The end of World War II and the finish of fascism meant the start of antagonism between capitalism and communist dominion over the earth, a rivalry (as we have seen in part one of this article) in place early in the 20th century, but accelerated with the redirection of assets and resources from the war effort. The windfall of resources brought with it advances in technology, however, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which put a damper on the urge to engage in conflict on both sides of the global phenomenon that came to be known as the Cold War.
The breakdown of colonialism yielded fertile, impressionable countries open for exploitation by opposing sides of the political spectrum. It is no coincidence that the Soviet Union and the United
States established organizations to curry favor within the developing world. The Peace Corps, initiated in 1961, continues to provide financial and technical assistance across the globe while enduring (unsubstantiated) claims that it is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) front.
It’s polar opposite, the University of the Friendship of Peoples began outside of Moscow in 1960, was open to foreign exchange students of various ethnicities. Better known as Patrice Lumumba University (honoring the Prime Minister of the Congo, assassinated, it is said, with the help of the CIA), it has graduated tens of thousands of alumni who serve in leadership positions all over the world. Along the way, it has suffered under accusations it is a “finishing school” of terrorists of various ideologies (alumni include Venezuelan born Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, an assassin and terrorist who reached celebrity status as a pop culture icon in the
1970s, and Russian native Anna Vasil’yevna Chapman, noted for her beauty and her 2012 arrest and expulsion on espionage charges in Manhattan).
The influx of multi-national students who flocked into the country to study there have often been received with hostility (and physical violence), underscoring the very real intolerance of the Russian people, which has morphed into factions of the skinhead subculture, an international movement of alienated working-class White youth with racist overtones.
America’s Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, in the 1950s and the Soviet Bloc made inroads to harvest this social progression for its own ends. Initially, attention was drawn to a charismatic Baptist minister at the forefront of the push for equality. These efforts to bring Martin Luther King under the sway of socialism were covered in past issues of Our Weekly (see http://ourweekly.com/news/2014/jan/09/race-war/).
Unsuccessful attempts to enlist him were followed by endeavors to brand him an “Uncle Tom,” and replace him with another, more militant figurehead (Trinidadian expatriate Stokely Carmichael), and after his 1968 murder in Memphis, Tenn., turn him into a martyr, a victim of the oppressive imperialist regime of America.
Politics of convenience
“If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together.” -a metaphor attributed to Richard M. Nixon
Richard Nixon is largely demonized for the Watergate break in scandal that toppled his presidency, obscuring the fact that he was a politician and statesman of uncommon skill. In a 1959 letter (recently unearthed at a Maryland auction house) to a North Carolina constituent he explained his rationale for championing the then volatile issue of “race mixing” in the wake of the Brown vs. the Board of Education (1954) ruling, the then Vice President explained his opinion thusly:
“I am deeply concerned with the impact of racial division in terms of world power,” he wrote. “Most of the people of the world belong to the
colored races. They deeply resent any slurs based on race.”
Going on, he pointed out that the label of racism could be a windfall to the “Red Menace” on the international stage by losing “…to the Communists hundreds of millions of potential friends and allies.”
As journalist and Russian expert Julia Ioffe noted in a recent article “The history of Russia’s involvement in America’s race wars,” (Oct. 21, for The Atlantic), the Red Scare actually had beneficial side effects.
“…this was one of the reasons that American presidents pushed through various civil rights victories, culminating in the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act,” she wrote.
Of course, Nixon reversed positions on his way to the White House with the infamous “Southern Strategy,” by playing on Dixieland residents’ inherent resentment about the color line. This in turn highlights the harsh reality of political expediency, the tendency (or necessity) of amending or shifting ideology to achieve the desired goal. Racial harmony and social equality may or may not be high on the moral agenda, but it can be a useful tool in attaining control and power regardless of political doctrine.
As an example, Harry S. Truman habitually told racial (and anti-Semitic) jokes and used ethnic slurs, but was not above desegregating the military to garner “Negro” votes to secure the 1948 Presidential Election.
In his successful 1988 campaign, Vice President George H.W. Bush was aided and abetted by political consultant and race baiter extraordinaire Lee Atwater. In the new millennium, the Republicans would be served in a similar way, by media executive and pundit Steve Bannon.
Useful Idiots -a term attributed to Vladimir Lenin to describe native “pawns” within the leadership of the West, who might be manipulated to further the interests of the Marxist struggle.
Henry Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime vice president, Wallace’s liberal leanings and endorsement by the Communist Party alienated the Democratic Party faithful, leading him to be replaced on the 1944 ticket by the more politically expedient Harry Truman.
Appointed secretary of commerce after the election and before Roosevelt’s death in April, 1945, he was not shy about breaching social convention or political etiquette. Angered over his treatment by the Democratic establishment, he actually set up a covert meeting with Anatoly Gorsky, station chief for the NKGB (precursor to the KGB).
Russian archives released decades later reveal Wallace discussed sharing knowledge about the atomic bomb, and sought Soviet funding for a run at the 1948 presidential election, under the banner of a new, third political movement called the Progressive Party. The Progressives were actually a Communist front set up to counter the “Red Scare” that metastasized after the Second World War.
He pledged to end segregation and grant full voting rights for Black people, and end the budding Cold War. His campaign strategy included a tour through the heart of the former Confederacy, where he was met with the abuse a man preaching the evils of segregation might expect. Hostile crowds of hillbilly southerners pelted the interloping Yankee with eggs and rotten vegetables, a fitting reception for a man who dared preach the evils of racial equality in the heart of Dixie.
Wallace ran a distant fourth in the race to the White House in 1948. Had he been kept on the 1944 ticket as vice president, then succeeded Roosevelt as chief executive, the United States may have been headed by a Soviet puppet.
Collusion in high places
“Even as you read these words, you can bet that one or more of 17 federal agencies of the United States are busy hacking Russia.”
—Markar Melkonian in a Jan. 13, 2017 article for Global Research.
In his 2007 book “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism,” historian Paul Kengor offers the shocking proposition that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) reached out to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov to prevent the reelection of Ronald Reagan. The premise holds that Kennedy’s friend and college roommate, former California Sen. John V. Tunney, acted as a go-between in this convoluted scenario. The seeds of these allegations of near treason sprouted in a 1992 London Times article “Teddy, the KGB, and the Top Secret File.”
Kennedy apparently felt that collusion with America’s nemesis was a necessary evil in the interest of world peace (and perhaps pave the way for his own, future Presidential bid).
Reagan retained his office, and Kennedy went to his grave in 2009 without ascending to the head of the executive branch vacated by his brother’s 1963 assassination. This tawdry tale is covered in the Mitrokhin Archive, the hand-written notes smuggled out of Russia by KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin when he defected in 1992. They may be accessed at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. (http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/collection/52/mitrokhin-archive).
Aside from their successful luring of the Soviet Union into a disastrous war in Afghanistan (engineered by President Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski), the most profitable coup of American meddling into the affairs of Russia came with the election of
- Faced with the prospect of an unpalatable candidate in Russian nationalist Gennady Zyuganov, who pledged to stem the flow of Western influences into his beloved Motherland, American influence peddlers (who’d previously consulted for California Gov. Pete Wilson) traveled to Moscow and conspired to ensure reelection to the incumbent, Boris N. Yelstin (who’d generated the ire of the voting public during his first term).
Fake Americans, fake news
In various locations, primarily in Russia but also in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and Nordic countries, scores of cyber savvy and English speaking workers sit before computer terminals. These “troll factories” are dedicated to undermining the capitalist system via hacking, black propaganda and other covert-action tools. “Trolling” entails more than linguistic and keyboarding skills. News outlets CNN and NPR reported that St. Petersburg “Trolls” watched the Netflix political thriller “House of Cards” to raise their expertise on the U.S. political system, and pose as Americans on the Internet (see https://www.stopfake.org/en/house-of-cards-or-the-tough-workdays-of-russian-trolls/).
With the advent of social media, Russia has expounded on such subjects as gun control, Texan independence, and especially race relations.