Your mind is almost certainly not open enough for this book. In fact, you should probably stop reading this review and go read something else. Perhaps you’d enjoy
. Maybe not.
Anyway, Robert Welch was a thought criminal – in fact, he founded an organization of thought criminals. He was too anti-communist for the likes of National Review, which is rather impressive. Perhaps.
The Politician is a book – actually it’s a letter written to friends – about Dwight Eisenhower. Welch’s thesis is that Eisenhower is a Communist or is controlled by Communists.
After reading the book, I don’t believe that Ike was a commie, however I believe that if I had been a Commie in the US in ’52 or ’56 that I probably would have voted Ike. Or as Welch puts it: "In April, 1957, Norman Thomas, six-time candidate for President of the United States on the Socialist ticket, stated that ‘the United States is making greater strides toward socialism under Eisenhower than even under Roosevelt.’" That’s really saying something!
Instead of providing my thoughts, I think I provide some tastes of Welch’s evidence. Much of it is impossible to include since it would take up too much space, but here is a small, abbreviated sampling. If you’re looking for more evidence, basically the entire book is just a chronicle of evidence – read the whole thing if you need more:
- At the end of WWII, America got schooled by the Soviets. "It simply was not possible to lose so much ground, so rapidly, to an enemy so inferior, by chance or by stupidity."
- Welch believes that George Marshall was a communist. "I defy anybody, who is not actually a Communist himself, to read all of the known facts about his career and
not decide that since at least sometime in the 1930’s George Catlett Marshall has been a conscious, deliberate, dedicated agent of the Soviet conspiracy." Here I think Welch has some solid ground, as Marshall was instrumental in ensuring that Mao defeated Chiang. Eisenhower owned his incredibly rapid ascent through the military ranks (suspicious in itself) to Marshall.
- Here’s more on Eisenhower’s rise in the military:
It must be remembered that these were the days when Roosevelt was completely dominated by Communist influences; when Lauchlin Currie and Harry Dexter White and
dozens of their kind were flitting in and out of the White House and Washington with the vicarious authority of the President in their voices or at the ends of their fountain pens; when Roosevelt himself stated openly that Communists were among his personal friends, and turned the presidential spleen on anybody who didn’t like them as well as he did. It should be remembered that Roosevelt’s court-packing scheme, to put over Communist inspired New Deal measures despite the Constitution, was planned by the Communists and first announced by Earl Browder in a speech in Providence, Rhode Island. That in 1941 it was only three years since Roosevelt’s attempted purge, of the Senators who had voted against this scheme, had been conducted by America’s leading Communist, Earl Browder, from inside the White House. And that it was to be only three years more before Alger Hiss would be playing his part at Roosevelt’s right hand, despite everything both Martin Dies and the FBI had already done to indicate that Hiss was a Communist traitor.
Please remember, too, that in all the countless conferences of the early war years, in Washington and London and everywhere else, it was usually George Marshall, speaking for the military, and Harry Hopkins, speaking for the President, who represented the United States or carried the real weight among our representatives. It was Marshall and Hopkins who had by far the most to say about which generals should be moved or promoted into which commands, in the rapidly coalescing and increasing Allied forces.
- Welch provides lots and lots of evidence that early war plans in WWII were designed to help Stalin – obviously there are non-nefarious reasons why this should be so, but the amount of evidence is very compelling. In addition, there is lots of evidence that Eisenhower, as commander, went to great lengths to ensure the Soviets were able to capture as much territory as possible, for example: "Eventually, in 1944, Stalin, George Marshall, and Eisenhower together were able to overrule Churchill and the British, stop the Allied forces which had invaded Italy from crossing the Po Valley into the Balkans, and open up their second front in France. This not only increased the relief for Stalin on the Eastern front, which was being provided by the Allied campaigns anyway, but from Stalin’s point of view it accomplished what was now a far more important purpose. It left the Balkans wide open for the Soviet agents and Soviet armies to take them over, in the chaos that accompanied the German collapse."
- "Most notorious of these ‘mistakes’ was his stopping of our troops from entering Prague and Berlin, in order to give the Russians time to reach and take those capitals, when both cities were begging to be allowed to surrender to the Americans."
- "These orders to halt our troops were emphatically confirmed by Eisenhower — he had already wired Stalin his generous "you go first" concession — over the vigorous protest of Churchill, who could foresee the tremendous cost to the anti-Communist world in the ultimate political and economic effects of these pro-Communist ‘blunders.’"
- Then, there is lots of evidence that Eisenhower allowed the Soviets to do terrible things to the areas they occupied and to US prisoners of war that Eisenhower insisted on returning to the Soviets. For example: "Actually, what the barbarian Russian soldiers did in Berlin, while Eisenhower kept our troops obligingly waiting in the outskirts, has been described, probably without exaggeration, as ‘the most ghastly and enormous raping and looting orgy which Christian Europe had ever had to suffer.’"
- "Let’s look next at another tremendous boost given the Russian Communist plans by Eisenhower, for which he justifiably took some of the credit in 1948, but which he undoubtedly would prefer to disclaim today. This was the instigation and early implementation of the so-called Morgenthau Plan for the conversion of Germany into a goat pasture — so that it could never stand as a bulwark against the eventual Russian march across Europe. But for the foresight, patriotism, and determination of just one man, James Forrestal (whom the Communists later, either directly or indirectly, murdered), Eisenhower and his Communist pushers would have succeeded in carrying out the complete and final devastation which they planned."
- "Among the Yalta papers there is a letter from Anthony Eden to the U. S. Secretary of State, informing him of repatriations of Soviet nationals, from both England and Mediterranean areas, which had already been made, before Yalta; and stating that Allied Supreme Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had already decided to extradite Russians as quickly as possible. And it was not just Russian nationals concerning whom he had made this decision. Those readers with good enough memories will recall the wave of suicides of Polish officers, who had served gallantly as volunteers with our troops in Italy, when these men found that they were being forcibly returned by our army to their certain death in a Poland which was now ruled by Stalin’s Lublin Gang."
- "There have been few crimes in history more brutal and more extensive than this forced repatriation of anti-Communists, to which Dwight Eisenhower committed the honor of the United States."
- Welch claims that Eisenhower suppressed evidence that Katyn was committed by the Soviets.
- Eisenhower enjoyed incredibly favorable media coverage. "Just suppose that some real anti-Communist general, like Albert Wedemeyer, had had the smelly liaison with his female chauffeur that Eisenhower enjoyed with Kay Summersby. Do you suppose that half the press of the country would be constantly playing up Wedemeyer (even if he were president), by pictures and by articles, as a wonderful family man? Or suppose MacArthur, as Supreme Commander in Europe, had been drunk and unavailable the night the Battle of the Bulge began. Can you imagine how many times that story would have been retold by the Communist- inspired columnists? Or suppose Taft, at the 1952 Republican Convention, had made the dirty undercover deal with a candidate for the Vice-Presidency that Eisenhower made."
- "So a left-winger named Leonard Finder becomes the official and widely publicized discoverer and promoter of Eisenhower for the Republican nomination. And the whole American press, gladly even if in large part unconsciously, does your job for you, of spreading the information to every corner of America, and to every Communist far enough up in the ranks to recognize its significance, that Leonard Finder wants Eisenhower to be the Republican nominee."
- The presidential nomination process is interesting. Welch believes that the Communists orchestrated Eisenhower’s rise to the top of the Republican Party to prevent Taft from outing all the Communists in government. Welch also spends some time discussing Eisenhower’s flirtation with the Democratic Party: "But when you turn to the list of those who — knowing well what Eisenhower stood for and where he belonged in the political spectrum — tried to make him the Democratic candidate in 1948, the flock is something to behold. Among its leaders were Adlai Stevenson, Millard Tydings, James Roosevelt, Frank Hague, Jake Arvey, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., (a vice-president of Americans For Democratic Action), A.A. Berle, Jr., Helen Gahagan Douglas (who had won high political office through Communist support and later lost it through supporting the Communists), William O’Dwyer, David Dubinsky (who had raised American money to help the Communist forces in the Spanish civil war), Claude Pepper (of whom the less said the better), Chester Bowles (of whom we may have more to say later), Walter Winchell, Drew Pearson, Eleanor Roosevelt, most of the leaders of the Americans For Democratic Action — and Sidney Hillman."
- "Eisenhower as President has initiated and sparked a continuing, unhesitating, and highly successful effort to prevent any real exposure of Communists high up in government, and to minimize the exposure of Communists in the lower echelons — of either the Truman Administration or his own." He specifically ordered Brownell to stop investigating Communists in government.
- "Eisenhower quietly clamped a dictatorial embargo on the supply of any information by government departments to investigating committees, which made the Truman gag rule look almost cooperative, and which has been in effect ever since. . . . For the order, as we have said, was not limited to personnel security matters, but prohibited government departments from giving Congressional committees any information. This Presidential directive works as a complete shield, behind which the Communists can do anything they wish, in any department, with impunity and without fear of exposure."
- Welch marshals lots of evidence that Eisenhower did not help other Republicans – unless they were very left-wing – in getting elected. In addition: "The ruthless weeding out of the followers of Taft, and of conservatives in general, from positions of influence within the Republican organization, had started the minute Eisenhower was elected. At the same time Eisenhower did an effective job of dragging his feet, a very clever job but one so extensive as to provoke widespread comment and criticism, in not giving jobs to Republicans at all; not even jobs which, despite Civil Service regulations, were open and supposed to be available to a new administration as favors to the party faithful. The magazine, Human Events, charged on September 15, 1954, that no federal administration in history had so strikingly disregarded party loyalty in this respect."
- Welch believes that Eisenhower’s appointments were designed: "(1) To split the Republican Party, and weaken the conservative faction, by giving jobs to leftwing Republicans, whenever anybody calling himself a Republican was appointed at all; (2) to frustrate and break down the whole Republican Party, as well as to gather strength and implementation for socialistic measures, by giving important jobs to leftwing Democrats; and (3) to put actual Communists or Communist sympathizers into influential positions, to whatever extent the political climate made it feasible. Eisenhower’s catering to this third purpose has steadily increased during the last two or three years." He lists and analyzes 40 such appointments.
- Perhaps most effective was Earl Warren: "Our Supreme Court is now so strongly and almost completely under Communist influence that it shatters its own precedents and rips gaping holes in our Constitution, in order to favor Communist purposes. Its ‘Red Monday’ decisions in 1957 were described by a notorious Communist in California as ‘the greatest victory the Communist Party ever had.” This gloating comment may have been entirely correct. Just one result of those decisions was that more than three hundred known Communists or Communist sympathizers were actually restored to their positions within our federal government."
- It’s worth quoting a bit about Eisenhower’s time at Columbia: "It was as president of Columbia University, however, that Eisenhower got in some of his most effective blows for the cause. Best known of these was his acceptance of the grant, from the Communist puppet government of Poland, of thirty thousand dollars as an endowment for a ‘Chair of Polish Studies.’ He was warned by Columbia faculty members, as well as patriotic Polish citizens in this country, that the endowment was solely for the purpose of setting up a Communist propaganda center at Columbia. [which it turned out to be] . . . A few months later, in February, 1949, the American Legion officially appointed a delegation to call on President Eisenhower of Columbia University and give him the facts about Communists on his faculty. Eisenhower refused even to receive the delegation."
- Welch comes up with, what seems like, hundreds of anecdotes like this one: "In 1953, paying lip service to conservatism as a part of his act for the whole nation when he first went in as President, he called the TVA a good example of creeping socialism. In his 1957-58 budget, he asked for 14.7 million dollars of new funds for TVA, against 5.3 million dollars the previous year." Or, quoting Eisenhower: "I must say that during the years that I knew him ( Zhukov ) I had a most satisfactory acquaintance and friendship with him …. We had many long discussions about our respective doctrines …. We tried each to explain to the other just what our systems meant, to the individual, and I was very hard put to it when he insisted that their system appealed to the idealistic …. And I had a very tough time trying to defend our position …. "
- It would be possible to write a whole book on the strange facts surrounding the end of the Korean war, but in short: "After the death of Stalin, and because of various other factors which we shall touch upon in due course, the Communists were extremely anxious for peace in Korea. They were delighted to have the American President make a trip to Korea, and suggest by his actions that he was practically suing for peace — which Eisenhower obligingly did — both for appearances in Asia, and because this made it more plausible for them to force on us the ignominious terms and arrangements which we later accepted."
- The same is true for the Suez Crisis, but again, in short form: "The net results were: (1) to make England and France look like silly third-rate powers, in the whole Middle East, where their influence had been so strong for so long; (2) to glorify Nasser, in the eyes of the whole Arab world, as the native hero who had reduced the lions to slinking cats; (3) to create in both England and France a hatred and distrust of the American government, especially among the real anti-Communists in those countries, which later actions would make even more fatal to any defense of Western Europe."
- Welch also believes Eisenhower’s policies began the end for Cuba: "The delivery of Cuba into Communist hands, and eventual conversion of Cuba into the Communist spearhead for subjugating all of the Americas, really began with an order of the Eisenhower Government on March 14, 1958, which suspended all deliveries of arms to the legitimate government of Cuba. . . . Just one week later [i.e. after Castro had a tenuous hold on Havana], on January 7, 1959, Eisenhower recognized this group of known Communist murderers—Fidel Castro, Raoul Castro, Che Guevara, and their associates — as the legal government of Cuba."
- Welch offers lots of evidence that American foreign aid was used to prop up and encourage various Communists in other parts of the world. For example, "In 1957 he threatened to call a special session of Congress if the foreign-aid appropriation he had currently demanded was cut by just the 13% which was indicated. Although a very suspicious secrecy about what was to be done with the money made it difficult for even Congress to learn any of the details, it was possible to find out that this proposed new appropriation included fifteen million dollars of economic aid for Tito plus ‘some’ military assistance, and many other grants of equally doubtful character." Or, if you prefer: "It is simply impossible any longer to classify the gift of jet planes to Yugoslavia, or of forty million dollars per year to Laos, as stupidity."
- Welch lists Eisenhowers’ Communist friends, acquaintances, assistants and aides. The list is too long for me to re-type. Belfrage, for example, was his press control officer at his headquarters while he was Supreme Commander. I already mentioned Barnes. Others include: "John G. Winant, Harry Dexter White, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Anna M. Rosenberg, Sidney Hillman, Pearl Mesta, Jacob Javits, W.Averell Harriman, Milton Katz, and Harry Hopkins." At least according to Welch.
- Welch believes Eisenhower encouraged immigration of Communists, for example: "Eisenhower’s State Department has waived — for more than two years now — all documentation for persons coming to this country from Cuba, if they claim they are coming for less than twenty-nine days."
The book is called The Politician because Welch believes Eisenhower, while a mediocre military man, was an incredible politician. He is best understood as such – and this understanding contributes much to Welch’s thesis. In the end, Welch basically concedes that it’s possible to conclude that Eisenhower wasn’t a Communist, but this alternative conclusion raises many – perhaps more interesting – questions. Welch is almost certainly wrong about some specifics – for example, he assumes that Yugoslavia under Tito did not have a falling out with the Soviets (they’re both Communists so they’re friends). Nevertheless, even if you were to throw out 50% of his evidence, you’d still have a lot of evidence left. Or, as Welch puts it, regardless of which conclusion you draw:
For the Communists can now use all the power and prestige of the Presidency of the United States to implement their plans, just as fully and even openly as they dare. They have arrived at this point by three stages. In the first stage, Roosevelt thought he was using the Communists, to promote his personal ambitions and grandiose schemes. Of course, instead, the Communists were using him; but without his knowledge or understanding of his place in their game. In the second stage, Truman was passively used by the Communists, with his knowledge and acquiescence, as the price he consciously paid for their making him President. In the-third stage the Communists have installed in the Presidency a man who, for whatever reasons, appears intentionally to be carrying forward Communist aims. And who, in situations where his personal effort and participation are needed, brings to the support of those aims all of the political skill, deceptive cunning, and tremendous ability as an actor, which are his outstanding characteristics [i.e. he's a hell of a politician].
Anyway, I think I’ll leave it at that. Welch must be taken with a grain of salt, but then so too must all mainstream sources from this time, since the mainstream sources were so inter-connected with Communists.
But, before I sign off, here’s Welch on Communism in general:
Communism is imposed on every country, from the top down, by a conspiratorial apparatus, headed and controlled by suave and utterly ruthless criminals, who are recruited from the richest families, most highly educated intellectuals, and most skillful politicians within that country. The rest of the show, including all of the noise made and work done by the poor "revolutionary" beatniks and dupes at the bottom, is mere pretense and deception.