Unbecoming American: Judgement at Normandy

Those who learned or vaguely remember what they were taught in school in those deliberately boring hours devoted to the subject called “history” may be forgiven for their confusion at the progressive transformation of core myths from the mid-20th century. Among those are the bundle of fabrications that constitute the history of the “good war”. The 20th century can be called the American Century not only because of US aspirations to global dominion after 1945 but because it was the US propaganda ministry — in privatized USA aka known as “Hollywood”—which has successfully written the history of the two world wars and propagated it like the Bible, also in foreign parts. During the recent commemorations of the June 1944 “Normandy landings”, executed by an amphibious force comprising mainly members of the Anglo-American armed forces, the constellation of honoured guests was instructive in ways that no textbook could be.

Decades of make-believe have persuaded those susceptible to Western mass media that the Second World War, a designation these hostilities acquired after the capitulations of 1945, was fought by the Anglo-American Empire, the Allies, for democracy and freedom against fascism in Germany and Italy (and as an afterthought in Japan). It has also persuaded millions that this war, in which the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP regime in Germany and the older government of British agent Benito Mussolini’s Partido Nazionale Fascista (the origin of the generic term) were subdued, was ultimately won by the heroic efforts of the largest amphibious assault action in history, the so-called Normandy landings. Never mind for the moment that since the 1960s the purpose of the war has been utterly redefined as the defence of some segment of European Jewry.

To illustrate how this propaganda has expanded with each year further from the events themselves, there were posters hanging in Porto this year advertising an exhibition to commemorate military action in which Portugal was in no way involved. (How the regime of the Bourbon-Anjou pretender, successors to the Caudillo de Espana por la gracio de Dios and usurper of republican government in Madrid, remember 1944 may be worth comment, too. Veterans of the 250th “Azul” division were most unlikely in attendance.) The head of the Portuguese government of that day, Dr Antonio Salazar Oliveira, carefully avoided any overt participation in the international aggression. Instead he exported grain to feed the Wehrmacht instead of his own compatriots and under pressure of his liege lords in London, leased airfields and harbours in the Azores to the Americans. Perhaps Dr Salazar also understood that the Atlantic Charter also protected him from the ultimate enemy, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Each year since the demise of the Soviet Union the government of the Russian Federation, for some twenty years led by President Vladimir Putin, has politely requested, then objected that the commemoration reflect the facts of the 1944 and not the political preferences of those in attendance. If the Normandy commemoration serves to recall the efforts of the forces invading France to defeat the German NSDAP regime, then the French government itself could not claim honours there any more than the representatives of Germany who soon became regular guests. After all half of France was willingly occupied by Germany while the other half, governed from Vichy collaborated. In other words, if taken at their word, the celebrants before the altars on Omaha Beach, could insist that Paris be treated just like Russia would have Kiev treated today. If the war was against fascism in Europe, as the propagandists in the West have proclaimed for decades, then Germany and France both constituted fascist states whose leaders at such a mass must – at the least—repeat acts of contrition, if not ritual surrender. That at least would be consistent with the anniversary memorials. It would be consistent with the “living history” model of historical re-enactment so beloved in Anglo-American “Disney-culture”. In fact, in a generous interpretation of the Second World War it was a great battle against truculent fascism. Obsequious fascists like those in Madrid or Lisbon were conspicuously spared. Then in 1949 both were lovingly absorbed into NATO, a precedent that should not be overlooked.

Instead not only is France celebrated as an Anglo-American ally—which it was not during that great war (assuming for the purposes of argument the official rationale)—but the ostensible main enemy, evil Germany has been elevated to the status of ally as if it had waged war against itself. In fact, that would conform to the perverse logic by which Koreans invaded Korea in 1950 and Vietnamese invaded Vietnam, while Chinese are poised today to invade China. Already the absurdity and patent insincerity of the commemoration becomes evident. With further interpretative generosity, the Normandy exhibition is a demonstration by its producers that the thousands who died there constitute multiple Christ figures whose “sacrifice” vicariously saved the fascists of France and Germany from damnation. Given the fanaticism with which Latin hypocrisy is practiced in the West, both in and out of church, there are no doubt Faithful to adhere to such a construction. After all the Latin Church has innumerable monuments to its “martyrs” who died fighting communism.

No Red Army units crossed the Manche to wade onto the coast of cows and Calvados. Confining the celebrations to the memory of battles actually fought by those who actually bore arms there (and their descendants) could legitimately be limited to British and American imperial forces and perhaps the few exile French allowed along for the ride. However the Normandy prostrations, especially after 1989, became a stage for historical revisionism. The Russian Federation rightly objects to this deliberate distortion of the war record and its mass medial – hysterical propagation.

This year the Russian government complained that after years of ignoring the primary role of the Soviet Union and Red Army in defeating the NSDAP regime, the western allies added insult to injury by receiving the tee shirt-clad Führer in Kiev, whose party and regime openly celebrate Nazi paramilitary and regular armed forces as national heroes. The harbinger of this affront was the ovation given to a Ukrainian Waffen SS veteran in the Canadian House of Commons last year. He was honoured in the House as a courageous legacy fighter against Russia.

Joseph Stalin insisted that the French (de Gaulle’s French and by implication the French Communists who constituted the bulk of the Résistance) share in acceptance of the capitulation in Karlshorst (Berlin) in May 1945. (Only enormous diplomatic pressure prevented Dwight Eisenhower’s anti-communist armies from accepting a separate surrender by the German High Command a few months earlier.) Then the Soviet Union sincerely or pragmatically lent its Western allies the benefit of a doubt, presuming perhaps that there was still enough of a Left in the West to keep Britain and the US within civilized boundaries.  Since 1989, despite the havoc wreaked upon the dissolving Soviet Union by Western powers, the Russian government has diplomatically avoided stating the obvious in the real revision. Politely speaking the Western “allies” could be accused of foreign policy narcissism as rabid as the narcissism of their popular culture. Having fed on decades of their own mythology they suffer political obesity and hence are incapable of seeing that their story of the Second World War is sociopathic vanity. Hollywood has so permeated their consciousness that they genuinely believe they won the war. The late Ronald Reagan, B-grade film actor that he was, once actually claimed in an interview to have been among US troops that liberated concentration camps in Poland. Aside from the fact that he had never served in combat, the arch anti-communist neither knew nor cared that the Red Army and not the US Army liberated the camps in Poland. His errors (like those of his successors) were dismissed like so many other senile remarks from American gerontocrats, without a wall on which to stand.

Far more plausible and consistent is another explanation. It is also far more obvious and less tortuous to recognize. Namely after 80 years, the Anglo-American Empire has openly repudiated its own mythology. Finally after nearly a century, the West is admitting that the Second World War was the war of the London-New York- Rome – Tokyo – Paris Axis against the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist Party. The true allies were the Soviet Union and the nascent People’s Republic. At Normandy this year the successors to Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis—properly the Anti-Comintern Pact powers—and the children of the collaborators in industrial-strength mass murder from the Rhine to the Dnieper join those high commissioners of banks and hedge funds who have sponsored them since 1917 in the comprehensive war against communism and any other form of national and popular development at odds with the British, American and French Empires—and the caste who own them all.

As they celebrated on the beaches their invasion of France—a last ditch effort to stop the Red Army from reaching the Rhine—they prepare for the next great war against Russia and China, against humanity itself.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..