Saturday, December 03, 2005

# Posted 1:34 PM by Patrick Porter  

THE BIG MOUSTACHE: This may be old news to historians of Stalin. But it pleased this ignoramus. First, background. The partial opening of the Soviet archives after the cold war uncovered further documentary proof of the scale of Stalin's atrocities, including direct orders from Stalin for mass executions, the execution of party members as well as arrest and execution quotas, and proof of the Katyn forest massacre in occupied Poland. Based on the new archival evidence, rough estimates of the death toll, partly from direct executions but also including those killed by the deprivation of the Gulags and famines wrought by farm collectivisation, begin at 5 million at the lowest. These figures based on the fresh archival material are lower than the estimates of some historians like Robert Conquest, who overestimated the bodycount before the archives were opened, but also discredit attempts to minimise the catastrophe.

As historians John Earl Hayes and Harvey Klehr comment,
'One can understand why Conquest, responding to a request from his publisher for a new title for his revised edition of The Great Terror after the opening of the archvies, tartly replied, "How about I Told You So, You F#$*ing Fools."
(24) opinions -- Add your opinion

Come on, now, the Russians themselves claim 20 million in World War II. Solzhenitsyn said 50 million or so... We know the rank. Biggest killer was Mao, then Stalin, then Hitler.
hi exuguru,

a few simple points.

No argument that Stalin was a big killer.

I was looking at state-sponsored mass violence against the Soviet population. Not all the Russian casualties from world war 2.

I said estimates for Stalin's killings/starvings after the opening of the archives begin at 5 million at the lowest. Others take it past 10 million. My source for these figures is the decidedly anti-stalinist recent book, 'In Denial' by John Haynes and Harvey Klehr, if you want to check.

The point is, it takes Stalin beyond the plane of 'misunderstood benign father figure' put forward by his apologists.

Okay, but a figure of 5 million to include the liquidation of the kulaks, starvation in Ukraine, and the wholesale murder of the gulag is much too low. It has been suggested that Stalin also killed Lenin, which sounds likely. FDR thought he could handle him. Sure. The photo of FDR at Yalta with Alger Hiss standing behind his chair hasn't been seen in the liberal media for many years.
We have not heard about FDR's "Uncle Joe" for a while either.

Give it a year or two and some will try to paint him as a great example of leadership once again.
"The photo of FDR at Yalta with Alger Hiss standing behind his chair hasn't been seen in the [L]iberal media for many years."

The final word on Hiss hasn't been written. Arguably, it was early Swift Boating by McCarthy and Hoover. Has there been any evidence in the Soviet archives? That would settle that matter.

By the way, the photo of Chalabi with Laura Bush at the SOTU or Rumsfeld with Saddam hasn't been seen on Fox News or the Washington Times ever. Ever wonder why?

Or is Chalabi a great freedom fighter? "Give it a year or two and some will try to paint him as a great example of leadership once again."

And for the record, Mao, Stalin and Hitler were truly evil people. If they were united against America and the West, then we would have been toast. It took decades of careful statecraft (Cold War, containment, and competition) to defeat them. Or did Reagan just close his eyes and say "there's no place like home, there's no place like home. ...."
I do say, old chap. What a grand blog you have here. I enjoy it immensely. Bravo

web conferencing

Another memorable photo was James Jones with Jimmy Carter and his wife... There is no doubt about Alger Hiss, he was red as a geranium. There was a definitive study by Weinstein (?) who convinced all the die-hard liberals out there who didn't want to believe it, and yes, I think it was confirmed in the Venona transcripts, too. And, of course, Chambers proved Hiss was a Russian spy long before that... You probably thinks the Rosenbergs were innocent, too, which is also nonsense... We paid a terrible price to win World War II, and these people stole our atomic secrets, kicked away the peace, and lanuched the nuclear arms race. Their enablers, FDR and Harry Truman, should be loathed, as well. Venona also established that I.F. "Izzy" Stone was in the pay of Moscow well into the 1950s. Some think--but it's not proven--another communist code name stood for Harry Hopkins.
I got a recent mass email from Rudy Rummel, a prof. emeritus at U. Hawaii, where he claims that Stalin killed as many as 61.9 million. Mr Rummel would agree with exguru's ranking of the world's autocrats of the last century - 77 for Mao, 61 for Stalin, and 21 for Hitler (millions dead that is).

Most of these numbers, I believe, are based off of conjecture at people who did not appear according to demographic trends (execution orders can only give you so much of the picture, after all).

In any case, those archives are once again closed, thanks to the rise of Mr Putin in Russia.
A little search shows that the Alger Hiss conviction is very much in doubt. The KGB files did not show Hiss to be an agent. One would have expected that.


If the Soviets had said he was a spy, then he was a spy. If Chambers and Nixon and McCarthy say it, well I'll give it less credence.

Actually, I don't know anything about the Rosenbergs. Sorry.

As for "Their enablers, FDR and Harry Truman, should be loathed, as well." FDR led our nation in a victory over fascism. And Truman finished the job and began the struggle that was the Cold War.

Your point about IF Stone is correct. I just read the Venona transcripts on www.cia.gov Stone had his great moments and obviously his weak ones as well. I judge the totality of the man. Even Hoover had his merits.
Do not forget state department employee Laurence Duggan, long time friend of Edward Murrow. Murrow attacked McCarthy because of criticsm of Duggan. Duggan was a soviet agent and people were killed by the KGB to keep Duggan's secret.
"The final word on Hiss hasn't been written. Arguably, it was early Swift Boating by McCarthy and Hoover. Has there been any evidence in the Soviet archives?"

Yup. And our own. Hiss actually let his son Tony spend much of his adult life in the cause of his vindication. When the Venona decrypts were declassified in the 1990s, government reps invited Tony Hiss in to see the transcripts that listed, among other things, the award of Soviet decorations to Hiss pere. The final word on Hiss (who advised both Stalin and Roosevelt at Yalta) appears to be "traitor."

Here's the link to a decrypt that identifies Hiss.
Hiss is known as "ALES" in the Venona transcripts. Just go to Yahoo, search "Alger Hiss," and open No. 8. It will let you see the proof Hiss was a Russian spy.
Though you shouldn't need it... There was another book recently which much impressed Don Imus, but I cannot think of its author. Weinstein is the one who set out to prove Hiss innocent, but found the evidence of guilt too overwhelming.
Tje recemt book which fascinated Imus for days was a biography of Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus.
John Earl Hayes and Harvey Klehr have written a couple of books using Venona decrypts and Russian archive material. Hiss - guilty as charged, ditto Rosenbergs. Essentially all the left-wing defence was wrong and the FBI was right all along.
I thought I'd responded to this, but I must not have posted.

Yes, the Venona decrypts implicate Hiss which in my book means he's guilty.

You can imagine that I'd accept evidence from Venona over Nixon and McCarthy. And the idea that "Their enablers, FDR and Harry Truman, should be loathed, as well" is just nonsense. As I said, FDR led our nation in a victory over fascism, and Truman finished the job and began the struggle that was the Cold War. Far from being enablers, FDR and Truman were warriors. And I'm also a big Ike fan.
The American government was riddled with Russian spies under the New Deal and Fair Deal. Harry White, Asst. Secy. of Treasury, was Henry Morgenthau's right-hand man. Duncan Lee, those at the China desk at State Department, Philby, McLean, all those named by Elizabeth Bentley and Chambers, etc., etc. It wasn't just Alger Hiss, (who started the UN), by any means. Sen. Joe McCarthy was a drunk and an easy target for the liberals and the communists, but his message was all too true.
McCarthy was such a stalwart American he was censured by the Senate, a first.

What did McCarthy call Marshall? "A man steeped in falsehood." Wow. He really knew how to throw red meat to the savages.

McCarthy was no patriot; he believed in something but it wasn't America. Ike detested him, but I think Ike was better suited to fighting a foreign enemy than one on native soil.

Yet it is indicative how the Right Wing is trying to resurrect him.
"Sen. Joe McCarthy was a drunk and an easy target ..."

And probably a morphine addict. But painting poor helpless Joe as a Victim. Wow. I almost feel sorry for him.
Roy Cohn was a piece of work, too!

No question the Left won the PR war, and continues to this day, against all evidence, to control the propaganda, but Stalin got the last laugh, the traitors whom McCarthy fingered won, and all Americans--left, right and center--paid the tab for the next 45 years, along with a few million others in the gulag, in Cuba, and all over Eastern Europe. Our government couldn't keep secrets then any better than it can keep them now.
(George C. Marshall was a Democrat, just like Black Jack Pershing, and Tailgunner Joe couldn't control his hyperbole. Mashall was also a hellofa good general, and deserves his statue in the VMI yard, where he stands next to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, another rather distinguished alumnus.)
I agree that Stalin got the last laugh, but I think that the punch line was George Bush's buddy Vladimir Putin re-establishing authoritarian Stalinism. Not quite the murderer though. Of course, the Right Wing will still claim that Reagan won the Cold War.

And with regards to the Left "continues to this day, against all evidence, to control the propaganda," I think we'll agree that Fox News is rather Right Wing.

My opinion of the transition from WWII to the Cold War was that FDR and Truman and Marshall had been tremendously successful and the Right was willing to do anything to establish a foothold.

We had fought the Nazi's with unity and the last thing the Right wanted was more unity. Rather than unite and face a foreign enemy, they would use the enemy to divide our nation. It sounds familiar.

By the way, Venona carries weight. It convinced me.
I'll trade you Fox News for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NYTimes, WaPo, ChiTrib, LATimes, TIME, Newsweek, CNN, Kellogg, MacArthur, Ford, Pew, Carnagie and Rockefeller Foundations? You can keep MSNBC.

Truman caved to the USSR and airlifted coal into Berlin at a time when we enjoyed a nuclear monopoly. It wasn't really until then that Truman figured out Stalin was not on our side, either. Truman was a low, vulgar man, as stupid as any President in history. They claim he went straignt after he got to Washington, but he came out of a sewer in Kansas City. (Bess was OK; he married up.)
You left out NPR.

And none of these could be categorized as Left Wing. There is this thing called the Center.

You have your Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, Heritage, Hoover, Alexis de Tocqueville (don't let O'Reilly know he's French), Cato, and whatever Richard Mellon Scaife is funding this week. And I thought Rockefeller was a Republican? Of course, Lincoln was one too.

"Truman caved to the USSR and airlifted coal into Berlin at a time when we enjoyed a nuclear monopoly."

I assume that you mean we should have bombed the USSR. Correct me if I am mistaken.

This sounds more like Colonol Jack D. Ripper. After the war we simply didn't have the resources to fight the USSR directly. Imagine the death, imagine conquering them, imagine occupying them, imagine rebuilding them. And imagine losing to them. Europe was in ruins so no help there. It is easy to blame the Left and Center for being humane and practical.

"It wasn't really until then that Truman figured out Stalin was not on our side, either." Uh, he had been on our side, as distasteful as that alliance was. Stalin was our ally during WWII.

Some wars are best fought hot and some cold. Look at our success with Libya (Reagan,Bush,Clinton), and look at our failure with Iraq (W).
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