Review of “While You Slept” by John T. Flynn

The US won WWII – or so we’re told. However, when one looks at a map of the world at the end of the decade that followed – especially if that map were an honest one – one couldn’t help but conclude that Russia won WWII. By the end of the next decade, Russia controlled half of Germany, all of Eastern Europe, half of Korea, and all of China. If the US won WWII to make the world safe for democracy, one has to be somewhat surprised that the result of a US victory was the triumph of totalitarianism throughout a huge portion of the world.

WTF happened? Flynn is here to answer that question (pdf). And, he’ll do so for free at that link (incidentally, all his books are worth your time).

In short,

The Great Swap would now be consummated. Roosevelt wanted only two important concessions from Stalin. He wanted Stalin in a United Nations. This was Roosevelt’s Great Design. He also wanted Stalin to come into the war as an ally against Japan. Stalin’s Great Design is now apparent. He wanted Germany dismembered and permanently paralyzed. He wanted to cart away as much of her industrial equipment as could be moved and he wanted to recruit a huge army of German slaves to work in Russia after peace. And at Quebec, this plan, written by an American Communist agent, was put in shape. He wanted to get possession of as much of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and all the Baltic and Balkan states as the gullible Roosevelt would give him. In Asia he wanted Korea and he wanted a Communist China where he could work out his further schemes of aggression when the war ended. And he wanted for Japan the same fate he planned for Germany. This was a malevolent design—a grab far more comprehensive than Hitler’s. And the plan included, among other things, a provision that America, which wanted nothing for herself, would be asked to collaborate in the betrayal of so many countries we had set out to save, including our own allies.

At Yalta, Stalin got all he asked for. Roosevelt, too, got all he asked for—the United Nations with Stalin in the middle of it with a veto to paralyze action by the West; he also got Stalin in the war against Japan—which, as is now abundantly obvious, was the source of most of our present woes in Asia [see below].

Just in case this isn’t completely clear:

Roosevelt told William C. Bullitt "that Stalin . . . doesn’t want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world democracy and peace.

Where would Roosevelt have gotten an idea like this? Roosevelt’s main adviser at the conference was Alger Hiss. Of course the agreement at Yalta followed from the agreement at Quebec, where Roosevelt’s adviser was Harry Dexter White. Don’t get me started on this. The rabbit hole is indeed deep. Anyway, back to the book . . .

The story of what happened in Eastern Europe is relatively well known by comparison to what happened in Asia. Flynn’s book is about what happened in Asia.

So what did happen?

As the end of WWII neared, China was engaged in two wars. The first was a war between China and Japan. The second was a civil war between the Communists and the Nationalist. Russia was the Communist side. So China was fighting Japan and Russia. Put another way, Japan and Russia were fighting for control over China. The result:

The United States, practically alone, would deliver China from the Japanese invader. Now the United States would deliver China into the hands of the Russian invader.

To see how, let’s go back to Yalta, specifically what it said about the Pacific theater:

And what of the Pacific? Stalin agreed to enter the Pacific war within three months after Germany should surrender. But he had a price, as always. The United States would have to provide fuel, transport and equipment for 1,250,000 men, 3000 tanks, 5000 planes, and various other requirements. This would give Stalin an army of 1,250,000 Russian soldiers on the borders of Manchuria [the perfect place from which to invade Japan . . . or China, or Korea]. Why any American, knowing Russian and Communist history, and familiar with the struggle in China, would want to introduce a million and a quarter Russian soldiers into the complex problem of China as the war drew to an end, I do not know.

. . .

There were other things Stalin wanted. He wanted certain political aspects of Russia’s participation in the Pacific war settled. He demanded the Kurile Islands, internationalization of the Port of Dairen, Sakhalin Island, and a lease of Port Arthur as a naval base. And he wanted joint ownership with the Chinese of the Manchurian railroads, with full recognition of Russia’s paramount interest in these. He wanted the ports of Manchuria. He wanted the railroads. If Roosevelt had ever read anything of Russian-Asiatic history, he would know that Russia wanted Manchuria and a good deal more. Stalin wanted the right to seize Germans and put them to work as slaves. All this was agreed to in secret and not made public until long after, when Russia began to press for compliance. Russia wanted four votes in the UN Assembly. She got three. We got one.

Now that Roosevelt got the "victory" of getting Russia into the war, what did Russia do?

When Russia declared war on Japan on August 8th, her armies made a beeline into Manchuria and through the Kwantung Peninsula right into Korea. They were in Korea in five days.

Surprise, surprise. So, while Russia was in Korea, the US managed to defeat the Japanese. But that left a huge American-supplied Russian army – which was waging war against the Chinese Nationalists – conveniently on the border of important Chinese provinces.

The simple truth, as we have seen, is that when the Japanese surrendered, the Chinese Nationalist army far outnumbered the Red revolutionary army. Then appeared Stalin’s army of 1,250,000 men armed with American guns, planes, tanks and munitions and other supplies [thanks to Yalta] and the balance began to alter. Now the Chinese Communists had in their hands the immense quantities of munitions laid down by the Japanese in the North. After that the Russian army was on their northern border and able to provide them not merely with arms and munitions but with military advice.

That was the situation in 1945. Then in 1946 General Marshall cut off the arms and supplies to the Nationalist army.

In the end, Stalin got everything he wanted, with one glaring exception. Japan was not reduced to the state of despondency that Germany was reduced to and his drive into Korea was eventually checked. These Russian losses and American victories were achieved by Douglas MacArthur, who was – of course, and certainly by coincidence – fired.

Most of Flynn’s book explains how it was that the American people accepted defeat after defeat – and indeed learned to call the defeats victories. Flynn’s answer is that Americans were subject to the most successful propaganda campaign in history.

Flynn chronicles this propaganda campaign in books, book reviews, radio, tv, newspapers and government. In short, information on activities in Asia was controlled by a surprisingly small number of people. These people wrote the books on Asia, wrote book reviews on the books on Asia, gave radio and tv interviews and often worked for the government.

Instead of subjecting you – if anyone is still reading – to all of the workings of the propaganda campaign, it’s perhaps easier to take an example of the campaign at work. The Amerasia case is most interesting:

Yet here was an officer in Naval Intelligence (Roth), a research agent in the State Department (Larsen) and an important State Department officer (Service) involved at least suspiciously with two outright Communists who were running a pro-Communist magazine with their offices stuffed with stolen secret documents from the State and other departments, including Naval and Military Intelligence. The most loyal American citizen found in such a situation ought to have been and doubtless would have been prosecuted. Among these documents were military reports giving secret information on the position and disposition of Chinese Nationalist armies—a subject of the greatest importance to the Communist military leaders in China. This was not a case of a single secret document gone astray. It was a whole office full from many departments—a job which could have been carried on only through a long period of thefts by many hands.

Now, the most startling feature of this case was its climax. The original indictments were quashed.

Read the book. It’s short and free.

I can’t resist one little aside.

When you read a lot of history of this time period, you notice some glitches in the matrix that is the official story. My favorite glitch in the matrix is Thomas W. Lamont. He was the head of JP Morgan who helped negotiate the Treaty of Versailles – the power of large banks has declined significantly since the early 1900s apparently. Anytime you read about communist intrigues during the first half of the 20th Century his name pops up with odd regularity. No one suggests he’s a communist (though his son was and his great-grandson tried to oust Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Primary awhile back) but still, he’s everywhere.

Flynn doesn’t let me down. As soon as Germany and Russia break:

Almost at once there sprang into being a National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, bearing on its roster of sponsors such exalted personages as Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, Dr. Henry S. Coffin, Hon. Joseph E. Davies, Professor Albert Einstein, James W. Gerard, Thomas W. Lamont, Herbert H. Lehman, and Dr. Mary E. Woolley, as well as a dozen others. Thus in a frenzy of hoopla and patriotic excitement we launched the great enterprise of turning over more than half the world to the Communist tyranny.

And later, when an article unfavorable to the Soviet cause appears in the NYT, Owen Lattimore suggested that a response letter to the NYT be signed by "Thomas Lamont, of the House of Morgan." It wasn’t, but it’s an interesting suggestion from Lattimore, no?

Don’t go digging around on Lamont, though, unless you want to get sucked in.

23 Responses to Review of “While You Slept” by John T. Flynn

  1. Where would Roosevelt have gotten an idea like this? Roosevelt’s main adviser at the conference was Alger Hiss. Of course the agreement at Yalta followed from the agreement at Quebec, where Roosevelt’s adviser was Harry Dexter White.


    I’m speechless. It took me a couple years to digest and mostly agree with Mencius’ view of 20th century history, but I would’ve gotten there in a minute if I’d known this earlier. This is beyond astonishing. It’s astounding, fantastical, stupendous, mind-boggling. How the fuck did I not know that one of the few confirmed and CONVICTED communist spies was the chief adviser of FDR @ Yalta? And people call Birchers ‘crazy’?!?!?

  2. thrasymachus33308 says:

    I submit that Roosevelt wasn’t fooled at all, that he had his own objective and he was using the communists to achieve it. The Puritan elite surrendered nothing- they remained in control over the territories they had before, and gained Western Europe. They only let the communists take over territory they couldn’t hope to control anyway. The communists then wiped out the aristocratic elites of those countries, the people the Puritans hated more than anyone.

    The rule in the Cold War was that a country with a bourgeois Protestant social democracy was off-limits to communists, but all others were fair game. The Puritans were not and are not communists. But they regard communism as the second best system to their own, and the best way of “reforming” societies that don’t meet their standards.

  3. Now that I’ve read your full post, I’m depressed. I used to consider conspiracy mongers as deranged or idiots or both. It’s hard not to sympathize with them when there’s so much bullshit out there masquerading as truth. One must start from scratch as Moldbug did with primary sources and rebuild from there with a Bayesian evidence filter.

    • Foseti says:

      I think this is the key step. Pick one topic (I started with the Civil War and am now doing the ’40s) and read 10 primary sources on it.

      The interesting thing with picking the Civil War was that I was seeking out the most left-wing primary accounts of the war and reconstruction. Even the most left-wing primary accounts would be beyond the extreme rightist accounts of today.

  4. Alex J. says:

    Wiki: “[Herbert H.] Lehman, born in New York City in 1878, was the son of German-Jewish immigrant Mayer Lehman, one of the three founders of the Lehman Brothers investment banking firm.”

    Digging around indeed.

  5. says:

    That’s appalling. What was in it for the US elite? Sure, we didn’t know then quite as much as we know now about Communist atrocities, but even back then it was not all sunshine and kittens. Was it emotional affinity? I find it hard to believe that they preferred Stalin to Chiang Kai-Shek. And having a unified enemy in a Cold War doesn’t play to a Machiavellian strategy. What gives?

  6. Diver says:

    C’mon, Foseti, you know you want to do a long, long post just on Thomas W. Lamont. Quit teasing.

  7. Zimriel says:

    I’ve been a fan of “Mencius” (who should have chosen Hanfecius as his Chinese name) since he started that blog.

    I cannot say I truly “started” until, last summer, I really got into reading Reconstruction. Myrta Avery clinched it for me.

  8. Phlebas says:

    Much as General MacArthur was first subject to massive interference and then relieved of command in Korea to prevent him from winning, Patton was prevented from beating back the Communists in Europe.

    See the discussion thread here:

  9. […] only faintly echoed in the Universalist memeplex – although mainline Universalism did play a much larger role than is widely acknowledged in sustaining and encouraging the Marxist experiment during its […]

  10. […] commodities and services. Distributed information about people’s desires is lost. USG has run its experiment and learned that property rights are indispensable, so it enforces them (a different, incremental […]

  11. […] definition excludes people like General Wedemeyer, Joseph McCarthy, Sisley Huddleston, John T. Flynn and perhaps even General MacArthur.  It may include some inconvenient people, but it has the […]

  12. […] Here’s a few more from other Mencius posts and Foseti: […]

  13. […] highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood, were card-carrying Communists—and Harry Dexter White and Alger Hiss, two of FDR’s top advisors, were Soviet spies. FDR himself doesn’t look too good: it […]

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