Thursday, May 18, 2006
Communist Conspiracy Or National Interests?
The 80th Congress convened in 1947. For the first time since the Depression Republicans controlled both houses, due in large part to their newly adopted campaign tactics of fear and hate. The radical right wasted little time in applying its campaign techniques to actual governance. The House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC launched an investigation into the influence of Communism on the motion picture industry. Redbaiting began in earnest. One of the main witnesses called to verify the presence of subversives was Ronald Reagan.
In 1948 HUAC had an investigation into Alger Hiss and Communist influence in the State Department. An up and coming freshman Representative, Richard Nixon, led the charge. Nixon would later say, “We won the Hiss case in the papers. We did. I had to leak stuff all over the place because the Justice Department would not prosecute it. Hoover didn't even cooperate. It was won in the papers. We have to develop a program, a program for leaking out information. We're destroying these people in the papers. I had Hiss convicted before he got to the grand jury....I no longer have the energy, [but we need] a son of a bitch who will work his butt off and do it dishonorably. I know how to play the game and we're going to play it."
Events of the late forties and June 1950 only fueled Republican right-wing attacks. In the summer of 1948 Stalin made an incredibly stupid move by throwing a blockade around Berlin which was in the Russian sector of post war Germany. This forced the U.S. and its allies to airlift supplies into the city for almost a year. Then in September 1949 the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb. Less than a month later Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong) claimed victory in the Chinese revolution and established the Peoples Republic of China. In June 1950 Communist North Korea launched a surprise attack against the U.S. backed South Korea.
The Republican extremists were correct in judging the USSR to be a threat to American imperial and economic interests, but then again the U.S. was a threat to Soviet ambitions also. Had it been in the early 20th century or before, the end result would most likely have been a war. Despite their overall stupidity both sides are to be commended for not allowing conflicts to erupt into a nuclear confrontation. But there were and are serious consequences to the far right’s actions. By using lies and the politics of fear and hate in their grab for power the right-wing created an atmosphere conducive to demagoguery and abuse. It didn’t take long for the Republicans to start taking advantage of that atmosphere.
The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To
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