Tuesday, March 25, 2014
March 25-26, 2014 -- McCarthyism returning to America
The neocons always find it in their best interests to demonize those who oppose their expansionist and jingoistic policies. During the U.S. war against Iraq, those Americans who opposed military action were accused by the neocons of being Saddam Hussein supporters. Now, those Americans who oppose the ratcheting up of tensions with Russia over Crimea and Ukraine are being called Vladimir Putin "apologists" and "Russian collaborators." In some cases, certain neocon propaganda mills, like the U.S. Naval War College's National Security Affairs department, a hotbed for "neocon think," has used Twitter and other social media to question the loyalty of individuals like New York University professor Stephen F. Cohen, former Republican presidential contender Ron Paul, and others of being agents for the Kremlin.
This talk hearkens back to the "Red baiting" days of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Although today's Russia is totally capitalist with only a noisy Communist Party in opposition to the Putin government, that has not stopped neocons from resurrecting McCarthyite tactics to question those who do not want to see a further deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations and a new Cold War.
The neocons use fronts in the non-profit and media worlds to carry their dangerous defamation of Americans who understand Russia's problems with Ukraine and the danger of a Nazi- and fascist-infused regime seizing power in Ukraine. Chief among the neocon defamation water carriers are the pro-Obama sycophantic Daily Beast and its newly-revised Newsweek publication, as well as the hopelessly neocon The Atlantic, The New Republic, Fox News, Business Insider.com, The Weekly Standard, as well as the tired talking heads dispatched by the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute to clutter the airways with insane revised Cold War babble.
But it is the notion of creating new "blacklists" among some in the neocon crowd that should every decent American concerned. It is the usual method of the insensitive right wing to start with a few names on a list, people and organizations like NYU's Cohen; his wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel and The Nation magazine for which she is editor; and former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock. The neocons, who are nothing more than modern-day Nazis wearing Brooks Brothers suits, then add to their lists as the situation warrants. The Daily Beast's James Kirchik has been at the forefront of attacking Cohen. Kirchik's campaign against Cohen has prompted uglier talk, for example, articles like that in the right-wing Frontpage Magazine.com that Cohen and his wife, as well as The Nation, are "Communist sympathizers." Russia expert Dmitri Simes, the president of the Center for the National Interest, has also been labeled a Kremlin collaborator by the neocons.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, victims of Red baiting were largely targeted in "whispering campaigns" by their detractors. Today, however, with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, the "whisperers" are out in the open with their diatribes and Orwellian "two minutes of hate" campaigns.
Today, it is The Daily Beast and Frontpage Magazine that create virtual blacklists. During McCarthy's time, it was magazines like Counterattack that played a similar list-making role. Owned by a shadowy company called American Business Consultants, Inc., Counterattack labeled individuals as Communists or "fellow travelers." The company also published a book titled "Red Channels," which provided a long list of accused Communists and sympathizers. Today, there is no longer a Counterattack or sister publications like Thunderbolt, Common Sense, and The Cross and the Flag, but we have The Daily Beast, which attacked this editor last year in a vicious campaign for disclosing the National Security Agency's agreements with various European signals intelligence agencies, to play the role of creating lists of "disloyal" Americans.
In Joe McCarthy's day it was Counterattack that generated lists of disloyal American "agents" of Moscow. Today, it is The Daily Beast that fulfills the same role.
During the McCarthy era, Nazi emigrés from eastern Europe, including Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia, Romania, and White Russia assisted the right-wing in helping to demonize certain Americans who were opposed to a Cold War with the USSR. Today, this role as been assumed by others from eastern and central Europe. Some, like those who work for the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty, are paid by the American taxpayers. Others, ike those who work for the Open Society Institute and its offshoots, are paid by the Hungarian-born billionaire hedge fund mogul George Soros.