A day that lives on in infamy
On Nov. 16, the United States marked a milestone: the 80th anniversary of when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt recognized the Soviet Union and “normalized” U.S.-USSR relations. It is a date that should live in infamy.
But it's a date that hardly anyone has ever heard of. As I studied the event, however, it became clear that it was on this date 80 years ago that what I call “American betrayal” began.
After the Bolsheviks seized dictatorial powers in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, four U.S. presidents (starting with Woodrow Wilson) and six secretaries of state (starting with Bainbridge Colby) refused to normalize relations with the new and bloody regime of Lenin and then Stalin.
The Soviet Union was openly committed to and already fomenting communist revolution against all nations, including, of course, the United States. Colby, stating the Wilson administration's position in 1920, noted there could be no “mutual confidence” when one party — the USSR — had no intention of honoring pledges, which, of course, is the very basis of normal diplomatic relations. Furthermore, Colby continued, the U.S. couldn't recognize “a government which is determined and bound to conspire against our institutions.”
Nonetheless, FDR normalized relations with the USSR early in his first term. In exchange, the U.S. received Soviet pledges, including that the USSR would not support organizations or groups aimed at the overthrow of “the political or social order of the United States.”
But such a war was already underway. Post-recognition, this Soviet war on America, spearheaded by traitors directed by Moscow, would intensify. A veritable army of Stalin's secret agents, agents of influence, fellow travelers and dupes entered the U.S. government and related institutions. They would fight an unceasing stealth war against this country, even — I should say, especially — during World War II.
To maintain “normal relations” as initiated in 1933 — and, later, military alliance with Stalin in 1941 — the U.S. government had to pretend that everything having to do with the USSR, with communism, with Soviet mass murder, with Soviet subversion was “normal,” and to ignore or reject evidence, testimony and results to the contrary. The U.S. government, in other words, had to learn to lie.
FDR's decision to convey legitimacy on the communist dictatorship followed (or came in a lull of) what we now know as the Ukraine Terror Famine. This was Stalin's state-engineered famine that purposefully starved 5 million or 6 million people to death, maybe more.
Ignoring, or even tolerating, the millions of people Stalin killed became a prerequisite to recognition — the “unprincipled deal with totalitarianism,” as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would call it in 1975. “In 1933 and 1941, your leaders and the whole Western world made an unprincipled deal with totalitarianism. We will have to pay for this; someday it will come back to haunt us. For thirty years we have been paying for it,” the sage and courageous author of “The Gulag Archipelago” said. “And we're going to pay for it in an even worse way in the future.”
It's time we try to understand what he meant.
Diana West's new book is “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character” from St. Martin's Press.