Grand Strategy in the Age of Mass Destruction

A Brief History of the Deep State, Part 2
Soviet Strategy and the Second Imperialist War

In Herbert Hoover’s posthumously published book, Freedom Betrayed, the former president presents a lost chapter out of American history. The book is about Franklin Roosevelt's foreign policy and America's role in the Second World War. To understand the war, he suggests, we must first understand Communism and the nature of Soviet power. 

According to Hoover, Communism is like a religion which exists in every country. Its methods include subversion, infiltration and influence operations. Hoover argues that these operations were facilitated by President Roosevelt, who entered office in 1933. At every turn, Roosevelt helped the Communists. In World War II, he helped the Soviet Union. 

As Hoover explained, “Not until the inner history of the events leading up to our entry into World War II are brought into the daylight can the final history of how we got into it be written." It was during the Second World War, noted Hoover, that the “grip of Communism” metastasized “from 200,000,000 of Russian people to an Asiatic horde of over 900,000,0000” due to the Communist takeover of China in 1949.

How did this tremendous strategic turnabout occur?

It all began with Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet dictator. As early as 1920 Lenin taught his disciples that a Second World War was inevitable. The so-called “First Imperialist War,” he said, had brought the Communists to power in Russia. A Second Imperialist War, he added, would pave the way for the Communist takeover of all Europe.

Lenin’s contribution to Communist strategy was considerable. “Great questions in the life of nations are settled only by force,” said Lenin. War is also a revolutionary accelerant because war brings poverty, social chaos and instability. It paves the way to revolution. This was true for Russia in the twentieth century. The abortive revolution of 1905 grew out of the Russo-Japanese War. The revolutions of 1917 grew out of the First World War. It was, therefore, an elementary deduction for Lenin to make. War was good for Communism. Stir up war, set nation against nation, and reap the harvest of revolution.

In practice the Soviet strategists of the 1930s would rely on a “divide and conquer” strategy for Europe and the Far East. They would divide the newly forming “fascist” states from the “democracies.” Hitler would be, in Stalin’s conception, “the icebreaker of the revolution.” If Soviet statecraft could manipulate a collision between Hitler and the West, Moscow could sit back and watch the two sides destroy one another. When exhaustion had set in, the Red Army could enter the war from a position of advantage and “liberate” Europe.

The same logic would operate, as well, in the Far East. Nationalist China and Japan would be encouraged to fight each other. Agents of influence would be deployed. Japanese nationalism, however anti-Communist in spirit, was easily manipulated. The Soviet Union and its Chinese Communist allies would, in the meanwhile, gather their strength in preparation for a final blow once the Japanese and Chinese nationalists had battled to exhaustion.

The theory of exploiting regional wars, and of anticipating a Second World War, was intrinsic to all Soviet economic and military planning in the 1920s and 30s. In 1921 Stalin wrote in Pravda, “The Party’s tasks are: (1) to utilize all the contradictions and conflicts among the capitalist groups and governments which surround our country, with the object of disintegrating imperialism.” Hoover quoted this passage in his book, and added another Stalin quote from 1924: "the reserves of the revolution can be … contradictions, conflicts, and wars … among the bourgeois states hostile to the proletarian state….”

It served Soviet policy, therefore, to divide the capitalist world into fascist and democratic states. It is no accident that Communist agitation in Germany and elsewhere helped to facilitate fascist (or nationalist) anti-liberal revolutions. This was intentional policy on the part of the Communists. Creating political chaos naturally engendered a fascist authoritarian reaction, since parliamentary government could not function under conditions of Communist agitation and social sabotage. The Soviets could then align themselves with liberals prior to August 1939, then with the fascists until 22 June 1941, and then to resume an alliance with Western liberals until the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945.

Soviet Russia positioned itself to play both sides against the middle. Naïve Western liberals and unthinking fascists were alternately duped in turn. For this game to be played, however, the stage had to be set. Fascism had to be pushed into power in country after country. If Europe was blessed with 23 democracies immediately after the First World War, ten of those countries had retreated into fascism before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Here was the key to Moscow’s strategy. Use provocation to create a bloc of fascist countries. Agitate Western liberals against those fascist countries. Exploit the outcome.

In 1938 Hoover traveled to Riga and met with Latvian President Karlis Ulmanis, who was educated at the University of Nebraska and spoke English “in the American idiom,” which Hoover greatly appreciated. The former American president wanted to know why Latvia had become a fascist state. Ulmanis said that Latvia had fallen into “complete chaos” from “weakness and Communist conspiracies.” To preserve the country, he had turned to the army for help. A key factor driving this process, said Ulmanis, was the Russian “fifth column operators … boring into labor groups and with the intellectuals who believed in personal liberty but who thought you could have economic totalitarianism….”

Ulmanis warned Hoover that the United States had placed itself in danger by adopting the New Deal policies of Franklin Roosevelt. This would open the door to chaos later. When Hoover asked what this chaos looked like, Ulmanis took the American statesman to a window overlooking Riga’s main square, and said:

When you see armed mobs of men in green shirts, red shirts and white shirts coming down different streets, converging into the square, fighting with clubs and firearms, mobs of women and children crowding in and demanding bread, then you know chaos has come.

Ulmanis further warned Hoover that the territorial system of electing legislators had “already failed” in the United States because American legislators were “actually chosen” by pressure groups and no longer exercised independent judgment, which was required for statesmanship. Washington was peppered with the offices of 500 different pressure groups, each threatening elected officials in turn. Hoover disagreed with Ulmanis, but the Latvian leader insisted: “America with its 'Managed Economy' [under Roosevelt] is well on the road to chaos and the eclipse of democracy; I have been through it….” 

Ulmanis was not the only European leader to fear subversion from Moscow. Hoover also met with Hitler in 1938, and concluded that Hitler was “a dangerous fanatic” on the subject of Russia. “He seemed to have trigger spots in his mind,” wrote Hoover. When the U.S. Ambassador made a passing reference to the Soviet Union, Hoover said that “Hitler erupted into a verbal explosion.” A milder version of this explosion also occurred when Hitler heard the word “democracy.” Hoover was told by U.S. officials that the whole of German agriculture and industry was being readied for war. Hoover asked Douglas Miller, the U.S. commercial attache in Berlin, when the Nazis planned to attack. Miller presciently replied, “about eighteen months.”

According to Hoover, Hitler was determined to move east; first, to enter Czechoslovakia, then to force an alliance with Poland. Failing in that, he would occupy Poland if that country refused to join his alliance against the Soviet Union. Hitler had a mission, Hoover believed. And that mission was to break up the Soviet Union and acquire new lands for the German people. Heaven help anyone who stood between Hitler and his intended victim. It was, indeed, Hoover’s most controversial argument; namely, that England and France should allow Hitler to move east. The two dictatorships (of Germany and Russia) would cancel each other out. Western civilization would be left alone.

Advocating a Western version of Stalin’s “divide and conquer” strategy, Hoover thought the West should allow its enemies to fight among themselves. Why couldn’t Hitler be “the icebreaker” of a Western counterrevolution? This was, he affirmed, the rationale behind Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement strategy. It wasn’t stupid, said Hoover, to play such a game. On the contrary, it was stupid to challenge Hitler directly when the Nazis were militarily better prepared than France or Britain and, besides, had earmarked Russia as the intended target. Hoover was, therefore, on the side of appeasement. Let Hitler have his way. Allow the German dictator to use up his armies in Russia. The West would only benefit.

Years later, after the West had declared war on Hitler over Poland – a move which resulted in the fall of France -- Hoover wrote:

I have shown in this memoir the road down which Roosevelt and Churchill took mankind. I need not again repeat their acquiescences and their appeasements or their agreements with the greatest enemy of mankind [i.e., the Communists]. Their declarations and secret agreements at Moscow in November, 1943, at Tehran in December the same year, at Yalta in February, 1945. Truman, at Potsdam in august, and his policies in china from 1945 to 1951 are the inscriptions on tombstones which marked the betrayal of mankind. These peoples wallowing in human slavery in their nightmarish dreams, may somethimes have recollected these Roosevelt promises [of the Four Freedoms] – but only to awaken in a police state.

At one point in his rethinking the Second World War, Hoover proposed several controversial theses: (1) that war between the Soviet Union and Germany was inevitable; (2) that Hitler’s attack on the Western democracies was only to brush them out of the way; (3) that the Anglo-French guarantee to Poland caused an unnecessary war between Hitler and the democracies; (4) that entering into this war without an agreement from Stalin “constituted the greatest blunder of British diplomatic history”; (5) that the United States and the Western Hemisphere were never in danger of invasion from Hitler; (6) that Hitler was no danger to the West once he decided to invade Russia; (7) that Roosevelt knew all this, but nonetheless persisted in pushing for intervention in Britain’s favor; (8) that Roosevelt used the United States Navy for an undeclared and unconstitutional war against Germany at sea; (9) that the Japanese War was deliberately provoked by Roosevelt, etc.

Hoover saw in these strategic blunders Communism’s global rise. With the world’s largest country under Stalin’s Communism, and the world’s most populous country under Mao’s Communism, the threat to freedom would be hard to resist. Meanwhile, the United States had unwisely used two nuclear weapons against Japan in August, 1945 – setting the stage for this same weapon being used against America. “By using the bomb,” wrote Hoover, “we have become identified … as inheritors of the mantle of Genghis Kahn and all those of past history who have justified the use of utter ruthlessness in war.”

In Hoover’s thinking, the disastrous leadership of presidents Roosevelt and Truman prepared the way for a Third World War, far more terrifying than the Second. “In the Second World War,” noted Hoover, “we, with our Allies, crushed militarily the forces of Nazism and Fascism. But we have no peace. During the war one of our Allies, Stalin, expanded the Communist dictatorship and empire of Russia to endanger freedom in the whole world. We are now deeply involved in the ‘Cold War’ which imperils our very existence.”

Today, in 2018, there has been no real end to this Cold War. We are everywhere met with the preposterous and ill-informed belief that Soviet Communism voluntarily gave up the ghost in 1991. A short list of countries which have succumbed to Communism since the supposed fall of the Soviet Union is telling, but nobody breathes a word. This suggests that Hoover’s analysis is far from being out-of-date. The situation is the same now as it was then, only we are blinded and unable to see the danger. 

In the 1960s Hoover appreciated the unswerving dedication and fanaticism of the Communists. He referred to Communism as “the most disastrous plague which has come to free men.” For Hoover, Marxist fanaticism threatened our civilization as much as Islamic fanaticism. “Communism is a crusading spirit, ruthless of all opposition, and over the years it has evolved beliefs, methods and organization,” Noted Hoover. “Within it is a vehement demand for expansion and a suppression of all such human emotions as piety. It is sadistic and cruel.”

Furthermore, said Hoover, it is an error to engage with Communists – to diplomatically recognize them, negotiate with them, or use them as allies. He quoted Lenin to the effect that all alliances with “bourgeois countries” are temporary. In the last analysis, the free world is inimical to Communism and the Communists know it. Given this context, it is understandable that the Communists pretended to set aside their ideology during Lenin’s NEP in the 1920s, and that Stalin dissolved the Comintern in 1943. Both Lenin’s NEP and Stalin’s dissolution of the Comintern were deceptions. What are the chances that Gorbachev’s perestroika and the dissolution of the Soviet Union was not a similar operation?

Throughout the last century Communist leaders alternated in pretending to be nationalists, agrarian reformers, and/or democrats. The same is true today, only the Communists have grown in sophistication even as their dupes have declined into stupefaction. There is nothing to be gained by talking with liars and tricksters who plot the West’s downfall. Yet we talk and talk as we lose and lose again.

Early in his book, Hoover explained why President Woodrow Wilson refused to diplomatically recognize the Soviet Union. He quoted Wilson’s Secretary of State, Bainbridge Colby, as saying, “There can be no mutual confidence … if pledges are to be given [from the Communists] … with a cynical repudiation … already in the mind of one of the parties. We cannot recognize a government which is determined and bound to conspire against our institutions….”

In November 1920, Lenin said, “We must take advantage of the antagonisms and contradictions between two capitalisms … inciting one against the other….” According to Lenin, “If war is waged by the proletariat after it has conquered the bourgeoisie in its own country, and is waged with the object of strengthening and extending socialism, such a war is legitimate and ‘holy.’” Lenin also stated, “As long as capitalism and socialism exist, we cannot live in peace: in the end, one or the other will triumph – a funeral dirge will be sung either over the Soviet Republic or over world capitalism….”

Hoover’s book contains these and other quotations from Communist leaders. The former president warned that the Communists were “the enemies of mankind” and enemies of civilization. No treaty could be safely made with them. In truth, the Communists have always broken their word.  “With this experience,” wrote Hoover,

President’s Harding and Coolidge resisted all pressure for recognition. From my personal experience I was naturally opposed to opening the doors of the United States to these conspiracies against free men. Thus, four presidents and their six Secretaries of States for over a decade and a half held to this resolve.

Then came the election of 1932 and the advent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who displaced Hoover as president. Prior to this, Hoover had dealt with two “glaring” Communist plots that threatened the United States. One was “the so-called ‘Bonus March’ of 1932. The other involved Soviet Russia’s effort to flood the world with counterfeit American money printed in Moscow.

According to Hoover, Army and Navy intelligence had “determined at that time that the [Bonus] ‘March’ had been largely engineered by Communists with the fantastic idea that they would exploit the veterans [of the Great War] to overthrow the United States Government. At the time of the march, I publicly pointed out its Communist inspiration. That this was no figment of the imagination was amply confirmed. At the Seventh Congress of the Communist International in Moscow three years later in 1935, the Communists openly claimed credit for the march.”

What possible advantage could the United States gain from “relations” with such an enemy? Every point of contact thenceforth would be a point of attack. Every attempt at an agreement would be an opportunity to swindle.

“Before Mr. Roosevelt took office,” wrote Hoover, “I informed him of the details of the Moscow counterfeiting of millions of dollars in American currency. These fake notes were circulated intermittently from 1928 to 1932 over Europe, China and the Middle East.” Several months after his inauguration in 1933, Roosevelt “dispatched a note to President Kalinin of the Soviet All-Union Central Executive Committee, suggesting that Russian send a representative to Washington to negotiate recognition.”

Why did Roosevelt do this?

The Russian Communists promised they would not conspire against the free institutions of the United States. But as Hoover noted, “No sooner had they won recognition than the Communists began violating their pledge not to conspire for the overthrow of the American Government.”

As Joseph Stalin explained, “A diplomat’s words must contradict his deeds – otherwise, what sort of diplomat is he? Words are one thing – deeds something entirely different. Fine words are a mask to over shady deeds."

Here is the context, without which we cannot properly understand the whys and wherefores of Communist subversion. It is, in fact, the strategic background of the Deep State. Its objective is war, universal poverty and chaos; for this is the path of Communist revolution.