[News] Terminally Stupid People Have Always Been With Us

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 13 14:08:58 EDT 2010


http://www.counterpunch.org/blum05132010.html

May 13, 2010


Terminally Stupid People Have Always Been With Us


We've Seen the Likes of the Teabaggers Before

By WILLIAM BLUM

If you shake your head and roll your eyes at the nonsense coming out 
of the Teabagger followers of Sarah "Africa is a country" Palin and 
other intellectual giants like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh ... If 
you have thoughts of moving abroad after the latest silly lies and 
fantasies like "Obama the Marxist" and "Obama the antichrist" ...  If 
you share Noam Chomsky's feeling: "I have never seen anything like 
this in my lifetime" ... keep in mind that the right wing has long 
been at least as stupid and as mean-spirited.  Consider some of the 
behavior of the same types for half a century during the Cold War 
with its beloved -- albeit imaginary -- "International Communist Conspiracy".

  * 1948: The Pittsburgh Press published the names, addresses, and 
places of employment of about 1,000 citizens who had signed 
presidential-nominating petitions for former Vice President Henry 
Wallace, running under the Progressive Party.  This, and a number of 
other lists of "communists", published in the mainstream media, 
resulted in people losing their jobs, being expelled from unions, 
having their children abused, being denied state welfare benefits, 
and suffering various other punishments.

  * Around 1950: The House Committee on Un-American Activities 
published a pamphlet, "100 Things You Should Know About Communism in 
the U.S.A."  This included information about what a communist 
takeover of the United States would mean:

Q: What would happen to my insurance?

A: It would go to the Communists.

Q: Would communism give me something better than I have now?

A: Not unless you are in a penitentiary serving a life sentence at hard labor.

  * 1950s: Mrs. Ada White, member of the Indiana State Textbook 
Commission, believed that Robin Hood was a Communist and urged that 
books that told the Robin Hood story be banned from Indiana schools.

  * As evidence that anti-communist mania was not limited to the 
lunatic fringe or conservative newspaper publishers, here is Clark 
Kerr, president of the University of California at Berkeley in a 1959 
speech: "Perhaps 2 or even 20 million people have been killed in 
China by the new [communist] regime."  One person wrote to Kerr: "I 
am wondering how you would judge a person who estimates the age of a 
passerby on the street as being 'perhaps 2 or even 20 years old.'  Or 
what would you think of a physician who tells you to take 'perhaps 2 
or even twenty teaspoonsful of a remedy'?"

  * Throughout the cold war, traffic in phoney Lenin quotes was 
brisk, each one passed around from one publication or speaker to 
another for years.  Here's U.S. News and World Report in 1958 
demonstrating communist duplicity by quoting Lenin: "Promises are 
like pie crusts, made to be broken."  Secretary of State John Foster 
Dulles used it in a speech shortly afterward, one of many to do so 
during the cold war.  Lenin actually did use a very similar line, but 
he explicitly stated that he was quoting an English proverb (it comes 
from Jonathan Swift) and his purpose was to show the unreliability of 
the bourgeoisie, not of communists.

  "First we will take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia, then 
we will encircle the United States, which will be the last bastion of 
capitalism.  We will not have to attack.  It will fall like an 
overripe fruit into our hands."  This Lenin "quotation" had the usual 
wide circulation, even winding up in the Congressional Record in 
1962.  This was not simply a careless attribution; this was an 
out-and-out fabrication; an extensive search, including by the 
Library of Congress and the United States Information Agency failed 
to find its origin.

  * A favorite theme of the anti-communists was that a principal 
force behind drug trafficking was a communist plot to demoralize the 
United States.  Here's a small sample:

Don Keller, District Attorney for San Diego County, California in 
1953: "We know that more heroin is being produced south of the border 
than ever before and we are beginning to hear stories of financial 
backing by big shot Communists operating out of Mexico City."

  Henry Giordano, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 
1964, interviewed in the American Legion Magazine:   Interviewer: 
"I've been told that the communists are trying to flood our country 
with narcotics to weaken our moral and physical stamina.  Is that true?"

Giordano: "As far as the drugs are concerned, it's true.  There's a 
terrific flow of drugs coming out of Yunnan Province of China. ... 
There's no question that in that particular area this is the aim of 
the Red Chinese.  It should be apparent that if you could addict a 
population you would degrade a nation's moral fiber."

  Fulton Lewis, Jr., prominent conservative radio broadcaster and 
newspaper columnist, 1965: "Narcotics of Cuban origin -- marijuana, 
cocaine, opium, and heroin -- are now peddled in big cities and tiny 
hamlets throughout this country.  Several Cubans arrested by the Los 
Angeles police have boasted they are communists."

  We were also told that along with drugs another tool of the commies 
to undermine America's spirit was fluoridation of the water.

  * Mickey Spillane was one of the most successful writers of the 
1950s, selling millions of his anticommunist thriller 
mysteries.  Here is his hero, Mike Hammer, in "One Lonely Night", 
boasting of his delight in the grisly murders he commits, all in the 
name of destroying a communist plot to steal atomic secrets.  After a 
night of carnage, the triumphant Hammer gloats, "I shot them in cold 
blood and enjoyed every minute of it.  I pumped slugs into the 
nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw. ... They were Commies. ... 
Pretty soon what's left of Russia and the slime that breeds there 
won't be worth mentioning and I'm glad because I had a part in the 
killing.  God, but it was fun!"

  * 1952: A campaign against the United Nations Educational, 
Scientific and Cultural Organization because it was tainted with 
"atheism and communism", and was "subversive" because it preached 
internationalism.  Any attempt to introduce an international point of 
view in the schools was seen as undermining patriotism and loyalty to 
the United States.  A bill in the US Senate, clearly aimed at UNESCO, 
called for a ban on the funding of "any international agency that 
directly or indirectly promoted one-world government or world 
citizenship."  There was also opposition to UNESCO's association with 
the UN Declaration of Human Rights on the grounds that it was trying 
to replace the American Bill of Rights with a less liberty-giving 
covenant of human rights.

  * 1955: A US Army 6-page pamphlet, "How to Spot a Communist", 
informed us that a communist could be spotted by his predisposition 
to discuss civil rights, racial and religious discrimination, the 
immigration laws, anti-subversive legislation, curbs on unions, and 
peace.  Good Americans were advised to keep their ears stretched for 
such give-away terms as "chauvinism", "book-burning", "colonialism", 
"demagogy", "witch hunt", "reactionary", "progressive", and 
"exploitation".  Another "distinguishing mark" of "Communist 
language" was a "preference for long sentences."  After some 
ridicule, the Army rescinded the pamphlet.

  * 1958: The noted sportscaster Bill Stern (one of the heroes of my 
youth) observed on the radio that the lack of interest in "big time" 
football at New York University, City College of New York, Chicago, 
and Harvard "is due to the widespread acceptance of Communism at the 
universities."

  * 1960: US General Thomas Power speaking about nuclear war or a 
first strike by the US: "The whole idea is to kill the bastards!  At 
the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian, we 
win!"  The response from one of those present was: "Well, you'd 
better make sure that they're a man and a woman."

  * 1966: The Boys Club of America is of course wholesome and 
patriotic.  Imagine their horror when they were confused with the 
Dubois Clubs.  (W.E.B. Du Bois had been a very prominent civil rights 
activist.)  When the Justice Department required the DuBois Clubs to 
register as a Communist front group, good loyal Americans knew what 
to do.  They called up the Boys Club to announce that they would no 
longer contribute any money, or to threaten violence against them; 
and sure enough an explosion damaged the national headquarters of the 
youth group in San Francisco.  Then former Vice President Richard 
Nixon, who was national board chairman of the Boys Club, declared: 
"This is an almost classic example of Communist deception and 
duplicity.  The 'DuBois Clubs' are not unaware of the confusion they 
are causing among our supporters and among many other good citizens."

  * 1966: "Rhythm, Riots and Revolution: An Analysis of the Communist 
Use of Music, The Communist Master Music Plan", by David A. Noebel, 
published by Christian Crusade Publications, (expanded version of 
1965 pamphlet: "Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles").  Some 
chapters: Communist Use of Mind Warfare ... Nature of Red Record 
Companies ... Destructive Nature of Beatle Music ... Communist 
Subversion of Folk Music ... Folk Music and the Negro Revolution ... 
Folk Music and the College Revolution

  * 1968: William Calley, US Army Lieutenant, charged with overseeing 
the massacre of more than 100 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai in 1968, 
said some years later: "In all my years in the Army I was never 
taught that communists were human beings.  We were there to kill 
ideology carried by -- I don't know -- pawns, blobs, pieces of 
flesh.  I was there to destroy communism.  We never conceived of old 
people, men, women, children, babies."

  * 1977: Scientists theorized that the earth's protective ozone 
layer was being damaged by synthetic chemicals called 
chlorofluorocarbons.  The manufacturers and users of CFCs were not 
happy.  They made life difficult for the lead scientist.  The 
president of one aerosol manufacturing firm suggested that criticism 
of CFCs was "orchestrated by the Ministry of Disinformation of the KGB."

  * 1978: Life inside a California youth camp of the ultra 
anti-communist John Birch Society: Five hours each day of lectures on 
communism, Americanism and "The Conspiracy"; campers learned that the 
Soviet government had created a famine and spread a virus to kill a 
large number of citizens and make the rest of them more manageable; 
the famine led starving adults to eat their children; communist 
guerrillas in Southeast Asia jammed chopsticks into children's ears, 
piercing their eardrums; American movies are all under the control of 
the Communists; the theme is always that capitalism is no better than 
communism; you can't find a dictionary now that isn't under communist 
influence; the communists are also taking over the Bibles.

  * The Reagan administration declared that the Russians were 
spraying toxic chemicals over Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan -- the 
so-called "yellow rain" -- and had caused more than ten thousand 
deaths by 1982 alone, (including, in Afghanistan, 3,042 deaths 
attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and 
the summer of 1981, so precise was the information).  Secretary of 
State Alexander Haig was a prime dispenser of such stories, and 
President Reagan himself denounced the Soviet Union thusly more than 
15 times in documents and speeches.  The "yellow rain", it turned 
out, was pollen-laden feces dropped by  huge swarms of honeybees 
flying far overhead.

  * 1982: In commenting about sexual harassment in the Army, General 
John Crosby stated that the Army doesn't care about soldiers' social 
lives -- "The basic purpose of the United States Army is to kill 
Russians," he said.

  * 1983: The US invasion of Grenada, the home of the Cuban 
ambassador is damaged and looted by American soldiers; on one wall is 
written "AA", symbol of the 82nd Airborne Division; beside it the 
message: "Eat shit, commie faggot." ... "I want to fuck communism out 
of this little island," says a marine, "and fuck it right back to Moscow."

  * 1984: During a sound check just before his weekly broadcast, 
President Reagan spoke these words into the microphone: "My fellow 
Americans, I am pleased to tell you I have signed legislation to 
outlaw Russia, forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes."  His 
words were picked up by at least two radio networks.

  * 1985: October 29 BBC interview with Ronald Reagan: asked about 
the differences he saw between the US and Russia, the president 
replied: "I'm no linguist, but I've been told that in the Russian 
language there isn't even a word for freedom."  (The word is "svoboda".)

  * 1986: Soviet artists and cultural officials criticized Rambo-like 
American films as an expression of "anti-Russian phobia even more 
pathological than in the days of McCarthyism".  Russian film-maker 
Stanislav Rostofsky claimed that on one visit to an American school 
"a young girl had trembled with fury when she heard I was from the 
Soviet Union, and said she hated Russians."

  * 1986: Roy Cohn, who achieved considerable fame and notoriety in 
the 1950s as an assistant to the communist-witch-hunting Senator 
Joseph McCarthy, died, reportedly of AIDS.  Cohn, though homosexual, 
had denied that he was and had denounced such rumors as communist smears.

  * 1986: After American journalist Nicholas Daniloff was arrested in 
Moscow for "spying" and held in custody for two weeks, New York Mayor 
Edward Koch sent a group of 10 visiting Soviet students storming out 
of City Hall in fury.  "The Soviet government is the pits," said 
Koch, visibly shocking the students, ranging in age from 10 to 18 
years.  One 14-year-old student was so outraged he declared: "I don't 
want to stay in this house.  I want to go to the bus and go far away 
from this place.  The mayor is very rude.  We never had a worse 
welcome anywhere."  As matters turned out, it appeared that Daniloff 
had not been completely pure when it came to his news gathering.

  * 1989: After the infamous Chinese crackdown on dissenters in 
Tiananmen Square in June, the US news media was replete with reports 
that the governments of Nicaragua, Vietnam and Cuba had expressed 
their support of the Chinese leadership.  Said the Wall Street 
Journal: "Nicaragua, with Cuba and Vietnam, constituted  the only 
countries in the world to approve the Chinese Communists' slaughter 
of the students in Tiananmen Square."  But it was all someone's 
fabrication; no such support had been expressed by any of the three 
governments.  At that time, as now, there were few, if any, 
organizations other than the CIA which could manipulate major Western 
media in such a manner.

NOTE: It should be remembered that the worst consequences of 
anti-communism were not those discussed above.  The worst 
consequences, the ultra-criminal consequences, were the abominable 
death, destruction, and violation of human rights that we know under 
various names: Vietnam, Chile, Korea, Guatemala, Cambodia, Indonesia, 
Brazil, Greece, Afghanistan, El Salvador, and many others.

William Blum is the author of 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567512526/counterpunchmaga>Killing 
Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567511945/counterpunchmaga>Rogue 
State: a guide to the World's Only Super Power. and 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1887128727/counterpunchmaga>West-Bloc 
Dissident: a Cold War Political 
Memoir<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567511945/counterpunchmaga>.

He can be reached at: <mailto:BBlum6 at aol.com>BBlum6 at aol.com




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