For two centuries the world has been shaped by currents unleashed in the French Revolution, the fountain of a “heinous iniquity” (according to Erick von Kuehnelt-Leddihn), “historically the mother of most of the ideological evils besetting civilization, not only of the West but of the entire world.” A utopian ideology (generally identified as Leftist) aspiring to societal transformation has variously informed movements ranging from Jacobins in France to Bolsheviks in Russia to Maoists in China to Sandinistas in Nicaragua. This phenomenon was brilliantly analyzed years ago in Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Leftism Revisited: From de Sade to Marx and Hitler and Pol Pot, wherein he showed how the past 200 years vividly illustrate the folly of the French Revolution and its slogan, “liberty, equality, fraternity.” As an eyewitness to those events, the poet Goethe declared, “‘Legislators and revolutionaries who promise equality and liberty at the same time are either psychopaths or mountebank’” (p. 9).
You just can’t enact or impose both liberty and equality, so by and large revolutionaries promise liberty and then strangle it in order to implement the economic equality demanded by the masses. As Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s says, we humans by nature need liberty. Created in the image of God, who alone is truly free, we need the freedom to be the spiritual beings we’re created to be. Every man wants to be . . . and needs to be . . . free! Leftists, however, consider human beings basically physical creatures with purely material needs. “Leftism is basically materialistic.” Thus attaining equality, dividing up the economic pie fairly, becomes the goal. If it’s necessary to sacrifice individual liberty to attain economic equality, the die is cast in favor of equality.
Equalitarian regimes, i.e. communist dictatorships, flourished and fell in the 20th century, repeating what seems to be an inevitable pattern. The connections drawn between the French Revolution’s Marquis de Sade and Hitler’s Nazi nihilism and the Bolshevik brutality of Joseph Stalin may be tenuous, but common principles and tactics make them at least distant bedfellows! Along with imposing their will on populations through violent assaults on established powers, Leftists have resolutely sought to manipulate public opinion and political policy through propaganda. This was spectacularly evident in the aftermath of WWII when the USSR successfully extended its rule over Eastern Europe, as David Martin meticulously documents in The Web of Disinformation: Churchill’s Yugoslav Blunder (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, c. 1990).
As WWII began many European nations quickly collapsed and submitted to NAZI control, but others (especially in Southeast Europe) nurtured substantial guerilla resistance to occupation. Leading the battle in Yugoslavia was General Draza Mihailovic, a valiant patriot supported by large portions of his countrymen and early celebrated throughout the Ango-American world as “an international symbol of resistance to Nazi tyranny. The readers of Time magazine [in 1941] voted him ‘Man of the year’” (p. 29). He “and his followers wanted an independent and democratic peasant Yugoslavia” (p. 57), and “the thirty-odd British officers who served with Mihailovic at various times from October 1941 to June 1944, as well as the eight American officers who served with him . . . from August 1943 to 1944, were convinced from their own experience that the Mihailovic forces represented a genuine and vitally important resistance movement” (p. xxii). He fully enjoyed the support of Winston Churchill and the Allies who saw him as a key to weakening Hitler’s power in that area.
In the early days of the war the Soviets also supported Mihailovic, but they turned against him when a committed Communist, Tito, emerged as his rival. Aligned with the USSR rather than Britain, Tito was clearly more interested in establishing Communism than defeating Nazism and fought Mihailovic more than Hitler. For Tito and Stalin to succeed in extending Soviet hegemony it was imperative for them to discredit and undermine Mihailovic—primarily by persuading Prime Minister Winston Churchill to abandon him. This was effectively accomplished by the end of December, 1943, with the assistance of a Soviet agent, James Klugman, who worked in Britain’s Cairo office during the war and skillfully falsified the information reaching Churchill. Klugman himself was probably the “most brilliant” of the Cambridge University circle in the 1930s that birthed “such notorious Soviet agents as Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Anthony Blunt” (xvii). Extensive research, including over 100 interviews, persuaded Martin that Klugman—responsible for summarizing reports of British officers in Yugoslavia—cleverly crafted disinformation designed to establish Communism in Yugoslavia.
Consequently, as Soviet troops moved into Yugoslavia in the final days of WWII, they joined Tito in attacking Mihailovic’s supporters as well as the Nazis. Churchill and Roosevelt, as was evident at the Yalta Conference, failed to oppose Stalin’s designs on Eastern Europe. A vital section of that region fell quickly behind Stalin’s Iron Curtain—though in time Tito would break away from the USSR in order to orchestrate his own version of the Communist creed. But had Mihailovic been rightly supported by Britain and America, Martin argues, that region might have been spared the trauma that ensued. And that failed to happen, as The Web of Disinformation makes clear, because a well-placed secret agent, James Klugman, effectively shaped British opinion.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
One of the greatest 20th century leaders, Czechoslovakia’s Vaclav Havel, lamented the “communist culture of the lie” that had ravished his nation under Soviet rule. Such should have been expected, of course, for Vladimir Lenin had openly declared that the only “morality” he and his followers embraced was whatever advanced the cause of socialism; thus lying as well as killing and stealing were easily embraced inasmuch as they helped promote the dictatorship of the proletariat. In its Chinese version, Mao Zedong routinely declared that a lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth, and even the Russian word Glasnost, adroitly employed by Mikhail Gorbachev in the ‘80s and warmly celebrated in the West, “really means lying, and lying is the first step toward stealing and killing” p. 17).
In Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terror (Washingon, D.C.: WND Books, c. 2013), Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Prof. Ronald J. Rychalak make clear the devious designs and strategies implemented by Communists around the world during the past century. For many years, before defecting to the United States in the late ‘70s, Pacepa headed Romania’s intelligence agency, the DIE. Rychalak is a distinguished scholar, well-versed in history and law, particularly well-known for his work on Pope Pius XII. In his helpful Introduction to the book R. James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, says: “This remarkable book will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press, and much else besides. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking defector we have ever had from a hostile intelligence service. As chief of the Romanian intelligence he was for many years in the key meetings with heads of state and a participant in some of the most sensitive discussions by our enemies during the Cold War” (#96 in Kindle).
Intelligence operatives primarily sought to “frame” information by infiltrating organizations (such as the World Council of Churches), altering records, rewriting history, and manipulating media to advance their cause. They especially sought to discredit political and religious leaders as well as regimes who opposed their endeavors. Thus, the authors explain, their book’s title, Disinformation, focuses on what “has been the Kremlin’s most effective weapon in its war on the West, especially on Western religion. Iosif Stalin invented this secret ‘science,’ giving it a French-sounding name and pretending it was a dirty Western practice. As this book will show, the Kremlin has secretly, and successfully, calumniated leading Roman Catholic prelates, culminating in Pope Pius XII; it almost succeeded in assassinating Pope John Paul II; it invented liberation theology, a Marxist doctrine that turned many European and Latin American Catholics against the Vatican and the United States; it has promoted anti-Semitism and international terrorism; and it has inspired anti-American uprisings in the Islamic world” (#290).
As a youngster growing up in Romania, Pacepa dreamed of going to America—some of his relatives lived in what was then a most prosperous Detroit! But when the Soviets occupied his country at the close of WWII that dream faded and he was drafted into the Securitate, the intelligence department, and ultimately became its head officer, working for the tyrannical Nicholae Ceausescu, who “was more or less a Romanian version of the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin—an empty suit who morphed into his country’s president without having held any productive job, who knew nothing about how the real world worked, and who believed that lying to the world and killing ofof his critics were the magic wands that would keep him in power” (p. 9). In that position, Pacepa says, and “because Romania was a relatively small country, I believe that I, as its top intelligence officer, very possibly had a clear picture of how the Kremlin and its dezinformatsiya really functioned than perhaps all but the very innermost Soviet inner circle” (p. 6). “Change the public image of the leader, and you change history, I heard over and over from Khrushchev’s lips” (p. 178).
Importantly, disinformation is not misinformation! Whereas misinformation comes directly from government spokesmen and is easily detected, disinformation “is a secret intelligence tool, intended to bestow a Western, nongovernment cachet on government lies” (p. 30). Prominent Western intellectuals, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, were recruited by the KGB to promote the Soviet agenda; thus Sartre, for example, “vilified the United States as a racist country suffering from political rabies” (p. 34). Others—such as the Italian writer Carlo Falconi (who relied on communist forgeries to write The Silence of Pius XII) and the German playwright Rolf Hochhuth (whose 1963 play The Deputy popularized a malign image of the Pope), and John Cornwell (whose 1999 Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII revived the slurs)—were used to attack the Catholic Church, particularly by promoting the slander of Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope.” These and other publications disregarded all the evidence, alleging that the Pope had nefariously supported the Nazis when in fact he had done much to resist and ultimately defeat them! To rectify the record, Pacepa devotes several well-documented chapters to demonstrate the truth about Pius XII’s heroic efforts to assist the Jews and defeat the Nazis.
And Pope Pius XII was only one of many Western clergymen subject to Soviet disinformation, for a “global war on religion” was part and parcel of the Communists’ strategy throughout the Cold War. They worked especially hard to get leftists in the West to organize “peace movements” and promote anti-Semitism. And, when Latin and South America seemed impervious to Castro-style violent revolutions, “the KGB was able to maneuver a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a conference in Medellin, Columbia. At the KG B’s request, my DIE provided logistical assistance to the organizers. The official task of the conference was to help eliminate poverty in Latin America. Its undeclared goal was to legitimize a KGB-created religious movement dubbed ‘liberation theology,’ the secret task of which was to incite Latin America’s poor to rebel against the institutionalized violence of poverty’ generated by the United States” (p. 101).
Though Pope John Paul II, who knew a great deal about Communism, repudiated it, “Liberation Theology” enjoyed much support in elite seminaries, denominational headquarters, and ecumenical organizations such as the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches. So easily manipulated were these groups that the KGB in 1983 sent 47 “agents to attend the WCC General Assembly in Vancouver, and the following year the KGB took credit for using its agents on the WCC selection committee to arrange for the right man to be elected WCC general secretary” (p. 102). Simultaneously, “a black version of liberation theology began growing in a few radical-leftist black churches in the United States. Black liberation theologians James Cone, Cornel West, and Dwight Hopkins have explicitly stated their preference for Marxism because Marxist thought is predicated on a system of oppressor class (whites) versus victim class (blacks), and it sees just one solution: the destruction of the enemy” (p. 103). Importantly: James Cone mightily influenced Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago pastor and (for 20 years) religious mentor of Barack Obama.
Disinformation in America was long promoted by I. F. Stone, a prominent, influential journalist who was (as recently published KGB documents reveal) a paid Soviet Spy who wrote “articles on subjects recommended to him by Moscow” to distribute dezinformatsiya. Thus he praised and promoted The Deputy (the maliciously false portrait of Pius XII) when it was brought to the American stage. “M.S. (Max) Arnoni . . . onetime editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and publisher of A Minority of One, a highbrow magazine for the liberal American elite, also jumped in to promote The Deputy. According to former KGB general Oleg Kalugin, now an American citizen, Arnoni received money from the KGB for promoting the Soviet line in the American media” (p. 139). Much the same can be said about leftist magazines such as Mother Jones and think-tanks such as the Institute for Policy Studies.
Such disinforming writers and organizations have effectively subverted American policies and incubated Anti-Americanism around the globe. Postmodern intellectuals, notably Jacques Derrida, allegedly abandoned Marxism but still justified “the Islamic war against the United States” and called for “a ‘new Internationale’ to unite all the environmentalist, feminists, gays, aboriginals, and other ‘dispossessed and marginalized’ people who were combating American-led globalization” (p. 288). Pacepa provides insights into such things as the alleged “missile gap” John F. Kennedy claimed while running for President in 1960 and Lee Harvey Oswald’s Soviet ties (documented in Pacepa’s Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination), and John Kerry’s outrageous accusations during the Vietnam War. And though the old USSR has collapsed, a KGB empire survives under the direction of Vladimir Putin; Communist ideology remains and primarily works these days through anti-Israeli and pro-Islamic operatives. For instance: Pacepa personally observed how the KGB shrewdly transformed “an Egyptian-born Marxist . . . into a Palestinian-born Yassar Arafat” (p. 284). “Documents in the Mitrokhin Archive describe Arafat’s close collaboration with my Romanian DIE and with the KGB in the early 1970s. Other documents disclose the KGB’s secret training provided Arafat’s guerillas, and reveal the super secret channels used by the KGB to provide arms shipments to the PLO” (p. 323).
Sadly, Pacepa believes, as a result of disinformation “the ghost of Marx lives on” in the United States. Give what he witnessed in his own native land, after WWII, he finds developments in has adopted homeland, America, alarming. “After forty-five years of Cold War, and still more years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, millions of young Americans, unaware of history or unable to learn from it, have come to believe that capitalism is their real enemy, and that it should be replaced with socialism. They found a home in the Democratic Party, whose primary 2008 election theme was the promise to redistribute America’s wealth” (p. 306). Barack Obama’s central theme in 2008, as all of us should recall, was “change.” Voters intoxicated with the message rarely realized, as Pacepa says, that “the quintessence of Marxism is change, which is built on the dialectical materialist tenet that quantitative changes generate qualitative transformations. Thus ‘change,’ through the redistribution of the country’s wealth, became the electoral slogan in all Soviet boloc countries” (p. 310).
To Pacepa, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was “a major cause of déjà vu. It felt as though I were watching a replay of one of those election campaigns of Ceausescu’s in which I was involved during my years in Romania. Ceausescu’s media painted the Romania of his predecessor, Ghjeorghiu-Dej, as a decaying, corrupt, economically devastated country and demanded it be changed by redistributing the country’s wealth. It was a disinformation campaign” (p. 309). Still more: “Just as Ceausescu loved to remind everyone that someone as great as he ‘is born once every five hundred years,’ so did Sen. Barack Obama portentously proclaim, ‘We are the ones we have been waiting for, ‘ artfully substituting the regal ‘we’ to convey his actual meaning: I am the One you have been waiting for. Meanwhile, Obama’s Houston campaign headquarters had a large poster of communist idol Che Guevara hanging on the wall” (p. 309). The crowds thronging around Obama reminded Pacepa of “Ceausescu’s revival meetings—more than eighty thouseand people were gathered in front of the now-famous Greek temple resembling the White House that had been erected in Denver, to demand that America’s wealth be redistributed. It was a superb show of disinformation” (p. 311).
Following Obama’s election, he and his appointees “began changing into a Ceausescu-style nomenklatura (in the Soviet bloc, the special elite class of people from which appointees for top-level government positions were drawn) with unchecked power. This new nomenklatura started running the country secretly, just as Ceausescu’s nomenklatura did. ‘We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,’ then-leader of the US House of Representatives nomenklatura, Nancy Pelosi once told the media. That was a first in American history. It didn’t take long before this nomenklatura—this arrogant, new elite class—began to take control of banks, home mortgages, school loans, automakers and most of the healthcare industry” (p. 311). Pacepa realizes that many may find his comparisons between Obama and Ceausescu quite dubious, but points to some alarming similarities between them that should concern us.
“This book,” Pacepa says as he concludes his treatise, “is another open letter, this time witten jointly with Professor Rychlak (whose ancestors had immigrated from Poland) and addressed especially to oiur fellow Americans. Let us reject the Marxist redistribution of wealth which has transformed so many once-noble countries into lands looking like giant trailer camps hit by the hurricane, with their leaders roasting in Dante’s Inferno. Indeed, all Marxist redistributionists who have ever risen to lead a country have ended up in hell—all, from Trotsky to Stalin, Tito to Ahivkov, Enver Hoxha to Matyas Rakosi, Serkou Toure to Nyeree, Khrusheev to Ceausescu. All had their days of temporary glory but all ended in eternal disgrace. A few remnants, like the Castro brothers, are still hanging on, but they certainly have a place in hell reserved and waiting for them.
“Let us, once and for all, all reject Marxism’s ‘science’ of disinformation, its glasnost, and its political necrophagy that has been used so destructively over the years to squash freedom and bankrupt countries. Let us recognize them for what they are—and expose them with all our might—when such deceitful campaigns rear their ugly heads. Let us return to our own American exceptionalism and its traditions of patriotism, honesty and fairness. The United States of America is the greatest country on earth. Let us keep it that way for future generations” (p. 350).