Border-Kids Protest Right Out of Comintern Playbook
© Jack Cashill
The “discovery” that some children are separated from their parents following the parents’ arrests for illegal border crossing is much too conveniently timed to convince anyone of the discoverers’ sincerity.
Equally lacking in spontaneity are the protests that have sprung up since the discovery. Indeed, the “family separation” protest operation gives all appearances of coming right out of the Comintern playbook.
In the way of background, the early Soviets absorbed not just Marx’s economics but also his amorality. In their pursuit of the larger truth—pravda—they scorned any petty factual truth—istina—that stood in its way.
The man who brought this new system of power, the so-called “lying for the truth,” to the West was an unlikely German Communist named Willi Munzenberg.
Munzenberg worked his wonders in all manner of subjects in all media, both in Europe and in America, and among a wide range of opinion makers.
He had a good base in his own network of leftwing publications and willing accomplices in a wider network of progressive media outlets. His essential challenge was to sculpt their opinions to his own designs and then to conceal his own handiwork in the sculpting.
Lenin had made Munzenberg’s task a good deal easier when he launched the Communist International—or Comintern—in the early days of the revolution. This was the network through which Lenin exercised political control, and Munzenberg cultural control, over the worldwide left.
Always the cynic, Munzenberg described the idealists who unwittingly hewed to the party line as “innocents.” The fronts to which he guided them he called “Innocents’ Clubs.”
In fact, Munzenberg may be the person most responsible for a phenomenon that plagues us to this day, the political radicalization of the cultural elite.
In 1924, Lenin died and Stalin replaced him. Always the realist, Stalin had no illusions that the Comintern or the fledgling Communist Party in America could inspire an American revolution.
With Stalin’s blessing, Munzenberg focused instead on undermining the idea of America, which at the time held great sway throughout the world.
For the Soviet experiment to prevail, the American experiment had to yield. The world had to see America through fresh, unblinking eyes, not as the great melting pot but as a simmering stew of xenophobic injustice.
Munzenberg and his colleagues set out to find a test case in America on which they could work their diabolical marriage.
In 1925, they found their way to Sacco and Vanzetti, a pair of Italian anarchists found guilty in the 1920 of an Italian American payroll clerk in Massachusetts.
Working with the Comintern, Munzenberg set up an organization in Chicago called the International Labor Defense and gave it, as a first assignment, the creation of a worldwide myth around the fate of Sacco and Vanzetti.
Almost immediately, “spontaneous” protests sprung up throughout the world. Europe’s great squares filled with sobbing, shouting protestors, declaiming the innocence of the immigrant martyrs and denouncing the vile injustice of their persecutors.
These protestors, many of them poor and most of them sincere, donated hundreds of thousands dollars to the cause, almost none of which found its way to the real Defense Committee.
The casting call for the Sacco and Vanzetti protests attracted a who’s who of literary leading lights. Prominent American authors Upton Sinclair, Katherine Ann Porter, John Dos Passos, and Edna St. Vincent Millay not only protested the seeming injustice but also created literary works around it.
All their efforts failed. On the night of the pair’s execution in 1927 an outpouring of rage and grief swept the world’s capitals—London, Rome, Paris, Berlin--and left common sense buried in its wake.
Munzenberger had pulled all the right strings in this international puppet show. True, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed, but it had never been his job to save them.
In her memoir, “The Never-Ending Wrong,” published on the fiftieth anniversary of the pair’s execution, Pulitzer Prize winning author Katherine Ann Porter relates how she first came to understand this.
As the final hours ticked down, Porter had been standing vigil with others artists and writers in Boston. Ever the innocent liberal, Porter approached her group leader, a “fanatical little woman” and a dogmatic Communist, and expressed her hope that Sacco and Vanzetti could still be saved.
The response of this female comrade is noteworthy largely for its candor: “Saved? Who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?”
The Activists behind the family separation protests are surely plotting along the exact same lines.
“Reunited?” one could all but hear them think. “What earthly good would these families do us if the Republican Congress prevented their separation.”
Living in Missouri and editing a regional online publication, the SentinelKSMO.org, I got to watch the rise and fall of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens up close.
Although I supported Greitens’ opponent in the primary, I voted for the little known Greitens in the 2016 general election and was pleased to see him win.
And yet I could not forget the adage attributed to Winston Churchill, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.”
Greitens decided he was a conservative Republican at 41. For Greitens, the journey took too long. He either had not enough brains or too much ambition or, as history proved, both.
Greitens declared himself a Republican in July 2015, just in time to run for governor of Missouri. The former Navy Seal had an extraordinary resume.
Missourians gave him the benefit of the doubt on his party switch. Republican history, after all, is rich with compelling conversion stories.
Some of America’s most eloquent conservatives–like, say, Whittaker Chambers or David Horowitz–climbed out of the deepest Marxist swamps.
Others like Ronald Reagan moved gradually right as the Democratic Party moved left underneath them. Adults don’t move in the opposite direction. There was reason to welcome a warrior like Greitens and not to distrust his shift.
That said, many Missouri Republicans were skeptical of Greitens as a gubernatorial candidate. It was too much, too soon, too convenient.
His motive for switching rang false to those who had read Chambers’s Witness or Horowitz’s Radical Son.
Said the future governor in the way of explanation, “I became a conservative because I believe that caring for people means more than just spending taxpayer money; it means delivering results. It means respecting and challenging our citizens, telling them what they need to hear, not simply what they want to hear.”
For many, the explanation seemed too convenient, too shallow. As it turns out, the skeptics have had their skepticism rewarded.
Greitens, like Roseanne Barr, did not know Republican history well enough to know that conservatives are held to a different set of standards than are liberals—by the media, of course, but also by their fellow conservatives.
Greitens began the affair that would undo him while he was planning to launch his gubernatorial campaign. This was something a John Edwards would do, but Republicans know better. For a Republican, every media outlet might as well be a National Enquirer.
A stunningly inept St. Louis prosecutor almost rescued Greitens. In April State Rep Paul Curtman filed a complaint with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel against St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, the prosecutor in question.
Curtman cited any number of irregularities on Gardner’s part. These include her use of unlicensed private investigators, the enlistment of an out-of-state private prosecutor, the preparation of an indictment before an investigation, the absence of a written investigative report, inappropriate discussions with police officers, and the failure to use the police appropriately.
Likely fearing that she would end up in more legal jeopardy than the accused, Gardner dropped the invasion-of-privacy charge against Greitens two weeks ago.
The judge in the case had granted a request by Greitens’s attorneys to call Gardner as a witness. She had every reason to fear the witness stand. Defense attorneys had accused her private investigator of perjury and accused Gardner of suborning it.
Relieved at the case being dropped, the Greitens camp started running TV and radio ads outlining, correctly, the politically motivated nature of Gardner’s prosecution.
Then, unexpectedly, Greitens resigned. The best explanation as to why comes from a former prosecutor named Bill Tackett.
According to Tackett, once a local Missouri judge ruled that a nonprofit called “A New Missouri” had to hand over documents possibly exposing the names of Greitens’ donors, the game was over.
"That was a giant can of worms that got opened up by that ruling," said Tackett. "Instantly that changed the playing field because that's dark money, that's something [donors] don't want to get into.”
Tackett tied the governor’s improper use of campaign finances “to a lack of political experience.”
That inexperience betrayed Greitens in one crucial way: he failed to understand Republicans have to play by a much tougher set of rules than Democrats.