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understand what you intend to misunderstand. ... [The US misunderstanding of
the USSR has] the function of sustaining a myth”the myth of the United States
as "the last, best hope of mankind." St. George and the Dragon is a poor show
without a real drag-on, the bigger and scalier the better, ideally with flames
coming out of its mouth. The misunderstanding of Soviet Russia has become
indispensable to the self-esteem of the American nation: he will not be regarded
with benevolence who seeks, however ineffectually, to deprive them of it.31

It can be argued as well that the belief of the Nazis in the great danger posed by
the "International Jewish Conspiracy" must be considered before condemning the
perpetrators of the Holocaust.
Both the Americans and the Germans believed their own propaganda, or
pretended to. In reading Mein Kampf, one is struck by the fact that a significant part of
what Hitler wrote about Jews reads very much like an American anti-communist writing
about communists: He starts with the premise that the Jews (communists) are evil and
want to dominate the world; then, any behavior which appears to contradict this is
regarded as simply a ploy to fool people and further their evil ends; this behavior is
always part of a conspiracy and many people are taken in. He ascribes to the Jews great,
almost mystical, power to manipulate societies and economies. He blames Jews for the
ills arising from the industrial revolution, e.g., class divisions and hatred. He decries the
Jews' internationalism and lack of national patriotism.
There were of course those Cold Warriors whose take on the Kremlin was that its
master plan for world domination was nothing so gross as an invasion of Western
Europe or dropping bombs on the United States. The ever more subtle”one could say
fiendishly-clever”plan was for subversion ... from the inside ... country by country ...
throughout the Third World ... eventually surrounding and strangling the First World ...
verily an International Communist Conspiracy, "a conspiracy," said Senator Joseph
McCarthy, "on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history
of man.
This is the primary focus of this book: how the United States intervened all over
the world to combat this conspiracy wherever and whenever it reared its ugly head.
Did this International Communist Conspiracy actually exist?
If it actually existed, why did the Cold Warriors of the CIA and other government
agencies have to go to such extraordinary lengths of exaggeration? If they really and
truly believed in the existence of a diabolic, monolithic International Communist
Conspiracy, why did they have to invent so much about it to convince the American
people, the Congress, and the rest of the world of its evil existence? Why did they have
to stage manage, entrap, plant evidence, plant stories, create phony documents? The
following pages are packed with numerous anti-commiespeak examples of US-
government and media inventions about "the Soviet threat", "the Chinese threat", and
"the Cuban threat". And all the while, at the same time, we were being flailed with scare


18
stories: in the 1950s, there was "the Bomber Gap" between the US and the Soviet
Union, and the "civil defense gap". Then came "the Missile Gap". Followed by "the
Anti-ballistic missile (ABM) Gap". In the 1980s, it was "the Spending Gap". Finally,
"the Laser Gap". And they were all lies.
We now know that the CIA of Ronald Reagan and William Casey regularly
"politicized intelligence assessments" to support the anti-Soviet bias of their
administration, and suppressed reports, even those from its own analysts, which
contradicted this bias. We now know that the CIA and the Pentagon regularly
overestimated the economic and military strength of the Soviet Union, and exaggerated
the scale of Soviet nuclear tests and the number of "violations" of existing test-ban
treaties, which Washington then accused the Russians of.32 All to create a larger and
meaner enemy, a bigger national security budget, and give security and meaning to the
Cold Warriors' own jobs.

Post-Cold War, New-World-Order time, it looks good for the Military-Industrial-
Intelligence Complex and their global partners in crime, the World Bank and the IMF.
They've got their NAFTA, and soon their World Trade Organization. They're dictating
economic, political and social development all over the Third World and Eastern
Europe. Moscow's reaction to events anywhere is no longer a restraining consideration.
The UN's Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations, 15 years in the making, is
dead. Everything in sight is being deregulated and privatized. Capital prowls the globe
with a ravenous freedom it hasn't enjoyed since before World War I, operating free of
friction, free of gravity. The world has been made safe for the transnational
corporation.33
Will this mean any better life for the multitudes than the Cold War brought? Any
more regard for the common folk than there's been since they fell off the cosmic agenda
centuries ago? "By all means," says Capital, offering another warmed-up version of the
"trickle down" theory, the principle that the poor, who must subsist on table scraps
dropped by the rich, can best be served by giving the rich bigger meals.
The boys of Capital, they also chortle in their martinis about the death of
socialism. The word has been banned from polite conversation. And they hope that no
one will notice that every socialist experiment of any significance in the twentieth
century”without exception”has either been crushed, overthrown, or invaded, or
corrupted, perverted, subverted, or destabilized, or otherwise had life made impossible
for it, by the United States. Not one socialist government or movement”from the
Russian Revolution to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, from Communist China to the
FMLN in Salvador”not one was permitted to rise or fall solely on its own merits; not
one was left secure enough to drop its guard against the all-powerful enemy abroad and
freely and fully relax control at home.
It's as if the Wright brothers' first experiments with flying machines all failed
because the automobile interests sabotaged each test flight. And then the good and god-
fearing folk of the world looked upon this, took notice of the consequences, nodded
their collective heads wisely, and intoned solemnly: Man shall never fly.




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1. China 1945 to 1960s
Was Mao Tse-tung just paranoid?

For four years, numerous Americans, in high positions and obscure, sullenly
harbored the conviction that World War II was "the wrong war against the wrong
enemies". Communism, they knew, was the only genuine adversary on America's
historical agenda. Was that not why Hitler had been ignored/tolerated/appeased/aided?
So that the Nazi war machine would turn East and wipe Bolshevism off the face of the
earth once and for all? It was just unfortunate that Adolf turned out to be such a
megalomaniac and turned West as well.
But that war was over. These Americans were now to have their day in every
corner of the world. The ink on the Japanese surrender treaty was hardly dry when the
United States began to use the Japanese soldiers still in China alongside American
troops in a joint effort against the Chinese communists. (In the Philippines and in
Greece, as we shall see, the US did not even wait for the war to end before
subordinating the struggle against Japan and Germany to the anti-communist crusade.)
The communists in China had worked closely with the American military during
the war, providing important intelligence about the Japanese occupiers, rescuing and
caring for downed US airmen.1 But no matter. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek would be
Washington's man. He headed what passed for a central government in China. The
Office of Strategic Services (OSS, forerunner of the CIA) estimated that the bulk of
Chiang's military effort had been directed against the communists rather than the
Japanese. He had also done his best to block the cooperation between the Reds and the
Americans. Now his army contained Japanese units and his regime was full of officials
who had collaborated with the Japanese and served in their puppet government.2 But no
matter. The Generalissimo was as anti-communist as they come. Moreover, he was a
born American client. His forces would be properly trained and equipped to do battle
with the men of Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai.
President Truman was up front about what he described as "using the Japanese to
hold off the Communists":

It was perfectly clear to us that if we told the Japanese to lay down their arms
immediately and march to the seaboard, the entire country would be taken over
by the Communists. We therefore had to take the unusual step of using the
enemy as a garrison until we could airlift Chinese National [Chiang's] troops to
South China and send Marines to guard the seaports.3

The deployment of American Marines had swift and dramatic results. Two weeks
after the end of the war, Peking was surrounded by communist forces. Only the arrival
of the Marines in the city prevented the Reds from taking it over.4 And while Mao's
forces were pushing into Shanghai's suburbs, US transport planes dropped Chiang's
troops in to seize the city.5
In a scramble to get to key centers and ports before the communists, the US
transported between 400,000 and 500,000 Nationalist troops by ship and plane all over
the vastness of China and Manchuria, places they could never have reached otherwise.
As the civil war heated up, the 50,000 Marines sent by Truman were used to
guard railway lines, coal mines, ports, bridges, and other strategic sites. Inevitably, they
became involved in the fighting, sustaining dozens, if not hundreds of casualties. US


20
troops, the communists charged, attacked areas controlled by the Reds, directly opened
fire on them, arrested military officers, and disarmed soldiers.6 The Americans found
themselves blasting a small Chinese village "unmercifully", wrote a Marine to his
congressman, not knowing "how many innocent people were slaughtered".7
United States planes regularly made reconnaissance flights over communist
territory to scout the position of their forces. The communists claimed that American
planes frequently strafed and bombed their troops and in one instance machine-gunned a
communist-held town.8 To what extent these attacks were carried out by US airmen is
not known.
There were, however, American survivors in some of the many crashes of United
States aircraft. Surprisingly, the Reds continued to rescue them, tend to their wounds,
and return them to US bases. It may be difficult to appreciate now, but at this time the
mystique and the myth of "America" still gripped the imagination of people all over the
world, and Chinese peasants, whether labeled "communist" or not, were no exception.
During the war the Reds had helped to rescue scores of American fliers and had
transported them through Japanese lines to safety. "The Communists", wrote the New
York Times, "did not lose one airman taken under their protection. They made a point of
never accepting rewards for saving American airmen."9
When 1946 arrived, about 100,000 American military personnel were still in
China, still supporting Chiang. The official United States explanation for the presence
of its military was that they were there to disarm and repatriate the Japanese. Though
this task was indeed carried out eventually, it was secondary to the military's political
function, as Truman's statement cited above makes abundantly cleat.
The American soldiers in China began to protest about not being sent home, a
complaint echoed round the world by other GIs kept overseas for political (usually anti-
communist) purposes. "They ask me, too, why they're here," said a Marine lieutenant in
China at Christmas-time, 1945. "As an officer I am supposed to tell them, but you can't
tell a man that he's here to disarm Japanese when he's guarding the same railway with
[armed] Japanese."10
Strangely enough, the United States attempted to mediate in the civil war; this,
while being an active, powerful participant on one side. In January 1946, President
Truman, apparently recognizing that it was either compromise with the communists or
see all of China fall under their sway, sent General George Marshall to try and arrange a
cease-fire and some kind of unspecified coalition government. While some temporary
success was achieved in an on ” and ” off truce, the idea of a coalition government
was doomed to failure, as unlikely as a marriage between the Czar and the Bolsheviks.
As the historian D.F. Fleming has pointed out, "One cannot unite a dying oligarchy with
a rising revolution."11
Not until early 1947 did the United States begin to withdraw some of its military
forces, although aid and support to the Chiang government continued in one form or
another long afterward. At about this same time, the Flying Tigers began to operate. The
legendary American air squadron under the leadership of General Claire Chennault had
fought for the Chinese against the Japanese before and during the world war. Now
Chennault, Chiang's former air force adviser, had reactivated the squadron (under the
name CAT) and its pilots ” of ” fortune soon found themselves in the thick of the
fray, flying endless supply missions to Nationalist cities under siege, dodging
communist shell bursts to airlift food, ammunition, and supplies of all kinds, or to
rescue the wounded.12 Technically, CAT was a private airline hired by the Chiang
government, but before the civil war came to an end, the airline had formally



21
interlocked with the CIA to become the first unit in the Agency's sprawling air-empire-
to-be, best known for the Air America line.
By 1949, United States aid to the Nationalists since the war amounted to almost
$2 billion in cash and $1 billion worth of military hardware; 39 Nationalist army
divisions had been trained and equipped.13 Yet the Chiang dynasty was collapsing all
around in bits and pieces. It had not been only the onslaught of Chiang's communist
foes, but the hostility of the Chinese people at large to his tyranny, his wanton cruelty,
and the extraordinary corruption and decadence of his entire bureaucratic and social
system. By contrast, the large areas under communist administration were models of
honesty, progress and fairness; entire divisions of the Generalissimo's forces defected to
the communists. American political and military leaders had no illusions about the
nature and quality of Chiang's rule. The Nationalist forces, said General David Barr,
head of the US Military Mission in China, were under "the world's worst leadership".14
The Generalissimo, his cohorts and soldiers fled to the offshore island of Taiwan
(Formosa). They had prepared their entry two years earlier by terrorizing the islanders
into submission”a massacre which took the lives of as many as 28,000 people.15 Prior
to the Nationalists' escape to the island, the US government entertained no doubts that
Taiwan was a part of China. Afterward, uncertainty began to creep into the minds of
Washington officials. The crisis was resolved in a remarkably simple manner: the US
agreed with Chiang that the proper way to view the situation was not that Taiwan
belonged to China, but that Taiwan was China. And so it was called.
In the wake of the communist success, China scholar Felix Greene observed,
"Americans simply could not bring themselves to believe that the Chinese, however
rotten their leadership, could have preferred a communist government."16 It must have
been the handiwork of a conspiracy, an international conspiracy, at the control panel of
which sat, not unexpectedly, the Soviet Union. The evidence for this, however, was thin
to the point of transparency. Indeed, ever since Stalin's credo of "socialism in one
country" won out over Trotsky's internationalism in the 1920s, the Russians had sided
with Chiang more than with Mao, advising the latter more than once to dissolve his
army and join Chiang's government.17 Particularly in the post-World War II years, when
the Soviet Union was faced with its own staggering crisis of reconstruction, did it not
relish the prospect of having to help lift the world's most populous nation into the
modern age. In 1947, General Marshall stated publicly that he knew of no evidence that
the Chinese communists were being supported by the USSR.18
But in the United States this did not prevent the rise of an entire mythology of
how the US had "lost" China: Soviet intervention, State Department communists, White
House cowards, military and diplomatic folly, communist dupes and fellow-travelers in
the media ... treachery everywhere ...
The Truman administration, said Senator Joseph McCarthy with characteristic
charm, was composed of "egg-sucking phony liberals" who protected the "Communists
and queers" who had "sold China into atheistic slavery".19
Yet, short of an all-out invasion of the country by large numbers of American
troops, it is difficult to see what more the US government could have done to prevent
Chiang's downfall. Even after Chiang fled to Taiwan, the United States pursued a
campaign of relentless assaults against the communist government, despite a request
from Chou En-lai for aid and friendship. The Red leader saw no practical or ideological
bar to this.20 Instead, the United States evidently conspired to assassinate Chou on
several occasions.21




22
Many Nationalist soldiers had taken refuge in northern Burma in the great exodus
of 1949, much to the displeasure of the Burmese Government. There, the CIA began to
regroup this stateless army into a fighting force, and during the early 1950s a number of
large- and small-scale incursions into China were carried out. In one instance, in April
1951, a few thousand troops, accompanied by CIA advisers and supplied by air drops
from American C46s and C47s, crossed the border into China's Yunnan province, but
they were driven back by the communists in less than a week. The casualties were high
and included several CIA advisers who lost their lives. Another raid that summer took
the invaders 65; miles into China where they reportedly held a 100-mile-long strip of
territory.
While the attacks continued intermittently, the CIA proceeded to build up the
force's capabilities: American engineers arrived to help construct and expand airstrips in
Burma, fresh troops were flown in from Taiwan, other troops were recruited from
amongst Burmese hill tribes, CIA air squadrons were brought in for logistical services,
and enormous quantities of American heavy arms were ferried in. Much of the supply of
men and equipment came in via nearby Thailand.
The army soon stood at more than 10,000 men. By the end of 1952, Taiwan
claimed that 41,000 communist troops had been killed and more than 3,000 wounded.
The figures were most likely exaggerated, but even if not, it was clear that the raids
would not lead to Chiang's triumphant return to the mainland”although this was not
their sole purpose. On the Chinese border two greater battles were raging: in Korea and

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