A lesser known fact (or at least under-researched) is that the Soviet Union, on the eve of its collapse, was committed to the concept of an unappeasable conflict, or as  Foreign Minister Andrey Gromyko described in his 1975 book The Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union: "The Communist Party of the Soviet Union subordinates all its theoretical and practical activity in the sphere of foreign relations to the task of strengthening the positions of socialism, and the interests of further developing and deepening the world revolutionary process." In fact until abandoned and denounced by then Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, in 1981 the general Soviet intention was to advance its borders when and if possible.

A Briefing paper summarizing "Soyuz 81" (turned over to the CIA during the 1980's by Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski at the time living in Poland) made this clear when it stated that along with a planned crackdown in Poland, Moskau put in place a rapid advance force to break trough NATO. (See Benjamin Weisser, A Secret Life, 2004).

After creating his own (be it smaller than Hitler's) Jewish Holocaust (leading to today’s expansion of Israel), Stalin after World War II turned to the new 'international problems', this was clearly the perspective in which he saw them.

In fact faults already made at the Nuremberg trial's was not only to  impugne the attitudes or records of any of the attorneys or appointed judges, but more particularly  the point that one of the Allies-the USSRhad been expelled from the League of Nations a few years previously on the grounds, it had colluded with the Nazis in the first aggression of World War II, against Poland. (See the our explosive coverrage of hidden aspects of the WWII era in our article series "The Hidden War Among The WWII Allies", below.

For example the appearance of Iona Nikitchenko as the Soviet-appointed judge at Nurenberg should also have raised questions and provoked objections. He had been one of the "judges" in the notorious Zinoviev trial of 1936-which was widely believed, even then, to have been a gigantic fraud. Now, of course, this is indisputable, and we know of other, more secret fake trials in which he took part. So even if not proved at the time, we might agree that, at least retrospectively, Nuremberg can be pronounced defective on this basis alone.

On the Soviet prosecutorial side we find not only Nikitchenko but Lev Sheinin, who had also already been associated in public print as having the prosecutor's role in various faked trials, together with several others on the panel. (And we now know that the secret Soviet commission for manipulating the trial consisted of Andrey Vyshinsky,'lead prosecutor in the show trials, three civilians, plus three leading secret police officers-the latter all shot later-while their organization was represented at Nuremberg by the later notorious interrogator and torturer Colonel M. T Likachev, also eventually shot.)

The indictment included a charge that the Nazis had murdered the Polish officers found in 1943 in the mass graves at Katyn. The documents fully proving Soviet culpability were released in Gorbachev's time. But even in the 1940s, there was considerable evidence casting much doubt on the Soviet story. Meanwhile, the Soviets produced to the court much evidence faked, to prove the Nazis' responsibility. If Katyn was indeed to be regarded as a crime within the competence of the court, it should have been properly examined and other witnesses presumably called. In fact, the accusation against the Germans was simply dropped from the verdict-an unconscionable anomaly.

It is worth adding that Moscow had under arrest and was about to "try" a group of leaders of the Polish political and military underground, that is, a group of leaders of another Allied state. They had been promised safe conduct....

The initial "dekulakization" and the collectivization of the peasantry into state-controlled farms need little further analysis as it has been sufficiently documented by the end of the 20th century. But there is much useful and decisive information about the even more devastating "terror-famine" of 1932-33, Ukrainians going north into Russia in 1930-33 to seek bread and being arrested or sent back. A secret telegram, dated January 21, 1933, from Stalin and Molotov to the party and police chiefs orders the blocking of peasants trying to enter Russia from the Ukraine or Kuban; they are to be sent back and the ringleaders arrested. This is followed by a report from Genrikh Yagoda, at the OGPU, that over two hundred thousand have been sent back and several thousand arrested. The Stalin-Molotov telegram blames the influx of peasants on Social Revolutionaries and Polish agents wishing to start a famine scare-not an evidential point but one revelatory of the Stalinist mind-set.

For example when reading the 1991 book by E. N. Golod Oskolkov, 1932/1933where these and other documents we refer to next are published, one could possible conclude that the leadership knew famine would follow if their plans were met.

The registration of death had been largely suspended in the Ukraine after October 1932. Golod Oskolkov  documents that in the Kiev Medical Inspectorate, 9,472 corpses were noted, only 3,997 of which were registered, and similar things were reported from other districts. On another point, a report to the Central Committee from the deputy head of the North Caucasus Political Section of the Machine Tractor Stations alleged that kulak bodies were being left near the railways to "simulate famine".

To gain some general idea of the extent of the transformation that took place in Soviet agriculture, it is useful to remember that before World War I, Russia was by far the most important grain-exporting country in the world: its grain exports were well more than double those of the United States and constituted nearly one-third of the total world grain market. Collectivization was, right from the start, carried out in a thoroughly irrational manner. Yet it is possible to finance industrialization out of the productivity of the peasantry, if handled properly. In nineteenth-century Meiji Japan, despite having the disadvantage of a far smaller existing industrial base than twentieth century Russia, incentives were provided which improved agricultural production, and productivity in fact doubled between 1885 and 1915, in complete contrast to the results obtained in the USSR.

Yet the enserfment or dispersal or deaths of the free peasantry were designed not merely to destroy any independent economic forces but also to finance socialist industry-so that millions of tons of grain were exported to pay for foreign machines while the famine raged.

 After reading Golod Oskolkov’s 1991 book,  Cold War: An Illustrated History, 1945-1991, by Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing published shortly afterwards appears as  an example of what could be called  ‘Historiography’ (where books about history follow in the path of the ‘entertainment’ industry).

Not only did CNN’s “Cold War” view of Lenin and others of his persuasion contrasted markedly with its treatment of Western leaders.  When it comes to the Soviet spies for example Burgess, Maclean, and Philby, we are told in the book Cold War that "they acted from political conviction. They believed what they were doing was right." The same could be said of agents of Nazism like John Amery. But in any case, this is (again) a simplistic point.

As to the ‘Rosenbergs'  motives, we are told that they were part of "a network of spies who felt uncomfortable that the United States was the sole owner of the key to atomic warfare." This gives an arguably acceptable motive for their espionage activity, though since they never confessed and thus never advanced such a motive, it is a constructed one.

The Rosenberg case was indeed highly divisive of American opinion, but fact remains that  Julius Rosenberg's allegiance to Communism dates from before the war, and he entered a Soviet espionage ring in 1942 in connection with technical secrets (radar systems, bombsights, naval gunnery, etc.) and was not until later involved in nuclear matters at all. And what the CNN book also does not mention is that the CPUSA was not a political party in the ordinary sense, it was (with several million dollars and until the late 1980s) heavily financed by Moscow.

Of course  Joseph McCarthy disgraced and distorted the real  concern, and one can only conclude that  both WWII and the years that followed where marred by confusion when once considers that at one point the US and England fought a War alongside Stalin instead of refusing to comply with both Hitler ‘and’ Stalin as we point out in the article series ‘War of the Allies’.

In the CNN book those disillusioned members of the CPUSA who thought that true accounts should be given and "named names" are simply presented as the equivalent of school snitches. But they too thought they were carrying out a moral duty and were themselves the subject of various persecutions over the years.

Arthur Schlesinger. Jr. has pointed out that such criteria would not have been applied to similar "betrayals" by former members of American Nazi movements.

In fact along with the  conspiracy theories of  Governor McCarthy ,  the foreign policy mistake to enter the Vietnam War only added to the confusion. But it is a mistake of the CNN production in to mention that  when four students were killed at Kent State by  National Guards, that "a nation driven to use the weapons of war upon its youth is a nation on the edge of chaos." In this case  it was not a "nation" that was responsible, a phrase that might be more applicable to Tiananmen Square.

Yet  Ted Turner in defense of  the book and the film, later said that Kent State and Tiananmen Square are indeed comparable. Of course this doesn’t make Ted Turner any worse historian then many popular author’s of high fame today(examples are  The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas L. Friedman, Samuel Huntington The Clash of Civilizations, Robert Kaplans Balkan Ghosts, Dinesh D'Souza's Virtue of Prosperity), that present simplistic (but under-researched) points of view.

Cold War's presentation of another  central theme is also different from that advanced in its leading U.S. historical adviser's book on the subject, We Now Know, by John Lewis Gaddis, in which he describes the attempts by prominent Soviet officials to persuade Stalin to initiate at least a period of comparative cooperation with the West. The book implies, and this in a shallow and superficial fashion, that all Stalin wanted was a buffer area between him and the West, contrary to Litvinov's clear understanding.(1)

On a broader scale, the conflict is represented in Cold War as one between two "ideologies"-sometimes defined as capitalism versus Communism-that is, in a sort of balance. But this is to misuse the word "ideology" and thus to avoid the difference between the pluralist and total­itarian viewpoints. "Totalitarianism," to be sure, is a word largely avoided by the CNN book when it deals with Stalinism, though it was used of the Soviet order by both Gorbachev and Yeltsin, and found adequate by such famed scholars as Leszek Kolakowski and Giovanni Sartori, and by many others of major repute, such as the French historian François Furet.

The foreign policies of the West are also subjected by the CNN book to what can only be called misrepresentation from very early on, when Allied "interven Lion" in Russia in 1918-19 is presented as a major effort to overthrow the Soviet regime and one that had a permanent impact on Moscow's attitudes. Now, first of all, the American "intervention" was minimal, and American troops only had one minor skirmish with local Bolsheviks. The British inter­vention, employing a couple of brigades, was larger. Asked in by the Soviets to block German presence in the far north, the British were briefly in action against the Bolsheviks, but their total casualties were a few hundred, some of them against non-Bolshevik forces. It is true that history as taught under Stalin made much of this "intervention," though the American component was scarcely mentioned until it became politically suitable, in the 1940s. And no serious scholar accepts the view presented in the CNN book.

It is true, of course, that the Allies supported the anti-Bolshevik regimes in the Civil War, including those based on the majority of the elected Constituent Assembly that Lenin had forcibly dissolved. It is equally rele­vant that Lenin regarded the whole struggle as part of an international revolution to be exported as and where possible, with attempts to capture Warsaw, the crushing of the Social Democratic Georgian Republic, and so on.

The book is also simply ridiculous, even at its own level: (for example, a half page on Beria as Stalin's "evil genius".) As with a photograph of an American and a Soviet soldier meeting as the armies crushed the Nazis in 1945, with a note about the horse-drawn Soviet army beating the motorized Germans. The opposite, if anything, is true. The Germans had been largely horse-drawn, even in 1941. In 1945, the Soviets were incomparably more mechanized, mainly with American trucks-as I saw myself in the Balkans and as also emerges in Solzhenitsyn's poem of his own war experience in Prussian Nights. (Nor does the book mention that the Russians who then contacted the Americans were as a result later arrested.)

When it comes to the Cold War period, we continually find such expressions as, in reference to U.S. actions after the Communist seizure of power in Prague, "Washington deliberately fanned the flames of anti-Communism." Or, to put it another way, expressed opposition to the action. Intemperate remarks by Western politicians and others are prominently figured. The far more pervasive and continual Soviet denunciations of blood­thirsty Western imperialism, with endless cartoons of Uncle Sam and John Bull-Tito too-wallowing in blood and with teeth like bayonets, which persisted right into the 1980s, hardly figure. And as to revealing remarks, it is odd not to find Stalin's telling the Yugoslav leaders in April 1945, "The war will soon be over. We shall recover in fifteen to twenty years, and then we'll have another go at it."

More than once, the CNN book uses expressions like "left-leaning governments" as the targets of American policy. This is an evasion. Many left-leaning governments, such as the Socialist ones in Britain, Norway, Germany, and elsewhere, were among America's stoutest allies. "Left­leaning" is therefore a code word for "pro-Soviet"-quite a different thing.

Much space is devoted to American support for the anti-Communist parties and trade unions, left and right, in Italy, France, and elsewhere with, again, the Communists represented in a favorable light. We are told that though the Italian Communist leader Palmiro Togliatti had "spent the war years in Moscow, he was no stooge of the Kremlin," and sought to develop a form of Communism suited to Italy and opposed to tyranny, a program that appealed to many. This is followed by an account of the American financial and other assistance provided to the non-Communist democratic parties in Italy's 1947 election.

As to facts, Togliatti had been in Moscow not merely in the war but in the early 1930s as one of the half dozen top, leaders of the Stalinist Communist International, and he sponsored many of its lethal purges. After Stalin's death in 1953, he occasionally developed a rather independent stance but remained generally committed to the Soviet Union. The program Togliatti put forward in 1947 did indeed appeal to a large public. So did the program of the Czechoslovak Communist Party before it took power, when it imposed one of the worst of the Stalinist dictatorships. The implication that Togliatti could simply be trusted is a strange one. And we may add to our view of the matter a detail that has recently emerged from Hungarian archives and has been published in The First Domino, by Johanna Granville. In Moscow on November 7, 1957, opinions of all the Communist leaders about executing Hungarian premier Imre Nagy were taken. Only Wladyslaw Gomulka, then head of the Polish United Workers' Party, disapproved, but Togliatti, while approving, asked that it be put off until after the Italian elec­tions! The Americans are nevertheless presented as putting unfair pressure on or exerting unfair influence on the Italian electorate-mainly by financial means. It is not mentioned that the Italian Communist Party was itself heav­ily financed by the Soviets.

A further point is that after the elections, the Italian Communist Party remained free to operate, while in every country where a Communist regime had come to power, whether through elections or otherwise, parties had all been suppressed and their leaders killed or jailed. They too had promised liberty; indeed, liberty for all anti-Fascist parties was guaran­teed in the Hungarian, Romanian, and Bulgarian peace treaties.

A constant theme is that Moscow had a legitimate fear of Western aggression. We are told, for example, that a million U.S. troops abroad were "all threatening the Soviet Union." They were, of course, much outnumbered by the Soviet army. More telling yet is the fact that right up to the end of the Cold War, the Communist armies in East Germany were on short notice to invade the West, while NATO troop deployment was wholly defensive.

There is notable inadequacy too on the issue of nuclear weapons. For example, it might have been thought evidential to include the fact that in 1948, although the United Nations Scientific and Technical Committee (to which the question of atomic development was referred and which included Russian and Polish scientists and the French Communist professor Frédéric Joliot-Curie) reported unanimously in September 1946 that inspection and control over the whole process of production was desirable and technically possible, the Soviet representatives rejected all plans incorporating this view as "an assault on State sovereignty" (Andrey Vyshinsky in the UN General Assembly, November 9, 1948). They also insisted on such limitations as were incompatible with the report of the Scientific Committee. As Vyshinsky put it in the Political Committee on November 10, 1949, "We are not obliged to subordinate ourselves or to render an account in this matter to any inter­national organs."

More strikingly, on the development of the hydrogen bomb, we are told that Truman's decision to go ahead with it "fired the starter's pistol for the ultimate arms race." But as the USSR's leading nuclear physicist, Andrey Sakharov, pointed out, the USSR was going ahead with the development of the bomb regardless of American work on it, and the CNN book itself notes that in fact Moscow achieved a deliverable bomb before the United States did.

There is much more to be said on the distortions in this book, including on muddled or misleading passages on Soviet internal matters, but more especially on such issues as Cuba, where Turner personally tips the balance even further. It would be appropriate here to mention that the most danger­ous attitudes to nuclear war, as Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev's son, puts it in his chapter on the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, were those of "Castro and Guevara," a point worth making when the latter is again being The confrontation with the West was, like the ruin of the economy, a product of the mental distortions of the Soviet order. The "insane militarisation" Gorbachev spoke of was a symptom of the mind-set that prevailed, which required an unceasing struggle with all other cultures. And, above all, it was a militarization the Soviet economy was unable to make decisive, even through ruining itself in the attempt. So the only way the West could have been put in an impossible position was if it could have been prevented from responding with adequate armament. And since this was not physically possi­ble, it would have to have been secured by other means-that is, by inducing the West not to respond to the real threat. This could only be done by in some way destroying or radically weakening the West's will to respond adequately. And this was, of course, the aim of Soviet propaganda and diplomacy and the general effort to mislead the Western peoples and governments.

This was undertaken, with a long-drawn-out production of false claims of devotion to peace and, unbelievably, to freedom, goodwill, and all the other amicable evidence of progress and liberty. Though some elements in the West were sweetened, or silenced, by this ploy, it failed, just as the economy had failed to outmatch the West's response. The main reason for this failure was, of course, that the realities of Soviet actions and intentions could only be concealed by an enormous and, as it turned out, inadequate effort.

This big question remains. In the Soviet bloc itself, all who reached any reasonable level of knowledge or judgment were aware of and repelled by the actualities. It was outside that zone that the Soviets had a measure of success. And this is, above all, fearful evidence of the murky mental atmos­phere we have tried to analyze and detoxify in these pages.

This was in part owing to the whole Stalinist heritage, but most of all to the brain-numbing atmosphere; in addition to being the product of an abnor­mal mental setup, the Soviet establishment was, or the larger part of it was (at the highest level), stupid. It was the product of a party that had well under ten thousand members in 1910 and over the post revolutionary years had been purged of all tendencies to see reality in terms other than dull fantasy.

It is not our purpose here to examine the current and future state of Russia. It is clear that the huge mental and physical distortions inflicted A Collapse of Unreality in 1991, Russia was not in the position that Germany-West Germany was in  1945, when a democratic or open society could be built almost from scratch. One result of the less complete and more gradual changes in Russia is that a huge burden of both physical and mental trappings and actualities of the past remain. (See more about that in our next article)

So we have a Russia with thousands of warheads and a chauvinistic tinge. We coped, the world coped, with a much worse Russia. It has been, and will continue to be, a long hard slog.

facts that impugned the attitudes or records of any of the attorneys or appointed judges. On trial for, amongst other things, wars of aggression, they were thus unable to make the point that one of the Allies-the USSR had been expelled from the League of Nations a few years previously on just those grounds or that, indeed, it had colluded with the Nazis in the first aggression of World War II, against Poland. The appearance of Iona Nikitchenko as the Soviet-appointed judge should also have raised questions and provoked objections. He had been one of the "judges" in the notorious Zinoviev trial of 1936-which was widely believed, even then, to have been a gigantic fraud. Now, of course, this is indisputable, and we know of other, more secret fake trials in which he took part. So even if not proved at the time, we might agree that, at least retrospectively, Nuremberg can be pro­nounced defective on this basis alone.

On the Soviet prosecutorial side we find not only Nikitchenko but Lev Sheinin, who had also already been associated in public print as having the prosecutor's role in various faked trials, together with several others on the panel. (And we now know that the secret Soviet commission for manipulating the trial consisted of Andrey Vyshinsky,'lead prosecutor in the show trials, three civilians, plus three leading secret police officers-the latter all shot later-while their organization was represented at Nuremberg by the later notorious interrogator and torturer Colonel M. T Likachev, also eventually shot.)

The indictment included a charge that the Nazis had murdered the Polish officers found in 1943 in the mass graves at Katyn. The documents fully proving Soviet culpability were released in Gorbachev's time. But even in the 1940s, there was considerable evidence casting much doubt on the Soviet story. Meanwhile, the Soviets produced to the court much evidence-faked, of course-to prove the Nazis' responsibility. If Katyn was indeed to be regarded as a crime within the competence of the court, it should have been properly examined and other witnesses presumably called. In fact, the accusation against the Germans was simply dropped from the verdict-an unconscionable anomaly.

It is worth adding that Moscow had under arrest and was about to "try" a group of leaders of the Polish political and military underground, that is, a group of leaders of another Allied state. They had been promised safe conduct.... This gross offense to justice and to democratic politicians was thus an immediate background to Nuremberg.

To gain some general idea of the extent of the transformation that took place in Soviet agriculture, it is useful to remember that before World War I, Russia was by far the most important grain-exporting country in the world: its grain exports were well more than double those of the United Stthe Politburo in July 1932, when Molotov, just back from the Ukraine, ates and constituted nearly one-third of the total world grain market. Collectivization was, right from the start, carried out in a thoroughly irrational manner. Yet it is possible to finance industrialization out of the productivity of the peas­antry, if handled properly. In nineteenth-century Meiji Japan, despite having the disadvantage of a far smaller existing industrial base than twentieth­century Russia, incentives were provided which improved agricultural production, and productivity in fact doubled between 1885 and 1915, in complete contrast to the results obtained in the USSR.

Yet the enserfment or dispersal or deaths of the free peasantry were designed not merely to destroy any independent economic forces but also to finance socialist industry-so that millions of tons of grain were exported to pay for foreign machines while the famine raged.


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