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The Great Purge: A Communist Conspiracy


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 03:45 PM

In the summer of 1932 Joseph Stalin became aware that opposition to his policies were growing. Some party members were publicly criticizing Stalin and calling for the readmission of Leon Trotsky to the party. When the issue was discussed at the Politburo, Stalin demanded that the critics should be arrested and executed. Sergey Kirov, who up to this time had been a staunch Stalinist, argued against this policy. When the vote was taken, the majority of the Politburo supported Kirov against Stalin.

In the spring of 1934 Sergey Kirov put forward a policy of reconciliation. He argued that people should be released from prison who had opposed the government's policy on collective farms and industrialization. Once again, Stalin found himself in a minority in the Politburo.

After years of arranging for the removal of his opponents from the party, Joseph Stalin realized he still could not rely on the total support of the people whom he had replaced them with. Stalin no doubt began to wonder if Sergey Kirov was willing to wait for his mentor to die before becoming leader of the party. Stalin was particularly concerned by Kirov's willingness to argue with him in public. He feared that this would undermine his authority in the party.

As usual, that summer Kirov and Stalin went on holiday together. Stalin, who treated Kirov like a son, used this opportunity to try to persuade him to remain loyal to his leadership. Stalin asked him to leave Leningrad to join him in Moscow. Stalin wanted Kirov in a place where he could keep a close eye on him. When Kirov refused, Stalin knew he had lost control over his protégé.

Sergey Kirov was assassinated by a young party member, Leonid Nikolayev, on 1st December, 1934. Stalin claimed that Nikolayev was part of a larger conspiracy led by Leon Trotsky against the Soviet government. This resulted in the arrest and trial in August, 1936, of Lev Kamenev, Gregory Zinoviev, Ivan Smirnov and thirteen other party members who had been critical of Stalin. All were found guilty and executed.

In September, 1936, appointed Nikolai Yezhov as head of the NKVD, the Communist Secret Police. Yezhov quickly arranged the arrest of all the leading political figures in the Soviet Union who were critical of Stalin. The Secret Police broke prisoners down by intense interrogation. This included the threat to arrest and execute members of the prisoner's family if they did not confess. The interrogation went on for several days and nights and eventually they became so exhausted and disoriented that they signed confessions agreeing that they had been attempting to overthrow the government.

In January, 1937, Karl Radek and sixteen other leading members of the Communist Party were put on trial. They were accused of working with Leon Trotsky in an attempt to overthrow the Soviet government with the objective of restoring capitalism. Thirteen of the accused were found guilty and sentenced to death. Radek and two others were sentenced to ten years.

The next trial in March, 1938, involved twenty-one leading members of the party. This included Nickolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Krestinsky and Christian Rakovsky. They were accused of being involved with Leon Trotsky in a plot against Joseph Stalin and with spying for foreign powers. They were all found guilty and were either executed or died in labour camps.

Stalin now decided to purge the Red Army. Some historians believe that Stalin was telling the truth when he claimed that he had evidence that the army was planning a military coup at this time. Leopold Trepper, head of the Soviet spy ring in Germany, believed that the evidence was planted by a double agent who worked for both Stalin and Hitler. Trepper's theory is that the "chiefs of Nazi counter-espionage" led by Reinhard Heydrich, took "advantage of the paranoia raging in the Soviet Union," by supplying information that led to Stalin executing his top military leaders.

In June, 1937, Mikhail Tukhachevsky and seven other top Red Army commanders were charged with conspiracy with Germany. All eight were convicted and executed. All told, 30,000 members of the armed forces were executed. This included fifty per cent of all army officers.

The last stage of the terror was the purging of the NKVD. Stalin wanted to make sure that those who knew too much about the purges would also be killed. Stalin announced to the country that "fascist elements" had taken over the security forces which had resulted in innocent people being executed. He appointed Lavrenti Beria as the new head of the Secret Police and he was instructed to find out who was responsible. After his investigations, Beria arranged the executions of all the senior figures in the organization.

I thought it might be interesting to explore how the media dealt with this conspiracy. They took their lead from the left-wing press, that believed the confessions. This is because they favoured Stalin over Trotsky, who still believed in revolution. This is what Robin Page Arnot said in The Labour Monthly (November 1937):

In December 1934 one of the groups carried through the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Subsequent investigations revealed that behind the first group of assassins was a second group, an Organisation of Trotskyists headed by Zinoviev and Kamenev. Further investigations brought to light definite counter-revolutionary activities of the Rights (Bucharin-Rykov organisations) and their joint working with the Trotskyists. The group of fourteen constituting the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre were brought to trial in Moscow in August 1936, found guilty, and executed. In Siberia a trial, held in November, revealed that the Kemerovo mine had been deliberately wrecked and a number of miners killed by a subordinate group of wreckers and terrorists. A second Moscow trial, held in January 1937, revealed the wider ramifications of the conspiracy. This was the trial of the Parallel Centre, headed by Pyatakov, Radek, Sokolnikov, Serebriakov. The volume of evidence brought forward at this trial was sufficient to convince the most sceptical that these men, in conjunction with Trotsky and with the Fascist Powers, had carried through a series of abominable crimes involving loss of life and wreckage on a very considerable scale. With the exceptions of Radek, Sokolnikov, and two others, to whom lighter sentences were given, these spies and traitors suffered the death penalty. The same fate was meted out to Tukhachevsky, and seven other general officers who were tried in June on a charge of treason. In the case of Trotsky the trials showed that opposition to the line of Lenin for fifteen years outside the Bolshevik Party, plus opposition to the line of Lenin inside the Bolshevik Party for ten years, had in the last decade reached its finality in the camp of counter-revolution, as ally and tool of Fascism.

The liberal press seemed to share this point of view. This is what Freda Kirchwey, editor of The Nation, wrote in March, 1938:

The trial of Bukharin and his fellow oppositionists has broken about the ears of the world like the detonation of a bomb. One can hear the cracking of liberal hopes; of the dream of anti-fascist unity; of a whole system of revolutionary philosophy wherever democracy is threatened, the significance of the trial will be anxiously weighed.

In spite of the trials, I believe Russia is dependable; that it wants peace, and will join in any joint effort to check Hitler and Mussolini, and will also fight if necessary. Russia is still the strongest reason for hope.


The New Statesman (5th September, 1936) also went along with the conspiracy but did pose some interesting questions:

Very likely there was a plot. We complain because, in the absence of independent witnesses, there is no way of knowing. It is their (Zinoviev and Kamenev) confession and decision to demand the death sentence for themselves that constitutes the mystery. If they had a hope of acquittal, why confess? If they were guilty of trying to murder Stalin and knew they would be shot in any case, why cringe and crawl instead of defiantly justifying their plot on revolutionary grounds? We would be glad to hear the explanation.

http://www.spartacus...uk/RUSpurge.htm

#2 John Simkin

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 04:38 PM

Gregory Zinoviev made the following speech at his trial (August, 1936)

I would like to repeat that I am fully and utterly guilty. I am guilty of having been the organizer, second only to Trotsky, of that block whose chosen task was the killing of Stalin. I was the principal organizer of Kirov's assassination. The party saw where we were going, and warned us; Stalin warned as scores of times; but we did not heed these warnings. We entered into an alliance with Trotsky.

Newspaper reporters in Britain and the USA were convinced by the confessions:


The Observer (23rd August, 1936): "It is futile to think the trial was staged and the charges trumped up. The government's case against the defendants (Zinoviev and Kamenev) is genuine."

The New Republic (2nd September, 1936): "Some commentators, writing at a long distance from the scene, profess doubt that the executed men (Zinoviev and Kamenev) were guilty. It is suggested that they may have participated in a piece of stage play for the sake of friends or members of their families, held by the Soviet government as hostages and to be set free in exchange for this sacrifice. We see no reason to accept any of these laboured hypotheses, or to take the trial in other than its face value. Foreign correspondents present at the trial pointed out that the stories of these sixteen defendants, covering a series of complicated happenings over nearly five years, corroborated each other to an extent that would be quite impossible if they were not substantially true. The defendants gave no evidence of having been coached, parroting confessions painfully memorized in advance, or of being under any sort of duress."

Leon Trotsky was one of those who knew what was going on. This is what he said when he was interviewed by St. Louis Post-Dispatch (17th January, 1937):

The Western attorneys of the GPU represent the confessions of Zinoviev and the others as spontaneous expressions of their sincere repentance. This is the most shameless deception of public opinion that can be imagined. For almost 10 years, Zinoviev, Kamenev and the others found themselves under almost insupportable moral pressure with the menace of death approaching ever closer and closer. If an inquisitor judge were to put questions to this victim and inspire the answers, his success would be guaranteed in advance. Human nerves, even the strongest, have a limited capacity to endure moral torture.

#3 Len Colby

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 03:31 PM

Newspaper reporters in Britain and the USA were convinced by the confessions:


Do you think they were:

  • naive
  • blinded by pro-Soviet sympathies or
  • paid off?


#4 John Simkin

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:54 PM

Newspaper reporters in Britain and the USA were convinced by the confessions:


Do you think they were:

  • naive
  • blinded by pro-Soviet sympathies or
  • paid off?


Different reporters had different reasons for believing these confessions. The mainstream newspapers liked the story because it was anti-Trotsky. Those on the non-Trotsky left wanted to believe in the Soviet government.

#5 William Kelly

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 11:14 PM

Newspaper reporters in Britain and the USA were convinced by the confessions:


Do you think they were:

  • naive
  • blinded by pro-Soviet sympathies or
  • paid off?


Different reporters had different reasons for believing these confessions. The mainstream newspapers liked the story because it was anti-Trotsky. Those on the non-Trotsky left wanted to believe in the Soviet government.


There's a lot of reasons why the Stalin purge(s) are relevant to our studies, including the fact that the Cambridge spys led by Kim Philby were originally recruited by a Catholic priest who was one of those purged, yet they went back and continued to work with the Ruskies.

In addition, Trotsky was killed in exile in Mexico City by KGB assassin Ramon Mercader, who Issac Don Levine wrote about in his book The Mind of the Assassin, which clearly shows that Mercader and his brothers, and parents, were part of a KGB program, yet the same Issac Don Levine, of Life Magazine, who was part of the deal to buy the Zapruder film and Marina's story, failied to see the same covert operational aspects of Oswald's life.

There are also the allegations that CIA connected doctors provided Stalin's doctors with the pill that made him have a stroke, the same pill that David Ferrie reportedly took.

Then there's Stalin's daughter, who defected to USA via India, and took up residence in the home of Priscilla Johnson (later McMillan), who translated her letters to a friend and memoirs, besides meeting Oswald in Moscow while working for NANA, and then getting the contract to write Marina's story, with help from Issac Don Levine.

Of course, Oswald himself knew the difference between a Stalin Communist Party Communist and a Trotskite, and was photographed in his back yard with the rifle said to be used to kill JFK and the pistol said to be used to kill JD Tippit, and two newspapers - the Militant, of the Trotsky Socialist Workers Party and the regular, official party line publication, the Worker.

When he first met Michael Paine, he showed Paine a photo of himself with the guns and the publications, but Paine insists that they never discussed the fact that his father, Lyman Paine, was one of the co-founders of the Trotsky Party in USA.

Then there are those who still have a positive impression of Stalin today:


http://www.reuters.c...oddlyEnoughNews

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian communists have put up giant billboards of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in a southern city, promoting his tough methods as the best remedy for the world economic crisis.

Stalin killed millions of people during his 30 year rule until his death in 1953, but many in recession-hit Russia have grown nostalgic for his strong leadership, and he was voted the third most popular historical figure in a nationwide poll.

"Everybody knows that under Stalin our country achieved the highest rate of economic growth and development in other spheres, and the great victory (over Nazi Germany)," Sergei Rudakov, a senior Communist party official in the town of Voronezh, told Reuters by telephone.

Local communists paid an advertising agency 80,000 roubles ($2,534) to plaster Stalin's image for one month on 10 huge billboards around Voronezh, a city with a population of around one million.

(Report

#6 Guest_Tom Scully_*

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 10:23 AM

In the his 1938 letter to Lamont, Eastman (below) makes the same criticisms of Lamont's thinking
as are made generally in prior posts in this thread, that Trotsky was telling the truth and Stalin wasn't.

In 1941, Gerald Ford was supporting the isolationist political group he had cofounded, the American First
Committee. Ford was convinced that Hitler was no threat worth taking up arms against.

By 1974, Gerald Ford was smart and savvy enough to begin a new career that resulted in his taking
a place in history as the only unelected president of the U.S.

If you study the entirety of the lives and careers of Ford, Max Eastman, and of Corliss Lamont, Lamont's
life, in my mind, was lived in the most principled manner of the three, a man of the people, hounded by an authoritarian,
right wing US government. Despite his flawed judgment regarding his support for Stalin, I admire Corliss Lamont,
but not so much, his father, Thomas.

Max Eastman moved to the right, a shill for Reader's Digest and Buckley's National Review.

Lamont's politics were in reaction to being the son of prominent Morgan partner, Thomas Lamont. The tendency to
defend the Soviet Union and Stalin were reactions to the history; the abuses and extreme political sentiments of the
capitalist establishment and the former Russian monarchy.

http://books.google....s35EIy2yQSNmpxB
Page 169 The Moscow Trials on Trial

Frederick L. Schuman concluded that if the Dewey Commission were "honest", it could
only report an insufficiency of information to reach a decision. But, he sneered, it would
probably find Trotsky innocent. And in 1937 Corliss Lamont expressed "regret" that Dewey
had turned against Russia, and urged "friends of progress" to support the Soviet Union....

http://books.google....s35EIy2yQSNmpxB
Page 174 Liberals and Communism

...When the Commission returned a verdict of "not guilty," Bliven and Soule shifted
the basis of the discussion. The Commission, they said, had been concerned with Trotsky's
guilt or innocence, whereas the important question and the one that concerned "most Americans"
was whether or not a conspiracy existed against the Soviet government....


http://www.marxists....8/04/lamont.htm
A Letter to Corliss Lamont, by Max Eastman

I live in a country that, after WWII, installed the Nazi eastern intelligence apparatus, the Gehlen organization, as the internal/external intelligence bureau of the new, democratic German republic, and brought the leaders of the Nazi offensive ballistics weapons program, with it's history of exploitation to death, of huge numbers of concentration camp prisoners in it's production werks, along with hundreds of the Nazi missile program's associates and their families, into the U.S. to live and work on a permanent basis.

The above was done after the U.S. gave Stalin hundreds of billions of dollars in aid in the form of weapons, military technology, intelligence, and food, medicine, and domestic staples, justified by the urgent need to defeat the evil Hitler and his Nazi menace, chunks of which were later deemed not so evil that they could not brought into the U.S. fold, justified by the urgent need to defeat Stalin and his Soviet menace.

Edited by Tom Scully, 25 June 2009 - 10:24 AM.


#7 John Simkin

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 11:51 AM

In the his 1938 letter to Lamont, Eastman (below) makes the same criticisms of Lamont's thinking
as are made generally in prior posts in this thread, that Trotsky was telling the truth and Stalin wasn't.

In 1941, Gerald Ford was supporting the isolationist political group he had cofounded, the American First
Committee. Ford was convinced that Hitler was no threat worth taking up arms against.

By 1974, Gerald Ford was smart and savvy enough to begin a new career that resulted in his taking
a place in history as the only unelected president of the U.S.

If you study the entirety of the lives and careers of Ford, Max Eastman, and of Corliss Lamont, Lamont's
life, in my mind, was lived in the most principled manner of the three, a man of the people, hounded by an authoritarian,
right wing US government. Despite his flawed judgment regarding his support for Stalin, I admire Corliss Lamont,
but not so much, his father, Thomas.

Max Eastman moved to the right, a shill for Reader's Digest and Buckley's National Review.

Lamont's politics were in reaction to being the son of prominent Morgan partner, Thomas Lamont. The tendency to
defend the Soviet Union and Stalin were reactions to the history; the abuses and extreme political sentiments of the
capitalist establishment and the former Russian monarchy.

http://books.google....s35EIy2yQSNmpxB
Page 169 The Moscow Trials on Trial

Frederick L. Schuman concluded that if the Dewey Commission were "honest", it could
only report an insufficiency of information to reach a decision. But, he sneered, it would
probably find Trotsky innocent. And in 1937 Corliss Lamont expressed "regret" that Dewey
had turned against Russia, and urged "friends of progress" to support the Soviet Union....

http://books.google....s35EIy2yQSNmpxB
Page 174 Liberals and Communism

...When the Commission returned a verdict of "not guilty," Bliven and Soule shifted
the basis of the discussion. The Commission, they said, had been concerned with Trotsky's
guilt or innocence, whereas the important question and the one that concerned "most Americans"
was whether or not a conspiracy existed against the Soviet government....


http://www.marxists....8/04/lamont.htm
A Letter to Corliss Lamont, by Max Eastman

I live in a country that, after WWII, installed the Nazi eastern intelligence apparatus, the Gehlen organization, as the internal/external intelligence bureau of the new, democratic German republic, and brought the leaders of the Nazi offensive ballistics weapons program, with it's history of exploitation to death, of huge numbers of concentration camp prisoners in it's production werks, along with hundreds of the Nazi missile program's associates and their families, into the U.S. to live and work on a permanent basis.

The above was done after the U.S. gave Stalin hundreds of billions of dollars in aid in the form of weapons, military technology, intelligence, and food, medicine, and domestic staples, justified by the urgent need to defeat the evil Hitler and his Nazi menace, chunks of which were later deemed not so evil that they could not brought into the U.S. fold, justified by the urgent need to defeat Stalin and his Soviet menace.


Tom, I agree with most of what you say about Max Eastman's post-war views. However, I think he deserves respect for what he achieved in his earlier life.

Max Eastman was a fantastic journalist and in 1912 he become editor of the left-wing magazine, The Masses. In many ways, it became the best radical magazine ever published. Eastman wrote in 1912: "This magazine is owned and published cooperatively by its editors. It has no no dividends to pay, and nobody is trying to make money out of it. A revolutionary and not a reform magazine: a magazine with a sense of humour and no respect for the respectable: frank, arrogant, impertinent, searching for true causes: a magazine directed against rigidity and dogma wherever it is found: printing what is too naked or true for a money-making press: a magazine whose final policy is to do as it pleases and conciliate nobody, not even its readers."

Organized like a co-operative, artists and writers who contributed to the journal shared in its management. Other radical writers and artists who joined the team included Floyd Dell, John Reed, William Walling, Crystal Eastman, Sherwood Anderson, Carl Sandburg, Upton Sinclair, Amy Lowell, Louise Bryant, John Sloan, Art Young, Boardman Robinson, Robert Minor, K. R. Chamberlain, Stuart Davis, George Bellows and Maurice Becker.

The Masses was often in trouble with the authorities. One of Art Young's cartoons, Poisoned at the Source, that appeared in the July 1913 edition of The Masses, upset the Associated Press company and he was indicted for criminal libel. However, after a year, the company decided to drop the law suit.

Eastman, like most of the people working for The Masses, believed that the First World War had been caused by the imperialist competitive system and that the USA should remain neutral. This was reflected in the fact that the articles and cartoons that appeared in journal attacked the behaviour of both sides in the conflict.

After the USA declared war on the Central Powers in 1917, The Masses came under government pressure to change its policy. When it refused to do this, the journal lost its mailing privileges. In July, 1917, it was claimed by the authorities that cartoons by Art Young, Boardman Robinson and H. J. Glintenkamp and articles by Eastman and Floyd Dell had violated the Espionage Act. Under this act it was an offence to publish material that undermined the war effort.

The legal action that followed forced The Masses to cease publication. In April, 1918 the jury failed to agree on the guilt of Eastman and his fellow defendants. The second trial in January 1919 also ended with a hung jury. As the war was now over, it was decided not to take them to court for a third time.

In 1918 Eastman joined with Art Young, Floyd Dell and his sister, Crystal Eastman, to establish another radical journal, The Liberator. Other writers and artists involved in the magazine included Claude McKay, Boardman Robinson, Robert Minor, Stuart Davis, Maurice Becker, Helen Keller, Cornelia Barns, and William Gropper.

In 1922 the journal was taken over by Robert Minor and the Communist Party and in 1924 was renamed as The Workers' Monthly. After this Eastman left the United States and travelled to the Soviet Union. Eastman had welcomed the Russian Revolution but became disillusioned when Joseph Stalin ousted Leon Trotsky.

Eastman went to live in France in 1924 where he wrote Since Lenin Died (1925), and Marx and Lenin: The Science of Revolution (1926). In these books Eastman warned of the dangers posed by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. He was one of the first people on the left to speak out about the way the Russian Revolution had been betrayed. The book was unpopular with most American Marxists and Eastman was denounced as a rebellious individualist.

In 1927 Eastman returned to the United States and now a supporter of Leon Trotsky, becomes his translator and unofficial literary agent. During the Great Purge most of Eastman's left-wing friends in the Soviet Union were executed by Stalin. Books published during this period include The Enjoyment of Laughter (1935), The End of Socialism in Russia (1937), Stalin's Russia and the Crisis in Socialism (1940), Marxism, Is It Science? (1940) and Heroes I Have Known (1942).

So far, so good. The problem comes when you look at the post-war period. In the 1950s Eastman was a strong supporter of Joe McCarthy and the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). His anti-Communist articles in the Reader's Digest, The Freeman and the National Review played an important role in McCarthyism. For over twenty-five years Eastman worked as a roving reporter for the Reader's Digest where he advocated free enterprise and warned of the dangers of communism.

Like many socialists he sold out in later life. Despite this, I still think overall, he did more good than bad.

http://www.spartacus...uk/Jeastman.htm

http://www.spartacus...k/ARTmasses.htm

#8 John Bevilaqua

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 06:09 PM

And how, pray tell, was Thomas W. Lamont inextricably linked to the Buckley family and J. P. Morgan interests of Wickliffe Draper and Company?

PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT IT WAS WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR.'S FATHER WHO ORIGINATED THIS CONCEPT OF LINKING ANTI-COMMUNISM WITH FABRICATED ANTI-CATHOLIC POWDERPUFF THREATS WHICH HAD ONLY ONE REAL GOAL: SELFISH RECOVERY OF EXPROPRIATED OIL PROPERTIES OF PANTAPEC OIL OWNED BY THE BUCKLEY FAMILY. IT TOOK A POSTING ON THE LAROUCHE SITE TO POINT THIS OUT TO ALL OF US. THIS CONCEPT WAS PRODUCED IN ALMOST IDENTICAL FASHION DURING THE INFAMOUS UNITED FRUIT "THE BANANA WARS" IN NICARAGUA, HONDURAS, GUATAMALA AND LATER CUBA.

(Look up: "The Cuba Company" first owned by J. P. Morgan, the Lamonts, the Brady Bunch and the Ryans of YAF fame. These guys lost
hundreds of thousand of acres of tobacco, sugar cane, banana and pineapple plantations to Fidel Castro. Mostly tobacco and bananas.)

It took a posting on a Lyndon LaRouche site to make the point so obvious:

And who else came to the rescue and rode with Buckley's father after Pancho Villa? All together now, you should know the drill by now: Wickliffe Draper's Uncle, Jim Angleton's father, and a young Charles Willoughby himself. And it took David Guyatt to point out that during World War II Willoughby ran what was then known as The Army Air Corps, where he supervised a much younger Edward Lansdale who was part of that program before it became The United States Air Force in later years, where all those Dr. Strangelove types congregated whom JFK despised. You did know about that, right?

In the critical period after 1917, William F. Buckley, Sr. actively organized against the Mexican Revolution, opposing both the revolutionary laws that threatened foreign oil holdings, including those of Buckley himself, but also the laws that were designed to defend Mexican sovereignty against the sedition of synarchist elements of the Catholic Church. In 1919, Buckley and Thomas Lamont, of the J.P. Morgan banking empire, founded and ran an organization called the American Association of Mexico. Buckley himself was expelled from Mexico by President Alvaro Obregón in 1921 for counterrevolutionary activity. Moreover, Buckley promised to help fund the Cristeros. Although he apparently did not deliver on this promise, the very promise constituted an encouragement and an incitement to rebellion.


Once Warren Harding was elected U.S. President, replacing Wilson, Buckley campaigned against recognition of the Mexican government of Alvaro Obregón.

In 1921, he, along with Thomas W. Lamont of J.P. Morgan, formed the American Association of Mexico, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. The AAM aimed at undoing the confiscatory oil legislation, restoring special privileges of U.S. citizens in Mexico, and eliminating provisions of the Mexican Constitution that forbade American clergymen of any denomination to exercise their religious office in Mexico.

Thomas Lamont was also the head of the International Bankers Committee, which later negotiated a deal with Mexico to guarantee Mexican foreign debt payments to the international banks.

In November 1921, Buckley was expelled from Mexico for \"counterrevolutionary conspiracy\" by President Alvaro Obregón. Buckley had lost many of his properties, when they were taken over by Obregón\'s government.


During the Cristero Rebellion, the military head of the National League, René Capistran Garza, visited William F. Buckley, Sr. in San Antonio, Texas. Buckley proposed to offer the Mexican rebels $500,000 to aid their revolution. Buckley saw an opportunity to recoup his fortunes in Mexico by financing the Cristeros in their attempt to overthrow the Calles regime.

Buckley did not intend to furnish the money himself. Instead he offered to introduce Capistrán Garza to Nicholas Brady, who, Buckley said, would give the League representative the $500,000. Brady was president of the New York Edison Company and the United Electric Light and Power Company in 1926. He was the first American layman to receive the title of papal Chamberlain and was a close personal friend of Pius XI and the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Gasparri.

Despite the fact that Buckley and others clearly shared the synarchist ideology of the Cristeros, they used the Cristeros as cannon fodder in order to put pressure on the Mexican government to make concessions in respect to foreign oil interests in Mexico and in respect to international debt payments.

The Politics of Oil
As can be seen from the above account of the roles of Buckley and Lamont, the Cristero Rebellion was directly related to the question of foreign investment in Mexican oil and to the question of Mexican debt to the international banks, which were represented by Lamont of J.P. Morgan.

While Obregón was President of Mexico, as reported above, the U.S. withheld recognition of his government for three years. It was only recognized in 1923 after Obregón had reached an agreement with the United States on the oil question, the so-called Bucareli agreement of 1923, in which Mexico stipulated that oil lands acquired between 1876 and 1917 by foreign investors, such as William F. Buckley, Sr., could be held in perpetuity. Although Obregón had expelled Buckley from Mexico in 1921, after the Bucareli agreement, the next President of Mexico, Calles, invited him to return in 1924.



Morrow resigned from J.P. Morgan before accepting the assignment, and although his connection to J.P. Morgan is significant, he was clearly not just an agent of the Morgan interests. In 1925, he had been chair of the Committee on Military Affairs, which investigated the charges leveled by Col. William Mitchell (head of the Army Air Service) on the inadequacy of U.S. air defense. Also of note is that fact that before accepting his assignment to Mexico he had made the acquaintance of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and suggested he fly to Mexico City. Lindbergh arrived in Mexico on Dec. 14, 1927. Later, Lindbergh was to marry Morrow\'s daughter. (In 1940, long after Morrow died in 1931, his daughter, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wrote a book entitled The Wave of the Future: A Confession of Faith, which was favorably reviewed by the wife of William F. Buckley, Sr.)

#9 John Simkin

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:13 PM

John Smith Clarke was another socialist who refused to support the Stalin Purges. The thirteenth of fourteen children, was born in Scotland in 1885. His father worked in a circus and Clarke spent much of his early life living in gypsy encampments. After receiving little schooling he joined the circus as a horse bareback rider. At the age of seventeen he was working as a lion tamer. According to Gordon Munro: "He received the first of many injuries a few days later when a hurt lion attacked him when he entered the cage to help it."

In 1902 several political activists left the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), an organization led by H.L. Hyndman, to form the Glasgow Socialist Society. Eventually, most of the members of the SDF in Scotland joined this new group. In August 1903 it was renamed the Socialist Labour Party (SLP). The organization that had been inspired by the writings of Daniel De Leon, the man who helped establish the International Workers of the World (IWW) and the Socialist Labor Party in the United States. Clarke, who had been converted to socialism, joined the SLP. Leaders of the group included Willie Paul, Jack Murphy, Arthur McManus, Neil MacLean, James Connally, John MacLean and Tom Bell.

Clarke eventually became joint editor of the SLP journal, The Socialist, with Willie Paul, Tom Bell and Arthur McManus. In 1906 he began to organize the transport of weapons to revolutionary socialists in Russia. The operation lasted until the discovery of a cache at Blyth in Northumberland.

John Clarke was opposed to Britain's involvement in the First World War. The historian, Nicola Rippon, has argued that "Clarke was not a pacifist, believing that the only armed struggle should be between the world's working classes and their capitalist employers."

Clarke joined Alice Wheeldon, Willie Paul and Arthur McManus, in establishing a network in Derby to help those conscientious objectors on the run or in jail. This included Alice's son, William Wheeldon, who was secretly living with his sister, Winnie Mason, in Southampton. According to Nicola Rippon Clarke "spent most of the war hiding in Mr Turner's farm at Arleston, now part of Sinfin on the southern outskirts of the town."

In 1919 John Clarke joined forces with Albert Young and Tom Anderson to publish a pamphlet entitled The Red Army - Revolutionary Poems. The following year he travelled to Moscow to attend the Communist International with William Gallacher as a delegate from the Clyde Workers' Committee. He met Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders but was not impressed by their style of government.

In April 1920 Tom Bell, Willie Gallacher, Arthur McManus, Harry Pollitt, Rajani Palme Dutt, Helen Crawfurd, A. J. Cook, Albert Inkpin, Arthur Horner, J. T. Murphy, John R. Campbell, Bob Stewart, Robin Page Arnot and Willie Paul joined forces to establish the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). McManus was elected as the party's first chairman and Bell and Pollitt became the party's first full-time workers. John Clarke, refused to accept the power of the Bolshevik in the formation of policy, and did not join the CPGB.

Clarke now became active in the Independent Labour Party (ILP) where he developed a close relationship with James Maxton. In 1928 Clarke published Marxism and History. Clarke became a councillor in Glasgow and in 1929 he was elected as MP for Maryhill in 1929. In the General Election the Labour Party won 288 seats, making it the largest party in the House of Commons. Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister again, but as before, he still had to rely on the support of the Liberals to hold onto power.

The election of the Labour Government coincided with an economic depression and Ramsay MacDonald was faced with the problem of growing unemployment. MacDonald asked Sir George May, to form a committee to look into Britain's economic problem. When the May Committee produced its report in July, 1931, it suggested that the government should reduce its expenditure by £97,000,000, including a £67,000,000 cut in unemployment benefits. MacDonald, and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Snowden, accepted the report but when the matter was discussed by the Cabinet, the majority voted against the measures suggested by May.

MacDonald was angry that his Cabinet had voted against him and decided to resign. When he saw George V that night, he was persuaded to head a new coalition government that would include Conservative and Liberal leaders as well as Labour ministers. Most of the Labour Cabinet totally rejected the idea and only three, Philip Snowden, Jimmy Thomas and John Sankey agreed to join the new government.

Ramsay MacDonald was determined to continue and his National Government introduced the measures that had been rejected by the previous Labour Cabinet. Labour MPs were furious with what had happened and MacDonald was expelled from the Labour Party.

In October, MacDonald called an election. The 1931 General Election was a disaster for the Labour Party with only 46 members winning their seats. Clarke also lost his seat in Maryhill. MacDonald, now had 556 pro-National Government MPs and had no difficulty pursuing the policies suggested by Sir George May. However, disowned by his own party, he was now a prisoner of the Conservative Party, and in 1935 he was gently eased from power.

John Clarke returned to journalism and in 1936 his book An Encyclopaedia of Glasgow was published. As Gordon Munro has pointed out: "This contained items on the streets, buildings and historical places of the city which he served as a councillor for 15 years and in which he remained for the rest of his life."

A second edition of his earlier book Marxism and History was to be published by the National Council of Labour Colleges but his refusal to remove Leon Trotsky and Nikolay Bukharin from his original bibliography as demanded by leaders of the Communist Party of Great Britain meant that it was never published.

John Smith Clarke died on 30th January 1959.


http://www.spartacus...CRIclarkeJS.htm

#10 John Simkin

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 07:44 PM

Willie Paul was another Communist Party member who refused to go along with Joe Stalin's lies:

http://www.spartacus...uk/CRIpaulW.htm



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