MISUNDERSTANDING OUR WORLD --
FROM SELF-DECEPTION TO SELF-DESTRUCTION
International News Analysis Today
October 13, 2011
By Toby Westerman
As America looks to cut government spending in an increasingly troubled economy, the defense of the United States is on the chopping bloc. Behind the economic concerns, however, is a dangerous complacency based upon a self-deception concerning the world around us.
A bi-partisan group of U.S. House members, including Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul, is circulating among the Washington elite a letter urging drastic cuts in money spent to protect America. This letter follows on the heels of a New York Times editorial which, among other things, decries money spent on "new versions of cold war weapons systems ill suited to America's 21st-century military needs: aircraft carriers, nuclear attack submarines, stealth destroyers and manned aerial combat fighters. "
The push to cut major defense programs comes as espionage committed against the United States by Russia, China, and Cuban is at Cold War levels, our ally Taiwan faces a the threat of invasion from the Communist mainland, billions of dollars are being spent by Russia and China in a headlong rush to modernize their respective military machines, and both Beijing and Moscow are supporting every nation hostile to the United States.
In large part, the disconnect between reality and the call for deep cuts in the U.S. military stems from the fantasy of the "Fall of Communism."
The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union is commonly cited as the event which defines the "Fall of Communism," although China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and Laos remained under Communist regimes.
The assumption at the time was that the end of the Soviet Union was due to a yearning for freedom and a desire for the benefits of the capitalistic system. The prevailing belief was that the remaining Communist states would soon follow the Soviet Union into oblivion.
Millions of dollars in financial aid and investment flowed into the "new" Russia and the surviving Communist states in hope of advancing the ideals of capitalism and human freedom.
The results have been dismal.
Since the end of the Soviet Union, no other Communist government has fallen. The Communist Party remains firmly in power in China, as is the case with the other surviving Marxist regimes.
Not only have Communist regimes survive, but their number has actually increased with the rise to power of the now ailing Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and his allies in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and most recently in Peru.
Even in the United States the far left has found new energy as evidenced in the "Occupy" demonstrations/riots against capitalism staged through out the nation.
The "Fall of Communism" has, ironically, given Marxism a new lease on life, and presented stunningly new dangers to the United States and its allies.
We would be better prepared to meet the dangers ahead if we realized that the "Fall of Communism" has occurred more than once.
The First Fall of Communism
The Russian Revolution and the civil war that followed left Soviet Russia in ruins. The Bolsheviks, victorious against their Tsarist opponents, soon found that none of their pre-revolutionary ideas were working. The Revolution faced defeat not from armed opponents, but from internal economic collapse.
Lenin, the founder of the Bolshevik revolution, came to the conclusion that drastic steps were needed, and that overt Communist hostility to the West must cease -- until a more opportune time appeared. After years of revolutionary activity against the capitalist world, Lenin and his Bolsheviks needed an ally to convice the world that real change wwas at hand in Soviet Russia
Lenin found a media ally in The New York Times, and its correspondent on Russian affairs, Walter Duranty. Because of his service to the Bolsheviks he allowed into Russia and became the Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, the recognized dean of Moscow correspondents, and the acknowledged authority on all things Soviet.
Duranty and The New York Times also tailored the reporting from Moscow to suit Bolshevik wishes.
"Lenin has thrown communism overboard," wrote Duranty in a front page article appearing August 13, 1921. On October 7, 1921, another page one Duranty article proclaimed in its headline that "Russia Gets Back To Individualism," and in the article stated that "The new economic policy [of Lenin] bids fair to bring about a change in Russia almost as complete as the Bolshevist revolution itself."
Lenin's propaganda effort was now under way. The change was called the New Economic Policy (NEP).
During the period of the NEP, other pro-Soviet activists, including Armand Hammer who later controlled Occidental Petroleum, worked to supply needed investment to the Soviet state.
Moscow took advantage of the West's belief that Communism was, as one headline put it, "loosing its grip." During this period, Soviet agents worked successfully to infiltrate and destroy the anti-Bolshevik movements of exiled Russian patriots. The Soviets initiated an extensive propaganda effort within Europe and America, and Soviet spies began their espionage efforts against the U.S. and other Western governments.
Not all of the Bolsheviks approved of the NEP, and Lenin's successor, Joseph Stalin, ended Lenin's "New Economic Policy" in 1928. Many in the Soviet leadership believed that the end of the NEP occured too quickly, but disagreeing with Stalin was a fatal matter. Stalin's termination of the NEP and that of the lives of many of those connected with the NEP haunted the surviving Soviet elite even after Stalin's death in 1953.
The Second Fall of Communism
The end of Stalin's murderous rule allowed the Soviets to reconsider Communism's potentially disastrous position vis a vis the West. It soon became apparent that a different economic policy must somehow come about.
Glasnost, Perestroika, and the second "fall of Communism," however, got out of hand, and the Soviet Union did, indeed, collapse. Fidel Castro, founder of the Russian Revolution, called the collapse of the Soviet Union naieve and inadvertent. Vladimir Putin, the sometimes Prime Minister sometimes President of the "new" Russia and former Soviet spy master, branded the Soviet Union's demise as "the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the 20th century."
Despite the assessment of Castro and the lament of Putin, the West rushed to get in on the ground floor of a spectacular opportunity to invest in the "new," democratic Russia.
The same attitude prompted investment in Communist China. The belief was that the Chinese Communist elite could not withstand the same historical forces which swept aside the mighty Soviet Union.
So Very Wrong
The result of the second "Fall of Communism", thanks to Western assistance, has provided the Moscow elite with an amount of advanced technology that its spies could never accumulate, and provided the money to build a modern military force. The same has been true of Communist China, which, in addition, now holds a mountain of U.S. debt.
Cuba, still partially isolated by the U.S., is able so far to cash in on investment in Communist almost primarily as a purveyor of stolen military secrets and a resource for Venezuelan Marxism.
We Must Be Vigilant
In view of the immediate threats facing us, bi-partisan calls for the abandonment of major defense projects and systems is simply a bi-partisan call for disarmament and U.S. destruction. Now is not the time for blindness to the threats around us. Now is not the time to disarm.
America must reexamine its preconceptions of the events from President Richard Nixon's "opening of China" in 1972 to the second "Fall of Communism" in 1991.
If we are truthful with ourselves, there are aspects of the 21st century which look alarmingly like the most dangerous years of the 20th, and that Communism does not appear to have "fallen" after all.
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