Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson2

Dictator Files: Death of Hitler 

Sic transit gloria diaboli.

Hitler remained to the end a socialist, though an eccentric one. Like Stalin he lived in hideous discomfort…. It was a concentration camp monastery – the Escorial without its palatial splendor. Indeed, Hitler came to resemble Philip II in his isolation and remoteness, his resolution, above all his cartomania, spending hours studying maps already rendered out of date by the march of war, and issuing orders for the taking of a tiny bridge or pillbox, often by imaginary soldiers. Professor Morell, a smart Berlin doctor, gave him sulfanilamide and glandular injections; he took glucose, hormones, anti-depressant pills. One of his doctors, Karl Brandt, said that he aged ‘four or five years every year’. His hair went grey. But his capacity for work remained impressive to the end.

Hitler moved down into his bunker under the Berlin Chancellery in January 1945, taking Goebbels with him, both breathing socialist fire. ‘Under the ruins of our devastated cities,’ Goebbels exulted, ‘the last so-called achievements of our bourgeois nineteenth century have finally been buried.’ In between incessant munching of cream cakes – Hitler became ‘a cake-gobbling human wreck’, one of his circle said – he voiced his radical regrets: that he had not exterminated the German nobility, that he had come to power ‘too easily’, not unleashing a classical revolution ‘to destroy elites and classes’, that he had supported Franco in Spain instead of the Communists…. Above all he regretted his leniency, his lack of the admirable ruthlessness Stalin had so consistently showed and which invited one’s ‘unreserved respect’ for him. One of his last recorded remarks, on 27 April 1945, three days before he killed himself (whether by bullet or poison is disputed) was: ‘Afterwards, you rue the fact that you’ve been so kind.’

Before Hitler died, deploring his benevolence, he had largely completed the greatest single crime in history, the extermination of the European Jews.

(Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY, 1993, 412-13.)

Dictator Files: Death of Stalin

Stalin had completely lost touch with the normal world. His daughter said he talked in terms of 1917 prices, and his salary envelopes piled up unopened in his desk (from which they mysteriously vanished at his death.). When she visited him on 21 December 1952, she found him sick, refusing to let any doctor near him, and dousing himself with iodine. His personal physician for the last twenty years, he thought had been a British spy all the time, and was now literally in chains. Stalin had always doodled drawings of wolves during meetings. Now the brutes obsessed him. On 17 February 1953, he told the last non-communist visitor, K.P.S. Menon, how he dealt with his enemies: ‘A Russian peasant who sees a wolf doesn’t need to be told what the wolf intends to do – he knows! – he kills it!’ The stroke came a fortnight later on 2 March, leaving Stalin speechless. His daughter said that his death on 5 March was ‘difficult and terrible’, his last gesture being to lift his left hand as if to curse, or to ward off something. As Lenin went to eternity raving of electricity, so Stalin departed to the howling of imaginary wolves.

(Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY, 1993, 456.)

The Dictator Files: The Patriarch of a North Korean Dictatorship

In describing the Soviet-Chinese military alliance that precipitated the Korean War, historian Paul Johnson describes something of the character of the Communist dictator, Kim Il-sung, who ruled North Korea for forty-six years. Kim Il-sung loved his countrymen so much that he ordered an estimated one million deaths by the standard means of Communist affirmation: concentration camps, executions, and forced labor. He was succeeded by his deranged son, Kim Jong-Il, and thereafter by Dennis Rodman’s friend, Kim Jong-Un. Here is what Johnson says about the originator of that happy family line:

The Korean War postponed the Soviet-Chinese break for a decade. Not that Stalin exactly planned the war. He seems to have agreed in the spring of 1950 that Kim Il-sung, the North Korean Communist dictator, could make a limited push across the 38th parallel in November. But Kim was not a biddable man. He described himself in his own newspaper as ‘the respected and beloved leader’, as ‘a great thinker and theoretician’ responsible for ‘the guiding idea of the revolution of our era’, a ‘greater revolutionary practitioner who has worked countless legendary miracles’, a ‘matchless iron-willed brilliant commander who is ever-victorious’, as well as ‘the tender-hearted father of the people…embracing them in his broad bosom’. He turned Stalin’s cunning probe into an attack by his entire army and launched it on 25 June [1950], with sufficient success to panic the Americans.

(Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY, 1993, 450.)

A brief survey of the Wikipedia entry on Kim Il-sung tells how Joseph Stalin’s personal wickedness is directly responsible for the evils of Korean Communism too. Russia occupied Korea in August of 1945, just after America dropped the atom bombs on Japan, and immediately delegated his notorious henchman, Lavrentiy Beria, to choose a dictator for Korea. Beria chose the insane Kim Il-sung, and the rest is history.

This first Kim is known as “the Great President” and is accorded the title of “Eternal President” in the North Korean Constitution. Maybe the whole country is tainted by his legacy: there are over 500 statues of him in the country.

Homicidal Democrat US Presidents – Liars and War-Mongers

Eisenhower rightly perceived that the Korean War and the uncertainty surrounding the cease-fire negotiations were the source of frustration and fear upon which McCarthyism was played. In November 1952 he had been elected to end the war. Peace has always been a vote-winning issue in the United States. Yet there is an instructive contrast in Democrat and Republican records. Wilson won in 1916 on a promise to keep America out of the war; next year America was a belligerent. Roosevelt won in 1940 on the same promise and with the same result. Lyndon Johnson won in 1964 on a peace platform (against Republican ‘warmongering’) and promptly turned Vietnam into a major war. Eisenhower in 1952 and Richard Nixon in 1972 are the only two Presidents in this century who have carried out their peace promises.

(Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY, 1993, 460.)

Homicidal Democrat US Presidents – Truman and the Korean War

The Korean War was a characteristic 20th-century tragedy. It was launched for ideological reasons, without a scintilla of moral justification or any evidence of popular support. It killed 34,000 Americans, a million Koreans, a quarter of a million Chinese. It achieved no purpose. All its consequences were unintended. Its course was a succession of blunders. Kim and Stalin underestimated America’s response. Truman judged the invasion to be a prelude to an attack on Japan and a direct challenge to America’s willingness to uphold international law through the United Nations. Hitherto that body had been designed to reflect great power agreement and its Security Council, with its veto system, underpinned the principle. Truman had no need to invoke the UN at all. The Potsdam agreement gave America ample powers to act alone. But Truman wanted the UN’s ‘moral authority’. So he bypassed the Security Council and got authorization by the UN’s General Assembly, which America then dominated, on a mere counting-heads basis. Thus the first long-term consequence of Korea was to undermine the concept of the UN as a useful, but limited body, and set it on a course which transformed it into an instrument of ideological propaganda. Of course the reason Truman wanted UN backing was that he took America into the war without getting Congressional approval first. This was the second unintended consequence: the elevation of the Presidency into a supra-constitutional war-making executive….

(Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY, 1993, 450.)

Eisenhower’s Fear and Hatred of The Welfare State

Eisenhower’s chief fear, in the tense atmosphere engendered by the Cold War, was that the government would fall into the grip of a combination of bellicose senators, over-eager brass-hats [generals] and greedy arms-suppliers – what he termed the ‘military-industrial complex’. For his third principle, reflected in his diaries and other personal documents, was that the security of freedom throughout the world rested ultimately in the health of the American economy. Given time, the strength of that economy could duplicate itself in West Europe and Japan. But the US economy could itself be destroyed by intemperate spending. He said of the brass-hats: “They don’t know much about fighting inflation. This country could choke itself to death piling up military expenditures just as surely as it can defeat itself by not spending enough for protection.’… But Eisenhower was equally fearful of reckless spending in the domestic field…. What [he] strove mightily to avoid was a huge, permanent increase in federal commitments. He put holding down inflation before social security because he thought it was ultimately the only reliable form of social security. He loathed the idea of American becoming a welfare state.

(Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY, 1993, 464.)