High Life

’Tis the Season Not to Be a Commie

December 14, 2012

That’s not what the great Greek historian Taki has taught us all these years, yet Stone has a point. Stalin never trusted the West, but he had no designs on taking us over from the outside. Trotsky did, but thank God someone stuck an ice axe in his head in 1940.

Ironically, I disagree with Oliver only on empirical grounds. I traveled throughout the communist world all during the late 1950s playing tennis, and what always struck me about people living behind the Iron Wall was the lack of smiles. I’d seen very poor black townships in the American South, as well as the poorest sections of Harlem in New York, yet the smiles were there. Not in Budapest, Bucharest, and Warsaw, nor in Moscow, where I found myself in 1957.

Where I totally agree is Stone’s take on the two atomic bombs we dropped on the gallant Japanese. They were wholly unnecessary and the US knew it, for the Japanese were willing to surrender by May 1945. Their only condition was to keep their emperor; it was the Soviet invasion into the Japanese theater that precipitated the surrender. The myth that it would have cost a million American casualties if Uncle Sam had to invade was invented after the war. According to Stone, the bombs were dropped to warn Stalin what he had coming to him in case he got big ideas. I agree on this, perhaps because of my love for the Japanese. One thing is certain: The bombs were morally indefensible.

America has now become a permanently militarized nation that seeks eternal hegemony over great swaths of this planet’s landmass. Uncle Sam has run up a debt whose numbers cannot be fathomed by anyone sane. And he continues to expand his military-industrial complex, making some people very, very rich.

Yet the good uncle claims to be a Christian, which brings me back to where I started. Unless we revert to Christian doctrines and stop waging wars, we shall find ourselves either totally broke or very, very dead.

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