April 14, 2014

Betrayal by Leaders

Commentary for 14 April 2014
In his 2008 book, The Failure Factory, Bill Gertz detailed the nuclear apostasy of Air Force general George Lee Butler, former chief of the U.S. Strategic Command. Incredibly, Gen. Butler subverted U.S. deterrence policy vis-à-vis Russia and bragged about it later. When Gen. Butler retired in 1994 he confessed to being a nuclear pacifist. Rather than seeking to uphold America’s nuclear deterrent, Gen. Butler hated the “self-serving profit interests of the military-industrial complex.” As he put it, the United States had been “in a messianic pursuit of a demonized enemy.” He was not alone in this opinion. Many politicians and pundits, especially from the Left, have expressed a similar view. However, Butler was in a special position. He could weaken U.S. nuclear capabilities and – in his own words – “end the madness” of nuclear deterrence. This carries with it a belief that Russia’s leaders were not seeking global dominion, even though high-level defectors from the East Bloc said that Russia’s leaders were seeking exactly this. Gen. Butler, believing in the benevolent intentions of Russia’s leaders, confessed to the following actions: “…I did what I could to cancel all of the strategic nuclear modernization programs in my jurisdiction, which totaled $40 billion. I canceled every single one of them.” As it turns out, America’s nuclear lion was a blind kitten. “If I’d had my way and I’d been there a while longer,” said Butler, “I would have worked to reduce [our nuclear arsenal] to zero.” (Read in full Butler’s Speech and joint statement with Gen. Goodpaster.) Forget the stereotype of the cigar-chomping Strategic Air Command warmonger from the sixties who wants to nuke Moscow. The stereotype is a lie. There are no such American generals. There never were. According to Gertz, “Butler is typical of a U.S. officer corps that has remained disdainful of the concepts of patriotism, love of country, and the idea that liberty and freedom and the American way of life are worth fighting for and ultimately worth dying for.” [p. 160]
Is Gertz insulting our valiant officer corps? Or is his assessment realistic?
Undoubtedly there are patriotic officers in the armed forces. But please consider who gets promoted. Our leaders have been educated to think of themselves as “citizens of the world.” This attitude is taught in our major universities, and it is rewarded with promotion. Socialism, internationalism, feminism, and environmentalism are the chief idols of our time. If you get a higher degree, this is part of what you learn. God and country are no longer in the educational mainstream today. And why would we expect the nation to be protected or valued when today’s teachings denigrate the nation as racist, imperialist, and genocidal? As these words are written, the fate of a desert tortoise in Nevada is more important to our Federal Government than a rancher whose hard work and dedication make it possible to buy beef at the store. Think of the insanity of today’s policy-makers. Is Gen. Butler the exception, or is he the rule? Our leaders believe in global warming even while the earth is cooling. They believe in homosexual marriage even as the legal system has made marriage into an unenforceable contract. They believe in unilateral disarmament even as Russia and China continue to arm. Their ideas have been upside-down for many years; and we have accepted these ideas without serious protest. Very soon it will be understood that these ideas constitute a danger to our national survival.  
That it is somehow “messianic” to maintain the nuclear balance, to check the power of an avowed enemy, is something which has to be explained in greater detail. Furthermore, the characterization of the Soviet Union as “an evil empire” is not demonization. One cannot demonize what is already demonic. Such would be akin to freezing an iceberg. The thing is what it is. Nothing we say about it may add to its character. We have either accurately described it, or we have not. If our leaders’ past characterization of the Soviet Union has at any time proven to be an exaggeration, let someone bravely provide the proof. An empire that murdered between 65 and 100 million people during the previous century must, in all fairness, be judged evil. Otherwise, when might we apply the term “evil”? Shall we say the Soviet Union was not evil? Is that the position we want to embrace? It is, indeed, the position – by implication – of Gen. Butler. He apparently believed the Soviet government was not a criminal gang that butchered tens of millions of innocent people. And such a government, with nuclear weapons, was no occasion for alarm. What alarmed the good general? It was Pentagon contractors making money by building weapons.
Let us make a comparison, if we dare. Hitler was a grandiose narcissist with paranoid delusions whose murderous brutality led to more than 55 million deaths during World War II. Yet the Soviet Communist leaders, in their turn, were also grandiose narcissists with paranoid delusions whose murderous brutality led to over 65 million deaths. Were we correct to worry about Hitler acquiring a nuclear weapon and incorrect to worry about Stalin acquiring one? And who were Khrushchev and Brezhnev if not Stalin’s henchmen? Anyone like Gen. Butler who thinks our containment of the Soviet Bloc was “the messianic pursuit of a demonized enemy” ought to write a detailed explanation; for I cannot think that such a person is anything but a mental defective; and I cannot believe his explanation would be anything more than an evasion of fact and a parody of logic. The real question which will baffle future historians for centuries to come: How can we explain a mental defective at the head of America’s Strategic Command? Now there is a question upon which a great work of sociology may be premised.
It is my personal conclusion that the threat to our civilization does not primarily stem from the Russian or Chinese strategists. The likes of these have always existed, and have always been dealt with. The primary threat to civilization is from the knuckleheads who share Gen. Butler’s values and ideas, and who rule our civilization from on high; for it is not that the Russian or Chinese strategists are so brilliant but that ours have proven so very unequal to the task of preservation and defense. The West, after all, has greater economic power than Russia. We have better technology and more people. It is only our inept leaders who have leveled the playing field. The Russian and Chinese leaders follow the ancient art of statecraft as laid down in the classics of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli; but our strategists follow the ideas of pop songs, or the slogans of pot-addled dreamers. Instead of being inspired by past examples of greatness set by Washington and Lincoln, or by William Pitt and the Duke of Wellington, we have such lamentable figures as might play clowns in a circus; personalities of no account raised to the highest offices by election or by appointment. Such figures are no more capable of writing a detailed explanation of their views than Gen. Butler; for all that Gen. Butler has done is present his conclusions, without any close reasoning to justify them. What we find, indeed, is the gullible credulity and unwitting suicidal ideation of a degenerate liberal. We find no analysis of any merit; no brilliant insights. “Modern liberalism, for most liberals,” wrote James Burnham, “is not a consciously understood set of rational beliefs, but a bundle of unexamined prejudices and conjoined sentiments.” [p. 145, Suicide of the West]
Despite Gen. Butler’s belief in the futility of nuclear weapons, a great crisis now begins to envelop Europe. For the first time since the supposed end of the Cold War we hear leading figures publicly fretting about the possible outbreak of World War III. We also hear comparisons to 1938 and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Oh yes, Putin is being compared with Hitler. One man is demonized and blamed for everything. The true nature of the problem, however, was known to those of us who never believed in the promise of Yeltsin’s democracy or Putin’s reforms. We knew how Russia was secretly organized beneath the surface because we carefully studied the testimony of intelligence defectors before and after 1991. The secret of Russia’s true leadership was best explained by former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk during a broadcast of Shuster Live more than two years ago. According to Kravchuk, “Putin and Medvedev do not determine the future of Russia and the world. Another group determines policy.” The other guests of the television program, including the host, listened attentively to Kravchuk’s remarkable explanation of Moscow’s inner workings. Nobody jumped up to contradict him. He spoke carefully, in a calm voice, sometimes smiling as he spoke. Kravchuk warned that the Ukrainian government was mistaken if it believed in building friendly relations with Moscow. “Russia is ruled not by one or two individuals but by a group of people,” Kravchuk explained. “Russia has not yet identified the names [of these people], but this is a real fact.”
The former Ukrainian president, also a former Soviet insider, said that Ukraine’s policy had been based on an illusion during the entire period of its independence. “It doesn’t matter if we call Russia good or bad. It is what it is,” he said. “Russia will not change her approach. And it is hardly a democratic approach. One group has been in charge for a long time, there is no real competition between political parties [in Russia], and there are no competing views within civil society.”
As noted long ago by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, the Soviet Union (after the death of Stalin) came to be governed by a “collective leadership.” This arrangement guaranteed strategic continuity and adherence to what Golitsyn called “the long-range policy.” What Kravchuk understood, and the West needs to understand today, may be best summarized by Golitsyn: “The settlement of the issue of Stalinism, together with the establishment of collective leadership in this sense … effectively removed the grounds for genuine factionalism, power struggles, and succession problems in the leadership of the bloc communist parties. Thenceforward these phenomena were available to be used as the subjects of disinformation operations in support of long-range policy….” What we are up against is not the momentary whim of one man. We are up against a carefully conceived policy which does not change (as Kravchuk suggested). It is a policy which will not accept the independence of Ukraine or the continued existence of NATO. One of the chief objectives of the long-range policy was outlined by Golitsyn as follows: “The isolation of the United States from its allies and the promotion of united action with socialists in Western Europe and Japan, with a view to securing the dissolution of NATO and the United States-Japan security pact....” [p. 90, New Lies for Old.]
Moscow’s collective leadership and its determination to destroy the United States as a global power is something that leaders like Gen. Butler can never accept as real. Those who point to the testimony of former KGB or Soviet officials (in this regard) are deemed “paranoid,” while the visible activities of the Kremlin are dismissed as “defensive.” The secret leadership group in Moscow is going to smash Ukrainian independence, just as they will smash the pro-freedom protestors in Moscow. These are merely preliminary steps to changing Europe’s alignment. Employing an arsenal of lies which appeal to all shades of political opinion in the West, the Russian strategists will activate their agents of influence throughout the world. They will wear down all opposition and create a favorable political environment through which further conquests might be enabled by the threat of force. They need not rely on the Left alone to advance their strategy. They can rely on conservatives who are ready to make common cause with Moscow against those Leftists who formerly eschewed anti-Communism. What is lost in the meantime? Whole regions, whole countries – even continents will be absorbed by the revived Soviet Bloc.  
Of course, the Kremlin policy is utterly mad. Even with the help of useful fools like Gen. Butler, Moscow’s strategists are bound to fail (in the long run) – especially in Europe; for the natural instincts of sensible people are bound to awaken. However grim the situation may look, however horrific the military disasters to come, the circus clowns will be forced from the stage. Fear of death has a way of focusing the mind, and the threat of enslavement rallies many whose timidity would otherwise be assumed. It does not matter that these people are “late to the party.” As war grows closer, more observers will see the situation for what it is. Shortly before her death last year, a Russian historian wrote to me as follows: “Moscow is performing substantial war preparations. Training both military and civil defense [personnel] including the Moscow Metro, every day; medicine is in full readiness for [the coming] emergency….”
What we see today has been a long time in coming. Our disarmament has been a project more than sixty years in the making. It has required, for its success, a new generation of American “leaders.” These have betrayed the good cause, here and abroad. As the late Jonas Savimbi said before his death while fighting Communism in Africa, “It is better to be America’s enemy than America’s friend; for if you are America’s enemy you may be bought. But if you are America’s friend you most certainly will be sold.” Such is the nature of our elite today, andis what must change if we are to survive – and it will change. It must change.

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