Shouldn’t Ex-Communists Be Held Accountable?

Shouldn’t Ex-Communists Be Held Accountable?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Recently, when an United Nations affiliated international tribunal convicted former Serbian General Ratko Mladic of genocide and sentenced him to life in prison, the New York Times commented with obvious glee: “No crime against humanity, no matter how long ago it occurred, should be immune to cries for justice.”

Flag of the Communist Party of China from Wikimedia Commons, public domain by Ericmetro.

If that’s the case, how come there are no international tribunals putting ex-Communists on trial? Why is it that men like Mladic can be held accountable and not the leaders of China and the former Soviet Union? Over recent years, several ex-Nazi corporals have been hunted down, tried, and convicted of having a role in hounding and killing Jews during World War II. But putting ex-Communists on trial hasn’t happened and there surely are plenty still alive.

Twenty years ago, Europeans who lived under Communist rule published The Black Book of Communism. A review of the murder, imprisonment, and brutality inflicted on people who resided in what were termed “the captive nations.” The book points to a staggering total of 94 million deaths at the hands of Communist rulers. Many of these instances of brutality occurred during the very time period that Nazis were rounding up and killing Jews. But only ex-Nazis are prosecuted.

Stephane Courtois, the Black Book’s editor, claims 65 million victims of Communism met death in China and close to 20 million perished in the former Soviet Union. He noted that Communist regimes are responsible for far more deaths “than any other political ideal or movement, including Nazism.” These deaths did not result from war. Communists deliberately killed millions through organized programs involving executions, man-created starvation, forced labor, and more. A major reason for the bloody rampages was the terror forced on those who remained in silence and became totally unwilling to oppose their oppressors.

On July 16, 1971, the 92nd Congress of the United States published a 33-page document entitled “The Human Cost of Soviet Communism.” Issued by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, the report relied on the work of the highly regarded British historian Robert Conquest for its statistics. Conquest concluded that the number of deaths caused by Soviet authorities in Russia and other captive nations numbered 45 million. While many of these victims of Soviet terror met death in the first half of the 20th Century, millions perished at the hands of still-living Communist leaders and their subordinates.

Similarly, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee published “The Human Cost of Communism in China” on July 29, 1971. It concluded that China’s leaders had ordered the slaughter of at least 34 million and possibly as many as 64 million innocent persons. A huge portion of these victims were slain during the reign of Mao Tse-tung. Many who carried out his death-mandating orders are alive today. And so are those who suppressed the student revolt at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square almost 30 years ago.

Why haven’t current leaders in China been prosecuted? Many played a role in China’s murderous past. The same question needs to be asked about Soviet leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev, a lifelong Communist who has never renounced Communism and, instead of being held accountable for his crimes, is given the privilege of addressing the U.S. Congress and being treated as if he were a reliable ally.

If Communists who are guilty of high crimes aren’t held accountable (ostracism at least would certainly be in order), the reason can only be that they are winning. Winning what? Winning control over mankind under the name of “socialism” rather than under the banner of “communism.” Gorbachev has written of his insistence that he will never cease being a Communist. He should be held accountable for his role in enforcing Communist rule with death-dealing gulags, crackdowns on dissenters, and creating terror throughout his nation and others where Soviet forces ruled for decades.

In 2007, a Victims of Communism Memorial statue was erected in Washington, DC. That’s a welcome gesture, but more is needed. Punishing ex-Nazis who are virtual nobodies and ignoring the crimes of many high-ranking Communists is hypocrisy gone wild. It surely does indicate who is winning in the battle that pits freedom under just law against dictatorial slavery.

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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.


Socialism: Sanders Compared to Lenin

Socialism: Sanders Compared to Lenin
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Vladimir Lenin is likely found in any listing of mass-murdering criminals. He is also the founder of Soviet Communism, although he should more correctly be labeled a socialist. The founder of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Lenin knew that establishing socialism, which is government ownership and control of the major industries in any nation, is the surest way to gaining control of any nation.

Image from Pixabay, Open Clipart Vectors, Creative Commons CCO.

Lenin employed both persuasion and terror as his method of gaining power. Along the way, he frankly admitted a major element of his plan. It was that “socialized medicine is the keystone in the arch of the socialist state.” Impose socialized medicine on a population, he believed, and the path to total control has been irrevocably created.

For many years, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been considered a bit of a harmless gadfly, an outsider who affiliated with neither of America’s major political parties. That he represented tiny Vermont made that state the butt of a string of jokes. Some Americans believed Vermonters had lost their minds in sending an avowed Socialist to represent them in the national government. But that’s what they did, first electing Sanders as their lone member of the House of Representatives beginning in 1991, and since 2008, as one of their two senators.

Sanders became nationally well-known  during the 2016 campaign he waged for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. His capability at presenting his views without rancor and with a degree of folksiness endeared him to many Americans who seem to have no idea how far from traditional Americanism are the now favorite socialistic preferences.

Beaten for the Democrat nomination by Hillary Clinton, Sanders has hardly returned to his former gadfly status. He is now a leader with millions of followers who like the sounds of his promise of more powerful and paternalistic government. On August 1st of this year, the energetic 75-year-old Vermonter (born and raised in Brooklyn, New York) made clear his intention to have Congress approve “a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.”

Sanders indicated that what he proposes will “require a political revolution.” In saying that, he is completely correct. The single payer that he didn’t identify in his August 1st announcement would be the federal government. If Sanders succeeds in getting his proposal enacted by Congress, the U.S. government would totally control 1/6th of the nation’s economy – a huge step toward Lenin-style socialism that would be nearly impossible to reverse.

Cleverly appealing for support among the American people, the Vermont socialist directed his remarks toward “men and women, gay and straight, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American … and the elderly, sick and poor.” He identifies the enemy of his proposal as “Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the corporate media, the Republican Party, and the Establishment wing of the democratic Party.” A typically socialist appeal? Absolutely.

The proposal he offers is not unlike one crafted during the administration of John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) though it would have covered only Americans of Social Security age. It was an undeniable step toward gaining the kind of control envisaged today by Sanders. But the American Medical Association (AMA) mounted opposition and it was aided in part by a commercial featuring then-actor Ronald Reagan who called the proposal “an imminent threat.”  The AMA issued a widely-distributed pamphlet warning: “Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of American life? Lenin thought so. He declared socialization of medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.”

That was more than a half century ago. The AMA has become so heavily entwined with government involvement in medicine that the alternative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) arose several decades ago. The AAPS is dead set against socialized medicine and socialism in general. It would be helpful in the fight to retain American free enterprise if the AMA would speak out as before, and if a Hollywood favorite would give the American people a warning about socialized medicine just as Ronald Reagan did almost 60 years ago.

Let’s not let socialized medicine bring America down. Support a clean repeal of ObamaCare with no replacement today!

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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.


Brzezinski’s Un-American History

Brzezinski’s Un-American History
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the geopolitical favorite of a bevy of liberals and internationalists, passed away at 89 on May 26th. The son of a Polish diplomat, he was born in Poland and lived with his family in France and Germany before they emigrated to Canada in the late 1930s. There, the aspiring future diplomat earned ascending political science degrees at McGill University in Montreal. Off to Harvard University, he then won doctorate status in 1953 and a post as one of its instructors. When Harvard chose Henry Kissinger over him as its newest associate professor, Brzezinski moved to Columbia University in New York. He became a U.S. citizen in 1958.

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin engages U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in a game of chess at Camp David. What other games has he played? (Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain).

The author of numerous books and opinion pieces, he should be remembered mostly for Between Two Ages (BTA) published by Viking Press in 1970. Having become well-known as a foe of Communism, he demonstrated in BTA both his preference for Marxism and his less-than-positive view of the country he had chosen as his home. In addition, he promoted the cause of world government at the expense of national sovereignty. But he earned some anti-Communist credentials as a critic of expanding U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. How a man could be an anti-Communist but still a Marxist has never been fully explained. And his preference for world government prevented him from being regularly classified by many as a staunch American.

In BTA, his Marxism showed when he termed the destructive philosophy of Karl Marx “a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision [and] a victory of reason over belief” (page 72). He added that it “represented a major advance in man’s ability to conceptualize his relationship to the world” (page 83). And, “Marxist theory [is] this century’s most influential system of thought” (page 123).

About his adopted nation, he wrote, “America is undergoing a new revolution … which unmasks its obsolescence” (page 198). Instead of lauding free enterprise that helped the U.S. to become the envy of the world, he promoted “deliberate management of America’s future, with the planner … as the key social legislator and manipulator” (page 260).

Yearning for world government, he called for a “community of developed nations [brought about] through a variety of indirect ties and already developing limitations on national sovereignty. The first of these [ties] would involve the forging of community links among the United States, Western Europe and Japan. The second phase would include the extension of these links to more advanced communist countries” (page 296). His “more advanced Communist countries” were those that had renounced bloody revolution and practiced a more humane Marxism.

What Brzezinski wrote about became the Trilateral Commission, a world government in infant stages financed from its inception by David Rockefeller. The New York multimillionaire banker formed it exactly as Brzezinski had suggested; the two enlisted the formerly obscure Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter as one of its founding members; and they not only promoted his rise to U.S. President in 1976, they filled his most important cabinet posts with other Trilateralists: Walter Mondale, Cyrus Vance, W. Michael Blumenthal, Harold Brown, and more. Carter, who elevated Brzezinski to become the nation’s National Security Advisor with an office in the White House, would later state of his Trilateral credential, “Membership on this Commission has provided me with a splendid learning opportunity and many of the members have helped me in my study of foreign affairs.”

As for where all of this was intended to go, Brzezinski explained his desire for “the goal of world government.” For him to swear an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution amounted to a bold-faced lie. He was not an American committed to undiluted national independence and no-nonsense economic freedom.

Join with The John Birch Society to prevent this world government that Brzezinski played such a role in promoting and building.

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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.


Is Socialism Worse Than Communism?

Is Socialism Worse Than Communism?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Six years ago in a speech exposing the scourge of neoconservatism, I startled some of the audience by claiming that socialism is more dangerous than communism. I knew that many fine Americans had long held the view that socialism was not good, but “at least it’s not as bad as communism.” I disagreed.

Both socialism and communism promoters claim Marx’s Communist Manifesto as their own (Image from ShopJBS.org). 

My foray of this topic developed because acceptance of neoconservatism amounts to choosing socialism and internationalist meddling, even war. The self-described “godfather” of the movement, Irving Kristol, proudly announced in his 1995 book Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, that neoconservatism “accepted the New Deal in principle, and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated America conservatism.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal was socialism with a nice-sounding name. And the isolationism condemned by Kristol has always kept America from meddling in the world’s affairs, even going to war to dictate the way others should exist. In short order, Kristol and his allies moved into the Republican Party where they now exercise inordinate influence led by such neocons as Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

But what about socialism and its communist partner in crime? Honest adherents of both claim Marx’s Communist Manifesto as their own. Partisans on either side have even fought over ownership of the document while they were busily subjugating entire nations and peoples.

But there is an important difference that needs airing. Communists seek domination via hasty takeover and bloody suppression. Their success doesn’t destroy resistance. So they have to create such tyrannical enforcement groups as the NKVD, GRU, or some secret police outfit. The history of these enforcers is well-known.

On the other hand, the more patient Socialists work toward the same totalitarian goal, but they persuade their future victims to vote themselves into socialistic control. Their process destroys resistance. Rule over their hapless victims is more complete. But it will turn deadly if needed.

Lenin and Trotsky established communist control over Russia in 1917. Lenin died in 1924 and another murderous tyrant named Stalin took over. Trotsky worked alongside both, but he always preferred the socialist route to power. In time, he fled Stalin and ended up in Mexico where one of Stalin’s agents put an ax in his head. The brutality of Stalin’s Soviet-style conquests continued.

Taking control of America posed a problem for Stalin and his successors. Resistance to communism has always been strong in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” But bringing America under control with socialism grew dramatically throughout the 20th century and beyond. Socialistic takeovers in such fields as housing, welfare, education, health, and more, plus the combination of a United Nations police force has gained an increasing amount of supporters from coast to coast.

During the recent race for the presidency, millions of Americans cheered for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders. Very few of the Sanders supporters know where his program for their country will take it. Nor did they have any awareness of his years of affiliation with the Socialist International (Honorary Chairman: Karl Marx). Yet they cheered lustily for him to win the Democratic Party’s nomination. He came close to being the nominee and would have been a formidable candidate to become the next occupant of the White House. His manner of gaining control of the people and the nation through persuasion instead of the sword almost succeeded.

Where would complete socialism take America? Literary giant George Bernard Shaw was a proud socialist in England. In 1928, his “Intelligent Women’s Guide to Socialism” stated:

I also make it clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not the character and industry to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.

Should socialism triumph completely in America, the amount of resistance would be minimal – at least for a time – because the people voted for it. But it wouldn’t be too long before the George Bernard Shaw method would be used to keep socialism in power.

How many Bernie Sanders partisans understand this? Hardly any. And how many supporters of neoconservative politicians realize the ultimate goal of the followers of Irving Kristol? Another minuscule number. How many understand that socialism is truly more dangerous than communism? Next to none.

Many more Americans need to be awakened in order to preserve the great experiment in freedom given this nation in the late 18th century. Socialism isn’t the route to justice and progress. It’s the path to control – and it will indeed become deadly like its communist bedfellow.

Know thy enemy. Get your copy of The Communist Manifesto today.

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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.


Sanders the Socialist

Sanders the Socialist
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

While chatting recently with a friendly technician who was repairing my copy machine, I got a taste of a very big problem facing our country. The man knew everything about the bulky machine. But he displayed a woeful lack of awareness about our nation’s fundamental principles. And he volunteered a political preference I fear is shared by millions.

Sanders is a proud socialist who wants to establish government compulsion over everyone (Image from Flickr).

Sanders is a proud socialist who wants to establish government compulsion over everyone (Image from Flickr by Gage Skidmore).

The technician, a patriotic U.S. Air Force veteran, volunteered that he didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. He had nothing good to say about either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. But he boasted that, if Bernie Sanders had won the Democratic Party’s nomination, he would have gladly voted for him. He added that Bernie would probably have swamped Trump. He might be correct about that.

When I suggested that Bernie Sanders would admit to being a socialist, he gave no response. Evidently being a socialist is OK with my technician acquaintance, not because he knows what being a socialist means and how un-American such a view really is, but because he doesn’t know what it means. Had I an opportunity to explain what socialism truly connotes, I might have cited an excellent warning given in 1974 by economist Percy Greaves. In his book Mises Made Easier, Professor Greaves wrote:

Following the Bolshevist Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevist leader Lenin chose the name Communist Party for all those dedicated to the use of violence, revolution, and civil war to attain their final goal, and to distinguish his followers from the socialists, or social democrats, who sought the same final goal by democratic processes.

In other words, a convinced socialist is at least as dangerous as a Communist, maybe more so because his ultimate goal isn’t well known. My technician acquaintance surely has no awareness that Marx’s Communist Manifesto is the blueprint for both Communists and Socialists.

During the televised debates between the Vermont senator and Mrs. Clinton, I saw Sanders come across as genuinely honest and sincere. But he is a proud socialist, a man who has spent a lifetime favoring the same total government scheme, though not the same route to achieving it, as did the murdering tyrant Lenin. The man fixing my copy machine wouldn’t have supported Lenin, or Stalin, or any of their successors who murdered millions and enslaved those they permitted to live. But he would willingly back Sanders. And therein lies the big problem facing America today.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t advocate killing anybody; he just wants to establish government compulsion over everyone. But he never summarizes it that way. He will soak the rich, make health care and college education free, put government in charge of supplying everyone’s needs, and more. It all sounds so very good to anyone who has no awareness of either America’s fundamentals or the Marxian program. Yet, millions of young Americans flocked to his rallies and cheered him with great gusto. Lots of older Americans did likewise.

The socialism advocated by Sanders is a huge threat to freedom. The problem is that so few Americans understand the value of limited government or the worth of the Constitution, which is socialism’s polar opposite. America grew from a veritable wasteland to becoming the envy of the world, not because of government action but because of the Constitutional requirement for inaction. Millions of college-educated people today have never heard that view and, consequently, are ripe fruit for socialists to pluck. They see problems, most of which have been created by government, and expect government to solve them. The American way would be to get government out of the way and let enlightened self-interest do the solving.

Currently, there are 74 House members who hold membership in its socialist wing called the Progressive Caucus. Sanders is the only Senate member of this Caucus.

All of this presents a huge problem for America. The copy machine technician I encountered doesn’t want the socialism goal advocated by Sanders; he just wants the nice-sounding program the Vermont maverick offers. But it’s only nice-sounding, something even my acquaintance will discover if this nation doesn’t get back to the fundamentals that made it so appealing in the first place. Learn more about socialism’s impact around the globe.

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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.


How Castro Seized Control of Cuba

How Castro Seized Control of Cuba
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On April 9, 1948, 21-year-old Fidel Castro took part in a bloody communist uprising in Bogota, Colombia. While shouting over a seized radio station, “This is a Communist revolution,” he and his marauding comrades proceeded to murder hundreds while setting fires that claimed many more lives. Arrested and charged with murder, he boasted, “I did a good work today; I killed a priest.” But the Colombian authorities merely sent him out of their country.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Fidel Castro in 2003 (photo by Antonio Milena – ABr Editing: Lucas (crop, blur, retouch, color, modify) (This image) [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons).

Back in his native Cuba in 1953, Fidel led a band of insurrectionists in an attack on one of the country’s military posts.  Arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Batista government, he benefitted from a general amnesty in 1954. Castro then made his way to New York, where he met with friends who provided him with millions of dollars in aid and promises to smuggle quantities of arms into Cuba — which promises they kept.

In 1956, he went to Mexico, where he received training from die-hard communist forces who had fought in the Spanish Civil War. It was there that he met and enlisted Argentine communist Ernesto “Che” Guevara as his second in command. Before 1956 ended, the two led a band numbering less than a hundred into Cuba, established a base of operations, benefitted from a U.S. arms embargo aimed at the Batista government, and advanced toward their eventual takeover of the island nation.

In the United States in May 1957, a pro-Communist named William Wieland won appointment as the head of the State Department’s Caribbean Desk.  When U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Arthur Gardner warned his superiors (Wieland certainly included) that Castro was indeed a communist, he was speedily replaced and prevented from briefing his successor, Earl E.T. Smith. To put it mildly, that constituted a highly unusual break in policy. Instead, Wieland sent Smith to Herbert Matthews at the New York Times for his briefing and Matthews, who had already been heaping praises on Castro, assured the newly appointed ambassador that Castro was a trusted friend of freedom. Nevertheless, Smith learned the truth, reported what he learned to Washington, and was likewise replaced.

In mid-1958, former Assistant Secretary of State Spruille Braden warned, “Rebel chief Fidel Castro is a pawn in the Kremlin’s international intrigue.” Over in Mexico, U.S. Ambassador Robert C. Hill sent a similar message to Washington. But Secretary of State Dean Rusk and President John F. Kennedy vouched for the bearded revolutionary. They also did nothing to rid the U.S. government of William Wieland and his cohort, Roy Rubottom. After Castro took control of the island nation on January 1, 1959, he visited the United States, lied about his communist purposes, and won glorification from government officials and media heavyweights. Then, on December 2, 1961, he boldly confessed to having been a communist during his entire adult life. Only then did the U.S. government classify the Castro regime as an enemy.

Three months prior to Castro seizing control of Cuba, private citizen Robert Welch published the truth about the Cuban revolutionary in his small American Opinion magazine. He stated in September 1958, “Now the evidence from Castro’s whole past that he is a Communist agent carrying out Communist orders and plans is overwhelming.”  Welch would later found The John Birch Society.

No one in government, Wieland and Rubottom included, ever paid any price for their treachery.  Media luminaries who lauded Castro continued in their posts. But a price was paid, and is still being paid, by the Cuban people. Since the Castro takeover, thousands have been jailed or executed. More thousands have died at sea attempting to flee the Communist hellhole. In March 2016, President Obama journeyed to Cuba to start a resumption of relations with Fidel and his equally tyrannical brother Raúl. Fidel has now gone to his Maker and Raúl has continued the Castros’ tyrannical rule.

Cuba’s fate over the past 50-plus years brings to mind the adage, “Crime unpunished is crime rewarded.” The Castro brothers have never been punished. Nor have State Department officials who helped them into power and paved the way for like-minded diplomats to be their successors. A house cleaning is still very much needed.

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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.