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Cold War

History/Politics

Helen Gahagan Douglas: The Hillary Clinton Of The 1940s

As Hillary Clinton continues her “excuse” tour regarding her decisive loss to Trump, ranging from the now well-worn Russian collusion thesis to weak support from Obama during the campaign to an ineffective and shattered DNC, many Democrats have sought to acquaint her with the painful reality that she was simply a bad candidate. Such frankness, however, has not attached itself to a cherished liberal history lesson regarding an eerily similar 1950 California Senate race between Republican Congressman Richard Nixon and Democratic Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas. For liberals then and now, Nixon’s victory was achieved by his métier of red-baiting and character assassination, with a heavy dose of misogyny thrown into the mix. To encapsulate all of Nixon’s admittedly thuggish attacks on Gahagan, liberals have cited his infamous mixture of anti-feminism with anti-communism, when he bellowed about Gahagan’s politics, that “she is pink right down to her underwear” (a statement the Nixon campaign borrowed verbatim from Gahagan’s Democratic primary opponent, Sheldon Boddy). Although Nixon’s dodgy at best character, ruthlessly dishonest… Keep Reading

History

On Our Soil: The Liquidation Of Juliet Poyntz

To this day, anti-anti-communists from the Cold War period and their tenured academic counterparts scoff at the idea that Soviet communists liquidated their American agents on US soil. While grudgingly admitting that Stalin did carry out wet work against those who dared to oppose him (I’ve heard professors actually defend it), they argue that such actions were exclusively conducted overseas–i.e, Leon Trotsky pickaxed in Mexico or the death-by-torture of loyalist soldier Bob Simile in Spain. But on at least one instance, Stalin used a Soviet assassination squad to undoubtedly kidnap and murder an American agent in New York City for the “crime” of defecting from the spy ring. The victim was Juliet Stuart Poyntz, who spied for the Soviets, but later defected because of Stalin’s Purge Trials. While in Russia, she witnessed firsthand the frame-up and subsequent murder of those she knew to be innocent, and refused to engage in any more espionage work for the Soviets after returning to the United States. On June 3, 1937, a year… Keep Reading

doctrine
History/Politics

The Trump Doctrine Takes Shape

The concept of Presidential Doctrine dates back to when James Monroe adopted a posture of anti-European colonialism in the western hemisphere. Since that time many presidents have come and gone without leaving a signature stamp on the attitude and behavior of our nation vis a vis foreign policy though many have at most sought to merely modify pre-existing positions. Theodore Roosevelt took Monroe’s doctrine and mutated it into the Roosevelt Corollary which would later be reversed by his fifth cousin, Franklin Roosevelt who adopted a Good Neighbor policy toward those nations in the Central and South America. In relatively short time, the neocon wing of the Republican Party hijacked our government and set about reinvigorating the interventionist ambitions of Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick Diplomacy. Under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, America ceased speaking softly and carrying a big stick; it raised its voice and started actively using the stick in places like Grenada and Panama and various other Latin countries that failed to fall in line with… Keep Reading

Politics

Joan Mellen: The CIA’s Best Publicist

Joan Mellen is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University, who has produced very little having to do with literature. Instead, she has focused her energies on exposing CIA criminality, specifically regarding the John F. Kennedy Assassination. As evidenced in three books — A Farewell To Justice: Jim Garrison; Our Man in Haiti, and The Great Game in Cuba — she reveals that she has never the left the mindset of the late 1960s, when the New Left regarded the CIA as a draconian secret government with its tentacles into every avenue of American life. How is one to explain this sudden shift from penning award-winning biographies of writers, the best of which is her expose of the real relationship between Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman, to the conspiracy school of history? Mellen’s desperation may spring from how the post 9/11 populace has largely shed its view of the CIA as a sinister organization and instead has wanted its “dark techniques” unleashed on terrorism (polls show… Keep Reading

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