The President and NATO

The President and NATO
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

During his campaign for president, Donald Trump frequently employed the word “obsolete” to register his negativity about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After he won the election and was only a few days away from inauguration, he repeated his dour opinion on January 16, 2017, with “I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one, it was obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago.”

Is Trump changing his view on NATO? (Image from Wikimedia Commons, by Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office, public domain).

Now that he is President, he has reversed his view on NATO. On April 12, 2017, he declared, “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.” But there has been no alteration within NATO during the past year. Mr. Trump had just met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House. The NATO chieftain, who has never considered the alliance obsolete, smiled broadly at the Trump reversal.

Born in 1949, NATO cited Article 51 of the UN Charter for its authorization to exist. The official NATO Handbook (1995 edition) contains the text of the pact’s Preface and 14 short articles. That NATO is a UN stepchild is clearly spelled out in Article 1 stating, “The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations….” Explanatory text appearing in the NATO Handbook clearly states that the pact was “Created within the framework of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”

Because the pact is a treaty, Senate ratification had to be gained. Then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson, one of its most determined champions, stated during a March 1949 speech that NATO “is designed to fit precisely into the framework of the United Nations … The United States government and the governments with which we are associated in the treaty are convinced that it is essential measure for strengthening the United Nations.” There was no hiding the fact that NATO was designed to be a UN stepchild.

In short order, twelve nations from Western Europe and North America signed on as founding members. The pact’s Article 5 states “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” That provision encouraged 13 senators to refuse their support, not nearly enough to block U.S. entry into the alliance. So NATO began and the American people were left with an impression created by the media and NATO supporters that its entire purpose was to prevent any additional Soviet expansion westward.

The UN/NATO combination then proceeded to assure that America would never again win a war. Consider: the Korean War became stalemate and NATO’s hand was in it from the beginning. The Vietnam War, fought under a NATO clone called SEATO, ended in defeat for the U.S. The wars in which Americans were fighting and dying were now being fought without the constitutional requirement for a congressional declaration of war. Highly questionable NATO forays into Bosnia and Somalia followed. Authorization for the war in Iraq came directly from the UN. And the U.S. is now 14 years into a NATO-authorized struggle in Afghanistan. NATO now has 27 member nations.

NATO has never been “obsolete.”  It has greatly aided its UN sponsor in the gobbling up of more aspects of national sovereignty. So, Mr. Trump was wrong when he said NATO had become a useless alliance because it was “obsolete.” And he is additionally wrong to give it his newly created approval. What he should do is work to have the U.S. withdraw from both of these entangling alliances. The millions who voted for him would surely cheer such moves. And America would cease to be the world’s policeman, an assignment nowhere found in the U.S. Constitution to which the President and many other federal officials swore a solemn oath to uphold.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Let’s Terminate the Federal Reserve

Let’s Terminate the Federal Reserve
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The Federal Reserve came to life in 1913 through an act of Congress. At the time of its creation, U.S. paper currency (issued by the Treasury Department) stated that all paper money could be redeemed in precious metal. Over the course of several decades, issuance of currency shifted from the Treasury Department to the Federal Reserve and the promise to redeem paper currency for gold or silver disappeared.

Right now, bills have been introduced in Congress calling for the Fed to be audited (Image from Flickr by Pictures of Money, CC by 2.0).

The U.S. dollar, known widely to be “good as gold” when the Fed was born, was worth 100 cents. Today, it’s worth is less than two cents. Where that value went is something the American people have a right to know. But, today, the Fed’s history and its monetary manipulations aren’t well enough known to get answers to many questions about how it operates.

Mostly through the efforts of two men needed attention is being drawn to the Fed’s stranglehold over our nation’s monetary system. The two are G. Edward Griffin, who authored the blockbuster book The Creature From Jekyll Island and Ron Paul, the retired congressman from Texas. The Griffin book traces the history of the Fed from its conception at a secret meeting held at Jekyll Island, Georgia, to its gradual yet, largely hidden acquisition of power over our nation’s economic life.

While serving in Congress, Ron Paul sought for years to have Congress audit the organization. In its more than a century of operation, no such audit has ever been conducted. Though retired, Paul’s efforts to have fellow House members require such a sensible examination continue. And they seem poised to achieve some success.

But still there will be resistance to these credited efforts. Fed Chairman Janet Yellen doesn’t want the Fed audited. She claims a need to have it operate independently with no outside scrutiny. Former Treasury Secretary (1995-1999) and current co-chairman of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Rubin also wants the Fed to remain independent. He maintains that politicization of the Fed would be harmful and the choices of those who lead it should not be changed.

A short column such as this one can only touch on the harm done by the Fed. But let us at least point to an article appearing in the January 1993 issue of National Geographic magazine. NG Assistant Editor Peter White visited the Fed and was told by one of its unnamed officials that whenever the Fed buys U.S. Treasury bills (IOUs), it does so with money that “didn’t exist before.” “We created it,” says the Fed official, while admitting freely that there is no limit on such a practice except “the good judgment” of Fed officials.

Fed transactions of this kind are carried out repeatedly. Each new creation of money acquires its value by watering down (stealing!) the worth of all existing money. That happens to be what inflation truly is. Whenever a counterfeiter “creates” money, he is chased and, when caught, suffers punishment for doing what the Fed repeatedly does. If you wonder why prices are rising for homes, autos, groceries, etc., an answer has just been supplied. The price you pay simply reflects the worth of the increasingly valueless money you use.

Right now, bills have been introduced in Congress calling for the Fed to be audited. In the House, H.R. 24 seeks such a goal. In the Senate, S. 16 does likewise. Even though it’s only a first step toward freeing America of the ravages of the Fed, it’s certainly time for such scrutiny.

If you are one of the many Americans who are suffering from the shrinking monetary value of your salary, savings, possessions, etc., contact your congressman and two senators and ask each to support the appropriate Federal Reserve Transparency Act. That’s the formal name for H.R. 24 in the House and S. 16 in the Senate.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Gramsci’s Plan

Gramsci’s Plan
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The year 2017 is the 100th anniversary of Lenin and Trotsky’s Bolshevik Revolution. After a reign of terror, Lenin died in 1924, replaced in the Communist hierarchy by Josef Stalin. He and Trotsky didn’t get along, and Trotsky wisely fled Russia. Before too long, he ended up in Mexico where one of Stalin’s agents did him in with an axe to his head in 1940.

Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (Image from Flickr by thierry ehrmann, some rights reserved).

With help from western governments and individuals thought to be anti-Communist, Stalin built the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) into a world power with savage brutality that cost the lives of tens of millions. The tyrannical empire he built supposedly crashed in 1989 as Communist leaders in Europe’s Soviet bloc suddenly became democrats. The governments these puppets had been leading discarded the use of terror to rule the hapless millions in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, and all of the USSR’s satellite nations.

The above very brief recounting of recent history doesn’t include discussion of another Communist who wanted to achieve total power in a very different way. Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, born in 1891, disagreed with prominent Communists in his home country, and although he had been a founder of Italy’s Communist Party, he moved to Russia where he expected to find that Marxism really worked. It didn’t take long for Gramsci to realize, however, that Russia’s people were being held in check via Stalin-imposed terror. He thought this style of rule was unnecessary, even counterproductive.

Back to Italy in the late 1920s, Gramsci was immediately, though wrongly, considered a Stalin agent by the Mussolini government whose police sent him to prison. Over the next nine years (he died from tuberculosis in 1937), he assembled his thoughts on how a nation could be made into a “Marxist paradise” in nine volumes known as the Prison Notebooks. His strategy called for softening up the people by steering them away from their cultural foundations – faith in God, love of country, reliance on family, and attachment to the churches, schools, morals, and other anchors.

While there are numerous current propagators of the type of subversion advocated by Gramsci, Time magazine is surely one of the leaders. The magazine’s March 27, 2017 issue is filled with urgings to abandon traditional views regarding the once unquestioned field of gender identity. Example after example of deviation from basic morality fills seven of the magazine’s pages. No longer should members of the human race be known as male or female, now we are led to believe in the existence of multiple identities various individuals will choose.

According to Time, there should be wide acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. No need anymore to rely on a newborn’s identity (called “cisgender”), there are now 500 different categories where male or female were always the only choices. And, says one of the young deviants presented by Time, “Every different type of identity that exists should be supported.”

If you disagree with this undermining of such a cultural and moral foundation, expect to be labeled ”intolerant.” Everyone is supposed to back away from condemning even the most bizarre claims of young people who have been led to believe their aberrations are a new normal. Indeed, tolerance that is being forced on all who remain “straight” has become the silencer of the tradition-minded. Acceptance of whatever deviations can be dreamed up is expected and virtue is considered passé.

Were Gramsci alive, he would applaud this increasingly widespread development. His early years studying history, psychology, and philosophy equipped him to know how to tear a civilization from its roots. And if we examine which way the world is heading today, we should conclude that the Gramscian strategy is winning.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.