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Weapon of Mis-Instruction: 60s Radical “Historian” Justifies Giving Stalin the A-Bomb

Posted on February 21 2011 5:00 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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Herbert Aptheker,Communist Theoretician,Tom Hayden, A.J.Muste, Chairman of the Committee for Nonviolent Action and Staughton Lynd on their propaganda mission to Hanoi

It was a blast from the past this week, as mostly forgotten one-time Life cover boy, radical historian and Yale Professor turned community organizer Staughton Lynd surfaced to add… nothing, to the subject of the Rosenbergs and the atomic bomb spy plot.

His article in the Marxist rag, Monthly Review (who knew that still existed, either) was ironically titled, “Is There Anything More to Say about the Rosenberg Case?”

I’m willing to say there might be—but Lynd sure didn’t prove it.

But he did find some novel ways to say nothing new about the case while exposing the moral idiocy of the hard Left, proposing that:

  • Stalin getting the bomb helped keep the peace
  • Rosenberg was guilty but was unfairly convicted
  • And worst of all, it’s good for anti-communists that Rosenberg has been proven guilty.

Early in the article, Lynd grouses:  “Those who have all along argued that the Rosenbergs were guilty feel triumphant. It seems to them that they have been proved correct. The case, they propose, is closed.”

Yep.  We sure do.

Lynd then proceeds to construct the notion that the Left was really right, even though they were wrong, about the Rosenbergs.  You see, it’s not fair to use the Venona transcripts to declare the Rosenberg case over, because the Left didn’t know about them in the 1950s.

And the jury that convicted the Rosenbergs didn’t know about them either—so it was unfair that the government knew about them and used that knowledge to execute people responsible for giving one of history’s greatest mass murderers the means to kill millions more…

Or something.

Lynd tries to build a moral case for the Rosenbergs: that giving Stalin the bomb helped prevent world hegemony by the evil United States:

I am a lifelong advocate of nonviolence. When I first read John Hersey’s Hiroshima, I was horrified. But I believe the argument could be made that to whatever extent Fuchs, Gold, the Greenglasses, and one or both Rosenbergs hastened the development of a Soviet atomic bomb, it may have tended to preserve the peace of the world during the crises of the Cold War.

He also proudly proclaims that at least Julius Rosenberg wasn’t a snitch and tries to propose that the Rosenbergs were not hardcore Stalinists, but CPUSA reformers.

Our friend Ron Radosh does a great, detailed job of fisking this drivel over at Pajamas Media.  For a one time “historian,” Lynd apparently can’t be bothered to do even the most basic research on timelines.

Rush Limbaugh often says that he doesn’t want to eradicate liberals, that we should keep a few around in order to remind us of their folly.  I propose that Stuaghton Lynd stick his head out of whatever hole he’s been buried in every so often—especially when people start waxing romantic about the idealism of 60s radicals.

Reading this crap would be the perfect antidote.

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