Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nazi Past

It did not come as a great shock to me that the United States used Nazis as spies during the Cold War and that the government tried to keep it under wraps.  Even the number — over 1,000 — didn’t surprise me.  After all, it was no great secret that we recruited a lot of their surviving scientists to launch our space program.  Tom Lehrer even sang about it.

America has a long history of working with, if not embracing, unsavory people as long as they were seen as helping us against an enemy, real or perceived.  We collaborated with the Russians against Hitler, we took up with mobsters and thugs on the right side of the civil wars in Cuba, the Middle East, Africa and Central America (the “right” side being anybody who was against the Soviets), we helped Saddam Hussein fight the Iranians, and guess who it was who sold munitions to the Taliban in Afghanistan when the Soviets invaded in 1979.

It was all for the sake of expedience; it was a waste of time to look ahead and think about what might happen after the Cold War was over or the rebels were ousted from El Salvador so the corporations and investors could move back in and continue buying off the dictators.  The fact that in nearly every case it either blew up in our face or the people we supported turned on us and launched attacks with our own weapons is hardly worth bringing up.  At some point we won a victory for freedom, right?

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