Sunday, January 15, 2023
written by William F. Jasper
Senator Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rose in the United States Senate on May 12, 1988 to introduce —for himself and Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) —Senate Joint Resolution 317. “The resolution I am introducing today urges the people of the United States to observe the bicentennial of the French Revolution and the historic events of 1789,” said Pell. “The more we learn about the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen,” asserted the powerful solon, “the more we learn about our own past.”
S.J. Res. 317 was quickly passed by both the Senate and the House, and, with President Reagan’s signature, became Public Law 100-482 on October 11, 1988. Not that this legislative flourish was necessary to assure a warm reception for the Revolution’s bicentennial. Everywhere, it seems, there are partisans of Mirabeau, Danton, Marat, and Tallyrand.
Pell’s former Senate colleague, Charles Mathias, is chairman of the American Committee on the French Revolution. Its advisory board boasts an impressive array of American noblesse (David Rockefeller, Stanley Hoffman, J. Walter Annenberg, et al). On July 14th, Bastille Day, the Committee will be hosting celebrations at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., and at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
Also on July 14th, United States President George Bush and the leaders of the other major free world powers will convene a summit in Paris to further the already well-advanced plans for establishing a “new international economic order.” The date and place of this palaver of world notables are especially propitious for their purpose, and not at all coincidental. Those who plan such things are fully cognizant of the bloody well from which their present endeavor has sprung, as well as of the power of symbols.
In France, the socialist Mitterrand government, of course, is spending millions of francs on revolutionary posters, festivals, and television and radio programming.“The commemorative ceremonies and other events held throughout 1989,” says Jean-Noel Jeanneney, president of France’s bicentennial commission,“will express … our attachment to the values of democracy and progress bequeathed to us by this Revolution.”
Not all Frenchmen sympathize with these revolutionary “values,” and diehard Royalists are not the only ones to oppose the bicentennial celebrations. Organizers of an “Anti-’89” campaign are hoping to draw upwards of a million followers to Paris this summer to pray and demonstrate against the “Satanic, anti-Christian revolution” unleashed in France 200 years ago. The campaign is being promoted and organized largely through the distribution ofL’Anti-89, a monthly tabloid published by the Society of Saint Pius X, as well as a series of conferences on the French Revolution sponsored by the Society, which is headed by excommunicated Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of Econe, Switzerland.
Although completely ignored by the French and international press,L’Anti-89, launched in 1987, has definitely caught the attention of Mitterrand. With blistering editorials and reprinted accounts of the savage slaughters and vile desecrations of the revolutionists, the publication has taken the government to task for glorifying“one of the most shameful and horrible epochs” in human history.“The government was shocked when we announced plans for one million people on August 15th,” Brother Edward Saurette, a spokesman forL’Anti-89in Paris, toldThe New Americanin a telephone interview.“We don’t know how many people to expect, really, and we would consider 50,000 to be a success; but, on the other hand, we don’t think that 500,000 to one million is an unrealistic expectation.” The plan for August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption in the Catholic liturgical calendar, calls for a massive prayer procession through Paris to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Although the Anti-89 campaign seems to offer the only organized resistance to the celebrations, other publications— Valeurs Actuelles,Choc,Présent, andFidelité, for instance—are also taking aim at the bicentennial.
Indeed, it was“the best of times … the worst of times.” 1789 was the fateful year in which, on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, a constitutional Republic was established by honorable, temperate men who acknowledged the sovereignty of Almighty God; and, on the other side, a“Democracy” characterized by the basest tyranny was created by profane creatures who reviled Heaven.
Various theories have been advanced concerning the causes of the French Revolution—“famine and the grinding poverty of the peasants,”“the influences of Voltaire, Rousseau and the Encyclopaedists,”“the unbearable oppression of the Ancient Regime,”“excessive taxation and feudal privilege,”“the economic bankruptcy of the Crown”— all specious.“The practice of attributing the revolution to such causes, as though a quasi-physical law had been operating which necessitated that effect (revolution), is a grave error,” observes Rev. Clarence Kelly in his bookConspiracy Against GodAnd Man.“To the extent that such conditions did exist, one cannot say that the revolution was a necessary consequence. If economic problems and despotism necessarily cause revolution, then surely no Communist regime would stand long.”
By the standards of the day, France under the Bourbon monarchy was anything but“backward,”“impoverished,” or“oppressive.” As the premier power of Europe, France was the largest, wealthiest, most populous nation on the continent, with a well-developed middle class, and a strong agricultural, industrial, and foreign trade base. In science, literature, and culture France led the world. According to all the most credible accounts by contemporary travelers, France was the place to live in the 18th Century, whatever one’s station in life.
InThe French Revolution, the late Nesta H. Webster cited both impartial and pro-revolutionary witnesses whose testimony puts the lie to the“starving peasant uprising” arguments. An Englishman named Dr. Rigby, for instance, wrote to his wife from France during the summer of 1789:“The general appearance of the people is different to what I expected; they are strong and well-made…. Everything we see bears the marks of industry, and all the people look happy…. We have seen few of the lower classes in rags, idleness and misery. What strange prejudices we are apt to take regarding foreigners!”
A far different aspect greeted the good doctor when he entered Prussia:“There was a gloom and an appearance of disease in almost every man’s face we saw; their persons also looked filthy. The state of wretchedness in which they live seems to deprive them of every power of exertion.” Rigby was struck by the comparative vitality of France:“How every country and every people we have seen since we left France sink in comparison with that animated country!”
Thomas Jefferson, after extensive excursions throughout the French countryside and a close examination of agricultural practices there, was pleasantly surprised to find that the conditions of the peasants were far better than he had been led to believe.“I have been pleased to find among the people a less degree of physical misery than I had expected,” Jefferson wrote to Lafayette in 1787.“They are generally well clothed, and have plenty of food, not animal indeed, but vegetable, which is as wholesome.”
Even the celebrated Marxist historian Georges Lefebvre, president of the Société des Etudes Robespierristes and editor of theAnnales Historiques de la Révolution Française, noted inThe GreatFear of 1789that the“agrarian crisis would have been acute indeed if the farming system [in France] had not been far more favorable to the peasants than anywhere else in Europe.”
Savior of the Public Liberty
Far from having been the cruel despot he is often portrayed as, Louis XVI was a well-intentioned, though often weak and inept, monarch thrust into circumstances beyond the measure, perhaps, of even the wisest and most adroit ruler. A devout Christian eager to improve the plight of his subjects, he launched a serious program of reform in the first year of his reign. In the decade and a half leading up to 1789 he had abolished torture and all forms of servitude in his domain, granted liberty of conscience to Protestant sects, reformed the prisons and hospitals, and proposed the abolition of the salt tax andlettres de cachet(arrest warrants that permitted imprisonment without trial).
Louis XVI had undertaken these genuine reform efforts on his own initiative, without compulsion. In fact, it was the French Parliament that obstructed many needed reforms. There is no evidence that the French people had entertained any notion of overthrowing the Crown.
Prior to convening the Estates General, the King had called forcahiers de doleances, or lists of grievances, to be drawn up and sent in from all the provinces, to aid in the process of reform. According to1789, published by American Opinion,“Not one [cahier] contemplates the abolition of the monarchy. Not even the petition presented by the City of Paris, for all its obstreperous demands and radical animosity, would dare to suggest such a profound upturning of the national constitution.‘The person of the monarch is sacred and inviolable,’ says the memorandum…. Religion is praised as a necessary condition of man. The object of law is to safeguard liberty and property. The commissioners would like the Bastille torn down, and a noble column erected on the site bearing the inscription,‘To Louis XVI, Savior of the Public Liberty.’”
The Bourbon monarch was also most tolerant of dissent.“Paris had more printers, bookstalls, book dealers, journalists, and theorists than any city had ever before seen,” records historian Otto Scott in his biography of Robespierre.“Censorship was still on the books but no longer enforced….”
It was Louis XVI’s liberal tolerance toward the champions of so-called “enlightenment” and “reason” that undermined both Church and Crown. While, in the main, the French people—particularly the peasants and working people—remained staunchly Christian and monarchist, the disaffected nobility and the habitués of the intellectual salons gave sway to libertine passions and head, “new” doctrines. Of the decade preceding the revolution Scott writes:
Strange cults appeared; sex rituals, black magic, Satanism. Perversion became not only acceptable but fashionable. Homosexuals held public balls to which heterosexuals were invited and the police guarded their carriages. Prostitutes were admired; swindles and sharp business practices increased. Political clubs of the more radical sort proliferated. The Freemasons, whose lodges ranged from the sedate to the wild-eyed, extended across the nation. There were hundreds of such lodges in Paris alone, and thousands throughout the country. The air grew thick with plans to restructure and reconstruct all traditional French society and institutions.
“The press, for the first time in history, was the spearhead, font and fuel for these discussions,” writes Scott. The journals of that day, like so many now,“were mixtures of politics and smut. They admired agitators extravagantly and never discussed the Church without mention of scandal nor government without criticism. They relied heavily on tales of sin in high places and highhanded outrages of the Court.”
In hisParis in the Terror, Stanley Loomis notes the irony that“of all countries in Europe, France was the only one that could have had a revolution —not because she groaned under the lash of tyranny, but on the contrary, because she tolerated and even invited every conceivable dissension. Restlessness, a passion for novelty and the pursuit of excitement were everywhere in the air. They were the fruits of idleness and leisure, not of poverty.”
It is true that the French treasury was in desperate straits, but that condition was not simply the result of Court extravagance, as is often asserted. In her first years as queen, Marie Antoinette established a reputation as an insatiable spendthrift with a taste for lavish soirées. But historians have documented the rapid maturing of her character and her development of simpler tastes when she became a mother.
When Louis XVI ascended to the throne, the French government was spending 235 million francs a year and had revenues of only 213.4 million francs. He attempted to remedy the deficit inherited from his grandfather, Louis XV, but, being untrained in economics, left the management of the treasury up to others. Unfortunately, his finance ministers —Necker, Calonne, Brienne, and Necker again —attempted to create the impression of prosperity by juggling the books, launching massive welfare and public works projects, taking out new loans, and padding their own accounts.
Details about the finances of the government in pre-revolutionary France are recorded in the book1789:
In 1789, only six percent of the national revenue was budgeted for the entire expense of the Court; and only a small fraction of that went for personal needs. Army, Navy and diplomacy ate up twenty-five percent. And fifty percent—mark that, fifty percent—went for debt services on that four and one-half billion national debt…. And what was the single biggest cause of the debt? Two-thirds of the debt, three billion livres, had been spent to support the United States in the American Revolutionary War.
Yes, it was“wicked” King Louis —not the revolutionary Jacobins —aided the American colonists in their struggle against King George. It is also worth remembering, in this year of our bicentennial, that our nation was barely founded when the Jacobins sent their agents (most notably, Citizen Genet) here to establish subversive “Democratic Clubs” and topple our infant republic.
Louis the Sixteenth, at the beginning of 1789, was faced with many problems, but“the people” were not one of them.“The masses remained pious,” Will and Ariel Durant point out inRousseau andRevolution,“but their leaders had lost respect for priests and kings; the masses loved Louis XVI to the end, but the leaders cut off his head.” Even the king’s enemies conceded that he was a benign ruler. Frederick II of Prussia (dubbed“the Great” by Voltaire), who conspired with Mirabeau and the Orleanistes to depose Louis, wrote to d’Alembert:“You have a very good king…. A king who is wise and virtuous is more to be feared by his rivals than a prince who has only courage.” D’Alembert replied: “He loves goodness, justice, economy, and peace…. He is just what we ought to desire as our king, if a propitious fate had not given him to us.” Voltaire also agreed:“All that Louis has done since his accession has endeared him to France.”
If the people of France loved their king, enjoyed a higher standard of living than most others on the continent, and had every prospect of improving their lot in life with a reform-minded ruler, why then did they revolt? The answer, of course, is that the revolution, from the fall of the Bastille to the accession of Napoleon, was never a movement of“the people.”
Citizens of Paris witnessed the mysterious arrival of thousands of frightful strangers in their midst in the spring of 1789. InThe French Revolution, Nesta Webster painstakingly reconstructed the scene from primary sources:
Towards the end of April the peaceful citizens saw with bewilderment bands of ragged men of horrible appearance, armed with thick knotted sticks, flocking through the barriers into the city. This sinister contingent is not, as certain historians would have us believe, to be confused with the former crowds of peasants—“they were neither workmen nor peasants,” says Madame Vigee le Brun,“they seemed to belong to no class unless that of bandits, so terrifying were their faces,” and Montjoie adds that this aspect was intentional—“they had been instructed to disfigure their faces in a manner so hideous that they were objects of horror to all the Parisians.” Other contemporaries, whose accounts exactly coincide with the foregoing, add that these men were“foreigners”—“they spoke a strange tongue….”Marmontel describes them as“Marseillais … men of rapine and carnage, thirsting for blood and booty, who, mingling with the people, inspired them with their own ferocity.”
These“brigands” and“bandits,” referred to in so many of the accounts of the day, had been brought to the city in the employ of Louis Philippe, the Duc d’Orleans. By various estimates they numbered between 20,000 and 40,000. The immensely wealthy and powerful duke harbored intense hatred for his cousin, Louis XVI, and his lust for the throne was transparent. He was as dissolute and amoral as the king was sober and virtuous. Grand Master of all Grand Orient Lodges of Freemasonry, he had an unequalled network for communications, intelligence, and propaganda.
What Really Happened
During the summer of 1789 the Duc d’Orleans’ murderous brigands terrorized Paris and created a famine by commandeering and/or destroying shipments of grain coming into the city. Other agents of the duke bought up grain supplies and held them off the market. Still other Orleaniste agents “buffeted the populace with calamitous rumors: that economic collapse was imminent; that the king’s troops were massacring citizens in various parts of the city; that the king had mined the Assembly to blow up the legislators; that the bread and wine had been poisoned.
In this highly agitated state the Orleanistes succeeded, on July 14th, in rousing a mob of about 1,000 to march on the Bastille —not to free prisoners, nor destroy a hated symbol, but to acquire the arms stored there so as to defend themselves, against both the brigands and the troops that were reported to be advancing. The Bastille, an ancient and little-used fortress-prison, was scheduled to be demolished. It was guarded only by a small contingent of old army veterans and Swiss Guard, but with fifteen cannon they had more than enough fire-power to disperse the mob.
The commander of the fort, Governor De Launay, couldn’t bring himself to fire on his own countrymen. Bearing in mind the king’s aversion to violence, he allowed his men to put up only token resistance before he surrendered to the mob. For this humane gesture, he paid with his life. Although the decent Parisians duped into this exercise tried to protect him, the brigands overpowered them, butchered De Launay, and paraded through Paris with his head on a pike. Thus began the revolution.
And what of all the hapless prisoners in the Bastille’s dungeons? The Bastille, Webster notes, held only seven —“four forgers, Bechade, Lacaurege, Pujade, and Laroche; two lunatics, Tavernier and De Whyte, who were mad before they were imprisoned, and the Comte de Solages, incarcerated for ‘monstrous crimes’ at the request of his family.”
The following day, the Orleaniste brigands“arrested” Berthier de Sauvigny, the Intendant of Paris, at Compiegne, where he was supervising the transport of grain and flour to Paris. His energetic efforts to provide food for the city were upsetting the planned famine and had to be stopped. He was denounced as a“hoarder of grain” and sentenced to die.“Thereupon‘a monster of ferocity, a cannibal,’ tore out his heart,” Webster recounts,“and Desnot, the‘cook out of place’ who had cut off the head of De Launay and again‘happened’ to be on the spot, carried it to the Palais Royal. This ghastly trophy, together with the victim’s head, was placed in the middle of the supper-table around which the brigands feasted.”
Still worse atrocities would follow, with the encouragement and direction of the leaders of the Revolution.
Ignoring the abundant evidence to the contrary, the editors ofLifemagazine, in a series of articles in 1969 on the subject of revolution, wrote:“The French Revolution was not planned and instigated by conspirators. It was the result of a spontaneous uprising by the masses of the French people….” So the lie continues, though more honest and reasonable minds oppose and expose it.“The French Revolution did not occur spontaneously,” answers Clarence Kelly.“Yet though we must acknowledge the period of development that led up to these events, it is evident that they did not have to come about. They happened because men armed with a plan intervened and gave direction.”
In his“Essay On The French Revolution,” English historian Lord Acton perceptively observed:“Through all the fire and smoke we perceive the evidence of calculating organization. The managers remain studiously concealed and masked, but there is no doubt about their presence from the first.”
In herSecret Societies and Subversive Movements, Nesta Webster concurred:“But for this co-ordination of methods the philosophers and Encyclopaedists might have gone on forever inveighing against thrones and altars, the Martinistes evoking spirits…. [I]t was not until the emissaries of Weishaupt formed an alliance with the Orleaniste leaders that vague subversive theory became active revolution.”
These “emissaries of Weishaupt” were members of the secret Order of the Illuminati, a conspiratorial cabal formed in Bavaria on May 1, 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of canon law at Ingolstadt University. According to the Baron Adolph von Knigge, one of Weishaupt’s top apostles, who broke with the Order in 1784, the aim of the Illuminati was to abolish Christianity, and all the governments of Europe, and to establish a great world government under the direction of the Order.
Toward that end, the conspirators employed any and all means: bribery, theft, assassination, seduction, blackmail, sedition, slander, and the instigation of riots, revolutions, and wars. Weishaupt’s favorite maxim was, “The end justifies the means.” His scheme took a great leap forward in 1782 at the great convention of continental Freemasonry in Wilhelmsbad, Germany when his agents succeeded in bringing the Masonic lodges under the control of the Order.
Weishaupt’s sinister cabal was discovered and the Order’s archives, with numerous incriminating documents, seized by the Bavarian authorities in 1786. In addition, four members of the secret organization came forward with testimony to confirm the evil intent of the Illuminati. As a result, the Order was outlawed and Weishaupt and his co-conspirators banished. That action only served to speed the dissemination of the group throughout Europe.
The Jacobin Clubs
In his 1798 classic,Proofs of a Conspiracy, Dr. John Robison, the distinguished scientist, Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh University, Scotland, and the leading contemporary English-speaking authority on the “terrible sect,” said this of the Illuminati’s operations in France during the revolutionary period: “I have seen this Association [the Order of the Illuminati] exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first Movements … by means of its instructions and assistance….”
The Illuminati’s primary agent in France was Honoré-Gabriel Riqueti Comte de Mirabeau, a reprobate and conspirator of the first degree. Together with the Duc d’Orleans, he assembled a force of frightful power and ferocity. The Jacobin clubs became their principal tool for terror and political machinations.
From Mirabeau’s own pen we see the unmistakable Illuminist imprint. On October 6, 1789 a manuscript of Mirabeau’s was found among others seized at the home of his publisher. It is pure Weishaupt. Besides his nihilistic fury, it is particularly noteworthy for his open contempt for “the people” he claims to champion:
We must overthrow all order, suppress all laws, annul all power and leave the people in anarchy…. We must caress their vanity, flatter their hopes, promise them happiness after our work has been in operation…. But as the people are a lever which legislators can move at their will, we must necessarily use them as a support, and render hateful to them everything we wish to destroy and sow illusions in their paths.
The clergy, being the most powerful through public opinion, can only be destroyed by ridiculing religion, rendering its ministers odious, and only by representing them as hypocritical monsters…. Libels must at every moment show fresh traces of hatred against the clergy. To exaggerate their riches, to make the sins of an individual appear to be common to all, to attribute to them all vices; calumny, murder, irreligion, sacrilege, all is permitted in times of revolution.
Mirabeau continued: “What matters the victims and their numbers? Spoliations, destruction, burnings, and all the necessary effects of a revolution? Nothing must be sacred and we can say with Machiavelli: ‘What matter the means as long as one arrives at the end?’”
His utter ruthlessness shocked even his revolutionary colleagues. Pierre Malouet wrote in his memoirs: “Mirabeau was, perhaps, the only man in the Assembly who saw the Revolution from the first in its true spirit, that of total subversion.”
But there were others who also saw “its true spirit.” The horrors that were planned for France caused Mirabeau’s one-time friend and fellow Illuminatus, the Marquis de Luchet, to recoil in terror. He determined to warn the unsuspecting victims of the impending onslaught, publishing in January 1789 hisEssay on the Sect of the Illuminati. De Luchet’s pamphlet, published months before the fall of the Bastille, is a vital document almost completely ignored by historians. It proved prophetically accurate:
Deluded people! You must understand that there exists a conspiracy in favor of despotism, and against liberty, of incapacity against talent, of vice against virtue, of ignorance against light! It is formed in the depths of the most impenetrable darkness, a society of new creatures who know each other without being seen…. The aim of this society is to rule the world, to appropriate the authority of sovereigns, to usurp their place…. Every species of error which afflicts the earth, every half-baked idea, every invention serves to fit the doctrines of the Illuminati….
I see that all the great fundamentals which society has made good use [of] to retain the allegiance of men—such as religion and law—will be without power to destroy an organization which has made itself a cult, and put itself above all human legislation.Finally, I see the release of calamities whose end will be lost in the night of ages, like those subterranean fires whose insatiable activity devours the entrails of the globe and escapes into the air with a violent and devastating explosion.
Jean Baptiste Carrier, the cold-blooded Jacobin executioner,“entertained a peculiar hatred for children —‘they are whelps,’ he said,‘they must be destroyed,’” wrote Nesta Webster in The French Revolution.“The details of these massacres far surpass in horror anything that took place in Paris during the height of the Terror; there young children at least were spared, but at Nantes they perished miserably by the hundreds. The annals of savagery can show nothing more revolting —poor little peasant boys and girls thrust beneath the blade of the guillotine, mutilated because they were too small to fit the fatal plank; 500 driven at once into a field outside the city and shot down, clubbed and sabred by the assassins round whose knees they clung, weeping and crying out for mercy.”
The guillotine was simply too slow to suit the bloodlust of Robespierre, St. Just, Marat, Babeuf, and the others. So thefusilladeswere begun. Men, women, children, priests, and nuns were herded together and mown down with cannon and muskets, or simply blown up with large charges of powder. Still the executions were too slow. The problem was solved by that mad genius Carrier, who invented thenoyades, or mass drownings, which he laughingly called“bathing parties.”
According to Nesta Webster’sWorld Revolution, the contemporary revolutionary Louis Prudhomme put the total number of victims drowned, guillotined, or shot throughout France at 300,000; of that number only about 3,000 could be considered nobles. And this was simply the warm-up for thereallybig plans of the revolutionists —what they called the“depopulation.” They believed that France was overpopulated. But they couldn’t agree on whether they should exterminate one-third, one-half, or two-thirds of the population. France at that time was a nation of some 26 million souls; thus, the Jacobin leaders, the great“friends of the people,” were contemplating the slaughter of somewhere between eight and eighteen million of their fellow countrymen! To the guillotine,fusillades, andnoyades, they would add forced famines and wars of“liberation” —and undoubtedly many additional manic inventions.
Carrier remarked:“Let us make a cemetery of France rather than not regenerate her after our manner.” It was clear that when Rabaud de Saint-Etienne said,“Everything, yes, everything must be destroyed, since everything must be remade,” he was including the people in his plans of destruction.
Other observers have been led to the same conclusion. Stanley Loomis, the great chronicler of the Terror, wrote:“It is impossible to read of this period without the impression that one is here confronted with forces more powerful than those confronted by men.” Pro-revolutionary historian R. R. Palmer, who gives no hint of being a believer, likewise observed:“Even reasonable men now succumbed to the contagion. A spirit was abroad which contemporary conservatives truly described as satanic.”
Christianity was outlawed, the churches nationalized, the clergy slaughtered or forced to swear allegiance to the new cult of “Reason.” Notes Nesta Webster inThe French Revolution:
At Notre Dame, stripped of its crucifixes and images of the saints, the Feast of Reason took place on the 10th of November. A temple was raised in the aisle on the summit of a mountain, from which shone forth the “light of truth,” and amidst the strains of the “Marsellaise” and “Ça ira”the Goddess of Reason, personified by [opera singer] Mlle. Maillard, dressed in a blue mantle and [a] red cap of liberty, was borne in procession and solemnly enthroned to the cries of “Vive la Republique! Vive la Montagne!”
Viciously militant atheists like Baron Anacharsis Clootz, Jacques Rene Hebert and the Marquis de Sade vied for the honor of top blasphemer. Clootz bestowed upon himself the title,“the personal enemy of Jesus Christ.”“The People,” he declared,“is the Sovereign and the God of the World; France is the centre of the People-God.”
Illuminati conspirators had to expunge even the calendar, since it was dated from the birth of Jesus Christ. They devised their own pagan,“New Age” calendar, with the year 1 beginning in 1792. The year was to consist of 12 30-day months, each divided into three decades (weeks of 10 days). The months’ names were based on nature:Brumaire(the mist),Frimaire(frost),Prairial(meadow),Thermidor(heat), etc. They inaugurated new pagan festivals in an attempt to wean the stubborn French populace from its Christian moorings. But it was their attacks on the Church and the Faith that finally doomed the revolutionists.
Diabolical Jacobins did not evaporate when the Little Corsican“plucked the Crown of France from the mud with his sword.” They went underground and fomented revolution worldwide. The French Revolution was the archetype from which all future revolutionary conspirators would draw inspiration and practical knowledge. The Russian anarchist Prince Kropotkin said in 1908:“[T]he Great Revolution … was the source and origin of all the present communist, anarchist, and socialist conceptions.”
Nicolai Lenin himself said:“We, the Bolsheviks, are the Jacobins of the Twentieth Century, that is, the Jacobins of the proletarian revolution….” When he was searching for a ruthless henchman to head the Cheka (the forerunner of the KGB), he asked,“Where are we going to find our Fouquier-Tinville [the infamous Jacobin executioner]?” The leaders of the bestial Khmer Rouge Communists who devastated Cambodia attended universities in Paris, where they were steeped in the glorious carnage of the French Revolution. Their programs of depopulation and auto-genocide were taken directly from Robespierre and his fellow conspirators —and made even deadlier by superior 20th Century military technology.
When Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the United Nations in New York on December 7, 1988, he paid tribute to his Illuminist-Jacobin forebears.“Two Great Revolutions —the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 —exercised a powerful impact on the very nature of the historical process, having radically changed the course of world development,” proclaimed Gorbachev.“The two revolutions, each in its own way, gave a huge impulse to human progress [and] contributed to forming the pattern of mentality that continues to prevail in the minds of people.”
“The end of the Reign of Terror did not bring an end to the French Revolution,” Professor Warren Carroll reminds us in his book,The Guillotine and the Cross.“The forces it unleashed, though to some extent harnessed and stripped of their most obviously evil … elements, continued to batter Europe and threaten the whole world.” Nor has there been any abatement:“It is with us still, now in our time when a third of the world lives under the tyranny of its direct descendant, the Communist Revolution, and the rest of the world is touched and twisted by its legacy in thought and action —often misunderstood, but no less and perhaps more potent for that.”
written by William F. Jasper
Ocie and Carey Mills went to jail in Pensacola, Florida, May 15th. The 54-year-old retired contractor and his 31-year-old son were sentenced to 21 months in prison after a U.S. District Court jury found them guilty of knowingly discharging fill material in wetlands and dredging a canal on their property, both violations of the Clean Water Act. The two men were each fined $5,000, denied eligibility for parole, and ordered to restore the wetlands within 90 days of their release from prison.
The Environmental Protection Agency was “truly gratified” with the sentence imposed on the father and son, said Keith A. Onsdorff, an associate enforcement counsel with the EPA. He said that the stiff penalty “would send a strong message across the country that those who knowingly violate environmental laws are going to jail.”
The severe sentences will indeed send a message across the country, but the message will not be about environmental violations; it will be about government bureaucrats ganging up on the little guy while ignoring much more serious violations of environmental laws by big developers and large corporations. All that Ocie Mills did was clean out a 300-foot drainage ditch on his half-acre parcel of land and stockpile some fill material on the uplands section of his property. The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) saw no problem with either action, but the United States Army Corps of Engineers did.
At the time of his conviction, Ocie Mills had been battling with the Florida DER for more than a decade over activities on two lots of land adjacent to East Bay in Santa Rosa County. He had on one occasion held DER officials at gunpoint when they came onto his property without a search warrant. The DER charged Mills with battery and reckless display of a firearm, but he was acquitted. Mills then sued the agency for false arrest, and was awarded some $9,000 in damages.
The current case arose when Mills wanted to clean out the ditch for the purpose of mosquito control and drainage. After investigating reports of unauthorized dredging on the property, DER Assistant General Counsel E. Gary Early wrote to Mills on April 21, 1983. Early said the investigation had “determined that you were maintaining your existing canal rather than engaging in new dredging activities. Maintaining existing structures is specifically exempted from further permit requirements.”
Early also said that “the Department does not intend in any way to prevent or deter you from maintaining what you have. It is, however, requested that the maintenance be done in an environmentally compatible manner…. I understand that you are going to allow representatives of the Department on your property to document current conditions of the canal and pond. I think that is a step in the right direction and will ultimately serve to protect the interests of both you and the Department.”
The conflict still had not been resolved three years later when Mills contacted Robert V. Kriegel, DER District Manager for the Northwest District. An interoffice memorandum dictated by Kriegel recalls the substance of his telephone conversation with Ocie Mills on October 9, 1986:
Mr. Mills discussed certain issues pertinent to the ongoing case. He advised that he had discussed maintenance exemptions with Charles Harp; that doing the work he did, he stayed outside of a marsh; that he dug the ditch deep so that it would not drain into the bay, but rather would drain down into the groundwater. He advised that he wanted to put a house in near the ditch, that he had to do the grading to prevent certain drainage problems that pre-existed on the property.
I advised that there was an exemption that pertained to the maintenance of existing ditches to previous occurring permitted dimensions. I advised that I would try to set up a discussion with Mr. Mills, our legal staff, and myself to explore the possibility of a settlement.
On September 9, 1987, Mills filed for a permit to dredge and fill on his property, but the permit was denied. He looked into the process of obtaining permits, or exemptions from them, and found that “the political and rich” did not seem to need either permits or exemptions to develop large tracts of land. Mills wrote to his State Representative, Democrat Bolley “Bo” Johnson, and asked him why this was the case. Representative Johnson referred the question to Robert Kriegel of the DER, who discussed it with an aide to Johnson, but no further action was taken.
On August 8, 1988, Ocie Mills wrote to Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel A. Alter Jr. and asked to appear before a federal grand jury that was then considering evidence that Mills had violated the law by not obtaining a permit to do maintenance work on the ditch on his property. The letter asked Alter to explain “why I am being subjected to this costly and time-consuming action when far more extensive acts of others have been constantly ignored.” Mills cited several examples of ditches being dug to drain the wetlands, without permits, for housing subdivisions on East Bay. One of these subdivisions, the Paradise Bay project, was developed by Bo Johnson and Neal Colley.
“I support the effort of our agency to protect our environment, and I am prepared to give you all reasonable cooperation,” Ocie Mills said in his letter to U.S. Attorney Alter. “However, I think you will agree I have the right to expect that all government agencies deal even-handed by treating all the people the same, including me.” The grand jury did not invite Mills to appear before it, but two months later it indicted the father and son for violating the Clean Water Act.
Grounds for Reversal
The Mills’ verdict is being appealed on the grounds that there are “substantial questions of law likely to result in reversal or an order for a new trial.” Among the substantial questions mentioned in the Notice of Appeal filed by Attorney Ronald W. Johnson of Pensacola is “whether the Court excluded relevant evidence by not allowing the Defendants to introduce testimony that the State of Florida Department of Environmental Regulation authorized all of their activities for which they have been convicted.” Excluded at the trial was DER correspondence confirming that the Mills’s maintenance of the drainage ditch was exempt under Florida law and that the deposit of fill material on certain portions of the land was permissible.
Other substantial questions involved the Court’s refusal to allow DER employees “to testify as experts to their opinion that the property in question was not a ‘wetland’ under the definition of the United States Army Corps of Engineers”; its exclusion of “relevant evidence under 33 U.S.C. 1344(f), which provides for the maintenance of drainage ditches, and Florida Administrative Code Rule 17-4.04, which provides for the maintenance of a drainage ditch”; and its improper application of Florida’s sentencing guidelines.
The Millses have also alleged that the judge in the case was biased against them and handled the trial poorly because he was hard of hearing and had difficulty comprehending what was taking place in the courtroom. They sought to have U.S. District Judge Winston E. Arnow disqualified from the case, but the 77-year-old jurist refused to step aside. Referring to affidavits suggesting that he was physically and mentally incompetent, Arnow said on May 10th that “these affidavits are unsupported by the facts. I have no reason to defend myself.”
In a separate affidavit, the Millses contended that court reporter Marty Plott prepared an inaccurate transcript of the sentencing hearing, and of the hearing on the objections to the pre-sentencing investigation and the guidelines. “The defendants have a recollection of some statements made during the course of these proceedings which are different than it appears in the transcript prepared by Ms. Plott,” the affidavit said. Ms. Plott admitted leaving one statement of Judge Arnow out of the transcript, but only because it was a repetition of a previous statement.
“It’s one thing to correct a transcript, but it’s criminal to clean it up,” said Ocie Mills, adding that what was left out of the transcript was crucial to proving the allegations of incompetency against Judge Arnow.
Mills also contends that Judge Arnow originally said he had no objection to the father and son staying out of prison until the appeals process had been exhausted. But on May 1, said Mills, the judge changed his mind and ordered the defendants to begin serving their sentences on May 15.
Less Equal Than Others
Why have Ocie and Carey Mills been subjected to such bureaucratic and judicial harassment? Their attorney, Ronald Johnson, told The New American that it was because they “fought the system.” Ocie believes that a contributing factor was his decision to run against Representative “Bo” Johnson in last fall’s election. (Johnson won reelection.) “People familiar with my case know my persecution was politically motivated,” said Mills. “They came after me when I made it known that I was going to run against Representative Bolley ‘Bo’ Johnson.”
Ocie said that “we are all guaranteed equal protection under the law. However, some are more equal than others.” He criticized “the evil politicians” in Santa Rosa County and said that his treatment is “proof that the agencies are governed by politicians, not law; that the conspiracy to entrap the Ocie Mills family has now placed politics in our justice system, making the Ocie Mills family criminals. Just remember, if this can happen to me, it can happen to you.”
Support for the Millses has been voiced by many residents of the area and by syndicated columnist Charley Reese. “Mills is not a developer,” Reese wrote in a recent column. “He had no criminal record. No toxic chemicals were involved, and in fact no damage to the environment was done. He simply did not have the permission of federal bureaucrats to clean out a drainage ditch and bring in some dirt fill for his own property in a state-approved subdivision. For that, federal bureaucrats are wrecking his life…. Our forefathers did not fight a revolution for this kind of nonsense.”
As we go to press, Ocie and Carey Mills are incarcerated in the Federal Prison Camp at Saufley Field in Pensacola. Their attorney has filed a motion to have them released pending their appeals, but it is not known how long it will be before the motion is heard, or whether or not it will be decided in their favor.
This article was originally published in the June 19, 1989 issue of The New American
written by William F. Jasper
It was 6:25 on the night of December 21st when the Pan American jetliner left London’s Heathrow Airport bound for New York. Flight 103 was 25 minutes late taking off, but once the 747 reached its cruising altitude of 31,000 feet, its 259 passengers and crew, among them more than two-score Americans on their way home for the holidays, had settled themselves for the seven-and-a-half-hour trip. Shortly after crossing the border of Scotland, the giant aircraft was torn apart by an explosion and it disappeared from airport radar screens at 7:17 PM. Bodies and fiery debris from Flight 103 rained down on the Scottish village of Lockerbie, killing 11 people on the ground and bringing the death toll from the disaster to 270.
If the Pan American jet had taken off on time, the blast would have occurred over the ocean and the cause of the crash might never have been determined. But investigators sifting through the widely scattered wreckage found evidence of an extremely powerful plastic explosive that had probably been placed in the plane’s forward luggage compartment. When it went off, the investigators theorized, the bomb severed the cockpit and part of the first-class section from the rest of the aircraft and destroyed the plane’s electrical and communications systems. An engineer at the Boeing Company, maker of the 747, declared: “It was a diabolically well-planned event, handled by experts in knowledge of the aircraft, its structure, the flight plan — the works.”
On the day after the tragedy, a telephone caller said the bombing was the work of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, and it was in retaliation for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by a U.S. Navy cruiser in the Persian Gulf last July. The group was not known to experts on terrorism, and they suggested two more likely perpetrators — either Abu Nidal’s Fatah Revolutionary Council or Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command. Fourteen members of Jibril’s group were arrested by West German authorities last October. The cache of arms in their possession included a portable radio packed so expertly with plastic explosive that the radio still worked.
How the bomb got on Flight 103 is still under investigation. What is known is that, on December 5th, an unidentified caller warned that there would be a bombing attempt on a Pan American plane flying from Frankfurt, West Germany, to the United States. Flight 103 originated aboard a 727 in Frankfurt on December 21st. About 40 passengers were transferred to the Pan Am 747 in London, but their luggage, which had been inspected by security guards in Frankfurt, was not checked again before being loaded at Heathrow. What is certain is that the terror conspiracy that began a little over two decades ago is still leaving its bloody imprint on a frightened world.
Consider the statistics. Since 1980, more than 5,000 terrorist incidents have occurred worldwide, leaving more than 4,000 people dead and more than 10,000 wounded. Almost 1,000 of those casualties have been American citizens. Although most of the terrorist attacks have taken place in Western Europe and the Middle East, the South Asian nation of Pakistan has been a particular terrorist target in recent years because of its support for the freedom fighters in Afghanistan and its offer of sanctuary to five million Afghans fleeing the Soviet barbarians occupying their country.
The culmination of the Soviet-backed terror assault on Pakistan was the bombing last August of a plane carrying Pakistani President Zia and nearly 30 of his top aides and army officers. Also killed in the crash were U.S. Ambassador Arnold L. Raphael and Brigadier General Herbert M. Wassom, the chief American military attaché to Pakistan. The Soviet role in the murders was either ignored or played down by the media and the Reagan Administration. Three months later, for example, Vice President Bush wrote an introductory letter to a Pentagon booklet entitled Terrorist Group Profiles. While noting the terror campaign against Pakistan by “Soviet-trained and organized” Afghan agents, Mr. Bush said nary a word about the murder of President Zia and two Americans.
What Is Terrorism?
Many individuals, organizations, and government agencies have offered definitions of terrorism, some very simple and others very complicated. One of the best definitions is that of Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, author of the book Terrorism: How the West Can Win, and brother of Jonathan Netanyahu, the Israeli commando who was killed at Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976 while leading a raid that rescued more than 100 hostages held aboard a skyjacked airliner. “Terrorism,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, “is the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming, and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political ends.”
The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, said Lenin early in this century. And what better way to terrorize people than to murder and brutalize innocent men, women, and children? Terrorism directed at government officials or military officers does not rank nearly as high on the fright scale as assaults on civilians who think themselves the unlikeliest of targets. The person who boards a plane in a war zone recognizes the risks involved; the college student flying home from a semester in England does not expect to die in a terror bombing.
Another purpose of terrorism is to show the entire world that a government does not have the power to protect its own citizens. In her 1981 book The Terror Network, a masterful account of international terrorism during the 1970s, American foreign correspondent Claire Sterling wrote: “The terrorists’ primary value to the Kremlin lay in their resolute efforts to weaken and demoralize, confuse, humiliate, frighten, paralyze, and if possible dismantle the West’s democratic societies.”
She cited events in Italy, West Germany, Northern Ireland, Spain, Turkey, and the United States, the “mightiest power on earth, helpless to liberate American citizens held hostage halfway across the planet for months or years.” The climate of terror generated by the end of the Seventies, said Mrs. Sterling, “contributed to the merciless exposure of Western impotence” and “affected the West’s defense against Soviet expansion: the cohesion of NATO, protecting Western Europe and the Mediterranean; the credibility of the United States, protecting oil supplies and routes from the Persian Gulf.”
A third purpose of terrorism is to provoke repressive measures by a government against the terrorists and those who assist them. The repressive measures are quickly denounced by enemies of the government, at home and abroad, the government is soon destabilized and then replaced by a totalitarian regime usually loyal to Moscow (Cuba and Nicaragua, for instance). The new regime then institutes even more severe and widespread repressive measures than its predecessor, and it begins efforts to destabilize neighboring countries. And where are the vociferous critics of the previous government’s abuses, which pale by comparison with the new regime’s atrocities? Why these critics have transferred their indignation to another non-Communist country, as the cycle of destabilization begins all over again.
The process was spelled out 20 years ago by Carlos Marighella, a longtime Brazilian Communist, in his Mini-Manual for Urban Guerrillas. In this textbook for terrorists all over the world, Marighella describes how to force a democratic government to act like a police state:
First the urban guerrilla must use revolutionary violence to identify with popular causes and so win a popular base. Then, the government has no alternative except to intensify repression. The police roundups, house searches, arrests of innocent people make life in the city unbearable. The general sentiment is that the government is unjust, incapable of solving problems, and resorts purely and simply to the physical liquidation of its opponents. The political situation is transformed into a military situation in which the militarists appear more and more responsible for errors and violence.
When pacifiers and right-wing opportunists see the militarists on the brink of the abyss, they join hands and beg the hangman for elections and other tripe designed to fool the masses. Rejecting the “so-called political solution,” the urban guerrillas must become more aggressive and violent, resorting without let-up to sabotage, terrorism, expropriations, assaults, kidnappings, and executions, heightening the disastrous situation in which the government must act.
Killing is “the urban guerrilla’s sole reason for being,” said Carlos Marighella, who was only echoing the recently deceased Cuban Communist terrorist Che Guevara: “We must above all keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm; hate as a factor of struggle, intransigent hate of the enemy, hate that can push a human being beyond his natural limits and make him a cold, violent, selective, and effective killing machine.”
It is that kind of hatred and fanaticism that can spur a terrorist to assassinate a head of state, blow up a planeful of passengers, plant a powerful bomb on a busy street or in a crowded terminal, drive an explosive-laden vehicle into an embassy or a military installation, introduce botulism or poison into water supplies or a food distribution system, or enter a computer “virus,” hidden among normal programming instructions, that would cripple a nation’s military response or its security network.
While terrorism has been around for thousands of years, the beginning of the modern-day international terrorist movement can be traced to a 1964 decision of the Soviet Politburo to increase spending on terrorism by one thousand percent. Boris Ponomarev, at that time head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which Ray Cline and Yonah Alexander have called “the most important Soviet agency for the spread of terrorism,” told his comrades in 1964 what was expected of the International Department:
We understand our international duty as consisting in support for all the revolutionary, democratic movements of modern times…. We Soviet Communists call upon all the fraternal parties and all the revolutionary forces to close their ranks more tightly, to overcome all difficulties, to rally under the banner of Marxism-Leninism in the name of the triumph of the working class.
The Soviet Union began recruiting terrorists from around the globe and training them at the Lenin Institute or at Lumumba University in Moscow, as well as at camps elsewhere in the USSR and in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Cuba. Fidel Castro was already turning out about 1,500 Latin American terrorists a year; his first group from the region to receive training was the Sandinista Communists who would take power in Nicaragua in 1979. It was also Castro who hosted one of the terrorist network’s most important international gatherings — the Tricontinental Conference in Havana in January 1966. More than 500 representatives of 83 groups emerged from that meeting with “a global revolutionary strategy to counter the global strategy of American imperialism.”
Before the year 1966 was over, new terrorist training camps had opened in Cuba under the direction of Soviet KGB Colonel Vadim Kotchergine and thousands of recruits had begun receiving instructions in Marxism-Leninism, the Russian language, explosives, weapons, guerrilla tactics, and other things a terrorist should know. According to Claire Sterling, “Castro was training the advance guard of the coming European fright decade — Palestinians, Italians, Germans, French, Spanish Basques — and forming guerrilla nuclei in practically every Western Hemisphere state south of the American border.”
The training camps later spread to other countries in Communist Europe (Bulgaria and Hungary), the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, and South Yemen), Africa (Algeria and Libya), and Asia (North Korea). Wherever the camps were located, the instructors were usually from the Soviet Union, Cuba, and East Germany. And over the next decade they turned out thousands of methodically trained and utterly ruthless terrorists who would, in Claire Sterling’s words, “move with remarkable confidence across national frontiers from floodlit stage to stage, able at a word to command the planet’s riveted attention.”
Although it may not have been planned that way, those emerging from terrorist camps in the late Sixties had timed their graduation perfectly. A series of world-shaking events had occurred in the seminal year of 1968 — assassinations, violent protests against the war in Vietnam, and rioting in the United States, Western Europe, Turkey, and Japan had radicalized a significant portion of the younger generation and they were ripe for recruitment into the terrorist conspiracy or for exploitation by those with a “global revolutionary strategy.”
The Soviet Strategy
One hundred and forty years ago, Karl Marx said that “there is only one way to shorten the murderous death agonies of the old society, only one way to shorten the bloody birth pangs of the new society … only one means — revolutionary terrorism.” His 20th century disciples have put that principle into bloody practice, but they usually avoid the word “terrorism.” Boris Ponomarev did not urge support for terrorist groups in 1964, but rather for “the revolutionary, democratic movements of modern times.” They are the same thing, of course, as Robert Moss, the internationally syndicated columnist and authority on terrorism, explains:
The Soviets do not like to talk about supporting terrorist movements. Obviously not. That is an embarrassing fact, and one that they quite clearly do not wish to admit. They talk about supporting liberation movements …. What are these national liberation groups that the Soviet Union publicly says it supports? I would contend that many of them practice terrorist methods, according to the definition that I just offered you, and should therefore be reasonably and objectively described as terrorist groups.
Why does the Kremlin support terrorist movements throughout the world? In addition to the reasons already mentioned (to terrorize, humiliate, and destabilize people and nations), another reason has been suggested by Samuel T. Francis in his Heritage Foundation booklet The Soviet Strategy of Terror: “The purpose of Soviet support of terrorism, the key to the Soviet strategy of terror, is the destruction of the economic base of American capitalism and hence of the United States as a world power.” He pointed out that virtually all Soviet-backed terrorist groups are active in areas rich in natural resources (oil in the Middle East and Latin America, strategic minerals in Africa) or situated near vital waterways (the Panama Canal, the Persian Gulf, the sea lanes off the southern tip of Africa).
Confirming this strategy was Robert Moss, who cited the testimony of a Soviet defector “that back in 1954, the 10th department of Soviet military intelligence, the GRU, drew up a plan to threaten Western access to Middle East oil. It was a plan that would involve penetration of the Arab world and alliances with radical Arab movements.” Moss expressed agreement with “professional analysts who also believe that that plan has guided Soviet strategy in the Middle East over the last quarter of a century. It was a backdrop to the Soviet dalliance with Nasser in Egypt. It is part of the backdrop to the intimate relationship that exists today between the Soviets and terrorist states like Syria, Libya, and South Yemen, and the PLO.”
The Soviet Connection
It is not fashionable today to accuse the Soviet Union of backing terrorism. Those who make such accusations are usually criticized as enemies of détente or glasnost, or as advocates of a “return to the Cold War.” Even the Reagan Administration, which was supposed to be against all terrorism, contributed mightily to the myth. For example, Vice President Bush, in his aforementioned letter introducing Terrorist Group Profiles, said that “governments sponsoring terrorism include North Korea, Iran, Libya, Syria, and South Yemen.” No mention of the Soviet Union or Cuba.
And then last month, in Vienna, there was Secretary of State George Shultz joining with representatives of 34 other nations in condemning “as criminal all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism, wherever and by whomever committed” and agreeing that “terrorism cannot be justified under any circumstances.” No doubt having difficulty keeping a straight face as they signed the anti-terrorist agreement were the representatives of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Hungary — all of them key supporters of international terrorism.
There is no way that Mr. Bush or Mr. Shultz could be unaware of the massive Soviet contribution to the terrorist conspiracy. The evidence is voluminous, but they have failed to confront the Kremlin publicly with the incriminating facts. Let us hope that their silence doesn’t come back to haunt them — and us.
For the record, we offer first some general summaries by knowledgeable experts of the Soviet connection with the terror network, and then some specific examples.
Start with Ray S. Cline, former Deputy CIA Director for Intelligence and co-author, with Yonah Alexander, of Terrorism: The Soviet Connection:
It’s important to realize that when you say the Soviet Union supports terrorism, you do not mean that they direct and command each terrorist activity. That would be impossible and not very useful. What they do is supply the infrastructure of terror: the money, the guns, the training, the background information, the communications, the propaganda that will inspire individual terrorist groups.
Continue with Senator Jeremiah Denton, whose Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism held more than 60 hearings on this issue:
The hearings … documented extensive involvement and complicity by the Soviet Union and its surrogates in a worldwide network of terrorism, much of which takes place in the name of “national liberation” movements. The hearings demonstrated that Soviet exploitation of those movements included military and political training in the Soviet Union and its proxy states; furnishing equipment, including special weapons, money, documents, and escape mechanisms; furnishing advisers, some of whom participated in the selection of civilian targets; and furnishing propaganda support directly in the Soviet and satellite press as well as through stories planted in the international press. The hearings also disclosed Soviet use of U.N. organizations to help promote and legitimize “national liberation” organizations that employ terrorism to accomplish their goals.
Conclude with “The Tel Aviv Declaration,” a statement that came out of a conference on state terrorism held in Israel in January 1986 and attended by 60 prominent senior statesmen, active and retired, military officers, and national security specialists from 12 countries. The following is excerpted from the full statement that appeared in the February 9, 1986 edition of the New York Times:
But neither Mr. Reagan nor any of the leaders of the West can have any illusions about the role of the Soviet Union in fostering and stimulating, sponsoring and training, funding and arming terrorist groups and governments around the world. This is not to suggest that the Soviets push the buttons and that their hand is always, directly or indirectly, in play. None of us subscribe to that kind of oversimplification. But where they do not initiate it, they encourage it. Where they have not organized it, they exploit it….
A “Radical Entente” presently spearheaded by five militant states (Syria, Libya, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba) is making coordinated efforts — by themselves and with others — to undermine the power and influence of the United States and its allies. Here the well-documented role of the Soviet Union is to provide the professional infrastructure of terrorism, including money, arms, explosives, recruitment and training, passports, infiltration and escape routes, transport, communications, safe havens, control officers, and more. Taken together, these constitute an elaborate international network of support systems for terrorists.
Soviet KGB Agents
In the summer of 1979, Dr. Hans Josef Horchem of West Germany’s anti-terrorist Office for the Defense of the Constitution declared that “the KGB is engineering international terrorism. The facts can be proven, documented, and are well known to the international Western intelligence community.” That was certainly true, but when Claire Sterling asked the CIA and the State Department’s Office to Combat Terrorism to confirm what Horchem had said, they refused to discuss it. Just as two years later, they refused to recognize the KGB/Bulgarian role in the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
Not only that, but the U.S. intelligence community planted stories in the media ridiculing the Sterling thesis about the plot to kill the Pope. “I feel barriers were being put up by people who didn’t want me to get the word out,” she said. “Why? Because the administration was afraid to create a destabilizing situation. Their anti-Soviet rhetoric notwithstanding, they’ve always been afraid of that.”
In June 1984, the Italian judiciary filed a lengthy report documenting the role of the Bulgarian secret service in recruiting Mehmet Ali Agca to shoot the Holy Father in an effort to weaken the Solidarity movement in Poland. Bulgaria had long been the “hit-man section” for the KGB, said Mrs. Sterling, and was summoned into action by the Kremlin after John Paul sent Leonid Brezhnev a letter by courier, handwritten in Russian, saying that if the Soviet Union invaded Poland, he would go to his native land and stand side by side with his people. She said that by March 1981, two months before the assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square, the Soviets were calling the Pope “a cunning and dangerous ideological enemy” and “a malicious, lowly, perfidious, and backward toady of the American militarists, fighting socialism in the interests of his accomplices and his new boss in the White House.”
There were plenty of other indications of the KGB’s part in the terrorist international. In 1975, for instance, Belgian police responding to a routine car crash discovered documents revealing, in Claire Sterling’s words, “the existence of a KGB centrale in Vienna, working to ‘enliven’ terrorist formations in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, and France. A dozen European newspapers carried the story of the Russian in charge: a high-ranking KGB officer named Alexander Benjaminov, employed in Vienna by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency.”
Consider the career of Henri Curiel, who was shot to death in Paris in 1978. A founder of the Communist Party of Egypt in 1942, Curiel’s ties with the KGB can be traced back to 1952. For more than a decade before his death, he ran a support apparatus for terrorists out of a Paris organization known first as Solidarité and later as Aide et Amitie. His clients included Communist Parties in Israel, Iraq, Haiti, Morocco, and Sudan, as well as some of the world’s best-known terrorist bands. These included the Japanese Red Army, the German Red Army Faction, the Irish IRA, the Spanish ETA, and the Uruguayan Tupamaros.
Henri also served as mentor of his young cousin, George Bihar, who became better known in espionage circles as George Blake — the member of Britain’s MI-6 who betrayed 40 Free World agents and turned over countless state secrets to the KGB before he was caught. Blake escaped from a British jail in 1966 and turned up in Moscow, where he was decorated in 1970 for his service to the Soviet cause.
Or the career of Carlos, who ran a highly successful terrorist network out of Paris in 1974 and 1975. Born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez in Venezuela, Carlos became a Communist activist at the age of 15. He attended the Tricontinental Conference in Havana in 1966 and came under KGB control. After two years at Lumumba University in Moscow, Carlos teamed up with Palestinian terrorists George Habash and Wadi Haddad in the Middle East, then worked out of London for Mohammed Boudia, an Algerian Communist connected with the KGB at least since 1967, and took over Boudia’s Paris network after the Algerian was killed by Israeli agents in 1974.
During the next two years, Carlos supervised a series of terrorist spectaculars that gained him international notoriety. There was the Japanese Commando’s seizure of the French Embassy in The Hague, the bombing of Le Drugstore and three newspaper offices in Paris, and the abduction of 11 OPEC oil ministers in Vienna in 1975. Though only 26, Carlos disappeared from the public eye in 1976. He reportedly worked in Libya for a few years, then in Syria, and was last reported as the leader of a European-based group called the International Faction of Revolutionary Cells.
Or the career of Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Popular Front — General Command and a suspect in the bombing of Pan American Flight 103. As a captain in the Syrian army, Jibril and 20 fellow officers founded the Palestinian Liberation Front in 1958 and staged nearly 100 commando raids into Israel in the years before the war in 1967. He had established contacts with the KGB around 1964 and, in the late Sixties and early Seventies, visited Moscow four times for special terrorist training.
Jibril’s first KGB control, according to Claire Sterling, was Alexander Victorovich Morozov, who worked out of the Soviet Embassy in Beirut and presided over a team of KGB and GRU agents based in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Morozov, who coordinated Soviet-bloc arms deliveries to the terrorists, was later replaced as Jibril’s control by Yuri Ivanovitch Starchinov. Jibril became the Kremlin’s secret channel for influencing other Palestinian terrorist leaders, such as George Habash, Naif Hawatmeh, and Abu Nidal, to keep the fighting going. The last thing the Soviet Union wanted was a peaceful settlement in the region.
None of this very significant background information, which Claire Sterling published in 1981, can be found in the two-page description of Ahmed Jibril and his PFLP-GC that appears in the Pentagon’s new booklet, Terrorist Group Profiles. The Administration’s coverup of the Soviet KGB connection with international terrorism continues. And so does the coverup of the Soviet role in creating in the Middle East what Mrs. Sterling has called “the most formidable professional guerrilla army on earth.”
Soviet Spetsnaz Forces
A truly formidable terrorist strike force that does not get much publicity is Spetsnaz, the elite Soviet unit that now has an estimated 30,000 agents operating in different parts of the world, including the United States. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, a Spetsnaz team lured Afghan army officers to an “Afghan-Soviet friendship” reception, locked the doors of the hall, and then blew them up. Another team dressed in Afghan uniforms killed President Hafizullah Amin and his family in the Darulaman Palace. Spetsnaz frogmen have been discovered near Swedish and Japanese naval bases and off the Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
A good description of this highly trained and ruthless force has been given by Robert Moss:
The so-called special designation troops are organized to undertake sabotage and terrorist operations behind enemy lines. Their exercises are conducted with an awesomely ruthless degree of realism. They go to the extent of torturing each other if they fall captive to another team in an exercise…. These are the forces that would be used to sow disruption and carry out sabotage operations and possibly also to carry out the assassination of political and military leaders in the event of war or possibly in a confrontation short of war.
According to counter-terrorism expert Neil Livingstone, “a minimum of a dozen” Spetsnaz teams are known to be operating in the United States at any one time. Some teams are posing as guards at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Others are part of athletic and cultural delegations that visit the United States. Still others could enter the country secretly among the millions of illegal aliens crossing our borders. Border Patrol agents have caught hundreds of illegals from Cuba, Red China, Yugoslavia, and other Communist nations. What about those who were not caught? “We’ve discovered caches of weapons and provisions we believe to be predeployed,” said Livingstone.
After the Soviet Union and Cuba, there are several other countries whose leaders have been in the forefront of the terrorist conspiracy for nearly two decades. The Defense Department, in its 131-page booklet on terrorist groups, has correctly identified Iran, Afghanistan, and Libya as being “among the most notorious state sponsors of terrorism.” But the Pentagon dropped Syria from this category on the grounds that “international pressure” had forced Syria “to appear to mend its ways.”
The truth is, as Christopher Dobson and Ronald Payne pointed out in their 1987 book The Never-Ending War, Syria, Iran, and Libya remain “three pillars of the unholy alliance of terror sponsor-ship.” At secret meetings in June 1985, said the authors, the terror trio agreed “to activate the groups under their respective control. Iran would manipulate Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah (Party of God), all of which had bases in the Bekaa valley under Syrian control. Syria itself was to use the so-called ‘Palestine Salvation Front,’ the dissidents from the Arafat PLO, including the Abu Nidal faction. These bands all had headquarters both in Damascus and Libya. Muammar [Q]addafi, being the most garrulous and reckless of the three heads of the terror-backing states, took it upon himself to become the spokesman.”
In February 1986, Qaddafi assembled in Tripoli the heads of 20 of the most active terrorist groups in the Middle East, and they planned and then launched a new campaign of terror against Israel, Europe, and Americans in Europe and the Mediterranean. When a terror bomb planted in a West Berlin discotheque killed an American army sergeant in April, the Reagan Administration responded with air strikes that destroyed terrorist centers in Libya, including Qaddafi’s sophisticated communications facility. The bombing raids slowed the Libyan dictator for only a short period of time. He continues to run nearly three dozen terrorist training camps and to use surrogates to attack targets in other countries, and he is currently building a factory that will produce chemical weapons.
For more than 16 years, this “Daddy Warbucks of international terrorism,” as Claire Sterling dubbed him, has used the vast oil revenues at his disposal to provide money, training, and arms for virtually every revolutionary group in the world. He has tried to destabilize most of the states in Africa and the Middle East, and his Soviet, Cuban, Syrian, and East German instructors have trained thousands of foreign terrorists in the use of modern weapons and explosives. With 85,000 troops and billions of dollars in planes, missiles, tanks, and other armaments purchased from the Soviet Union, Libya is a formidable military force in North Africa. It is “the perfect example of what a terrorist state is — a state that conducts terrorist operations as an integral part of its foreign policy,” said Robert Moss.
Qaddafi’s terrorist twin is Hafez al-Assad of Syria, another nearly perfect terrorist state. Although he has been a loyal surrogate of the Kremlin for 18 years, bears the major responsibility for the destabilization of Lebanon, and was involved in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine compound in Beirut, which took 241 lives, Assad keeps finding useful idiots in the American government to say that he is mending his ways. We’ll believe that when the “Lion of Damascus” terminates his alliance with Qaddafi and the Ayatollah Khomeini; stops buying the latest Soviet planes, missiles, and tanks and kicks some 8,000 Soviet military personnel out of Syria; and disbands the 18,000-man security force headed by his brother Rifaat, who has a PhD from the University of Leningrad and is known as the “executioner” of the Assad regime.
All you need to know about the third member of the terror trio, the Ayatollah Khomeini, is that the Iranian fanatic will use any violent means to conquer the world for Islam. He is training thousands of young men and women to kill the “unbelievers,” even if it means committing suicide in the process. His marching orders could not be clearer:
Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless. Islam says kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you. Islam says kill them, put them to the sword and scatter their armies. Islam says kill in the service of Allah. Whatever good there exists is thanks to the sword, and the shadow of the sword. People cannot be made obedient except by the sword. The sword is the key of Paradise, which can only be opened for Holy Warriors.
The other major actor in the Middle East, although he is not the head of a country, is Yasser Arafat, the terrorist chieftain of the Palestine Liberation Organization. As in the case of Hafez al Assad, Arafat has persuaded the gullible that he is now willing to renounce terrorism. His statement to that effect on December 14th, however, was followed two weeks later with a threat to kill anyone who wants to end the intifada, or Palestinian uprising. “Any Palestinian leader who proposes an end to the intifada,” said Arafat, “exposes himself to the bullets of his own people and endangers his life. The PLO will know how to deal with him.”
Those who believe that Arafat has changed are the same ones who applauded him at the United Nations in 1974, when he said: “I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom-fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.” They are the ones who swooned when he told Parade Magazine in 1982: “You will discover that we are human beings, not monsters.” The truth, of course, is that Arafat is a modern-day Attila the Hun who has left a bloody trail of terrorism and murder — from the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 to the slaughter of two dozen Israeli children at a school in Maalot in 1974, the butchery of 35 men, women, and children near Tel Aviv in 1978, and the murder of three Israeli hostages in Cyprus in 1985.
The truth is that Yasser Arafat has long been a puppet of the Kremlin. He has made numerous visits to Moscow, consulted on a weekly basis with the Soviet ambassador in Beirut, sent more than a thousand of his own people for training in the Soviet Union and other Communist countries, and provided similar terrorist training for more than 10,000 recruits from all over the world at a network of camps in the Middle East. The PLO has served as the cutting edge of the Soviet campaign of conquest in the region.
Some Terrorist Groups
There are hundreds of terrorist groups in the world, some of which have already been mentioned. Terrorist Group Profiles listed 52 of them but failed to provide important information about some of those it did list. While it included the African National Congress (much to the consternation of the State Department), it did not list the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), which certainly belongs on any list of the world’s “more notorious terrorist groups.”
Without going into much detail, here are some of the major terrorist organizations grouped by regions: in the Middle East, there are the Abu Nidal Organization, also known as Fatah — the Revolutionary Council, whose objective is waging an “armed struggle” against the “Zionist enemy”; the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headed by Marxist-Leninist Naif Hawatmeh; the Palestine Liberation Organization of Yasser Arafat; the Palestine Liberation Front, headed by Muhammed Abu al Abbas, who staged the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and the murder of an American wheel-chair-bound passenger; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headed by George Habash, whose goal is to establish a Marxist-Leninist government in Palestine; and Armed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command.
The key terrorist groups in Europe are Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), a Marxist-Leninist band in Spain that has killed more than 50 senior military officers since 1973, but whose leader, José Antonio Urruticoechea, was arrested by the French police last month; the Combatant Communist Cells in Belgium, which seeks to destroy NATO and the capitalist system; Direct Action in France, which wants to destroy “Western imperialism”; the Popular Forces 25 April in Portugal, which is fighting for a Marxist state in that country; the Provisional Irish Republican Army, which uses armed struggle in a campaign to “destabilize capitalism in the whole of Ireland”; the Red Army Faction in West Germany, which hopes to precipitate a world Communist revolution; the Red Brigades in Italy, which seeks to overthrow the Italian government; and the Revolutionary Organization 17 November in Greece, which killed CIA station chief Richard Welch in Athens in 1975.
In addition to the Sikh terrorists in India and the Tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka, Asia also has the powerful New People’s Army in the Philippines and, in Japan, the Japanese Red Army, which has operated in Europe and the Middle East, and Chukaku-ha, or Central Core Faction.
In Latin America, the principal groups are the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador, which is backed by Cuba, Nicaragua, and the Soviet Union; the 19th of April Movement (M-19) in Colombia, which suffered serious losses when it seized Bogota’s Palace of Justice in 1985 and killed 50 hostages, including 11 Supreme Court justices; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist-Leninist unit that the Pentagon describes as “probably the largest, best-trained and equipped, and most effective insurgent organization in Colombia and South America”; and Shining Path in Peru, whose several thousand members often ritually mutilate their victims and leave the corpses on public display.
While hundreds of Americans have been killed in terrorist actions abroad over the past two decades, only a small fraction of that number have died in terrorist incidents on American soil. U.S. security forces, including the FBI, have prevented many terrorist plots from coming to fruition, but how long can a small number of counterintelligence agents cope with a huge number of actual and potential terrorists? Not only are there approximately 100,000 foreign Communists visiting the United States legally each year, many of whom are on espionage missions, but there are thousands of illegal agents crossing our northern and southern borders or jumping ship in U.S. ports. There have been reports of terrorist training camps in Mexico, and we have plenty of potential domestic terrorists from the more than 2,500 Americans who were trained in Cuba as part of the Venceremos Brigade between 1969 and 1977.
You may recall the armored car robbery staged by a group of American-born terrorists near Nyack, New York, in 1981. Two police officers and a guard were murdered. Good law-enforcement work led to the arrest of more than 40 men and women who had been connected or were connected with the Weather Underground, the May 19th Communist Organization, the Black Liberation Army, the Republic of New Afrika, and the Puerto Rican Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). It was a conspiracy of white, black, and Puerto Rican revolutionaries working to overthrow America. Nine of the terrorists received prison terms and five are still at large; however, most of them went free because of insufficient evidence.
The bombings, robberies, and killings have continued in the years since 1981. Last May, the United States charged seven terrorists with the bombing of the U.S. Capitol, three military installations in the Washington area, and four buildings in New York City between 1983 and 1985. The seven were members of such groups as the Revolutionary Fighting Group, the Armed Resistance Unit, and Red Guerrilla Resistance, and they financed their violent attacks by committing armed robberies.
America is the prime target of the terrorist international and it remains very vulnerable to terrorism. The dismantling of the U.S. internal security structure began in the early 1970s and it has not been restored. A Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism was revived in 1981, but that has since been dissolved. In the December 1984 Reader’s Digest, Eugene Methvin commented on this deplorable state of affairs:
While the terrorists were preparing a massive campaign of kidnapping, assassination, and bombing, the United States had virtually disbanded its domestic-intelligence apparatus. Civil-liberty lawsuits had vitiated or destroyed police-intelligence units across the country. In the five years before the Nyack attack, the FBI’s informants in political-terrorist groups had been cut from 1,100 to fewer than 50. When a joint task force was set up to handle the Nyack case, neither the N.Y.P.D. nor the FBI had any worthwhile intelligence files to draw on.
Congress in 1986 gave the FBI the authority to investigate all terrorist acts against Americans and go after those responsible. The Bureau is currently working with the CIA, the State Department, and the Defense Department in pursuing at least 13 international terrorists. The CIA also has a new Counter-Terrorism Center, a world command post to deal with terrorists. But there is still a need for a beefed-up internal security apparatus and for an end to the coverup of the Soviet role in the international terror network.
What Can Be Done?
One of the biggest problems faced by those fighting terrorism is the media, which often function almost as public relations outlets for terrorist groups. The same media pundits who placed a curtain of silence over the Soviet part in the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul and the successful assassination of President Zia are only too happy to give hours of worldwide publicity to some revolutionary assassin or kidnapper. The media’s gross lack of good judgment recalls the question asked in the early 1960s by an Algerian FLN terrorist: “Is it better for our cause to kill ten of our enemies in a remote village where this will cause no comment, or to kill one man in Algiers where the American press will get hold of the story the next day?”
We are not arguing against reporting terrorist incidents; just against blowing them all out of proportion, conferring legitimacy on the terrorist, and giving him a priceless opportunity either to terrorize his audience further or to win them over to his side with skillful propaganda. “Publicity is absolutely essential” for terrorism to succeed, said Walter Laqueur in his book The Age of Terrorism. He reminded the media that “the defence of the democratic order (without which there would be no free press in the first place) takes precedence over freedom for the media, and the duty to save human lives is of a higher moral and legal order than the journalists’ duty to scoop the competition.”
We know who the major terrorist criminals are and who is providing them with the infrastructure of terror. If we are serious about stopping terrorism, we must put the Qaddafis, Assads, Khomeinis, and Arafats out of business, along with the organizations they support and direct. We must warn their suppliers, whether they be Communist-bloc countries or our supposed “allies” in Western Europe, to stop aiding these regimes and trading with them.
Cutting diplomatic ties with the terrorist states, including the Soviet Union, would mean shutting down the embassies and consulates that function as “terrorist service stations” for our enemies. We should impose total economic boycotts, deny landing or docking rights to any traffic to or from those countries, and take military action against the camps where the terrorists are trained to wage war on the Free World. Rejecting the nonsense that “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist,” we must step up military assistance to those groups that are fighting for freedom and a civilized society against totalitarian Communist regimes imposed on them.
What is needed to win the war against terrorism, said Benjamin Netanyahu, is political courage from government leaders, particularly in the United States. “A policy of firmness,” he said, “will make it clear that individual terrorists will be pursued, caught, and punished; that organizations that launch them will be subject to attack; that governments that shelter them will face political, economic, and, ultimately, military retaliation; that other governments that collude less brazenly will also be held accountable.”
Netanyahu said that “only a determined leadership can make the West overcome the greed, cowardice, and moral confusion that foster terrorism. It can come only from the United States, which alone has the capacity to align the West’s resistance, alone can credibly threaten the offenders, and alone can compel neutrals to shed their neutrality. The more the United States resorts to action, like punishing terrorists and their backers, the greater the number of states that will join the American effort to combat terrorism.”
President Bush has promised to take action against the terrorist threat. It is time for promises to be backed with deeds.
written by William F. Jasper
Many Americans still scoff at the idea of a conspiratorial interpretation of ongoing events. The Shadows of Power by James Perloff demonstrates that they scoff at their own peril. By sheer weight of evidence, and perhaps more clearly than ever before, this account overwhelms any and all arguments of the disbelievers. Piling fact upon fact, the author moves unerringly to the frightening conclusion that we are being manipulated into a merger with the Soviet bloc and a New World Order.
Although not by any means the first exposé of the “invisible government” directed by David Rockefeller’s Council on Foreign Relations, this book is an invaluable summary and updating of this vital subject. However, it must not be imagined that this is a giant tome to be waded through. On the contrary, it is a definitive volume of 264 pages, including numerous photographs.
Although voluminous literature on the CFR and its purposes exists, Perloff shows an extraordinary talent for boiling it down to essentials. He presents the conspiracy simplified. He selects his points with care and sticks to them; there are no digressions. His style is lean, almost minimal, and his tone dispassionate. The result is a book of great clarity and power that is impossible to put down once begun.
To add to its merits, this book is for everyone, no matter how knowledgeable one is about the subject. For beginners, it is an introduction par excellence. For the better informed, there is new material gleaned from the author’s extensive study of Foreign Affairs, the CFR’s own publication. Above all, for those who have long followed the conspiratorial designs of the CFR, there are many gems of clarification about familiar episodes that fill in missing links and make the picture whole.
In orderly fashion, The Shadows of Power begins with the origins and formation of the Council in the first decades of this century. It then takes us behind the scenes in the administrations of every President from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, showing how each used, or was used by, the inner circle of elites in the CFR. The book also discusses the Great Depression, the media, the two World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It brings us up to date on the latest moves by the CFR and on what to expect in the near future. In retrospect, it is astonishing that Perloff covers so much ground in so few pages. Although he ends on a note of hope for turning things around, overall the book bears witness to our own folly in allowing this handful of power-crazed men to acquire such extensive control over our lives during the past 60 years.
If you are mystified as to the identities of the players in this game of deceit, Perloff names them all — Presidents, Cabinet heads, State Department officials, international bankers, the “best” families, media bigwigs, businessmen, military officers, and politicians of every stripe. We are not left in doubt as to who did what. The “powers behind the throne” are clearly depicted.
The author tells us that the CFR has two overriding characteristics: one is pro-Communism both at home and abroad; the other is a steady drive toward abolition of our national sovereignty. Both of these thrusts are, of course, rhetorically denied, while Insider publications and policy decisions prove the opposite. Thus, we should not be surprised that Ronald Reagan speaks convincingly against Communism yet allows freedom fighters to be overcome in Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, and Afghanistan; moves against South Africa (under Communist attack); destabilizes the Philippines (also under Communist attack); increases trade and credits to the Soviet bloc and Communist China; and disarms the West through unenforceable treaties.
Domestically, too, CFR machinations often seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from the “Establishment.” Perloff relates a particularly damning and enlightening incident involving a 1968 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Convention, at which radical student revolutionaries were approached by some of the world’s leading industrialists from the Business International Roundtables. These businessmen offered to finance SDS demonstrations in Chicago, and to donate Rockefeller money outright. They also asked the group to make a lot of radical commotion so that the Business Roundtables could appear to be in the center as they actually moved left.
It must not be assumed that this kind of support for Communism means that CFR members are Communist; they are not. The author makes it clear that Communism is being used to consolidate the world for the more important of the two thrusts — the demise of our national government and its replacement by a one-world government that must necessarily include convergence with the Communist bloc. Perloff points out that numerous CFR members highly placed in government have openly advocated this amazing position. Walt Rostow, chairman of the State Department’s policy planning council and National Security Advisor under Kennedy and Johnson, put it plainly when he wrote (before his appointments):
It is a legitimate American national objective to see removed from all nations — including the United States — the right to use substantial military force to pursue their own interests. Since this residual right is the root of national sovereignty and the basis for the existence of an international arena of power, it is, therefore, an American interest to see an end to nationhood as it has been historically defined.
Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two immigrants who derive their power from Nelson (now deceased) and David Rockefeller respectively, are outspoken proponents of world government. In his book Between Two Ages, Brzezinski declared that “National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept,” and that
Marxism represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision. Marxism is … a victory of reason over belief.
It is little remembered now that, in the 1950s, the CFR’s Atlantic Union — then the primary front group for world government — brought several resolutions before Congress that would have authorized a convention to lay the foundation for a political union of the United States and Europe. Although that attempt was premature and failed, we are now witnessing the economic and political consolidation of Europe in the Common Market and European Parliament.
Now called “globalism,” the concept of world government is being taught in almost every classroom in the nation under the pleasing rubrics of “international brotherhood” and “world peace.”
Perloff explains that, once these main propositions of the CFR are understood, everything else falls into place. We can understand how Richard Nixon almost accidentally fell into his meteoric career (six years from obscurity to the White House) when he happened to run for Congress against Congressman Jerry Voorhis (D-Calif.), who had introduced a bill calling for the dissolution of the Federal Reserve System, the cornerstone of Insider financial control. Nixon was immediately taken on and financed by the New York bankers. We can see why Senator Joseph McCarthy was destroyed, not for exposing Communists but for getting too close to exposing the Insiders. We can understand Eisenhower’s logic in allowing the Hungarian freedom fighters to perish in order to break the spirit of rebellion in Eastern Europe. Events that formerly made no sense suddenly become clear. No longer do we need to be deceived by official sophisms such as: “Friendly nations along the Soviet Union’s borders are necessary for world peace”; or, in the case of Kennedy’s cancellation of vital air strikes at the Bay of Pigs, “too much U.S. involvement might adversely affect world opinion.”
The Shadows of Power is especially enlightening about the four wars into which we have been maneuvered in this century. In both World Wars, an electrifying incident was created: in 1915, the sinking of the Lusitania; in 1941, Pearl Harbor. The dual purpose of the Insiders in both wars was to advance Communism and set the stage for world government. In 1919 the League of Nations was premature, but in 1945 the globalists succeeded in setting up a permanent framework — the United Nations.
So, too, the Korean War embraced a number of important CFR world-government objectives: undeclared war (removed the constitutional authority of Congress); restrictions on the military; a no-win posture (victory was not the object); and United Nations auspices. In fact, Dean Acheson declared that the only reason we fought in Korea was to validate the UN and accredit its police powers. This was echoed by a CFR writer who said, “We have made historic progress toward the establishment of a viable system of collective security.” What bitter reading for those who lost husbands or sons in this manipulated conflict!
The revelations in Perloff’s book seem endless: why $13 billion was spent on the Marshall Plan; how the CFR controls both major political parties; the purpose of the Trilateral Commission; how “undesirable” congressmen and governors are eliminated; how and why Lyndon Johnson was “dumped”; what My Lai was for; what was behind Watergate.
There is a question of how the Insiders plan to maintain long-term control over the Soviet monster they have created. All indications are that the CFR presently controls — or thinks it controls — the Soviets through capital and technology; otherwise, we would be seeing a reversal of its pro-Communist policy. It is plain, especially since Gorbachev’s advent, that we are headed for a coalition government; yet Perloff says that coalition governments have always ended up under Communist control. If it is true that the Soviets have been allowed to develop a nuclear arsenal far superior to ours and have an ABM shield in place while we have none, a coalition government would be short-lived. Yet it is scarcely credible that the Insiders can be planning their own demise. Is there a missing ingredient here? Or are the ruthless Insiders being sucked in by the Soviets?
Our Primary Weapon
Whatever the answer, it would hardly matter who was our master once such a world government was put into place. The lesson to be learned from Perloff’s book is that this nightmare need not take place if each one of us works to prevent it. Knowledge is our primary weapon. We must understand that we are facing a criminal conspiracy that is not headquartered in Moscow or Peking but in Washington and New York; this is the key to understanding everything else. Without identifying the enemy, we can never win the war. In spite of media disinformation and cover-up, there is nothing mysterious or obscure about what is going on, thanks to comprehensive literature telling the truth; much of it, like this book, has been published by Western Islands, an affiliate of The John Birch Society.
Although time has proven the Society right on every count, do not expect to see The Shadows of Power on the New York Times bestseller list. The Times would not want you to know that this is the one book every American should read and act upon.
written by William F. Jasper
Five years after the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by the Soviets on September 1, 1983, most of the key questions remain unanswered. A plethora of books and articles have attempted (with little success) to sort out the data and reach convincing conclusions about what actually happened, and why, and how.
The most widely accepted (and seemingly least controversial) aspect of the incident is that the jetliner was indeed blown up by a Soviet rocket, after which it plummeted into the Sea of Japan, killing all on board. Two best-selling books published in 1986 are typical. The first sentence of the dust jacket blurb for The Target Is Destroyed by Seymour Hersch claimed: “On September 1, 1983, a Korean Air Lines civilian jet, flying off course over Russia’s Sakhalin Island, was shot from the skies by a Russian interceptor— killing all 269 passengers and crew.” The initial paragraph from the dust jacket of Shootdown: Flight 007 and the American Connection by R. W. Johnson declared: “In the early hours of September 1, 1983, a Soviet fighter plane shot down Korean Airlines flight 007 as it flew without authorization over the Soviet Union’s airspace. The Boeing 747 plunged into the Sea of Japan, killing all 269 passengers and crew.”
The major media led public opinion to view the “destruction” of KAL 007 as a given by using such terms as: “suddenly falling” (U.S. News & World Report, September 12, 1983); “tumbled out of the sky” (Newsweek, September 12, 1983); “spun uncontrollably downward” (Reader’s Digest, January 1984); “cartwheeling toward the sea” (Time, September 19, 1983); “plunged into the ocean” (Maclean’s, September 12, 1983); “spiralled out-of-control” (United Press International dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, August 26, 1984); and “blasted from the skies” (Associated Press dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, September 2, 1984).
In December 1983, the most “authoritative” and oft-cited study of the incident, a report by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), concluded: “As a direct result of the missile attack, KE007 crashed and sank into the Sea of Japan southwest of Sakhalin Island. There were no survivors among the passengers, flight crew and cabin attendants.” The ICAO report, entitled Destruction of Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 Over Sea of Japan 31, August 1983,* reached this determination even though it acknowledged that the “location of the main wreckage was not determined.” The failure to find the “main wreckage” should have raised the possibility that no such wreckage existed; yet, that possibility was not seriously considered by the ICAO, a United Nations affiliate.
* The attack on KAL 007 occurred on August 31 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and U.S. time, but on September 1st (Japan time) in the area of the assault
The fate of KAL 007 after the attack was settled by consensus, and the file on at least that aspect of the tragedy was closed. Nevertheless, careful scrutiny of the actual evidence does not support the officially accepted “crash” hypothesis. Instead, the evidence indicates that something far different happened to the giant jetliner and those on board.
The “crash” hypothesis was bolstered by reports (which we do not challenge) that pieces of the plane, a couple of bodies presumed to be passengers, and personal effects that unquestionably belonged to passengers (business cards, passports, unique clothes, etc.) had been found. Such debris certainly seemed to be convincing evidence that the Boeing 747 had indeed splattered into the sea. If anything, however, the amount and the nature of the debris supports the contrary conclusion that the aircraft did not hurtle to a watery grave (as we shall see).
That KAL 007 was cruising at an altitude of about 35,000 feet when it was attacked is confirmed by radio transmissions between the airliner and Tokyo air traffic control. Those transmissions are consistent with the recorded one-way conversations of the Soviet pilots. For instance, the ICAO Report asserts: “At 1815 hours [Greenwich Mean Time, hereafter GMT], KE007 requested FL [flight level] 350 [35,000 feet]. Five minutes later, at 1820 hours, Tokyo Radio transmitted the clearance for the aircraft to climb to this level … KE007 reported reaching FL 350 at 1823 hours.”
The transcript of comments by the pilot of the Soviet attack plane (which is included in the ICAO document) shows that he reported at 1822:02 (about 2 minutes after KAL 007 received permission to climb to 35,000 feet, but one minute before it reached that altitude): “The target is reducing speed.” Twenty-seven seconds later, at 1822:29, the Soviet pilot again declared: “It is decreasing speed.” Since an airliner’s speed will usually decrease somewhat during an ascent to a higher altitude (as additional engine power is diverted to “lifting” the plane, rather than simply propelling it forward), the Soviet pilot’s comments are consistent with the other data confirming KAL 007’s climb to 35,000 feet. It is common for an airliner to increase altitude toward the end of a flight to conserve fuel (having burned off most of its fuel by that time, it is lighter and can more efficiently fly both higher and faster).
The attack occurred at 1826 GMT (3:26 AM Japan time), when KAL 007 was hit by at least one missile fired from a Soviet Su-15 tactical fighter (which carries two rockets). According to the transcript of comments by the pilot of the Su-15, the rockets were launched at exactly 1826:20 GMT and the pilot (prematurely) reported two seconds later: “The target is destroyed.” (ICAO Report, Appendix D, page D-3.) He possibly thought it was, but he was wrong. When he and pilots of the other planes that were chasing KAL 007 tried to locate the wreckage thereafter, they could not find it. According to the transcripts, one states at 1829:13: “I don’t see it.” At 1829:54, another says of the “target”: “No I don’t see it.” At 1838:37, the first reiterates: “I don’t see anything in this area. I just looked.” (ICAO Report, Appendix D, pages D-3 and D-4.) Eventually, with fuel running low, they had to return to their base without sighting the remains of the “target” they had supposedly “destroyed.”
It is reasonable to assume that KAL 007 was damaged by a heat-seeking missile that zeroed in on the Number Four (outboard) engine on the right wing. At 1823:18, the Soviet pilot reported that his target “is now located 70 [degrees] to the left,” meaning that he was himself positioned to the right of the jet liner. The Number Four engine would have been first in line for a heat-seeking missile, due to (1) the swept-back configuration of the wing, placing that engine slightly closer to the Soviet fighter, and (2) a greater temperature differential with its surrounding environment than would be the case with the inboard engine. Confronted with two heat surfaces of equal intensity (in this instance, two jet engines), a heat-seeking missile is attracted to the one surrounded by the coldest environment. The Number Four engine, with its companion engine on one side and frigid space on the other, would have been enveloped by a slightly colder temperature than the Number Three (inboard) engine, which was sandwiched between the plane’s fuselage and the outboard engine.
It is important to note that, even with an engine destroyed and the cabin decompressed (as a result of shrapnel from the explosion penetrating the fuselage), the pilot could nevertheless have retained control of the plane, assuming that at least one of the jet’s four hydraulic systems remained operational to permit use of the rudder, wing flaps, brakes, etc. Indeed, it is possible for a jet to lose three engines and still be flown. On May 2, 1988, a United Airlines Boeing 747 with 258 people on board landed safely at New Tokyo International Airport after three of its four engines failed. According to news reports, “the aircraft lost the use of one engine over the Pacific Ocean approximately one hour and 15 minutes before landing, a second engine about 30 minutes later, and a third engine just prior to landing.” (AP dispatch, Deseret News, May 2, 1988.) There were no deaths or injuries.
The ability of modern aircraft and their highly-trained crews to weather serious malfunctions and damage during flight is remarkable. To cite just one example (others will be noted later), an article entitled “Ten Minutes to Live” in Reader’s Digest for May 1967 described events surrounding the mid-air collision of an Eastern Airlines propeller-driven Constellation and a TWA Boeing 707 jet. The article said of the Boeing 707: “A full 25 feet of the jet’s wing fell off; but, after one horrifying recovery maneuver, the TWA craft was able to fly safely to Kennedy Airport— a remarkable demonstration of pilot skill and the hardihood of the Boeing 707.”*
* Most of the story was devoted to the incredible skill and heroism of Eastern pilot Charles J. White, who was able to maneuver his severely damaged aircraft to a crash-landing that resulted in only four deaths among the 54 persons on board— including his own when, having escaped, he returned to help a trapped passenger. Captain White was an active member of The John Birch Society. Eastern Airlines established a scholarship fund in his name and the Shriners of New York installed a plaque in his memory at Eastern’s terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport.
The Radio Transmission
There was a brief but garbled radio transmission following the attack on KAL 007, during which the co-pilot referred to the decompression of the plane and mentioned figures apparently related to the jet’s descent. The ICAO Report states (page 6): “At 1827 hours, KE007 called Tokyo Radio but the signal was noisy and weak and not readable.” Further along (page 21), it asserts: “At 1827 hours, KE007 … called Tokyo Radio. The message, the last recorded transmission of KE007, was unreadable however, the signal being noisy, garbled and weak.” Then, the ICAO contradicts those assertions by including a partial transcript of the supposedly “unreadable” transmission (page 43): “Between 1827:10 and 1827:25 hours [GMT] Tokyo Radio received a partly intelligible transmission from KE007. After extensive analysis and filtering of noise, the following words were discernible: Korean Air zero zero seven … (unintelligible) … rapid compressions … (unintelligible) … descending to one zero thousand [10,000 feet].” Remember, the missiles were launched at 1826:20 GMT, with at least one impacting KAL 007 about one second later. The ICAO, in other words, placed the time of the final radio transmission from KAL 007 between 49 seconds and 64 seconds after the explosion.
On August 30, 1984, ABC’s 20/20 program broadcast the tape (and supplied a slightly more detailed translation) of the final transmission, which it said began 39 seconds after the attack:
FLIGHT 007: Tokyo, Korean Air zero zero seven….
TOKYO TOWER: Korean Air zero zero seven, Tokyo.
FLIGHT 007: fifteen thousand … holding with the rapid decompressions. Descending to one zero thousand [10,000 feet].
No “Mayday” Message
Strangely, there was no discernible “Mayday” emergency transmission. Writing in The Nation for August 17/August 24, 1985, David Pearson and John Keppel (who reach conclusions regarding KAL 007 with which this reporter disagrees in most respects) briefly discussed this oddity. They quoted Dr. Malcolm Brenner of Aviation Safety Associates International (described by Pearson and Keppel as “a leading firm in the aviation accident investigation field”) as asserting that “there is a saying in aviation that ‘one minute’s flying is worth two days rowing,’ and for aircraft over water it would be critical to get the Mayday message started as soon as possible and lasting as long as possible. The ground station could then use the radio signal to take a fix on the aircraft’s location and likely ditching site.” Pearson and Keppel continued: “Emergency procedures call for saying ‘Mayday’ three times, followed by other information about the nature of the emergency, Brenner noted. The cockpit crew should have continued broadcasting until the last possible moment to help lead rescuers to the plane’s location. But they did not.” There are a number of possible explanations for why they did not. One possibility is that they did not consider the emergency to be of “Mayday” proportions. (The co-pilot’s reporting of sundry rates of descent seems highly incongruous for an airliner that is “plummeting” mortally wounded and out of control toward the sea.)
Since the transmission was so garbled, the true context of the few discernible segments cannot be known with certainty.* Some sources reported that the transcript indicated that the jet had lost power in all four engines. For instance, Time for September 26, 1983, asserted: “‘All engine!’ [sic] the Korean pilot said to controllers shortly after being hit, signaling that all four of his engines were gone.” And Reader’s Digest for January 1984, in its editorial introduction to an article on the incident, also claimed that the transmission included the words “All engines.” This apocryphal rumor served primarily to bolster the belief that KAL 007 was indeed mortally wounded and uncontrollable.
* It is significant, however, that the transmission apparently began no earlier than 39 seconds (ABC) or 49 seconds (ICAO Report) after the rocket attack, indicating that the cockpit crew was alive and the radio was operational at the time. This clearly conflicts with claims that the plane was “destroyed” by the rocket attack on impact.
Controlling the “Crash” Area
The Soviet Union took control of the alleged “crash” area, refusing to allow the entry of U.S. or Japanese search-and-rescue teams into its territorial waters and seriously harassing such teams even in international waters. Aviation Week & Space Technology for September 12, 1983, reported: “Russian naval and air search units … have barred the U.S. and Japanese search forces from the exact area where the 747 is believed to have crashed, even though that spot is beyond the 12-mi. territorial limit from Sakhalin Island.”
On September 15, 1983, Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) Administrator J. Lynn Helms stated in an appearance before the ICAO Council: “To date, the U.S.S.R. has refused to permit search and rescue units from other countries to enter Soviet territorial waters to search for the remains of K.A.L. 007. Moreover, the Soviet Union has blocked access to the likely crash site and has refused to cooperate with other interested parties to ensure prompt recovery of all technical equipment, wreckage and other material that may facilitate and expedite completion of an investigation.” (For Helms’ complete statement, see the Congressional Record, September 20, 1983, daily edition page numbers S12462-S12464.)
Newsweek for September 26, 1983 reported that “the Soviets have barred entry to the waters around Moneron island, near the suspected crash site, where more debris may be.” And on October 12, 1983, U.S. officials revealed (as summarized by the next day’s Washington Post) that four days earlier “Soviet intelligence ships brandished weapons at a Japanese vessel and held it at bay for 20 minutes in international waters … while the Japanese vessel was participating in a U.S. search for undersea remains of a downed South Korean Airliner.”
It has been assumed that concern about United States and Japanese entry into the “crash” area resulted from a Soviet desire to gather and hide (or destroy) evidence from the “crash” and be first to reach the “black boxes” (the in-flight voice and data recorders, which are actually orange). But there is another possibility that would readily account for their behavior: the desire to keep others from discovering that no “crash” had occurred at all.
One of many perplexing details that raise questions about what really happened to KAL 007 after the attack is that the jetliner remained airborne for at least 12 minutes. During a press briefing on the morning of September 1, 1983, Secretary of State George Shultz told reporters: “At 1826 hours the Soviet pilot reported that he fired a missile and the target was destroyed. At 1830 hours the Korean aircraft was reported by radar at 5,000 meters [16,400 feet]. At 1838 hours the Korean plane disappeared from the radar screen.” The next day’s New York Times featured a front-page map that included the same chronology: “3:26 A.M.: Soviet pilot reports firing missile.” “3:30 A.M.: Radar shows the Korean plane at altitude of about 16,400 feet.” “3:38 A.M.: Jetliner disappears from radar screen.” Similarly Newsweek for September 12, 1983, reported: “3:30 a.m.: 007 is picked up by radar at 16,000 feet, but at 3:39 a.m. it disappears from … [Japan’s] radar screen.” And Aviation Week & Space Technology for September 5, 1983, informed its readers: “At 1830 GMT (2:30 p.m. EDT), the transport was monitored at 5,000 meters. Eight minutes later the aircraft was no longer registering on radar.”
To date, no one has adequately explained how a jetliner supposedly blown-up and hurtling out of control toward the sea would take at least 12 minutes to fall 35,000 feet. For comparison, consider this Associated Press dispatch as printed by Deseret News (Salt Lake City) for February 20, 1985: “A China Airlines jumbo jet fell 32,000 feet in less than two minutes Tuesday [February 19] after all four of its engines failed but the pilot restarted them and flew 500 miles with a damaged tail before making an emergency landing here [San Francisco], authorities said…. The Boeing 747 … fell from a cruising altitude of 41,000 feet to 9,000 feet, said … a spokesman at San Francisco International Airport.” The plane fell 32,000 feet in something less than two minutes. Let us be conservative (and keep the arithmetic simple) by assuming that it was exactly two minutes, in which case the rate of descent would have been 267 feet per second. Had KAL 007 “plummeted” toward the sea at that rate, its fall would have taken about two minutes and 11 seconds— not 12 minutes.
It is important to note that its disappearance from the radar screen by no means meant that KAL 007 had crashed. It could have remained airborne thereafter until it either landed or ran out of fuel. Newsweek for September 12, 1983 reported that the plane went off radar while it was still 5,000 feet in the air. And R. W. Johnson asserts in Shootdown that it “went off the Wakkanai radar at 1000 feet.”
In any event, KAL 007 remained aloft for at least 12 minutes after the attack, which is near-conclusive evidence that the crew was at least partially in control of the aircraft. Otherwise, the descent would have been far more precipitous.
Even more startling than the time it remained aloft was the jet’s distinct change in the rate of descent. As already noted, the attack occurred at 1826, the jet was tracked on radar four minutes later at about 16,000 feet, then disappeared from radar eight minutes after that. Falling from 35,000 feet to 16,000 feet in four minutes is an average descent rate of 4,750 feet per minute. Falling from 16,000 to 1,000 feet (using R. W. Johnson’s estimate of where the plane disappeared from radar) in eight minutes is a descent rate of only 1,875 feet per minute. Incredibly, KAL 007 slowed to less than one-half its early descent rate after passing the 16,000-foot level. How can that be explained, unless the crew was in control (and the aircraft was in reasonably good shape) during the descent?
Yet another remarkable aspect of the descent is that it appears to have been carried out according to standard procedure for an aircraft that has suffered an engine loss and decompression, but is still being controlled by the crew. A precipitous initial descent (between 4,000 and 7,000 feet per minute, depending on weather conditions and the structural condition of the aircraft) is intended to quickly reach a level where there is adequate oxygen and a warmer temperature. Thereafter, the rate is reduced as the pilot signals for assistance, seeks a place to land, makes his position known to potential rescuers, etc. The available data indicates that the Captain of KAL 007 followed that procedure.
Commercial airline Captain Joe H. Ferguson (who has collaborated with this reporter on earlier articles on this subject) participated in a 747 flight simulation at Denver’s Stapleton International Airport on July 24, 1984. After”taking off” and climbing to 35,000 feet, the instructor simulated a Number Four engine fire and failure, accompanied by a rapid cabin decompression of the sort that could be caused, for example, by shrapnel from an explosion penetrating the fuselage. Emergency descent procedures were initiated with rates and times carefully recorded. The descent from 35,000 to 16,000 feet was accomplished in three minutes, 45 seconds (an average of 5,067 feet per minute), after which it required three minutes and 45 seconds to reach the 5,000-foot level (the point at which Newsweek claimed KAL 007 disappeared from radar). The overall simulated descent, with complete operational control of the 747 simulator, paralleled that of KAL 007 to a remarkable degree, further indicating that the Korean jet had sufficient electrical, hydraulic, and engine power to enable the crew to retain control after the attack.
To summarize, KAL 007 remained aloft for 12 minutes-plus after the attack; descended more than twice as fast during the first four minutes on radar as the last eight; and apparently followed standard descent procedure. Each of those factors is completely at odds with the official version of the jetliner’s fate.
Minimum Speed for a 747
The point at which KAL 007 supposedly crashed has never been determined. As noted earlier, the ICAO Report asserted (page 28): “The location of the main wreckage was not determined.” But the ICAO nevertheless guessed: “The approximate position was 46°35′ N and 141°20′ E, which was in international waters.” That is a point about 41 miles from Moneron Island and about 45 miles from the shore of Sakhalin. Since KAL 007 was approximately 12 miles from shore when it was hit, it would have travelled about 33 miles from the point of attack to the point where the ICAO claims it crashed.
On September 2, 1983, the New York Times reported: “The airliner was lost … between Sakhalin and Moneron Island, about 30 miles southwest of the southern tip of Sakhalin.” In that event, the jet would have travelled only 18 miles from the point of attack.
Let us assume (since an assumption is all we can make, and to keep the arithmetic simple) that the “crash” occurred 36 miles offshore, which would be 24 miles from the point of attack. During 12 minutes, the jet would have averaged only two miles per minute, or 120 miles per hour. Could such a huge aircraft remain airborne for that length of time at such a low average speed?
We recently had an opportunity to discuss the matter with a flight instructor who trains pilots on the 747 for United Airlines. We asked what the minimum speed would be to keep such a plane in the air, assuming it was empty— no passengers, no cargo, and nearly out of fuel. The minimum, in that event, would be 105 miles per hour with the flaps fully extended, and 165 mph with the flaps retracted. At cruising altitude, KAL 007’s flaps would not have been extended, and after the attack they could have been extended only if one or more of its hydraulic systems remained intact.
We then asked what the minimum speed would be for a 747 that had travelled three-fourths of the way from Anchorage to Seoul with 270 passengers and an average cargo load, and were told that at cruise altitude a speed of at least 235 mph would be required to keep the plane aloft, while at low altitude (such as landing with flaps down at the end of such a trip) the “absolute minimum” speed would be 117 mph.
The point is simply that a jumbo jet carrying hundreds of passengers and a load of cargo must maintain a substantial minimum speed to remain aloft, and it is very doubtful that KAL 007 could have flown for 12 minutes-plus while averaging a mere 120 miles per hour (or anything close to it). Especially since it would have been flying much faster at first, and thus would have had to travel much slower at some later point to make the average. (If Newsweek was right, and the “crash” site was 30 miles from Sakhalin, the plane’s average speed while traversing 18 miles would have been only 90 mph. If the ICAO was correct, the average speed over 33 miles would have been 165 mph— the bare minimum for keeping even an empty 747 aloft unless the flaps are extended.)
At its cruise altitude of 35,000 feet, KAL 007 would have been traveling at about 540 miles per hour, or nine miles per minute. Aviation experts with whom we have discussed the matter (including pilots who fly the 747) speculate that during the plane’s rapid descent to 16,000 feet the speed would have been reduced to perhaps 420 miles per hour (seven miles per minute). Thereafter, the aircraft would likely have slowed to perhaps 300 miles per hour (five miles per minute). Let us assume (since a reasonable assumption is all that can be made in the absence of the plane’s flight-data recorder) that the average speed of KAL 007 throughout its descent was around 360 miles per hour (six miles per minute). During 12 minutes, unless it changed direction, it would have travelled 72 miles, placing it about 84 miles— not 30, or 36, or 45 miles— from the shore of Sakhalin.
The official “crash” hypothesis is thus inconsistent with the speed necessary to keep KAL 007 airborne for 12 minutes-plus.
Equally puzzling is the amount of debris recovered in the wake of the supposed “crash” of KAL 007. At the time, no 747 jet had previously been destroyed by a mid-air explosion and an out-of-control crash into the sea. So, when the “crash” of what is essentially a flying hotel produced an amount of debris (and a body count) that might result from a Piper Cub crack-up, there was no precise precedent with which to compare it. Now there is.
Only about 1,000 total items of debris (including pieces of the plane, human remains, and personal effects) were recovered. Two badly mutilated bodies were presumed (but not proven) to have been aboard KAL 007 (we shall assume that they were). The number of human remains recovered totalled 13 (including the two bodies), none of which were retrieved by the Soviets. Those found were washed up on the shores of Japan, discovered by fishermen, etc.
According to figures compiled by a South Korean investigative committee, the following had been recovered by September 20, 1983 (nearly three weeks after the incident):
• Aircraft Debris: 449 pieces by Japan and 54 pieces by the Soviet Union, for a total of 503;
• Articles Belonging To Victims: 323 items by Japan and 22 items by the Soviets, for a total of 345; and
• Human Remains: 13 by Japan and zero by the Soviets, for a total of 13. (ICAO Report, Appendix G, page G-16.)
Six days later, the Soviets turned over another 76 items. (ICAO Report, Page G-20.) And on December 19, 1983, the Soviets surrendered yet another 83 small items, bringing the total of all items recovered to 1,020. (Franz A. Kadell, The KAL 007 Massacre, pages 280-281.)*
* Life magazine for January 1984 (page 100) reported: “The Russians picked up 18 articles of clothing and sent them to Japan— but only after having them drycleaned.” Fishy indeed!
The largest chunk of aircraft debris was “a piece of metal measuring about 30 inches by 36 inches believed to have come from the jet’s vertical tail fin.” (Combined AP and UPI dispatches, Deseret News, September 9, 1983, page A1.) It had been carried about 100 miles by sea currents to the northeastern shore of Hokkaido, Japan, where it was found. Other reporters described it as being even smaller. In The KAL 007 Massacre, for instance, Franz Kadell asserts that what appeared “to be a part of the vertical section of the plane’s tail” measured “32 by 28 inches.” Whatever its measurements, it was virtually microscopic compared to the huge chunks of wreckage usually associated with an airline disaster. After all, KAL 007 was a monster of a machine standing 63 feet 5 inches high, measuring 231 feet 4 inches from nose to tail, with a wing span of 195 feet 8 inches, and weighing over half a million pounds.
All told, the Soviets (who maintained exclusive control of the alleged “crash” site for days) supplied only 235 small chunks of metal and articles supposedly belonging to victims (no human remains whatsoever). In contrast, some 77 percent (785) of the items were recovered by Japan, including the small piece of tailfin and 13 human remains, including two mutilated bodies (a partially decapitated Asian girl whose legs had been severed and whose body was embedded with fragments of metal and glass, and a woman who had been decapitated).
It is now possible to compare the debris recovered in the wake of KAL 007 to that retrieved from a subsequent airline tragedy. On June 23, 1985, Air-India Flight 182, also a Boeing 747, crashed into the Atlantic near the coast of Ireland after suffering what investigators later concluded was a bomb explosion. The big jet literally did hurtle into the ocean (as KAL 007 is supposed to have done) from an altitude of 31,000 feet, killing all 329 persons on board.
On the day of the tragedy, search aircraft and boats recovered 123 bodies. (AP dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, June 24, 1985.) The next day, another eight were retrieved. (UPI dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 1985.) Incredibly, four months later (October 25, 1985) another body was found strapped in its seat in a section of the fuselage raised from the ocean floor. (AP dispatch, Deseret News, October 26, 1985.) Whereas the two bodies associated with KAL 007 were horribly mutilated, and a few parts of others were also retrieved, “A British Royal Navy doctor, Lt. Richard Cribb, said bodies he saw [from TWA 182] were ‘badly shattered and broken but all in one piece.’” (AP dispatch, Deseret News, June 24, 1985.) Many huge pieces of the airliner were found (about four tons in all). (UPI dispatch, Deseret News, July 12, 1985.) Nearly three weeks after the incident (July 10, 1985), the in-flight voice recorder was retrieved from the tail section at a depth of about 6,700 feet. (AP dispatch, Deseret News, July 11, 1985.) The next day, the underwater robot Scarab I also located and recovered the in-flight data recorder. (Ibid.)
The water depth in the area of the alleged “crash” of KAL 007 ranged from around 650 feet to 2,700 feet. The ICAO reported: “The search area consisted of an underwater ridge with an average depth of 200m [200 meters; 656 feet], and an area west of the ridge, where the depth varies between 500 and 800m [1,640 feet to 2,625 feet.]” The Associated Press reported that a Japanese Maritime Agency official had estimated that “water depth near the island, in Soviet waters, is only 300 feet, but west of the island it is 1,200-1,500 feet deep.” (Salt Lake Tribune, September 3, 1983.) So the water depth in the area of the KAL 007 incident was at most less than one-half that of the site of the TWA 182 crash. Yet scores of bodies, and tons of wreckage, were recovered from the latter.
So far as we know, the underwater robot was not employed during the KAL 007 search. The Navy did employ sonar, however. The Washington Post reported on October 13, 1983: “Recently, a Navy drone was sent down about 2,500 feet to examine an object that had registered on the sonar that turned out to be a skillet, not from the KAL crash.” The sonar was able to pinpoint a minuscule item like a skillet, but found not so much as a single tiny chunk of KAL 007 wreckage. Truly amazing— unless there was no wreckage to be found.
For another comparison, consider the horrific explosion that engulfed the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members. The disaster occurred at an altitude some three miles higher than that at which KAL 007 was flying when attacked by the Soviets. Newsweek for February 10, 1986 noted: “In barely more than a minute, the space-craft was 10 miles [52,800 feet] high.” The space shuttle is smaller than the 747. Indeed, the 747 has been used on occasion to transport the shuttle piggyback. Yet, despite an explosive inferno that would make a Soviet rocket detonation (involving perhaps 70 pounds of explosives, the amount that Anab missiles of the type fired at KAL 007 contain) seem like a firecracker, searchers soon recovered more than 20 tons of Challenger wreckage (many individual pieces weighed more than a ton), the remains of all seven crew members, etc. Eventually, “245,000 pounds of debris was recovered, representing 45 percent of the shuttle and its attached components. Forty-five percent of the orbiter, 90 percent of the crew cabin, 90 percent of the satellite rocket stage, 35 percent of the satellite, 50 percent of the fuel tank and 95 percent of a second satellite were retrieved.” (AP dispatch, Deseret News, August 28, 1986.)
The Challenger search and recovery effort lasted more than seven months. (Recall that the investigation into the crash of TWA 182 was still underway, and a body was found, four months after that tragedy.) In addition, a presidential commission was assigned to investigate the Challenger disaster, after which Congress conducted its own inquiry. Yet, in the case of KAL 007 and the 61 Americans on board, there was neither a presidential commission nor a meaningful congressional probe. The United States called off its search on November 7, 1983; Japan terminated its search effort on November 9, 1983; the ICAO completed its investigation and issued its report in December 1983; and the State Department, after co-opting the KAL 007 investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board, refused to conduct an inquiry of its own.
Summarizing the Air-India, Challenger, and KAL 007 tragedies:
• Air-India: 132 bodies recovered, more than four tons of wreckage collected, and both “black boxes” retrieved from a depth of more than a mile.
• Challenger: Some 245,000 pounds of wreckage retrieved, along with the remains of the seven-member crew.
• KAL 007: Thirteen human remains recovered (none in the immediate area of the supposed “crash”), 1,007 other small items of debris collected (the largest piece of the plane could be lifted by a single individual), and no sign of “black boxes” despite the relatively shallow water in the area.
Comparisons to Other Crashes
The worst single-plane accident in aviation history occurred on August 12, 1985, when Japan Air Lines Flight 123 (a 747) suffered massive structural failure, which destroyed its hydraulic systems. After more than 30 minutes, during which the pilot tried to control the aircraft with engine power alone, JAL 123 smashed into a mountain in central Japan, killing 520 of the 524 persons on board. One of the four survivors was Umi Ochiai, an off-duty JAL flight attendant. She discussed her ordeal five days after the crash, telling reporters that, after an initial burst of panic, the “passengers followed the crew’s instructions to put on life vests” in preparation for a possible crash landing in water. (Reuters dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, August 17, 1985.)
Is that not exactly what the crew and passengers of KAL 007 would likely have done during their relatively lengthy 12 minutes-plus decent? Yet, neither of the two mutilated bodies discovered was wearing a life vest, indicating that those persons (assuming that they were indeed passengers on KAL 007) may have had no chance to put them on, for reasons we will consider shortly. No vestiges of vests were reported among the debris. There should have been some in the wake of a “crash” into the sea of an airliner that had been aloft for 12 minutes or more.
In yet another incident, a terrorist bomb exploded aboard TWA Flight 840 on April 2, 1986, as the Boeing 727 jetliner was descending for a landing in Athens at an altitude of 15,000 feet. In the wake of the cabin decompression, four persons (including a woman and a child) were, as described by U.S. News & World Report for April 14, 1986, “sucked through a 4-foot hole, their bodies found 15,000 feet below.” The explosion and decompression did not cause the plane to crash or even to go out of control. The captain maneuvered it to a safe landing in Athens. On April 4, 1986, a dispatch in the Washington Times reported that “a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the bomb would not have destroyed the aircraft if the plane had been at a higher altitude. ‘But it would have made a difference in the air rushing out,’ the FAA spokesman said. ‘The air would have rushed out faster at 30,000 feet but that does not necessarily mean more people would have been killed.’” In other words, just as only the four passengers nearest the explosion were expelled from the TWA jet, it is reasonable to assume that about that many would have been expelled from KAL 007 during its decompression at a far higher altitude. Does this (rather than a “crash”) explain why the bodies of the woman and child eventually recovered were so terribly mutilated? And why they were not wearing life jackets?
On November 28, 1987, a South African Airways 747 with 160 persons on board crashed in the Indian Ocean near the island of Mauritius. Debris was scattered over 150 square miles (UPI dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, November 30, 1987). The next day, UPI reported: “Four badly mutilated bodies were recovered Monday [November 30] … increasing to nine the number of victims recovered.” (Deseret News, November 30, 1987.) And South Africa’s transport minister “told reporters at a crisis command post at Johannesburg’s Jan Smuts Airport that passengers in another South African Airways jumbo jet carrying investigating officials to Mauritius had also spotted wreckage, including suitcases and an empty rubber life raft.” (Washington Post, November 29, 1987.)
Keep those suitcases in mind.
On March 14, 1988, an engine on a Piedmont Airlines jetliner (a two-engine Fokker F-28) “exploded into jagged pieces … slicing through both sides of the plane and forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing as some passengers screamed and fainted.” (AP dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, April 15, 1988.) The explosion ripped a hole two feet wide and six feet tall on the right side (adjacent to the engine that disintegrated) and a hole two feet by one foot on the left side. The plane was cruising at 31,000 feet when the incident occurred. According to the Associated Press, the plane “immediately lost air pressure in the cabin; several passengers later complained of headaches, earaches and elevated blood pressure,” but the pilot “landed without incident” after the “plane made a deep descent after the explosion.” Two flight attendants were treated for minor injuries. There were no deaths. It was another example of how much damage a modern aircraft can take and still remain operable.
On April 20, 1988, one of the most incredible incidents in aviation history occurred when a structural weakness in an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 jet resulted in about 20 feet of cabin being ripped off at an altitude of 21,000 feet. Some 60 persons were injured and one flight attendant was hurled to her death (the only fatality) when the top blew off. She was “probably either ejected by the blast or blown out of the plane by the wind,” according to an area manager for the Federal Aviation Administration (AP dispatch, Deseret News, April 29, 1988). Some of “the passengers hung on to another standing flight attendant so she would not be sucked out of the plane.” (Ibid.) With one engine aflame and his plane looking like a convertible, Captain Robert Schornstheimer made a miraculous emergency landing at Kahului Airport, after which one passenger observed, “I’ve had worse landings in normal aircraft,” while another declared, “It was just like riding in a Cadillac.” One passenger told reporters that she put on a life jacket, which is what flight attendants ask you to do in such a situation if there is time. It is undoubtedly what flight attendants on KAL 007 had the passengers do as well, but again, there were no signs of such flotation devices after that alleged “crash.”
There have been many additional incidents involving aircraft to which KAL 007 can be compared in one way or another. These few should suffice, however, to demonstrate how the official “crash” hypothesis for KAL 007 depends upon incongruous (and in many respects unprecedented) assumptions.
Then there is the nature of the debris. That, too, is important. Based on news reports, television footage showing items recovered, and the testimony of persons who viewed the items on the scene in Japan, it appears that all of the debris from inside the plane came solely from the cabin. Included were such personal effects as clothing, calling cards, passports, books, newspapers, a Boeing 747 technical manual, jogging shoes, a camera case, some blouses, a handbag, dentures, and an application for a course at a university in Japan; and such cabin items as parts of seat cushions, oxygen masks and bottles, insulation, paper cups, vinyl bags, and a piece of venetian blind. So far as we have been able to determine, there were no items (such as large pieces of luggage, shipping crates, sports equipment, etc.) that would usually be transported in the cargo pit. Suitcases were seen at the site of the South African Airways crash described earlier. But in the case of KAL 007, “No suitcases were turned over” by the Soviets. (Franz Kadell, The KAL 007 Massacre.) And none were reported as having been washed up on the shore of Japan, or anywhere else. Kadell concludes: “The Soviets obviously had decided not to turn over any substantial items.” Another possibility is that they had no choice, because there were no “substantial items” of debris to recover.
If KAL 007 had actually slammed into the sea, killing everyone aboard, it would undoubtedly have broken apart, spilling most of its contents (including the contents of the cargo pit) into the sea, in which case the debris would have been extensive and far more should have been recovered.* An article by New York Times writer Steven R. Weisman in the Salt Lake Tribune for July 21, 1985 reported that the head of the investigation into the crash of Air-India Flight 182 “was considering flying to Cork, Ireland to help supervise the study of the plane’s wreckage, some of which is reportedly still floating in the ocean.” That was nearly one month after the crash.
* On the other hand, if the plane did not break apart, or broke into a few large sections, there should have been no difficulty locating the wreckage.
Neither the ICAO, nor U.S. government officials, nor any other advocates of the “crash” hypothesis have to date offered a credible explanation for what appears to be the exclusively cabin-oriented nature of the debris from inside the plane, to say nothing of the minuscule total amount of such debris. But there is a scenario that takes those details fully into account, as well as the other aspects of the case that we have discussed.
First, let us take a look at the early reports that KAL 007 had returned to Sakhalin Island and landed safely. Sakhalin is a major military outpost where there are a number of Soviet air bases and runways. “On Sakhalin Island the Soviets base jet fighters and maintain two large airstrips.” (Newsweek, September 12, 1985.) Indeed, Sakhalin is “home for at least six Soviet airfields.” (ABC’s 20/20 program, August 30, 1984.) At least two large airfields were within range of KAL 007, at the Yuzhno-Sakalinsk and Kolinsk-Sokol military bases near the island’s southern tip.
On September 1, 1983, the New York Times noted: “Early reports said the plane … had been forced down by Soviet Air Force planes and that all 240 passengers and 29 crew members were believed to be safe.” Aviation Week & Space Technology for September 5, 1983, reported that Korean Air Lines had sent another aircraft “to pick up the passengers and bring them to South Korea.” These and other “landed safely” accounts have been discounted and discredited by those determined to defend the “crash” hypothesis at all costs.
The New York Times account revealed that “Korean Foreign Ministry officials cited the United States Central Intelligence Agency as the source for the report that the plane had been forced down on Sakhalin, but American officials in Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington said they could not confirm or deny that report.” Needless to say, the report that the CIA was the source of the claim that KAL 007 had landed safely convinced many critics of that clandestine agency that the report was false. Yet, if it is true that KAL 007 was not destroyed by the rocket attack, but instead remained under control of the crew, why would it not have returned to Sakhalin (over which it had flown moments before) for an emergency landing on one of the military runways there?
Return To Sakhalin?
Assuming that the pilot of KAL 007 was indeed able to maneuver the plane, and therefore had some options about where to set it down, wouldn’t Sakhalin have been his first choice under the circumstances? The alternatives would have been to (1) try to complete the flight to Seoul, or reach a runway in Japan, both much farther away; or (2) risk a very dangerous nighttime ditching in the sea, where the temperature was approximately 50 degrees and the chance of surviving for as long as three and one-half hours was only fifty-fifty for those who might survive the initial impact.† “The seas in the area were reported calm, but the temperature was about 50 degrees. According to survival manuals a person can last in such waters for about 50 minutes. Up to 3½ hours there is a 50-50 chance of survival, and after 3½ hours death is 99 percent certain.” (Combined UPI and AP dispatch, Deseret News, September 1, 1983.)
† The possible political and diplomatic ramifications of an emergency landing on Soviet territory would have taken a back seat to the need to land the damaged plane as quickly and safely as possible.
Again, let us resort to a comparison. Writing about KAL 007 in Flying for December 1983, pilot Peter Garrison reminisced: “The whole affair had a special meaning for me, though. I was there— not, fortunately, at the same time. I flew the route— or rather the flight planned route— of the unfortunate Korean airliner in 1976 in my late homebuilt, Melmoth.” Garrison recalled: “Melmoth’s range was unproven; I estimated it— probably somewhat optimistically— to be nearly 3,000 nm [nautical miles], and therefore felt that we could remain aloft until over Japan. But what if the wind proved worse than anticipated, or Melmoth’s range less, or if some mechanical difficulty arose? We would be confronted with a dilemma: ditch in the ocean, or return to Russia and throw ourselves upon the mercies of The Great Enemy. The dilemma wasn’t much of a dilemma to me; my contingency plan was, if in doubt, unhesitatingly to hang a right and land in Russia.”
All things considered, it is the sensible thing to do. The pilot of KAL 007 would undoubtedly have made the same choice. He would not yet have known exactly what had caused the engine loss and decompression, so would not be certain how precarious his situation might be.‡ But, rather than make a “sharp right,” he would have had to make an about-face 180° turn. Is there any evidence that he did so?
‡ A dispatch in the Washington Times for April 4, 1986, was headlined: “TWA pilot didn’t know what hit him.” It reported that the pilot of TWA Flight 840, which we discussed earlier, had said “he didn’t realize at first that a bomb had exploded inside the plane…. ‘I heard a loud noise, a shattering noise….. There were dust particles in the cockpit and I could not see … I thought at first it was a window.’” The captain did not immediately report the explosion to the Athens control tower “because I did not know exactly what had happened…. We suspected but we didn’t know for sure until we were on the ground that we’d lost some passengers.” Apparently, he did not transmit a “Mayday” distress plea. The dispatch quoted the veteran TWA pilot as saying further that the emergency landing was difficult “only because you wonder if you have brakes and our hydraulic system, even though it shows [on the cockpit’s instruments].”
Shortly after the attack, the Rome, Georgia, office of U.S. Representative Larry McDonald (D-Ga.), a passenger on the plane, received a number of calls from officials of Korean Air Lines and our Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) claiming that the jet had landed safely on Sakhalin. We have listened to recordings of the actual conversations, and they are fascinating. For instance, one call came from C. K. Suh, Manager of the American Regional Office of Korean Air Lines in Los Angeles. Suh told Congressman McDonald’s press aide, Tommy Toles, that he had “just called Korean Air Lines in Seoul” and that “the information I got from them is that [the] U.S. Embassy in Korea informed the Korean Government, Minister of Foreign Affairs … that the plane has landed in Sakhalin.”
But the most important (and pertinent) communication came from a spokesman for the FAA, who told Toles:
This is Duty Officer Orville Brockman at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC. We have just received information from our FAA representative, Mr. Dennis Wilhelm in Tokyo, as follows: He has been advised by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau headquarters, Air Traffic Division, Mr. Takano— T-a-k-a-n-o— who is his counterpart in Japanese aviation, as follows: Japanese self-defense force confirms that the Hokkaido radar followed Air Korea to a landing in Soviet territory on the island of Sakhalinska— S-a-k-h-a-l-i-n-s-k-a— and it is confirmed by the manifest that Congressman McDonald is on board.
Note that this confirmed report came from the Japanese self-defense force (not the CIA) and that radar “followed Air Korea to a landing.” To follow it to what appeared to be a landing would mean, beyond any reasonable question, that KAL 007 was at the very least heading toward— rather than away from— Sakhalin. While radar may be fallible in certain other respects, it is highly unlikely that it could have misled air controllers as to the direction that KAL 007 was flying. How could the jet be heading toward Sakhalin unless it had reversed the direction in which it was flying when attacked (which was away from the island)?
Dale Van Atta, an associate of syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, visited Tokyo in early 1984. During the trip, according to Anderson, Van Atta was able to confirm “from Japanese intelligence sources and documents stamped ‘secret’ in red Japanese characters” a number of key aspects of the KAL 007 episode. One was that, at 3:38 a.m. on September 1, 1983, “The Japanese radar station at Wakkanai, Hokkaido, which had been tracking the unidentified aircraft’s progress, saw the blip disappear from the screen less than 50 miles away. The trackers thought it was probably a Soviet plane that had gone down.” (Anderson column, Deseret News, April 3, 1984.) Since Wakkanai is itself only about 40 miles from Sakhalin’s southern tip, KAL 007 would have had to have been very close to the island if it was “less than 50 miles away” from Wakkanai when it disappeared from radar. Since it had been airborne for 12 minutes at that point, there is no way that it could have been tracked that close to the island unless it had changed direction. And if it changed direction, it was under the control of the crew. (That trackers thought it was a Soviet plane also implies that it was heading toward the Soviet military stronghold, as a Soviet plane would be expected to do. Had it been moving away from the island, there would have been less reason to conclude that it was a Soviet aircraft.)
When everything is taken into account, it is likely that the early reports that KAL 007 landed on Sakhalin were accurate, and that subsequent claims that it crashed and virtually disappeared were a fabrication.
Assuming that KAL 007 did not crash, what did happen after the attack? Is there an explanation that takes into account the time the plane remained aloft; its fast-slow descent rate; the considerable distance it likely travelled during its descent; the location, nature, and amount of debris; the small number and condition of the bodies that were found; and the early reports that the jet had landed in Sakhalin?
We cannot be certain that it happened as we will now speculate, but we do believe that something very similar occurred: The rocket attack destroyed the Number Four engine, generating shrapnel that punctured the fuselage and ripped some chunks of metal from the plane (including that small chip from the tail section, which was the largest piece of the plane ever found). The decompression hurled at least two (and possibly more) passengers from the plane, along with the sundry personal effects and the other cabin items that were eventually found. (Additional debris could have fallen at various points during the next few minutes.) The jetliner, according to standard procedure, descended quickly to a point where the temperature and amount of oxygen could support life, then slowed as the pilot decided how best to land the plane safely with minimal additional injury and loss of life. He decided to return to Sakhalin and touch down on one of the existing military runways. By the time the jet began making its turn, it was perhaps 40 miles from Sakhalin. For the next five or six minutes it headed for the island and, as it prepared for the landing, it dropped off the Wakkanai radar 50 miles away.
Continuing with our scenario, once on the ground, the passengers and crew (except for those expelled from the plane during the decompression) were taken captive, the plane was sequestered (there would be adequate facilities for doing so at a military air base), and the small amount of debris that resulted from the engine explosion and decompression was soon discovered by the Soviets* and thereafter cited as “proof that KAL 007 had crashed into the Sea of Japan with no survivors.
* “In four minutes the plane was down to around 16,000 feet, and at 2:38 p.m. EDT it vanished from radar screens…. An hour later, Soviet vessels and aircraft searched the area….” (Combined UPI and AP dispatch, Deseret News, September 1, 1983.)
Expensive But Futile Search
The truth about KAL 007 has been obfuscated, in large part, by the tendency even of conservatives and anti-Communists to remain blind to evidence that conflicts with the official line. Consider, for example, the following extract from a May 6, 1985 response by a respected conservative senator to a constituent who had expressed concern about the possibility of KAL 007 survivors: “We are all familiar with the sequence of events surrounding the shooting down of the civilian Korean airliner, KAL 007, and many questions still remain. However, no known reports show any evidence to support the possibility of survivors. Upon the conclusion of a two-month search in the Sea of Japan the Department of Defense reported that there were no findings or signs of wreckage. The search totaled over 3,000 square miles,† 3,000 hours of flight time, and more than 320 ship-days at the cost of over $22 million dollars. The evidence simply does not support the probability of survivors regardless of the speed of descent.”
† This is obviously a transcription error. The major search area at the start covered some 350 square miles (an area larger than New York City). Toward the end of September, the search area was reduced to around 15 square miles. See: Kadell, The KAL 007 Massacre, Page 279.
Surely the expenditure of all that time and money, covering such a broad expanse of the sea, with nothing whatsoever to show for it, might— just might— raise the possibility that a crash had not even occurred. If no crash occurred, the probability of survivors, and a lot of them, would be evident. Make no mistake about it, the completely negative result of the exhaustive and expensive U.S. search for remnants of KAL 007, as summarized in the senator’s letter, is exactly what the result would have been if no crash had occurred. It is definitely not the result one would expect if a huge airliner had crashed.
The official conclusions about KAL 007 reek of whitewash, applied on the U.S. side, perhaps, to prevent the American people from rising in their wrath to veto further appeasement of Communism. Were the full truth to come out, for instance, programs of aid and trade with Communist countries, summit meetings, arms-controls treaties, and the many other aspects of our government’s (and especially our State Department’s) questionable agenda for dealing with the Marxist world, would undoubtedly become far more difficult to implement. On September 1, 1984, the Associated Press reported: “Secretary of State George Shultz says the Soviet Union’s shooting down of a South Korean airliner one year ago … should not preclude improvement of relations.” (Salt Lake Tribune, September 1, 1984.) The same dispatch noted that Assistant Secretary of State Richard Burt had affirmed that (in AP’s words) “the U.S. investigation into the incident is over, even though the plane’s ‘black box,’ or flight recorder, has never been found.”
While our primary objective has been to demonstrate the absurdity of the “crash” hypothesis, let us briefly note the steps that our State Department and other U.S. agencies took to muddy the waters about this important issue:
(a) The Department co-opted the KAL 007 case from the National Transportation Safety Board, then refused to conduct an investigation of its own. As summarized by David Corn in The Nation magazine for August 17/August 24,1985: “Normally when an airliner crashes, responsibility for the inquiry falls to the National Transportation Safety Board, which has the technical expertise to assess what happened. Although the downing of Flight 007 cannot be classified as a routine aviation disaster, the N.T.S.B. office in Anchorage was notified that the plane was missing just three hours after it had plunged into the Sea of Japan and immediately began to look into the matter. Shortly after that, it was told to forward to its headquarters in Washington all the material— originals and copies— it had gathered. From there, the information was sent to the State Department. James Michelangelo, chief of the N.T.S.B.’s Anchorage office, was told by headquarters that the board was off the case and that the State Department would handle the investigation. Eighteen months after the airliner was shot down, when asked if the State Department had ever conducted such an inquiry, a high-level State Department official replied, ‘How is the State Department going to investigate?’”
(b) U.S. officialdom assumed at the outset that the jet crashed in Soviet territorial waters. Newsweek for September 12, 1983, observed: “The Americans assumed that the 747 went down in Soviet territorial waters. They assured Moscow that U.S. ships and planes had no intention of violating Soviet sea or airspace. And they asked for Soviet cooperation.” It was a false (and irrational) assumption that helped to promote the impression that the Soviets had every right to exercise exclusive control of the alleged “crash” area.
(c) Administration sources claimed shortly after the attack that Soviet searchers had recovered some bodies. (AP dispatch, Salt Lake Tribune, September 3, 1983.) It was another false contention, which mainly served to bolster the Soviet-instigated claim that the plane had indeed “crashed.”
(d) On the day after the tragedy, but before the matter could possibly have been properly and thoroughly evaluated, the State Department cabled Seoul to stress that it did not believe that the Soviets had shot down the plane due to the presence on board of Congressman Larry McDonald (D-Ga.). McDonald, an outspoken anti-Communist activist, was a vigorously pro-defense member of the House Armed Services Committee (with access to classified information); was renowned for the reams of educational anti-Communist articles, speeches, and reports that he regularly entered into the Congressional Record; was Chairman of the fervently anti-Communist John Birch Society; and was becoming an increasingly popular and influential political figure within the conservative movement. The CIA, according to columnist Jack Anderson (who, by the way, was one of Congressman McDonald’s most bitter critics on the Left), had “reported that the Soviets could easily have intercepted telex communications indicating that [McDonald and] other tempting targets might have been on the KAL flight, including Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.” But the State Department cable discredited the implications of that report by asserting: “We have no repeat no evidence that the presence of Rep. McDonald aboard KAL 007 (or the planned travel of Sen. Helms and others aboard that flight) was a factor in the Soviet attack on the aircraft.” (Anderson column, Deseret News, September 20, 1983.)
(e) Jack Anderson, in the same column, noted that “President Reagan insisted from the beginning that the Soviets knew they were firing at a civilian airliner,” but that “the State Department doubted this at first.” Anderson quoted excerpts from a “highly confidential memo” dated September 2, 1983, which asserted that the State Department’s special task force was “convinced the Soviets were sure they were firing on an American military plane.” Such “mistaken identity” nonsense was one of the two major Soviet disinformation ploys for which the State Department was an early cheerleader.
(f) The main Soviet disinformation effort attempted to convince the world that KAL 007 was a spy plane. Here again, State Department officials did their part to promote that deception. An August 29, 1984, UPI dispatch revealed: “American officials are convinced the Soviet military ordered a Korean airliner with 269 people aboard shot down in the mistaken belief it was on a spy mission.” The dispatch attributed the claim to a “State Department official who deals in Soviet affairs” who spoke only “on the basis he not be identified.” We can understand his desire for anonymity! As Charles Lichtenstein, who was deputy to United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick at the time, wrote in the foreword to Franz Kadell’s book The KAL 007 Massacre: “This [‘spy mission’] scenario began to appear as speculation in the Western press almost from Day One; it created an opportunity for the Soviets to use Western sources as the ‘authority’ for their attempts to pin ultimate responsibility for the shootdown on us— a recurring Soviet disinformation tactic in the U.N. and beyond.”
(g) The United States pulled its punches during the ICAO investigation. As reported by Aviation Week & Space Technology for September 19, 1983: “A U.S. official said the U.S. response was being toned down at the ICAO session so other nations with grievances could make the case for an investigation.”
(h) In February 1985, a Justice Department attorney acknowledged in federal district court that the U.S. Air Force Regional Operations Command Center at Anchorage had destroyed key tape recordings “of radar tracks from Cape Newenham and Cape Roanzof, in Alaska, which might have told much about the path of the aircraft…. The U.S. government claimed that Air Force radar tapes are normally recycled about thirty hours after recording an aircraft’s passage. The fate of Flight 007 was known well within thirty hours after the recordings were made. Still, the Air Force did not save the tapes, even though it customarily impounds information related to aviation disasters.” (Article by David Corn in The Nation, August 17/August 24, 1985; also see R.W. Johnson, Shootdown, pages 289-290.) The destruction of the tapes could indeed have been part of a coverup. On the other hand, the tapes may not have been saved because there had been no “disaster,” the jet having landed on Sakhalin.
Whatever the motives of those involved, the time has come to retrieve the KAL 007 file from the memory hole into which it was prematurely pitched. And the first questions that need to be answered are those we have raised here. If KAL 007 did not crash, but instead landed on Sakhalin Island, where its crew and passengers were taken captive, entirely new possibilities arise regarding why the plane was so far off course and why the Soviets shot it down. For instance, if the plane landed, why didn’t the Soviets mitigate the situation by simply releasing the passengers and crew? Why would they capture and keep them all, including the many children who were on the plane? One possibility is that there was someone on the plane whom they wished to have either dead or incarcerated. In that event, it would indeed be necessary to hold onto everyone, since, if even a baby were returned alive, it would be necessary to account for all of the others.
If KAL 007 landed instead of crashed, it means that the Soviets have pulled off yet another incredibly audacious and typically malign deception, with the cooperation of elements within our own government, the United Nations, and possibly Japan, in camouflaging the capture of the plane and the disappearance of those on board.
The key questions that must be answered include:
(1) How could KAL 007 remain airborne for 12 minutes without the crew being in at least partial control of the aircraft?
(2) How could the plane descend so fast during the early stage of its decent, then slow down to less than one-half the initial rate, without the crew being in substantial control? And how could the jet be “out of control,” yet follow a descent pattern so parallel to standard procedure?
(3) Why were there no “Mayday” signals from KAL 007 during the minute or more that it was in radio contact with Tokyo after the attack?
(4) How could the supposed “crash” site (and locations of debris) be so close to the point of attack, when the plane had to be going so fast to remain airborne during those 12 minutes-plus?
(5) Why was so little debris (and so few bodies) found, considering what has been recovered in the wake of other disasters involving large aircraft?
(6) Why was the debris that was recovered apparently devoid of the sort of items one would expect to come from the plane’s cargo pit?
(7) How does one explain the radar trackings that followed KAL 007 toward Sakhalin Island after the attack, when the jumbo jet was moving away from the island at the time of the attack?
(8) How does one explain the confirmed report from the FAA (based on information from the Japanese self-defense force) that the jet was tracked by the Hokkaido radar to a landing on the island?
(9) If the airliner was indeed under sufficient control of the pilot to make a 180 degree turn and head back toward Sakhalin, why would the captain choose to ditch it in the sea rather than land it on a runway?
We urge readers to raise these (and any other pertinent questions that may come to mind) with senators and congressmen, the president, the State Department, local newspapers, friends and acquaintances, radio talk shows and other media. Reject evasive, weasel-worded replies from the legislators and officials contacted. Insist on clear-cut answers and explanations.
It is also important that a special congressional committee be established and armed with sufficient resources and authority (including the subpoena power) to carry out its assignment comprehensively and credibly, to at long last thoroughly investigate the entire KAL 007 episode. Its membership must be comprised of senators and representatives who can be trusted to get at the truth, not simply to apply additional whitewash.
The shameful alternative to digging out the real truth about KAL 007 is to continue to abandon the 269 innocent persons who were on board, including 61 Americans, some of whom may still be alive, and all of whom deserve to be listed along with other American POWs/MIAs who have fallen victim to Communism and for whom there has as yet been no proper accounting.
written by William F. Jasper
The South has many faces and is symbolized by countless images: pretty girls in hoop skirts walking under live oaks draped with Spanish moss; Tennessee walking horses cantering along white rail fences; young boys angling for catfish; friendly waitresses ready with a smile and kind words: “How are y’all this mornin’? Y’all want coffee?” But from the Mason-Dixon line to the Gulf, there are two universal symbols of the South — “Dixie” and the Confederate battle flag. Both are now under attack, but especially the flag.
As symbols of national identity, flags have always aroused the passions of the people. Like the heraldic emblems often emblazoned on them, flags have long been used in battle to identify the opposing combatants. But why all this fuss over an emblem that is 127 years old?
The latest chapter in a dispute with deep historic roots was launched last December 28th in Savannah, when the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) launched a campaign to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol buildings of South Carolina and Alabama, and to delete its design from the state flags of Georgia and Mississippi. NAACP Southeast Regional Director Earl Shinhoster held a press conference in the Georgia seaport in anticipation of the opening of the 1988 legislative sessions in the four targeted states, brandishing 16,000 signatures from supporters. During the media event, Shinhoster referred to the Confederate flag as an “odius symbol of a bygone era.” But Shinhoster hit the nail on the head when he identified the issue behind the flag: “It represents state sovereignty, state rights, a rejection or resistance to federal control, and it has an adverse effect on basic issues of human need.”
In the same vein, the president of the Mississippi NAACP, Representative Aaron Henry (D-Clarksdale), announced on December 30th that he would introduce a proposal to remove the Confederate battle flag design from the Magnolia State’s flag, which it has graced since 1894. Henry said the intent of the banner “was to disenfranchise blacks when slavery was in vogue.”
In neighboring Alabama, the state NAACP president, Thomas Reed (D-Tuskegee), and 13 other black legislators were arrested on second-degree criminal trespass charges on February 2nd, while attempting to climb a fence leading to the capitol dome, for the stated purpose of pulling down the Confederate flag. The legislators were released on $300 bonds. The NAACP in Alabama called the battle flag “a racist symbol of oppression and slavery,” but Governor Guy Hunt defended the banner “as a historical symbol of the Old South.” (Montgomery was the first capital of the Confederate States of America, and President Jefferson Davis took his oath of office on its capitol steps on February 18, 1861.)
Making a Federal Case of It
Having failed to have the flag removed from the capitol in Alabama, Representative Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) threatened a suit in Federal Court: “[We’ll] challenge the constitutionality of the state of Alabama in its official capacity as a state, flying a flag of a nation that once attempted to overthrow the U.S. government.”
On Sunday February 14th, a conference of about 85 leaders from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Alabama Democratic Conference, the Alabama New South Coalition, Operation Push, and other activists met in Montgomery to hear State Representative and NAACP President Thomas Reed gear up for another round in the fight.
“Reluctantly, I cannot tell you what the next move will be,” Reed told the activists. “I can tell you there will be another effort. You have not seen anything yet. That Confederate battle flag must come down.”
In neighboring Georgia, where, as in Mississippi, the battle flag design is incorporated into the state flag, legislation is periodically introduced to remove the symbol of the Old South, but has never progressed very far. The latest effort to change Georgia’s flag was a bill introduced by Representative Frank Redding (D-Decatur). Judith Damewood, President of the Georgia Common Cause, said she is “embarrassed” by the state flag. “When the Democratic National Convention comes to Atlanta this Summer, this is not the flag I want those delegates to see,” she said.
Across the South, display of the 127-year-old flag has generated sometimes surprising controversy:
•North Carolina Governor Jim Martin has ordered that decorative Confederate flag front bumper plates can no longer be sold by privately-run businesses that also act as state agents for North Carolina state license plates. The action was reportedly taken by the Governor at the prompting of a group of “black business leaders” in Winston-Salem.
•The police department in Franklin, Tennessee has decided to remove the Confederate emblem from police cars and uniforms. Police Lieutenant Bolin Fitzgerald explained: “I don’t think we black officers should have to wear something we don’t represent.”
•Oklahoma Governor Henry Bellmon signed into law a bill providing that 14 flags linked to the state’s history be flown at the state capitol plaza. The flags represent the nations that have controlled Oklahoma throughout its history, including Spain, France, the Confederate States, and the Choctaw Indians. Following opposition from opponents, the pole reserved for the Confederate flag was left empty because, according to the Governor, the bill did not specify which of the Confederate flags to fly. “We’re going to leave that flag pole empty until they [the Legislature] tell us which flag to fly,” said Governor Bellmon.
•In March, 14 students were suspended from Chewning Junior High School in Durham, North Carolina for celebrating “Southern Pride Day” by wearing small Confederate battle flag patches on their clothing. In an affidavit, one of the students, Nickie Pruitt, 14, reported: “Assistant Principal Fred Putney boarded our bus and stated, ‘If you have a rebel flag, stay on the bus.’ He never asked me, or to my knowledge anyone else, to remove the flags from our clothing. None of the students were causing any disruption or commotion, there were no fights or angry words between students, and the only commotion and disruption was due to the refusal of the school officials to allow us into the school ….” Miss Pruitt’s sister, Patricia, 12, who was detained for 45 minutes in a school office, commented: “No one offered me any options, or discussed my conduct with me in any way.”
Attorney Alex Charns, who filed a complaint in Durham Superior Court against school officials, said: “I’m very disappointed that a Durham County 14-year-old read in her civics book that the Constitution gives kids the right to wear black bands with a peace symbol on it, but that public school that taught that to the children then gives a 10-day suspension for basically just doing their homework.”
Durham County School superintendent Larry Coble said that district school policy prohibits students from wearing clothing that is “offensive or potentially disruptive.”
• In South Carolina, the flag issue attracted national attention January 11th when State Senator Glenn F. McConnell (R-Charleston), a leading defender of the Confederate flag’s use, appeared via satellite on NBC’s “Today” show. In the interview with Jane Pauley in New York, McConnell traded opposing viewpoints with the NAACP’s Earl Shinhoster, who spoke from Atlanta.
Shinhoster told “Today” show viewers: “We believe that when Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate battle flag in 1865 at Appomattox he asked all Southerners to furl their flags, that he did so in good faith and in a gesture of reality of the times and now we don’t want to bring it back.”
Senator McConnell told the same audience: “The flag is the emblem of our ancestors. It’s the flag they saw across the battlefield and is an emblem of unity and now it flies as a war memorial for those folks who went off to battle.”
What Is the Real Issue?
We have heard the opposing sides of the controversy describe the Confederate battle flag as either an “odius symbol of a bygone era” or as “the emblem of our [Southern] ancestors” and “a war memorial.” Curiously, both sides would agree with Earl Shinhoster’s statement that the flag “represents state sovereignty, state rights … resistance to federal control….”
When McConnell was asked whether the Confederate flag had become the symbol of “hate groups,” he replied: “It has been misused now really by two groups — one the NAACP trying to make it a symbol of racism and of course the Ku Klux Klan, which has no right to the flag, trying to carry it. But they [the Klan] take other symbols like the American flag and the Christian cross … we cannot allow them to take this [Confederate] flag for eternity and turn it into something the people who carried it never intended it to be.”
What was the Confederate battle flag intended to be? To start with, there were several flags used by the Confederate States of America. A proper interpretation of their intended symbolism would require a thorough understanding not only of the four years of the Confederacy, but of the preceding 74 years of the American Republic. Indeed, no explanation outside the context of the history of Western Christian civilization would suffice.
The reason the flag issue cannot be studied in a vacuum is that complete understanding depends on an appreciation of the intent of the Southern people, which is heavily influenced by their unique culture. The Southerner is the heir to a code of conduct that originated in Christian Europe during feudal times. This code of chivalry, familiar to any student of European history, is described by Richard M. Weaver in The Southern Tradition At Bay as “a romantic idealism closely related to Christianity, which makes honor the guiding principle of conduct.”
This concept is particularly difficult for the urban Northerner to understand. Infected by the cynicism of the mercantile way of life, he finds it incomprehensible that virtues such as nobility and sincerity can predominate in any society. The world-weary skeptics of the Northern (and even some Southern) cities look for hidden motivations behind the Southerner’s defense of his way of life, preferring to believe the popular myths rather than the straightforward explanations. Always, the subject of race is interjected: The War Between the States is not seen as a defense of state sovereignty, but of the economic system of slavery. And the natural desire of tradition-minded Southerners to cling to a vestige of their cultural heritage — flying the flags of the Confederacy, singing the song “Dixie” — has been misinterpreted as a latent desire to reinstitute the dreadful system of slavery. (One might just as logically say that those New Englanders who commemorate the American Revolution by flying the Bennington battle flag and by marching in fife and drum corps playing “Yankee Doodle” are really longing for the return of the system of indentured servitude, debtors’ prisons, and smallpox epidemics!)
The Bad Old Days
The Southerner has far more reason than his Northern counterpart to regret the ravages of war that destroyed his world. For he suffered not only the military casualties, but the wholesale destruction of Sherman’s armies; the humiliation of Federal occupation troops for 12 years after the war (including the occupation of New Orleans by the notorious General Benjamin “Beast” Butler, whose unchivalrous Order No. 28 insulted Southern womanhood); and the looting of what was left in Southern state treasuries by corrupt, carpetbag governments. No Southerner is nostalgic about these events!
In retrospect, many leading Southerners were against a war between North and South. Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis urged President Buchanan to withdraw the small garrison at Fort Sumter rather than risk a conflict. The newly inaugurated President Davis sent peace commissioners to Washington in early 1861 to attempt to settle differences at the conference table rather than on the battlefield, but President Lincoln would not receive them.
And Robert E. Lee’s heart was heavy as, just prior to the outbreak of the War, he told a fellow officer: “I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in defense of my native state, Virginia….”
In the Southern mind, therefore, the war was a defense of his state against the usurpation of the general government. The objective of the Confederacy was not to invade the North, nor to overthrow the government in Washington, but to defend the Southerner’s native soil against military enforcement of a Federal authority that the Southerners rejected as illegitimate. It was the culmination of the dispute over the doctrine of nullification that had been going on since 1832, when South Carolina nullified the Federal Tariff Act. (This doctrine held that the states, as voluntary parties to a compact, the Constitution, delegated certain specific powers to the Federal Government and reserved all other powers of government to themselves. The nullifiers declared that, when a conflict arose, the States, rather than the U.S. Supreme Court, should determine the extent of federal authority.)
The Quest Continues
Many issues related to state sovereignty remain unresolved — where, for example, does the Federal Government have the right constitutionally to dictate state polices on employment, health, education, welfare, housing, etc.? (A search of the Constitution will produce no such authority.)
Because these issues are as contemporary today as they were in 1832 or 1861, tradition-minded Southerners and defenders of state sovereignty have two reasons for wanting to honor those who have preceded them in the fight: (1) to honor those who sacrificed in the past, and (2) to inspire those who are continuing the same fight in the present.
Recent polls taken in the two states flying the battle flag from their capitols show that not only a large majority of white citizens (69 percent), but a substantial minority of black citizens (32 percent in South Carolina, 28 percent in Alabama), prefer to keep the flag flying. If not for the false explanations broadcast about the meaning of the flag, the figures for both races would undoubtedly be much higher.
One thing is certain: Respect for the heritage and traditions of the South is still strong. But the greatest Southern tradition of all is not the Confederate battle flag, but the battle for state sovereignty that was fought under it.
That battle is far from over and the participants in the fight have no intention of striking their colors until constitutionally limited government is restored.
written by William F. Jasper
The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution forbids “cruel and unusual punishments.” In capital punishment cases, Supreme Court Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, the surviving relics of the Earl Warren Court, routinely declare that “the death penalty is in all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment forbidden” by the Eighth Amendment. Their position, however, is in direct conflict with the express terms of the Fifth Amendment, which three times explicitly recognizes that penalty:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury … nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb … nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. [Emphasis added.]
No rational judge could read the Eighth Amendment to bar as “cruel and unusual” the death penalty specifically recognized in the fifth, unless that judge considered himself free from any duty to follow the clear meaning of the text of the Constitution. Nevertheless, for the past 15 years the status of the death penalty was clouded by Supreme Court interpretations. This year, however, the Court removed much of the uncertainty and went a long way toward reestablishing that penalty as a legitimate option for the states.
In 1972, in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court held the death penalty laws of all the states and federal government unconstitutional as a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishments.” The Court did not hold that the death penalty was inherently unconstitutional; rather, the statues were struck down because of the arbitrary and discriminatory manner in which, in the Court’s view, the penalty was applied. After Furman many states conformed their laws to that decision, and, in Gregg v. Georgia in 1976, the Court upheld such laws, in which guilt or innocence is determined in a separate proceeding from the determination of the sentence. Except for murders committed during aircraft hijackings, however, there is no federal death penalty.
Since executions were resumed by the states in 1977, the Supreme Court has removed several procedural obstacles to its imposition. Two of the most significant cases were decided by 5-4 votes in April of this year. In Tison v. Arizona, Ricky and Raymond Tison helped their father, Gary Tison, escape from prison. In the escape they kidnapped John Lyons, his wife, Donnella, their two-year-old son, and their 15-year-old niece. Gary Tison shotgunned the entire Lyons family to death as his sons watched without attempting to interfere. The sons were sentenced to death and the Supreme Court upheld the sentences. Although the sons did not intend to kill, they were armed and “could have foreseen that lethal force might be used, particularly since [they] knew that [their] father’s previous escape attempt had resulted in murder…. [They] participated fully in the kidnapping and robbery and watched the killing after which [they] chose to aid those whom [they] had placed in the position to kill rather than their victims.” Their “reckless or extreme indifference to human life” made them subject to death for the murders that occurred during the commission of the escape and kidnapping even though they had no direct intent to kill.
On the following day, in McCleskey v. Kemp, the Court held that evidence that in Georgia killers of whites, especially black killers, are far more likely to be executed than are killers of blacks, did not show unconstitutional discrimination against a black man sentenced to death for killing a white policeman during a robbery. McCleskey could prove neither that the Georgia legislature enacted capital punishment with a racially discriminatory purpose nor that “the decision-makers in his case acted with discriminatory purpose.” [Emphasis in original.] Mere statistical disparity in sentencing does not prove a constitutional violation.
The Tison and McCleskey cases resolved procedural uncertainties that have delayed numerous executions. Other issues still must be decided by the Court, including the constitutionality of executing persons who were under 18 years of age when they committed the crime. But the McCleskey case is especially significant because it laid to rest the statistical argument on racial discrimination that has been a staple of death penalty appeals for decades.
George C. Smith, director of litigation of the Washington Legal Foundation noted: “The vast majority of actual executions in the post-Furman era have involved white convicts.” To the extent that statistics show that killers of whites are more likely to be sentenced to death than are killers of blacks, Smith claims that “any apparent disparity is explained by the fact that whites are disproportionately the victims of the kinds of aggravated murders which alone qualify for the death penalty. Felony murders— those committed in the course of a rape or robbery— are the chief crimes eligible for capital punishment under the post-Furman statutes. The available data demonstrate that whites constitute between 77 percent and 89 percent of rape and robbery victims. It follows inescapably that whites would represent a comparable percentage of murder victims killed during a rape or robbery.”
The Supreme Court in McCleskey noted: “McCleskey’s arguments are best presented to the legislative bodies. It is not the responsibility— or indeed even the right— of this Court to determine the appropriate punishment for particular crimes…. Capital punishment is now the law in more than two thirds of our States. It is the ultimate duty of courts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether these laws are applied consistently with the Constitution.”
Tison and McCleskey do not decide whether the death penalty is good or bad. Rather, in accord with the intent of the framers, they recognize that the policy choice is up to the state legislatures rather than the unelected judiciary.
written by William F. Jasper
According to the erroneous “seamless garment” theory, one cannot consistently oppose abortion without also opposing capital punishment. This theory ignores the reality that the right to life can be forfeited by an individual’s voluntary choice.
An aggressor who tries to kill another individual has forfeited his right to life if the only way the intended victim can save himself is to kill the aggressor. An unborn child is not an aggressor, nor can he voluntarily forfeit his right to life. A murderer, however, may properly be held to have forfeited his right to life by subjecting himself to the rightful power of the state to impose the death penalty.
The state has the right to impose the death penalty. But one may reasonably disagree as to whether or not that power should be exercised at a given time or place or for certain crimes. Thus, one may consistently oppose, on prudential grounds, the implementation of the death penalty while also opposing legalized abortion. It is inconsistent, however, to oppose the death penalty for convicted murderers while favoring it by abortion for innocent unborn children.
The three purposes of criminal punishment are rehabilitation, deterrence, and retribution. While civic rehabilitation is irrelevant with respect to the death penalty, that penalty does in fact deter homicide in some cases. The basic justification for capital punishment, however, is retribution.
Professor Walter Berns noted: “Our schedule of punishments reflects what we have been made ashamed to admit now, namely that in addition to the effort to deter crime, we punish in order to pay back, to retribute. Retribution constitutes a justification for punishment, and, I shall argue, it is altogether proper to pay back a murderer in kind. Our schedules of punishment are an effort to make punishment fit the crime; to agree with this principle is to agree that retribution should play a role in punishment.” Professor Berns properly relates retribution to righteous anger:
That anger is not reprehensible. Anger is the sentiment aroused by the sight of injustice, and is therefore, intimately allied with justice— and civil society requires justice. But that anger has to be tamed, and the local police alone cannot do it. I mean, the police protecting the suspect at the police station cannot tame that anger unless they can assure that righteously angry crowd that the murderer will be paid back. But there is more in this than immediately meets the eye: that anger is satisfied when retribution is exacted, yes, but that righteous anger is also rewarded when retribution is exacted. And that righteous anger should be rewarded, for its basis is the sentiment that to murder is wrong. The law blames murder when it punishes the murderer; the law praises those who do not murder when it punishes that murderer, and in this way deters murder.
The execution of Adolf Eichmann is an obvious example of this retributive “pay back” for murder. When society attaches the ultimate penalty to murder, society stigmatizes it as the crime of crimes and promotes respect for innocent life in a way that operates incidentally to deter homicides. Indeed, one consequence of abolishing the death penalty for murder is the development of a public attitude that murder is an offense qualitatively no different from embezzlement, burglary, and other crimes punished by imprisonment. This is especially true when murderers, as other criminals, are generally eligible for parole. In the process, respect for innocent life is lessened.
The common good requires that the punishment fit the crime, whether that crime be a theft of a bicycle or an ax murder. As an exercise in retribution, punishment serves to right the balance of justice that is disturbed by the crime, provided that the punishment is appropriate. Suppose, for example, that the assassin (whoever he might be) of President Kennedy were apprehended and properly convicted of that crime. And suppose that, after conviction, he were sentenced only to perform 30 days of community service. The nation would be properly outraged, because that grossly inappropriate sentence would be unjust to the community and contrary to the common good. It would diminish respect for the principle— which is essential to a peaceful and just society— that each person is responsible in appropriate measure for his voluntary acts. Even for a murderer, however, a reasonably lesser penalty might be justified by special circumstances, such as extreme youth of the defendant, provocation, etc. And a criminal penalty might be entirely inappropriate on account of some kinds of insanity. But, apart from special circumstances, there are some crimes, such as deliberate murder or treason, for which death can be the only appropriate penalty.
The death penalty should be supported and imposed only with reluctance and with scrupulous procedural safeguards. Prudential objections may be legitimately made to its use in a particular country or time. Thus, the Catholic bishops of the United States, while recognizing the power of the state in principle to impose the death penalty, have repeatedly opposed its use in this country because of its discriminatory application and because, in their opinion, it leads to “the further erosion of respect for life in our society.” This is not an argument of faith but of prudence. Such prudential objections do not deny the power of the state to impose the death penalty when needed to restore the balance of justice for the good of society.
written by William F. Jasper
A full-page advertisement appeared in the January 28, 1987 issue of the Washington Times with a picture of Oliver Tambo, leader of the South African Marxist terrorist group known as the African National Congress (ANC), standing next to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Next to it was a composite photograph of Tambo standing next to U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz. The headlines of the ad, which was sponsored by a coalition of conservative groups, asked: “Which Bothers You More?”
On the same day, a group of demonstrators affiliated with the Coalition Against ANC Terrorism staged a demonstration in front of the U.S. State Department. The demonstrators, many of them Black, wore tires around their necks as a reminder of the ANC’s tactic of burning innocent South African Blacks to death with the technique of necklacing. The protesters even staged a simulated necklacing incident, which was so realistic that two fire trucks were dispatched to the scene.
The purpose of the demonstration and the full-page advertisement was to protest against the profoundly significant meeting — held that same day — between George Shultz and Oliver Tambo. Many political observers regarded this meeting as an official Reagan Administration stamp of approval on a Communist terrorist group that not only has the blood of thousands of innocent human beings on its hands but is also bent on violently overthrowing a government friendly to the United States.
Howard Phillips, chairman of the Coalition Against ANC Terrorism, noted: “[The meeting] sends a horrendous message to the leaders of the African nations, suggesting that the U.S. is in alliance with the Soviets in favoring replacement of the incumbent anti-Communist South African government with a Marxist-Leninist cadre committed to armed revolution and Soviet policy objectives.” He further explained:
The ANC has endorsed the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, allied itself with the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Sandinistas, and condemned U.S. foreign policy at virtually every turn. ANC President Tambo has identified Cuba as his example of an ideal democracy and has been awarded the Ho Chi Minh Peace Prize by the Soviet puppet regime in Angola.
It was bad enough that the U.S. Secretary of State would take the unprecedented step of meeting with the leader of a terrorist organization that seeks the overthrow of a legitimate government. Even worse, the Shultz-Tambo meeting exceeded the exchange of official viewpoints and represented an astonishing “meeting of minds” between the two men. This startling fact came to light in the form of a revelation by Oliver Tambo himself.
On January 28, 1987, the same day as the meeting, Tambo made a guest appearance on the television program Nightline. The very first question Ted Koppel asked his guest was: “Dr. Tambo, I get the impression that you said what you were ready to say to Secretary Shultz, and Secretary Shultz said what he was ready to say to you. But in terms of a meeting of minds, that really didn’t happen today, did it?”
Tambo’s response surprised even Ted Koppel: “Well, to some extent it did.” The ANC leader went on to explain that the government of the United States and the Marxist-oriented African National Congress share a common objective or goal for South Africa!
This revelation is of profound significance, for the ANC’s objective for South Africa was long ago spelled out in detail in a document known as the Freedom Charter. This document, written and prepared for the ANC by the South African Communist Party, calls for the confiscation of private property and the establishment of a Soviet-style dictatorship of the proletariat. Tambo himself admitted on July 30, 1986, some six months prior to the meeting with Shultz: “The ANC and the SA Communist Party have common objectives….”
Although the Shultz-Tambo meeting and the subsequent revelation by Tambo are alarming in themselves, they merely confirm what many analysts have suspected for some time: that the government of the United States is conspiring to betray the Republic of South Africa and deliver that strategic U.S. ally into the hands of Marxist terrorists affiliated with the Soviet Union; that even the supposedly “conservative” Reagan Administration is as deeply committed to this conspiracy as the most radical elements in the Congress; and that this conspiracy against South Africa has reached its final stage.
Blueprint for Betrayal
The blueprint for betraying our strategic ally in southern Africa has been so firmly established that it is possible to identify each stage in the development of the plan. This blueprint has involved the following three stages:
(1) To downplay or completely obscure the extensive Communist involvement in the South African revolution by claiming that the root problem of the crisis is apartheid;
(2) To proclaim that the Communistic terrorist thugs in the African National Congress are “freedom fighters” who constitute the sole legitimate voice of the Black population of South Africa; and
(3) To pressure the South African government into negotiating with these Communistic ANC thugs on the basis of the two preceding assumptions, thereby paving the way for a Communist takeover of that Republic.
To accomplish the objectives of these stages of betrayal, the tactic of a “vise of pressure” has been utilized, in which the Communist revolutionaries create “pressure from below” through terror tactics and the U.S. government creates “pressure from above” through political, social, and economic coercion. Caught in the grip of this “vise of pressure,” the Republic of South Africa has found herself being squeezed to death, with her ability to resist overwhelming pressure put to the supreme test.
Although this conspiracy of betrayal was initiated long before Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency, it is a fact that the U.S. government’s campaign against South Africa has progressed much further and with much greater speed under the Reagan administration than it did under the administration of President Jimmy Carter. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the seemingly “conservative” Reagan administration’s commitment to the conspiracy against South Africa, at least prior to the Shultz-Tambo meeting, has gone unnoticed. In fact, it has been mistakenly believed in many quarters that the Reagan Administration is actually opposed to this strategy of betrayal.
Congressman Mark D. Siljander (R-Mich.), for instance, in a fund-raising letter sponsored by the Selous Foundation, recently stated: “President Reagan is desperate to stop the Communist takeover of South Africa.” Siljander went on to equate support for President Reagan and his administration with support for an anti-Communist South Africa free of ANC/Soviet domination.
This, however, is in sharp contrast with the officially stated view of the Reagan administration. In response to an inquiry, Phillip Wright, public affairs assistant for the United States Information Service, stated the official administration view in a letter dated September 12, 1986:
It is the view of the United States Government that the current problems and unrest in South Africa are not Communist-inspired. The root cause of South Africa’s current problem is apartheid.
Ronald Reagan himself voiced this same fallacy on July 22, 1986: “The root cause of South Africa’s disorder is apartheid, that rigid system of racial segregation, wherein black people have been treated as third-class citizens in a nation they helped to build.” The president is wrong: Apartheid is not at the root of the revolutionary activity in South Africa; Communism is.
The campaign against our strategic ally in southern Africa being waged through the U.S. Congress has received considerable attention and is well known. Congress virtually declared war on South Africa with the adoption of severe sanctions. Officially known as the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the new law prohibits: flights by U.S. air carriers to South Africa and flights by South African air carriers to the U.S.; U.S. importation of any articles produced by South African government-owned or controlled entities; importation from South Africa of textiles, uranium and uranium ore, iron and steel, sugar and sugar-related products (with South Africa’s portion of the U.S. sugar import quota transferred to the Philippines), coal, and agricultural products; exports to South Africa of crude oil products; and any new U.S. loans to South African businesses. The law also specifically endorses the ANC, demands the release of so-called “political prisoners” in South Africa, and commands the South African government to abolish all vestiges of its domestic cultural policy of apartheid.
In declaring its war on South Africa, Congress went on record as asserting, in effect, that South Africa is to be regarded as a greater threat to the United States than the Soviet Union or the People’s Republic of China, and that the South African policy of apartheid is more evil than Communism. For instance, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) recently claimed that “in some areas our policy toward South Africa can and should be harsher than our policy toward the Soviets. In South Africa there is a clear majority opposition to the Government; the situation is different in the Soviet Union.”
The president’s well-publicized opposition to the sanctions bill created much of the confusion as to the administration’s policy objectives for South Africa. Nevertheless, the subject of disagreement was not the objectives but the means of achieving them. Secretary Shultz explained on December 4, 1986:
The premises of our policy were reexamined in the domestic debate that preceded the latest round of U.S. sanctions. That debate once again made clear that the principles underlying this Administration’s policy — many of which are codified in the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 — are shared by all Americans. The recent controversy over sanctions was, thus, over the means, not the ends, of our policy.
What has received far less attention is the fact that President Ronald Reagan himself unilaterally proclaimed his own declaration of war on South Africa a year before adoption of the Anti-Apartheid Act. Through Executive Order 12532, which was issued on September 8, 1985, the president solemnly announced: “I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, find that the policies and actions of the Government of South Africa constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy and economy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with the threat.” The Executive Order went on to ban the importation of Krugerrands and to impose other restrictions on South Africa. (These restrictions later became permanent law under the Anti-Apartheid Act.)
What is most alarming about this Executive Order, however, is that the government of South Africa is found to be a “threat” to the United States — a threat so grave as to justify placing the United States in a state of “national emergency.”
Although President Reagan has not used the state of “national emergency” for all the purposes that he may thereby be empowered to do in this country, he has assumed the role of virtual dictator over South Africa, issuing a series of demands for the total reconstruction of that sovereign nation.
In an address to members of the World Affairs Council and the Foreign Policy Association on July 22, 1986, President Reagan presented six “necessary components of progress toward political peace” in South Africa:
First, a timetable for the elimination of apartheid laws should be set.
Second, all political prisoners [terrorists] should be released.
Third, Nelson Mandela [who has persistently refused to take a pledge to refrain from violence if released] should be released to participate in the country’s political process.
Fourth, Black political movements [ANC] should be unharmed.
Fifth, both the government and its opponents [the Communists] should begin a dialog about constructing a political system that rests upon the consent of the governed, where the rights of majorities and minorities and individuals are protected by law. And the dialog should be initiated by those with power and authority: the South African government itself.
Sixth, if post-apartheid South Africa is to remain the economic locomotive of southern Africa [which it will not, if the preceding components are complied with], its strong and developed economy must not be crippled. And, therefore, I urge the Congress and the countries of Western Europe to resist this emotional clamor for punitive sanctions.
These are not mere suggestions recommended for the consideration of the South African Government. They are demands. To ensure that the South African government complies with such demands, the campaign of “pressure from above” has been pursued at an ever-accelerating rate by the U.S. government.
The Anti-Apartheid Act is just one part of the pressure that is being applied. On February 5, 1987, the Reagan Administration pledged $93 million in new aid to southern African countries, ostensibly to reduce their dependence on South Africa. The announcement was made by M. Peter McPherson, Director of the Agency for International Development and the senior American AID official, at a meeting of the Southern Africa Development Conference, held in Botswana. In addition to Botswana, the other member nations are Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Thus, the U.S. government is willing to assist Marxist dictatorships on the border of South Africa, thus increasing the internal threats that that country faces, even while our government attempts to weaken the South African government through sanctions.
The government of the United States relentlessly distorts the true nature of apartheid, despite the fact that South Africa is doing everything humanly possible to dismantle apartheid. Both Congress and the Reagan Administration blame the South African government for the violence and bloodshed perpetrated by the terrorists affiliated with the ANC and related groups. The U.S. government also criticizes the “State of Emergency” in that country, though it has proven to be the only effective way to prevent the Communist-inspired violence from engulfing the entire nation. All this has but one ultimate goal — to push the strategy of betrayal to its third and final stage.
President Ronald Reagan stated on September 29, 1986:
In the last several months, the South African Government, instead of moving further down the once promising road of reform and dialogue, has turned to internal repression. We all know that South Africa’s real problem traces to the perpetration of apartheid. And we know the solution to this problem can only be found in lifting the present State of Emergency, repealing all socially discriminatory laws, releasing political prisoners and unbanning political parties — necessary steps opening the way for negotiations aimed at creating a new democratic order for all South Africans.
This strategy of “pressure from above” has not been without effect in the plan to subject the anti-Communist South African Government and ultimately replace it with a Marxist-Leninist cadre loyal to World Communism. As Oliver Tambo candidly confessed during his recent tour of the United States: “The more pressure you bring from without, the less internal pressure is necessary.”
The Secret Side of the War
The government of the United States is overtly doing everything within its power to bring the South African government to its knees by applying “pressure from above.” But in order to apply effective pressure — indeed, even to justify the “pressure from above” — there must exist a corresponding degree of “pressure from below.” In other words, there must be chaos, anarchy, turmoil, confrontation, and violence within the targeted country. To ensure that these essential ingredients exist in sufficient quantity, the U.S. government decided years ago to covertly promote and create “pressure from below” within the Republic of South Africa.
It was during the years of the administration of President Jimmy Carter, whose foreign policy was based upon a twisted conception of “human rights,” that concerned South Africans began to question seriously the motives and methods of the U.S. government. Aida Parker, a distinguished South African journalist, who at the time was working for the Citizen, an English-language newspaper, decided to conduct an investigation of clandestine U.S. involvement in her country.
Utilizing documentation gathered by South African government intelligence sources, Parker pieced together an astonishing story, revealing that the government of the United States had been bankrolling and promoting the Communist revolution in South Africa since at least 1959. Among her alarming findings, published under the title “Secret U.S. War on South Africa”:
There is a massive and increasing flow of covert State Department-CIA funds into this country to support resistance and other anti-government groups….
There is good reason to suspect that much of this money is funneled into the Republic through the U.S. Embassy in Botswana, an office handling a daily and busy traffic of South African dissidents.
There is ample evidence that among the first major CIA-backed organizations was Mr. Robert Sobukwe’s PAC (Pan-Africanist Congress) [an offshoot of the ANC], established in 1959 and formed, according to Harry Winston, a former chairman of the U.S. Communist Party, “in the luxurious offices of the USIS in Johannesburg.” [USIS are the initials of the United States Information Service of the American State Department.] ANC witnesses made similar claims in a political trial in Randburg earlier this year. It was the PAC-led defiance campaign that finally led to the shootings at Sharpeville.
It was those shootings, incidentally, that initiated a series of events culminating in the banning of the African National Congress, and in the ANC’s abandonment of all pretensions to “non-violence.” Even today, ANC leaders refer to the Sharpeville shootings as their justification for resorting to terrorism.
In addition to bankrolling and promoting the first bloody wave of violence in South Africa, the Aida Parker report disclosed that the U.S. government also funded and promoted the second wave of violence in that country — the 1976 Soweto student riots:
While rattling the sword of human rights, the Carter Administration does not show the same delicacy about human lives. There is ample evidence that U.S. agents financially back militants who are busy trying to exploit the delicate balance by inciting feelings against the Whites and the government. Prominent in this context is Drake Koka, the militant Black trade unionist widely credited with being one of the main instigators of last year’s bloody Soweto riots. Koka later fled to Botswana, where he used CIA funds to organize a “channel” for Soweto students wishing to jump the border, often with the intention of going north for terrorist training.
The Aida Parker report noted that the government of the United States, in addition to helping to finance the training of terrorists, was also providing funds for their legal defense whenever the terrorists were caught in the act of murder and treason. To ensure that the South African government’s efforts to contain this growing internal revolution were effectively crippled, the report stated, the U.S. government “(1) has over the years financially assisted in the creation of a whole solar system of political, cultural, academic, labour, church and social organisations, some of which are militant, (2) has aimed to create a Black-White polarisation and (3) is out to destroy the existing order.”
Under the supposedly “conservative” administration of President Ronald Reagan, U.S. government funding and promotion of the South African Communist revolution have actually been expanded and enlarged to the point that it is no longer possible to keep such activities secret. As James Montgomery, deputy assistant secretary of state, has recently confessed: “The U.S. Government’s largest human rights program worldwide is based in South Africa.”
It is indeed a large-scale operation. According to a recently published report by the Rands Afrikaans University’s Institute for American Studies, funding by the Reagan administration to promote anarchy and revolution in South Africa in the name of “human rights” totals some $200 to $300 million!
In an article entitled “The Involvement of the US Government in South Africa,” which appeared in the winter 1986 issue of America Review, Ansophie M. Joubert noted that the funds to fuel the South African revolution “are channeled through a number of public and private entities, including the Agency for International Development (AID), the United States Information Agency (USIA), the African-American Institute (AAI), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United States Department of Commerce.”
Through these various channels, the Reagan administration is bankrolling revolutionary and radical groups dedicated to the overthrow of the existing foundations of South African civilization. Recent recipients of such U.S. funding range from the radical “Black Consciousness” group known as the Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO), which received more than a million dollars for “leadership development,” to a host of radical trade unions that have been responsible for urging numerous strikes and fomenting labor unrest.
According to Joubert’s scholarly article, U.S. funding for this latter category of recipients is so extensive that “left-wing trade unions have more cash than they can spend and this, in turn, has contributed to a distortion of political power and influence.”
Aida Parker, one of the first journalists in the world to expose the secret side of the U.S. government’s war against South Africa, has recently offered this sobering assessment of the grim situation: “In a breathtaking display of grossly interventionist over-kill, everything that Washington could do to promote chaos and anarchy in this country is being done.”
The Final Stage of Betrayal
The whole purpose of the complementary campaigns of “pressure from above” and “pressure from below” is to push the strategy of betrayal to its third and final stage — to coerce the South African government into negotiating with the leaders of the Marxist African National Congress to bring about a “new” South Africa. Even ANC leader Oliver Tambo has candidly confessed that this is the only way his Marxist group could ever come to power in that country, for the ANC has no hope of ever shooting its way to power in South Africa.
When Tambo appeared on Nightline on January 28, 1987, Ted Koppel asked him: “You don’t think that militarily you’re going to be able to defeat South Africa, do you?” Tambo responded: “We’re not really trying to do that. You know, our struggle isn’t all armed struggle. It’s very, very much political…. And in that effort we need the assistance — the intervention — of the international community.”
The government of the United States has been doing everything in its power to provide that “assistance,” even going so far as to conduct a propaganda public relations campaign on behalf of the ANC. Speaking on ABC-TV on June 22, 1986, for instance, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Dr. Chester Crocker, declared that the Reagan administration believes that the ANC “has committed itself to democracy and so forth, a whole series of things which I think all Americans would approve.” In earlier congressional hearings, Dr. Crocker referred to the ANC’s Marxist terrorists as “freedom fighters.” When Michael Armacost, under secretary of state for political affairs, described the objective of the Shultz-Tambo meeting of January 28, 1987, his choice of words to describe the ANC did not go unnoticed: “The purpose [of the meeting is] … to facilitate a dialogue between the Government of South Africa and the legitimate voice of the Black Community.” (It is notable that three key players in the Reagan State Department on the South African issue — Secretary Shultz, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Armacost, and Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Crocker — are all members of the Council on Foreign Relations.)
Since the Communistic ANC is regarded as “the legitimate voice of the Black community” in South Africa, its domination by dedicated Communist agents is deemed irrelevant. As Crocker has asserted: “I think there are, in fact, inside the ANC a range of voices.”
There is indeed a range of voices inside the ANC — from Marxist to Leninist. The ANC itself, in a May 11, 1986 broadcast over “Radio Freedom,” has publicly ridiculed and mocked those who assert that a peaceful resolution of the South African revolution can be accomplished “by appealing to non-existent, non-Communist African Nationalist Congress leaders.’”
Yet it is precisely those very “non-existent, non-Communist” leaders within the ANC leadership whom the government of the United States claims to have discovered and established a working relationship with. It is also those same “non-existent, non-Communist” ANC leaders whom the U.S. government claims to be relying upon to prevent the very real, very Communistic leaders within the ANC from establishing a Marxist dictatorship after the new order has been ushered into South Africa.
The conspiracy to betray South Africa has clearly reached its final stage, and the dramatic conclusion cannot be far in the future. The Communists within the African National Congress have already predicted that they will be ruling South Africa by the end of this decade. As long as they have the government of the United States actively working on their side, their prediction may well become a tragic reality.
written by William F. Jasper
The issue of South Africa is of concern to everyone, not just South Africans. Indeed, according to former British Foreign Secretary David Owen, it is over this issue “that the world faces its greatest challenge.” Faced with such a challenge, it is time for all concerned Americans to penetrate the haze of myths and misconceptions that has been deliberately created.
Unless we wish to see a repetition of the recent tragedies of Iran, Nicaragua, and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) — where U.S. foreign policy decisions resulted in the replacement of friendly governments with anti-American, pro-Soviet regimes — we must seek out the truth by raising pertinent questions and obtaining factual answers. In light of the Free World’s hostility toward South Africa, a good place to begin is by raising a very fundamental and simple question.
Is South Africa our friend?
Although South Africans have reason to question if we are really their friends, there can be no doubt that they are ours. The Republic of South Africa allows the United States to maintain and operate space tracking stations on her soil, provides the United States with strategic military data on the operations of Soviet ships plying the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic, and was one of America’s very few supporters during the Vietnam War.
South Africa is in fact one of our best friends in the world. Clear evidence of this can be found in the book, United Nations Journal: A Delegate’s Odyssey, which was written by William F. Buckley Jr. and published in 1974. In the book’s appendix, Buckley ranked the various member nations of the UN in the order in which they supported 14 key issues and causes favored by the United States. According to him, South Africa was the only country in the world to have voted in support of the United States 100 percent of the time.
In the years since 1974, the South African delegation to the UN has not been allowed to participate in the General Assembly. Without its participation, the United States does not presently have even one friendly African voice. On June 6, 1986, the U.S. State Department rated all members of the UN General Assembly according to key votes of particular interest to the United States. Of 50 African nations, the highest rating was 27 percent (Ivory Coast) and the group average was 15 percent.
Despite the current efforts to portray White South Africans as “fascists” and “neo-Nazis,” the truth is that South African forces fought alongside U.S. troops in World War II to help defeat Nazi Germany and the other Axis Powers. South Africa was also America’s ally in World War I, the Korean War, and the Berlin Airlift. It is especially noteworthy that the United States does not have to purchase South Africa’s friendship. That country has never asked for nor received any foreign aid from the United States of America.
How economically advanced and technologically sophisticated is South Africa?
In stark contrast with all the other nations of the African continent, the Republic of South Africa is an economic and technological success story. According to a study made by the United Nations, South Africa is one of the few “developed” nations in the world and the only one on the continent of Africa. Occupying only about 3.5 percent of the surface of Africa, South Africa produces 66 percent of the continent’s steel, 54 percent of its wool, and 36 percent of its maize. She also provides 40 percent of the continent’s industrial output and 45 percent of its mining output, has 29 percent of its railway lines and 46 percent of its passenger and commercial vehicles, and consumes 60 percent of its electricity.
Modern, interprovincial, four-lane superhighways stretch across the country. Cars, televisions, radios, and all the other conveniences of modern life are to be found in South Africa. Computers are made there, the world’s first successful human heart transplant was performed there, and a method of enriching uranium was discovered there. That country has overcome threatened oil embargoes by developing a process of manufacturing oil from coal, and she has also successfully overcome an arms embargo by developing her own armaments industry.
Many of the other countries on the continent as far north as Zaire are heavily dependent upon the South African economy. Not only do more than one million foreign Black Africans find employment in that country, but most of the Black-ruled nations in southern Africa are almost totally dependent on South Africa for such basic needs as transportation and electricity. In fact, it has been said that, with a flip of a switch, South Africa could plunge the rest of southern Africa into darkness.
How important is South Africa to the Free World?
The Republic of South Africa is much more than a friendly, prosperous nation. She is also strategically vital to the United States. A free, friendly, pro-Western South Africa is fundamental to our own self-interest because of its valuable mineral resources and its strategic geographic position.
Although the average American seldom considers his country’s strategic vulnerabilities, the truth is that our modern industrialized economy is linked to key raw materials that must be imported from abroad, especially from southern Africa. In 1980, the Subcommittee on Mines and Mining in the U.S. House of Representatives issued a report on this strategic vulnerability that was best known by the name of the subcommittee’s chairman, Representative James Santini. In its Preface, the Santini Report asserted: “No issue facing America in the decade ahead poses the risks and dangers to the national economy and defense, presented by this nation’s dependence on foreign sources for strategic and critical minerals.”
Two years later, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations issued a report on the U.S. mineral dependence on South Africa:
The Western industrial world depends heavily on Southern Africa for chrome, manganese, vanadium and platinum. A major disruption in the supply of these minerals would have a disastrous impact on oil refining and the production of a variety of specialty steels needed in such industries as aerospace and machine tools…. The U.S. is almost completely dependent on imports of chromium, manganese, and platinum…. It is particularly dependent on South Africa for imports of chrome and ferrochrome and platinum.
South Africa contains the world’s largest known deposits of gold, platinum, chrome, manganese, vanadium, and fluorspar. It also contains substantial deposits of antimony, asbestos, coal, copper, diamonds, iron ore, lead, limestone, mica, nickel, phosphates, titanium, uranium, vermiculite, zinc, and zirconium. Nevertheless, even if we completely ignore the fact that South Africa is a mineral treasure house, that country is still strategically important to the West due to her geographic position. The Cape Colony was in fact first founded in 1652 precisely because it occupied such a strategic position along the trade route from the East Indies to Western Europe. Today, the Cape sea route is the busiest in the world, with more than 26,000 ships a year sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. More than 50 percent of Western Europe’s oil and 25 percent of its food supplies are routed via the Cape sea route, while nearly 30 percent of all U.S. oil imports are routed around the Cape.
Recent studies of world shipping routes determined that there are some 19 “choke points” around the globe where shipping could be conveniently interrupted or halted altogether. One of these “choke points” is Cape Town. Of equal significance, another seven of these world “choke points” are in the Indian Ocean area — an area where Soviet presence is effectively countered only by South African naval power.
What is apartheid and why was it adopted?
South Africa is home to approximately 30 million people, including about five million Whites, at least 20 million Blacks (Bantu), and nearly 4 million Coloreds (mixed race) and Indians (Asians). That country is not really one nation, but is in fact many nations, each possessing its own language, cultural heritage, and loyalties. Even among the Whites, two languages are spoken — English and a unique language derived from Dutch known as Afrikaans. The Coloreds speak either English or Afrikaans, or both. Among the Asians, 65 percent are Hindus, 21 percent are Muslims, 7 percent are Christians and Buddhists, and 7 percent are officially classified as “other.”
Yet the greatest tribal and cultural diversity is among the Bantu. Blacks are divided into ten major tribes, each loyal to itself and jealous of the others. Within the major tribes are sub-tribal groupings and clan divisions. The Venda, for instance, are South Africa’s most homogenous Bantu tribal group; yet they are really an amalgamation of 27 different tribes. Among the Zulu, on the other hand, there are 200 distinct tribes. The Bantu languages can be divided into four main groups, 23 sub-groups, and numerous local dialects.
The philosopher John Stewart Mill observed early in the 19th century: “Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made of different nationalities. Among a people without fellow feelings, especially if they read and write different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist.”
Instead of trying to create a great unitary state from the diverse elements within its borders, South Africa adopted in 1948 the policy of apartheid — or more properly, Separate Development — whereby each major population group was recognized as a nation entitled to develop its own political and social institutions separate from the others. According to this policy, each of South Africa’s ten major Bantu homelands would evolve into a self-governing, independent, democratic sovereign state.
In October 1976, the Republic of Transkei received its independence from South Africa, thereby becoming the first Bantu homeland to achieve sovereign status. The second Bantu homeland to receive its independence was the Republic of Bophuthatswana, which became autonomous in December 1977. The Republic of Venda became sovereign in September 1979; and, in December 1981, the Republic of Ciskei was born.
Although the rest of the world refuses to recognize these sovereign Bantu states, as of January 1987 there were six other Bantu homelands awaiting their turn for complete self-government: the National State of Gazankulu, the National State of Kangwane, the National State of Kwandebele, the National State of Kwazulu, the National State of Lebowa, and the National State of Qwaqwa.
Have Blacks enjoyed the fruits of South Africa’s prosperity?
Because South Africa is a “meeting place” between the First World and the Third World economies, it is not surprising that a gap exists between Black and White standards of living. What is surprising to many, however, is that the gap has narrowed substantially: From 1971-1980, the real income of Blacks increased by 40 percent while that of Whites actually decreased by three percent.
Even South Africa’s most severe critics will acknowledge that the country offers Blacks greater opportunities than does any other nation on the continent. As a consequence, millions of alien Blacks seek to enter South Africa every year, legally or illegally — in sharp contrast with conditions in Communist-held lands such as East Berlin, where a wall has been erected to prevent people from escaping.
Statistics released on March 28, 1980 gave a good indication of the Bantu lifestyle in the South Western Township (Soweto) near Johannesburg, where more than one million Blacks reside. The report revealed that Soweto had more than 1,600 Black-owned businesses, 300 churches, 314 schools, 115 soccer fields, 81 basketball courts, 39 children’s playgrounds, 4 soccer stadiums, 6 public swimming pools, 5 bowling alleys, 11 post offices, 6 libraries, 63 day-care centers, and 2 golf courses.
According to statistics released in February 1984, one out of every three South African Blacks owns a refrigerator; 20.2 percent of the Bantu own automobiles, 11.8 percent own color televisions; 5.4 percent own washing machines; and 2.7 percent own freezers. These percentages are not high compared to the standard of living that we enjoy in the U.S., but they are high compared to the primitive conditions that exist elsewhere on the African continent.
One of the best yardsticks for measuring the standard of living is the percentage of income that has to be devoted to the most essential item of all, food. Generally, the higher this percentage, the lower the standard of living. According to the 1984 report, South African Blacks spend an average of 45.1 percent of their household budget on food, which is virtually the same percentage that goes to food among the wage earners of Italy. In fact, South African Blacks spend a smaller percentage of their household income on food than do the populations of any other African country where comparisons were possible. (In many African countries comparisons were not possible because as little as six percent of the populations were employed in wage-earning jobs.)
How does South Africa’s human rights record compare with the record for the rest of Africa?
South Africa’s State President Pieter W. Botha recently issued this challenge to the world: “It is the big lie that a Black government in Africa is, of necessity, a majority government. I challenge the world to contradict me. It is a sad fact that only a minute percentage of Blacks in Africa have obtained democracy, liberty and justice.”
Strife, famine, anarchy, and civil war are the hallmarks of Black Africa, and racism against non-Blacks is widely encouraged and institutionalized. Article 27 of the Liberian Constitution, for instance, declares that “only persons who are Negro or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.”
Free elections in the countries north of South Africa are non-existent, and the usual mode of changing governments in Black-ruled Africa is through violent revolution. In some cases, the deposed ruler is actually cooked and eaten by cannibals. A case in point is Major General Ironyi of Nigeria, who was actually eaten by the victorious tribe following his overthrow.
Toward the end of 1985, the Catholic daily Munno reported on conditions in Uganda: “The soldiers are once again on the rampage, shooting and knifing civilians, abducting women and young girls and taking turns to rape them.” According to Amnesty International, atrocities in Uganda routinely involve raping women and “crushing or pulling testicles of men.”
The Republic of South Africa has by far the best human rights record on the African continent. Yet the “human rights” zealots in the Free World have chosen to ignore glaring abuses of real human rights in the rest of Africa and have concentrated on South Africa. As a result of this persistent criticism and pressure, the South African Government has resolved to abolish apartheid.
Is the internal reform process real?
The South African people have often reminded the world that they are an independent, sovereign nation, asserting that their sins, whatever they may be, are not ours. Yet they are also sensitive to Free World criticism, and they have accordingly dismantled the most objectionable laws that have become associated with the concept of Separate Development (apartheid), including pass laws, laws forbidding interracial marriage, and restrictive housing laws. In recent times, nearly every phase of South African life has been integrated, from the work place to the sports stadium.
The first major constitutional step toward a form of “power sharing” was made in 1984 with the adoption of a new Constitution. This “New Dispensation” provided for a tricameral legislature, with Whites, Coloreds, and Asians each having their own house of parliament. Although not yet finalized, plans are currently being made to include Blacks in the evolving federation structure.
So genuine are these changes that a major political realignment has occurred in South Africa. Conservative South Africans, who had traditionally provided the chief grassroots support for the ruling Nationalist Party, now form the chief opposition to the government. On the other hand, South African White liberals and leftists, who were formerly the government’s main critics, are now the most vocal supporters of the reform program.
The reform program in South Africa is certainly genuine. But it has also made South Africa vulnerable to attack. The philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville once observed: “Experience shows that the most dangerous moment for a bad government is usually that point at which it begins to reform itself.” This is also true for good governments, when they undergo reform in the face of charges and accusations that they are “bad” governments. Such a government undergoing reform in response to pressure and coercion is vulnerable because its action is widely perceived as a sign of weakness and as an admission of past wrong-doing. Not only has the Free World utilized South Africa’s reform process as the means to increase coercive tactics, but internal subversive groups have seized the opportunity to launch an unprecedented and bloody wave of revolution within South Africa.
Does the Soviet Union have designs on South Africa?
Leonid Brezhnev stated in 1973: “Our aim is to gain control of the two great treasure houses on which the West depends — the energy treasure house of the Persian Gulf and the minerals treasure house of central and southern Africa.”
In his book, Strategy and Economics, Soviet Major-General A. N. Lagovskiy stressed the same theme, noting that America’s dependency on certain strategic materials from abroad constituted a “weak link” in the U.S. defense strategy for the Free World. The Soviet authority candidly stated that it is a top priority in the Kremlin and its satellites to deprive the Free World, especially the United States, of key raw materials necessary for the survival of the industrialized Western economies.
Not only are the Soviets moving rapidly to surround the strategic Middle East, but they are also moving rapidly to conquer all of southern Africa. Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are already in the hands of puppet dictators loyal to World Communism. There are also numerous Communist-bloc combat troops stationed in southern Africa, including some 40,000 Cuban troops in Angola alone. As a consequence of these ominous developments, South Africa finds herself completely flanked by hostile Marxist states, and the final battle for the control of southern Africa has already begun.
Testifying before the Subcommittee on Mines and Mining in the House of Representatives in September 1980, Alexander Haig stated: “Should future trends, especially in southern Africa, result in alignment with Moscow of this critical resource area, then the USSR will control as much as 90 percent of several key minerals for which no substitutes have been developed, and the loss of which could bring the severest consequences to the existing economic and security framework of the Free World.”
What are the main anti-apartheid revolutionary groups in South Africa, and who are their leaders?
Of the many revolutionary groups operating against the Republic of South Africa, two predominate — the African National Congress (ANC) and the United Democratic Front (UDF). Since the former has been officially banned by the government for its open advocacy and employment of violence, the ANC’s main headquarters is located in Lusaka, the capital of Marxist Zambia. Situated next to the golf course of Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda’s palace are the buildings where ANC officials meet guests, supporters, and admirers. Yet the real action takes place in the bombproof, multi-story underground structure that houses the ANC’s National Executive Committee and the Soviet case officers. Within the confines of that elaborate shelter, ANC-Soviet personnel map out their “Active Measures” campaign against the Republic of South Africa.
Although the original purpose of the ANC, which was founded in 1912, is rather obscure, ample documentation exists proving that it is now totally dominated and controlled by the South African Communist Party (SACP), which in turn is controlled by the Kremlin. In his official history of the South African Communist Party, Michael Harmel, writing under the pseudonym A. Lerumo, stated:
Today the ANC has been so thoroughly infiltrated and taken over by the SACP that the two are virtually synonymous…. Joint planning by the USSR, ANC and SACP of the strategy to be used against South Africa is coordinated in Moscow where there has recently been increasing pressure on the ANC to provide proof that it is capable of “intensifying the struggle.”
In November 1982, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism issued a report, entitled Soviet, East German and Cuban Involvement in Fomenting Terrorism in Southern Africa. Among those who testified before the Subcommittee was Bartholomew Hlapane, a former member of the Central Committee of the SACP and of the National Executive Committee of the ANC. Hlapane, it should be noted, paid with his life for daring to tell the truth about the African National Congress. Shortly after giving his testimony before the Subcommittee, he was gunned down by an ANC assassin armed with a Soviet AK-47 assault rifle.
Hlapane testified: “No major decision could be taken by the ANC without the concurrence and approval of the Central Committee of the SACP. Most major developments were in fact initiated by the Central Committee.” He added: “The military wing of the ANC, also known as Umkhonto we Sizwe, was the brainchild of the SACP, and, after the decision to create it had been taken, Joe Slovo and J. B. Marks were sent by the Central Committee of the SACP to Moscow to organize arms and ammunition and to raise funds for Umkhonto we Sizwe.” Joe Slovo, a White South African and a Colonel in the Soviet KGB, is a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC and of the Central Committee of the SACP.
The acting head of the ANC is Oliver Tambo, who has repeatedly promised death and violence for South Africa. Although there is no firm evidence that Tambo is an official member of the SACP, he serves, along with two other top ANC leaders, Alfred Nzo and Yusuf Dadoo, on the Presidential Committee of the World Peace Council, a well-known Soviet front organization. Tambo has also attended official meetings of various Communist Parties around the world, and has even addressed some of those meetings to praise the goals of the world Communist movement.
At the 60th anniversary celebration of the South African Communist Party, held on July 30, 1981, Tambo stated: “Members of the ANC fully understand why both the ANC and the SACP are two hands in the same body, why they are two pillars of our revolution.” That same year, Tambo also stated: “The relationship with the South African Communist Party is not an accident of history — the SACP has been an integral part of the struggle of the African people…. Ours is not merely a paper alliance … it is a living organism that has grown out of struggle….”
Thus, by Tambo’s own admission there is a definite link between the Communists and his own ANC. On January 23, 1987, to quell concerns about the weapons that the ANC receives from the Soviet Union, Tambo stated: “Because we are getting arms from them for free does not mean we are mortgaging ourselves.” If the ANC really is not mortgaging itself to the Soviets, it can only be because it has already done so.
Of course, the symbolic leader and “martyr” of the ANC is Nelson Mandela, who has been serving a life sentence in prison since 1964 for plotting the violent overthrow of the South African Government. When brought to trial in 1964, Mandela confessed to writing books “on guerrilla warfare and military training” and admitted that he “planned violence.” Placed in evidence at the trial were documents in his own handwriting bearing such titles as Dialectical Materialism and How To Be A Good Communist.
In one document, Mandela wrote: “As in Cuba, the general uprising must be sparked off by organized and well-prepared guerrilla operations….” In another, he wrote: “We Communist Party members are the most advanced revolutionaries in modern history….” And in still another: “The people of South Africa, led by the South African Communist Party, will destroy capitalist society and build in its place socialism….”
For the past few years, the South African Government has offered to release Nelson Mandela if only he would pledge to refrain from violence. Mandela has thus far refused to take that pledge. While he stays in prison, by his own choice, his wife Winnie serves as his mouthpiece and carries on with his revolutionary work.
Is the ANC a tool of the Communist Conspiracy?
The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism, which investigated both the ANC and SWAPO (a terrorist group attacking South West Africa/Namibia), stated in its November 1982 report:
The evidence received by the Subcommittee is deeply disturbing. It suggests strongly that the original purposes of the ANC and SWAPO have been subverted, and that the Soviets and their allies have achieved alarmingly effective control over them. The demonstrated activities of these organizations, moreover, cannot easily be reconciled with the goal of liberation or the promotion of freedom. The evidence has thus served to illustrate once again the Soviet Union’s support for terrorism under the guise of aiding struggles for national liberation. It is past time to bring these facts to the attention of our policymakers, the American people, and the world at large.
The report also concluded:
The findings of the Subcommittee appear particularly relevant at a time when SWAPO and the ANC are being touted as the sole legitimate political forces and representatives of the people of Namibia and South Africa, respectively. Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and Iran are glaring and tragic reminders of our failure to fully comprehend and appreciate the motives, ideologies and interrelationships of those who sought political power under the guise of national liberation. These situations also serve as graphic examples of the terrible price which others have paid for our previous mistakes.
Does the UDF provide an alternative to the ANC?
The United Democratic Front (UDF) was launched in August 1983 during an emotion-filled multi-racial rally at Cape Town. Although the UDF claims to be a nonviolent alternative to the violent ANC and to represent some 700 anti-apartheid groups, it is clearly an internal front for the banned ANC. The UDF was in fact launched amidst chants of “Tambo! Tambo!” The delegates at the founding meeting elected three well-known ANC supporters — Archie Gumede, Oscar Mpetha, and Albertina Sisulu — as UDF presidents. Among the 14 people elected as UDF Patrons were Nelson Mandela, Dennis Goldberg, Goven Mbeki and Walter Sisulu, all of whom are serving life sentences in prison for their terrorist activities.
Thabo Mbeki, head of the ANC’s Department of Information and Publicity, commented on the formation of the UDF: “The formation of the UDF is a very significant development…. This raises our struggle to a higher level.” Writing in the Council on Foreign Relations journal Foreign Affairs, Dr. Thomas G. Karis, a supporter of the ANC and clearly no friend of South Africa, hailed the launching of the UDF as “the best organized display of support for the ANC in almost a quarter of a century.”
The current leader of the UDF is Dr. Allan Boesak, President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Dr. Boesak spearheaded the UDF’s first major drive by sponsoring the “One Million Signatures” campaign, ostensibly to gain support for the UDF, but in reality to gain recruits for the ANC. The campaign was exposed by the prestigious South African journal, The Aida Parker Newsletter, which termed it “One Million Signatures for Communism.” Regarding his own views, Dr. Boesak has stated: “I do not expect we will have the sort of classic Marxist textbook revolution people talk about. What we will have … is something of a Lebanon situation.”
Rounding out the anti-apartheid forces is the outspoken Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, who has publicly expressed his fondness for socialism. In 1979, for instance, Tutu declared: “I am a socialist — I detest capitalism. Capitalism is exploitive and I cannot stand that.” In February 1984, he claimed that “we will not have security and peace until we have justice, and we will not have that without the participation of the premier black liberation group, the ANC.” In November of that year, he predicted that, “if the Russians were to come to South Africa today, then most blacks who reject Communism as atheistic and materialistic would welcome them as saviors. Anything would be better than apartheid.” And in July 1986, in response to a speech by President Reagan on South Africa, the clergyman and Nobel Peace Prize recipient stated: “I am quite angry. I think the West, for my part, can go to hell.”
What are these anti-apartheid revolutionary groups fighting for?
What the anti-apartheid revolutionary groups claim they are fighting against has always been far better understood than what they are fighting for. To clarify their position, the subversive groups formed the Congress of the People, which convened at Klipton, near Johannesburg, to adopt a so-called Freedom Charter on June 25 and 26, 1955. This Freedom Charter is still officially endorsed by the ANC and the UDF, and therefore offers further insight into the nature of the internal South Africa revolution.
The Freedom Charter promised a utopia for South Africa: “The People Shall Share the Country’s Wealth!” “There Shall Be Work and Security!” “There Shall Be Houses, Security and Comfort!” “There Shall Be Peace and Friendship!” The method of bringing this worker’s paradise to South Africa was spelled out in detail. “The national wealth of our country, the heritage of all South Africans, shall be restored to the people,” by confiscation. “The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industries shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole,” as Karl Marx advocated. “All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people,” as the basic tenets of scientific socialism dictate.
This Freedom Charter sounds as if it had been written by Communists because it was written by Communists. In testimony before the U.S. Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism, former ANC and SACP executive member Bartholomew Hlapane said: “It is a document I came to know about, just having been drafted by Joe Slovo at the request of the Central Committee and finally approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party.”
By what methods are the anti-apartheid groups “liberating” the South African people?
The revolutionary forces of “national liberation” within South Africa are trying to “liberate” the non-White peoples by waging a systematic campaign of terrorism in the Black townships and by murdering the very peoples they claim to be liberating. Dominating the scene in that country are assassinations and intimidation of Black policemen and democratically-elected local Black officials, firebombings of Black-owned businesses, boycotts and strikes enforced by coercion, calls for nonpayment of rent, and the establishment of revolutionary Marxist “People’s Committees” and “People’s Courts.” The struggle is not Black versus White, but Black and White versus Red.
Black-on-Black civil war has gripped virtually every Black community in South Africa. At Crossroads, near Cape Town, decent Blacks have organized “vigilante” groups to defend themselves from crazed ANC-UDF mobs, and thousands of homes have been burned in pitched battles, leaving some 200,000 Blacks homeless. In Durban, Zulu Chief Gatsha Buthelezi’s Inkatha members are openly battling the ANC-UDF Marxist “comrades.” And in Soweto, one resident recently told a Newsweek reporter that “Soweto is in a state of civil war. It’s no longer news to wake up in the morning and see bodies in the streets and the front yards.” It was in response to the breakdown of law and order, in fact, that the South African government imposed a state of national emergency.
Especially significant is the growing number of public executions of decent, moderate Blacks with the technique of “necklacing.” This technique calls for ANC-UDF radicals to place a rubber tire around a shackled victim’s neck. The tire is then filled with gasoline and set on fire. As the victim is engulfed in flames, the radicals gather around to taunt him with a callousness that defies human understanding.
Necklacing is a savage form of torture and murder. Yet, Winnie Mandela has boldly proclaimed: “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country.”
Whose side is our government on?
In many respects, this is by far the most important aspect of the South African crisis. Within the U.S. State Department, White House, and Congress, there is considerable disagreement over foreign policy toward South Africa. The disagreement, however, is largely confined to differences of opinion over how best to apply coercive pressure on the South African Government and assist the ANC-UDF forces.
Major shifts in U.S. foreign policy are usually first presented in Foreign Affairs, which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1980, Dr. Chester Crocker authored an article for that journal entitled, “South Africa: Strategy for Change.” Crocker presented the strategy for inducing South Africa to undergo its reform process. Upon assuming the position of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Reagan Administration, Crocker carried out this strategy under the name “Constructive Engagement.” The result has been to render South Africa more vulnerable to internal and external attack.
Despite the conservative image surrounding “Constructive Engagement,” Crocker is on record as endorsing the ANC radicals, saying that they qualified “in a generic sense” as a group of freedom fighters. Even President Reagan has taken a stand on South Africa that has won the approval of Andrew Young. In an open letter to Bishop Desmond Tutu in mid-1986, Andrew Young stated: “For Ronald Reagan to recognize the need to un-ban Black political leadership and release Nelson Mandela is an important commitment.”
The recent radical shift in U.S. foreign policy toward South Africa was signaled by the appearance of a 1984 article in Foreign Affairs by Dr. Thomas G. Karis. Karis praised the ANC and the UDF and concluded by declaring that the U.S. Government would like to see a South African Government led “by individuals like Frederick van Zyl Slabbert, the late Steve Biko, Desmond Tutu, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela.”
The logical extension of this attitude was the passage of tough sanctions against South Africa by Congress in the fall of 1986. The proper phrase to describe the sanctions bill was ironically provided by Crocker himself, who told the Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs on September 26, 1984:
We fail to see how waging economic warfare against the Government of South Africa can advance our goals or serve the interests of either the American people or the citizens of all races in South Africa…. There is an Orwellian perversity in proposing such measures in the name of liberal and humanitarian goals.
There was indeed an “Orwellian perversity” in the Anti-Apartheid Act, the official name of the 1986 sanctions bill. Among other things, the law called for U.S. funding of anti-apartheid South African groups; termination of U.S. military cooperation with South Africa; pressure on Western allies to apply similar punitive measures; the “unbanning” of terrorist organizations such as the ANC; and the release of all “political prisoners,” with Nelson Mandela mentioned by name.
In his remarks on the Senate floor in opposition to the sanctions bill, Senator Jesse Helms noted that the measure “is not about segregation. It is not about the sharing of power, it is about the transfer of power … to a small minority elite. That elite is the Communist Party of South Africa.” Helms continued:
The intent of the new legislation is to recognize the Communist movement of South Africa as the legitimate and preferred successor to the present government of South Africa. The bill itself gives preference in almost every respect only to those opponents of the government and those groups that are deeply committed to the Communist Party of South Africa, an organization funded and controlled by the Soviet Union. The non-Communist leaders of the Blacks and non-Whites are treated as though they do not exist.
The Senator from North Carolina asked: “Why is it that the only persons mentioned by name in the bill are Communists? Why is it that the only parties referenced are precisely those parties which are under the total control and support of the international Communist movement?” Helms summarized the matter by stating frankly that the measure “is a bill for Communist rule” in the Republic of South Africa.
How do the facts add up?
South Africa is a close friend and time-tested ally of the United States and, because of her geographic position and valuable mineral deposits, is strategically important to the survival of the Free World. South Africa has by far the best human rights record on the African continent. It is undergoing a genuine reform process, a process that has rendered that country more vulnerable to internal and external attack.
The Republic of South Africa is under attack by subversive forces that are clearly under the total control of Moscow. Those revolutionary forces are torturing and murdering the very peoples they claim to be liberating. Most important of all is the incontrovertible fact that our government is supporting those revolutionary forces.
Warren L. McFerran is the author of the book, The Betrayal of Southern Africa: The Tragic Story of Rhodesia and South Africa.
written by William F. Jasper
The scene is a gloomy shanty somewhere in Soweto, the sprawling black township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Standing around the room are a group of young black radicals known as “comrades,” and hanging ominously on the walls are some old tires. The air is hot and heavy, the atmosphere solemn. The “People’s Court” is in session.
Someone issues an order, and the accused party is roughly hauled in. Like his accusers and judges, the accused is black. Unlike the others in the room, however, he is not a dedicated participant in the Marxist revolution sweeping through the black townships in South Africa. For that reason he is now on “trial.”
The “defendant” is charged with the crime of collaborating with “the system” and with the police. The comrades, acting as prosecutor, judge, and jury, do not worry about such legal niceties as proof and the rights of the accused. The trial is short and to the point. The verdict is foreordained: guilty. As is the sentence: death by “necklace.”
The sentence is carried out swiftly. As the victim sobs and pleads for mercy, his hands are tied behind his back with barbed wire. A rubber tire is placed around his neck, and another is placed around his legs. The comrades force the condemned man to drink some petrol, and the rest is poured over the victim and the tires. Then, one of the comrades lights a match.
Engulfed in flames, the victim falls to the ground and writhes in agonizing pain. The rubber tires ensure a very hot fire, and the melting rubber eats into his flesh. Amidst his cries, the comrades gather around and taunt him with a callousness that defies human understanding. Finally, after 20 minutes of intense suffering and pain, death mercifully ends the victim’s horrible agony.
“Yes, it surely is a horrible way to die,” a 16-year-old comrade in Soweto named “Killer” publicly confessed. “But the people we necklace have committed horrible crimes and deserve to die horribly.”
As an integral part of the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) Marxist campaign to spread fear and terror throughout the black townships, necklacing has become one of the comrades’ chief tools in showing the decent, law-abiding residents of those communities who is in control. Because of the importance of this tactic in the overall Communist attack on South Africa, murder by necklace has been committed at the rate of one per day over the past year.
Since the purpose of necklacing is to spread fear, such executions are committed publicly whenever possible. The comrades are in fact quite proud of their favorite torture technique, which in many respects resembles the cruelty of the Roman Empire’s crucifixions, and publicly boast of their evil deeds. A 21-year-old comrade named Bongani, for instance, has described how he helped murder a 20-year-old black youth who had brought a tape recorder to a rally.
“He was screaming for mercy and crying that he would never do it again and that he didn’t know what he was doing and that he was sorry. We set him on fire.” Bongani, who is Killer’s friend, added, “If other would-be informers see today what could happen to them tomorrow, then they won’t take the job.”
But alleged “informers” have not been the only victims of the comrades’ brand of “justice.” Township officials and black policemen have also been favorite targets. Other victims have included migrant miners, who were condemned because mines were deemed essential parts of “the system,” as well as liquor store owners, who were condemned for operating under government licenses. Blacks who have dared to disregard a boycott or a strike called by the Marxist revolutionaries have also found themselves facing the “People’s Court.” A 20-year-old black youth was once necklaced because he held a party in defiance of a “people’s ban” on Christmas celebrations.
Comrade Killer has publicly described with cold indifference how he helped to murder a 62-year-old black woman named Mary Skhosana. Since the funeral parlor that employed her sold funeral insurance, the “People’s Court” found her guilty of collaborating with “the system.”
“We knew she was a police informer. We did not need proof,” Killer stated. “She was pleading for mercy and crying and screaming. She said she’d pay us 7,000 rands [$3,080] if we let her go. We told her we didn’t need her money; we needed her life. Then we put a tire around her legs and another around her neck and shoulders. We forced her to drink petrol. We poured the rest into the tires and onto her and set her alight. But the fire went out. Another tin of petrol was fetched, and it took about an hour.”
Inspired by that bleak reality, a grim joke has been circulating in South Africa in reference to necklacing and the United Democratic Front (UDF), an umbrella organization of anti-apartheid groups and front for the comrades’ ANC. Question: “What does UDF stand for?” Answer: “Uniroyal, Dunlop, and Firestone.”
But this newest Communist method of torture and murder is dearly no joking matter. Although the international news media have been negligent in reporting on this technique of black-on-black violence, nearly all candid observers agree that necklacing has been brutally effective in its goal of terrorizing the decent, civilized segments of South Africa’s black population.
Diliza Machoba of the South African Council of Churches sums it up this way: “When you attend a funeral and you hear these young comrades chanting, ‘Long live the necklace,’ you’re going to think twice about doing anything which will in any way offend the comrades. It is the ultimate deterrence.”
written by William F. Jasper
The common [public] school is the institution which can receive and train up children in the elements of all good knowledge and of virtue before they are subjected to the alienating competitions of life. This institution is the greatest discovery ever made by man: we repeat it, the common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man….
Let the common school be expanded to its capabilities, let it be worked with the efficiency of which it is susceptible, and nine-tenths of the crimes in the penal code would be obsolete: the long catalogue of human ills would be abridged: men would walk more safely by day: every pillow would be more inviolable by night: property, life and character held by a stronger tenure: all rational hopes respecting the future brightened.
— Horace Mann, “Father of Public Education” (1841)
Our Nation is at risk…. The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.
— U.S. National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983)
Between the messianic promises held out by the early advocates of universal public education and the realities of our schools today, there is an enormous disparity. Even the most fervent supporters of tax-funded, government-sponsored education admit that the present system is failing fast. Dr. John I. Goodlad, former dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and one of the education establishment’s leading oracles, has stated:
American schools are in trouble. In fact, the problems of schooling are of such crippling proportions that many schools may not survive. It is possible that our entire public education system is nearing collapse.
The crime and disorder rampant in so many of our schools and the disastrous decline in academic achievement indicate that Dr. Goodlad’s assessment is not an exaggeration. When the National Commission on Excellence in Education published its much-heralded 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, it did not have much “excellence” to report; instead, it offered a litany of failures. These are but a few of its findings:
• International comparisons of student achievement, completed a decade ago, reveal that on 19 academic tests American students were never first or second and, in comparison with other industrialized nations, were last seven times.
• Some 23 million American adults are functionally illiterate by the simplest tests of everyday reading, writing, and comprehension.
• About 13 percent of all 17-year-olds in the United States can be considered functionally illiterate. Functional illiteracy among minority youth may run as high as 40 percent….
• The College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) demonstrate a virtually unbroken decline from 1963 to 1980. Average verbal scores fell over 50 points, and average mathematics scores fell almost 40 points. [Discouraging as these statistics are, the actual decline is probably much worse. In 1963, the math and verbal SATs represented the average scores of all students tested. Since 1967, the College Board has reported only the scores of college-bound seniors — the individuals presumably more academically inclined. Additionally, as reported by the educational testing service that administers the SATs, the tests have been made easier over the years. Thus, because the standards of measurement have been changed, the actual academic decline has been understated.]
The response from the public school establishment to these failures was predictable. A new reform movement was launched, complete with new commissions and new task forces. To placate angry parents and taxpayers, some states and school districts have enacted tougher academic standards for both students and teachers and inaugurated stricter disciplinary codes on campus.
But these “reforms” are not sufficient to remedy the defects in the government school system. “The underlying problem with public education,” says Dr. Dwight R. Lee, professor of economics at the University of Georgia, “is that it is public.” As long as education remains a service provided and controlled by government, all reform efforts are doomed to fail.
However poor its performance in academic matters, “free, universal, compulsory” schooling has, in two areas at least, been an outstanding success: in enormously expanding its own size and power, and in inculcating a popular belief in its own indispensability. The rise of the state school as a dominant institution in all industrialized countries has been one of the most significant phenomena of the 20th Century, fulfilling if not surpassing Horace Mann’s grandiose vision of universality.
Undergirding the foundations of public education are a number of widely-held false assumptions and corollaries:
• For civilization to survive, people must be educated, and without government providing this service, too many citizens would remain ignorant.
• Private education is elitist and divisive along economic, social, religious, and racial lines, while public education engenders unity.
• Government supervision is essential to guarantee that “proper” education takes place.
• Private schools are unhealthily competitive, while government schools promote cooperation.
To examine these assumptions properly, we must undertake a brief review of the historical development of our present government school system.
America’s Literate Beginnings
“The American faith in education,” write professors David Tyack and Elizabeth Hansot, “did not originate with the common-school movement of the mid-nineteenth century, nor did widespread popular schooling begin with what we would now recognize as public education.”
In Managers of Virtue: Public School Leadership in America, 1820-1980 (New York, Basic Books, 1982), Tyack and Hansot describe education in our young Republic quite favorably:
One sign of the effectiveness of the many forms of education in the United States was that Americans were among the most literate people in the world. In the 1840 census, about 90 percent of white adults were listed as literate. A recent study of a sample of the 1860 census shows that 94 percent of free males were literate, and among these the older men were only slightly less literate than the younger ones, indicating that instruction had been widespread even early in the nineteenth century.
What was the pattern of education that produced such results? It was highly diverse. In the early nineteenth century citizens tended to have an attitude toward education that Americans today have toward religion: attend the school of your choice. The choices largely reflected differences of class, religion, ethnicity, race, sex, and regional tastes and needs…. Benevolent societies and churches, sometimes aided by governments, established charity schools for children whose families were too poor to afford schooling.
Earlier still, John Adams remarked in 1765, regarding our educational attainment: [A] native of America who cannot read or write is as rare an appearance … as a comet or an earthquake.”
By all the available evidence, early Americans did quite well without government schools. In Massachusetts, government-sponsored “common schools” existed primarily as a legacy of the Puritan colonists’ concern for promoting Bible study, but they bore little resemblance to our current expansive system. At any rate, by the early 1800s most parents had abandoned them for the diverse, flourishing private schools.
When a small group of “reformers” in 1817 petitioned the Boston town meeting to extend the common schools to the primary level, a subcommittee was appointed, chaired by distinguished architect Charles Bulfinch, to survey the city’s educational needs. The Bulfinch report, says education historian Samuel Blumenfeld, revealed that “an astonishing 96 percent of the town’s children were attending school, and the 4 percent who did not, had charity schools to attend if their parents wanted them to. Thus there was no justification at all for the creation of a system of public primary schools, and Bulfinch reported as much to the School Committee, which accepted the sub-committee’s recommendation” (Is Public Education Necessary? The Paradigm Company, 1981).
Since “public education” was obviously not necessary, it is logical to ask how and why it came about. The answer to that has more to do with politics than education. By and large, the individuals most instrumental in establishing government control over schooling were socialists and secular humanists who were more imbued with the ideas of Robert Owen (the “Father of Socialism”) and German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hegel (Karl Marx’s major mentor) than with the constitutional principles and Biblical morality that held sway during our founding period.
Origins of Public Education
When Robert Owen came to the United States in 1825 to set up his utopian commune at New Harmony, he found a significant following among the American intelligentsia. One of those was the influential writer and editor Orestes Brownson, who later converted to Christianity and exposed the devious and conspiratorial methods by which the Owenites had fastened statist schooling upon America.
For the Owenites, wrote Brownson,
The great object was to get rid of Christianity, and to convert our churches into halls of science. The plan was not to make open attacks on religion although we might belabor the clergy and bring them into contempt where we could; but to establish a system of state, — we said national — schools, from which all religion was to be excluded, in which nothing was to be taught but such knowledge as is verifiable by the senses and to which all parents were to be compelled by law to send their children…. The first thing to be done was to get this system of schools established. For this purpose a secret society was formed….
Brownson elaborated further:
To this end it was proposed to organize the whole Union secretly, very much on the plan of the Carbonari of Europe, of whom at the time I knew nothing. The members of this secret society were to avail themselves of all the means in their power, each in his own locality, to form public opinion in favor of education by the state at the public expense, and to get such men elected to the legislatures as would be likely to favor our purposes. How far the secret organization extended, I do not know; but I do know that a considerable portion of the State of New York was organized, for I was myself one of the agents for organizing it.
Frances Wright, the indefatigable Owenite feminist, who campaigned relentlessly for public education, clearly stated her socialist bent when, in 1829, she called for “national, rational, republican education; free for all at the expense of all; conducted under the guardianship of the state, at the expense of the state, for the honor, the happiness, the virtue, the salvation of the state.” Statism became the secular religion of the reformers, and they advanced it with evangelical zeal.
Horace Mann, writing to his friend Henry Barnard, spoke of state education as a “beautiful and glorious development,” and “the greatest of earthly causes. It is part of my religion to believe that it must prevail.” Mann opined that the common schools would “create a more far-seeing intelligence and a purer morality than has ever existed among communities of men.”
“Educate the rising generation mentally, morally, physically, just as it should be done,” Senator Henry Blair told his colleagues in the capitol in 1882, “and this nation and this world would reach the millenium within one hundred years.” John D. Pierce, Michigan’s first state superintendent of public instruction, argued: “Children of every name and age must be taught the qualifications and duties of American citizens, and learn in early life the art of self-control — they must be educated. And to accomplish this object, our chief dependence must necessarily be the free school system.” Governor De Witt Clinton of New York claimed that “the first duty of a state is to render its citizens virtuous by intellectual instruction and moral discipline, by enlightening their minds, purifying their hearts, and teaching them their rights and their obligations.”
One of the most ardent apostles of state-controlled pedagogy and one of the leading education “reformers” of the 19th Century was Newton Bateman, the Illinois state superintendent of public instruction. Typical of the state schoolmen of the day, Bateman frequently rhapsodized in Biblical terms on the virtues of government education. “In the rapt visions that come to me, as they come to all,” wrote Bateman, “I sometimes seem to see the apocalyptic gate swing open, and far down the aisles of the future, brightly revealed in the soft clear light, there stands the incarnate idea of the coming teacher.”
In an address to the National Education Association, Bateman prophesied: “Through costly experiments, splendid failures, and baffled hopes, we make our way toward the Augustan age. As the Israelite awaits the readvent of the lost glory of his race, the Christian the dawn of the millennial day, and the millions the coming of that good time when the earth shall be greener and the skies brighter, so we believe in the golden age of schools and teachers.”
The experiments have indeed been costly — and continue to be so — but who would agree with Bateman that the failures have been “splendid”? And yet, Bateman went even further. To him the “minds and souls and bodies” of children were merely pliable resources to be administered by and for the collective:
The amount of latent dormant power; of wealth-discovering and wealth-producing energy; of beauty-loving and beauty-inspiring taste and skill that lie concealed and slumbering in the brains and hearts and hands of the keen, shrewd, capable, but untutored millions of our youth, is beyond comprehension. Now over all this unreclaimed but magnificent intellectual and moral territory, over all of these minds and souls and bodies, with their untold possibilities of good, the State has, in my opinion, a sort of right of eminent domain and not only may, but should exercise it in the interest of her own prosperity and dignity.
Dewey’s Dismal System
This same messianic view of the school carried into the 20th Century. John Dewey, commonly referred to as the “father of progressive education,” and the most celebrated of American educators, was a humanist-atheist; yet he spoke of education in reverential tones. “The teacher,” he declared, “is engaged not simply in the training of individuals, but in the formation of the proper social life”; and “in this way the teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of God.”
The public school movement was motivated by the notion that the State — and not God — is the “savior” of mankind. According to historian Lawrence Cremin, these zealous missionaries for a new social order believed that, “once public schools were established, no evil could resist their salutary influence. Universal education could be the ‘great equalizer’ of human conditions, the ‘balance wheel of the social machinery,’ and the ‘creator of wealth undreamed of.’” Historian Henry Steele Commager, a firm supporter of public education, wrote: “To our schools went the momentous responsibility of inspiring a people to pledge and hold allegiance to the principles of democracy, nationalism, Americanism, egalitarianism.”
Roots in Prejudice
There was robust opposition to the establishment of a comprehensive government school system. As we have noted, there was no need for one: Most people were satisfied with the existing school arrangements. Additionally, there was still a healthy suspicion of government expansion and a strong sentiment against increasing the state’s opportunities for taxing. Undaunted, the common school lobbyists utilized what V. T. Thayer referred to as the “motives of fear” to sway the “unenlightened.”
“Anxious to wring support for public schools from propertied interests, then opposed to taxation for such a purpose,” wrote historian Merle Curti, “educational spokesmen warned them of the dangers to property rights from universal suffrage, Jacksonian democracy, and even, possibly, revolution — any of which might result if the masses were left undisciplined by education.” Crucial support was gained from certain Protestant ministers with dark warnings of the dangers of Catholic proliferation, and with beatific visions of new mission fields in the state schools.
In any event, through a combination of constant, energetic propagandizing and political intrigue, on April 20, 1837, the public school proponents succeeded in getting the Massachusetts legislature to establish a state Board of Education — with Horace Mann as Secretary. Still, the statists did not have an easy time selling their Common School ideas to the great “unwashed masses.” The writings of Mann and the other reformers are replete with exasperation over the failure of the people to avail themselves of these “beautiful temples,” as Secretary Mann fondly referred to his institutions.
In 1839 the Common School Journal, official organ of the movement, complained that there were so many private schools that the government schools were hard pressed to compete: “Our academies and high schools are, at the present day, by far too numerous; and in this, principally, lies the evil.” The Journal advocated that three-fourths of these schools be “annihilated,” and that the money and teachers from them be “put into our Common Schools.”
From Massachusetts, common schools (or public schools) gradually spread to the other states. Opposition to the schools continued, however, and government education did not become “universal” until near the end of the 19th Century, when compulsory attendance laws forced children into the schools.
In summary, the record shows: (1) Government schools were not needed; (2) Government schools were not wanted; (3) Government school advocates were less concerned with education in the traditional sense than with advancing their social-political agenda; (4) Government school advocates had to resort to trickery, browbeating, and coercion to attain their goals.
The Case for Private Schools
Basic principles have not changed since America’s founding era, and any objective comparison between private and public education today would weigh heavily in favor of private education. The most extensive such comparison to date is the much-discussed “Coleman Report” (High School Achievement: Public, Catholic and Private Schools Compared by James S. Coleman, Thomas Hoffer and Sally Kilgore, New York, Basic Books, 1982) that came out of the 1980 survey of 1,015 high schools by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Among its conclusions:
There are at least two important ways in which private schools produce higher achievement outcomes than public schools. First, given the same type of student (that is, with background standardized), private schools create higher rates of engagement in academic activities. School attendance is better, students do more homework, and students generally take more rigorous subjects (for instance, more advanced mathematics). The indication is that more extensive academic demands are made in the private schools, leading to more advanced courses and thus to greater achievement. This is a somewhat obvious conclusion, and the statistical evidence supports it. Second, student behavior in a school has strong and consistent effects on student achievement. Apart from mathematics coursework for seniors, the greatest differences in achievement between private and public schools are accounted for by school-level behavior variables (that is, the incidence of rights, students threatening teachers, and so forth). The disciplinary climate of a school, such as the effectiveness and fairness of discipline and teacher interest, affect achievement at least in part through their effect on these school-level behavior variables.
The Coleman study, which was based on a broad representative sampling of schools made up of students from diverse ethnic, religious and income backgrounds, indicates that private schools probably are also better at achieving some of the stated “social” goals of the public schools — for example, integration among different racial and income groups. The researchers found that overall “blacks and whites are less segregated within Catholic schools than are blacks and whites in public schools.” The study reported that “the other private sector (non-Catholic) is least racially segregated and the public sector by far the most segregated.” The survey also found “the public sector showing slightly higher income segregation than either the Catholic or other private sectors.”
Further, the private sector was far more successful in closing the academic achievement gap between students from “advantaged” and “disadvantaged” backgrounds. According to the study: “Altogether, the evidence is strong that the Catholic schools function much closer to the American ideal of the ‘common school,’ educating children from different backgrounds alike, than do the public schools.” Finally, the authors write, “The greatest difference found in any aspect of school functioning between public and private schools was the degree of discipline and order in the schools.”
Private schools tend to outperform their government-sponsored counterparts scholastically and socially. And they usually accomplish this at half the cost, or less. There is a very simple reason for their superior performance: They are accountable to the marketplace; if they produce a shoddy “product,” they will not be around for long. The government schools, on the other hand, rely not on performance, but upon political muscle for their support.
The 19th Century English philosopher Herbert Spencer wisely observed, “In education as in everything else, the principle of honourable competition is the only one that can give present satisfaction or hold out promise of future perfections.” A more contemporary scholar, professor Dwight R. Lee, explained another important political-economic aspect of government schooling:
As long as education is provided publicly, it will be controlled by, and for the benefit of, public education professionals. The reason for this is straightforward.
As opposed to market decisions where each consumer exerts direct and decisive control over the services he chooses to purchase, no one individual has decisive control over the political decisions which determine the publicly provided services all consumers are required to “purchase.” Seeing no advantage in becoming informed and active in pursuit of objectives over which he has no direct control, the typical citizen-consumer quite rationally devotes little effort to influence public education policy. In contrast, suppliers of public education have significant political influence over public education policy by virtue of the fact that they are organized through professional associations, have a concentrated interest in decisions affecting public education, and are widely perceived as education experts….
As long as education is funded publicly, decisions on educational policy will be made politically, the interests of consumers will remain diffused and unorganized, and dominated by the focused and organized interests of the public school professionals [The Freeman, July 1986].
Amazingly, one of the most common refrains of Horace Mann and his cohorts was that public schools would “put education above politics.” This, of course, was — and is — absurd. Economist Hans F. Sennholz explains why:
Public education is necessarily politicized: its very existence depends on the political process. This explains the enormous rigidities that characterize government education. Any change or adaptation involves the cumbersome political apparatus. An elementary adjustment of teachers’ salaries, for instance, which in private education is a simple matter for a board of trustees, becomes a political controversy in public education. Such decision-making by the bureaucrats is enormously inefficient, time-consuming, and may require a political campaign, log-rolling, and pressure tactics. While private education remains inconspicuous, and little is ever heard of our progressive private schools, the public schools continue to make headlines with racial riots, teacher strikes, and student boycotts. This is because public education has become a matter of politics.
David Tyach, professor of history and education at Stanford University, describes some of the school issues that have politically divided communities since the advent of state education:
A common cause for argument was the location of the school. “To settle the question of where one of the little frame schoolhouses should stand,” wrote Clifton Johnson about New England, “has been known to require ten district meetings scattered over a period of two years,” and to draw out men from the mountains who never voted in presidential elections…. In tiny Yoncall, Oregon, feuds split the district into three factions, each of which tried to maintain its own school.
Which School of Thought?
The long-standing and heated political debates — over whether the schools should emphasize vocational or classical curricula, structured or flexible learning environments, phonics or look-say approaches to reading, creationism or evolution, forced busing or the neighborhood school concept, or religion or secularism — would cease to be issues if government were divorced from education. Parents would be free to choose the school they believed would best serve the needs of their children. This would be certain to engender not only a flourishing diversity in education, but the more important benefit of greater parental involvement in, and responsibility for, the child’s schooling.
Dr. Frank E. Fortkamp, who has himself had a long and distinguished teaching career at public high schools and colleges, has written angrily about this absence of choice in education:
Surrendering our schools to the government is a surrender to socialism. The essence of socialism is the closed loop of government control. The essence of capitalism is free enterprise in the open marketplace.
What sense does it make to educate our children in the virtually socialist Public Education System when these same children must grow up, find jobs, and function in the capitalist free enterprise system? Our present Public Education System, tied to bureaucratic government control, is Exhibit A of the waste inherent in the socialist largess that insists on educating everyone the same way….
Right now in the small town where I live, I have a mind boggling number of options when I go to purchase wallpaper for my living room. But when it comes to how I would like my children to learn science, I either submit to the regimen of the public schools or — while continuing to support that public system with my taxes — I can opt for some struggling private school. That’s the system, and that’s dictatorial nonsense [The Case Against Government Schools, American Media, 1979].
The rigidity, mediocrity, and stultifying conformity of the public schools may be maddening, but they are not surprising. These are the traits inherent in any government operation, and they are to be expected.
Government is a necessary evil. It is necessary for the protection of individuals from those unjust men in society who would violate the rights of others. Whenever government begins “to help” some of its citizens in the name of the common good, an alarm bell immediately should sound, for that is when the rights of all are gravely endangered. Henry David Thoreau once sagely remarked, “If I knew for certain that a man was coming to my house to do me good, I would run for my life.” This advice is even more pertinent with regard to government “do-gooders.”
George Washington aptly defined government as “force” and as “a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” This description is particularly accurate with regard to education, which encompasses the forming of the mind and character. Free people should shudder at the mention of government and education in the same sentence.
English philosopher John Stuart Mill, in his famous treatise On Liberty, written in 1859, saw the dangers all too clearly:
A general state education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood or an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
As one people after another have ignored the warning, despotism has been their lot. The state school system has become a cardinal feature of every totalitarian regime.
Mill’s warning seems particularly prescient when one reads the occasional candid confessions of collectivist educators who lust after young minds to mold. Dr. Fred Gates, in charge of the Rockefeller Foundation’s General Education Board in the early 1900s, wrote in the Board’s Occasional Paper No. 1: “In our dreams we have limitless resources and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our moulding hands. The present educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk.”
Another leading educator of the “progressive” era, sociologist Edward A. Ross, gave this vision of the state’s role in education: “To collect little plastic lumps of human dough from private households and shape them on the social kneadingboard….” Yes, we are mere lumpen proletariat, to be molded by omniscient commissars.
Similarly the National Education Association stated in the January 1969 issue of the NEA Journal: “Schools [are to become] ‘clinics’ whose purpose is to provide individualized psycho-social ‘treatment’ for the student, thus increasing his value both to himself and to society.”
Along with the academic, moral and social deterioration of the state schools, there are an increasing number of educators and public officials who share these collectivist views and who regard parental rights with contempt. As more and more parents in recent years have removed their children from the government education systems to enroll them in private schools or to teach them at home, public school authorities have reacted by utilizing the police powers of the state to stop the exodus.
Compulsory attendance laws, teacher certification requirements, accrediting regulations, health and safety codes, and a myriad of other restrictions are being used to intimidate parents, clergymen, and educators whose only “crime” is to seek a decent education for their children. Many of these fine, conscientious people are now suffering prosecution or are serving jail sentences with common criminals. This resort to coercion is a final admission of failure and a ringing indictment of the public “education” system.
Why Not Freedom?
What then is the answer to these problems? Twenty years ago, constitutional scholar and commentator Dan Smoot spelled it out. In the Dan Smoot Report for October 10, 1966 he wrote:
By substituting private financing for federal aid and school taxes, we would eliminate government compulsion which is not only unjust and (as concerns the federal government) unconstitutional, but is also the source of our major educational problems.
Then, people with no children in school would not be forced to pay for educating other people’s children. Parents with school-age children could patronize the kinds of schools they want. Those who want church schools could support church schools. Those who want non-sectarian private schools, or trade schools, or special-purpose schools, or schools of classic instruction, or segregated schools, or integrated schools — could do likewise….
How about children whose parents could not pay tuition? The people of America voluntarily contribute enough money to maintain churches for millions of members; and they voluntarily support religious, educational, charitable, artistic, and scientific institutions all over the world. It is absurd to say they would not educate children of the poor without the force of law.
If the billions now confiscated in taxes for our extravagantly expensive government schools were left in the hands of the people, there would be enough money in every community to build and operate all necessary educational institutions. [Public education expenditures for the 1985-86 school year were estimated at $214.2 billion by the U.S. Government’s National Center for Education Statistics.]
And how will this come about? Smoot continued:
We will solve our major education problems when the people elect governors, state legislators, U.S. Congressmen, and a President who have the courage and good sense to say:
How dare a government, professing to be free, lay violent hands on children and force them to attend particular schools, study particular books, under particular teachers?
Whence does government derive the right to take advantage of my children and say when, where, what, and by whom they shall be taught? Whence does government derive the right to seize another man’s money for the education of my children?
How dare a government, professing to be free, invade the domain of private duty and private right that God assigned to parents?
written by William F. Jasper
The following testimony given by W. Herbert Hunt was presented on May 2, 1980 before a House subcommittee probing the rise and fall of silver prices, amid allegations that the Hunt family had conspired to corner the silver market. As a result of the falling price of silver and other factors, however, the Hunts lost more than $1 billion in the silver market. (W. Herbert Hunt is shown testifying, with brother Nelson Bunker Hunt looking on.)
In early 1979, I became convinced that the economy of the United States was in a weakening condition. This reinforced my belief that investment in precious metals was wise and, because of the rampant inflation, that soft currencies were vulnerable.
I did invest substantially in silver futures contracts, but generally such purchases were completed before July 1979 when silver was selling for approximately $8.50 per ounce. Well after I established such positions, prices of silver on the two major exchanges, Comex and CBOT, rose to over $40 per ounce in 1980.
I’d like to point out that silver is by and large an expendable natural resource similar to coal, natural gas and petroleum. Both silver and energy have suffered from a government policy of interference in the free market.
Supply and demand has not been allowed to work. This has distorted prices and resulted in great price increases over relatively short periods of time.
For example, steam coal sold for $4 to $8 per ton in 1979 and now brings $25 to $30 per ton, for a 400 to 600 percent increase in price.
The average wellhead value of natural gas in 1973 was 21.6 cents per million cubic feet being controlled. Today, deep natural gas that is not subject to price regulation brings a free market price of $5 to, in some cases, over $6 per million cubic feet, or 25 to 30 times greater in price.
Petroleum was sold for $3 to $4 per barrel and now brings $30 to $40 in the world market, depending on quality, for a ten-fold increase in price.
Silver has enjoyed a similar price increase, rising from a price in 1973 of around $3 to $40 per ounce in 1980 before this last fall in price.
I have read in the media accusations about my silver investments, and I want to make it clear that at no time did I attempt to corner, squeeze or manipulate the silver market. At no time did I participate in an agreement to corner, squeeze or manipulate the silver market. At no time did I attempt or agree with others to attempt to manipulate the silver market.
Throughout the fall of 1979, the price of silver continued to rise despite the increasingly higher margin requirements imposed by the exchanges. In my view, it does not take a sophisticated market analyst to determine the effect of these higher margin and positive limit requirements.
First, access to the silver futures market by the average investor or speculator was denied by the high margin requirements. The result: There were no small buyers. Second, the position limits required large traders to dispose of their contracts. The natural result of these artificial factors was to drive the price of silver down. Mine was the distressful economic situation of being compelled to be a seller without buyers.
The exchanges finally broke the silver market on January 21 and 22, 1980. On the 21st, Comex limited trading to liquidation only. The decline in the price of silver continued until late March 1980. This rapid decline was the inevitable result of the actions taken by the exchanges.
The reason given by the exchanges for these abrupt changes in the rules and, in my opinion, manipulative actions was that there existed an emergency in the market; namely, that there was a lack of silver for delivery brought about by the presumption that those holding long futures positions would stand for delivery.
I submit that this was not the reason. The members of the board of directors, at least of Comex, are engaged, or represent firms engaged, in trading. Did some members of the board have a vested interest in forcing the market price of silver down?
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, April 24, 1980 reported that there were members of the Comex board who did have a vested interest in seeing that the price of silver went down. These were representatives or employees of major precious metal dealers, or floor brokers who had acquired short positions as the price went up. I feel that this committee should ascertain whether conflicts of interest existed with respect to board members and their firms.
Were their actions between September 1979 and February 1980 market neutral; that is, did they not affect the price either up or down; or were they designed to drive the price of silver down? Did the board members profit from the market? Did the regulatory actions make this possible? Who had access to position reports, and was this information leaked to nonauthorized persons and firms in the market? It’s been reported that one investor reported gains of $100 million.
Have the board members engaged in market manipulation in concert or individually for themselves or their firms?
Photo at top shows W. Herbert (left), with Nelson Bunker Hunt, testifying on May 2, 1980: AP Images
Hunt Brothers and the Great Silver Witch-Hunt
written by William F. Jasper
America is gearing up for the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. From May 25th until September 17th of 1987, appropriate celebrations will mark the 200th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia. Then will come the bicentennial dates for each of the ratifying state conventions. Other important events to be commemorated include the election of George Washington as our first President, the convening of the first Congress, and the ratification of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. The last of these commemorations will occur on December 15, 1991, making our constitutional bicentennial a four-year tribute.
The tribute that is paid, however, may consist of something other than to the principles embodied in the Constitution; it may instead be a repudiation.
The founding principles of the Republic may be cast aside because there are powerful forces at work bent on changing our form of government. For many decades these same forces have helped to move America away from constitutional limitations toward an all-powerful state. They now hope to formalize radical changes that have already been taking place by rewriting the Constitution.
These entrenched powers are planning to use the occasion of the Constitution’s bicentennial for a “reappraisal” of our nation’s governmental system. And the radical changes that they recommend, as their “tribute” to the Founders, will be portrayed as reforms needed to modernize the Constitution and make government more efficient.
Fantastic? Not at all. In his 1984 book The Power To Lead, Professor James MacGregor Burns made this appraisal of our constitutional system: “Let us face reality. The framers [of the Constitution] have simply been too shrewd for us. They have outwitted us. They designed separated institutions that cannot be unified by mechanical linkages, frail bridges, tinkering. If we are to ‘turn the founders upside down’ — to put together what they put asunder — we must directly confront the constitutional structure they erected.”
Burns is co-chairman of Project ’87 (read: 1987). According to its literature, this prestigious private group is “dedicated to commemorating the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution by promoting public understanding and appraisal of this unique document.” (Emphasis added.) Project ’87 claims not to take positions on changing the Constitution. But that disclaimer hardly allays concern over what direction the group’s “appraisal” of the Constitution is likely to take with Burns as co-chairman.
He is also a member of the board of directors of the Committee on the Constitutional System, another prestigious private group. The CCS was established for what it calls “a candid assessment” of our constitutional system. Unlike Project ’87, however, this group is anxious to offer specific changes.
Changes to the Constitution can be made two ways: by the amendment process used for the last 200 years, or by a new constitutional convention. Under the present drive for a balanced-budget amendment, an unprecedented second constitutional convention could be called during the bicentennial era. Should this occur, the second convention could far exceed what balanced-budget proponents intend. It could be used, in fact, to write a new constitution, which is exactly what happened at the original convention of 1787. Only this time, instead of a dream coming true, the result could be a nightmare.
Without understanding our unique legacy of freedom, one cannot fully grasp the extent to which seemingly reasonable “reforms” — proposed by the Committee on the Constitutional System and by others — could repudiate the founding principles of our Republic. Nor can one properly realize how a second constitutional convention — portrayed as an innocent re-enactment of the first — could be used for that end.
The Founding Era
Signed on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles….”
That foundation for that new government based “on such Principles” was originally the Articles of Confederation. They were approved by the Congress after more than a year of debate. After ratification by every one of the newly independent thirteen United States, they became the supreme law of the land on March 1, 1781.
The Articles of Confederation created a “perpetual Union between the states” known as “The United States of America.” Under this confederacy, each state retained “its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States….” Also, “the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united states, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.”
Although the basic principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence have endured, that original constitution, the Articles of Confederation did not. It was short-lived because it failed to create sufficient order for the new union of states. The Articles were not inviolably observed by the states, nor was the union under their confederation perpetual.
When the states under this confederation began deliberations to remedy the defects in the Articles, they were at first primarily concerned with problems in the areas of trade and commerce. One such problem was a dispute between Maryland and Virginia over navigation rights on the Potomac River. In March 1785, George Washington, hoping that this dispute could be resolved through discussion, hosted a meeting of delegates from Maryland and Virginia at his home. Gathering at this Mount Vernon Conference, the delegates recommended that the two states meet annually “for keeping up harmony in the commercial relations” between them. Maryland’s delegates in approving this also decided to invite to the annual meetings delegates from two other neighboring states, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Virginia, however, recommended a meeting of all the states “to take into consideration the trade of the United States….” This led to the Annapolis Convention, which in turn set the stage for the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the Constitution.
Held in September of 1786, the Annapolis Convention was attended by delegates representing only five of the states. Because of the poor representation, the delegates decided not to proceed on what they called “the business of their mission.” Instead, they suggested that “the power of regulating trade is of such comprehensive extent, and will enter so far into the general System of the federal government, that to give it efficacy, and to obviate questions and doubts concerning its precise nature and limits, may require a correspondent adjustment of other parts of the Federal System.” They therefore recommended a meeting of the states that could considers not only trade, but “such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union….”
After evaluating the Annapolis Convention, the Continental Congress proposed that “a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation….” Although the scope of this meeting was to be broader than that of Annapolis, it was still limited to proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation.
The Philadelphia Convention opened on May 25, 1787, when a quorum of delegates representing a majority of the states had arrived, Eventually, a total of 55 delegates representing all of the states except Rhode Island participated.
The convention met behind closed doors for some four months. Secrecy was employed to allow for candid discussion and to make it easier for delegates to change their positions based upon the rightness and wrongness of each position debated, not on political considerations.
On June 19th, after debating various proposals, the delegates decided not to amend the Articles of Confederation, but to devise a new national government. From that point on, the assembly worked in violation of its own mandate. On September 17th, 39 of the 42 delegates who were present, representing all twelve state delegations, signed the new Constitution. After the Continental Congress received the proposed Constitution, some representatives sought to censure the constitutional convention for faring to abide by its mandate that allowed merely for revisions of the Articles of Confederation. Those favoring censure, however, were not in the majority. On September 28th, Congress resolved to submit the Constitution to special state conventions for ratification. All thirteen of the original states ratified it, the last to do so being Rhode Island on May 29, 1790. But the Continental Congress, on September 13, 1788, had already proclaimed the Constitution ratified by the required nine states and ordered the new government to convene on March 4, 1789.
The Constitution, therefore, was the product of a runaway convention overstepping its authority. Nevertheless, the product was a blessing if not a miracle.
George Washington said of the event that it was “in the hand of God.” At a critical point during the convention debate, when some nearly despaired of ever reaching any agreement, Benjamin Franklin, the oldest of the delegates, observed, “In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain when we were sensible of the danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered…. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” (Emphasis in the original.)
That America did rise from a backward wilderness nation to become the envy of the collectivist old world is now fact. That God shed his Grace on this development is based on faith, but it is a faith held in common by all Americanists.
The Founding Principles
The Constitution provided for a stronger federal government than had existed under the Articles of Confederation. But under the Constitution, as under the Articles, the federal government was still strictly limited to specified powers that were delegated to it. To assure that the federal government would not overstep carefully crafted boundaries, the Founders methodically interwove into the Constitution a system of checks and balances that included:
• Dividing governmental powers between the national government and the autonomous state governments. This arrangement was unique in history and became known as Federalism.
• Granting only certain powers to the national government; while protecting the individual rights from infringement by any force, whether it be by government — foreign or domestic — or by the people themselves using the dictates of a collective majority. This system of government is known as a Constitutional Republic. It is not a democracy, a system in which majority rule is unrestrained.
• And, separating the limited powers of the national government into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The Legislature was further divided into two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
By defining the specific powers of the new federal government, the Founders limited that body to its correct role of protecting God-given rights. By dividing those limited powers among the branches of government, the Founders denied to the national government a means to overstep its proper bounds and become tyrannical.
The Constitution that the Founders so carefully crafted gave us something extraordinary: a government of law and not of men. Under such law, the God-given rights of the individual are sovereign and immutable. They may not be violated by government, no matter how compelling the reasons to do so may seem. Neither may the majority do so, acting through their government for some supposed “greater good.” The majority can conceivably demand a new law that infringes upon a God-given right, but Congress may not properly enact such an unconstitutional law. If Congress did overstep its authority, the Judicial Branch was empowered to nullify the act, to declare an improper law “unconstitutional.” These limitations on the will of the people hold true no matter how large a majority may want otherwise.
For instance, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” And the Tenth Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Under the Constitution, even a minority of one is protected from the desires of the majority acting through government.
Such principles were not embodied in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution by accident. But the outcome could have been very different. The War for Independence could have ended in repudiation of rights, as was the case with the French Revolution. America’s experience was different, however, because it was blessed with the rarest of leaders who had faith, wisdom and character: the faith to recognize that rights come from God; the wisdom to understand that the proper role of government is simply to protect God-given rights; and the character to fashion a government based upon such principles.
But, the American people have gradually lost sight of our nation’s founding principles. Their collective blindness has enabled a relative handful of individuals who seek an all-powerful state to increase the size of government in the name of the majority. Thus, the federal government has increasingly assumed vast powers beyond those specifically delegated to it by the Constitution, to the extent that it now claims the right and the responsibility to regulate the nation’s economy and provide for the material welfare of the people. Gradually, America is becoming like the despotic Old World from which the Founders declared their independence. Just as the founding of the Republic did not happen by accident, neither has our continuing slide backward toward despotism.
On July 4, 1976, our nation celebrated its first major bicentennial event, the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Less than a year before, on United Nations Day, October 24, 1975, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia set its subversive sights on the approaching commemoration by unveiling a mockery of this great American document: “A Declaration of INTERdependence.”
Virtually calling for the repudiation of the Declaration of Independence, the “INTERdependence” document proclaims, “Two centuries ago our forefathers brought forth a new nation; now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order.” It claims that mankind must “free itself from the limitations of national prejudice,” and that Americans have “a moral obligation to strive for a more prudent and more equitable sharing of the resources of the earth….” Simply stated, America’s resources should no longer be ours but the property of all the peoples of the world.
“A Declaration of INTERdependence” calls for “the immediate reduction and eventual elimination” of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons “under international supervision” and the placement of the “processes of production and monetary systems” under “regulation by international authorities.” So that these goals may be reached, it supports the strengthening of “the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and other institutions of world order….”
Any thinking American familiar with this document would condemn it — or so one would think. On January 30, 1976 (the bicentennial year of our nation’s independence), a delegation of U.S. Congressmen, representing 124 senators and representatives who had already formally endorsed the document, journeyed to Philadelphia, birthplace of our nation’s independence, to publicize the “Declaration of INTERdependence.” Regardless of whether or not they understood the true significance of their action, these Congressmen, in effect, endorsed the abolition of the very Constitution to which they had sworn allegiance. (Alert citizens were able to make this document very controversial by publicizing its thrust. Several Congressional endorsers eventually withdrew their support.)
The principles of the Declaration of Independence and those of the “Declaration of INTERdependence” are totally incompatible. Yet, the bicentennial celebration of our independence was used by interdependence advocates to make their subversive philosophy seem more palatable. And, in the same manner, those who seek to formally restructure our form of government view the Constitution’s bicentennial era as a grand opportunity to carry out their plans.
The 1985 book Reforming American Government: The Bicentennial Papers of the Committee on the Constitutional System is described by its editor, Donald L. Robinson, as a “book of ‘working papers’” for the CCS. In that regard, James MacGregor Burns’s call to “turn the founders upside down” is offered in its pages. According to Robinson, the draft language of proposed “reforms” in the book “will enable citizens to begin the difficult but essential task of refining ideas into specific statutory or constitutional language.” Taken as a whole, the conclusions of the book’s forty working papers, together with the draft language of seventeen proposed reforms, stand in direct opposition to the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
In Reforming American Government, the Committee on the Constitutional System has boldly put on paper specific constitutional language for the wholesale altering of our form of government. If Americans ignore these bicentennial proposals, examples of which are given below, they do so at their own peril.
The Team Ticket: “In any election for electors of president and vice-president and for senators and representatives, candidates … shall be required to run on a political party slate …. Each voter may cast a ballot for one such slate as an entirety, and votes cast separately for individual candidates shall not be counted.”
Under this proposal, the independent candidate would be eliminated, and the party candidate who does not fit the mold of his party’s chieftains would find it exceedingly more difficult to get elected. This procedure would be modeled after the European parliamentary system where voters cast ballots for the party, not the candidate of their choice.
Bonus Seats: “The political party whose candidate is elected president shall designate, as members of the House of Representatives, one person for every five congressional districts … [and] shall designate as senators of the United States one person for each state.”
Thus, the total membership of the House would be expanded from 435 to 522 members, and the Senate from 100 to 150 members. One-sixth of all representatives and one-third of all senators would not be chosen by the voters. Instead, these additional legislators would be designated by the party whose candidate is elected President. This would virtually destroy the vital separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. At the same time, it would create a virtual oligarchy, since the political party whose candidate is elected president would be able to dominate both the executive and legislative branches.
One-House Override: “Two-thirds of either house of Congress shall have power to present any bill, previously passed by that house and thereafter not passed by the other house within 120 days, to the president…. If the president signs the bill, it shall be a law.”
Thus, the ability for one house of Congress to restrain the other, as can be done today, would be weakened.
Ratification by Reduced Majority: “The president shall have power to make treaties, provided three-fifths [sixty percent] of the Senate … [or] a majority of each house of Congress concurs.”
Currently, two-thirds (sixty-seven percent) of the Senate must approve before a treaty is ratified. (The lower is completely excluded from the process.) This prudent constitutional provision — intended to insulate our nation’s foreign affairs as much as possible from political pressures — had much to do with heading off U.S. involvement in the League of Nations, and ratification of the SALT II and Genocide Treaties. By weakening the check on the president’s negotiations with foreign powers, the possibility of the U.S. entering into unwise treaties that compromise our sovereignty would be increased.
Dissolution of the Government in Power: The “president shall have power to issue a proclamation of no confidence in the Congress, and the Congress shall have power to adopt a resolution of no confidence in the president…. A proclamation or resolution of no confidence shall fix a date for the calling of special elections for the appointment of electors for president and vice-president, and for the offices of senator and member of the House of Representatives.”
Should a president exercise his check on Congress or vice versa, the provisions of this proposal would enable either branch to dissolve the government in power and replace it with a new one formed through the calling of special elections. This would put in place an inherent threat against either branch freely exercising its will. Thus, the vital separation of powers would be eroded further, and the nation would move away from a government of law under the Constitution toward one in crisis similar to European parliamentary democracies.
What the “Reforms” Mean
The “reforms” of the Committee on the Constitutional System would destroy the separation of powers built so skillfully into the Constitution, and they would move us toward the parliamentary system. Under that system, the party in power would be inordinately dominant because of its greatly increased control over both the executive and legislative branches. Rule by a political party that supposedly represents a majority of the electorate would prevail. But even in this regard, that all-important check of the people on their governing officials — the popular vote — would be dramatically weakened. All of which would violate our existing American system, under which fixed limitations designed to constrain dangerous governmental power and protect the God-given rights of the individual now prevail.
To borrow a phrase from James MacGregor Burns, adopting the CCS proposals would turn the founders upside down. It would formalize radical changes that have been taking place, and it would change our Constitutional Republic (rule by law) into a representative democracy (rule by majority).
If the Committee on the Constitutional System were only a few aging radicals from the campus disorders of the 1960s, its plans would not merit serious review. But it should be taken seriously because it has sufficient prestigious clout to influence what we do as a nation. Reforming American Government describes it as “a group of two hundred prominent citizens (among them present and former members of the Senate and House, Cabinet and White House staff, governors, party officials, members of academia, journalists, lawyers, and labor, business, and financial leaders).”
The CCS is co-chaired by former presidential counsel Lloyd N. Cutler, former Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon, and Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS). Cutler and Dillon happen to be members of the powerful Council on Foreign Relations, an elite private organization whose admitted purpose is to “shape American foreign policy” and “break new ground in … international issues.” It has been dubbed by critics “the invisible government” of the United States. Fifteen of the 41 members of the CCS board of directors are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Financial support for the CCS has come from the Ford Foundation, the Brookings Institution, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations have also made grants for programs of Project ’87.
The CCS has not yet endorsed any of the constitutional amendments that it is now considering. Nevertheless, the direction of its thinking is alien to the principles embodied in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
A New Constitution?
Article V of the U.S. Constitution states, “The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses of Congress shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by Congress.” All told, 26 amendments have been added to the Constitution. Everyone one of these, including the Bill of Rights, was proposed by Congress and ratified by the states. With the exception of the original Constitutional Convention held in 1787, the convention method for amending the Constitution has never been used.
In his 1970 book Between Two Ages, Council on Foreign Relations member Zbigniew Brzezinski (National Security Advisor in the Carter Administration) discussed the potential for using a convention to bring about change. “The approaching two-hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence,” he stated, “could justify the call for a national constitutional convention to reexamine the nation’s formal institutional framework. Either 1976 or 1989 — the two-hundredth anniversary of the Constitution — could serve as a suitable target date….” Ironically, just as the “Declaration of INTERdependence” was proposed for adoption in 1976 (Brzezinski’s first target date), we now face the possibility of a new constitution based on the CCS “reforms” in 1989 (his other target date).
In 1978, two years following the Independence bicentennial, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger suggested a less formal reexamination: “It may seem premature to be thinking about the next significant bicentennial celebration in our national life, but our experience with the bicentennial of 1976 demonstrates the desirability of long advance planning. It is not too soon to turn our minds to the two-hundredth anniversary of the document signed in Philadelphia almost exactly 191 years ago. I submit that an appropriate way to do this will be to reexamine each of the three major articles of our organic law [for the three federal branches] and compare the functions as they have been performed in recent times with the functions contemplated in 1787 by the men at Philadelphia.”
Perhaps these sentiments explain why Burger accepted the post of honorary chairman of Project ’87. They may also explain why Burger maneuvered to get the chairmanship of the governmental Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. On April 18, 1985, more than two months before the President appointed Chief Justice Burger to this position, a government official who predicted this development told the press that Burger “wanted this commission to amount to something and become institutionally important, particularly at a time when it seems possible that we might have a new constitutional convention.”
A New Constitutional Convention?
Since 1975, 32 states have petitioned Congress to call a constitutional convention for the purpose of drafting a balanced budget amendment. If two more states submit petitions, the second constitutional convention in our nation’s history must be held. At best, such a convention would result in a constitutional crisis followed by a proposed balanced-budget amendment. At worst, the result would be constitutional crisis followed by a proposed new constitution, one possibly based on the CCS “reforms.”
Most advocating a constitutional convention to mandate a balanced federal budget do not advocate a new constitution. Their good intentions, however, do not lessen the dangers of either an out-of-control convention or one that is managed to suit the purposes pursued by the CCS. Americans should oppose the convention call for two main reasons.
1. Runaway Convention: There is no constitutional provision that limits the scope of a convention. Should one be called, there is no telling what it could produce. It could write a new constitution instead of, or in addition to, writing a balanced-budget amendment. Indeed, fear of what a second convention might do is a major reason why the convention route has never again been followed.
The first Constitutional Convention established the precedent for a runaway convention. There is sharp disagreement among constitutional and legal scholars about whether Congress has the constitutional authority to limit the scope of a convention. In the event that one is called, this divergence of opinion would result in a divisive confrontation.
Another debated question is whether states have the constitutional authority to limit the scope of a constitutional convention in their petitions calling for a convention. For instance, Duke Law School professor Walter Dellinger stated in his article “The Recurring Question of the ‘Limited’ Constitutional Convention,” published by the Yale Law Journal in 1979: “In order to satisfy the various objections of the [Constitution’s] framers, a Convention must be free to define for itself the subject matter it will address; the state legislators may call for such a Convention, but they should not be permitted to control it.”
Last November, when the Michigan legislature rejected a constitutional convention resolution that also contained a proposal to limit its scope, the argument that the safeguards could not be a guarantee against a runaway convention prevailed over the claim that the convention could be limited. State Senator Jack Faxon summed it up well when he stated, “Constitutional conventions are, by their very self-definition, sovereign bodies.” We know what such a body could do if it is convened, but nobody knows for sure what it would do.
If a constitutional convention does submit “reforms” that would alter our form of government, the state legislatures may not have the opportunity to reject them. Congress may decide instead to submit the “reforms” to special state conventions for ratification, as was the case with the ratification of our present Constitution. Also, the delegate selection process for either the national constitutional convention or the state conventions has not been determined.
2. Balanced-budget Amendment: Even if a constitutional convention concerned itself with nothing more than drafting a balanced-budget amendment, the adoption of this amendment would not end inflation or cut taxes, the two major reasons why strong support for such an amendment has developed.
Inflation is an increase in the supply of money and credit. Balancing a yearly federal budget would mean that the federal government would not produce any deficit for that particular year. But it still would have to contend with whatever yearly deficits arise from “off-budget” programs. If the federal government finances debt by increasing the supply of money and credit, this of course would be inflation.
Nor would a balanced-budget amendment necessarily cut taxes, since the budget could be balanced by raising taxes just as well as by cutting spending. In all probability, a balanced-budget amendment would cause the politicians to do both. It could also cause them to move more spending items “off-budget” in order to circumvent the intent of the amendment. The only solution to inflation is to end the practice of increasing the supply of money and credit. Likewise, the only solution to the high cost of government is to cut its size. Admittedly, a balanced-budget amendment may increase the pressure to implement these solutions, but it does not supply the solution itself.
A law was already passed, in 1978, requiring a balanced federal budget as of fiscal year 1981 (P.L. 95-435). But it has been completely ignored. More recently, as part of the bill to push the national debt limit over the $2 trillion plateau, Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation to require a balanced federal budget by fiscal 1991. Whether or not this law will also be ignored remains to be seen. Even if our lawmakers do adopt a balanced budget required by law, this does not necessarily guarantee that the budget would be balanced. A budget is only a forecast! Because future spending and revenue cannot be predicted exactly and future events cannot be foreseen, a budget that is balanced on paper at the beginning of the fiscal year may not be balanced at the end of that year.
The growing deficit crisis exists because the Constitution is treated as if it does not exist. The solution to the crisis is to adhere to the Constitution. Until that is done, a constitutional amendment to balance the budget could be ignored just as easily as have been other constitutional provisions. If the federal government had been operating within the limits of the Constitution, there would be no need even to contemplate a balanced-budget amendment as there would be no serious deficit crisis to resolve.
After the Bill of Rights, the large majority of amendments added to the Constitution have not strengthened our Republic — they have weakened it. Except for stripping it of those damaging amendments, our Constitution needs no repair. What is in need of repair is the lack of understanding of the principles embodied in the Constitution and of the will to put those principles into practice.
A constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget is a misguided plan for two reasons: It may lead to far more than a balanced-budget amendment; and if it does produce such an amendment, there is no assurance of an end to the deficit crisis. The real issue is the integrity of the Constitution.
Political Alignment: On the “Right”
There are many conservatives who advocate a constitutional convention in the sincere belief that it can be limited to proposing a balanced-budget amendment and that this amendment would restore fiscal sanity in Washington. There are other so-called “conservatives,” however, who would alter our form of government. One of these is Kevin Phillips, president of the American Political Research Corporation, who is also on the board of directors of the Committee on the Constitutional System.
In Reforming American Government, Phillips is described as “a conservative commentator.” His article, “An American Parliament,” another of the book’s working papers, states:
The dubious doctrine of ‘American exceptionalism’ — based on the idea that this country is unique, or that God takes care of babies, drunks, and the United States of America — is a misconception that may soon prove fatal. The notion springs from many sources, among them the belief that we are blessed with a peerless Constitution and brilliantly structured political system, designed for the ages in the candlelight of 1787. Yet, the United States’ success in coping with the 1980s may depend on the speed and intelligence with which we can transform a number of obsolescent, even crippling, political institutions, mechanisms, and relationships. Conservatives, by tradition partisans of the status quo, may find themselves taking the reformist lead….
Effective reform of the federal government would be best served by a quasi-parliamentary transition….
Implement Lloyd Cutler’s idea of having national and congressional candidates run together on a quasi-parliamentary ticket, and metropolitan Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Shreveport, Jacksonville, Palm Beach, Charleston, Winston-Salem, and a dozen other cities would immediately shift to a conservative coalition representation….
The political irony … is that aging liberals are no longer the innovators, but the Bourbons and Hapsburgs of contemporary institutional failure. Theirs are the palaces under attack, and the restless crowds beginning to throw rocks into the Tuileries are populist conservatives of a sort. The challenge of the 1980s is that conservatives may find themselves obliged to preside, not over a traditional electoral realignment, but over a critical restructuring of U.S. political institutions.
Apparently, Phillips believes it is perfectly acceptable to move away from a Constitutional Republic toward a parliamentary democracy, as long as “conservatives” and not “liberals” engineer the transition. The problem here is that the nature of man does not change, whether the opportunity for mischief is provided by those who call themselves “conservative” or by those who admit to being liberal. Also, it would be no less wrong to give power to a conservative majority (or their representatives) than it would be to give it to a liberal counterforce. Whether he describes himself as conservative or liberal, the populist — one who believes in adherence to the popular will — does not understand this. But the Americanist — one who believes in America’s founding principles — does understand.
The populist supports democracy; the Americanist supports our Constitutional Republic. The populist preaches that he should be allowed to carry out the popular will without restraint; the Americanist recognizes that no one should be allowed the power to violate the God-given rights of the individual. For he realizes that it would be better to have scoundrels in Washington who are kept away from mischief by the limiting features of our Constitution than it would be to have well-intentioned men with the power to implement their agenda in the name of the majority. The populist wants to act in the name of the majority; the Americanist wants men to act for themselves. The populist tries to win elections so that he will acquire power; the Americanist who seeks election wants to preserve our Constitutional Republic so that no man will have power over another.
“Conservative” and liberal populists who seek to “reform” our system of government so that they can lead without restraint are supporting the same goal. Should they succeed, it will make no difference if the clique in power represents a conservative or a liberal majority, or if the growing power of government swings back and forth between these two constituencies as governments are dissolved and formed. Our fate in either case would be the worst tyranny of all: the tyranny of the majority.
And on the Left
Many liberals believe that a balanced-budget amendment would curtail the spending programs they advocate, and that a constitutional convention would result in a balanced-budget amendment. But others on the Left, would try to use a “balanced-budget” convention to alter our form of government.
The preface to Reforming American Government states that, of the two methods available for amending the Constitution, “most members of the Committee would far prefer to proceed by the traditional method.” Perhaps. But in one of the book’s working papers, CCS co-chairman Lloyd Cutler said, “if the pending call for a constitutional convention to propose a ‘balance the budget’ amendment is joined by the two additional states needed to provide the triggering two-thirds … our committee may be ready with some better ideas.”
And CCS coordinator Peter Schauffler suggested at a Washington news conference last year that, should a convention be called, his group would be ready with a “package of carefully structured amendments to put on the agenda of such a convention.”
Thus, CCS members claim to oppose a constitutional convention, but they are prepared to use it for their own purposes. At such a convention, the “reformers” would enjoy the best of two worlds: they could blame the constitutional crisis caused by the convention on the “conservatives” who called for it, and they then could “rescue’” the American people from this crisis by submitting their own agenda. Because of the benefits to their cause, we cannot help wondering if some CCS “reformists” claiming to oppose a constitutional convention are actually harboring a hidden hope that one will materialize.
How It Adds Up
Radical changes that are politically unattainable during normal times may be attainable during times of crisis. In a Reforming American Government working paper, James MacGregor (“turn the founders upside down”) Burns brazenly admitted this, stating:
I doubt that Americans under normal conditions could agree on the package of radical and ‘alien’ constitutional changes that would be required. They would do so, I think, only during and following a stupendous national crisis and political failure….
Major changes in process and structure will not be brought about by spontaneous action on the part of the mass public …. Changes will be brought about by leadership, as in the drafting and adoption of the Constitution of 1787. But today such changes will not be allowed to remain in the hands of a small set of elites, like the fifty-five men who drew up the Constitution. The second and third cadres of American leadership must be fully involved….
Do we have a third-cadre leadership of similar intellectual power and creativity today? The answer can be found in the civic and religious groups, in the local Leagues of Women Voters and local bar associations, in the unions and Chambers of Commerce, in the professional organizations, in the schools and colleges and universities of America. [Emphasis added.]
Will the federal government’s debt prove to be enough of a crisis to convince Americans that major “reforms” in their government are needed? Will these “reforms” be sold to Americans on the promise that they will make the government more “efficient,” thereby alleviating the debt crisis? Will a constitutional convention for proposing a balanced-budget amendment be used for this broader purpose? After all, the architects of a new constitution could argue that the budget cannot be balanced, and fiscal sanity cannot be restored, unless the needed structural changes are made. (When the Annapolis Convention met in 1786 to resolve the trade crisis, its delegates were of the opinion that the resolution of the crisis “may require a correspondent adjustment of the other parts of the Federal System.”)
If a convention is used for the purpose of writing a new constitution based on CCS “reforms,” will the new constitution be submitted to special state conventions instead of the state legislatures for ratification? (The original constitution was submitted to conventions.) If the new constitution is submitted to conventions, will the ratification process of our original Constitution be used as a precedent? Also, will these special state conventions be filled with a cadre of leadership of the type that James MacGregor Burns described — one supportive of moves to turn the founders upside down?
If a national constitutional convention followed by state conventions were held during the constitutional bicentennial period of 1987 through 1991, would the spirit of the bicentennial make the whole process of “reforming” American government more palatable to Americans? Would the windows of a new constitutional convention be boarded up in the figurative sense? (Windows were literally boarded up at the original constitutional convention.) And could it be that Warren Burger’s decision to hold meetings of the present bicentennial commission behind closed doors — citing the precedent of the original constitutional convention — mean that he has a future constitutional convention in mind? Indeed, will history repeat itself during the bicentennial era — only this time, taking a turn for the worse?
We do not know the answers to these questions. But we do know powerful forces are at work bent on destroying our form of government. Regardless of whether these forces are actually working to bring about a constitutional convention, they will try to use such a convention for their own purposes.
The solution is education. If enough Americans understood Americanist principles, no force on earth would be able to trick them into surrendering their birthright. Not during the constitutional bicentennial — not ever.
written by William F. Jasper
Over a million readers of the Wall Street Journal for October 3, 1985 saw the headline: “Hunts Sell Off Most of Silver Holdings, Taking Losses Estimated at $1 Billion.” The bible of American big business reported under a Dallas dateline that the Hunt silver sales amounted to $350 million, “ending one of the boldest attempts ever to corner the market in precious metals.”
Did the Hunts of Texas actually make an effort to “corner” the silver market? During the last five years, the Wall Street Journal and much of the American mass media have based all their related stories on the assumption that the Hunts sought to corner and manipulate the silver market. The reported $1 billion loss is the presumed price they paid for their failure.
By using such suggestive language as “one of the boldest attempts to corner the market,” etc., what the media and others have implied is that the Hunts operated some sort of conspiracy — that they secretly tried to get control of the entire silver supply and then dramatically drive up its market price. But Nelson Bunker (on the right in the photo) and W. Herbert Hunt (left) were the most conspicuous “cornerers” in the history of the precious metals market. Not only were the brothers bullish on silver during most of the decade of the 1970s when gold was the investment rage, but they were substantial buyers in the open market.
One of the few questions never asked in the last five years has been: Why did the Hunts first buy into what now appears on the surface to be a billion-dollar silver fiasco? The answer is inflation.
Bunker and Herbert Hunt first got into the gamblers’ game of soybean commodity futures in February 1977 as part of their investment strategy to fight inflation. Inflation and food prices are usually linked, and traders in agriculture futures use silver as a hedge, buying silver when soybean and grain prices rise and selling it when the prices fall, to make money to meet future trading obligations.
February 1977 was only one month after Jimmy Carter had been sworn in as president. The Hunts, like a great many other businessmen, assumed that with the Democrats back in the White House, inflation was certain to rage out of control. The double-digit inflation of the Carter years confirmed their worst fears.
Sons of the late H.L. Hunt, who in the 1920s founded the family fortune by winning his first oil lease in a poker game, Bunker and Herbert used their extensive holdings in silver futures as collateral for bank loans to buy 22 million bushels of soybeans at $6 a bushel. Within a month the commodity had jumped to $10, prompting the federal regulatory Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in Washington to charge that the Hunts’ $96-million profit represented an effort to manipulate and squeeze the market. The CFTC also charged them with violating the 3-million bushel purchase limit on soybean-future contracts by using the names of their various children and family.
The Hunts were furious, insisting they were victims of government rule rigging for the benefit of the Eastern Establishment “insiders” who, they maintained, controlled and manipulated the commodity markets in New York and Chicago for their own advantage.
“There are literally dozens of family ingroups in Chicago if not elsewhere in the country,” fumed Bunker Hunt, “who trade soybeans or trade grains, and the government has never tried to say they are all trading together. I think the reason, frankly, they jumped on us is that we’re sort of a favorite whipping boy, you know. We’re conservatives, and the world is largely socialist and liberal. And, as long as they want to jump on somebody, they want a name and they want to jump on somebody that’s on the other side.”
The evidence of a politically motivated plot to ruin the Hunt brothers is far more substantial than the allegations that they had sought to corner and manipulate either the soybean or silver commodity markets. It is in the area of silver where the evidence of a political plot against the Hunts is substantial.
In the months prior to the October 1973 Middle East war and the Arab oil embargo, the Hunts, because of their Texas oil interests, took more seriously the threats of a Middle East oil embargo than did either President Nixon or his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger. Therefore, they began buying substantial silver futures as a hedge against rising prices that would be inevitable if oil became scarce. By December 1979, the Hunts held commodity futures contracts for between 35 and 50 million troy ounces of silver estimated to be worth somewhere between $600 million and $1 billion.
When they began buying large amounts of silver, the price was less than $3 an ounce, rising by August 1979 to $9 and then spurting by January 17, 1980 to an all-time historic high of $50 an ounce. The price then plummeted back to $10.80 an ounce by March 27, 1980. The Hunt brothers maintain that the dramatic drop in price was due to board members of the established exchanges deliberately selling the market short to break the price.
“All those exchanges are run by the shorts [those who sell short] and with the connivance of the shorts. They knew they could break the market because they were the guys voting,” insisted Bunker Hunt.
The price of silver falling like a rock sent a shock wave throughout the financial world, both in the United States and abroad. What worried just about everyone was that the wild run-up and run-down of silver prices was similar to what had taken place on Wall Street with stocks prior to the 1929 crash. Fear was compounded by an economy in a nervous state, suffering from double-digit inflation and high interest rates which, by the presidential election year of 1980, had become a prime political issue.
Thus the Hunts’ huge accumulation of silver made them prime suspects in an alleged conspiracy to corner and manipulate the silver futures commodity market for enormous profits. Both in the press and before subsequent congressional committees, the Hunts repeatedly denied such allegations. But those denials fell on disbelieving ears. Their case was not helped by the political climate at a time when silver prices roared up to $50 an ounce only to fall back to $10. But other circumstances certainly fueled the prejudicial bias against the Hunts.
First, they were Texas-rich gas and oil men with associations in the Arab world, and Arabs were being blamed for the economic woes of 1980. Double-digit inflation and high interest rates had become a burning political issue that year in the contest between then-President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Second, not only were the Hunts oil-rich, but they were conservatives who politically and financially supported Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. The four congressional committees that held separate hearings on the wild price fluctuations of silver during the first half of 1980 were all controlled by Democrats.
Third, there had been earlier CFTC allegations that the Hunt brothers had sought to corner the soybean commodity market. Though never substantiated, those allegations left a cloud hanging over the Hunts and their financial dealings.
Fourth, the “silver conspiracy” case seemed to have been clinched when William Bledsoe, a former Hunt employee of 15 years, came forth to tell all about their business dealings, including their heavy involvement in silver. “As I saw it at the time,” he was quoted as saying, “the Hunts were making a concerted attempt to manipulate or control the world’s supply of silver.”
Bledsoe added to the developing melodrama by claiming that Arab oil associates of the Hunts were also deeply involved in trying to corner the world’s silver market. That Arab angle was particularly appealing to architects of the conspiracy scenario since the high inflation and interest rates of the time were being blamed on the greed of the Arab oil-producing states.
Then, in the full glare of news media coverage, came the Hunt brothers’ appearance before congressional committees where they were portrayed as a pair of greedy, insensitive villains.
“I want to make it clear,” Herbert Hunt told a Senate committee in May 1980, speaking also for brother Bunker, “that at no time did I attempt to corner, squeeze, or manipulate the silver market. At no time did I participate in an agreement to corner, squeeze, or manipulate the silver market. At no time did I attempt or agree with others to manipulate the silver market.”
Challenging the conspiracy charge, the two brothers leveled their own allegation that, far from being villains in a conspiracy, they were themselves the victims of one. The dramatic drop in the silver prices, they maintained, was the direct result of decisions made by commodity exchange directors decreeing at the peak $50-an-ounce price that the Hunts could buy silver futures but they could not sell! The CFTC would later admit that “a series of actions prompted by the concerns of the CFTC” drove the price down from its historic high to a level of $10 an ounce within a few days.
The Hunts were, as a result, caught in a nightmarish financial bind: Silver futures in the millions, purchased with hard cash at high prices, were forbidden to be sold as the value of silver skidded in price.
In the U.S. stock market, purchases can be made on the basis of credit. The commodity market compels a speculator to keep on deposit what is known as “margin” — that is, a percentage of the total price of the commodity must be covered in hard cash. What happened in the Hunt case is that the exchange not only suddenly increased margin requirements on silver, but also made these increases retroactive to earlier contracts. Thus the Hunts’ cash expenditures became much greater as the margins they were required to meet were increased.
The upshot was that the brothers, in order to meet their margins, were forced to secure from a bank syndicate what was probably the largest single private loan in recent financial history. The $1.1 billion bank loan, to save them from having to dump their 63 million ounces of silver on a depressed market, required them to put up as collateral just about every income-producing asset they owned individually and as a family.
When the Hunts insisted before a Senate committee that they were not the villains but the victims of a conspiracy, therefore, it was understandable that their claims fell on disbelieving if not deaf congressional ears. But both Bunker and Herbert admitted they had no hard evidence to prove their own charge that commodity exchange directors had deliberately rigged the rules to hurt them.
“I think the market manipulation was very obvious,” Bunker Hunt told the senators, “and I think you can take any market, whether it’s soybeans, corn, cotton … put the same kind of margin requirements to it and … drive it down almost as much as they’ve done with silver.”
But, though the brothers could not prove their charges, neither could the four congressional committees come up with evidence of a Hunt conspiracy. In fact, prior to the May 1980 Senate hearings, the New York Commodity Exchange (Comex) issued a report on the conduct of the Hunts during their five years of dealing in silver futures.
“No evidence was discovered during that period,” the Comex report stated, “which might have suggested a presence of any squeeze, corner, or other attempt to manipulate the silver market and the market was maintained in an orderly fashion and each maturing futures contract liquidated properly.”
Before Bunker and Herbert were questioned by Senate committee members, witness after witness from the commodity industry made two central points: The run-up and then skidding of silver prices did no damage to industry or the economy. Not only did the economy escape damage, but silver brokers were paid all the commissions due, and both brokers and bankers made substantial profits.
One CFTC commissioner told the committee that no firm in industry went under and, like the Hunts, “people all over the world” were scrambling to acquire silver and gold and other items of enduring value rather than place confidence in paper currencies.”
While the Senate committee had been focusing solely on the run-up of silver, and thus ignoring gold, the president of the Chicago Board of Trade, Robert Wilmouth, posed an embarrassing set of facts. According to Wilmouth, throughout history the free market prices of gold and silver have always risen and fallen together. On the day that silver peaked at $50 an ounce, gold had soared to a historic high of $850 an ounce. “Clearly,” he added, “fundamentals were at work — not a market manipulation.”
Oddly, while the Hunts were consistently charged with manipulation of the silver market, the charge of trying to manipulate the gold market was never made! This is puzzling, since all precious metals experienced a run-up in price.
The parallel run-up in the price of gold, silver and platinum was affected, in fact, by an unprecedented constellation of global political and economic circumstances. The following brief chronology illustrates the point:
• August 1979: Chrysler on the brink of financial default.
• August 16, 1979: The Federal Reserve tightens credit.
• September 17, 1979: A Soviet-inspired coup in Afghanistan.
• September 21, 1979: U.S. dollar at its lowest level since 1978.
• November 4, 1979: The President of South Korea is assassinated.
• November 13, 1979: President Carter orders cutoff of oil imports from Iran.
• November 20, 1979: Armed assault on the Grand Mosque in the oil-producing state of Saudi Arabia.
• December 26, 1979: Soviet troops invade Afghanistan.
• January 15, 1980: Soviet troops reported on Iran’s border.
• January 23, 1980: Canadian government raises natural gas price by 30 percent.
These events raised concern about international instability and uncertainty, adding to the fears that inflation and interest rates were going out of control. One of the largest U.S. gold bullion dealers told the Senate committee that when silver reached $40 an ounce, Americans by the thousands flocked to sell silver rings, bracelets, flatware and coins.
“Those ninnies, who lined up 200 deep to sell silver at $40 are today seeing the $12 silver,” Dr. Henry G. Jarecki told the committee, suggesting that the rush helped bring down the price of silver. “I think [it is] the American public … who … made billions of dollars in the rise of the silver price,” he said.
One committee member was not satisfied that certain silver speculators could not bid up the price to artificial levels. “I think,” Dr. Jarecki replied, “that to say someone is trying to do something requires you to get into his mind, and that is very hard.”
The case against the Hunts rested primarily on their vast silver holdings, which their broker told the Senate committee stood at about 39 million ounces between 1979 and 1980. But commodity expert Henry Marigner testified that the combined holdings of the two major commodity exchanges — Comex and the Chicago Board of Trade — amounted to 132.1 million troy ounces of silver. The U.S. government held silver stocks totalling 183.5 million troy ounces! “This hardly supports the allegations of cornering the market,” observed Marigner.
When both Hunt brothers testified, the committee seemed more interested in their extensive business activities than in their motives for investing in silver, asking specific questions about the financial dealings of their more than 150 companies.
“The trouble with those hearings,” Bunker Hunt later said, “is they’re no-win deals. You may not get convicted, but you sure as hell don’t get acquitted either.” Brother Herbert summed up the feelings of the entire family: “I feel like the lady who had her purse snatched and then got arrested for indecent exposure because her clothes were ripped.”
Hounded by the press and pilloried by politicians, the Hunt brothers despite their losses remain resolute. The Hunts are better known now, but out a billion dollars as a result of their ordeal. Bunker, having had his picture taken so much by photographers — whose film requires silver — managed after the Senate hearings to exhibit his usual pluck and down-home Texas humor.
“At least I know,” he quipped, “they’re using a little bit of silver every time they take my picture.”
Photo at top shows W. Herbert (left) and Nelson Bunker Hunt: AP Images
W. Herbert Hunt on the Great Silver Swindle
Copyright © 2023 TheNewAmerican.com
What was the most violent event in the French revolution? ›
|Nine émigrés are executed by guillotine, 1793|
|Date||5 September 1793 – 27 July 1794|
|Location||First French Republic|
|Organised by||Committee of Public Safety|
The storming of the Bastille symbolically marked the beginning of the French Revolution, in which the monarchy was overthrown and a republic set up based on the ideas of 'Liberté, égalité, fraternité' (the French for liberty, equality and brotherhood).How many people died in the storming of the Bastille? ›
Violence pervaded the French Revolution (1789-1799) and propelled it forward. Crowd behavior, riots, executions, military actions, slave revolts, and organized political movements all had elements of inherent violence.Why was the French revolution so brutal? ›
Following the king's execution, war with various European powers and intense divisions within the National Convention brought the French Revolution to its most violent and turbulent phase.What was the darkest period of the French revolution called? ›
Reign of Terror, also called the Terror, French La Terreur, period of the French Revolution from September 5, 1793, to July 27, 1794 (9 Thermidor, year II).Why was Bastille hated by the French people? ›
Yet the Bastille was hated by all, because it stood for the despotic power of the king. The fortress was demolished and its stone fragments were sold in the markets to all those who wished to keep a souvenir of its destruction.Does the Bastille still exist? ›
The Place de la Bastille is a square in Paris where the Bastille prison once stood, until the storming of the Bastille and its subsequent physical destruction between 14 July 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution. No vestige of the prison remains.What were 3 reasons the storming of the Bastille was important? ›
The Storming of the Bastille set off a series of events that led to the overthrow of King Louis XVI and the French Revolution. The success of the revolutionaries gave commoners throughout France the courage to rise up and fight against the nobles who had ruled them for so long.Were the prisoners in the Bastille killed? ›
After discovering that their weapons were too light to damage the main walls of the fortress, the revolutionary crowd began to fire their cannons at the wooden gate of the Bastille. By now around 83 of the crowd had been killed and another 15 mortally wounded; only one of the Invalides had been killed in return.
Why was the commander of Bastille killed? ›
During the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, De Launay was arrested and escorted to the town hall by one of the leaders of the Revolution, Pierre-Augustin Hulin. In the Place de Greve the furious crowd attacked the escort, assaulting and eventually beheading Governor Launay.Who tore down the Bastille? ›
Two veterans, Second Lieut. Jacob-Job Élie and Pierre-Augustin Hulin, brought organization to the revolutionaries' haphazard efforts, along with more guns and two cannons, which were soon aimed directly at the Bastille's gate.When did the French Revolution turn very violent? ›
2 Violence was predicted even before tensions peaked in France, and undeniably was existent during the beginning stages of the Revolution. Circumstances also heightened the level of violence, which occurred from 1793-1794.Why was the French Revolution more violent than the American? ›
His conclusion was that the forces of opposition in the aristocracy and the Old Regime in France were much greater than anything the Americans had had to overcome. In France everything had to be changed if reforms were to be introduced, hence “convulsions” were necessary and were to be expected.What was the darkest period of the French Revolution Why was it called that? ›
The Reign of Terror was a dark and violent period of time during the French Revolution. Radicals took control of the revolutionary government. They arrested and executed anyone who they suspected might not be loyal to the revolution. The French Revolution had begun four years earlier with the Storming of the Bastille.What was the dark side of the French Revolution? ›
The September Massacres of 1792 was perhaps the most infamous and horrific event during the French Revolution. Over a period of roughly five days, mobs of revolutionaries slaughtered more than 1,200 people. The majority of victims were prisoners, though many were priests and nuns.Were children guillotined in the French Revolution? ›
Yes, children were killed during the French Revolution. There are records of at least twenty children dying by guillotine with many more dying while in prison. The most famous of these deaths was Louis XVII who died in prison at the age of ten due to illness.Why did people not like the French Revolution? ›
The people of France were unhappy with how the country was being run by King Louis XVI, especially the costly involvement in the American Civil War and extravagant spending at home. The removal of King Louis XVI from power began an extremely violent and tumultuous period of the revolution where fear and paranoia ruled.What were Marie Antoinette's last words? ›
Found guilty, she was condemned to death and was guillotined on 16 October 1793. Her last words, after accidentally stepping on the foot of her executioner, were "Pardon, monsieur. I did not do it on purpose" (Fraser, 440). The legacy of Marie Antoinette is of a tragic figure, a victim of her time and circumstance.Did any aristocrats survive the French Revolution? ›
But the French nobility - la noblesse - is still very much alive. In fact, in sheer numbers there may be more nobles today than there were before the Revolution. "We reckon there are 4,000 families today that can call themselves noble. True, at the Revolution there were 12,000 families.
Did any French royalty survive Revolution? ›
Born at Versailles, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France, otherwise known as “Madame Royale”, was the eldest child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. She spent her childhood in the court and was one of the few royal children to survive the French Revolution.Did the French destroy the Bastille? ›
On July 14, 1789, a Parisian mob broke down the gates of the ancient fortress known as the Bastille, marking a flashpoint at the beginning of the French Revolution.Why was Bastille so valuable to the French? ›
Why Was the Storming of the Bastille Important Symbolical Significance. Traditionally, this fortress was used by French kings to imprison subjects that didn't agree with them politically, making the Bastille a representation of the oppressive nature of the monarchy.How many prisoners were there in Bastille? ›
seven prisonersOn the morning of July 14, 1789, when only seven prisoners were confined in the building, a crowd advanced on the Bastille with the intention of asking the prison governor, Bernard Jordan, marquis de Launay, to release the arms and munitions stored there.What did Bastille symbolize? ›
Complete answer: Bastille during the French revolution became a symbol of the absolute and oppressive power of the Bourbon monarchy, an important place in the ideology of the revolution. Cardinal de Richelieu who was the first person who used Bastille as a state prison in the 17th century.Can you go inside the Bastille? ›
The famous Colonne de Juillet, located in the centre of the Place de la Bastille, reopened to visitors in October 2021 (visit of the lower parts of the monument; guided tour only and only on weekends).Is Les Miserables based on Bastille Day? ›
The French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille in 1789. The principal events of Les Misérables take place in 1832. Different century. The July Revolution two years earlier had put the Orléanist monarchy on the throne, under the popular “Citizen King” Louis-Philippe.Was the storming of the Bastille a good thing? ›
The storming of the Bastille set a precedent: For the first time in modern history, ordinary men and women, through their collective action in the streets, ensured the creation of a constitutional system of democratic government.What was the aftermath of the storming of the Bastille? ›
In the aftermath of the storming of the Bastille, the prison fortress was systematically dismantled until almost nothing remained of it. A de facto prisoner from October 1789 onward, Louis XVI was sent to the guillotine a few years later—Marie Antoinette's beheading followed shortly thereafter.Who was the most famous prisoner at Bastille? ›
Critics embraced his epic poem, La Henriade, but its satirical attack on politics and religion infuriated the government, and Voltaire was arrested in 1717. He spent nearly a year in the Bastille. Voltaire's time in prison failed to dry up his satirical pen.
What happened to the 7 prisoners in the Bastille? ›
It was once a dreaded prison, now it's only a column. On July 14, 1789, 633 angry French citizens stormed the Bastille in Paris (a prison somewhat equivalent to the Tower of London), capturing its munitions, releasing its seven prisoners, lynching the governor and demolishing the fortress.Who were the 7 prisoners in the Bastille? ›
The seven prisoners in in residence that day were: four forgers, the Comte de Solanges (inside for 'a sexual misdemeanour') and two lunatics (one of them was an English or Irish man named Major Whyte who sported a waist-length beard and thought he was Julius Caesar).Why was it called the Bastille? ›
The first stone was laid on April 22, 1370, on the orders of Charles V of France, who had it built as a bastide, or fortification (the name Bastille is a corruption of bastide), to protect his wall around Paris against English attack.What was the slogan of the French Revolution? ›
A legacy of the Age of Enlightenment, the motto "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" first appeared during the French Revolution. Although it was often called into question, it finally established itself under the Third Republic.Which was more violent the American or French Revolution? ›
The French Revolution became far more radical than the American Revolution. In addition to a period of extreme public violence, which became known as the Reign of Terror, the French Revolution also attempted to enhance the rights and power of poor people and women.Who was the youngest victim of the French Revolution? ›
"1786: Hannah Ocuish, age 12". Executed Today. Retrieved April 20, 2021.What was the most violent Revolution in history? ›
March on Versailles, October 5, 1789: The March on Versailles is where 6,000 angry women stormed the Palace of Versailles demanding flour from the palace stores.What was the most violent event in the French Revolution? ›
The beheading of Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette was one of the biggest events of the French Revolution, but it didn't have to happen. Before he was king, Louis XVI was quiet, dedicated to his studies and painfully shy.What was the most brutal battle in the American Revolution? ›
The crushing defeat of the Continental Army at the battle of Camden, S.C. stands out as the most costly battle of the war. Approximately 1,050 continental troops were killed and wounded, while the British suffered 314 casualties.How many people were killed during the French Revolution? ›
Today, it is generally estimated that 600,000 to 1.3 million French perished during the military campaigns between 1792 and 1815, 70 to 75% of which for the wars of the Empire (1805-1815), in other words, between 400,000 and one million.
What is the bloodiest period in French history? ›
The French Revolution — the 10-year period from 1789 to 1799 during which France went from a monarchy ruled by King Louis XVI to a republic ruled by the people . . . and then to a dictatorship run by Napoleon — was one of the bloodiest times in European history.Was the French Revolution a bloody war? ›
Hastened by Enlightenment philosophies, the revolution put an end to the feudal system as well as France's absolute monarchy, and changed the country's entire political landscape. It was also a considerably bloody revolution, which earned it the name Reign of Terror.Why is the French Revolution controversial? ›
Burke viewed the French Revolution as the violent overthrow of a legitimate government and contended that citizens do not have the right to overthrow their government.What was the first major act of violence in the French Revolution? ›
A major event in the French Revolution was the Storming of the Bastille. In general, it was the first major act of violence in the French Revolution by the revolutionaries against Louis XVI and the French Monarchy.What was the violence in the French Revolution? ›
The Reign of Terror, also called the Terror, was a period of state-sanctioned violence and mass executions during the French Revolution. Between Sept. 5, 1793, and July 27, 1794, France's revolutionary government ordered the arrest and execution of thousands of people.What is the most significant event in the French Revolution? ›
1789 is one of the most significant dates in history – famous for the revolution in France with its cries of 'Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité! ' that led to the removal of the French upper classes.What was the most violent revolution in history? ›
March on Versailles, October 5, 1789: The March on Versailles is where 6,000 angry women stormed the Palace of Versailles demanding flour from the palace stores.How was the French Revolution more violent than the American? ›
The French Revolution became far more radical than the American Revolution. In addition to a period of extreme public violence, which became known as the Reign of Terror, the French Revolution also attempted to enhance the rights and power of poor people and women.What were the 3 main causes of the French Revolution? ›
The causes of the French Revolution can be narrowed to five main factors: the Estate System, absolutism, Enlightenment ideas, food shortages, and the American Revolution.When did the French Revolution became violent? ›
In 1794, the French Revolution entered its most violent phase, the Terror. Under foreign invasion, the French Government declared a state of emergency, and many foreigners residing in France were arrested, including American revolutionary pamphleteer Thomas Paine, owing to his British birth.
What are 3 facts about the French Revolution? ›
- Establishment of a republic in France.
- Establishment of civil equality in the country (but not in the French colonies) and radical social change.
- The Reign of Terror, during which the Revolutionary government arrested 300,000 suspects, resulting in at least 25,000 deaths.
- The abolition of feudalism in France.
The Revolution led to a feminization of dependence both in metropolitan France and in the French Caribbean, making dependence more gendered. It abolished serfdom and slavery, and enfranchised male domestiques.What were 3 major impacts of the French Revolution? ›
The French Revolution had many effects. It ended the monarchy in France and established democracy. It also caused other countries to declare war on France. Additionally, it led to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.Has the US ever had a rebellion? ›
Multiple rebellions and closely related events have occurred in the United States, beginning from the colonial era up to present day.Which social class was most responsible for violence and rioting in the French Revolution? ›
However, the revolt of the peasants and urban working class perpetuated the French Revolution.