true origins of the war, which laid waste to much of Europe, killed perhaps fifty or sixty million, and gave rise to the subsequent Cold War era in which Communist regimes controlled half of the entire Eurasian world-continent. Taylor, Irving, and numerous others have thoroughly debunked the ridiculous mythology that the cause lay in Hitler’s mad desire for world conquest, but if the German dictator clearly bore only minor responsibility, was there indeed any true culprit? Or did this massively-destructive world war come about in somewhat similar fashion to its predecessor, which our conventional histories treat as mostly due to a collection of blunders, misunderstandings, and thoughtless escalations?
During the 1930s, John T. Flynn was one of America’s most influential progressive journalists, and although he had begun as a strong supporter of Roosevelt and his New Deal, he gradually became a sharp critic, concluding that FDR’s various governmental schemes had failed to revive the American economy. Then in 1937 a new economic collapse spiked unemployment back to the same levels as when the president had first entered office, confirming Flynn in his harsh verdict. And as I wrote last year:
Indeed, Flynn alleges that by late 1937, FDR had turned towards an aggressive foreign policy aimed at involving the country in a major foreign war, primarily because he believed that this was the only route out of his desperate economic and political box, a stratagem not unknown among national leaders throughout history. In his January 5, 1938 New Republic column, he alerted his disbelieving readers to the looming prospect of a large naval military build-up and warfare on the horizon after a top Roosevelt adviser had privately boasted to him that a large bout of “military Keynesianism” and a major war would cure the country’s seemingly insurmountable economic problems. At that time, war with Japan, possibly over Latin American interests, seemed the intended goal, but developing events in Europe soon persuaded FDR that fomenting a general war against Germany was the best course of action. Memoirs and other historical documents obtained by later researchers seem to generally support Flynn’s accusations by indicating that Roosevelt ordered his diplomats to exert enormous pressure upon both the British and Polish governments to avoid any negotiated settlement with Germany, thereby leading to the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
The last point is an important one since the confidential opinions of those closest to important historical events should be accorded considerable evidentiary weight. In a recent article John Wear mustered the numerous contemporaneous assessments that implicated FDR as a pivotal figure in orchestrating the world war by his constant pressure upon the British political leadership, a policy that he privately even admitted could mean his impeachment if revealed. Among other testimony, we have the statements of the Polish and British ambassadors to Washington and the American ambassador to London, who also passed along the concurring opinion of Prime Minister Chamberlain himself. Indeed, the German capture and publication of secret Polish diplomatic documents in 1939 had already revealed much of this information, and William Henry Chamberlin confirmed their authenticity in his 1950 book. But since the mainstream media never reported any of this information, these facts remain little known even today.
Roosevelt’s economic problems had led him to seek a foreign war, but it was probably the overwhelming Jewish hostility to Nazi Germany that pointed him in that particular direction. The confidential report of the Polish ambassador to the U.S. as quoted by John Wear provides a striking description of the political situation in America at the beginning of 1939:
There is a feeling now prevalent in the United States marked by growing hatred of Fascism, and above all of Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with National Socialism. Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100% [of the] radio, film, daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and presents Germany as black as possible–above all religious persecution and concentration camps are exploited–this propaganda is nevertheless extremely effective since the public here is completely ignorant and knows nothing of the situation in Europe.
At the present moment most Americans regard Chancellor Hitler and National Socialism as the greatest evil and greatest peril threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent platform for public speakers of all kinds, for emigrants from Germany and Czechoslovakia who with a great many words and with most various calumnies incite the public. They praise American liberty which they contrast with the totalitarian states.
It is interesting to note that in this extremely well-planned campaign which is conducted above all against National Socialism, Soviet Russia is almost completely eliminated. Soviet Russia, if mentioned at all, is mentioned in a friendly manner and things are presented in such a way that it would seem that the Soviet Union were cooperating with the bloc of democratic states. Thanks to the clever propaganda the sympathies of the American public are completely on the side of Red Spain.
Given the heavy Jewish involvement in financing Churchill and his allies and also steering the American government and public in the direction of war against Germany, organized Jewish groups probably bore the central responsibility for provoking the world war, and this was surely recognized by most knowledgeable individuals at the time. Indeed, the Forrestal Diaries recorded the very telling statement by our ambassador in London: “Chamberlain, he says, stated that America and the Jews had forced England into the war.”
The ongoing struggle between Hitler and international Jewry had been receiving considerable public attention for years. During his political rise, Hitler had hardly concealed his intent to dislodge Germany’s tiny Jewish population from the stranglehold they had gained over German media and finance, and instead run the country in the best interests of the 99% German majority, a proposal that provoked the bitter hostility of Jews everywhere. Indeed, immediately after he came into office, a major London newspaper had carried a memorable 1933 headline announcing that the Jews of the world had declared war on Germany, and were organizing an international boycott to starve the Germans into submission.
In recent years, somewhat similar Jewish-organized efforts at international sanctions aimed at bringing recalcitrant nations to their knees have become a regular part of global politics. But these days the Jewish dominance of the U.S. political system has become so overwhelming that instead of private boycotts, such actions are directly enforced by the American government. To some extent, this had already been the case with Iraq during the 1990s, but became far more common after the turn of the new century.
Although our official government investigation concluded that the total financial cost of the 9/11 terrorist attacks had been an absolutely trivial sum, the Neocon-dominated Bush Administration nonetheless used this as an excuse to establish an important new Treasury Department position, the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. That office soon began utilizing America’s control of the global banking system and dollar-denominated international trade to enforce financial sanctions and wage economic warfare, with these measures typically being directed against individuals, organizations, and nations considered unfriendly towards Israel, notably Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria.
Perhaps coincidentally, although Jews comprise merely 2% of the American population, all four individuals holding that very powerful post over the last 15 years since its inception—Stuart A. Levey, David S. Cohen, Adam Szubin, Sigal Mandelker—have been Jewish, with the most recent of these being an Israeli citizen. Levey, the first Under Secretary, began his work under President Bush, then continued without a break for years under President Obama, underscoring the entirely bipartisan nature of these activities.
Most foreign policy experts have certainly been aware that Jewish groups and activists played the central role in driving our country into its disastrous 2003 Iraq War, and that many of these same groups and individuals have spent the last dozen years or so working to foment a similar American attack on Iran, though as yet unsuccessfully. This seems quite reminiscent of the late 1930s political situation in Britain and America.
Individuals outraged by the misleading media coverage surrounding the Iraq War but who have always casually accepted the conventional narrative of World War II should consider a thought-experiment I suggested last year:
When we seek to understand the past, we must be careful to avoid drawing from a narrow selection of sources, especially if one side proved politically victorious in the end and completely dominated the later production of books and other commentary. Prior to the existence of the Internet, this was an especially difficult task, often requiring a considerable amount of scholarly effort, even if only to examine the bound volumes of once popular periodicals. Yet without such diligence, we can fall into very serious error.
The Iraq War and its aftermath was certainly one of the central events in American history during the 2000s. Yet suppose some readers in the distant future had only the collected archives of The Weekly Standard, National Review, the WSJ op-ed page, and FoxNews transcripts to furnish their historical understanding of that period, perhaps along with the books written by the contributors to those outlets. I doubt that more than a small fraction of what they would read could be categorized as outright lies. But the massively skewed coverage, the distortions, exaggerations, and especially the breathtaking omissions would surely provide them with an exceptionally unrealistic view of what had actually happened during that important period.
Another striking historical parallel has been the fierce demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who provoked the great hostility of Jewish elements when he ousted the handful of Jewish Oligarchs who had seized control of Russian society under the drunken misrule of President Boris Yeltsin and totally impoverished the bulk of the population. This conflict intensified after Jewish investor William F. Browder arranged Congressional passage of the Magnitsky Act to punish Russian leaders for the legal actions they had taken against his huge financial empire in their country. Putin’s harshest Neocon critics have often condemned him as “a new Hitler” while some neutral observers have agreed that no foreign leader since the German Chancellor of the 1930s has been so fiercely vilified in the American media. Seen from a different angle, there may indeed be a close correspondence between Putin and Hitler, but not in the way usually suggested.
Knowledgeable individuals have certainly been aware of the crucial Jewish role in orchestrating our military or financial attacks against Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Russia, but it has been exceptionally rare for any prominent public figures or reputable journalists to mention these facts lest they be denounced and vilified by zealous Jewish activists and the media they dominate. For example, a couple of years ago a single suggestive Tweet by famed CIA anti-proliferation operative Valerie Plame provoked such an enormous wave of vituperation that she was forced to resign her position at a prominent non-profit. A close parallel involving a far more famous figure had occurred three generations earlier:
These facts, now firmly established by decades of scholarship, provide some necessary context to Lindbergh’s famously controversial speech at an America First rally in September 1941. At that event, he charged that three groups in particular were “pressing this country toward war[:] the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt Administration,” and thereby unleashed an enormous firestorm of media attacks and denunciations, including widespread accusations of anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathies. Given the realities of the political situation, Lindbergh’s statement constituted a perfect illustration of Michael Kinsley’s famous quip that “a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” But as a consequence, Lindbergh’s once-heroic reputation suffered enormous and permanent damage, with the campaign of vilification echoing for the remaining three decades of his life, and even well beyond. Although he was not entirely purged from public life, his standing was certainly never even remotely the same.
With such examples in mind, we should hardly be surprised that for decades this huge Jewish involvement in orchestrating World War II was carefully omitted from nearly all subsequent historical narratives, even those that sharply challenged the mythology of the official account. The index of Taylor’s iconoclastic 1961 work contains absolutely no mention of Jews, and the same is true of the previous books by Chamberlin and Grenfell. In 1953, Harry Elmer Barnes, the dean of historical revisionists, edited his major volume aimed at demolishing the falsehoods of World War II, and once again any discussion of the Jewish role was almost entirely lacking, with only part of one single sentence and Chamberlain’s dangling short quote appearing across more than 200,000 words of text. Both Barnes and many of his contributors had already been purged and their book was only released by a tiny publisher in Idaho, but they still sought to avoid certain unmentionables.
Even the arch-revisionist David Hoggan seems to have carefully skirted the topic of Jewish influence. His 30 page index lacks any entry on Jews and his 700 pages of text contain only scattered references. Indeed, although he does quote the explicit private statements of both the Polish ambassador and the British Prime Minister emphasizing the enormous Jewish role in promoting the war, he then rather questionably asserts that these confidential statements of individuals with the best understanding of events should simply be disregarded.
In the popular Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, the great nemesis of the young magicians, is often identified as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” since the mere vocalization of those few particular syllables might bring doom upon the speaker. Jews have long enjoyed enormous power and influence over the media and political life, while fanatic Jewish activists demonstrate hair-trigger eagerness to denounce and vilify all those suspected of being insufficiently friendly towards their ethnic group. The combination of these two factors has therefore induced such a “Lord Voldemort Effect” regarding Jewish activities in most writers and public figures. Once we recognize this reality, we should become very cautious in analyzing controversial historical issues that might possibly contain a Jewish dimension, and also be particularly wary of arguments from silence.
Another aspect of Schultze-Rhonhof’s important study that was new to me but further solidified my previous conclusions was his analysis of Hitler’s public speeches. Although the German Fuhrer is notoriously portrayed as a horrific warmonger, his actual statements provide absolutely no evidence of any plans for aggressive war, and instead emphasized the importance of maintaining international peace in order to foster internal German economic development. In another 2019 article, I had similarly suggested that any examination of the reputable contemporary sources reveals that the Hitler of our history books is merely a grotesque political cartoon, similar to the one now increasingly drawn of Putin:
Although the demonic portrayal of the German Kaiser was already being replaced by a more balanced treatment within a few years of the Armistice and had disappeared after a generation, no such similar process has occurred in the case of his World War II successor. Indeed, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seem to loom far larger in our cultural and ideological landscape today than they did in the immediate aftermath of the war, with their visibility growing even as they become more distant in time, a strange violation of the normal laws of perspective. I suspect that the casual dinner-table conversations on World War II issues that I used to enjoy with my Harvard College classmates during the early 1980s would be completely impossible today.
To some extent, the transformation of “the Good War” into a secular religion, with its designated monsters and martyrs may be analogous to what occurred during the final decay of the Soviet Union, when the obvious failure of its economic system forced the government to increasingly turn to endless celebrations of its victory in the Great Patriotic War as the primary source of its legitimacy. The real wages of ordinary American workers have been stagnant for fifty years and most adults have less than \$500 in available savings, so this widespread impoverishment may be forcing our own leaders into adopting a similar strategy.
But I think that a far greater factor has been the astonishing growth of Jewish power in America, which was already quite substantial even four or five decades ago but has now become absolutely overwhelming, whether in foreign policy, finance, or the media, with our 2% minority exercising unprecedented control over most aspects of our society and political system. Only a fraction of American Jews hold traditional religious beliefs, so the twin worship of the State of Israel and the Holocaust has served to fill that void, with the individuals and events of World War II constituting many of the central elements of the mythos that serves to unify the Jewish community. And as an obvious consequence, no historical figure ranks higher in the demonology of this secular religion than the storied Fuhrer and his Nazi regime.
However, beliefs based upon religious dogma often sharply diverge from empirical reality. Pagan Druids may worship a particular sacred oak tree and claim that it contains the soul of their tutelary dryad; but if an arborist taps the tree, its sap may seem like that of any other.
Our current official doctrine portrays Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany as one of the cruelest and most relentlessly aggressive regimes in the history of the world, but at the time these salient facts apparently escaped the leaders of the nations with which it was at war. Operation Pike provides an enormous wealth of archival material regarding the secret internal discussions of the British and French governmental and military leadership, and all of it tends to suggest that they regarded their German adversary as a perfectly normal country, and perhaps occasionally regretted that they had somehow gotten themselves involved a major war over what amounted to a small Polish border dispute.
During late 1939, a major American news syndicate had sent Stoddard to spend a few months in wartime Germany and provide his perspective, with his numerous dispatches appearing in The New York Times and other leading newspapers. Upon his return, he published a 1940 book summarizing all his information, seemingly just as even-handed as his earlier 1917 volume. His coverage probably constitutes one of the most objective and comprehensive American accounts of the mundane domestic nature of National Socialist Germany, and thus may seem rather shocking to modern readers steeped in eighty years of increasingly unrealistic Hollywood propaganda.
- Into the Darkness
An Uncensored Report from Inside the Third Reich At War
Lothrop Stoddard • 1940 • 79,000 Words
And although our standard histories would never admit this, the actual path toward war appears to have been quite different than most Americans believe. Extensive documentary evidence from knowledgeable Polish, American, and British officials demonstrates that pressure from Washington was the key factor behind the outbreak of the European conflict. Indeed, leading American journalists and public intellectuals of the day such as John T. Flynn and Harry Elmer Barnes had publicly declared that they feared Franklin Roosevelt was seeking to foment a major European war in hopes that it would rescue him from the apparent economic failure of his New Deal reforms and perhaps even provide him an excuse to run for an unprecedented third term. Since this is exactly what ultimately transpired, such accusations would hardly seem totally unreasonable.
And in an ironic contrast with FDR’s domestic failures, Hitler’s own economic successes had been enormous, a striking comparison since the two leaders had come to power within a few weeks of each other in early 1933. As iconoclastic leftist Alexander Cockburn once noted in a 2004 Counterpunch column:
When [Hitler] came to power in 1933 unemployment stood at 40 per cent. Economic recovery came without the stimulus of arms spending…There were vast public works such as the autobahns. He paid little attention to the deficit or to the protests of the bankers about his policies. Interest rates were kept low and though wages were pegged, family income increased by reason of full employment. By 1936 unemployment had sunk to one per cent. German military spending remained low until 1939.
Not just Bush but Howard Dean and the Democrats could learn a few lessons in economic policy from that early, Keynesian Hitler.
By resurrecting a prosperous Germany while nearly all other countries remained mired in the worldwide Great Depression, Hitler drew glowing accolades from individuals all across the ideological spectrum. After an extended 1936 visit, David Lloyd George, Britain’s former wartime prime minister, fulsomely praised the chancellor as “the George Washington of Germany,” a national hero of the greatest stature. Over the years, I’ve seen plausible claims here and there that during the 1930s Hitler was widely acknowledged as the world’s most popular and successful national leader, and the fact that he was selected as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year for 1938 tends to support this belief.
Only International Jewry had remained intensely hostile to Hitler, outraged over his successful efforts to dislodge Germany’s 1% Jewish population from the stranglehold they had gained over German media and finance, and instead run the country in the best interests of the 99% German majority. A striking recent parallel has been the enormous hostility that Vladimir Putin incurred after he ousted the handful of Jewish Oligarchs who had seized control of Russian society and impoverished the bulk of the population. Putin has attempted to mitigate this difficulty by allying himself with certain Jewish elements, and Hitler seems to have done the same by endorsing the Nazi-Zionist economic partnership, which lay the basis for the creation of the State of Israel and thereby brought on board the small, but growing Jewish Zionist faction.
In the wake of the 9/11 Attacks, the Jewish Neocons stampeded America towards the disastrous Iraq War and the resulting destruction of the Middle East, with the talking heads on our television sets endlessly claiming that “Saddam Hussein is another Hitler.” Since then, we have regularly heard the same tag-line repeated in various modified versions, being told that “Muammar Gaddafi is another Hitler” or “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is another Hitler” or “Vladimir Putin is another Hitler” or even “Hugo Chavez is another Hitler.” For the last couple of years, our American media has been relentlessly filled with the claim that “Donald Trump is another Hitler.”
During the early 2000s, I obviously recognized that Iraq’s ruler was a harsh tyrant, but snickered at the absurd media propaganda, knowing perfectly well that Saddam Hussein was no Adolf Hitler. But with the steady growth of the Internet and the availability of the millions of pages of periodicals provided by my digitization project, I’ve been quite surprised to gradually also discover that Adolf Hitler was no Adolf Hitler.
It might not be entirely correct to claim that the story of World War II was that Franklin Roosevelt sought to escape his domestic difficulties by orchestrating a major European war against the prosperous, peace-loving Nazi Germany of Adolf Hitler. But I do think that picture is probably somewhat closer to the actual historical reality than the inverted image more commonly found in our textbooks.
For more than a hundred years, all of America’s many wars have been fought against totally outmatched adversaries, opponents that possessed merely a fraction of the human, industrial, and natural resources that we and our allies controlled. This massive advantage regularly compensated for many of our serious early mistakes in those conflicts. So the main difficulty our elected leaders faced was merely persuading the often very reluctant American citizenry to support a war, which is why many historians have alleged that such incidents as the sinkings of Maine and the Lusitania, and the attacks in Pearl Harbor and Tonkin Bay were orchestrated or manipulated for exactly that purpose.
This huge advantage in potential power was certainly the case when World War II broke out in Europe, and Schultze-Rhonof and others have emphasized that the British and French empires backed by America commanded potential military resources vastly superior to those of Germany, a mid-size country smaller than Texas. The surprise was that despite such overwhelming odds Germany proved highly successful for several years, before finally going down to defeat.
However, matters almost took a very different turn. As I discussed in a 2019 article, for more than three generations all our history books have entirely excluded any mention of one of the most crucial turning points of the twentieth century. In early 1940, the British and French were on the very verge of launching a major attack against the neutral USSR, hoping to destroy Stalin’s Baku oil fields by means of the largest strategic bombing campaign in world history, and perhaps overthrow his regime as a consequence. Only Hitler’s sudden invasion of France forestalled this plan, and if that Panzer thrust had been delayed for a few weeks, the Soviets would have been forced into the war on Germany’s side. A full German-Soviet military alliance would have easily matched the resources of the Allies including America, thereby probably ensuring Hitler’s victory.
But this very narrow escape from strategic disaster in World War II has been entirely flushed down the memory-hole, and I doubt whether one current DC policy-maker in a hundred is even aware of it, let alone properly recognizes its significance. This reinforces the enormous hubris that America will never have to confront opposing forces of comparable power.
Consider the attitude taken during the current conflict with Russia, a severe Cold War confrontation that might conceivably turn hot. Despite its great military strength and enormous nuclear arsenal, Russia seems just as out-matched as any past American foe. Including the NATO countries and Japan, the American alliance commands a 6-to-1 advantage in population and 12-to-1 superiority in economic product, the key sinews of international power. Such an enormous disparity is implicit in the attitudes of our strategic planners and their media mouthpieces.
But this is a very unrealistic view of the true correlation of forces. Prior to the outbreak of the Ukraine war, America had spent years primarily focusing its hostility against China, forming a military alliance against that country, deploying sanctions to cripple Huawei, China’s global technological champion, and working to ruin the Beijing Olympics, while also drawing very near to the red-line of actively promoting Taiwanese independence. I have even argued that there is strong perhaps overwhelming evidence that the Covid outbreak in Wuhan was probably the result of a biowarfare attack by rogue elements of the Trump Administration. So just two weeks before the Russian attack on Ukraine, Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held their 39th personal meeting in Beijing and declared that their partnership had “no limits.” China will certainly support Russia in any global conflict.
Meanwhile, America’s endless attacks and vilification of Iran have gone on for decades, culminating in our assassination two years ago of the country’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani, who had been mentioned as a leading candidate in Iran’s 2021 presidential elections. Together with our Israeli ally, we have also assassinated many of Iran’s top scientists over the last decade, and in 2020 Iran publicly accused America of having unleashed the Covid biowarfare weapon against their country, which infected much of their parliament and killed many members of their political elite. Iran would certainly side with Russia as well.
America, together with its NATO allies and Japan, does possess huge superiority in any test of global power against Russia alone. However, that would not be the case against a coalition consisting of Russia, China, and Iran, and indeed I think the latter group might actually have the upper hand, given its enormous weight of population, natural resources, and industrial strength.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, America has enjoyed a unipolar moment, reigning as the world’s sole hyperpower. But this status has fostered our overweening arrogance and international aggression against far weaker targets, finally leading to the creation of a powerful block of states willing to stand up against us.
One of America’s greatest strategic assets has been our overwhelming control of the global media, which shapes the perceived nature of reality for many billions, including most of the world’s elites. But one inherent danger of such unchallenged propaganda-power is the likelihood that our leaders may eventually come to believe their own lies and exaggerations, thereby making decisions based upon assumptions that do not match reality.
When we finally departed Afghanistan after twenty years of occupation and trillions of dollars spent, our military planners were confident that the heavily-armed client regime we had left behind would remain in power for at least six months or more; instead, it fell to the Taliban within days.
A much more important example was highlighted by Ray McGovern in his March 3nd presentation. During last June’s Biden-Putin summit, our president told the Russian leader that we fully understood the terrible pressure he was facing from the Chinese, and his fear of their military threat. Such statements must have been regarded as sheer lunacy by the Russian national security leadership, and a strong sign of the completely delusional nature of the American foreign policy establishment they faced. Since such bizarre beliefs might prompt America to take actions detrimental to Russian interests, Putin attempted to puncture this bubble of unreality by organizing a joint public statement with his close Chinese counterpart affirming that their relationship was “more than an alliance.”
This highly visible declaration was intended to force the DC establishment to recognize the existence of a powerful Russia-China block, and thereby persuade it to secure important concessions from its Ukraine client state, but apparently to no avail. Instead, Ukraine publicly declared its intention to acquire nuclear weapons, and Putin decided that war was his only option.
Bismarck allegedly once quipped that there is a special Providence for drunkards, fools, and the United States of America. But I fear that we have now drawn down on that Providence one too many times, and may be about to suffer the consequences.