Rewriting Cold War History
December 3 2003
Were neoconservatives the heroes of the Cold War? Or were many of them
latecomers to the cause of anti-communism, too long enamored of its ugly
little sister, socialism?© 2003 Creators
Consider. Last week, the Washington Times reported on a party at the
Slovak Embassy given to honor America's Cold War heroes.
In the photos were such stalwarts as Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, the Reagan
speech-writer, Gen. "Jack" Singlaub, a legendary warrior, Al Regnery,
whose father was the bravest anti-communist publisher of the Cold War,
and Jon Utley, whose mother, Frieda, took the road traveled by Whitaker
But it was not these Cold War veterans who were being bemedaled.
Indeed, the first clanging note came in the name given to the awards
being presented: the Truman-Reagan Medal.
What is Truman's name doing on a medal honoring victims of communism?
Did Harry not himself create 2 million of those victims when he ordered
Russian POWs sent back to Stalin in Operation Keelhaul? Did Harry not
come home from Potsdam singing the praises of "good old Uncle Joe"?
Did Truman not sit silent while communists cleansed Eastern Europe of 15
million Germans, mostly women and children, beating and killing 2
million in the exodus?
Was it not Harry who panicked when Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain"
speech at Fulton, Mo., appeared to backfire, and who then offered to
send the battleship Missouri to pick up Joe Stalin and bring him over
here, so he could have equal time to refute Churchill?
Was it not Truman whose envoy, George Marshall, godfathered the policy
that led to the loss of China to Mao, who would create more victims of
communism than any other monster?
Was it not Truman whose government was honeycombed with communist
traitors who had to be ferreted out by Richard Nixon and "Tailgunner"
Joe McCarthy, as Truman ranted on about "red herrings"?
Was it not Truman who fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur and wrung his hands
as Americans died in the tens of thousands in his "no-win war" in Korea,
until his party was wiped out in 1952 for having been "soft on
Truman did approve the Berlin Airlift, did send aid to Turkey and
Greece, and did create the Marshall Plan and NATO. But, in his near
eight years, more people were lost to communism and murdered by
communists than under any other president. Why, then, is Truman's name
twinned with that of Reagan, who was cleaning communists out of the
Screen Actors Guild while Harry was covering for them in his own
Then, there are the honorees given the Reagan-Truman Medal from the
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: Carl Gershman and Michael
Gershman is a former chairman of Social Democrats, USA, a socialist
organization founded by Trotskyite Max Shactman, who became
disillusioned with Stalin only after Stalin's murdering had been going
on for decades. Not until the 1960s did SD-USA join the Socialist Party
of Norman Thomas. Not until the 1970s did Gershman scoot over to Sen.
Henry Jackson, along with other ex-socialists and former Trotskyites.
Gershman's career path raises a question: Where was he during Vietnam,
the anti-communist war of his generation? Was he with Johnson and Nixon
against the leftist agitators against war, or was he one of those
agitators, as Michael Novak seems to have been?
Novak was a co-author of the antiwar tract "Vietnam: Crisis of
Conscience," a 1967 work "designed to clarify the moral issue and point
to lines of action which responsible repentance requires," by one
Novak was also associated with Clergy And Laity Concerned About Vietnam,
a leftist organization. In 1972, he wrote speeches for vice presidential
nominee Sargent Shriver, who railed against Nixon's bombing of communist
When America left Vietnam, tens of thousands of Vietnamese were
slaughtered or sent to concentration camps by the communists, while a
million Cambodians were massacred by the Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot. CALCAV
was wrong – dead wrong.
Has Novak or Gershman ever apologized for or explained their roles
during what Reagan called the "noble cause" to save South Vietnam from
communist barbarism, a cause for which 58,000 Cold War heroes gave their
Leftists are not the only ones rewriting resumes to paint themselves as
heroic in the Cold War. So, too, are the neocons. Why is the right
letting them get away with it?
Perhaps next year, the Victims of Communism will honor life-long
anti-communist warriors who paid heavier prices than Gershman or Novak
ever did, folks like Ollie North, Jesse Helms, Phyllis Schlafly and
"Jack" Singlaub, who spent as much time behind enemy lines as Gershman
and Novak did singing, "All we are saying is give peace a chance."
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