Condensed Version of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Regnery Publishing, Inc. 270 p.
Compiled and Edited by
Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume
Chapter 14: World War II: Consequences and Aftermath
Poland and Czechoslovakia were liberated from the Nazis and turned over to the Communists. A considerable Jewish population was rescued but the Jews’ terrible fate had largely occurred already by the time the Allied victory came.
American hostility toward Japan originally stemmed from its invasion of China. But by 1949, China was living under Communist tyranny and the American interventionists had discovered that there was something worse than Japanese control of China.
For almost 50 years the price of siding with Stalin was having to live with a hostile Soviet Union. The Cold War resulted in trillions of dollars worth of wasted resources, surrogate wars fought all across the globe, the deformation of the Constitution and the threat of nuclear annihilation.
FDR and Uncle Joe—How friendly was FDR toward Stalin?
FDR was guilty of gross ignorance, willful deception or outright lying with his remarks about the Soviet Union. When spoke to about the true nature of the Soviet regime and Stalin himself, FDR replied, “I have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of man.” He suggested to Stalin at the Teheran Conference (1943) that the Eastern European governments ought to be “friendly” to the Soviet Union. But, he asked Stalin not to make this public since he did not want to lose the Polish vote in the 1944 election. He claimed, in a meeting with Archbishop Francis Spellman, that eastern Poland “wants to become Russian.” He also said of the Baltic States that he was “personally confident that the people would vote to join the Soviet Union.” But, Stalin never asked them.
The core of FDR’s policy was the reassurance of Stalin who got practically everything he wanted at the Yalta conference in 1945.
FDR defenders typically claim that there was nothing he could have done to prevent Eastern Europe from going Communist in the vacuum left by the defeat of Germany. But, the fact is that FDR really did not give a damn whether these countries got anything else. All that Yalta and the Declaration on Liberated Europe did for Stalin was provide moral legitimation for his Eastern European conquests.
FDR gave the Soviet Union control of Manchuria in order to persuade Stalin to enter the war with Japan. From there, Stalin was able to provide a safe haven and outfit the Chinese Communists for their takeover of China.
After Yalta, FDR maintained a sanguine view of Stalin (or “Uncle Joe” as he affectionately called him). When Roosevelt died in 1945, he was replaced by Harry Truman who is usually considered to have been more skeptical of the Soviet Union. But, when Churchill delivered his famous “iron curtain” speech in 1946, Truman actually apologized to Stalin and offered to bring him to the uS for a rebuttal.
American presidents send a million Russians back to Stalin
Operation Keelhaul was among the most shameful examples of placating Stalin. As a part of the Yalta agreement, Russian prisoners of war liberated from German camps were to be returned to Russia. But, the problem was that the Russian prisoners did not want to go home and would have to be coerced or tricked into it.
Many Russians had donned German uniforms to fight to rid their country of Stalin. Many others were sympathizers. This should be no more difficult to understand than Churchill’s decision to side with the mass-murdering Stalin against Hitler. Both FDR and Truman ingratiated themselves to Stalin by betraying at least a million anti-Communist by delivering them to the Soviet dictator.
An atrocity on American soil: Russians drugged and returned home
Operation Keelhaul was not confined to Europe. It was also carried out on American soil. About 200 Soviet nationals that were prisoners at Ft Dix, NJ had been captured in German uniforms. They were taken prisoner with the promise that, under no circumstances, would they be repatriated to the Soviet Union where they faced certain death. That promise was betrayed so that the president might be faithful to “Uncle Joe.”
While in Seattle, these men had been ordered at gunpoint to board a Soviet ship. But, when they offered intense resistance they were shipped to Ft. Dix where another attempt was made. They were tear-gassed and forced aboard a Soviet ship. The men fought with all their strength and began to damage the ship’s engines. A sergeant came up with the idea of drugging them by spiking their coffee with barbiturates. The drug men were returned into the clutches of “Uncle Joe.”
When scholars attempted to access the government’s records, they were initially greeted with denials. Finally, the Department of the Army declared that “the records… are… documents… requiring indefinite maintenance of their current high security classification” In other words, the government that perpetrated this unconscionable deed has refused to release the pertinent documents.
Was the Marshall Plan a great success or another failed giveaway program?
The assertion that massive aid was necessary to jump-start the economies of Western Europe is one of the most enduring myths of Cold War history. An anti-Communist rationale was also offered for the plan under the auspices that Communism thrives amid poverty.
The fact is that the plan did not work any better than any other government giveaway. France, Germany and Italy began their recoveries before there was any Marshall aid. Austria and Greece began recovery only as it was being phased out. Britain received twice what Germany did but lagged far behind Germany in economic growth.
Marshall Plan propagandists have attempted to take credit for the West German economic miracle. However, it was not the giveaways. It was the market reforms introduced by the Germans themselves. Indeed, it was the return to a market economy that induced European prosperity. All Marshall aid did was postpone the necessary economic measures. After all, such measures could be delayed indefinitely as long as American money kept coming.
The Marshall Plan’s disastrous legacy
The real legacy is the wrong headed approach it inspired in foreign aid programs. Based on the idea that the Marshall Plan had been a success, it was thought to be appropriate to Third World poverty.
These aid programs have been disastrous for the Third World. Government to government grants have entrenched some of the most brutal and repressive regimes the world has known. Such aid has also produced disorder and violence as competing ethnic groups fought for control of the money.
Taiwan, South Korea and Chile engaged in economic reform only when uS aid was about to be cut off. As a result, they prospered. Prosperity follows from the rule of law and respect for private property and other such institutional mechanisms.
Hong Kong is a stellar example. It simply embraced the free market and, in so doing, created such a successful export sector that the British and Americans found it hard to compete.
The myth dies hard that such aid encourages “capitalism.” The fact that such programs are financed by taxation makes them suspicious from the beginning. In addition, recipient governments are often required to devote a dollar to public works for every dollar of aid received. Taking from the private sector to expand the public sector and state apparatus is not a recipe for “capitalism.”
Truman disregards the Constitution
In 1947, the president called for aid to assist nations that were in danger of Communist takeover. This became known as the “Truman Doctrine.” It was founded more in hysteria and paranoia than in rational and sober appraisal of Soviet capabilities. Never-the-less, it would involve the uS in countless conflicts around the world.
Who authorized the Korean War, the uS Congress or the United Nations?
Communist North Korea invaded the non-Communist South. Truman decided to send troops and denied that he needed a declaration of war to fight a “police action” authorized by the United Nations. This is exactly what Woodrow Wilson’s opponents feared over three decades earlier.
Truman took the nation to war without Congressional approval. The president had no constitutional authority to wage war in the absence of some action by Congress. This set a very dangerous precedent. In fact, since the Korean War, Congress has never again officially declared war. This was only one of the ways that the struggle against Communist would change America forever.
The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.
You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic.