Posted by Gary Fouse at 11:20 AM
Hat tip Breitbart
I just heard this, and it is outrageous. UC Irvine has suspended the College Republicans for a year over their sponsorship of the recent appearance by gay pundit Milo Yiannopoulos.
Amazing. I have not heard about any suspension for the Students for Justice in Palestine after their May disruption of a pro-Israel film. Aside from SJP, there were other student groups involved as well including people who identified themselves as "legal observers" from the National Lawyers Guild (established in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist party USA) affiliated with the the UCI Law School. Has anybody been suspended over that? Has Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky even made a statement over that incident?
I was outside the Yiannopoulos event and videotaped the protest. A lot of ugly things were said. One young man, presumably a student, was yelling out to the people waiting to get into the event, "Go back home to Orange County, white boy!"
This suspension also stands in stark contrast to the one quarter suspension handed down to the Muslim Student Union after they tried to shout down and disrupt a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the US in 2010. (The suspension was originally one year. It was reduced to one quarter by then vice chancellor Manual Gomez on his last day in office before he retired.)
To me this smacks of a hypocritical smack down of conservative speech. I will have more to say as this story develops. I am fully in support of the College Republicans at UCI.
Posted by Gary Fouse at 8:05 PM
President Obama is once again refusing to even mention the words, "Islamic terror", a term which is banned in his administration. Once again, he is taking criticism for his reaction to yet another act of jihad. He just won't acknowledge Islamic terror. In the case of Orlando, he once again focuses his ire on guns.
To illustrate the fantasy world of the Obama administration, his action group, or whatever you call it, Organizing for Action, has for the last few years included me on their mailing list. For some reason, they think I am a big Obama supporter. In the wake of the latest Islamic attack against us, the worst shooting attack in American history, here is the message I received today from Organizing for Action:. There is a link where I am supposed to add my voice for "common sense solutions to gun violence".
Posted by Gary Fouse at 8:42 PM
It matters not whether you are Jewish or not. If you are becoming alarmed at the rise of anti-Semitism on our university campuses, and you are thinking about becoming involved, you need to know exactly who it is you are fighting. It is not just the Jew haters.
I have been involved in this problem for almost ten years as a (Gentile) part-time teacher at UC Irvine. There have been times that UCI has become the object of national attention for this problem, for example, in 2010, when the speech of the Israeli ambassador to the US was loudly and repeatedly disrupted by members of the UCI Muslim Student Union. (One student was from UC Riverside.) To be fair, UCI is hardly alone because these problems are erupting on campuses across North America. Just recently, however, on May 18, Students for Justice in Palestine and other student groups disrupted the screening of a Pro-Israel military movie by Students Supporting Israel at UCI. Once again, UCI has a black eye over an ugly incident that has gathered national attention. To make matters worse, at least two of the people disrupting the event identified themselves as lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild at the UCI Law School. They reportedly told the terrified Jewish female students that the protesters had a right to be let in (apparently as they were trying to force their way through the door). Campus Police had to be called to protect the Jewish students, but no arrests were made.
So why are we having this problem?
The cause is not neo-nazis or skin heads. The cause of the problem is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the agitation of pro-Palestinian students. Those students (and many professors and outside speakers) are not all Arabs. Nor are they all Muslims. While many Muslim Student Association chapters have been involved in the anti-Israel movement, a movement that has often spilled over into anti-Jewish expression, their "sister organization", Students for Justice in Palestine, is made up of Muslims and students of other faiths (or non-faiths) and even Jews. It is they who are increasingly in the front lines when unpleasant incidents take place on college campuses. They were co-founded by a Palestinian-born professor at UC Berkeley, Hatem Bazian, a man who once called for an intifada in America.
So those people are the ones we have to counter, right? We have to counter their lies about Israel and expose their actions on campus to the public, actions which sometimes can only be described as brown shirt tactics like shutting down any speech or event that is in support of Israel. We just saw it again at UCI on May 18. Those are the ones we have to counter, right?
So they are. Yes, but they are just one head of a three-headed monster.
The second head is the universities themselves. All but a few private colleges are solidly in the hands of the left. On the one hand, you have left-wing faculty members who dominate the humanities and social sciences. They are solidly on the side of the Palestinian narrative. For them, opposing Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East, is simply part and parcel of opposing their own country-part of the extreme left-wing agenda. It's like baseball and hot dogs.
On the other hand, you have the administrators-the chancellors and presidents- a group of cowards so afraid of their own shadows and running afoul of political correctness that they make Bert Lahr look like the hero in The Wizard of Oz. (He played the cowardly lion.) Up to this point, they have been unwilling to confront the perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts on campus. Why? Simple. Often the perpetrators are Muslim, which the universities consider a protected class-a marginalized minority, if you will. Jews on the other hand are lumped together with whites ("privileged whites" as they say in academia). Besides, nobody wants to offend the Muslims, right? That has consequences, legal and other. It is all about political correctness. That is why one university after another stands by while their student governments are forced to waste days and days and into the wee hours debating useless boycott resolutions against Israel and companies doing business with the Jewish state. They have to endure heated rhetoric, Jews being insulted and hooted-and in the recent case of UC Davis- swastikas painted on a Jewish fraternity wall. But it's all free speech, you see.
So we then stand up and write hundreds of letters to university presidents and demand that they confront anti-Semitism on campus. We line up the major Jewish organizations to stand with us and demand..........
That. my friends, takes us to the third head of the three-headed monster, the major, national Jewish organizations. The problem is that they are missing in action, and worse still, in many cases are thwarting our efforts to put pressure on the universities to reform and protect Jewish students.
First, let me mention a few organizations that are doing the right thing. That would be the Zionist Organization of America, Stand With Us, the AMCHA Initiative, and CAMERA. There are some others including those that I omit simply because I am unaware of them.
On the other hand, the Anti-Defamation League, in my view, is missing in action. Their previous CEO, Abe Foxman denied any problem of anti-Semitism at UCI a few years ago in Newport Beach when he addressed a Jewish group. I was not present, but a close friend of mine from the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism was. He pointedly asked Foxman his opinion about the problems at UCI, to which Foxman replied that there were no problems-that the Jewish students and administrators had it under control. (They certainly didn't have it under control on May 18.)
In addition, every May, when the UCI-MSU brought their anti-Israel week of events to UCI, I would see the then head of ADL's Orange County branch watching, listening and saying not a peep. He could have been involved in the q and a when some of these vicious anti-Semites like Oakland imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali were spouting their venom. I spoke up and asked critical questions. I voiced my opposition. Why couldn't he?
Worse than ADL, however, are Hillel and the Jewish Federation. In these cases, I should note that both are national organizations with local chapters who operate somewhat autonomously. Out here in Orange County, the local chapters of these organizations have been an obstacle to all I and others have attempted to do to bring the problems of UCI to the attention of the community-particularly the Jewish community. To hear them tell it, everything is just fine and dandy at UCI. "Jewish life is thriving" is their motto. (It wasn't thriving on May 18.)
The obvious question is - why ? The problem as I see it is that both organizations have a conflict of interest in these matters. Both are highly connected with UCI. Hillel is a national organization whose mission is to enhance the life of Jewish students in college and provide services and support for them. While the national organization claims strong support for Israel, there are many chapters around the country that want to have what they call an "open Hillel" that is open membership to Jewish students notwithstanding their support (or lack thereof-or even opposition ) of Israel. At UCI, Hillel's position has for years been to not make waves. They actively discourage students from speaking out about the problems or fighting back against the pro-Palestinians when they engage in bully-boy tactics. In my mind, Hillel is afraid that if UCI has a reputation for anti-Semitism, Jewish students will be reluctant to enroll there. Therefore, if there are no Jewish students, there is no need for Hillel on campus.
Note: I always say that 99% of UCI's students are not involved in the problem. But a small minority (MSU/SJP) has created a lot of bad headlines for UCI over the years.)
Similarly, the Orange County Jewish Federation and Family Services has the same conflict of interest in my opinion. The Jewish Federation's mission is to collect donations and parcel money out to various local Jewish interests and charities. Hillel is also a beneficiary of the Federation. They are basically joined at the hip. The leadership of the Federation has had over the years, in my view, too close a relationship with UCI. Both the Federation and Hillel have tried to downplay the problems at UCI. Both organizations have also cracked down on students who don't go along with the program. That includes not making waves over problems of anti-Semitism. I have known and spoken with several former Jewish students at UCI who have related stories about how Hillel and the Federation have put pressure on them-and their families- when they (the students) spoke out and fought back against the brown shirts on campus. (And I can bring them forward at any time.) Some have already gone on the record over the past several years.)
I should also mention the Rose Project, which is the money arm of the Federation. In recent years they have provided funding for Jewish students to participate on the much-vaunted Olive Tree Initiative. This program was founded at UCI and operates within the Department of Social Sciences. Ostensibly it takes Jewish, Muslim and other students to the Holy Land to expose them to both sides of the conflict. Students visit Israel proper and the West Bank. In reality (in my view) the program is tilted toward the Palestinian narrative. The tour guide operators in the West Bank are known operatives and even co-founders (George S Rishmawi) of the International Solidarity Movement, In 2009, the group actually met with the highest ranking Hamas official in the West Bank, Aziz Dweik. The meeting did not appear on the official schedule, and students were allegedly instructed not to mention the meeting when they crossed back into Israel. To this day, the OTI has failed to furnish their financial expenditures pursuant to a California Public Records Act request from a local private citizen.
Another aspect of the problem is that for Jewish students who go along with the Hillel/Federation program, there is support available for further study, grants, and so on. For those who don't-there is ostracizing.
Furthermore, what we have here is a symbiotic relationship between Hillel, the Federation and UCI. In the case of the recent SJP disruption of a Students Supporting Israel event (May 18), the administration is quick to deny anti-Semitism at UCI in spite of the history over the years and in spite of the necessity for the UC Regents to recently pass a statement of principles on intolerance that specifically addressed anti-Semitism on UC campuses. And what does UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman do this past week? He issues statements specifically referring to previous statements by Hillel and the Federation that deny the underlying problem of anti-Semitism. They are all using the same talking points. In other words, the Federation and Hillel give cover to UCI. In my opinion, the intention is for these three entities is to limit the investigation into the May 18 incident to within UCI. Students who were speaking to outside people investigating the incident (specifically Campus Reform) have suddenly become silent. (For the record, I have not had any contact with any UCI students. Though I have a lot of questions, since I am a part-time teacher at UCI, I don't think I should involve myself in that regard.)
In regards to the current controversy over the May 18 incident, there is a suspicion that what I have described above is playing out again. Here is the big question: Have any Jewish students at UCI been told by Hillel and/or the Jewish Federation not to talk to outside parties (like Campus Reform) about the May 18 incident? As for UC Irvine, much as they would like to defuse the situation, it is a question that they should be concerned with as well.
So welcome to the fight, Dear Reader (if you are so inclined). Just be aware that you will be fighting on three fronts.
Posted by Gary Fouse at 2:03 PM
Now even the main stream press is having to report developments in the Hillary Clinton email scandal. There is this from the New York Times reporting the release of the State Department's IG report, which is damning.
"The report, delivered to members of Congress, undermined some of Mrs. Clinton’s previous statements defending her use of the server and handed her Republican critics, including the party’s presumptive nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, new fodder to attack her just as she closes in on the Democratic nomination."
No, the report strengthens the FBI case against Mrs Clinton and makes it more likely that the FBI will recommend prosecution. The actual report is linked on the NY Times story or can accessed below.
Meanwhile, the State Dept. spokesman, Mark Toner, was having a bad week. On Wednesday during his regular press briefing, he was clearly not prepared to discuss the report. (Hat tip Mediaite)
But that wasn't the worst of it. Toner also told reporters that classified information was not compromised. After being corrected by a reporter who said that the IG report did not say whether or not classified information had been compromised, Toner had to apologize and admit he had misspoken. (Hat tip Washington Free Beacon) Clearly flustered he then told reporters they would have to consult with her (Clinton's team) to determine if compromise had occurred.
That would be campaign manager Brian Fallon who even as the IG report was released, is lying to the media about the findings.
This report basically drops a ton of damning information into the lap of the FBI, much of which-if not all of which- they have already learned and corroborated through testimony and evidence.
The hacks of the State Department has been guilty of covering up for Hillary Clinton's abuses. They have stonewalled FOIA requests as well as federal judges. They have been forced to produce documents every step of the way. The IG, apparently, is an exception to all that.
I suspect the mainstream media, which desperately wants Clinton to become president is figuring it out that they cannot continue to ignore or downplay this story.
Posted by Gary Fouse at 4:10 PM
Hat tip Ami and Squid
"If the shirt fits...."
Last night, Students Supporting Israel was holding an event at UC Irvine when it was disrupted by persons identified as Students for Justice in Palestine and other pro-Palestinian protesters. Below is a statement from Hillel:
Below is a statement by UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman
DEAR ANTEATERS: Last night, an incident occurred on campus that we believe crossed the line of civility, prompting me to re-emphasize our position on free speech, safety and mutual respect. The incident centered on a film-viewing event sponsored by Students Supporting Israel. A group of protesters reportedly disrupted the event, blocking exit paths. Participants feared for their safety, calling on our police force for assistance. While this university will protect freedom of speech, that right is not absolute. As I mentioned in a campus message at the beginning of the academic year (freespeech.uci.edu ), threats, harassment, incitement and defamatory speech are not protected. We must shelter _everyone's_ right to speak freely - without fear or intimidation - and allow events to proceed without disruption and potential danger. We are thoroughly analyzing all reports and information regarding this incident and investigating whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate. The month of May is filled with cultural celebrations and remembrances that highlight the diversity of this brilliant campus. Please respect your colleagues' right to recognize their heritage and express opinions in a safe environment. FIAT LUX, CHANCELLOR HOWARD GILLMAN 
I don't have any further details on this as yet, but it appears to be just the latest example of brown shirt tactics used by the pro-Palestinian crowd on our campuses. It is despicable, and the time has long since passed when universities-including UCI- start taking strong measures against these punks.For one thing, it is time for UCI to revoke the SJP charter.Just this past week, I sent a letter to Dr Douglas Haynes, the head of the Office of Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion asking why he doesn't issue statements of concern for Jewish students after he had just issued one on behalf of LGBT students over the Milo Yiannopoulus appearance coming to UCI in June. How timely was that? I await Mr Haynes's statement on this incident with great anticipation.Update (Hat tip The Tab) : Here is a partial video. It is profane and disgusting. Among other chants is "F--- the police".
And here is what SJP had to say on their Facebook page.
"Today we successfully demonstrated against the presence of IDF soldiers on campus. We condemn the Israeli "Defense" Forces, better defined as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), because they enforce Zionist settler colonialism and military occupation of Palestinian land by the Israeli nation-state. Not only does the IOF commit murders and several violences against the Palestinian people, including its use of Gaza as a laboratory for weapons testing, but it enforces militarization and policing all over the world. The United States send delegations of police forces to train in Israel by the IOF, such as the LAPD and NYPD for example.
The presence of IDF and police threatened our coalition of Arab, black, undocumented, trans, and the greater activist community. Thank you to all that came out and bravely spoke out against injuToday we successfully demonstrated against the presence of IDF soldiers on campus. We condemn the Israeli "Defense" Forces, better defined as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), because they enforce Zionist settler colonialism and military occupation of Palestinian land by the Israeli nation-state. Not only does the IOF commit murders and several violences against the Palestinian people, including its use of Gaza as a laboratory for weapons testing, but it enforces militarization and policing all over the world. The United States send delegations of police forces to train in Israel by the IOF, such as the LAPD and NYPD for example.
Posted by Nick at 9:29 AM
General Heinz Guderian and Lieutenant Colonel Gustav-Adolf Riebel together with Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein, Commander of the Soviet 29th Tank Brigade, in Brest-Litovsk, September 1939. (© IWM - HU 85900)
The Soviet Union invaded Poland on 17th September 1939. The invasion was carried out in collusion with Nazi Germany, and the subsequent Soviet occupation of eastern Poland was in accordance with a secret protocol of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, which had been signed by Molotov and Ribbentrop on 23rdAugust 1939.1 As a consequence of the Nazi invasion of Poland, Great Britaindeclared war on the German nation on 3d September 1939, but no such declaration followed the Soviet invasion of Poland 14 days later.
The Nazi-Soviet pact brought practical advantages to Nazi Germany, not the least of which was that the Soviets agreed to provide the Nazis with hugeamounts of materiel, which allowed Hitler to bypass the British naval blockade of Germany.2 The British were made aware of what the Soviet invasion meant for Poland by Sir William Seeds, the British ambassador to the Soviet Union at the time. Seeds recognised that the Soviets intended to ‘purge’ the newly occupied territory of any ‘non-Soviet population or classes’ and make it indistinguishable from the rest of the Soviet Union.3 As we now know, that is what happened. Between September 1939 and June 1941, over a hundred thousand Poles were apprehended by the Soviet invaders. Many were fed into the gulag system.4 Josef Stalin, the leader of the communist totalitarian political project, was well on his way to creating what Sir Max Hastings called ‘the greatest edifice of repression, mass murder and human suffering the world has ever seen.’5
None of this prevented the British or the Americans from allying themselves with ‘Uncle Joe’ following the launch of Operation Barbarossa on 22nd June 1941.6 Josef Stalin, the so-called ‘man of steel’ who on 18th April 1941 had approached the German ambassador Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg and the German military attaché Colonel Hans Krebs at Moscow station and made declarations of national friendship to both men,7 wrote directly to Winston Churchill asking him for help on 18th July 1941. In this ‘personal message’, which was hand delivered to Winston Churchill by the Soviet ambassador Ivan Maisky,8 Stalin now referred to ‘Hitlerite Germany’ as ‘our common enemy’ and asked that Great Britain open a second front in order to relieve the military pressure currently being exerted upon the Soviet Union.9
Churchill said of Stalin’s initial request for a second front, ‘this theme was to recur throughout our subsequent relations with monotonous disregard, except in the Far North, for physical facts.’10 America was still officially a non-belligerentin July 1941, and there was no possibility of a second front on the European mainland at that time. However, the Americans and British did begin to sendmateriel to the Soviets. So it was that the first of the ‘Arctic Convoys’ sailed from Reykjavik in Iceland on 21st August 1941, arriving in Archangel in Russia ten days later.11
In December 1941, Anthony Eden, the British Foreign Secretary, travelled to Moscow to meet with Josef Stalin. The first meeting took place on 16thDecember, and according to the telegram Eden sent to the Foreign Office at 4.15am on 17th December: ‘M. Stalin handed me draft projects of two treaties, one to cover military assistance irrespective of war and [the] other political collaboration now and after the war.’ That was not all, however. Eden noted that: ‘M. Stalin then suggested we should also sign a secret protocol which would embody our joint views for a settlement of post-war frontiers.’12
In a further telegram to the Foreign Office, dated 18th December 1941, Eden elaborated: ‘I was summoned to meet Stalin at midnight and we had a discussion lasting three hours. At the outset Stalin said that he had examined the texts but what interested him was the question of the frontiers of the U.S.S.R. after the war. He would agree that the Polish frontier might be left an open question but he wanted our immediate agreement of his territorial claims in Finland Baltic States and Roumania.’13
Churchill recorded his reaction to Stalin’s proposals in the third volume of his history of the war: ‘As soon as I read the telegrams I reacted violently against the absorption of the Baltic States.’14 In a telegram to Clement Attlee dated 20thDecember 1941, Churchill wrote: ‘Stalin’s demands about Finland, Baltic States and Roumania are directly contrary to the first, second and third articles of the Atlantic Charter, to which Stalin has subscribed. There can be no question whatever of our making such an agreement, secret or public, direct or implied, without prior agreement with the U.S.’15
By the spring of 1942, Churchill had changed his mind. In a telegram to Roosevelt dated 7th March 1942, Churchill wrote: ‘The increasing gravity of the war has led me to feel that the principles of the Atlantic Charter ought not to be construed so as to deny Russia the frontiers she occupied when Germany attacked her. This was the basis on which Russia acceded to the Charter, and I expect that a severe process of liquidating hostile elements in the Baltic States, etc., was employed by the Russians when they took these regions at the beginning of the war. I hope therefore that you will be able to give us a free hand to sign the treaty which Stalin desires as soon as possible.’16
The Soviets had indeed employed a severe process of liquidating elements they considered to be hostile in the territories they had occupied at the beginning of the war, in accordance with the secret protocol of the Nazi-Soviet pact. In March 1940, Lavrenty Beria, head of the NKVD, proposed that thousands of Polish officers who had been captured by the Soviets, as well as thousands of people labelled by Beria as ‘members of counter-revolutionary spy and sabotage organisations’, should be executed. Stalin and Molotov both signed off on this terrible proposal, and in April 1940, one of the most heinous war crimes in history was committed by the Soviet Union.17
The NKVD interrogated prisoners of war being held in Soviet camps at Starobelsk, Ostashkov and Kozelsk in order to establish their intellectual and moral standing. Any individuals who did not believe in the Soviets’Weltanschauung were sentenced to a violent death.18 At Starobelsk and Ostashkov, the POWs were murdered using the same technique. A prisoner’s name would be checked off a list, then he would be taken into a room where two NKVD agents grabbed him by the arms. The murderer would approach from behind and, using a German pistol, shoot a bullet into the base of the prisoner’s neck. One of the NKVD’s most prolific killers, Vasily Blokhin, is said to have worn a leather apron, leather gauntlets and leather cap as he went about his work. Josef Stalin awarded Blokhin the Order of the Red Banner on 27th April 1940 for his ‘skill and organisation in the effective carrying out of special tasks.’19
The POWs held at the camp in Kozelsk were murdered after being taken to the forest at Katyn, rather than being shot first then taken to the burial site on the back of a lorry.20 Approximately seven thousand people held in other camps were also executed by the NKVD at this time. In total, more than twenty one thousand human beings were sacrificed in the name of the Soviet totalitarian system.21
So these were our allies during WW2. The Soviets were in league with Nazi Germany in September 1939, they provided the Nazis with materiel that allowed the Nazis to get around a British naval blockade, they invaded Poland on 17th September 1939, they forcibly deported thousands of people to the wastelands of eastern Russia, and they committed the appalling crime known today as the Katyn forest massacre.
The British ambassador to the Polish government in exile in London, Sir Owen O’Malley, sent a report to Anthony Eden on 24th May 1943, in which the consequences of the British alliance with the Soviet Union were laid bare.22 In his opening paragraph, O’Malley informs Eden that the report ‘gives grounds for misgivings about the character and policy of the present rulers of Russia.’23
O’Malley goes on to argue for that, by asserting that letters had been received by relatives of the Polish POWs up until March 1940, but not one had been received since.24 Secondly, Polish officials had repeatedly requested information from the Soviets as to the whereabouts of the Polish officers in question. O’Malley states: ‘To none of all these enquiries extending over a period of two and a half years was a single positive answer of any kind ever returned.’25 In the third place, the grave sites had been visited by Polish doctors and representatives of the Polish Red Cross, and many of the bodies had been identified.26 In the fourth place, O’Malley argues that the Germans were far more likely to have kept the missing Polish officers as POWs, in which case someone would have heard from them between 1940 and 1943.27 Finally, O’Malley draws Eden’s attention to the conflicting and quite unbelievable set of lies (as we now know them to be) that had issued forth from the Kremlin on the subject.28 O’Malley reaches the inevitable conclusion: ‘The cumulative effect of this evidence is, as I said earlier, to throw serious doubt on Russian disclaimers of responsibility for a massacre.’29
O’Malley goes on to describe ‘the character and policy of the present rulers of Russia’ in memorable terms: ‘Lenin would have broken apart the heads of ten thousand Polish officers with the insouciance of a monkey cracking walnuts. Did corpses pitching into a common grave with the precision of machines coming off a production-belt similarly satisfy a nature habituated to manipulate blood and lives with uncompassionate detachment?’30 O’Malley provides his own answer to that question later his report: ‘I think most of us are more than half convinced that a large number of Polish officers were indeed murdered by the Russian authorities, and that it is indeed their bodies (as well, maybe, as other bodies) which have now been unearthed.’31 As we now know, O’Malleywas correct.
O’Malley was surely correct in his final analysis of the situation too. In paragraph 20 of his report, O’Malley argues that members of the British government were ‘constrained by the urgent need for cordial relations with the Soviet Government’ and so ‘we have been obliged to appear to distort the normal and healthy operation of our intellectual and moral judgments; we have been obliged to give undue prominence to the tactlessness or impulsiveness of [the] Poles, to restrain the Poles from putting their case before the public, to discourage any attempt by the public and the press to probe the ugly story to the bottom.’32
In his report, O’Malley leaves room for the possibility that members of the British Government would understand at a personal level that helping the Soviets to cover up a mass murder was morally wrong. This does not redeem any of those politicians, for in reaching that understanding, they would have to acknowledge that they were deceiving the British people in order to prosecute a war. British politicians had declared war on Germany in September 1939 in order to protect Poland, which they were unable to do, and which they did not do. In 1943, in the midst of what had developed into what is now known asWorld War 2, British politicians helped to cover up the murder of thousands of Poles, the very people they were supposed to have gone to war for in the first place, in order to protect the Soviet Union, who were doing the heavy lifting when it came to fighting the Wehrmacht. And World War 2 was supposed to be ‘the good war’? The evidence does not support that assertion.
At the conclusion of The World at War, ITV’s acclaimed documentary on World War 2, the American historian Stephen Ambrose makes the following statement: ‘The British had as many problems, if not more, in recovering from victory as the Germans did in recovering from defeat. The British ... what did Britain get out of the war? Not very much ... not very much. She lost a great deal. I suppose, if you want to look at it positively, she got a moral claim on the world, as the nation that had stood against Hitler alone for a year and had provided the moral leadership against the Nazis at a time when everyone else was willing to cave in to the Nazis.’33
It is important for all British citizens to recognise that the politicians who wereelected to represent us not only aligned our nation with the Soviet Union during the war, they (to use O’Malley’s language) distorted the normal operation of their intellectual and moral judgements in order to make that alliance with the Soviet Union work. One is inevitably reminded of Machiavelli’s position in The Prince: ‘A man who wishes to profess goodness at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good. Therefore, it is necessary for a prince who wishes to maintain himself to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge or not to use it according to necessity.’34 Machiavelli explains what he means: ‘And so it is necessary that he should have a mind ready to turn itself according to the way the winds of Fortune and the changing circumstances command him. And, as I said above, he should not depart from the good if it is possible to do so, but he should know how to enter into evil when forced by necessity.’35 The changing circumstances during the war with Nazi Germany may have meant that British politicians entered into an alliance with the Soviet Union out of necessity, and the moral compromises involved in that alliance may be comprehensible if one adopts a Machiavellian view of political life, but the truth about the war should no longer be sacrificed to myth. As British citizens, we have a duty to the men and women who lost their lives to know, and to remember, what really happened during the war.
Some people may very well have believed that British politicians had some kind of superior moral standing as a result of Britain having fought against Nazi Germany during the war. However, the information that is needed to examine that proposition is now available to the British public, and we can see that it is simply not true. And there is absolutely no reason to think that politicians today are any better in that regard.
In his report to Anthony Eden, O’Malley concludes that: ‘It may be that the answer lies, for the moment, only in something to be done inside our own heart and minds where we ourselves are masters. Here at any rate we can make a compensatory contribution – a reaffirmation of our allegiance to truth and justice and compassion.’36 There is nothing wrong with that, but in a properly functioning democratic society, it is surely the role of the people to keep thepoliticians we elect on the straight and narrow.
We therefore have a duty to ensure that truth, justice and compassion remain at the centre of our own lives, as the politicians we elect go about the business of running our country. And we have a duty to speak out when we see politicians make moral compromises in our name, even when they claim to be making such compromises in order to achieve a greater good. If the British state visits harm upon its own citizens in order to prevent dissenting voices from being heard, then it is possible that our country will begin to travel down an evil road, and there will be no means of altering course. So we must learn from history, and we must speak out whenever we see politicians act in ways that run counter to our own sense of truth, justice and compassion. The alternative is to risk an uncontrollable descent into a different kind of reality, where knowledge of what happened in places like Katyn will be seen not as reminders of what some human beings are capable of, but as milestones we passed long ago on the road to hell on earth.
1. Gilbert, M. The Second World War: A Complete History, Phoenix, p. 9.
2. Moorhouse, R. The Devil’s Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin1939-1941, The Bodley Head, Kindle location 714. Prior, R. When Britain Saved The West: The Story of 1940, Yale University Press, pp. 9-10.
3. Seeds, W. (Quoted.) Rees, L. World War II: Behind Closed Doors,Random House, Kindle location 632.
4. Rees, L. ibid., Kindle location 728. Moorhouse, R. op. cit., Kindle location 1187.
5. Hastings, M. Armageddon, Pan Books, Kindle location 2255.
6. Gilbert, M. op. cit., p. 198.
7. Nagorski, A. The Greatest Battle, Andrew Nagorski, Kindle location 653.
8. Maisky, I. The Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s 1932-1943, Yale University Press, pp. 372-373.
9. Churchill, W. The Second World War Volume 3: The Grand Alliance, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pp. 309-310.
10. ibid. p. 310.
11. Dimbleby, J. The Battle of the Atlantic, Viking, p. 181.
13. National Archives, FO 371/29655 Telegram No. 22 HECTIC
14. Churchill, W. op. cit., p. 493.
15. Churchill, W. op. cit., p. 493.
16. National Archives, FO 954/25A/52
17. Rees, L. World War 2: Behind Closed Doors, Random House, Kindle location 908. Excerpts: Beria letter to Stalin on Katyn, BBC News, 28 April 2010. (Accessed 5th May 2016.)
18. Rees, L. ibid., Kindle locations 929, 937. Moorhouse, R. op. cit.,Kindle location 1195.
19. Rees, L. ibid., Kindle locations 983, 990, 996. Vasili Blokhin, history’s most prolific executioner, Rare Historical Photos. (Accessed 7th May 2016.)
20. Rees, L. ibid., Kindle location 999.
21. Moorhouse, R. op. cit., Kindle location 1223.
22. Rees, op. cit., Kindle location 3166.
23. O’Malley, O. Report to Anthony Eden 24th May 1943 [online]. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Papers as President, The President’s Secretary’s File (PSF), 1933-1945. Box 37, Great Britain, Winston Churchill, 1942-1943, document psfa0499.pdf, pp. 61-68, paragraph 1. Available at:http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/collections/franklin/?p=collections/findingaid&id=502&q=&rootcontentid=140122[Accessed 8th May 2016]
24. ibid., paragraph 8.
25. ibid., paragraph 9.
26. ibid., paragraph 10.
27. ibid., paragraph 11.
28. ibid., paragraph 12.
29. ibid., paragraph 13.
30. ibid., paragraph 17.
31. ibid., paragraph 19.
32. ibid., paragraph 20.
33. Ambrose, S. The World at War: Reckoning, 38m 26s [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/U4x69cIeLX4 [Accessed 9th May 2016]
34. Machiavelli, N. The Prince, Oxford World’s Classics, Kindle location 1550.
35. ibid., Kindle location 1677.
36. O’Malley, O. op. cit., paragraph 24.