Nukestalgia

Vladimir Putin on February 27 put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov announced that a third world war would be “nuclear and destructive.”

Those concerned about the threat might wonder how Russia acquired those destructive nuclear weapons in the first place. 

Russia did not invent nuclear weapons, and neither did the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, whose demise Putin laments. As it happened, Stalinist spies stole the plans from the U.S. Manhattan Project during World War II. 

To learn more about Klaus Fuchs, a key figure in Stalin’s spy network, see Nancy Thorndike Greenspan’s Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs. For Julius and Ethel Rosenberg see The Rosenberg File: A Search for Truth, by Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton. Radosh was initially a defender of the Rosenbergs but wound up convinced of their guilt. It is debatable whether the Rosenbergs should have been executed on June 19, 1953, especially Ethel. On the other hand, there is no doubt that Julius was a Stalinist spy and Ethel was his accomplice. 

Facing an invasion of Japan that would cost countless American lives, the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9. Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945, bringing World War II to a close. Stalinist pisseur d’encre Frank Marshall Davis, beloved mentor of the composite character David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, faithfully proclaimed the communist view. 

“When we dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, we believed the world was ours,” Davis wrote on February 9, 1950. “Having defeated the Axis powers on the battlefront, we were ready to show the Russians who was boss of this world.” And so on, from the African American communist who spent most of his life serving an all-white Soviet dictatorship. 

The secrets stolen by communist spies empowered Stalin to build a bomb of his own, first detonated on August 29, 1949. At that time, Stalin was showing half of Europe who was boss, as he continued to occupy nations such as Poland, which Stalin had jointly invaded with Hitler in 1939 under the Nazi-Soviet Pact. That is the best-kept secret on the Left, along with the reality that Nazism is National Socialism. The United States, Great Britain, and Canada never made an alliance with National Socialist Germany. 

During the 1950s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact built up their nuclear arsenals. The United States and Canada built the District Early Warning (DEW) Line in the Arctic to detect incoming Soviet missiles. The Soviets moved missiles into Cuba, their communist colony in the Americas. President John F. Kennedy struck a deal with Soviet boss Nikita Khrushchev to get the missiles out, and no nuclear exchange took place.

The Warsaw Pact and NATO moved forward under the doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD). The Soviets built an arsenal of nuclear weapons such as the mighty SS20 while maintaining massive conventional forces in Europe. During the 1980s the Soviets promoted a Nuclear Freeze Movement, backed by many Democrats, including Senator Joe Biden, that would have locked Soviet advantages in place.

President Ronald Reagan was the first to advance a strategic defense against nuclear missiles, a frontal challenge to MAD. Democrats derided the high-tech SDI system as “Star Wars” and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) reached out to Soviet boss Yuri Andropov in an attempt to undercut Reagan.

Biden attacked SDI as an attempt to achieve nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union and “somehow change the way the Soviets do business,” as though that was a bad thing. Days after President Reagan told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” Biden warned against provoking the Soviet Union.

As Robert Gates said in his memoir Duty, Biden had been on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue he’d ever considered. So was the composite character president whom Biden served.

In February 2009, Obama sent a letter to Russian President Dimitri Medvedev reportedly suggesting that the United States would be happy to scrap its defensive missile shield in return for help blocking Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Russia had complained about U.S. missile defense for allies Poland and Czechoslovakia. In September 2009, the president duly scrapped the missile shield, a direct benefit for Russia, which wanted more concessions. 

In 2012, the composite character president told Medvedev that “missile defense” could “be solved, but it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space.” After his election, the U.S. president said, “I will have more flexibility.” Medvedev responded, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” 

In 2014, the composite character and Biden did nothing to prevent Vladimir from grabbing the Crimean peninsula. In 2015, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed to the most intrusive weapons inspection plan the United States had ever accepted. 

“We want to ensure that every question that the Russian military or Russian government asks is answered,” Clinton said, calling missile defense “another area for deep cooperation between our countries.” 

In January, as Putin geared up to invade Ukraine, 55 Democrats urged Biden to adopt a “no first use” nuclear policy. Those 55 Democrats, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also want to stop deployment of the W76-2 low-yield Trident submarine warhead along with the development of a new sea-launched cruise missile. 

The Democrats, including four members of the House Armed Services Committee—Andrew Kim (D-N.J.), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and John Garamendi (D-Calif.)—did not make it clear what “no first use” policy they wanted Russia and other nuclear powers to adopt, or what specific nuclear weapons they wanted Russia to eliminate. A ballpark figure is zero.  

As Ronald Reagan said, “they arm, we limit.” As Reagan’s U.N. ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, famously observed, the Democrats “always blame America first.” (For the whole story of Kirkpatrick’s astounding career, see Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick, by the late Peter Collier.)

As Putin ramped up his invasion of Ukraine, Russia put its nuclear forces on high alert. That threat, like the entire Cold War, was made possible by American Communists who betrayed their country and handed secrets to the mass murderer Josef Stalin. For this betrayal, the American Stalinists did not get what they deserved. 

Harvard physicist Theodore Hall, the youngest scientist on the Manhattan project, later helped the Soviets develop a hydrogen bomb. Like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Hall won the victory over himself. Like the other spies, he loved Stalin. 

No charges were ever brought against Hall, who died in 1999 at the age of 74. (See Bombshell: The Secret Story of Ted Hall and America’s Unknown Atomic Spy Conspiracy, by Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel.) David Greenglass, recruited by brother-in-law Julius Rosenberg, served less than 10 years in prison. Greenglass died in 2014 at the age of 92. 

Often described as misunderstood liberals or misguided idealists, Stalin’s nuclear spies were some of the most loathsome people who ever lived. By waging a multifront war on the American people and nation, the Biden regime is giving the Stalinists a run for their money.

About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Russian nuclear missile "Topol-M" in military parade near the Kremlin. iStock/Getty Images

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