Viet Nam Part 3: The Rise and Power of the Left in America

Viet Nam
Part 3: The Rise and Power of the Left in America
by Robert L. Kocher

I had almost forgotten about it before I started writing Part 3. In the middle to late 40’s a friend of my parents was a communist party member and recruiter/organizer. In those days it was known as “The Party.” There were a lot of party members floating around in America during that period. Regardless of what we are told, they were real, not imagined. I was to have brushes with them periodically for the next 25 years. My father attended party meetings for a short period of time, but drifted away in cynicism.

My mother was friendly with the organizer’s wife, which was one of the reason’s for the family association. My mother was the last of a tough breed of pioneer women. She was one of the best freestyle pistol shots I have seen, and could consistently hit within three inches of a matchbook at 150 feet with a single-action even when she was 70 years old. She was a highly intelligent and fiercely independent woman who found communism and socialism intrinsically incompatible with her temperament. As a consequence, her blood would boil during the adult political discussions which inevitably came to pass with this man. I would receive critiques and accounts of the adult discussions as she let off steam days or weeks later.

One of the things I remember was that the communist organizer boasted the United States would never go to war with Russia because the communist party in America was then strong enough to prevent it, or sabotage it. At the time I was a little kid and the comment had very little interest or importance for me. In retrospect his assertion can be amended to apply not only to war with Russia, but to confrontation with any leftist political or military expansion anywhere.

The forties and early fifties saw development of the atomic bomb and other nuclear weapons in this country. As the highly secret weapons were developed over here, a system of spy rings built by communists in America funneled the scientific information necessary to duplicate nuclear capability to the Soviet Union as fast as the development in America progressed. America had been infiltrated, and people who had risen to critical positions were doing everything possible to build the military and ideological power of the Soviet Union and communism anywhere.

It was into this political world that a young New Deal Democrat by the name of Ronald Reagan, who was president of his union, began to notice there was heavy organized infiltration of his, and other, unions by the communist party.

Indiana Communists Investigate the Worker’s Paradise

In Indiana during the late teens and early nineteen twenties there was the beginnings of a flourishing communist party. What was taking place in Russia had been romanticized. The people involved in the Indiana communist movement decided to send leaders to Russia to see what was happening so they could do it correctly over here. When the leaders returned, they reported in some detail that Russia was little more than a madhouse. That was the end of the communist party in that area of Indiana.

The Indiana case was unusual. For most such people communism and socialism continued to exist as a romanticized idealization that attracted adherents without reference to reality.

Reality could be lethal. Sitting in front of me is an Associated Press report [1] entitled, “Records show Americans died in Stalin’s purges. Newly opened files detail arrests and executions of U. S. citizens in ’20s, ’30s.” It begins with the case of 24-year-old Alexander Gelver who was executed on New Years Day, 1938, in the Soviet Union as recorded by now-opened KGB files.

“Gelver was one of hundreds of Americans who had moved here (to the Soviet Union) in the 1920s and 1930s to help build the new worker’s paradise, and who then vanished, one by one.”

Reasons for vanishing were interesting. Wearing of American-made clothing was interpreted as indication the person thought American clothing was superior to socialist-produced clothing, or by the display of its superior quality exposed the deficiencies of socialism. This was viewed as fomenting dissatisfaction with socialism and was considered subversion. Nobody told you that when you arrived with your packed suitcase. You found out the hard way. Without warning, American communist immigrants who wore their American-made clothes they had brought with them were arrested for subversion. If they refused to admit their crimes, they were executed for obstinacy. If they admitted their crimes, they were shot for having committed the crime. The Soviet legal system could thus claim 100 percent efficiency.

So a goofy American kid who went to Russia to help build world socialism, and who had no real idea about the nature of communism, socialism, or Soviet Socialism, made the mistake of going to a classical music concert wearing American-made work pants and wound up executed for crimes against socialism.

Wanting to return to the United States was interpreted as display of dissatisfaction with socialism, and was an act of treason against socialism punishable by death.

Hundreds of American clueless leftists similarly immigrated to Russia and wound up executed as recorded in the now-released KGB files.

The Indiana case, whereby budding communists actually checked the facts of what was occurring in the Soviet Union, was unusual. For most Americans who became involved with the American political left, communism and socialism continued to exist as a romanticized idealization that attracted adherents without reference to reality. Those adherents would give away atomic secrets, and do much more.

General Douglas MacArthur complained bitterly during the Korean war that his plans were getting into communist hands before they could be put into action. There is evidence that that might have been true. The British government was expected to be kept up-to-date on the Korean military situation. There was later uncovered a high level spy ring in the British government that was capable of sending vital information to North Korea through Russia.

Enter Joe McCarthy

The strength of the radical left in this country, and the consequences it was having, prompted Senator Joe McCarthy to undertake a series of investigations in the early fifties. The degree to which he was exploiting the situation for personal grandstanding and political attention can be argued. The hearings propelled McCarthy out of relative obscurity and into a national arena which he enjoyed. He may have intended an eventual try for the presidency on the basis of that attention.

McCarthy was subjected to rabid criticism and anger, all of which continues. There has been an orchestrated conspiracy of the like-minded to destroy McCarthy, and McCarthy’s credibility, which continues to this day and has become a kind of eternal political religious crusade. On TV documentaries there continue to be selected excerpts from the McCarthy “witch hunts”, along with coordinate descriptions portraying McCarthy in an ugly a light as possible. Certainly, McCarthy was a somewhat abrasive and unattractive personality. I, personally, would not have liked the man.

The focus of criticism has been upon McCarthy’s methods, which were not so different from the methods of others at the time or since. That focus diverts attention from whether there was a broad spectrum of truth to what McCarthy was saying which should be examined with seriousness. The length of time the attacks on McCarthy have continued, and the determination to pursue those

attacks, are out of proportion with the importance of the man and his methods. This leads one to believe that there is something more important beneath this.

McCarthy was rough and irritating, and indeed was somewhat of an ass. But he was essentially correct in most of his assertions that communist infiltration and subversion in America had reached widespread levels that threatened the country. The realization of the correctness of that assertion is the essential threat that has motivated most of the attacks upon McCarthy. It wasn’t McCarthy and so-called McCarthyism that was being fought and is being fought to this day. What was taking place was an attempt to keep the truth suppressed.

Ridiculing the Truth

McCarthy is portrayed as an opponent of intellectual freedom. What was going on was far more serious than mere intellectual exercise. The public wasn’t given the intellectual freedom to vote upon whether it wanted military secrets passed to the Soviets, or whether it wanted any of the other activities that were being planned or going on. What was occurring was a secret conspiracy determined to eventually force its will upon an unsuspecting public without its knowledge or permission. Debate or intellectual freedom wasn’t part of it. Intellectual revelations and discourse regarding that intent were not to take place. (I have never seen a socialist or left-wing anything that did not impose censorship on everyone but themselves. God help you if you ask a question they don’t like—or when they have complete control—even wear the wrong clothes.)

I knew of people scheduled to appear before the McCarthy hearings. They were essentially what he accused them of being. Later in this article you will get to meet and understand some of them.

The image of anti-communism has been so successfully smeared and ridiculed that I have assimilated some of it, and have some difficulty in writing this today. Words like communist, subversion, conspiracy, and so forth have been associated with ignorance and ridicule to a point of producing anxiety in me when I use them.

However, it is necessary to get beyond that intimidation and ridicule and realize we have been manipulated into laughing at, and ridiculing, the truth.

While the transfer of nuclear warfare secrets to the Soviets was obvious and dramatic, it was the tip of an iceberg which was far more subtle and serious. The spread and the strength of the radical political left in this country would result in people positioned in critical areas such that when choice points came up, and decisions were made, and there was opportunity to tip them in a direction that would benefit socialist/communist causes, there would be a bias in that direction. The effect would be cumulative over the years. There would be critical times when criticism or opposition to socialist or communist causes would be subdued or nonexistent. At other times, such opposition would be cleverly undermined or directly opposed. A recent example was opposition to the Reagan Contra alliance in Latin America designed to stop metastasis of communist revolution. [The subversion of that alliance to serve other purposes is not directly related to this essay.—Zola.]

There aren’t very many reasonable interpretations as to why we should presently be sending food, technology, or other forms of aid to communist countries. While the justifications may vary in each instance, the consistent, but unspoken, consequence has been support of communism.

Having begun this with a partial conclusion, let’s look at antecedents.

“The Promise of American Life”

Karl Marx had written down his ideas. Socialism as a concept had been developed. By the year 1900, there were many serious adherents to the belief in radical leftward societies in America, and throughout the world.

Serious interest should be given to a George Will column from spring 1996 entitled “Alexander or Buchanan: Who’s the Conservative Here?” It starts out:

Few American books published in 1909 are still in print. One of them has never in 87 years been out of print and its influence on American government goes marching on. Herbert Croly’s The Promise of American life, a mandate for the Progressive movement, is this country’s most influential book on American politics, and now again is newsworthy.

George Will discusses the book in the frame of reference of Lamar Alexander and Chester Finn having written or edited a collection of essays critical of Croly. Croly was the theoretician and theologian for “a new nationalism.”

According to Will:

Teddy Roosevelt adopted that phrase, and adopted Croly as an advisor, after reading the book during an African safari. But it was the Democratic administrations of Woodrow Wilson (whom Croly endorsed in 1916), Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson that were animated by Croly’s belief that “national cohesion” required the emancipation of Americans from “traditional illusions,” especially the Jeffersonian tradition of “individualist and provincial democracy.”

Croly spoke for a growing class of “progressive intellectuals” and politicians for whom progress meant movement away from local institutions and attachments, which they regarded as retrograde. Progress meant increased conscription of the people into a national consciousness and collective undertakings, including, in Croly’s words, “increasing control over property in the public interest.”

What Croly referred to as “increasing control over property in the public interest” became what Lyndon Johnson would later call “taking from the haves and giving to the have nots.”

Croly believed the governing and other power structure should be in the hands of an elite.

According to Will:

He said “the average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to a serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities as a democrat.” So national life should be a “school”: “The exigencies of such schooling frequently demand severe coercive measures, but what schooling does not?” And “a people are saved many costly perversions” if “the official schoolmasters are wise, and the pupils neither truant nor subordinate.”

I may occasionally disagree with George Will on some things, but his research is usually unquestionable. Will does not evidence radical paranoia. He is a mild-mannered scholar and writer.

If direct severe coercive measures are not to be restricted, according to Croly, various methods of deception are certainly allowed to be employable.

Coercive Measures and the Future Society

We have four things described in this column as part of Croly’s agenda:

A plan for a future society.

A declaration that all methods of manipulation and deception are to be employed in enforcing that plan and, if attempts at manipulation and deception fail, direct severe coercion is permissible. There is little provision for personal choice or declining to participate.

A significant group of people, including four presidents, were, and are, seriously determined to implement it or have few reservations about the intent and methods.

The direction is toward incremental overthrowing of the United States Constitution, by force when necessary. In plain language: If you can be sold or tricked into buying it, fine. If that doesn’t work and you resist, we’ll kill you (excuse me, “employ severe coercive measures”). If they were still alive, the Branch Davidians at Waco could tell you what “coercive measures” means.

This set the tone for a political agenda for most of the twentieth century. The goal is increasing government control over private property by violence in the event of disagreement. On a large scale, it’s called violent revolution. Croyle’s book calls it progressivism. It was once called communism. The presidents who became animated by it called themselves liberals. The people who rationalize and argue for it always call themselves a growing class of intellectuals.

The progressivist view is essentially enforced radical communism, but without membership in the communist party—communism before people who believed in its world view later collected under the formal structure of the communist party. The exigencies of their schooling practices frequently demanded severe coercive measures. Coercive measures? Whatever became of the moral indignation over suppression of intellectual freedom that adherents were later to suddenly express when exposed by McCarthy? Intellectual freedom meant license for themselves only; nobody else was to be allowed to question them. Once they had the upper hand, there was to be no freedom.

During the Roaring Twenties bootlegged booze and communism/socialism both became the fashion, albeit perhaps among different groups of people. It’s important to note that, in 1924, 4,822,856 votes out of about 29,000,000 votes went to the Progressive Socialist Party in the United States presidential election. By that time, many of those who fancied themselves intellectuals embraced the extreme left (for practical purposes communist) politics. Some of those who persisted in that direction wound up facing McCarthy 30 years later. Most of those who went to Russia as an absolute expression of faith wound up before firing squads.

This brings up a number of logical consequences. Aside from humorous refinements in language, such as referring to the leaders as “official schoolmasters frequently required to use severe coercive measures”, instead of as “leftist revolutionaries”, how much real difference is there between communism as it was known in the Soviet Union, or later in Mainland China, or in North Viet Nam and elsewhere, versus what was described in Croly’s progressivist vision? How much real difference in position is there of the ordinary people, called pupils, under the Croly’s official wise schoolmasters, as opposed to the subordinate position of people under a communist or socialist commissar or the KGB? Other than clever use of language, what difference is there between pupils who are not allowed to be truant or insubordinate, versus imprisonment under an oppressive political system? What differentiates what is implied from plain old-fashioned coerced absolute involuntary servitude? Except for cute use of language to obscure the raw truth, what is so intellectual about any of this?

The Manipulation of Language

The radical left is a pathological language-dependent and language manipulative system. If you are trying to impose an extreme left-wing political system, you become a rather clever schoolmaster. If anyone else uses these methods, they become right-wing tyrants. If the political left shoots you, that is coercive measures by wise schoolmasters brought on by the exigencies of schooling. If you shoot back, that’s membership in right-wing death squads. The linguistic proprieties must be preserved. It’s usually possible to identify the radical leftist mentality quite accurately in two minutes by its language patterns.

If a significant group of people, including four presidents, rather than reacting with horror or repugnance, had no serious criticism or reservations about what was prescribed, then why should those same people have objection to its imposition upon other people in other nations, or its existence in other nations? If other nations who already have the socialist nostrum are determined to export it and force it upon America or elsewhere, then why should there be serious objection to the intent of those outside forces if you plan to do similarly here? How much real philosophical objection could be expected by people of Crolyist or progressive mentality to the old Soviet Union, to Red China, to North Korea, to North Viet Nam? Or to a communist attack upon South Viet Nam? The obvious answer is that there would be no real moral or philosophical objection.

So school was declared to be in session in South Viet Nam. Attendance was obligatory. The Vietnamese didn’t even need to go to the school, the school would find them. The wise schoolmasters carried out their frequent severe coercive measures by murdering somewhere between 15,000,000 and 20,000,000 people in their home schooling curriculum. There was a mobile educational service with a smile whether you wanted it or not.

Here we have a problem. Now put yourself in the position of being drafted into a war to fight against those same systems. How high a priority do you think it will be in the Crolyist mindset that you succeed? How much support do you believe you can count on from people of that mentality in government or other places? Most likely the military engagement will be cosmetic, or not seriously prosecuted, or will be subtly sabotaged. It will be a token resistance to preserve an illusion for the non-left American population, while at the same time not seriously or permanently impeding the other side that progressivist liberals and intellectuals are in agreement with.

This brings us to one of the major issues regarding the Viet Nam war, and probably to some extent, the Korean war. There are other issues, such as basic competence, which will be discussed later. At the moment the question is, who were these people, where did they come from, and how many were there?

At this stage of the analysis the intelligent reader will notice a certain time frame slippage. What does the existence of about 5,000,000 pre-communists or communists or sympathizers in the twenties have to do with Viet Nam 40 years later?

First, those who thought themselves young idealists of the leftist movement eventually ascended in the societal structure, including the political structure, of American society. In the 40’s they became the middle-aged people with no reservations about giving atomic secrets to the Russians. They were the people in a position to tag the name of “Uncle Joe” to official schoolmaster Josef Stalin, who killed 70,000,000 people to coerce absolute socialism upon the Soviet

Union. They were in positions of influence to determine whether Poland and parts of Germany were ceded to communist control after World War II. They were in positions to influence policy regarding the Korean war. And so forth. But, the details of those decisions is another story.

Industrialization, Com-Symps, and Education

Let’s go on to examine several aspects of the rise and positioning of the extreme political left in this country and integrate it into later time frames.

The first factor to be discussed is economic.

In 1929, the urbanized manufacturing-based economic system was about fifteen or twenty years old. Previous to that period most of the American population lived in a rural self-sufficient and isolated setting based primarily on the availability of a horse and a plow.

Industrialization by Henry Ford and others brought mass migration into the urban industrialized economy. There were artifacts of the industrialized economy which were not well understood and indeed could not even be studied from the aspect of extended experience. These artificialities became unbalanced. From the stock market collapse of 1929 to the beginning of World War Two, there was a period of profound economic depression throughout this country. It produced severe desperation and fundamental doubt about the American free enterprise system. In their desperation and disillusionment people were seeking any alternative as a remedy. Socialism and

communism came to have an appeal. This appeal converged into the already present romanticized promise espoused by left-wing intellectuals and into the leftist movements extended from the previous period.

Simultaneously, the political left had moved into and taken control over the universities, which was the second, and perhaps ultimately most powerful, element ever affecting the political climate of this nation. The dynamics behind this movement were, and are, complex. Let’s begin with the condition and then discuss the detailed reasons for that condition in another segment.

As mentioned my article “Attitude Channeling and Brainwashing” (, in 1943 there was a landmark social psychological study published as a book, entitled Personality and Social Change: Attitude Formation in a Student Community (Dryden, New York, 1943), by T. M. Newcomb. It is discussed in another classic text, Individual in Society: A Textbook of Social Psychology by Krech, Crutchfield, and Bellachey (McGraw Hill 1962). It was a study of progressive change in student attitudes at a premier liberal college.

“The Bennington College community at the time of the study (1935-1939) was new (the study was done during the first year there was a senior class) and geographically isolated. The students were drawn largely from urban, upper-income families whose social attitudes were conservative. The members of the teaching staff were predominantly liberal, deeply concerned about social issues, and felt a responsibility for encouraging the students to take an active interest in social and political problems.

“In this college community, most of the students shifted in their social attitudes from conservatism as freshmen to liberalism as seniors…”

How they changed is indicated by changing political candidate preferences regarding the 1936 election. Parental choices are also shown for comparison.

Changing Political Preferences of College Students and Parents (percentages)

Candidate’s Party Freshmen (parents) Sophomores (parents) Upper Classmen (parents)
Republican 62 66 43 69 15 60
Democrat 29 26 42 22 54 35
Socialist or Communist 9 7 15 8 30 4

 Notice, the figures for the juniors and seniors are combined. If we run a regression line though these figures, we can come up with a proportion of 35-40 percent graduating Socialist or Communist.

Beneath the euphemisms, the Bennington study is the most thorough documentation of the existence of, and effectiveness of, intentional systematic extended large-scale academic brainwashing of students—a brainwashing in which one can sense in both manipulators and observers, and paradoxically even in those who were manipulated, no small amount of arrogant pride.

For their part, the kids who graduated from this extended course in academic brainwashing were absolutely convinced they were smarter than hell. How did they know this to be true? They were told they were smart for accepting the programming. They weren’t going to argue with that. Most kids that age think they know everything anyway.

Marxism with a Pitying Smile

As this system evolved over the years, the students were told they were learning new ideas instead of Marxism. They were programmed with all the principles of Marxism without the label. If you were to tell them they were Marxists or communists, they would respond by looking at you with a pitying smile, as if you were a sad and at the same time ludicrous example of an old hat hopeless case–and perhaps even dangerous in your delusions.

The question becomes, what are you equipped to do after graduating from four years of Marxism? The answer is nothing, except to stay polarized from the world. The only profession you are trained for is to be a chronic malcontent. You can take it into a career in politics, government, academia, the media. The alternative is to become a constant, alienated, smoldering intellectual, supporting left-wing causes for the remainder of your life. With good luck you can combine the latter with any of the preceding. With bad luck, you are just stuck with the latter. Leftist colleges and universities have a habit of producing

trapped, confused, intellectually/psychologically crippled, left-wing misanthropes with an average expected subsequent political lifetime of 50 years. Many graduates with left-wing 1930s educations were still wandering about in a crippled condition of continuing dissatisfied confusion in the 1960s, 30 years later.

There is an often-quoted maxim: “Anyone who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart. Anyone who is still a socialist at 40 has no mind.” This is nonsense, encouraging people to believe they can dabble in the political left while young, that there is something wrong with them if they don’t, and that they will leave with maturity. It’s a dangerous concept for several reasons. It gives the radical left useful control over people’s lives for many years until the latter manage to dig their way out. During that time, these same people exercise political force as leftists as well as produce strong social conformity pressures upon society that favors or perpetuates the left. An age-transient leftist political base can be a formidable force upon society if the leftist age window is 10-15 years. Just as importantly, many people who are leftists at 20 or 25 never dig their way out, or only partially dig their way out. In many cases, their belief system, like all belief systems once acquired, is resistant to change and only at the cost of personal discomfort. Certainly, the content of the media and other cultural institutions is now such that there is little motivation or help in doing so, and it’s a lonely and difficult process. We currently have two countercultural leftists in the White House who are essentially what they were 30 years ago, who were put into office by a generational vote composed of people who are still living what they were 30 years ago. They still believe in their old agenda. As the sapling is bent, so grows the tree.

Tenured Replication

Many of my professors in college many years ago were well-paid left-wing chronic malcontents who were fit for nothing else as a result of graduating from a system designed to produce people like them. Additionally, it was an easy tenured life without any real responsibility.

How extensive was the process documented by the Bennington study at the time in the American higher educational system? The answer lies in the fact that the academic and political milieu was such that the authors clearly felt quite secure in publishing glowing accounts of what they were achieving. The publication was warmly received. There was no fear of outrage from the academic world. There was no protest over the systematic processing of students to produce 35 percent support for communists and socialists. It was a role model for effectiveness of a process of political infiltration and conversion which was sympathetically viewed by co-practitioners. If there weren’t predominant sympathy in the higher educational subculture at the time, there would have been condemnation. Going back 55 years in the literature, the academic environment has been one of solid approval for the described process.

This was a widespread process which produced tens of thousands of graduates. The next question is, what were the graduates graduating from, and what were the qualifications for graduation? Were the qualifications academic or political? Were the certifications academic or political? It is quite arguable, and this will be looked at in more detail later, that there were serious absences of academic material or premises supporting the American system of government or economic system. In years of experience I have found their certified knowledge of history, psychology, economics, logic, or whatever beyond what they received as left-wing propaganda to be so absent as to make rational conversation strenuous or an impossibility. They are educationally and culturally isolated from any legitimacy of position. I have found in my writing and speaking that I am frequently saying things that most educated people, including those educated at the doctoral level, have never heard before in their entire lives.

What is seen in these figures produced educated political generations that were tainted or contaminated. These are people who would lack intellectual premises supportive of the American ideals of the founding fathers against alternative systems. Graduates didn’t have the intellectual tools or motivation to confront leftist ideology, otherwise they wouldn’t have graduated in the condition they were in. While they may have entered life in ordinary roles upon graduation, they carried a leftist ideological bent that was latent, or a weakness that could be subverted. Having come from an atmosphere that produced and graduated the profiles described, what moral or intellectual premises does the person employ to make political decisions—or to make political decisions which affect military decisions? What kind of certainty does the graduate have in decisions regarding the morality or intellectual evaluation regarding imposition of the extreme leftist doctrine that he or she once accepted? The strength of pro-American ideological character was weakened and replaced by what graduates believed was a higher order of sophistication in which opposition to communism/socialism was marginalized or viewed as an anachronism.

The Subversion of Business

Unfortunately, this has produced an undermining of the business leadership in this country. Many business executives are in management by virtue of their education, but as a result of that same education have no fundamental belief in what they are doing. They are essentially philosophically compromised, but are reluctantly and cynically playing the game for lucrative salaries. Twenty percent of Republicans in big business voted for Bill Clinton. The educational backgrounds of those in business has diluted the support of freedom and free enterprise within business and industry in this country. It has been so for many years.

The debilitated products of that system, from that period, graduating with high academic honors for having accepted and verbalized their programming, became the political leadership which occupied critical positions during the Viet Nam war. These debilitated and brainwashed educational products, with their Phi Beta Kappa keys, were what Jack Kennedy would bring into the top levels of his administration as the so-called “best and brightest”.

Moreover, the top graduates of this system, having been defined as having talent for intellectuality and scholarship, went on to become professors at academic institutions and perpetuate or expand the programming system that created them. What was created was a machine that would function and reproduce itself far into the future.

That is one reason why President John Kennedy could see no moral, intellectual, or political contraindications for withdrawing opposition to communist expansion in southeast Asia. That is one of the reasons Kennedy advisors could lecture before laughing university audiences during the 60s on how the Cuban exile invasion to depose Castro had been an embarrassment that had been sabotaged. That is why Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, an undergraduate product of the perennially liberal Berkeley, is described in his own book as an admirer of socialist leader Norman Thomas and does not go on record in that same book as finding the premises of socialism dishonest or objectionable. He was too weak in political and moral depth and character to find Thomas objectionable.

That is a major reason why campuses erupted with support for extreme left-wing positions during the 60s with faculty support. A statistical breakdown of faculty and student views will be examined in a later installment.

Nicaraguan dictator Somoza had been brought down by a revolutionary coalition. After the revolution, the Marxist element in the coalition took control by the technique described in Part 2 of this Viet Nam series, with the consequence that Nicaragua became communist under the Marxist Sandinistas. In 1981 the Sandinistas were receiving large quantities of Soviet arms and cadre, and were pushing Marxist guerrilla movements into El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. If it were allowed to continue, all Central America would become a large Marxist revolution. After this was established, the indigenous governments, even with late-coming help from the U. S., would not be able to guarantee the safety of the people from terrorism, and the people would be forced to accept Marxism, not by desire, but to avoid being continually killed.

Under President Reagan’s direction, the CIA organized and armed the non-Marxist members of the revolutionary coalition, called the Contras, to overthrow the Sandinistas so that the anti-Somoza revolution could achieve the originally-intended goals. This would expel the communists from Central America, end the guerrilla activity, stabilize the area, and prevent a Viet Nam type Marxist revolution from spreading throughout the entire region. The thrust of the maneuver was to be based in El Salvador, which was under attack by the Sandinistas.

Contra the Contras

It made perfectly good sense, and it was working. The Sandinistas and Soviets were being chewed to pieces. In a brilliant move, the Soviets found themselves being bogged down and ground up in the equivalent of several losing Viet Nam-type wars in Latin America and Afghanistan. It didn’t require the employment of the American Army. It was one principle element resulting in the destruction of the Soviet empire. One would assume that anyone who was anti-communist would be thrilled to death.

The result was an explosion of protest from liberals in government, in the media, and elsewhere. Everything possible to prevent or sabotage the effort under the most distorted of pretenses, even to the point of trying to interpret it as a Contragate scandal equivalent to Watergate. Scandal? It was an attempt to save Central America, and eventually this country.

In Ronald Reagan’s autobiography he says: “I never understood the depth of the emotional resistance among some members of congress to helping the government of El Salvador. Well-intentioned or not, they were in effect furthering Moscow’s agenda in Latin America” [2]. Reagan’s observation was true, but typically understated. Leave out the “well-intentioned or not” and the “in effect.” By any objective standard, the resistance was suicidal in terms of survival of this nation.

Why was there such adamant resistance in defiance of all rationality? Was it because the resisters were Marxists? It would seem that only a Marxist, or Marxist sympathizer would have any reason to do what was being done. Some of them may have been. But, one reason they did what they did was because they were educated—or thought they were. They were educated, programmed with a twisted-up system of thinking descended from a system of brainwashing that occurred before some of them were born. They thought they were sophisticated. Many of the people who elected them also thought they were educated and sophisticated.

That thinking, dear hearts, was a major part of the story behind the loss of the Viet Nam war. The Viet Nam war was well on the way to being lost in the 1930’s when the radical left moved into, and took control of, many departments in the higher educational institutions of this country.

It’s not the complete story. For reason’s that will be discussed, by the middle of the 60s there was a large-scale emergence of compulsive hatred of this country by people who lived in it. It resulted in a suicidal attack on American values—indeed on anything American—which threatened the survival of the country.

Later on we will examine how it eventually led to systematic sabotage at home, resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths in our military as they were deliberately betrayed; and also somewhere between 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 people murdered in Viet Nam and Cambodia.


[1] Baltimore Sun, Sunday, Nov. 9, 1997, p. 31a.

[2] Ronald Reagan, An American Life, Pocket Books, New York, 1992, p. 478.

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