Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 20, 2013

A day that should live in infamy

On Saturday, Nov. 16, the United States marks a milestone: the 80th anniversary of when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt recognized the Soviet Union and “normalized” U.S.-USSR relations. It is a day that should live in infamy.

But it’s a day that hardly anyone has ever heard of. I certainly hadn’t before researching my book, “American Betrayal.” As I studied the event, however, it became clear that it was on this day 80 years ago that what I call “American betrayal” began. It is the date on which the U.S. government institutionally learned to lie.

After the Bolsheviks seized dictatorial powers in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, four U.S. presidents (starting with Woodrow Wilson) and six secretaries of state (starting with Bainbridge Colby) refused to normalize relations with the new and bloody regime of Lenin and then Stalin.

Does the phrase “global communism” ring a bell? The Soviet Union was openly committed to and already fomenting communist revolution against all nations, including, of course, the United States. (This call to conquest echoes today in Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups’ calls to jihad for a global caliphate.) It was clear to our leaders back then that it wasn’t possible to conduct normal relations with such an abnormal state.

Secretary of State Colby, stating the Wilson administration’s position in 1920, noted there could be no “mutual confidence” when one party — the USSR — had no intention of honoring pledges, which, of course, is the very basis of normal diplomatic relations. Furthermore, Colby continued, the U.S. couldn’t recognize “a government which is determined and bound to conspire against our institutions.”

This made perfect sense — at least from an American point of view. Indeed, George F. Kennan, a young diplomat training as a Russia expert at the time of recognition, would write in his 1967 memoir, “Never — neither then (in 1933) or at any later date — did I consider the Soviet Union a fit ally or associate, actual or potential, for this country.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • Remember the pledge Editor:The county board chairman is not being factual with his recent comments concerning the Public Safety Tax Pledge made by the 2004-2010 County Board.First of all, the debt we were facing was caused by the foolish actions of nine board members of

    July 31, 2014

  • Back to the future for death penalty? The surreal national debate over the death penalty reached a climax of sorts July 23 in a prison execution chamber in Florence, Arizona. Double murderer Joseph Wood was put to death by lethal injection shortly after his lawyers went to the Supreme Co

    July 31, 2014

  • Reduce property tax Editor:The regular July meeting of the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board of Trustees is always interesting, and this year was no different. It is at this meeting that the board makes the annual tax levy for the district. Like every year, the debat

    July 31, 2014

  • Away from the tyranny ‘Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency,” the late poet Maya Angelou reflected in an interview with USA Today in 1988. “We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.”What a poem Angelou might have written about

    July 31, 2014

  • No Headline Provided House and Senate conferees have agreed on a $17 billion bill to address the scandal over poor health-care service at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation is now on a fast track to pass Congress before its August recess, showing that Re

    July 31, 2014

  • Shackled by 'dead men' In theory, the American people’s elected representatives decide every so often how much to tax the public and how to allocate the revenue among various priorities, both short-term and long-term. In practice, however, Congress and the president have a

    July 31, 2014

  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks