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October 2010

Facets of Four World Wars

Forming a Strategic Resistance and the Fuller Catholic Witness


- Part III -

“If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.”



In the formulation of a fitting Criterion by which to judge the last of our three insightful offerings, Patrick Buchanan's cautionary and cumulatively sobering book, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost the Empire and the West Lost the World (2008), two vivid phrases come forcefully to mind. Both of them come from a book on the Pagan Roman Empire and the incipient Christian Roman Empire, covering a period of some seventy-five years between 250 A.D. and 326 A.D. We are speaking of Evelyn Waugh's historical novel on the mother of Constantine, entitled Helena.

The first phrase is a potent, compressed metaphor: “the foetid termitary of power,” and it refers to the self-destructive apparatus of Emperor Diocletian.

The second phrase is “Power without Grace,” and these are the sudden words which Helena speaks to her son, who, unlike herself, is not yet a Christian. In Constantine's own view, his power has produced many problems and it all seems out of control. Something seems missing. His mother calmly tells him what it is: Grace.

If a Catholic Witness were to put these two phrases together, he could say something of special resonance, at least to a Christian. For he could compendiously speak of the recurrent consequences in history of “The Foetid Termitary of Power without Grace.”

That is to say, the exercise of power without the quiet light and sustaining strength of Grace very soon becomes mephitic and self-sabotaging. Unseen, the quietly erosive termites sap and undermine the edifice of apparent strength - and this structure may even rather suddenly then collapse in its own stench.

The more I entered into Buchanan's well-researched book about the temporal order of power and about the blind cynicism of self-aggrandizing power - especially in the representative figure of Winston Churchill - the more I thought of these phrases from Evelyn Waugh's Helena, which was published in 1950, the year when the CIA's Congress for Cultural Freedom was first being publicly established in Berlin, and when the Korean War on the other side of the world had just broken out - only two years after the establishment of the Zionist State of Israel.

Like Evelyn Waugh, Patrick Buchanan is publicly well-known as a Roman Catholic. In his most recent historical book, however, and unlike Waugh, Buchanan's implicit Criterion of judgment is, unmistakably, a secular and temporal Criterion. In a more technical manner of speaking, it is a Naturalistic Criterion. For, he does not even mention the action or the influence of the Church, much less the existence, the gift, and the indispensability of Divine Grace. Nor does he imply the need for grace and the sacraments for the final fulfillment of human life, as well as for a sustained life of virtue, especially heroic virtue.

As is fitting, therefore, in this review we shall gradually and more fully consider Buchanan's surprising omissions and his special selectivity, and some of their implications, also for the Life of Grace and the Catholic Witness today.

Churchill and the Jews
Like Yuri Slezkine's book on the revolutionary and increasingly “mercurian” twentieth century, entitled The Jewish Century (2004), Patrick Buchanan's own book and longer view of history largely covers the same period, especially World War I and World War II and their disordered aftermaths, which included the disintegration of empires and the perfidious “transfer” and further destruction of peoples, such as the Germans, Poles, Finns, Cossacks, Hungarians and the Eastern Europeans.

It is almost too painful to consider, for example, the several “forced repatriations” back to Stalin, known as “Operation Keelhaul” - but, like Solzhenitsyn, Buchanan himself courageously does, and touches us with his words.

Buchanan's reflections are largely those of a “Fruit Inspector.” He candidly considers the results - the fruits - of these unnecessary or unjust and vengeful wars, to include “the Good War,” which supposedly ended with victory in 1945. But, in the aftermath, “the moral handicaps to recovery” were very great, indeed, according to B.H. Liddell Hart (another strong opponent of Churchill) - especially after all the promiscuous resort to lawless and irregular “guerrilla warfare” (which had also been thoroughly encouraged by Churchill).

Concerning this matter of aftermath and moral recovery, Buchanan also conveys the wise 1962 admonition of a future U.S. President, who had then himself recently suffered a great personal defeat:

In Six Crises [1962], Richard Nixon warns that “the most dangerous period” in any crisis is the aftermath. It is then, with all his resources spent and his guard down, that an individual must watch out for dulled reactions and faulty judgment (267).

Buchanan's recent book has a special attentiveness to Winston Churchill and to Churchill's recurrent “cynicism and opportunism” (39) and “lust for war” (65). He also shows Churchill's later dishonour and deceits - as in 1948 - when Churchill tried to “cover his spoor” (258).

What Buchanan cumulatively reveals about Churchill and his widespread destructive effects would be even better understood in its longer-range implications, if one were also to read a recent book by Churchill's official biographer, Martin Gilbert. Gilbert's book is entitled Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship (2007) - and he means “lifelong.” (Gilbert himself is of self-emphasized Jewish ethnicity and heritage and national pride.)

In contrast to Gilbert, and surprisingly so, Buchanan does not often go explicitly near the topic of “Churchill and the Jews,” nor even Churchill's important connections with the Zionist Movement. Nor does Buchanan even mention Martin Gilbert's own revealing book, neither in the main text, nor in his Bibliography.

But, in his final “summing up” and sharp critique of Churchill, Buchanan does become much more candid. His comments on Churchill and the Jews come in his ironically entitled fourteenth chapter, “Man of the Century,” which constitutes the penultimate chapter in his largely courageous book.

For example, Buchanan says:

Though a philo-Semite and supporter of Zionism, Churchill's views on the roots of Bolshevism seem not markedly different from those of Hitler (401).

That is to say, Hitler and Churchill effectively share a common view of the danger and ardent vengeance of “Jewish Bolshevism.”

The German scholar and librarian, Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, has closely examined this phenomenon of Jewish Bolshevism, “the Myth and the Reality” in his 2002 book of that name: “Jüdischer Bolschewismus”: Mythos und Realität. Buchanan, however, does not mention that study in his Bibliography.

Nonetheless, Buchanan does go on to quote from Churchill's own once famous 1920 article on the struggle for the Jewish soul - an article which Churchill later never gave permission to reprint, as it appears, and for good reason. Buchanan says:

In the Illustrated Sunday Herald of February 8, 1920 [on page 5], after the failed Allied intervention in Russia, Churchill wrote that in the “creation of Bolshevism” the role of “atheistical Jews .... probably outweighs all others” (401).

What Buchanan does not quote from Churchill's short and candid article, however, is even more trenchant. For example, this is how Churchill begins his piece:

Some people like Jews and some do not; but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world. And it may well be that this same astounding race may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible. It would almost seem as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people; and that this mystic and mysterious race had been chosen for the supreme manifestations, both of the divine and the diabolical (Illustrated Sunday Herald of London, 8 February 1920, page 5).

The original title of Churchill's article, moreover, is not given in Buchanan's text nor in his footnote, although it is indeed a very revealing title in light of Churchill's later and keenly operational sympathies. The article is entitled: “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People” by “the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill.” Churchill had hoped that Zionism would “win out” in the end.

Buchanan's footnote only gives the original subtitle: “A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People.” Buchanan thereby attenuates the impact of the original title and its sharply adversative dichotomy. (On page 500, however, in his short Bibliography of cited Articles, he does finally disclose the full title “Zionism versus Bolshevism.” The reader will have already noticed that Churchill did not include Religious Judaism as an alternative in the struggle for the Jewish soul.)

In his larger Bibliography of books, Buchanan does cite two of Martin Gilbert's books, but not (as already mentioned) Gilbert's important 2007 book on Churchill and the Jews. Nor does Buchanan cite the noted British Zionist, Samuel Landman's very important 1936 book, Great Britain, the Jews, and Palestine, which was published under the official auspices of the Zionist Association and which deals with Zionism and the fostered entry of the United States into World War I; and, especially, the promise and the obligation then subsequently fulfilled by the British in the consequential 2 November 1917 Balfour Declaration. Nor does Buchanan use or cite Thomas Mahl's excellent 1999 study, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-1944, which is a good complement and update to Charles Callan Tansill's earlier 1952 book, Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy, 1933-1941.

Revealing and Representative Figure
For Patrick Buchanan, it would seem, Winston Churchill constitutes a subtly revealing and representative figure. He is a sort of synecdoche whereby “a part stands for a larger whole.” In a sense, Churchill is also a representative Witness: a Witness of, and on behalf of, a certain restless and gradually predominant Ethos of dynamism and expansionist power: that “Mercurian, Mercantile, and Manipulative Ethos” which characterizes what the historian Yuri Slezkine has so approvingly called “The Jewish Century” or “The Jewish Age” and its own allegedly creative energy and prepotency.

Therefore, when Buchanan exposes the inhumanity, indifferent cruelty, and self-aggrandizing mendacity of Churchill, especially in his climactic chapter 14, entitled “Man of the Century,” he is being surely ironical, and his chapter's last sentence is surely an ambiguous understatement: “He [Churchill] had been a great man - at the cost of his country's greatness” (412). What, therefore, we may wonder, is Buchanan's own concept of greatness, after all? What is his Standard? And on what grounds and by what authority?

Even in accord with his own disciplined and strictly Secular Criterion, Buchanan has, nevertheless, not chosen to entitle his final, very severe, and very revealing summation of Winston Churchill as “A Man of the Jewish Century,” or “A Man of the Jewish Age.” That might have been too daring and provocative, even for pugnacious Patrick Buchanan. But, in my view, Buchanan's artful indirection is still caustic, and his narrative structure and chapter-titles are subtly and effectively ironic, and unmasking.

For example, in Buchanan's designedly deflating fourteenth chapter, Churchill is referred to merely as the “Man of the Century” - although the chapter deftly constitutes an unmasking of the Twentieth-Century's Delusional Standards and Blind Presumption. Yuri Slezkine, because of his Hebraic heritage, might have been more ecomiastic about Churchill and much less depreciative - especially because Winston Churchill has long been honoured by the Jewish People as a hero, and their hero, although he does not appear to speak at all of “the Shoah” in his published multi-volume histories of World War II.

At first glance, this is not easy to understand, especially because Churchill was one of a very few who had special and recurrent access to “Ultra” and the other sources of secret code-breaking of the Enemies' Most Confidential Messages. About this latter suspect matter Buchanan does not choose to speak - although it might further show Churchill's coldness and cynicism and lack of compassion.

However, Buchanan was more acutely ironical and suggestive in the very last sentence of his book, namely at the end of his fifteenth chapter, entitled “America Inherits the Empire,” i.e., the British Empire. Here Buchanan is speaking of the current and more openly Christian President of the United States and his declared intentions, especially his intentions to defend and extend freedom and democracy abroad. Then suddenly, and finally, Buchanan says: “And to show the world he meant business, President Bush had placed in his Oval Office a bust of Winston Churchill” (423). A portentous and pathetic gesture, in combination, as the tenor and context of Buchanan's words amply convey. To what extent, we may wonder, had President Bush followed the path of Churchill, inspired by his moral character and energy?

Instrument of Judaization
Throughout his book, Buchanan had sharply, gradually, cumulatively, and convincingly presented Churchill as a cynic with a lust for war, who was often blind and self-sabotaging with respect to his own stated aims, even unto the subversion of the British Empire itself, which he so persistently had sought to aggrandize. He also shows him to be a Machiavellian and a “Machtpolitik Realist” and a Racist, stricto sensu, who had much contempt for the “Wogs” or Lesser Breeds, like the South Asian Indians, including Gandhi.

Churchill's public career covered the first half of “The Jewish Century,” his public career having extended almost continuously from 1911-1955, ending one year before the divisive Suez Crisis and Hungarian Uprising; and he died in 1965, while the United States was getting more involved in Viet Nam, and two years before the watershed event of the Israeli Six-Day War and the subsequent initiation of the punitive Arab Oil Embargo, with its “denial-of-access” strategy, the consequences of which “energy-dependency” we are still facing today.

After carefully reading Buchanan's latest book, one senses that it is also a subtle parable - or an implicit apologue. In its subtext, there is a moral and spiritual narrative. Evelyn Waugh's own words about Grace and “Power without Grace” apply to individual character, as well, not only to nations or political regimes.

In the increasingly de-Christianized (or Apostate) West of the twentieth century, a new ethos and spirit has to come to permeate. Much was lost of the old Christian Order (or Christendom) and given over to the Mercurians, thereby weakening the Apollonians, to use Yuri Slezkine's own categorical language. In his own book's more explicit and confirmatory words, Slezkine himself proudly says:

The Modern Age is the Jewish Age, and the twentieth century, in particular, is the Jewish Century. Modernization is about everyone becoming urban, mobile, literate, articulate, intellectually intricate, physically fastidious, and occupationally flexible .... Modernization, in other words, is about everyone becoming Jewish .... This book is an attempt to tell the story of the Jewish Age and explain its origins and implications .... The book ends at the end of the Jewish Century - but not at the end of the Jewish Age (1-3).

Moreover, Churchill, as Buchanan eloquently shows, was instrumental in this “erasing and replacing.” His aggressive actions (also in Ireland with the Black-and-Tans) helped to uproot and dissipate the traditional Christian social and moral order, the longstanding historical reality of Christian culture: an order and spiritual ethos which Churchill, at least as of 1920, had so emphatically called “benevolent” in itself and in its effects, inasmuch as it had derived from “the gospel of Christ.”

By contrast, this new, restless uprooting unmistakably helped lay the foundations for the further Judaization of Culture, with its own special, but contrary qualities. And Churchill himself, it seems, was “profiled” and then instrumentalized, perhaps beyond his full knowledge, for the sake of this further-Judaized Modernization and Great Transformation. It was to be a Tranformation from a more rooted civilization into a more restless and roaming and mercantile “Mercurian Culture” of reputed energy and dynamic creativity - similar to what Michael Ledeen approvingly calls the way of “Creative Destruction.”

Pulling Down the Pillars
To what extent will the United States (with its “Emerging American Imperium”) now be - or long remain - a further aid in this enhanced Judaization of the Modern Age, perhaps with the added utility of “Messianic Judaeo-Protestantization,” or “Old Testament Christianity”? And what, if at all, will be the likely moral and strategic and spiritual resistance to this Judaized form of “shock doctrine” and its “far subtler sabotage” (in Naomi Klein's words, 251)?

What will be the nature and the consequences of a strong and coherent resistance to this further Judaization? Will there be only more destruction, only more financial manipulation and collapse? In response to a perceived humiliation or defeat, would implacable vengeance be disproportionately inflicted by the leaders of “the Modern Age”?

We recall here Seymour Hersh's courageous and cautionary 1993 book, The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. By way of further clarification of this open and preserved “Option” and Veiled Threat, we also recall what the Zionist spokesman, Samuel Landman, had earlier said, in 1936, in his already cited little book, Great Britain, the Jews and Palestine:

“What is it that keeps them [i.e., the “harassed” Jews of Europe at that time] from adopting, in the bitterness of their despair, a Samsonlike attitude and attempting to pull down the pillars of civilization? Only one thing - the hope of a Jewish Palestine. Remove that hope and millions of Jewish youth may be driven into the arms of Bolshevism, Communism and other forms of destructive activity” (3 - my emphasis added).

In this context, we, too, may fittingly ask: “To what extent was Samson a Suicide Terrorist?”

And what of the Little Ones, what of the “alien” Children that are thereby “disposed of” and destroyed?

Rudyard Kipling, like Hilaire Belloc, lost a son in World War I - a war for which, as Buchanan shows, Churchill had so keenly lusted. (And look at what his later negligence and arrogance and ignorance had produced at Gallipoli, in Turkey, especially the slaughter of the Non-English Allied Troops from Australia and New Zealand, for which kind of “surplus” or “disposable” troops Churchill always had so much insouciance and indifference - as the Scots will also passionately tell you.)

Kipling's couplet, already quoted at the beginning of this section, thus becomes more piercing for us now, and for all fathers who love their children:

“If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

Let us, please God, have the courage not to lie to our children, and the additional courage to speak the truth and truly to love the truth - wherever it comes from.

Wars Within the Revolutionary Process
To return to Buchanan, we should especially note the full title and subtitle of his sweeping book of great scope: Churchill, Hitler and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. But this title contains an ambiguity, which is perhaps purposive.

On the paper jacket and on the hardback cover, the phrase “The Unnecessary War” is, somewhat confusingly, not placed in quotes, but only inside the covers and in the text itself do the quotes enclose the important phrase. It is therefore not clear whether - or the extent to which - these enfolding quotes are intended to be ironical quotes, or merely the careful attribution to some other scholar or orator. Perhaps, Buchanan wants us to think about this matter.

But, why does he only say the “unnecessary” and not the “unjust” wars, unjust both in their inception and in their conduct and formal conclusions: i.e., both ad bellum and in bello? For example, concerning World War II, we must honestly face the Allies' May 1940 “strategic bombing” of innocent civilians and non-combatants, in combination with the later January 1943 demand for the Enemy's “unconditional surrender.” Why were these wars only “unnecessary,” after all? We should ponder such questions throughout the reading of Buchanan's highly differentiated and well-interwoven book (which also contains many excellent historical maps to aid our current and historical understanding).

In his Introduction, and further reminding us of James Burnham's own concept of strategic “phases,” Buchanan says:

Every European war is a civil war, said Napoleon. Historians will look back on 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 as two phases of the Great Civil War of the West, where the once Christian nations of Europe fell upon one another with such savage abandon [that] they brought down all their empires, brought an end to centuries of Western rule, and advanced the death of their civilization (xvii - my emphasis added).

He thereby implies that, even at the outset of World War I, the Nations of Europe were not truly, or recognizably, Christian Nations, and certainly not in their Governing Regimes, inasmuch as he only says “the once Christian nations of Europe.”

Some European scholars of the ongoing Revolution in Europe, like François Furet and Léon de Poncins, also perceptively refer to the French Revolution itself and all subsequent European Wars as “Civil Wars within the Revolution” - within the irrational and destructive Revolutionary Process and dialectic described, for example, by James Billington in his Fire in the Minds of Men. (Buchanan does not refer to Billington, however.)

Buchanan reveals from the outset why he has chosen to focus so much on Winston Churchill - the personification of so much deceit, war-lust, and destruction. He says explicitly:

There is another reason I have written this book. There has arisen among America's elite a Churchill cult. Its acolytes [or “Amen corner”] hold that Churchill was not only a peerless war leader but a statesman of unparalleled vision whose life and legend should be the model for every statesman .... But we cannot ignore the costs of Churchill's wars [nor their dark aftermath] (xix and xxi).

Some “professed to be sickened by the [August 1939] Hitler-Stalin pact” (301), says Buchanan, but taking a longer view - and through the eyes of Stalin and also some of the anti-Catholic Fabian Socialists like H.G. Wells (see his The Open Conspiracy [1928]) - Stalin's “pact with Hitler allowed him to occupy and bolshevize six Christian nations” (301 - my emphasis added). It also “gave the Red Army two years to prepare for the coming war with Germany” (301) - to include Stalin's “Operation Icebreaker”: Stalin's offensive war plan. (See Joachim Hoffmann's Stalin's War of Extermination, 1941-1945 (2001) and Viktor Suvorov's The Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? [1990].)

Shameful Betrayals
After Churchill so willingly consented to have Stalin as a new Ally against Germany, very soon after the 22 June 1941 German offensive - or pre-emptive offensive - against the Soviet Red Army, other shameful things were to follow, and Buchanan records many of them.

We shall only consider the cases of the Finns, the Poles, the Cossacks, and the Germans, with which shameful betrayals we shall conclude our review, thereby also honoring Patrick Buchanan's courage and justice and very inspiring moral passion.

First, Finland.

Buchanan records that, on 20 January 1940, “Churchill had hailed the heroism of Finland in resisting Russia's onslaught in the Winter War and poured out his contempt of Soviet ideology” (368). He then quotes Churchill's 1940 words, in part:

“The service rendered by Finland to mankind is magnificent .... Many illusions about Soviet Russia have been dispelled by these fierce weeks of fighting above the Arctic Circle. Everyone can see how Communism rots the soul of a nation [hence even the soul of the Jewish nation]; how it makes it abject and hungry in peace and proves it base and abominable in war” (368).

However, on 6 December 1941 - less than two years later - Churchill and England then chose shamefully “to declare war on Finland” (368). It was a declaration against the heroic little country recently praised by Churchill as “‘superb, nay sublime - in the jaws of peril,’” specifically for their acts in “resisting Stalin's aggression” (368). Buchanan says that this perfidy was Churchill's “first great act of appeasement” (368) of Stalin - which is certainly an understatement. Furthermore, says Buchanan:

To appease his great ally [i.e., Stalin] Churchill would agree to Stalin's annexation of the Baltic republics, his plunder from the devil's pact with Hitler, and turn a blind eye to the Katyn massacre. When the Polish government-in-exile asked him to look into the 1940 mass murder of the Polish officer corps in Soviet captivity, fifteen thousand Poles executed in all, Churchill was dismissive: “There is no use prowling round three year old graves of Smolensk.” Churchill's answer suggests he suspected or knew the truth, that Stalin had perpetrated the Katyn massacre [Churchill also had access to “Ultra” - the code-breaking which would have also revealed the killings of Jews.] If he thought an investigation would implicate the Nazis in the mass murder of Poland's officer corps [or of the Jews], Churchill would have pursued it (369-370 - my emphasis added).

Adding to the travesty and the cynicism,

At Teheran in 1943, Churchill presented Stalin with a Crusader's sword [i.e., “the sword of Stalingrad”]. In early 1944, “Churchill put pressure on the Poles to accept border changes that made Munich [1938] look like a simple frontier adjustment [in the quoted words of John Charmley]” (370).

Buchanan himself later poignantly asked:

What did Churchill think the fate of the Poles, who had defeated the Red Army in 1920 [“the Miracle on the Vistula”], would be [now, in 1945] under Stalin? How could he not have known what Stalin had in store for the Poles when Stalin in 1944 had refused U.S. and British planes permission to fly supplies to the dying [Polish] Home Army? (372)

Now to the Cossacks - and other targets. Buchanan says:

More than “ally himself to Stalin,” Churchill colluded with Stalin in such historic crimes as the forcible return of millions of resisting POWs and Russians, whether “Soviet citizens” or not, from Allied-occupied territory to the NKVD [successor to the Cheka and predecessor to the KGB]. Stalin was especially interested in the Cossacks, who had fought Soviet [and vengeful Jewish Bolshevik] rule in the civil war of 1919-1920 and fled with their families to the West. Though they had never been “Soviet citizens,” the Cossacks were sent back (379).

In his section entitled “Ethnic Cleansing and Slave Labor,” Buchanan frames his own comments and first quotes Solzhenitsyn, who wrote in his The Gulag Archipelago (Vol II, 259-260), as follows:

“In Austria that May [1945], Churchill ... turned over to the Soviet Command the Cossack corps of 90,000 men. Along with them, he also handed over many wagonloads of old people, women, and children who did not want to return to their native Cossack rivers. This great hero [the Russian's restrained irony is very painful!], monuments to whom will in time cover all England, ordered that they, too, be surrendered to their deaths” (379 - my emphasis added).

Commenting further upon Churchill and the persistent tradition of Perfidious Albion, Buchanan and Solzhenitsyn continue:

Britain's betrayal of the Cossacks was “an act of double-dealing consistent with the spirit of the traditional English diplomacy,” Solzhenitsyn wrote of Churchill and others who betrayed them. “In their own countries FDR and Churchill are honored as embodiments of statesmanlike wisdom. To us, in our Russian prison conversations, their consistent shortsightedness and stupidity stood out as astonishingly obvious” (379).

Solzhenitsyn's heroic restraint here is even more astonishing. The frigid indifference of Winston Churchill, this form of human skulch, should not have gone unpunished in this world.

One further betrayal we consider now: the betrayal of the Germans. In Buchanan's compassionate words:

At Yalta in February 1945 [three months before the Cossacks were handed over], Churchill and FDR ... capitulated to Stalin's demand that the new provisional Polish-German border be set at the Oder and western Neisse rivers. This meant “11 million people - 9 million inhabitants of the eastern German provinces and 2 million from Old Poland and the Warta District” would be driven out of their homes (381).

Making this crime now more vivid to us, Buchanan says:

Two million Germans would die in this largest forced transfer [i.e., “ethnic cleansing”] of populations in history, a crime against humanity of historic dimensions in which twenty times as many Germans were driven from their homes between 1944 and 1948 as the 600,000 Palestinians of the war of 1948, and more Germans died than all the Armenians who perished in the Turkish massacres of World War I. The territories of East Prussia, Pomerania, Eastern Brandenburg, Silesia, Danzig, Memel, and the Sudetenland were relentlessly and ruthlessly “cleansed” of Germans, whose families had inhabited them for centuries. While this crime against humanity was being perpetrated, the Allies at Nuremberg, including Stalin's USSR [i.e., Stalin's “Show-Trial” Judge Andrei Vyshinsky - himself a moral monster], were prosecuting the Germans for crimes against humanity (381-282 - my emphasis added).

Moral Witness: Catholic Lacuna
This was “the Good War.” Such were the vengeful fruits of World War II, reminding us of the comparably punitive aftermath of World War I.

After World War I, Albert Jay Nock (“Historicus”) wrote The Myth of a Guilty Nation (1922) in an effort to combat the falsehood and the hypocrisy that Germany was the solely guilty nation. Nock had also aided the earlier and much longer work of brilliance by Francis Neilson, entitled How Diplomats Make War (1915).

Moreover, John Maynard Keynes published in 1919 his book of warning, entitled: The Economic Consequences of the Peace - after the punitive Treaty of Versailles - a book which Patrick Buchanan says was “the savage book charging the Allied leaders with having crafted a vindictive peace that must, by crushing Germany with debt, set the stage for a new war” (75).

Some fourteen years after Versailles - in January 1933 - Hitler was to ascend to power in Berlin, shortly after Franklin Roosevelt became President at the beginning of the same month and about three months before World Jewry (as announced on the front page of British newspapers) openly and resentfully declared war on Germany - at least economic and financial war.

Quoting an Italian scholar, Buchanan says:

At a London dinner party soon after Adolf Hitler had taken power in Berlin, one of the guests asked aloud, “By the way, where was Hitler born?”

“At Versailles,” was the instant reply of Lady Astor (110).

Léon Degrelle, as Buchanan probably knows - but does not cite - wrote a lengthy study, entitled Hitler Born at Versailles (1982). Degrelle was a Belgian Catholic, born in 1906, who fought against Stalin on the Russian Front as an officer in the military-elite of the Belgian Legion in the Waffen SS. Like Ernst Jünger before him, he was an especially courageous officer and highly decorated for valour; and he was also, like Jünger, a very gifted and truthful scholar, and later again, after the War, the leader of his earlier Catholic Rexist Movement in Belgium. (Jünger himself later became a Roman Catholic.)

Patrick Buchanan's truthful and comparably courageous study has also helped us to understand in a compendious and poignant way how the Twentieth Century of the Modern Age looks to a discerning “Fruit Inspector.” For we now see even much more of the aftermath and the ill-fruits. And we now better understand what Cardinal Manning once said to Hilaire Belloc: “All human conflict is ultimately theological.”

However, Patrick Buchanan gives no hint in his book of such sacred matters, not even about the acute moral struggle of Pope Pius XII himself concerning his eventual allowing - under much pressure - of a Military Alliance with Soviet Communism in World War II (after 22 June 1941). Nor does Buchanan even remotely speak of how a fundamental theological conflict affects the tone and the substance of a culture and its politics and exercise of power.

Like Buchanan, Evelyn Waugh wrote much on war and its effects and its deeper aftermath, not only in Brideshead Revisited (1945 and 1960 revised), but especially in his World War II Trilogy, Sword of Honour (1965). But unlike Waugh, Buchanan gives no description or even adumbration of “the operation of divine grace on a group of diverse but closely connected characters” (Waugh). Buchanan, however, is a courageous moral Witness of much heretofore unknown or avoided truth. But, one truly wonders about this absence of any Catholic Witness? How would Patrick Buchanan himself want us to understand this?

In his January 1961 Farewell Address, presented amidst the intensified Third World War, President Eisenhower warned of two special dangers, not only of “the Military-Industrial Complex,” but also of “the Scientific and Technological Elite.”

This second proposed danger was not much noted at the time, nor much considered and openly discussed in later years. There are a few who have wondered, and have aptly tried to discover, what the President was specifically thinking of. Though he might have been thinking of the new Cybernetics Projects at M.I.T., or of other research in Multi-Media Manipulation and the New Biology as it could and soon would be applied to warfare, he did not explicitly mention them. He certainly did not give special attention to the elites and technocrats of High Finance and Economic Science, nor of other new and applied Behavioural Sciences, like Neuroscience.

What this former American General alerted us to in 1961, a former British General also saw. Some five years earlier, for example, the historic matter of the deliberate infliction and manipulation of debt and of a resultant debt bondage - as well as its wider effects on the social order - were also understood and much more fully written about by Major General J.F.C. Fuller, himself an historical scholar and a former combatant officer in World War I.

Writing in 1955 in his Military History of the Western World about the decisive Battle of Blenheim (1704) in Bavaria, and especially about the aftermath of the larger War of Spanish Succession and of its concluding Treaty of Utrecht (1713), this British scholar went even further. He unexpectedly spoke of Grand-Strategy: about the resulting supremacy of the British Navy, both “at sea and in the markets of the world,” as well as other, but more indirect, revolutionary effects of Britain's new maritime and economic supremacy. He then added:

But the revolution went deeper still; for it was the machinery of the Bank of England and the National Debt which enabled England to fight wars with gold as well as iron .... Only half of this vast sum [of war costs] ... was met out of taxation, the remainder was borrowed and added to the National Debt. Thus a system was devised whereby the prosperity of the future was underwritten in order to ease the poverty of the present, and war was henceforth founded on unpayable debt. The banker merchants of London steadily gained in political power over the landed interests, and, therefore, increasingly into their hands went the destinies of the nation and the Empire, whose frontiers had become the oceans and the seas. (J.F.C. Fuller, A Military History of the Western World, Volume II, p. 155 - my emphasis added)

Such things are a part of what General Fuller calls the “Arcana Imperii” - i.e., “the hidden secrets of power and command.” It is still the case today, but with some sophisticated technologies added.

More broadly, it is my view that the important works of all three of the authors reviewed in this essay will be even more appreciated and understood, if they are further understood in the light of J.F.C. Fuller's other writings, especially one of his last books, and perhaps his best. It was a book General Fuller published nearly fifty years ago, a book which foresaw and warned us against the increasing and self-destructive movements toward “Total War.” Even in 1961, he already knew much, like James Burnham, about “Soviet Revolutionary Warfare” and its indirect, as well as direct, methods of subversion; but he did not entirely anticipate the religious factors and specific nature and possible facets of a “World War IV,” which we may now be facing. This above-mentioned book, however, will especially shed light on this latter matter, and give us a more differentiated sense of proportion and disciplined self-limitation.

In 1961, near the end of his life, Major-General J.F.C. Fuller published this book, entitled The Conduct of War, 1789-1961. It is, in the author's words, “A study of the Impact of the French, Industrial, and Russian Revolutions on War and Its Conduct.” It is essentially a study of “the rebirth and growth of unlimited war” - or what the Chinese, who still study and admire Fuller, have more recently called “Unrestricted Warfare.” (The Chinese, however, significantly propose to have highly disciplined, limited objectives, but to employ unrestricted means.) General Fuller shows how, increasingly, warfare since the late-eighteenth century in the West has manifested varied forms of “total war” - including “brain warfare” - and with altogether grave, embittering, and vengeful consequences upon civilization and the intimate life of man.

Even back in May 1918 Fuller had written a long study entitled “Strategic Paralysis as the Object of Decisive Attack” wherein, among other points, he said:

The fighting power of an army [or a nation] lies in its organization, which can be destroyed either by wearing it down or rendering it inoperative. The first comprises killing, wounding, and capturing the enemy's soldiers - body warfare; the second in rendering inoperative his power of command - brain warfare .... As our present theory is to destroy personnel, our new theory should be to destroy command. Not after the enemy's personnel has been disorganized, but before it has been attacked, so that it may be found in a state of disorganization when attacked. (The Conduct of War, 1789-1961, p. 243 - my emphasis added)

One year after the vengeful Treaty of Versailles (which he strongly denounced) and two years after his study on “Strategic Paralysis” and how it is to be brought about, General Fuller had a further-frightening insight - which is also a warning to us - which he articulated, surprisingly, in his book entitled Tanks in the Great War, 1914-1918 (1920). He foresaw that, in contrast to the overtly coercive way of achieving dominance, there would come another and more insidious form of control:

This method of imposing the will of one man on another may in its turn be replaced by a purely psychological warfare, wherein “weapons” are not even used or battlefields sought or loss of life or limb aimed at; but, in place [of these methods], the corruption of human reason, the dimming of the human intellect, and the disintegration of the moral and spiritual life of one nation by the influence and will of another is accomplished (320).

War and Peace: Essential Catholic Aims
The Catholic Witness must attentively and deeply understand these developments and forms of direct - and indirect - “total warfare,” - and thereby form and discipline his own Strategic Resistance and help the resistance of others.

By way of partial imitation of General Fuller, we may extend his own argumentation and now also consider the impact and slow influence upon the conduct of modern war of more recent forms of Revolution - not just the French and Industrial and Russian Revolutions. We should also try to deepen our understanding of Fuller's especially brilliant Chapter 11 (202-216), entitled “Soviet Revolutionary Warfare,” wherein he shows how these “revolutionary dialecticians” also use “Peace as an Instrument of Revolution” (211-216).

Now we must face, for example, many new developments such as the Revolution of Molecular Biology and in Cybernetics, and in Neuroscience and Psycho-Neurolinguistics and Computer Science and Sociobiology, all of which will now likely be more fully applied to the theory of war and to the conduct of war. We must always keep our minds focused, however, on the essential, to include the very purpose of war itself and the final purpose of life and love. We must remember, as well, that “the more helpless someone is, the more that one calls out for our help.” That ethos was always an essential part, of the Christian Code of Chivalry and Manhood and Protective Honour.

One example of such a selflessly generous and chivalrous man is Major Maurice Baring - the beloved friend of Hilaire Belloc, G..K. Chesterton, and young Evelyn Waugh. Baring, like J.F.C. Fuller, fought with distinction in World War I and was honoured by Air Marshall Trenchard and by Marshal Foche himself. Baring's moving Memoir of World War I - R.F.C. HQ.: 1914-1918 (1920) - modestly displays his own dedicated friendship, self-sacrifice, and ethos of chivalry, as well as his eloquent admiration for the chivalrous conduct of others, such as the French General de Castelnau. Maurice Baring, so intimately knowledgeable of many foreign languages and cultures (especially Russia and France), became a increasingly revered Catholic writer of prose and verse after the Great War. He was a man of profound friendship and himself a gracious Catholic Witness. He showed it by his life and varied literary writings, and especially (in his protracted degenerative illness) by his accepted suffering and serene death.

Today - now almost sixty-four years after Maurice Baring's death on 14 December 1945 - faithful Roman Catholics still know very well the risks and the high adventure of our probation in this world and the tests of temporal and spiritual warfare. Most importantly, they know - like Maurice Baring, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, and the feisty Evelyn Waugh themelves - that they must strive with courage “both to live and to die supernaturally alive” - i.e., in the state of Sanctifying Grace. With the Hope of the Martyrs and with profound Gratitude. Such is their essential War Aim and Peace Aim. “Grace is Glory begun, and Glory is Grace perfected” (“Gratia est gloria incepta, gloria est gratia perfecta.”).


Facets of Four World Wars - Part I

Facets of Four World Wars - Part II



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