Source – https://canadianpatriot.org
- “…One can only speculate on the extent to which the serial killer phenomenon since the 1970s, plus the rise of school shootings in the United States since the 1990s, serve a similar “strategy of tension” function, assuming individuals can be programmed to carry out such heinous acts. Evidence from the CIA’s Project BLUEBIRD…indicates that it is possible to hypnotize victims into unknowingly committing murder and planting bombs, however, it is unknown whether such techniques have been deployed in actual covert operations. Similar research was continued in MKULTRA Subproject 136, begun in August 1961, and there is no obvious reason to think it would stop until the CIA had perfected the techniques for creating a Manchurian candidate”
Wall Street, The Nazis, & The Crimes Of The Deep State (Part 2) – By David A. Hughes
Continued From Part 1….
The Failures of Denazification
After World War II, Wall Street controlled the appointment of officials responsible for denazifying and governing the Federal Republic (Sutton 2016, 160). The Control Council for Germany, headed by General Lucius Clay, included Louis Douglas, director of Morgan-controlled General Motors, and WIlliam Draper, a partner in Dillon, Read & Co., among others (Sutton 2016, 158). Yet, as the Nuremberg Trials took place, many senior Nazis and their industrialist backers evaded justice, and even those found guilty, such as Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick, were allowed to return to their old positions in the early 1950s. No American was tried despite the role of Wall Street and Ford in facilitating the rise of Hitler, building Nazi industry, and enabling and prolonging the war. Sutton wryly speculates that the true purpose of this victor’s justice was to “divert attention away from the U.S. involvement in Hitler’s rise to power” (2016, 48).
The Bank for International Settlements, which seamlessly continued operations during World War II, as though its central bankers were not at war with one another, accepted gold from the Nazi Reichsbank despite its questionable provenance. Its board of directors included I.G. Farben director Hermann Schmitz, “midwife of Nazism” Kurt Baron von Schröder, Emil Puhl, who was in charge of processing dental gold looted from the mouths of concentration camp victims, and Walther Funk, referred to at the Nuremberg trials as “the Banker of Gold Teeth.” All four were convicted of crimes against humanity. Although the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 recommended that the BIS be liquidated at the “earliest possible moment,” this did not occur and the recommendation was reversed in 1948. The BIS was thus allowed to survive despite its complicity in the crimes of the Third Reich.
Some former Nazis went on to assume very powerful positions. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who served in the SS in the early 1930s before joining I.G. Farben, co-founded the Bilderberg Group in 1954. Walter Hallstein, who served as First Lieutenant in the German Army and whose name was proposed by the University of Frankfurt in 1944 as a potential National Socialist Leadership Officer (charged with teaching Nazi ideology to soldiers), went was appointed the first president of the EEC (now EU) Commission (1958-1967). Adolf Heusinger, once Hitler’s Chief of the General Staff of the Army, became Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (1957–1961) and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (1961–1964). Kurt Kiesinger, who had close ties to Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and Franz Six, who led death squads in Eastern Europe, attended the 1957 Bilderberg conference and later became West German Chancellor (1967-1971). Kurt Waldheim, a former intelligence officer in the Nazi Wehrmacht, became UN Secretary General (1972–1981) and President of Austria (1986–1992). Wherever global governance was concerned, denazification was fundamentally irrelevant and systematically avoided.
Recruiting Ex-Nazis and Unit 731 Personnel
Not only was there a failure to convict many of those responsible for World War II, but after the war, the United States actively recruited over 1,600 former Nazi scientists, engineers, and technicians through Operation PAPERCLIP (1945–1959), the Western counterpoint to Operation Osoaviakhim. These included nuclear scientists as well as rocket experts such as Wernher von Braun (former SS, pioneered Nazi V2 rocket technology, appointed director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in 1960), Georg Rickhey, and Arthur Rudolph. They also included scientists who had conducted medical experiments on concentration camp inmates, such as Walter Schreiber, while the Nuremberg Code of 1947 was being drawn up. According to Stephen Kinzer, Nazi doctors were brought to Fort Detrick to advise on the use of the nerve gas sarin and to explain the results of experiments with mescaline on human subjects at the Dachau concentration camp (cited in Gross 2019). Sarin gas inventor Otto Ambros, who, having been found guilty of mass murder at the Nuremberg trials, was granted clemency by former Wall Street lawyer and US High Commissioner of Germany John J. McCloy (Jacobsen 2014, 337). McCloy also pardoned the industrialist Friedrich Flick, convicted at Nuremberg on charges of slave labour, who went on to become the richest man in the Federal Republic. McCloy even sought to commute the prison sentence of Hitler’s close ally Albert Speer. PAPERCLIP was approved in principle by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 6 July 1945 without President Truman’s knowledge of it; more than a year passed before the president gave his official approval.
Concomitantly, over 100 former Gestapo and SS officers were recruited by the CIA through former Nazi intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen through the Gehlen Organization, which would in 1956 become the Federal Intelligence Service in Germany. Names included Alois Brunner, who sent over 100,000 Jews to ghettos and concentration camps, Franz Alfred Six, who led a death squad unit in the Soviet Union, Emil Augsburg, who planned SS executions of Jews in occupied Poland, Karl Silberbauer, who captured Anne Frank, Klaus Barbie, the so-called “Butcher of Lyon”, Otto von Bolschwing, who worked with Adolf Eichmann on the planning of the Final Solution, and the war criminal Otto Skorzeny.
Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army performed lethal human experiments during the Second Sino-Japanese War, leaving no survivors. Those experiments included vivisection, injecting victims with venereal diseases disguised as vaccinations, using live human targets to test grenades and flamethrowers, electrocution, injection with animal blood, exposure to lethal levels of x-ray radiation, and rape and forced pregnancy. Unit 731 also developed biological warfare methods, including the release of plague-infected fleas over China, injecting wells with typhoid and paratyphoid, and injecting prisoners with various diseases including bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, and botulism. War criminals from Unit 731 were granted secret immunity by the United States in exchange for their “expertise.” This amnesty, first revealed by John Powell in a 1981 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists article, was not formally conceded by the US government until 1999 and the relevant documentation was not published until 2017 (see Kaye 2017). All subsequent US biowarfare research must be seen in this context (van der Pijl 2022, Ch. 5).
Wall Street, Kennan, and the Birth of the US National Security State
In July 1947, the National Security Act was signed into law by President Truman, ostensibly aimed at improving coordination between military and intelligence agencies. It provided for, among other things, a National Military Establishment to be headed by the Secretary of Defence, a National Security Council (NSC), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The latter would replace the Office of Strategic Service (OSS, 1942–1945), run during the war as an equivalent of MI6. It was the brainchild of Allen Dulles, who formed an advisory group of six men, five of whom (including William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner) were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers (Scott 2017, 14). A blueprint for the National Security Act was provided by Ferdinand Eberstadt (erstwhile vice-president of the War Production Board), who, like his long-time collaborator James Forrestal, was a former Dillon, Read & Co. investment banker. Forrestal was appointed the first US Defence Secretary in September 1947. The creation of the CIA was lobbied for by former Wall Street lawyers and OSS directors William Donovan and Allen Dulles (who later directed it). According to future CIA executive director A. B. “Buzzy” Krongard, “the whole OSS was really nothing but Wall Street bankers and lawyers” (cited in Ahmed 2012, 65).
In its first session in December 1947, the NSC approved the creation of an undercover unit, the Special Procedures Group (SPG), which became operational in March 1948 under the leadership of Frank Wisner, “who wielded unprecedented power due to his position in New York law and financial circles” (Ahmed 2012, 65). (Before the war, Wisner had worked at Carter, Ledyard and Milburn, Franklin Roosevelt’s old law firm.) Wisner was the architect of the Bloodstone programme, through which “scores of leaders of Nazi collaborationist organizations thought to be useful for political warfare in Eastern Europe [including sabotage and assassination] entered the United States” (Simpson 2014, 100). Giving the lie to the Truman doctrine of “free institutions, representative government, [and] free elections” (as per Truman’s 12 March 1947 address to Congress), the first act of the SPG was to subvert the Italian election of April 1948.
As part of the 1947 national security shake-up, George Kennan was appointed at Forrestal’s recommendation as the inaugural Director of Policy Planning, i.e. the head of the State Department’s internal think tank, the Policy Planning Staff. In 1938, Kennan had proposed an authoritarian form of government in the United States, calling for suffrage to be withdrawn from “bewildered” and “ignorant” women, immigrants, and African Americans (Miscamble 1993, 17; Costigliola 1997, 128). Professing admiration for Austria’s fascist Schuschnigg regime, he claimed that “if malicious despotism had greater possibilities for evil than democracy, benevolent despotism had greater possibilities for good” (cited in Botts 2006, 844). After the war, he had the 1938 document removed from his papers in Princeton’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. In 1947-8, Kennan was the architect of the Reverse Course in Japan, maintaining the zaibatsu and “reinstating the prewar political class with its Class A war criminals, as was not possible in Germany”; the US occupation, he remarked, could “dispense with bromides about democratization” (Anderson 2017, 60). Kennan claimed he “prefer[red] to remain ignorant” of Nazi war crimes; rather than purging Nazis from postwar German governments, it would be better, he claimed, to hold “the present ruling class of Germany […] strictly to its task and teach it the lessons we wish it to learn” (Simpson 2014, 88-9). Kennan personally intervened to obtain high-level security clearance for Gustav Hilger, who had served in Nazi foreign minister von Ribbentrop’s personal secretariat and played a role in the Holocaust, taking his advice on East-West policy (Simpson 2014, 116). In Latin America, Kennan advocated “harsh measures of repression,” even though this “would not stand the test of American concepts of democratic procedures” (cited in Anderson 2017, 86).
While publicly advocating “containment,” Kennan authored an important memo dated 4 May 1948 proposing that the State Department establish a directorate of political warfare operations capable of rivalling those of Britain and the Soviet Union (Kennan 1948). Such operations may be overt, involving political alliances, economic measures such as the Marshall Plan, and propaganda. Or they may be covert, involving “clandestine support of ‘friendly’ foreign elements, ‘black’ psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states” (Kennan 1948). All covert operations, Kennan recommends, should be run under cover of the NSC, headed by a single individual answerable to the Secretary of State.
NSC directive 10/2 (18 June 1948) provides for the establishment of an Office of Special Projects (OSP) within the CIA with powers to engage in covert activities relating to propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anticommunist elements in threatened countries of the free world.
Although NSC 10/2 states that covert operations “shall not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations,” Kennan and Charles Thayer secretly pushed for the restoration of the the Vlasov Army, an anti-Communist émigré campaign created by the SS for use against the USSR, which could work together with US military specialists as a part of a new school for anti-Communist guerrilla warfare training (Simpson 2014, 8) — not dissimilar from the School of the Americas founded in 1946.
The Office of Special Projects replaced the Special Procedures Group, inheriting its resources, and was renamed the Office of Political Coordination to deflect attention from its covert activities before becoming operational in September 1948. It was headed by Wisner, Kennan’s second choice behind Allen Dulles, who declined the position in the mistaken expectation of becoming CIA Director following a Republican victory in the 1948 election.
The Dual/Deep State
The above genealogy of alphabet agencies, with Kennan as the red thread, charts the emergence of what Hans Morgenthau, in a 1955 study, calls the “dual state” (Morgenthau 1962). Morgenthau was concerned, at the height of the Second Red Scare, that certain officers in the State Department no longer reported to the Secretary of State and the President, but rather to Senator McCarthy. Confounding the later neorealist stereotype of the state as a unified rational actor, Morgenthau posited both a “regular state hierarchy” and a “security hierarchy” at work in the United States. Whereas the regular state hierarchy is visible and obeys the rule of law, the security hierarchy is invisible and de facto “monitors and controls the former,” exercising veto power over it via the ability to impose emergency measures in the name of security (Tunander 2016, 171, 186).
The security hierarchy can be seen as the outward-facing aspect of the “invisible government” identified by multiple authors previously. These include the Progressive Party in its 1912 platform; New York City mayor John Hylan’s “Invisible Government” article of 1922, which points the finger at an “oligarchy of big business,” headed by “the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests, certain powerful industrial magnates, and a small group of banking houses […]” (Hylan 1922, 659-61, 714-16); and Edwards Bernays’ claim that those who exercise a “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses […] manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country (Bernays 1928, 1).
Together, the invisible government and the security hierarchy form “a new deep apparatus” — sometimes referred to as the deep state (Scott 2017) — by which private actors “leverage the state into instrumentalizing or facilitating the criminal political violence necessary to sustain and expand [capitalist] accumulation” (Ahmed 2012, 63). The deep state amounts to a high-level conspiracy between key elements of Wall Street, intelligence and other government agencies, the military-industrial complex, the police, multinational corporations, think tanks, foundations, the media, and academia. Regardless of which government is nominally in charge, the deep state subverts democracy and the rule of law to make sure that ruling class agendas are continuously advanced. Although there are tensions and power struggles between different groups and institutions of the deep state, ultimately those different class fractions tend to coalesce and unite around certain fundamental control paradigms and policies for their mutual class benefit. The deep state makes its most significant interventions in the form of “deep events,” i.e. events which profoundly transform the trajectory of politics and society yet whose provenance is ambiguous, e.g. the JFK assassination, 9/11, and now “Covid-19” (cf. Scott 2017, Ch. 9).
The Transnationalization of the Deep State
The emergence of the United States as the dominant imperialist power after 1945 led to the creation of a “U.S.-dominated transnational deep system which transfigured, and continues to attempt to manipulate, the trajectories of local and regional politics” (Ahmed 2012, 63). Scott (2017, 30) points to the emergence of a “supranational deep state.”
This began with signals intelligence and the Five Eyes surveillance system. The UKUSA Agreement of 1946 (based on intelligence cooperation dating back to the Atlantic Charter of 1941) was expanded to include Canada (1948), Norway (1952), and Denmark (1954), plus West Germany, Australia, and New Zealand (1955) (Norton-Taylor 2010). Thus, the “Five Eyes” label, which suggests the United States plus leading Commonwealth countries, is in fact misleading, notwithstanding the formal declaration by UKUSA in 1955: “At this time only Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be regarded as UKUSA-collaborating Commonwealth countries” (cited in Norton-Taylor 2010). The transnational surveillance system had already integrated several Western European partners and was being run by the US with the UK as junior partner. In time it represented “an important support structure for the Atlantic ruling class, working closely with the services of vassal states such as Germany and France, South Korea and Japan, as well as ally Israel” (van der Pijl 2022, 73).
There are two levels of power operative in the deep system, one visible, the other hidden, based on “the Grossraum divide between the hierarchy of the nation-state and the security hierarchy of the protecting power or Reich” (Tunander 2016, 186). Grossraum is a concept found in the writings of Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt and translates as “Grand Area,” a concept central to Council on Foreign Relations planning documents of 1944 for postwar international order, expressible as “a core region, which could always be extended to include more countries” (Shoup and Minter 1977, 138). In that postwar order,
“U.S. intelligence and security forces would always be present in the local states to guarantee the security of the Grossraum. In other words, the U.S. security hierarchy would intervene if “necessary” as a veto force or an “emergency power,” or what Carl Schmitt called the sovereign. It might intervene to influence the nation-state hierarchy or with operations able to manipulate policies of this hierarchy or, in the final analysis, veto its decisions by replacing its leaders.”
According to Tunander, this dual structure is present in all NATO states, indicating that NATO is not just a formal alliance of sovereign states but also “something of an informal U.S. ‘super-state’” (2016, 185).
The evidence demonstrating the existence of a transnational deep state has been historically slow to emerge, precisely because that system was intended to remain hidden. Nevertheless, it was graphically exposed in 1990, when revelations emerged that the Italian military intelligence agency SIFAR had, since the late 1940s, collaborated with the CIA to establish a secret army in Italy code-named “Gladio” (“sword”). According to Davis (2018), it is unclear whether any organization other than the CIA or MI6 was able to authorise Gladio operations. Ostensibly coordinated by NATO, the Gladio secret army was part of a clandestine international network theoretically intended to provide resistance in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe (Ganser 2005, 88). Such ideas were not new: the Nazis’ Operation Werwolf (1944) aimed to create resistance cells that would operate behind enemy lines as the Allies advanced through Germany (Biddiscombe 1998). Every Italian Prime Minister had known about Operation Gladio, and one of them, Francesco Cossiga (1978-1979) even claimed to be “proud of the fact that we have kept the secret for 45 years” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88).
In a memo of 4 May 1948, Kennan proposes the establishment of a directorate of political warfare operations by the State Department and recommends four specific policies, one of which remains redacted (Kennan 1948). Could it be that the redacted policy refers to stay-behind armies? Kennan himself would later acknowledge his own role in setting up “clandestine defensive operations” in the late 1940s (1985, 214). According to Ahmed (2012, 67), the stay-behind armies were established via close collaboration between the Office of Political Coordination (established on Kennan’s initiative) and the Special Operations branch of MI6 on White House orders.
The purpose of the Gladio stay-behind armies changed over time. Following working class revolts in East Germany (1953) and Hungary (1956), Kennan claimed in his fourth Reith lecture (1957) that the primary danger posed by the USSR was not, in fact, a military invasion of Western Europe, but, rather, political subversion from within by local communist organizations directed by the Kremlin (Kennan 1957). This theme was echoed in a 1959 Italian Armed Forces report, which saw the danger as originating, not in Soviet military invasion, but rather in domestic communist groups (Davis 2018). Kennan recommended that “paramilitary forces” be deployed as “the core of a civil resistance movement on any territory that might be overwhelmed by the enemy.” “The enemy” here does not really mean Soviet communism, however. It means the working class, veiled by the misimpression that it is really the Soviet Union that is being fought. As van der Pijl (2020) writes, “As long as the capitalist ruling class was not strong enough to roll back the Left working class, these forces had to be kept in reserve for an emergency.”
In the same year, 1957, the operational command of Gladio was transferred from NATO’s Clandestine Planning Committee to the Allied Clandestine Committee, which was overseen by the US Supreme Allied Commander in Europe who reported directly to the Pentagon (Davis 2018). Then, in 1963, that same command post was taken by General Lyman Lemnitzer who in 1962 had approved Operation Northwoods, a plan for a series of false flag attacks to be blamed on Cuba for the purpose of provoking war. Though NATO has repeatedly denied freedom of information requests on the subject, it seems reasonable to mark this period (1957–1963) as one in which the Gladio operation morphed from a supposedly defensive military operation in the event of Soviet occupation into an offensive operation against the working class, involving false flag terrorism.
The Gladio programme became a de facto conduit for state-sponsored terrorism in the post-1968 era, committing numerous acts of terrorism that were blamed on the Red Brigades, including the kidnap and murder of ex-prime minister Aldo Moro and five of his staff in 1978, as well as the bombing of the Bologna Centrale railway station in 1980, which killed 85 people and wounded over 200. False flag terrorism used to incriminate communists can be traced to the Nazi burning down of the Reichstag dome in 1933 (Hett 2014; Sutton 2016, 118-19).
Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a neo-fascist convicted of killing three Italian police officers in a car bombing in 1972 with C4 explosive taken from a Gladio arms dump, testified during his trial in 1984, “there existed a real live structure, occult and hidden, with the capacity of giving a strategic direction to the outrages” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88). This “secret organization” involved “a network of communications, arms, and explosives, and men trained to use them” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88). Its structure, Vinciguerra claimed, “lies within the state itself. There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men,” which had been charged with “preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country. This they did with the assistance of the official intelligence services and the political and military forces” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88-9). Similarly, the former head of Italian counterintelligence, General Giandelio Maletti, testified in the trial of right-wing extremists accused of involvement in the 1969 massacre in Milan’s Piazza Fontana, “The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left, and, for this purpose, it may have made use of right-wing terrorism” (cited in Ganser 2005, 91).
In a passage that presciently unmasks the underlying logic of twenty-first governance, Vinciguerra, in his 1984 testimony, claims:
“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the State to ask for greater security. This was precisely the role of the right in Italy. It placed itself at the service of the State which created a strategy aptly called the “Strategy of Tension” in so far as they had to get ordinary people to accept that at any moment over a period of 30 years, from 1960 to the mid eighties, a State of emergency could be declared. So, people would willingly trade part of their freedom for the security of being able to walk the streets, go on trains or enter a bank. This is the political logic behind all the bombings. They remain unpunished because the state cannot condemn itself.”
The same logic of trading freedom for security based on false flag terrorism was evident in the “War on Terror,” just as it is in the building of the “Covid-19” biosecurity state. The Italian experience perhaps explains why one of the most perspicacious critics of both of these security paradigms, has been the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben.
The “strategy of tension,” in which repeated acts of terrorism were used, in Schmittian vein, to impose authority in a climate of terror, was not limited to Italy. Rather, “[t]he ‘stay-behind’ networks were responsible for waves of terrorist attacks throughout Western Europe, for instance in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Greece and elsewhere, that were officially blamed on communists […]” (Ahmed 2012, 68). They were also present in Turkey, following the 1961 U.S. Army Field Manual 31-15: Operations Against Irregular Forces (Davis 2018). The inescapable conclusion, for Davis (2018), is that “Western intelligence agencies and security services were involved in the orchestration of terrible crimes committed against civilians throughout Europe and beyond.”
Most remarkable about the “strategy of tension” is that it left “at most only one or two government officials actually aware of the existence of the program” (Ahmed 2012, 68). Elected politicians and government officials remained both blind and without operational command, evidencing “another form of government, hidden from both the public and many within the political establishment, that was operating beyond the rule of law, without democratic oversight or control. A ‘Deep State’” (Davis 2018). Davis continues that those responsible, “including many committed Nazis and neo-fascists, who had effectively formed a parallel European government, [were] able to utilise significant state resources, without any restraint, to achieve whatever aim they saw fit.” Meanwhile, the public, which was being targeted by such operations, was also paying for them and was the last to know about them.
One can only speculate on the extent to which the serial killer phenomenon since the 1970s, plus the rise of school shootings in the United States since the 1990s, serve a similar “strategy of tension” function, assuming individuals can be programmed to carry out such heinous acts. Evidence from the CIA’s Project BLUEBIRD (begun in April 1950, renamed as Project ARTICHOKE in August 1951) indicates that it is possible to hypnotize victims into unknowingly committing murder and planting bombs, however, it is unknown whether such techniques have been deployed in actual covert operations (Ross 2006, Ch. 4). Similar research was continued in MKULTRA Subproject 136, begun in August 1961 (Ross 2006, 66), and there is no obvious reason to think it would stop until the CIA had perfected the techniques for creating a Manchurian candidate.
Reappraising the “Cold War”: US-USSR Partnership
It behooves scholars of the Cold War, in light of emergent knowledge regarding the transnational deep state network working on behalf of finance capital, to reappraise conventional Cold War narratives. In particular, it seems important to question whether the “Cold War,” a term invented by George Orwell (1945) and dramatized by Walter Lippmann (1987), was anything more than propaganda.
The former Dillon, Read & Co. banker turned Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, solicited George Kennan’s “long telegram” from Moscow in response to the USSR’s refusal to join the World Bank and IMF in February 1946. He then distributed the telegram within official circles, whence it was leaked to Time magazine and made the subject of a full-page article that included some suggestive cartography showing communism spreading to “infect” other countries (McCauley 2016, 89). In December 1946, Forrestal invited Kennan to produce another paper, which was published anonymously in Foreign Affairs in July 1947 under the title, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” and introduced the idea of “containment.” Thus originated the image of the Soviet Union as an implacable foe, an existential threat (as it proved to be for Nazi Germany), “a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with [the] US there can be no permanent modus vivendi” (Kennan 1946, 14).
Paul Nitze, the former vice-president of Dillon, Read & Co. who married the daughter a Standard Oil financier, succeeded Kennan as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. Nitze had significant input into NSC-68 (1950), which warns darkly of “the Kremlin’s design for world domination” and its threat to “civilization itself” and advocates for “rollback” in place of “containment.” NSC-68 “did not explain why the Russians should risk all by an invasion of Western Europe. It ignored a CIA finding that the Russians lacked the strength to occupy the Continent and hold it down. And it grossly overestimated the size of the Soviet atomic arsenal” (Braithwaite 2018, 147). It did, however, provide the pretext for US imperialism, i.e. “US military interventionism across the whole of the globe (not just its industrial heartlands) with a view of upholding capitalist social relations, be they politically liberal or otherwise” (Colas 2012, 42).
Nazi ideology was based on the idea of existential threat, epitomized in Carl Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction. The Volk was constituted through that which allegedly threatened its very existence (countries demanding reparations payments, international bankers, Jews, etc.). A similar logic applies to the existential threat allegedly posed to the United States by the Soviet Union, viz. Senator Arthur Vandenberg’s 1947 recommendation to “scare hell out of the American people” (his nephew, Hoyt Vandenberg, was CIA Director at the time), the “Doomsday clock” (1947), the apocalyptic rhetoric of NSC-68 (1950), the contagion metaphor for communism, the 1952 “duck and cover” film used to terrorize school children, graphic accounts of the potential effects of a nuclear attack on the United States in the Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest, and Kissinger’s (1957, Ch. 3) description of the effects of a 10 megaton nuclear weapon detonated in New York.
In reality, the Soviet Union offered nothing like the threat painted by Nitze and his Wall Street collaborators. From the beginning, the Bolshevik Revolution was infiltrated by Wall Street interests, many of which even shared a common address (120 Broadway), e.g. the Bankers Club, individual directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the American International Corporation, and the first Bolshevik ambassador to the United States, Ludwig Martens (Sutton 2011, 127). US-Russian relations were henceforth dominated by “Morgan and allied financial interests, particularly the Rockefeller family,” with a view to opening up new markets and taking control of a centrally planned economy by financing state-approved oligopolies (Sutton 2011, 127).
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union “persistently wooed the United States,” much as Tsarist Russia had made a series of overtures to the United States between 1905 and 1912 (Williams 1992, 70) and much as Wall Street had supported the Bolshevik Revolution — not for any ideological reason, but because it saw the possibility for opening up new markets for investment (Sutton 2011). In 1922, Kennan published a biography of Averell Harriman’s “railroad tycoon” father. He must therefore have known, when writing the “long telegram” as deputy US ambassador to Russia under Averell Harriman, that the Kremlin had enjoyed close ties with the Harriman family for over two decades and was intent on preserving good relations. For example, even when the Harrimans’ manganese mining concession in the Soviet Union was withdrawn as a result of Stalin’s quest to reduce dependence on foreign investment, Moscow agreed to repay Harriman $3.45 million of the original $4 million investment plus 7 percent annual interest on both the remainder and an additional $1 million loan between 1931 and 1943, an agreement that was dutifully honoured even during the peak of World War II, resulting in a substantial profit for Harriman (Pechatnov 2003, 2). Harriman, in turn, was a key architect of US support for the Soviet Union during the war in order to weaken Nazi Germany.
In 1943, Stalin disbanded the Comintern as a sign of goodwill to Western allies, thereby “spreading among the masses the illusion that equality and fraternity between nations were compatible with the survival of the principal imperialist state” (Claudin 1975, 30). In October 1944, Churchill’s infamous “percentage note” at the Fourth Moscow Conference proposed significant influence for Stalin in eastern Europe (90 percent in Romania, 75 percent in Bulgaria, 50 percent in Hungary and Yugoslavia, but only 10 percent in Greece). Stalin immediately acquiesced by drawing a tick on the note and passing it back to Churchill. The unspoken premise was that Stalin would not interfere with the postwar restabilization of capitalism in Western Europe in exchange for control of Eastern Europe. In December 1944, US Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote in a memo from Greece: “The peoples of the liberated countries [i.e. from Nazi rule] are the most combustible material in the world. They are violent and restless”; he warned that “agitation and unrest” could lead to “the overthrow of governments” (cited in Steil 2018, 18-19). Yet, when the communist revolt in Greece arrived two years later, Stalin refused to send aid, resulting in the Tito-Stalin split of June 1948.
Like the declining European empires, the Soviet Union was heavily reliant on US financial support after World War II. As Sanchez-Sibony (2014, 295) explains, “the Soviet leadership not only welcomed, but pursued American credit” and indeed expected it as a moral right after having suffered by far the highest number of fatalities in order to defeat the Nazis. U.S. Ambassador Harriman offered $1 billion of credits to Moscow before the Yalta conference (February 1945), an amount that was eventually agreed upon in 1946, but only after a prolonged period of tension following Stalin’s failed insistence on $6 billion (Sanchez-Sibony 2014, 296). Stalin courted Roosevelt at Yalta, deferring to him as the formal “host” for the conference, staging plenary sessions in the American accommodation at the Livadia Palace, and allowing Roosevelt to sit centrally in group photographs. At Yalta as previously at Tehran, Stalin offered significant commercial incentives for US firms engaging in business deals with the USSR; every effort was made to “buy into the very system of financial and commercial exchange that could guarantee the quick recovery of the USSR” (Sanchez-Sibony 2014, 295-6). These are not the actions of an empire bent on world domination but rather of a regime seeking accommodation with Western capitalism.
Strategically, Stalin and his successors may have welcomed the US troop presence in West Germany after World War II, because it served as “one of the more reliable guarantees against German revanchism” (Judt 2007, 243). This would explain, for example, why Stalin accepted a larger French presence in the occupation of Germany once he heard at Yalta that Roosevelt would only commit US troops in Europe for two years — hardly the action of a fanatic salivating at the prospect of subverting a defenceless Europe (Sanchez-Sibony 2014, 295, n. 18). Stalin also made no attempt to challenge US aerial supremacy during the Korean War despite having signed off on plans for Korean unification with Chairman Mao (Craig and Logevall 2012, 115).
The “Cold War” was never about “deterring” the Soviet Union; rather, it amounted to “a vast transitional program of political economic rehabilitation of the imperial system to subvert de-colonization and impose global capitalist discipline against anti-imperialist resistance” (Ahmed 2012, 70). Meanwhile, at home, the Second Red Scare in the 1950s, based on alleged fifth column communism in the United States, was a strategy to create public hysteria and, with it, increased social control. To the extent that communist sympathizers and fellow travellers had taken root in the United States in the 1930s, this was as a result of “the power of the international financial coterie,” which backed all sides; Tom Lamont, for example, a partner in the Morgan firm, sponsored “almost a score of extreme Left organizations, including the Communist Party itself” (Quigley 1966, 687).
In The Civil War in France (1871), Marx describes how the French and German ruling classes, which had just been at war with one another, put aside their differences and joined forces to put down the Paris Commune (Epp 2017). Similar proved true again in response to working class uprisings in the 1950s. The East German uprising of 1953 was not only crushed by Soviet tanks, but “to make sure that it did not spread, the western powers of England, France and the United States built a wall of police and military might to prevent West Berlin workers from marching to join their brothers and sisters in the East” (Glaberman and Faber 2002, 171-2). Similarly, when Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary in 1956 to crush the uprising there, “the Eisenhower administration loudly protested the Soviet action, but did not intervene militarily. Liberation was exposed as a sham” (Wilford 2008, 49). Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America never again called on East Europeans to revolt (Glaberman and Faber 2002, 173). The Soviet Union and the West were united in their determination to keep the international working class in check.
The same US capitalists who had supported the Nazis were also “willing to finance and subsidize the Soviet Union while the Vietnam war was underway, knowing that the Soviets were supplying the other side” (Sutton 2016, 19). Ford, for instance, which built the Soviet Union’s first modern automobile plant in the 1930s, also “produced the trucks used by the North Vietnamese to carry weapons and munitions for use against Americans” (Sutton 2016, 90). Ford backed both sides of the Vietnam War in pursuit of profit, exactly as it had done during World War II. In National Suicide, Sutton (1972, 13) claims: “The 100,000 Americans killed in Korea and Vietnam were killed by our own technology” (Sutton 1972, 13). For example,
“the 130,000-man North Korean army that crossed the border into South Korea in June 1950, which was ostensibly trained and equipped by the Soviet Union, included a brigade of Soviet T-34 medium tanks (with U.S. Christie suspensions). The artillery tractors that pulled the guns were direct metric copies of Caterpillar tractors. The trucks were either from the Henry Ford-Gorki plant or the ZIL plant. The North Korean Air Force had 180 Yak planes built in plants with U.S. Lend-Lease equipment; these Yaks were later replaced by MiG-15s powered by Russian copies of Rolls-Royce jet engines sold to the Soviet Union in 1947.”
The repeated pattern, in Vietnam as in World War II, is that concerns for profit always come before human life and national loyalties do not exist.
Samuel Huntington admitted in a 1981 roundtable event that the “Cold War” was a cover story used to legitimize US imperialism: “You may have to sell [intervention in another country] in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union that you are fighting. That is what the United States has been doing ever since the Truman Doctrine” (cited in Hoffmann et al. 1981, 14). The true guiding principle of US foreign policy, according to Noam Chomsky, is “the right to dominate,” though this is “typically concealed in defensive terms: during the Cold War years, routinely by invoking the ‘Russian threat,’ even when Russians were nowhere in sight” (Chomsky 2012). Devoid of new ideas, the “Russian threat” continues to be invoked, even though the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine was provoked by relentless expansion eastwards by NATO (Mearsheimer 2015).
Continued In Part 3….