Tag Archives: Cold War

Liberals Can be Tough

Harry Truman’s Liberalism is too often overlooked by historians… indoctrinated by the historiography of FDR and the New Deal.  Truman’s Fair Deal was every bit as progressive and in regards to civil rights, it far exceeded the progress of his predecessor.

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Truman was also dealing with the Red Storm rising… the ambitions of Stalin’s Russia in post-war Europe.  Roosevelt had established an amiable tone with the Soviets at Yalta- the direct precursor to the aggressive moves of the Red Army in Eastern Europe.  On April 23, 1945 Truman met with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov.  The new American President made it clear that policies were changing-

“I explained to him [Molotov] in words of one syllable…that cooperation is not a one-way-street.”
Molotov responded-
“I have never been talked to like that in my life….”
Truman clarified-
“Carry out your agreements and you won’t be talked to like that.”
Listen to me now....

Listen to me now….

The Buck was stopping….

 

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Already Forgotten

The current Presidential administration continues an aimless… and bewildering foreign policy- it should come as no surprise considering the diluted message the United States has sent the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The fact that three successive Presidents have failed to show a unified American position in the world is a clear indication of a failure to understand our history.

The Final Founder

The Final Founder

The foundation of American foreign policy was set in 1823… and crafted by John Quincy Adams and James Monroe.  Tucked away in his annual message to Congress was a bold and profound statement about the global interest of the United States- supporting freedom.   Too many politicians and “analysts” dismiss ideology as unrealistic in the geopolitical sphere.  This “nuanced” approach has enfeebled our position in the world- we have lost our way.

john-quincy-adams-signature-1

The Monroe Doctrine is not just about keeping Europeans out of North America… the ideological framework of the proposal is too often overlooked-

that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . . But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. “

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Dogma Trumps Intelligence

America’s blind obedience to the dogmas of… monolithic communism and the Domino Theory led to tragedy of the Vietnam war.  In 1945, American intelligence officers established clear and firm links with the Viet Minh and its leader, Ho Chi Minh.  The Vietnamese nationalists of the Viet Minh were resisting Japanese rule and providing our OSS officers with valuable intelligence.  Ho Chi Minh sought the national self-determination Franklin Roosevelt seemed to be promising the world.  The OSS agents believed Ho to be the best alternative to govern Vietnam.  FDR let them both down.

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

America’s point man in Indochina was… Lt. Col. Archimedes Patti.  Dubbed “The Deer Team,”  Patti’s men contacted the Viet Minh and began to equip and train a select number of their best troops.  In return, the Viet Minh assisted in the recovery of downed American flyers, provided invaluable intelligence, and battled the Japanese.  With the surrender of Japan, Ho Chi Minh was prepared to move forward with Vietnamese independence- a dream thousands of years in the making.

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Ho Chi Minh dined with Lt. Col. Patti in late August 1945… to discuss the transfer of power and disarming Japanese troops.  Near the end of the meeting, Ho presented Patti a document- a draft of the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence he planned to release on September 2.  Patti was taken aback to read the words of Thomas Jefferson quoted reverently in the brief document.  Both men toasted the future of an independent Vietnam… Patti remembers,   “We had him, we had Ho Chi Minh on a silver platter…the Soviets were in no position to help him-only we could…I did prepare a large number, and I mean about, oh, well over fifteen position papers on our position in Vietnam. But I never knew what happened to them. Those things just disappeared, they just went down the dry well.”

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Roosevelt had already decided to give Indochina… back to the French.  Churchill insisted the French empire not be broken up, lest the British empire would follow.  Rather than disarm Japanese troops, British forces rearmed them and turned them against supporters of Ho Chi Minh’s government.  A temporary division of the country was allowed to solidify.  The OSS agents were marginalized, accused of fomenting revolution, and finally forced out of Saigon by the British commanders.  The expulsion led to the murder of Colonel Peter Dewey, America’s first casualty in Vietnam.  America had followed the wrong course, in spite of all the masterful intelligence work done by Archimedes Patti and his OSS team.  The Vietnam war was our fate.

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Already Forgotten

The current Presidential administration continues an aimless… and bewildering foreign policy- it should come as no surprise considering the diluted message the United States has sent the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The fact that three successive Presidents have failed to show a unified American position in the world is a clear indication of a failure to understand our history.

The Final Founder

The Final Founder

The foundation of American foreign policy was set in 1823… and crafted by John Quincy Adams and James Monroe.  Tucked away in his annual message to Congress was a bold and profound statement about the global interest of the United States- supporting freedom.   Too many politicians and “analysts” dismiss ideology as unrealistic in the geopolitical sphere.  This “nuanced” approach has enfeebled our position in the world- we have lost our way.

john-quincy-adams-signature-1

The Monroe Doctrine is not just about keeping Europeans out of North America… the ideological framework of the proposal is too often overlooked-

that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . . But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. “

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dogma Trumps Intelligence

America’s blind obedience to the dogmas of… monolithic communism and the Domino Theory led to tragedy of the Vietnam war.  In 1945, American intelligence officers established clear and firm links with the Viet Minh and its leader, Ho Chi Minh.  The Vietnamese nationalists of the Viet Minh were resisting Japanese rule and providing our OSS officers with valuable intelligence.  Ho Chi Minh sought the national self-determination Franklin Roosevelt seemed to be promising the world.  The OSS agents believed Ho to be the best alternative to govern Vietnam.  FDR let them both down.

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

America’s point man in Indochina was… Lt. Col. Archimedes Patti.  Dubbed “The Deer Team,”  Patti’s men contacted the Viet Minh and began to equip and train a select number of their best troops.  In return, the Viet Minh assisted in the recovery of downed American flyers, provided invaluable intelligence, and battled the Japanese.  With the surrender of Japan, Ho Chi Minh was prepared to move forward with Vietnamese independence- a dream thousands of years in the making.

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Ho Chi Minh dined with Lt. Col. Patti in late August 1945… to discuss the transfer of power and disarming Japanese troops.  Near the end of the meeting, Ho presented Patti a document- a draft of the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence he planned to release on September 2.  Patti was taken aback to read the words of Thomas Jefferson quoted reverently in the brief document.  Both men toasted the future of an independent Vietnam… Patti remembers,   “We had him, we had Ho Chi Minh on a silver platter…the Soviets were in no position to help him-only we could…I did prepare a large number, and I mean about, oh, well over fifteen position papers on our position in Vietnam. But I never knew what happened to them. Those things just disappeared, they just went down the dry well.”

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Roosevelt had already decided to give Indochina… back to the French.  Churchill insisted the French empire not be broken up, lest the British empire would follow.  Rather than disarm Japanese troops, British forces rearmed them and turned them against supporters of Ho Chi Minh’s government.  A temporary division of the country was allowed to solidify.  The OSS agents were marginalized, accused of fomenting revolution, and finally forced out of Saigon by the British commanders.  The expulsion led to the murder of Colonel Peter Dewey, America’s first casualty in Vietnam.  America had followed the wrong course, in spite of all the masterful intelligence work done by Archimedes Patti and his OSS team.  The Vietnam war was our fate.

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A Prophecy

churchill_zelezna_opona

Sir Winston Churchill told the truth… to the audience at Westminster College on March 5, 1946.  The Truman administration was trying to balance occupation with nation building- the Berlin airlift was still a year away.  The Soviet Union was still seen as “our Russian allies” despite their heavy-handed occupation of Eastern Europe.  Churchill warned Truman at the Potsdam Conference that Stalin was not to be trusted- Truman listened where Roosevelt had resisted at Yalta.  Stalin accused him of warmongering, but the United States instituted the policy of containment.

“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an “Iron Curtain” has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.”

Best buddies

Best buddies

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Weekly History News Roundup

Photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg discoveredrare image faces scrutiny from historical community

Tomb of Etruscan Prince opened to public… discovery will reveal more about enigmatic ancient people

NSA Cold War activity revealed… spy agency monitored US Senators during Vietnam conflict

Document exposes nuclear accident in 1961… B-52 crash in North Carolina nearly detonated warheads

Chickamauga battlefield celebrates 150th anniversarylargest battle of Western theater remembered

November 19, 1863-  nice hat, Abe

November 19, 1863- nice hat, Abe

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