Back in 1959 Vice President Richard Nixon visited Moscow and held his famous “Kitchen debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev. Nixon favorably compared the standard of living of American suburbanites to that of their Russian counterparts under Communism.
Criticizing Soviet society was a serious crime in those days, but I doubt that the Russians ever considered arresting Nixon and giving him a ten year stretch in the gulag for “anti-Soviet agitation.” Not even Maoist China at the height of its Cultural Revolution would have considered such a thing.
But late last week, on the eve of a Russia-China leadership summit in Moscow, Europe’s International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, whose striking power is further enhanced by its revolutionary hypersonic delivery systems.
The charges against Putin were that he had ordered the humanitarian evacuation of children from the dangerous Ukraine warzone, and the ICC also ordered the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights.
Yet oddly enough, no ICC action had ever been taken against American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who had famously declared in 1996 that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children brought about by the American economic sanctions she supported was “worth it.”
Indeed, in 2016 National Security Advisor John Bolton leveled harsh threats against ICC judges if they dared take legal action against any Americans accused of torture and murder, and many have noticed the strange lack of ICC even-handedness over the years.
But issuing a press release or even an arrest warrant does not necessarily determine events in real life, and the Moscow summit between Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has hardly been disturbed. Taken together, Russia and China control a substantial fraction of the world’s natural resources and industrial capacity, and although their global propaganda presence is weak, those former factors are more important as elements of real world power.
As an example of this, last week Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of the most important Middle Eastern countries, announced in Beijing that after negotiations held under Chinese auspices they had reestablished diplomatic relations despite many years of bitter hostility
Over the last few months, America and its Western allies have declared their unilateral right to set a cap on the price Russia charges for its oil, seeking to use their dominance over the international financial infrastructure to reduce Russian revenue on its sale of natural resources to other countries.
Russia and Saudi Arabia are two of the world’s leading oil exporters, and with the latter nation now having dramatically shifted towards the Russia-China alliance, its leadership recently declared that they would ban sales to any country that sought to impose a price cap on its oil.
The clear implication was that this trigger could easily be extended to those nations that support any price caps at all, prohibiting oil exports to anyone interfering with the sales of its Russian ally. Such a decision would surely devastate the economies of the West, which are already reeling from high energy costs and a banking crisis.
These incidents suggest that America and its European vassals have increasingly allowed their own Ministry of Propaganda to set government policies, perhaps with fateful consequences.
I recently read Lenin’s Tomb, David Remnick’s Pulitzer Prize winning 1993 account of the decay and political collapse of the Soviet Union, and my reaction was very different than if I’d read the book when first released thirty years ago.
During college and graduate school I’d had a strong side-interest in Soviet history, and read perhaps a hundred or so books in that general area, so although I was impressed by Remnick’s vivid account of the last days of that decaying ideological empire, almost none of his material much surprised me. Relatively little of my understanding of the Soviet era has changed since the book first appeared, but I now possessed foreknowledge of what the unfortunate Russians were soon to experience, including the rise of the Oligarchs, the massive impoverishment of the 1990s, and Vladimir Putin’s sudden appearance in late 1999, eventually followed by a Russian revival. These developments surely would have surprised the author just as they did everyone else, but such unexpected twists are inevitable in history.
However, although my understanding of the Soviet past was still much the same as it had been 1993, my view of our own country had undergone a radical transformation.
Until about a dozen or so years ago, my perspective of American history had always been quite mainstream and conventional, largely based upon my standard history textbooks and what I’d absorbed from mainstream media accounts. So reading Remnick’s book in 1993, I would have naturally snickered a little at the remarkable blindness of Soviet citizens regarding some of the most terrible events that had shaped their own country and brought it to the disastrous state he described, a reaction I’d had when reading many other books on the USSR. The obvious decay of the Soviet system and the blatant internal dishonesty it promoted had long been apparent to me, and from the beginning of the 1980s I had regularly predicted an eventual political collapse, though I never expected the process to be as non-violent as what actually happened a decade later.
In 1993 everything I had seen in the faltering USSR appeared totally different from my own country’s situation, all our serious problems notwithstanding. But today, thirty years later the ominous parallels seem quite remarkable.
As Remnick emphasized, one obvious sign of the advanced decay of the Soviet system was that strong public opposition had reached very high into the country’s own most elite ranks. Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov had once been towering figures in the country’s literary and scientific firmaments, lavished with media praise that was suddenly transformed into ferocious vilification when they began dissenting. As the fatal flaws in the Soviet system became more and more apparent, even high-ranking former generals of the KGB and the regular military such as Oleg Kalugin and Dmitri Volkogonov became ideological dissidents. Every regime can always recruit opportunistic hirelings to mouth its party-line, but when some of its leading thinkers become so alienated that they risk severe retribution by publicly denouncing official policy, its basic legitimacy begins ebbing away.
And something quite similar has now been happening in our society, accelerating rapidly over the last few years and especially the last twelve months.
John Mearsheimer and Jeffrey Sachs, two of America’s highest-ranking academic figures, have become fierce public opponents of our Ukraine policy, as have respected former members of the intelligence community and the military such as as Ray McGovern and Douglas Macgregor. Over the last half-century Seymour Hersh has probably been our most renowned journalist, only rivaled in recent years by Glenn Greenwald, while Tucker Carlson hosts our most popular political news show; all three have become bitter critics of our ruling regime. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is heir to the most famous political dynasty in modern America and lived most of his life traveling in those elite circles; but he has now become a dissident, with his website purged by our social media gatekeepers. Many others of such standing probably hold similar views but are reluctant to speak out for fear of suffering the consequences.
Meanwhile, just as in the latter days of the Soviets, the leading figures identified with our regime and its policies tend to be total mediocrities, often corrupt, compromised, or incompetent individuals, willing to say whatever they must in order to preserve their status and privileges.
One of the crucial points made in Remnick’s book was that Soviet history contained many important “Blank Spots,” deeply suppressed facts or incidents whose discovery might completely transform the beliefs of a thoughtful individual. Many of the leading Soviet dissidents had entered that camp as a consequence of such a personal discovery.
Important knowledge totally censored by the Soviet regime often freely circulated in the West, and as that information gradually seeped back into the USSR despite border guards and radio jamming, the enzyme of truth it provided began dissolving the sinews of a system built upon generations of lies.
Three decades ago I had always expected such a fate for the Soviet Union, but today I think a similar process may now be gradually taking place within America and the rest of the West. Yet even among well-educated, intelligent individuals, the overwhelming majority probably still draw their knowledge of the world mostly from mainstream sources and if these ignore or downplay an event, they may doubt its reality or importance.
However, I think an “intellectual battering-ram” can sometimes serve to pierce this mental wall of resistance and disbelief. Sometimes a single incident or fact is so shocking that once accepted it necessarily forces thoughtful individuals to completely reassess their understanding of the world and become much more open to other controversial ideas.
For example, in December Tucker Carlson declared to his audience of millions that despite six decades of official lies to the contrary, President John F. Kennedy had indeed died at the hands of a conspiracy that included heavy CIA involvement, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. praised that segment as America’s most courageous newscast in sixty years, with those remarks Retweeted 33,000 times.
Consider individuals who suddenly concluded after a lifetime of media denials that our 35th President had been killed in a conspiracy involving members of his own government. They would immediately realize that if media had lied about JFK’s death for so many decades, it might be telling many other lies, including those directly related to current matters, and their understanding of modern American history would become ripe for transformation.
So although the practical consequences of revealing the existence of a JFK assassination conspiracy sixty years after the events in Dallas would be nil, such a development might have enormous implications for challenging other widely accepted narratives.
My own experience certainly followed that sort of pattern. My world view had been profoundly shaken by my discovery that hundreds of American POWs had been deliberately abandoned in Vietnam, as documented in the groundbreaking research of Sydney Schanberg, one of our most celebrated Vietnam War journalists. Even more shocking had been my realization that our entire mainstream media had spent many years completely ignoring this gigantic scandal.
Just a couple of years earlier, my digitization of a million articles for my Internet archiving project had revealed to me the vast outlines of America’s hidden political past:
I sometimes imagined myself a little like an earnest young Soviet researcher of the 1970s who began digging into the musty files of long-forgotten Kremlin archives and made some stunning discoveries. Trotsky was apparently not the notorious Nazi spy and traitor portrayed in all the textbooks, but instead had been the right-hand man of the sainted Lenin himself during the glorious days of the great Bolshevik Revolution, and for some years afterward had remained in the topmost ranks of the Party elite. And who were these other figures—Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Rykov—who also spent those early years at the very top of the Communist hierarchy? In history courses, they had barely rated a few mentions, as minor Capitalist agents who were quickly unmasked and paid for their treachery with their lives. How could the great Lenin, father of the Revolution, have been such an idiot to have surrounded himself almost exclusively with traitors and spies?
What would constitute such an intellectual battering-ram? I think the best example would be a simple fact that (A) has massive historical importance; (B) has been totally suppressed and hidden by our dishonest MSM and mainstream books; and (C) is absolutely 100% documented and undeniably true.
Unfortunately, the conspiratorial complexity of the JFK Assassination prevents it from satisfying the (C) condition since a great deal of reading and research might be necessary to convince most doubting skeptics that the official narrative is false.
However, I think the circumstances of the subsequent assassination of his younger brother Robert a few years later is subject to much less dispute. In 2018 I drew upon the facts presented in Brothers, David Talbot’s widely-praised 2008 best-seller to describe the strange aspects of that event:
If the first two dozen pages of the Talbot book completely overturned my understanding of the JFK assassination, I found the closing section almost equally shocking. With the Vietnam War as a political millstone about his neck, President Johnson decided not to seek reelection in 1968, opening the door to a last minute entry into the Democratic race by Robert Kennedy, who overcame considerable odds to win some important primaries. Then on June 4, 1968, he carried gigantic winner-take-all California, placing him on an easy path to the nomination and the presidency itself, at which point he would finally be in a position to fully investigate his brother’s assassination. But minutes after his victory speech, he was shot and fatally wounded, allegedly by another lone gunman, this time a disoriented Palestinian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan, supposedly outraged over Kennedy’s pro-Israel public positions, although these were no different than those expressed by most other political candidates in America.
All this was well known to me. However, I had not known that powder burns later proved that the fatal bullet had been fired directly behind Kennedy’s head from a distance of three inches or less although Sirhan was standing several feet in front of him. Furthermore, eyewitness testimony and acoustic evidence indicated that at least twelve bullets were fired although Sirhan’s revolver could hold only eight, and a combination of these factors led longtime LA Coroner Dr. Thomas Naguchi, who conducted the autopsy, to claim in his 1983 memoir that there was likely a second gunman. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses also reported seeing a security guard with his gun drawn standing immediately behind Kennedy during the attack, and that individual happened to have a deep political hatred of the Kennedys. The police investigators seemed uninterested in these highly suspicious elements, none of which came to light during the trial. With two Kennedy brothers now dead, neither any surviving members of the family nor most of their allies and retainers had any desire to investigate the details of this latest assassination, and in a number of cases they soon moved overseas, abandoning the country entirely. JFK’s widow Jackie confided in friends that she was terrified for the lives of her children, and quickly married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek billionaire, whom she felt would be able to protect them.
Wikipedia invariably supports the establishmentarian narrative, generally minimizing or avoiding any inconvenient evidence that might challenge it, but the basic facts surrounding the RFK Assassination are so incontrovertible that they cannot be excluded.
In late 2021 Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. declared Sirhan innocent and called for him to be freed. The Kennedy scion condemned the decades of total media dishonesty that had meant he had lived nearly his entire life before he had learned the truth of how his own father had died, an accusation that echoed so many of those made during the late Soviet era.
Just as information suppressed by the Soviet authorities had once circulated freely in the West, topics totally banned from today’s Western media are openly discussed in other societies, which possess entirely different taboos.
A few months ago I was contacted by a host for Iranian broadcast television who had decided to feature interviews with a number of Western dissident thinkers, individuals whose controversial views had excluded them from American media outlets. Channel Four of the Iran Broadcasting Corporation is one of that country’s largest, having a potential audience of ten million, and I gladly spent four hours discussing a variety of my topics, while also suggesting a number of other figures who were interviewed as well.
Thirty-odd segments featuring about a dozen different guests were ultimately recorded, and as they have been aired, they are also being released on a streaming website. About half are now available, including most of my own and those featuring E. Michael Jones, Nick Kollerstrom, Kevin Barrett, and Laurent Guyénot. For more convenient Western access, I had them video-captured and uploaded to a Rumble channel, realizing that many of the taboo topics would immediately trigger a purge on Youtube.
By RON UNZ Via https://www.unz.com/runz/filling-the-blank-spots-in-our-national-history/