DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE ATOM BOMB AND THE TRUTH BOMB
World War II is unique for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it revealed the duplicity of the left and its utter lack of consistency. Before John Kerry was for the Iraq War before he was against it, the left was for World War II before it was against it, before it was for it, until it was once again against it.
The left was for war before Stalin signed a pact with Hitler. It was vociferously against war once Hitler and Stalin were playing on the same team. When Hitler launched a surprise attack on the USSR, then they were even more loudly for war. And when the war drew to a close and Stalin stopped thinking of survival and began looking for ways to maximize territorial gains from the war, then the left, with the predictable rhythm of a weathervane blowing in the cold wind from Moscow, turned against the war.
Or rather against the occupation of Europe, the Marshall Plan and the atom bomb. That attitude of the old left, with its deep red veins of Communist sympathies, pulses through Oliver Stone’s propaganda series, “The Untold History of the United States.”
The third episode of the series, “The Bomb,” labors to make the case that using atomic weapons on Japan was unnecessary because a Soviet invasion would have forced Japan to surrender in any case leading to a lesser loss of life.
Supposing we take that assumption at face value, it is at best unclear whether Hiroshima and Nagasaki or a Soviet invasion would have led to a higher civilian death toll. Certainly an atomic bomb, unlike the Red Army, did not rape several million women. And looking at Communist Asian countries like China and North Korea, it is not difficult to imagine that a Soviet occupation of even part of Japan would have led to a far higher civilian casualty rate than dropping the bomb.
But Oliver Stone, like the rest of the left’s historical revisionists, doesn’t really care about Japanese civilians. Stalin had killed far more people, Russian and non-Russian, than every atom bomb combined. When it came to cynical power plays, the Soviet Union starved millions and would have starved millions more in the name of the same dominance that Stone and Kuznick accuse Truman of.
Stone and his collaborator Peter Kuznick resurrect the tired myth of a heroic Soviet Union standing alone against Hitler, only to be undermined and betrayed by American and British imperialists. The dropping of the atom bomb is meant to be the original sin that kicks off the Cold War leading us to Vietnam and drones in the sky over Pakistan.
But that myth is a bedtime story told to red diaper babies before they go to sleep at night dreaming of directing firing squads and storming the winter palace.
The Soviet Union threw in its lot with Nazi Germany because both empires shared a common agenda of carving up and taking over Eastern European countries that were under Western European protection. Stalin trusted Hitler so much that he refused to hear the intelligence relaying Nazi plans for an invasion. And when Soviet imperialism blew up in Stalin’s face, he was forced to turn to the West for help. The West sent massive shipments of aid that provided everything from jeeps to canned food to half-a-million boots for the feet of Red Army soldiers.
Oliver Stone follows the left’s line of playing up Russian casualties on the European front and contrasting them with American casualties. What he leaves out is that Russian casualties were so high because the Soviet Union invited Nazi Germany into its backyard, purged its own generals and then threw horrifying numbers of unprepared and, sometimes, unarmed soldiers into combat in massive killing fields that slowed down the German advance with miles of corpses.
The United States did more than its share of bleeding on the Pacific front, and brutal fighting in Iwo Jima made the unavoidable case that an invasion of Japan would lead to completely unacceptable loss of life.
The left had a solution for this. Put the Russians on the job. The Soviet Union had been willing to casually throw away hundreds of thousands of men without a care. The Red Army would do the dirty work that the United States was not prepared to do, and Japan would have been turned into another North Korea; piled high with corpses and turned into a prison state for an unknown number of generations.
The United States was meant to bring its superior firepower to bear in Europe and Asia, only to turn over the spoils of victory to the Soviet Union. And while the Communists did get China and Eastern Europe, they remained bitterly angry at being denied Greece, Italy, France, Germany and Japan. They saw the origins of the Cold War in that refusal to turn over the world to them.
“The Untold History of the United States” takes that same Soviet perspective in “The Bomb” as it does in its previous episodes. It places the blame for a breakdown in relations with a megalomaniacal Soviet dictator, every bit as mad and murderous as Hitler, on the United States. It spins a conspiracy theory of American plots to dominate the post-war era, at a time when the United States was allowing Eastern Europe and China to fall into Communist hands.
Stone’s untold history isn’t just revisionist; it’s seventy-year-old revisionism from a regime and an ideology every bit as ugly as Nazism. It’s the revisionist history of the aggressor power in the Cold War looking to retroactively justify its aggression against the free world by accusing the leading nation of the free world, that had fed and provided for its soldiers and civilians, of conspiring against it.
Like William Carlos Williams’ red wheelbarrow, all this edifice of bad history depends on Henry Wallace, FDR’s Vice President, and at the time, a Soviet dupe. Stone is obsessed with imagining a different policy that would have emerged if Wallace, not Truman, had become president. There is just one little problem with that. Wallace, despite being fooled by the Soviet Union, did eventually figure out the truth.
In 1952, Wallace wrote an article titled, “Where I Was Wrong” in which he said that, “Before 1949 I thought Russia really wanted and needed peace. After 1949 I became more and more disgusted with the Soviet methods and finally became convinced that the Politburo wanted the cold war continued even at the peril of accidentally provoking a hot war.
“As I look back over the past 10 years I now feel that my greatest mistake was in not denouncing the Communist take-over of Czechoslovakia in February of 1948… my analysis failed to take into account the ruthless nature of Russian-trained Communists whose sole objective was to make Czechoslovakia completely subservient to Moscow.”
Henry Wallace had learned from his mistakes. Sixty years later, Oliver Stone still has not.
“Americans don’t know history,” Peter Kuznick said in an interview “and the history they do know is mostly wrong.” Kuznick’s putdown is far truer of himself and Oliver Stone. Their bastard offspring, “The Untold History of the United States,” like them, doesn’t know much history and what it does know is mostly wrong.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Comments are closed.