[CN Editor -- The local all volunteer radio station, WEFT 90.1
FM, has a 1-hour show at 10 A.M. on Saturday mornings called
"News From Neptune." The following is a partial transcript of
their June 4, 1994 broadcast. Co-hosts are Paul "The Truth" Muth,
and Carl Estabrook.]
MUTH:... what you thought the most egregious misrepresentation of
America's role. Actually, I was thinking more of a discussion of
post-war... something we return to in... our namesake for the
show, "News From Neptune," Noam Chomsky, says it ought to start
with some of the betrayals of the movements that fought against
MUTH: Whether the Truman Doctrine in Greece -- Greek partisans --
the deals with the mafiosi in the south of France, in Marseilles,
where the left people who fought against Nazis were betrayed and
beaten by thugs.
ESTABROOK: Absolutely. No, you're right, Paul. I mean the myth
making this week around D-Day has just been remarkable. And I
don't know what I find more appalling: the myth making itself or
the general ignorance -- the sort of inchoate recognition on the
part of a lot of people who are listening to this that it *is*
myth making and therefore they shouldn't pay any attention to it.
And an awful lot of people are still going to be sadly pressed if
you ask them what D-Day was or what the situation was 50 years
ago that is the occasion for all this rhetorical excess that
we're hearing from both the news media and from our chief
magistrate [Clinton] who is running around England at the moment,
apparently, excessing rhetorically.
I don't know. I mean ignorance as a defense against propaganda,
you know, is a counsel of despair, it seems to me. But that's
what we're dealing with.
MUTH: I was dismayed by the blessing of the new Italian
[CN Editor -- In Italy, so-called "Neo Fascists" have recently
gained control of the government. 50 years ago, we were fighting
World War II against these same sorts of people. Where is
Clinton's first stop for the 50-year D-Day carnival? Italy. Who
does he meet with first? Fascists.]
...What was the line, uh...
MUTH: "Well a lot of political parties have their origins in less
than wholesome..." I don't know.
ESTABROOK: Maybe he's talking about the Democratic party and its
support for slavery [pre-American Civil War] in this country.
MUTH: I suppose. There is that reference, I guess, that's sort of
a defense of his remark. [CN Editor -- Apparently Clinton made
some sort of remark, in the context of his meeting with the
Italian "Neo-Fascists," as some sort of an excuse for the
absurdity of his situation.] But the Neo-Nazis...
ESTABROOK: I mean, it is... The irony is very great, Paul. I mean
for him to be embracing the leader of a government that includes
a fascist... and all this "neo-fascist" talk just means that
these fascists weren't born when the... when Mussolini was
It is an important irony, an important contradiction, because it
shows up the falseness of most of our accounts of World War II. I
mean, if some accounts are to be believed, what World War II was
primarily about was it was some sort of a brawl between Hitler
and the B'nai B'rith. And it seems to me that it's much more
important to try to see what World War II *was* about and to see
that the United States never went to war to protect Jews, it
never went to war to overthrow Hitler -- the U.S. was perfectly
complacent with the Hitler government throughout the '30s. It
didn't go to war for any of these "defense of Freedoms" that have
been talked about. Remember: The war had been on for several
years; at least 2 years if you talk about Europe and many more if
you talk about Japanese expansion into China. The war had been on
for several years before the U.S. got involved in it. And its
motive for getting into the war had nothing to do with freedom or
oppressed groups within the Reich. What it had to do with was the
fact that a military base belonging to the U.S. was attacked in
the Pacific and that 2 Capitalist powers struggled over which was
to control the business of the Pacific. We won.
MUTH: Well, but that does bring up the question of what was the
motive in Europe, though. I thought you were going to say... I
mean, the precipitating thing, Pearl Harbor [September 7th, just
ask George Bush -- CN Editor], I think we can set aside. Anything
could have precipitated. So it's not, that's not a major causal
thing. The latter is just the fighting over the Capitalist
spoils. But that's true in Europe as well.
ESTABROOK: Well exactly. You're quite right about that. I'm not
sure I agree that anything could have precipitated it. I mean, it
seems to me that it was the [economic] struggle between the U.S.
and Japan that the U.S. was essentially winning. And that the
Japanese struck out against militarily that produced the military
confrontation in the Pacific. The U.S. had trammelled up the
Japanese economy in the Pacific and was doing its best to do so.
And it was the Japanese strike, military strike, against that
that led the U.S. into the war.
The alliance of Japan and Germany turned our attention then to
the... to Europe. Because the real motive of the U.S. in Europe
was not particularly, or not immediately, for the defeat of
Germany. What the U.S. was most interested in, in Europe, was the
British empire. Who was going to control the colonial empires of
the declining Capitalist states of Europe when the war ended? The
U.S. was sure it was going to be that sort of "residuary legatee"
of 19th century colonialism; that the British empire was going to
be ours. The Germans were fighting to see that that empire would
be theirs, that they would have an economic control over that,
over that empire. We won that one, too. That's the reason we were
in Iran. That's the reason we were in Vietnam. I mean, the
question of the Second World War could be summarized as "The War
of British Succession in Europe"; who was going to succeed to the
British empire. We won that one, too.
[Still Estabrook speaking]:
And I think the understanding of what the war was about, and the
understanding (as you suggested earlier) of what the real outcome
of the war was, seems to me to be vital and against the
To take just one example: *Time* magazine this week has a picture
of Dwight David Eisenhower on the front of it with the legend,
"The Man Who Beat Hitler." Well, that's very interesting. Bertolt
Brecht wrote a famous poem. "The Remarks of a Worker Who Reads"
contains the lines:
Caesar conquered Gaul.
(Didn't he even have a cook with him?)
So "The Man Who Beat Hitler" is... at once, falls under Brecht's
quite legitimate stricture.
There's another issue, too. For all this talk about the invasion
of France on the 6th of June, 1944, by 150,000 troops (a minority
of whom, by the way, were Americans), um, for all the talk about
this, the notion grows in American circles that *that* was what
overthrew Nazi-ism. Well, in fact, what overthrew Nazi-ism was
the Russian army. Even *after* D-Day, from June 6, 1944 to May 8,
1945 -- from D-Day to the very end of the war -- the majority of
German troops were in the east, not in the west. Even after all
the Allied armies had moved into France and so forth -- all the
British and American armies (Anglo-Saxon armies, we probably
should say) had moved into western Europe -- the majority of
German troops were still in the east because the German's knew
quite well [that] the real threat came from the east. And it was
when the eastern front crumbled, when the Russian army -- at
immense cost, cost of 20 million war dead -- when the Russian
army finally moved into Berlin, that the war was over.
Now this is not to say that what was going on, the difficulties
in the western half of Europe, weren't serious difficulties for
the Reich. They certainly were. But if you ask, "Who won the
Second World War?" (the question), the short answer is not
Eisenhower, "The Man Who Beat Hitler," but the Red army. It
should have a picture of General Zhukoff, or worse yet, Joe
Stalin, on the front of *Time* magazine if you wanted to be...
even if you wanted to buy this way of talking.