October 15, 2013 by Mark Tokarski
Completely off subject here, which ought to be the name of this blog. We’re headed out tomorrow very early, and will spend 19 of the following 24 hours sitting upright, after which time we’ll be forced to reverse our internal clocks to Asian time. Then the fun begins. There is no purpose to this piece other than I have a computer screen in front on me and some vague ideas I want to set free.
But I was watching Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the United States” series last night. I’ve seen it before. Stone is still an honest man, but has been somewhat housebroken. He slipped right by JFK’s murder and 9/11 without even a nod towards the possibility that they were something other than we were told. Of course, the series would never had seen light of day had he not done that, but it is ironic, calling a series “Untold History” while not being able to tell that history.
We don’t know the truth of the last fifty years, even the last twelve years. Not even close. Don’t imagine we know anything before that either. “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”
One of many interesting facts that Stone brought forward was the incredible suffering experienced by the people of the Soviet Union in World War II. Their industrial base was destroyed and 27 million people died, but in the end they defeated the Germans. It’s “untold” because the only thing most Americans know about that war is that we won it heroically after D-Day and that Hitler killed 6 million Jews. JFK once commented in public on the Soviet sacrifice in that war. He’s the only US executive ever to have done so.
The Jews didn’t even fight in the war and were given a new country to settle in. (Let’s be honest here folks: Those who wanted to come to the US were not welcome here. We sent them packing to Palestine. Occupants there could not say no due to something known as the British “Mandate.”) But to be proportionately fair, if the Jews got a new homeland without even fighting, we should have given the Soviets the state of Texas, which could use some cultural spicing up anyway. They actually won the damned war for us. (Sorry, Austin, but you don’t really want to be part of Texas anyway, Right? You’d rather be part of Oregon.)
That’s an aside, but I don’t have a subject here, so aside from what?
Another thing that comes to mind is Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler … it has been pounded in our heads over the years how evil he was. Tom Cruise is still trying to kill him, and Quentin Tarantino had a masturbatory fantasy about it. It’s been 68 years now since he died, and they are still hammering us with his image. Even in the new century comparisons are trotted out on regular basis when the US wants to bomb yet another country, but if we make a comparison of him to our own leaders, we hear an Invasion of the Body-Snatchers-like shriek. (I won’t embed it, as it is extremely annoying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo
Mere mention of his name in a blog thread is considered an offense called “Godwinism” – this is how alive the image is kept in our minds.
But what was he, really (besides Austrian)? He was the other side of our coin. He was our darling until the war started, and enjoyed the not-insignificant support of American industrialists and bankers, including the Bush family ancestors. He did not become evil until his evil served our own evil. From 1935 forward, when the Germans were formally allowed to rearm, there was but one purpose in mind: Bring down the Soviets. Hitler was allowed to take what he needed – Neville Chamberlain was neither stupid or weak. He knew the game was afoot.
D-Day was long-delayed, and probably would never have happened had not the Soviets destroyed the Nazis. At that point it became imperative to get troops into Europe and occupy as much territory as possible to stop the Soviet advances eastward. Stalin wanted one thing out of it all: Security. He wanted a buffer zone from western attacks. He’d had enough. The Russian people had enough.
Stalin had a mustache, by the way, and was evil. He was perhaps the second most evil man after Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler Truman (oops!) Hitler. Stone does not treat Stalin as an evil man, just a ruthless and smart leader. I don’t know how he gets away with telling that untold part.
Let’s be frank here – the Americans and Brits were every bit as ruthless and criminal in that war as the other sides. Cities were firebombed, nukes were dropped, no effort was made to rescue anyone in concentration camps – in fact, all supply lines to those camps were cut off so that starvation and disease were rampant. The Americans and Brits in theory could have prevented untold deaths by intervention in that situation, even some bombing to stop it in its tracks, but it was not a war aim. It was far more important to attack civilian populations in Germany and Japan than to save a ragtag bunch of non-combatants.
Our eventual leader, Truman, unlike FDR or Stalin or Hitler Hitler … was clueless and corrupt. He was easily manipulated by the smarter people around him. That sums up his career. Do they still have that annual dinner in Montana in his honor every year? Appropriate. Isn’t it.
Which was the last impression I had last night as we turned off Oliver Stone’s Untold History – Truman’s facial expressions and body language – I had seen it before. It was creepily familiar. He was a man out of place, out of his league, imagining he was in charge and not knowing that we wasn’t … his nervous eye darting and erect posture and too-quick smiles were reminiscent of George W. Bush. See for yourself sometime, see if I am all wet.