History, Russia, Top Stories

Glenn Greenwald’s Bad History

In a January 14 featured article at the Intercept, co-founder and radical journalist Glenn Greenwald rehearsed a stale leftwing talking point, most recently revived by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick in their Showtime documentary series, The Untold Story of the United States. For over 3500 laborious words, Greenwald recounts a shopworn tale of an allegedly illegitimate FBI investigation of a sitting U.S. government official. The FBI’s secret investigation of Vice-President Henry A. Wallace began during FDR’s third term, continued when Truman became president and made Wallace Secretary of Commerce, and throughout Wallace’s campaign for president on the pro-Communist ticket of the Progressive Party.

And why did the Bureau decide to carry out this secret counter-intelligence operation? According to Greenwald:

The FBI long suspected that Wallace harbored allegiances to the Kremlin and used his government positions to undermine what the FBI determined were “U.S. interests” for the benefit of Moscow and, as a result, subjected Wallace to extensive investigation and surveillance.

Greenwald has brought all this up again in response to reports that the Bureau was investigating President Donald J. Trump out of suspicion that he could be an agent of the current Russian government of Vladimir Putin. Greenwald argues that there is a “lack of evidence of guilt” in the Trump investigation today, just as there was during the investigation of Wallace in the 1940s.

Intelligence journalist Eli Lake has made a strong case that an investigation of Trump today is a matter for Congress rather than the Bureau, and that FBI investigations have serious and dangerous implications for how our democracy functions. There is, however, clear evidence that Trump has made decisions and statements that benefit only Putin and his expansionist agenda for the Russian state. Greenwald does not discuss these, assuming that his audience will simply accept his claim that “no actual evidence of guilt has yet emerged,” and conclude that the FBI probe is what the Right and the President call a “witch-hunt.”

Trump’s record of deference to Putin has been adequately laid out by David Frum, Max Boot, David A. Graham, and by the editors of the New York Times, so there is no need to repeat it here. What is important is that Greenwald does not even acknowledge this view in his column. As Frum asks: Can Americans “wait to ascertain why Trump has subordinated himself to Putin after the President has so abjectly demonstrated that he has subordinated himself?” It is the kind of question that Greenwald shows no interest in asking.

This peculiar absence of curiosity also informs Greenwald’s treatment of Henry A. Wallace’s story. Greenwald claims that Wallace was only investigated on account of his political views and what he calls Wallace’s “pro-peace beliefs.” He writes:

Wallace was regarded by the FBI as having suspect loyalties because, as Vice President, he repeatedly insisted that the threat posed by Moscow was being exaggerated. He often accused the U.S. Government of disseminating propaganda about Russian leaders. He urged less belligerent and more cooperative relations with the Russian government. He opposed efforts to confront Russian influence it its own region.

What Greenwald neglects to mention (possibly because he doesn’t know) is that the FBI had good reasons to look at Wallace, and to suspect that he was operating either as a witting or un-witting Soviet agent. That he was a classic dupe, however, is no longer arguable, and almost everyone (outside of the conspiratorial fringe of which Greenwald is a part) now knows this.

Greenwald’s claim that Wallace was investigated merely for his dissident political views, however, is very silly indeed. Greenwald does not tell his readers, for example, that Wallace was so enamored of the Soviet Union that in May 1944 he traveled to 22 cities in Soviet Siberia. There, the NKVD played Wallace for a fool. He credulously described the slave labor colony of Magadan, which the Soviet secret police had transformed into a Potemkin village staffed by actors and NKVD personnel, as a “combination TVA and Hudson’s Bay Company.”

Nor does Greenwald disclose that, according to Wallace’s own testimony, had he become president, he would have made Harry Dexter White his secretary of the Treasury and given a position in government to Laurence Duggan. Both men were Soviet agents. As a KGB cable found in the Venona archives shows, the Soviets hoped that Duggan would aid them “by using his friendship” with Wallace for “extracting … interesting information.”

Greenwald makes a big deal of Truman’s firing of Wallace after the latter gave a speech in September 1946 at Madison Square Garden completely at variance with Truman’s tough new Soviet policy. But such a policy had become necessary. As the historian Wilson D. Miscamble demonstrated in From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima and the Cold War, Truman changed US policy only after Stalin made it clear that his grip on Eastern Europe was non-negotiable. Historian Fraser J. Harbutt of Emory University concurred, writing: “Truman genuinely tried to follow Roosevelt’s seemingly conciliatory line toward a Soviet Union whose policies, in the end, left him little alternative but a turn to resistance and thus to the Cold War.”

Wallace had to be fired; he gave his speech while negotiations with the Soviets were taking place in Paris, where Secretary of State James F. Byrnes correctly argued that he could not negotiate peace treaties with the Russians because they suddenly believed Wallace had enunciated a new policy on Truman’s behalf. Wallace had told the press that he discussed his entire speech with the President, and that Truman had told him that “it represented the policy of my administration.” Truman replied that he had told Wallace he had a right to make a speech, but that it was not “a statement of the foreign policy of this country.” Wallace, Secretary Byrnes said, threatened the entire bi-partisan foreign policy of the United States, which had taken 15 months to build. “Wallace destroyed it in a day.”

In his private diary, Truman wrote that, “knowingly or not,” Wallace would “lend himself to the more sinister ends of the Reds and those who served him.” He wanted to “disband our armed forces, give Russia our atomic secrets and trust a bunch of adventurers in the Kremlin Politburo.” He and his buddies, Truman added, were nothing but “a sabotage front for Uncle Joe Stalin.” Left-wing critics have ridiculed Truman’s language, but the President was essentially correct.

Truman, in fact, did not know the extent of the danger Wallace posed to his emerging foreign policy. The truth stands against the claims made by Greenwald, who seems to believe that Wallace frequently ended up on the same side as the Kremlin only because he wanted peace, and “less belligerent and more cooperative relations with Russia.” It was Wallace’s views on peace with Russia, Greenwald writes,  “that made his patriotism suspect in the eyes of Hoover and his agents.”

It appears that Greenwald does not know what intercepted Soviet messages and records—most famously the Venona coded intercepts, and the KGB archive papers brought to the West by KGB official Alexander Vassiliev as the Soviet Union crumbled—make clear. After Truman fired him, Wallace openly tried to stop the White House from blocking Stalin’s expansionist policies in Eastern Europe. Wallace opposed the creation of NATO, advocated abandoning Berlin at the time of the Soviet blockade in 1948, denounced the Marshall Plan as “the martial plan,” and justified the 1948 Communist coup in Czechoslovakia as a measure needed to thwart a fascist takeover. Stalin made the arguments; Wallace simply repeated them.

And in October 1945, while he was still in the President’s cabinet, Wallace met covertly in Washington with Anatoly Gorsky, the station chief of the NKGB (a forerunner of the KGB). KGB files record that Wallace told Gorsky that he wanted the atomic-bomb secret shared with the Soviets, that Truman was being influenced by an “anti-Soviet group” that wanted the Anglo-Saxon bloc to be dominant, and that the Soviets could help Wallace’s “smaller group significantly.” Wallace actually sought the Soviet Union’s help, via a request to the rezidentura of the KGB in its D.C. office, in the fight he was conducting within the U.S. Government against his own President’s foreign policy! This is more than being indiscreet. It is proof that Wallace was, as the FBI feared, a willing tool of Moscow. Naturally, Greenwald doesn’t mention any of this.

It should come as no surprise to find that the Madison Square Garden speech Greenwald treats as the high point of noble peacenik opposition to the new Cold War, was actually written by an American Communist. Previously appointed an Assistant Secretary in the Commerce Department by Wallace when he was Secretary, Harry Magdoff became his main speechwriter. He was also, KGB documents revealed decades later, a secret agent of the KGB.

Wallace did not even realize that his run for president as a candidate for the new Progressive Party, was on the ticket of a movement and party put together entirely by the American Communist Party. Its members controlled the new party, which was created after Stalin informed the Party leaders that he was taking a new turn, and that the old wartime Popular Front alliance of liberals and Communists had to come to an end.  All of the PP’s leaders were secret members of the new party, including Wallace’s friend, chief adviser, and campaign manager C. B. “Beanie” Baldwin. Even the left-wing journalist I. F. Stone understood this. He wrote, “The Communists have been the dominant influence in the Progressive party. … If it had not been for the Communists, there would have been no Progressive party.” Indeed, the PP’s chief counsel was another secret Communist, John Abt. When Wallace asked Baldwin about Abt, not suspecting that Baldwin himself was a Communist, Baldwin simply lied and told Wallace that Abt “was not a Communist.” What the Communists wanted first and foremost was for the U.S. to adopt a pro-Soviet foreign policy—ideally, one that would allow Stalin free rein to take over not just Eastern Europe, but France and Italy as well.

Had Wallace become President of the United States, it would have been the equivalent of Stalin directly taking over the highest levels of the American government. Greenwald argues that “many of the same people who accuse Trump of being a Kremlin pawn still accuse Wallace of being the same thing, often for the same reasons.” They do so for good reasons.

To compare Wallace to Trump, however, is an insult to Wallace. Wallace did believe that the Soviet Union could be a good partner of the U.S., and in that naïve ambition, supported Stalin’s foreign policy. But, by 1952, Wallace finally wrote a major article in which he announced that he had been totally wrong and that he had since learned Stalin’s true intentions. Trump has given no indication of why he is so pro-Putin, which is probably why so many people believe that Putin must be holding something over him. This belief may turn out to be wrong, but given the available facts, it is hardly unreasonable. In any event, given the behavior of Henry A. Wallace in the 1940s and of President Trump today, it is not surprising that the Bureau felt an investigation in both instances to be prudent and necessary.


Ronald Radosh is Prof. Emeritus of History at CUNY, an opinion columnist at the Daily Beast, and co-author of, among many other books, A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel. You can follow him on Twitter @RonRadosh


  1. Damian O'Conor says

    Left wing journalist talks bilhooks. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Harland says

      It is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible.

      This is why no one takes Buzzfeed “News” seriously.

      • Winston Smith says

        Agreed, BuzzFeed is infotainment not news. But to be fair, Clinton never behaved in such a way as to draw so much attention to herself that the media is constantly reacting to the latest dumpster fire. In other words, Trump himself drives the 24 hour “Did Trump Blow up the World Yet?” news cycle with his constant outrageous behavior.

        • michael says

          Bwahahaha! So the fact that Clinton was devious & deceitful & secretive is deserving of high praise? And makes her in some way superior to Trump’s crudely laying his cards on the table for all to see? Interesting view, I must say.

    • jimhaz says

      Good article. Pity about the comments here – 90% of which were pointless comments with no back up.

      God I dislike the way Trump supporters think. They always feel as naive, based and dumb as that from evangelicals.

      • Bill Conlon says

        “There is not anything that can so suddenly flood the mind with shame as the conviction of ignorance, yet we are all ignorant of nearly everything there is to be known”- Hilaire Belloc

  2. This piece is a disgrace to Quillette. Obscene leftist drivel. Quilette should be ashamed. My opinion of Quillette has dropped quite a few notches with it being stupid enough to post this garbage.

    • Sally says

      Absolutely. Quillette is definitely a mixed bag but this one is just trash. Maybe they need to publish fewer articles; lately there’s been a few poor ones.

    • Winston Smith says

      @J @Sally. How is this piece “leftist”? It debunks a leftist journalist. It discredits a leftist politician (Wallace).

      Perhaps you think it’s “leftist” because it doesn’t defend Trump from the Russia investigation? Perhaps you should learn what leftist actually means. Here’s a hint, it doesn’t mean “is critical of Trump.”

      • I think the answer is: Why exactly are the Russian Federation, Iran and North Korea the only countries no one can ever say anything nice about?

        Why will we always be at war with them even when they are doing nothing of any harm to us?

        A related question is why do we always have to say nice things about the grotesque EU, the self-serving PRC; the creepy BDR; the sniveling, globalist French Republic; the stinking, spying, elitist, twits who run UK; the self-satisfied, snobby Canadians; etc.

        • Stephanie says

          @EK, what nice things do you suggest there is to be said about North Korea? Israel frequently says they are not the enemy of the Iranian people, who are horribly repressed by their government, and I don’t think there’s as much animosity against Russia as you imply.

          Eurosceticism is becoming in vogue, and there are Falun Gong protests occur in Western cities around the world.

          Maybe the circles you run in don’t share these views, but that’s a good sign you need to find people who are more with it!

      • Sally says

        Winston, it’s not leftist; I agree with you on that. But it is tripe.

        Also I have no objection to criticism of Trump, but I strongly dislike propaganda.

      • The leftist belief that Trump is influenced by Putin is a fever dream brought on by the fact their queen lost. It has ZERO basis in reality.

        IMHO the lefts behavior after 2016 has shredded the social contract. There is supposed to be a peaceful turnover in power after a fair election, not a underground coup attempt to overthrow the results.

        • Winston Smith says

          @J if it has zero basis in reality why did the FBI investigate it? I suppose the FBI is leftist commie pinko organization? If there is zero basis in reality, why is Trump so threatened by the investigation? Why has it produced so many guilty pleas and indictments?

          You obviously voted for Trump, and that’s fine, but to deny that there is anything to merit an investigation is just willful ignorance.

        • With all due respect, you’ve made a big mistake. The leftists do NOT believe Trump is influenced by Putin or that Russia is conspiring to undermine the EU, the US and the west in order to reign supreme in Europe. They continue to downplay Putin’s clumsy efforts or any suggestion that Russia is up to no good. All the leftist blogs continue to be blind supports of or apologists for Putin: The Nation, democracynow, counterpunch, and of course Greenwald.
          The empathy of the American left for leftist demagogues has a long history, starting in recent history with their pro Stalin proclivities and ending up today with the authoritarian left dedicated to stamping out dissent while exacerbating Identity Politics and diverting attention away from Russian totalitarianism onto exploitive capitalism. As noted elsewhere in Quillette, the failure of the American left to support Iranian dissidents, leftists and democrats is striking but in keeping with its support for tyrants like Maduro and Ortega and formerly Chavez, Castro and Correa. The left has NEVER been characterized by a concern for equality in human rights. It follows its own doctrine where it leads. It is a small faction but greatly increased thanks to guilt ridden uninformed liberals anxious to demonstrate their virtue and humanitarianism, and to the media who abase themselves in order to get points in the
          virtue game.

      • scribblerg says

        Giggling, the idiocy and ignorance on display in this comment stream is truly astonishing. Radosh is merely reciting what’s been well documented about Soviet and Communist penetration of the U.S. govt under FDR and continuing under Truman.

        It goes directly against leftist’s interests, and is a hugely important matter to actual conservatives who seek to understand “how we got here”.

        If you are befuddled, hush up and go read Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans, you’ll see everything and more laid out here is true.

    • Persecution and the Art of Science says

      Agreed. This is their second hit piece on him. Personal grudge much?

    • Stephanie says

      Read the first few paragraphs and had to see the comments. Glad I’m not the only one who thought this was garbage.

    • Aylwin says

      On the contrary, this article is excellent, and it is the commentary that has gone down in quality.

    • northernobserver says

      I don’t get the complaint, the piece is anti-leftist.

  3. Let’s just nuke ALL the Warsaw Pact countries like we should have in 1946 and that will show the expansionist Russian menace!

  4. Serial Microaggressor says

    I appreciate the history lesson, but the comparison doesn’t really fit. Putin is not the existential threat to American interests that Stalin was. And I don’t consider it remotely reasonable to put your faith in a conspiracy theory supported only by circumstantial evidence. The most ridiculous conspiracy theories you can think of have the same anatomy.

  5. Deloss McKnight says

    Fascinating bit of history. But Greenwald is right that if the FBI has credible information that Trump os a Putin puppet, they shouldn’t be running their own investigation, but should be turning that over to Congress. Allowing the FBI to covertly surveil their boss gives them far too much power. Professor Radosh doesn’t mention if the FBI was briefing President Roosevelt on its investigation of Wallace. I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t because Hoover was so secretive. This was the FBI that surveilled many innocent Americans because of their political beliefs. Such power corrupts as we’ve seen with the Comey FBI with his erratic behavior, lies to the president and his misleading FISA court affidavits.

    Trump makes a poor Putin puppet. His drive for energy independence and development is a direct threat to Russia’s primary source of income. In fact, Russia was never a problem to the Democrats before Trump. Obama scoffed at Romney for suggesting Russia is a problem. It only became a problem when an excuse was needed for Clinton’s failure. Russia then became a means to cripple a Republican administration. I fear that the Professor’s personal feelings about Trump has led him to cherry pick actions of Trump that support his bias, while ignoring or discounting inconsistent facts.

    • Michael Joseph says

      Who could investigate a president besides the FBI? Congress does not have the expertise or the detachment needed. The justice department is supposed to be independent regarding the rule of law. It’s a difficult goal but any other investigative body would be biased. We should strive for a federal justice department that is independent, honorable, and they should do the work of keeping our bureaucrats honest. Their big fail was in not indicting Trump 20 years ago for money laundering and tax evasion. Cops everywhere where spend their time throwing itenerants and addicts in jail and ignore white collar criminals who steal millions.

      Trump is a Putin puppet. Putin may as well have his hand up Trumps ass every time they appear in public. Can you really not tell when the leader of a foreign state manipulates the President? None of your arguments hold water. Putin is a mafioso on steroids. All he cares about is ending sanctions so he can have access to the Western financial system. All the other crap is window dressing.

      • What tripe you do spout. Get some help, man.

        I hardly imagined that Red Ronnie’s bunch of tosh could be topped by such further bosh.

        A good reason indeed to visit less often.

    • david of Kirkland says

      Burn our oil while prices are low, increase temperatures to open up the north, sounds like Putin has a plan.

  6. codadmin says

    “…and by The New York Times editors. So no need to repeat it here.”

    PMSLROTF…( I haven’t used that acronym in years!…lol )

    Wait, but what about the Buzzfeed editors??? The Buzzfeed editors!!

  7. Bill Haywood says

    Nothing in this post shows Wallace to have been an agent of a foreign government — the sort of thing that the FBI should legitimately investigate. Wallace disagreed with the policies. He saw the Soviet Union as a traditional great power that was rational and cautious, rather than a messianic entity bent on reckless world conquest. You can disagree, but smearing him as a foreign agent was mean politics, not security.

    Eliding the distinction between a “witting” and “unwitting” agents is base. If the test is no longer whether a person is actually taking instructions from a Soviet control, then anyone you disagree with becomes an “unwitting” agent.

    Radosh acknowledges that Wallace become more critical of the Soviets, which is not what a paid shill would do. Continuing to double-down on the smear even in retrospect is farcical. It’s like saying the Rosenbergs were framed even after Venona.

    • Saw file says

      @ Bill Haywood

      That’s simply not true, unless you deny that the Soviet leadership didn’t create such a delineation of methods to achieve their policy/political end goals, using the KGB and the various (basically all where) Soviet state departments to advance these various goals to it’s achievement.

      John Barron, in his 80’s books: “KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents” and; “KGB Today:The Hidden Hand”, explains it quite succinctly.

    • Boludo Tejano says

      Nothing in this post shows Wallace to have been an agent of a foreign government…
      Wallace disagreed with the policies. He saw the Soviet Union as a traditional great power that was rational and cautious, rather than a messianic entity bent on reckless world conquest.

      I don’t view the article as claiming that Wallace was a Soviet agent. The article points out Henry Wallace was a dupe- a.k.a. “useful idiot”- but not an agent.

      • Bill Haywood says

        Then what is the justification for an FBI investigation? Having a different opinion? Just a few years earlier the American press praised the contribution of Uncle Joe in fighting Hitler. So Wallace’s thought crime was being slower than others to reverse himself.

  8. [i]There is, however, clear evidence that Trump has made decisions and statements that benefit only Putin and his expansionist agenda for the Russian state…Trump’s record of deference to Putin has been adequately laid out by David Frum, Max Boot, David A. Graham, and by the editors of the New York Times, so there is no need to repeat it here.[/i]

    Assert, and then wave your hands.

    Grade D-

    You had a good idea to look at Henry Wallace and the FBI investigation, and then to compare it with Trump today. But you went all “orange man bad” from the beginning and lost credibility.

  9. Morgan Foster says

    “Trump’s record of deference to Putin has been adequately laid out by David Frum, Max Boot, David A. Graham, and by the editors of the New York Times …”

    Not to my satisfaction.

    ” … so there is no need to repeat it here.”


    • Alistair says

      Amazingly, he thinks that his NYT links are convincing. There should be a word for presenting evidence which actually weakens your own case and makes you look paranoid.

      It really make you question Mr Radosh’s judgement as a historian.

    • Bagginses (not Scroto) says

      David Frum and Max Boot adequately laid out the case for Trump as a Russian stooge?

      LOLOL, that’s comedy gold.

      While this article is the ten thousandth to jump on the Official (TradeMark) Narrative, I would love to see discussion of the two different psyops campaigns conducted during the Alabama special election on behalf of the Democratic Party. The firm New Knowledge also helped write the report for the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russian bot propaganda which was allegedly a major factor in the 2016 presidential election. Gee, that report is clean as a whistle.


      Onto the latest “Trump is a Russian agent” story, brought to you by Buzzfeed…

      So Buzzfeed published the fake Steele dossier which was later cited by the FBI for their FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign officials… and yesterday Buzzfeed published a hit piece on prominent UKIP member Count Dankula, which was immediately followed by a complete demonetization of all of his videos by YouTube in a completely isolated event… and in the last month, fellow prominent UKIP members Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) and Tommy Robinson have been deplatformed and financially blacklisted by a number of Big Tech and Finance corporations… and today, Buzzfeed is fed a “major” scoop about Trump allegedly instructing his lawyer Cohen to lie…

      But obviously there are no connections to be found in any of these organic, isolated, and natural events.

  10. Farris says

    “There is, however, clear evidence that Trump has made decisions and statements that benefit only Putin and his expansionist agenda for the Russian state. “

    “Trump has given no indication of why he is so pro-Putin, which is probably why so many people believe that Putin must be holding something over him.”

    Bold assertions with no supporting evidence. Name something Trump has done or failed to do to the benefit of Putin and to the detriment of the United States. This from the people willing to overlook the Uranium One scandal and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.

    • Ray B says

      Yes, Farris. I too, am wondering what evidence the article’s author has for his claims.

      Put up or shut up, Radosh. To do otherwise is to spread conspiracy theories.

      • tarstarkas says

        Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence! Orange Man Bad! Ipse dixit!

        Trump is a rude crude President whose off the cuff remarks and tweets make me constantly want to cringe. But I’ve learned to look his actions and the actions of his team rather than the saliva flying from his mouth. The backing down of Dear Leader, the economy, the near annihhilation of ISIS, and so much more. Plus the alternative was worse. Much worse.

        • I concur with all the above. Wishing Trump would act his age occasionally when tweeting or talking off the cuff. Normally I would applaud an elected official for being candid, Trump, not as much. That said I do like many of his policies and instincts.

    • Brett says

      Gonna take a wild guess here and say you occasionally watch Sean Hannity…

  11. Conner M. Steacy says

    As outlined in M. Stanton Evans book Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight against America’s Enemies the communist infiltration of the American government (and western democracies in general) was real.

    McCarthy has always been unfairly portrayed by Hollywood et al as an out of control witch hunt organizer. This article points out there was good reason for it.

  12. PAUL TYLER says

    what a joke. this article is seriously about as bad as the kind of thing one would find at huffpo or wonkette. conjecture + wishful thinking doesnt = proof of anything other than your personal biases. try again OP, this was pathetic and definitely the lowest quality article ive ever seen here on Quillette.

  13. Having read Greenwald’s article prior to seeing this one, I am little bemused by the description of the article as “over 3500 laborious words, Greenwald recounts a shopworn tale”. No, Greenwald wrote a very clear article, with greatly journalistic integrity.

    This article, on the other hand, uses very emotive language. The author also omits that the primary reason that Truman ordered the atomic bombs to be used against Japan was to intimidate Stalin and the Soviet Union.

    My conclusion of this is that an establishment person from an establishment institution is unhappy that a progressive journalist would question the establishment’s attack on a person they don’t like.

    • tarstarkas says

      Disagree about your reason why Truman ordered the bombs dropped, remember Stalin was still an ally, and the attack on the Kwangtung Army was to put additional pressure on the Japanese to end the war. My understanding is he ordered Hiroshima and Nagasaki due to the enormous Allied casualty estimates for Operation Downfall and its subsidiary operations. And based on comparative enemy casualties incurred at Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and earlier campaigns, the Japanese would have suffered at least ten times as many casualties during the conquest of the islands. The Japanese government had already ignored the tremendous loss of life to the civilian population from the firebombings. Truman wanted the enemy leaders to believe that continued resistance meant annihilation. He pulled off one of the greatest life-saving bluffs in world history, since it would have been several months before another bomb was ready to go.

  14. Stopped reading in the first sentence after the way-too-sudden attempt to discredit Greenwald as “radical.”

  15. Radosh would be eviscerated by the late great Gore Vidal for his essential “lightness” and squirrelishness. Remove the perjorative [and fact free] adjectives and this is pretty much a “nothing there” rant which does nothing wastes “ink” or electrons or whatevah and certainly the time I spent reading it. No material facts of Greenwald’s are convincingly disputed..

  16. Olatunji Jesutomisin says

    The author seems to be shouting throughout this screed. It doesn’t seem level headed. Perhaps the author is young and too in haste to discredit Glenn.To the article itself, there is this assumption that seems just expected by the author and those like him. They continue to assert that what ever benefits Russia cannot under any circumstance benefit America and the rest of the world too and that professionally deference equates to giving the nuclear codes to Putin. All these are just the propaganda of a military industrial complex and IC bent on validating it’s continued existence. We aren’t in the Cold War anymore guys.

    • Alistair says

      I work in the military-industrial complex.

      I must admit, Putin’s a nasty piece of work, but I’m just not reading Russia as an all-powerful, malignant and existential threat. Sure, he’s thuggish, tyrannical, and actively dislikes us. I particularly dislike the Salisbury incident and the casual weakening of protocols on CW. But his resources are modest, his state sclerotic, and his global ambitions limited. I don’t even think he’s interested in the Baltic States.

      My perceptions are becoming increasingly divorced from the developing culture I see around me. People are talking themselves into all sorts of crazy beliefs about the threat of Russia.

      • Grant says

        Trump clearly is focused on domestic economy and is not particularly ready to sacrifice it over foreign leader’s misdeeds. He considers China our main economic adversary’s and doesn’t want to be distracted from it.
        Hillary Clinton didn’t seem to worried about the US and Russia in combat with different allies in Syria, which was quite dangerous, and remember ‘the reset’?
        But as soon as Trump became president and the Democrats decided to blame Russia for her loss, they became the evil Empire again.
        Trump is having none of it.
        If it weren’t for oil and weapons, they’d be completely irrelevant.

        • Mike Kuhns says

          Putin had reasons to hate Hillary, she tried to interfere in his 2011 election.
          See NYT from 12/9/11

          So even if Putin interfered to hurt HRC (evidence shows he did), does not mean that Trump colluded. Putin hates Hillary, plain and simple. Let’s not forget the leaks concerned HRC and the DNC colluding against Bernie Sanders in the democratic primary. So far this is the only evidence of collusion in 2016.

          Trump openly campaigned on better relations with Russia, and it makes sense. Trump sees terrorism as the biggest threat to the world (and he is right) and he has a natural ally in Russia. This does not mean Trump is colluding. Both Russia and the US have been targets of terrorist.

          Trump is also accused of destroying NATO, proof he is a Russian operative. It is not Trump destroying the alliance, it is the freeloading “partners”. Germany for example is at 1.3% of GDP on defense, and has admitted they will not meet the 2% commitment they made in 2014. The same Germany had a budget surplus last year but can’t find the money when it comes to defense. Why should US taxpayers pay (ie borrow from China) to defend Germany when they will not defend themselves? I’m glad Trump has taken a firm stand. Asking nice has not worked.

      • Dave Bowman says

        People are talking themselves into all sorts of crazy beliefs about the threat of Russia.

        Russia-hating Jews are talking people into all sorts of crazy beliefs about the threat of Russia.

        Fixed that for you.

        You’re welcome.

        • Defenstrator says

          Uh, why exactly would Jews as a group care about Russia one way or another? That seems a weird assertion to make.

    • Jack B. Nimble says

      @O J

      “….Perhaps the author is young….”

      Ummmm. Radosh is 81 years young. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Radosh

      And as for Radosh being a leftist, he published a few articles in D. Horowitz’s Frontpage magazine from 2010-2015. See https://www.frontpagemag.com/author/ronald-radosh for a list. He is also associated with the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

      Radosh seems to fall in the category of a never-Trumper conservative, along with David Frum, Max Boot et al. There is absolutely no evidence that Radosh has reverted to the Marxism of his youth [see Wikipedia article linked above].

      • >>never-Trumper conservative, along with David Frum,

        In 2009/2010 Frum was advising Republicans to shun those Tea Party rubes and accept that a new era had dawned and it was time to get on the Obama train and stop the futile resistance to his mandate. He gave up his conservative credentials long long before Trump came along. His 2016 election night performance on CBC stands as one of the most entertaining events ever on planet earth.

      • Dave Bowman says

        “Radosh seems to fall in the category of a never-Trumper conservative, along with David Frum, Max Boot et al”

        Personally, I’d say that Radosh falls squarely into the category of a never-Trumper Jew – along with his fellow Jews David Frum, Max Boot and David Graham.

        Oh. And of course, let’s not forget that Glenn Greenwald himself is, of course, also a fellow-ethnic. So what we’re really talking about here is simply Mr Radosh’s Jew-versus-Jew in-fighting about a Jew-cherished subject called “Wicked historic White American persecution of communist Jews”.

        So who cares ?

  17. Alistair says

    I read the linked David Frum piece to look at the “evidence” of Trumps Russian favouritism. Long story short: there wasn’t any.

    There was a lot of “Trump said something weird”. But no evidence of any policy favours whatsoever. And it totally ignored stuff Trump actually, physically, did that hurt Russia’s interest.

    Without wanting to defend Trump too much, I think a large part of the left like Mr Radosh here have completely lost their minds to Trump Derangement Syndrome. And I do mean that in a pathological sense; this sort of calumny and behaviour just isn’t normal or adaptive.

    • >> think a large part of the left like Mr Radosh here have completely lost their minds to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      I think you are right. Decades into the future people will look back on this time as having one of them most severe outbreaks of mass hysteria ever. It’s tough to watch an hour of evening cable news hosts and guests foaming at the mouth without concluding that these people are not psychologically well. How and why Trump triggered them so severely, and how deep the underlying pathology was before he triggered it, will be fodder for years.

  18. Saw file says

    Agree, Allistair
    I work in large scale technology based resources infrastructure construction and maintenance.
    The vast majority of my colleagues understand that the “threat” from Russia is negligible. They are operating within their own economic sphere.
    Too many people seem to equate: Russia=neo-Soviet, regardless of the political difference.
    Canada has a higher GDP than Russia.
    A sore point, in CDN, is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that is a separate topic.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Australia’s GDP is about the same as Russia’s, with somewhere between a sixth and a seventh of the population.

      • Saw file says

        @P of Oz
        I’ll grant that, but Australia is not Canada.
        Australia is not resources landlocked by USA special interest groups.
        China interest’s there, gotcha. Obvious.
        Search the Canada problem (not Google), and you will understand.
        Sad state of offers, and affairs….

  19. Defenstrator says

    First Trump is a aRussian stooge. Then he might start a war with them by shooting Tomahawks at Syria. He does their bidding but has made his country energy independent, which forces down the price of their oil. If Trump does something that may benefit them he is owned, and if he dies something that does not he is owned but bad at it. It sounds like a lot of rationalizing.

    May I suggest an alternative explanation. These people hate Trump and think he’s incompetent and stupid. But that means they were beaten by an incompetent, stupid person, so what does that make them? Losers, that’s what. Therefore Trunp must be controlled by someone competent and clever, thus allowing them to believe they were beaten by a mastermind, and don’t just suck. And as an added bonus they get to righteously persecute the object of their hate.

  20. Quillette can do better than providing space for one of Radosh’s typical screeds.

  21. Brian Villanueva says

    Whether it’s NATO expansion, nuclear missile shields, or trade deals, it’s very hard to make the case that Russia has been getting a great deal out of US policy lately. Oh sure, there’s the infamous Moscow press conference, but on substantive policy, the US position has become more hawkish in the last 2 years, not less.

    If Russia thinks they bought Trump is some kind of sleeper Russian agent, the Kremlin should ask for a refund.

  22. Gavan Iacono says

    I’d like to see a list of substantive areas Trump supports Putin sans comments made here and there. My sneaking suspicion is that Trump is self-interested. Now that we have recovered from the shock, another brandy please.

  23. Hollywood Mark says

    What a silly article – so unworthy of this online journal.

  24. Oh look, lots of commenters having a tantrum because Quillette published something critical of their favourite demagogue.

    • I’m not a Trump supporter, but don’t see the purpose of having a writer who is a mainstream neolib/neocon trotting out the same old tired Russia stuff that he would write about in the Daily Beast. Many people are at Quillette to get away from the same old tired circlejerks that we see at every other MSM outlet.

      • Alistair says

        Ditto. If people want to say something critical about Trump here, writers should make it clever and original. Everyone else is here because they are bored to death of the gratingly self-righteous WaPo/NYT/NBC editorial style and it’s complete lack of introspection.

    • Defenstrator says

      I’m Canadian man. I think Trump is a liar and a blow hard. I just don’t buy into the wacky conspiracy theories. Trump Derangement Syndrome does appear to be a real thing, as I see people who should be rational react with hysteria and emotion. It’s fine to not like him. There’s lots to not like.But it’s a pretty major leap from not liking the man or his policies and making up conspiracy theories of him being a Russian sleeper agent.

    • Persecution and thr Art of Science says

      This is their second hit piece of him. It’s completrly rational to ask that they leave their personal grudges at home if they want to be taken seriously:


      These personal articles about him are abnormal, and it is clear to any rational reader that Quillette is using their platform to carry out a petty vendetta and air their dirty laundry. Perhaps Glenn refused to hire Claire Lehmann back in the day? Nobody cares, yet we all have to witness it anyway. I’m personally going back to the National Review.

      • mitchellporter says

        Alexander Dugin’s upcoming crowdfunded movie, “New World Border”, will explain the esoteric north-vs-south, Galambosian-vs-Posadist conflict that has secretly raged within the Five Eyes alliance since the end of the cold war. Being anti-Greenwald strongly indicates that a publication is controlled by the Galambosian faction.

    • Stephanie says

      I disliked Trump during the election, I would have voted for Clinton if I were American. However, not only did the sky fail to fall as predicted, but the irrational screeching from all corners of the MSM have driven me straight into his camp. He may be crass and terrible with women, but at this point I trust him a hell of a lot more than the conspiracy-peddlers trying to destroy him. This slanderous, evidence-free article edged me a little closer to calling myself a Trump supporter.

      • @Stephanie
        You and my wife! Although she may have actually voted for him due to the choice we had. Politically she is middle of the road, but she has come to defend him nightly as we have to bear the news to get to the weather forecast.

    • I don’t see how questioning a conspiracy theory that the President of the United States is actually a Russian can be considered a temper tantrum. For most of my life the people making the accusation would be considered part of the tin foil hat brigade.

  25. J Mary says

    Quillette has published some fantastic pieces but this one is an embarrassment for its knee-jerk stance on trump as Putin fan boy. Citing Max Boot…seriously??

    I come to Quillette for the intellectual nuance– so rare these days. But editorial flubbed this one.

  26. People are wrong to say Radosh is leftist, it’s even worse. The Daily Beast is a standard mainstream neolib/neocon SJW rag and so is all Radosh’s writing. I thought the point of Quillette was to be a place where you could have non-mainstream views on offer? I don’t have any personal liking for Trump but if I want standard Trump bashing/Russia conspiracy theories there’s a million other websites I could look at.
    He also has written for the Weekly Standard which was a neocon rag and is a big Hilary Clinton fan.

    Greenwald’s is a far more interesting writer than Radosh. I don’t agree with him about Sam Harris and Israel but he is completely right when he cautions about MSM exaggeration about Trump and Russia and he is brave enough to stand up to fellow leftists to say so despite being the target of huge amounts of hate. He’s willing to talk to people from the other side too such as regularly going on Tucker Carlson’s show.
    The fact that you would think Radosh is a good fit for quillette makes me wonder if some of the editors are trying to turn this website into a typical neolib/neocon SJW-fest which would totally defeat the purpose.

  27. J Mary says

    Forgot to add…I think Glenn Greenwald is a journalist of demonstrated integrity in an era that boasts few such individuals. It’s clear that, in this case, he has failed to fully probe the Wallace matter by not going beyond sources that echo his personal ideological leanings. Unfortunate but not fatal.

  28. Pierre Pendre says

    Radosh assumes that we are all so familiar with the favourable deals that Trump gives Putin that he doesn’t need to list them in his article. Wrong. First rule of journalism: assume your reader has no prior knowledge of what you are talking about and give him the necessary background.

    I’m not aware that Trump has demonstrably been a Putin pawn no matter how often the liberal MSM has strained to say so. If Radosh cannot be bothered making the case, why should I take him at his word? The most striking thing about the reason the FBI had for opening its investigation of Trump is the weakness of its excuse which leaves it open to accusations of political bias.

    The FBI didn’t investigate Obama for sending assurances to Putin via Medvedev about his future flexibility or his highly dubious Iran deal (plus secret payment of cash in used oncers). These really were potentially harmful to the national interest if you wanted the cops to start criminalising political policy.

    What Radosh seems to be trying to do is to use Greenwald’s pairing of Wallace and Trump to defend the FBI against the grievous harm it has done to its credibility by trying to get Hillary elected in 2016 and to cover for her genuinely serious crimes in making state secrets available to foreign espionage.

    Western politicians and their media echo chamber have a bad case of schizophrenia where Putin is concerned; they want to be in bed with him and not in bed with him at the same time. The FBI has a bad case of having been caught with its political pants down. Whatever the truth of the Wallace case, Greenwald’s case is that it can’t be trusted and he’s self-evidently right.

  29. Stephanie says

    “There is, however, clear evidence that Trump has made decisions and statements that benefit only Putin and his expansionist agenda for the Russian state.”

    So when Obama allowed Russia to invade Georgia and the Ukraine, and explicitly said that he would look the other way as long as Putin postponed further expansionism until after his re-election, that isn’t a benefit to only Russia and their expansionist agenda? What about allowing the annexing of Crimea? What a one sided article!

    Why aren’t any of these Russiaphobes talking about the sale of a major strategic uranium deposit to the Russians by Hillary Clinton?

    Maybe Trump had something to do with the Russians, despite Mueller people sending out hints that the results of the investigation are going to be anticlimactic. But, objectively Obama and Clinton have ceded much more ground to the Russians. Why no serious talk about that outside of right wing media?

    Sorry, but articles like this make me more suspicious that the Trump-Russia thing is ruse. Maybe the history is valid, but I just can’t trust it.

    • Of course it is. No one mentions Trumps opposition to Germany’s importation of gas

      • Or his speech in Poland;
        “America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier or, as we sometimes call it, a monopoly,”
        Or his plan to upgrade nukes, missle defense and the ability to defend our space assets.

        • ga gamba says

          Or his rushing in US forces including F35s and Patriot missile to the Baltics and troops to Poland. Poland now hosts a US-led 1,000-soldier multinational battlegroup near the Suwałki gap and a 3,000-soldier US Army combat brigade close to the German border. Poland offered up to $2 billion for a permanent US military presence of 10,000 troops – Fort Trump. For the first time since WWII, US Marines were deployed to Norway in 2017, Even Germany received an increase of 1,500 soldiers. From the Russian perspective, many of these acts are the US surrounding and isolating Kaliningrad. This is deference to Putin?

          When Trump strongly criticised much of Nato for failing to fund their respective militaries at 2% of GDP, many howled in protest. Yet, wouldn’t stronger Nato member forces prove more resilient by offering a credible deterrent to Russian adventurism? Since the end of the Cold War Germany mothballed and sold about 80% of its main battle tanks, and Merkel’s absurd response to Trump was Germany’s foreign aid ought to count as military spending. Of Merkel and Trump, who here is deferring to Putin?

          In response to Trump, those Europeans who prefer the EU possess an independent military have seized an opportunity. Yet, an EU force excludes non-EU Turkey, which is Nato’s second largest military and the largest by far in closest proximity to Russia. Further, Turkey’s membership in Nato, the US airbases it hosts, and its control of the Dardanelles makes it a crucial member of the defence alliance. Russia is forced to commit resources and attention to its southern flank, and its Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol is always at risk of being bottled up. How is European security improved by Russia having freer access to the Mediterranean? An EU force minus Turkey is much weaker than a Nato with it.

          The Germans and French talk a big game, but when push comes to shove and boots are needed on the ground such as in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics, they don’t have the forces to handle the operations. It’s been nearly three decades since the US had to bail out Europe in the Balkans, which should have been a learning experience, but today they’re weaker still.

          If most of Europe isn’t serious about its own defence, why should the US shoulder the responsibility?

          • Grant says

            Nice work. I don’t know to what extent a threat Russia is to Europe, but certainly weakness can be an invitation to an aggressive state.

    • Jack B. Nimble says


      ‘………Obama allowed Russia to invade Georgia…..’

      Sigh……. Russia attacked Georgia on Aug. 8, 2008 and withdrew most of its forces by Oct. 8, 2008. Mr. Obama, of course, was still a presidential *candidate* at this time, and Pres. Bush provided only humanitarian assistance to the out-gunned Georgians. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Georgian_War

      Maybe Mr. Radosh is peddling conspiracy theories against Trump here, but that’s no excuse for commenters peddling conspiracy theories and bogus history claims against Obama and Clinton.

      Trump has met several times with Mr. Putin in private, with only Russian translators present in the room, or else Trump ordered his own translator to destroy all records of the meeting. Trump has never briefed even his closest staff members on what was said in these meetings. Maybe we will have to wait decades for a future release of Russian intelligence files, before we know what Trump said in private to Putin. Meanwhile, the Russians clearly know more about Trump and his dealings with the Russian mafia than Americans do. Link: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/08/16/craig_unger_untold_story_of_trump_russia_partnership_laundered_money_via_his_real_estate.html

        • Jack B. Nimble says


          Maybe, but only the Russians know for sure. What is clear is that Trump is a man with a lot of secrets.

  30. “Trump’s record of deference to Putin has been adequately laid out by David Frum, Max Boot, David A. Graham, and by the editors of the New York Times, so there is no need to repeat it here.”

    Why take their word for it? The Memorandum spelling forth the Russian collusion was buried under the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which we know exists based on the same credible sources cited above.

  31. Jan de Jong says

    Didn’t take long to discern the neocon preoccupation. Skipped the rest.

  32. I agree with many of the commenters here about the weakness of Radosh’s article. But my initial take on this weak article was that it was a sly device by Quillette’s editors to demonstrate the general weakness of narratives that counter the main editorial thrust of Quillette, especially when theose narratives rely on stale tropes or try too hard to hit the “right” notes that will elicit a chorus of approval from their intended audience.

    And, speaking of “right notes” and “intended audiences”, what also struck me about the tone of many of the disapproving comments above (even though I agreed with much of their substance) is the extent to which blog readers often visit blogs of whatever type or leaning to have their preconceptions echoed and reinforced rather than challenged in any way.

    • Stephanie says

      @ PB, that is a generous take on Quillette’s editorial decision. I find it impossible to conceive that they were unaware how this article would be received by 90% of their audience. Perhaps this was foremost an exercise in educating Rodosh, not the other way around?

      I’m sure I’m not the only commenter you might be referring to who frequents MSM outlets every day, despite the challenge it poses to my worldview. I don’t expect Quillette to mirror my every perspective, and it doesn’t, but this “orange man bad” article is consistent with the homogeneous editorial position of the rest of the media. That runs contrary to Quillette’s stated objective, and that breach is likely the source of the tone you’ve noted.

      • Quillette is entitled to make whatever editorial decisions it would like. However, on certain subjects, their silence is deafening. For example, there are a number of bills in the US that require individuals to refuse to participate and support the BDS movement, on its face, a significant restriction on freedom of association and freedom of speech. [A competent professional was recently fired in TX for refusing to sign the “loyalty oath” which got coverage in the MSM.] There was a recent attempt to pass a senate bill which would in effect nationalize the BDS ban.

        From the standpoint of Quillette, defender of free speech and free inquiry, why doesn’t this rise to the level of one essay, either for or against? One can only presume that Quillette is not purely a defender of free speech, but there may be other political considerations driving editorial content. Further, this is fully within their rights, but it might be more in the spirit of transparency to make it explicit, rather than making us read between the lines.

        Likewise, has Quillette ever published anything sympathetic to the Palestinian side of that great national question? Their call, and maybe in their view there is nothing worthy of publishing on the other side of the question.

        While Quillette is not a purely Neo-Conservative operation, and to say it is would be unfair, it is definitely not a hostile forum for Neo-Cons. Further, this particular essay strikes me as possessing all the gestures of Neo-Connery, Russiophobia and forced historical analogies to the Red Menace and why McCarthyism was good. It only failed in the sense that it is usually mandatory to make a reference to Chamberlain and the English policy of “Appeasement” in the 1930’s, nor does it point out the Democrats are the real racists.

        My thought on how to assist the Neo-Cons in their persuasion campaign is instead of writing essays, they convert their content into the form of a graphic novel, perhaps the Justice League corroborates with the boy scouts in Mossad to overthrow Putler and Assad and exorcise the spirit of Hitler. This way, the paranoid Manichean comic book character of their writings would be enhanced by the medium.

        • Stephanie says

          @ KD, I would also be interested in seeing an article here about criminalising BDS and the implications for free speech. Of course the entire movement is predicated on naked anti-Semitism, but outlawing it is a step towards hate speech legislation the US has wisely avoided up until now.

          It would be hard to express sympathy for Palestinian national ambitions without infantilizing the Palestinian people, expressing the genocidal desire for Israel’s destruction, falling back on the powerful=oppressor/powerless=oppressed narrative, or engaging in historical revisionism. I’m sure many pitches on this topic have been turned down because the article fails on one or more of these fronts, but if you think you can provide such a perspective you should make a pitch.

          • Well, for a long time we counseled the Palestinians to give up armed struggle and to embrace the way of MLK and Gandhi by eschewing violence and using political and diplomatic methods to achieve their ends. No doubt deriving inspiration from the Salt March, the Montgomery bus boycott and other such grassroots efforts, they came up with BDS. And then we called them antisemites anyway.

            I am not sure why Palestinians are the only people on earth who are not even allowed to advocate for consumer boycotts of their opponent’s products. I can remember people not buying French wine because of French nuclear tests back in the 90s, for example, and I seem to recall that Jews tended to buy Volvos back then rather than German sedans, for obvious reasons. No one suggested that consumer boycotts were beyond the pale at the time. It does seem as though the Palestinians arent allowed to do very much at all, except sit there and take it.

          • Stephanie:

            I am merely pointing out what appears to be an implicit editorial stance. My interest is principally in seeing the United States return to a realist foreign policy, and accordingly, my interest in family squabbles in the Middle East is limited. [I am moderately pro-Israel, but probably too moderate to pass the purity test of a Max Boot or a David Frum.] On the other hand, my hostility to moral crusaders who want to deform the foreign policy of the U.S. to carry out their holy wars for what they call “liberal democracy” knows no end. Appeals to morality in international relations or public policy is usually a charade used to hide the fact that the policies in question are usually directly contrary to the interest of the governed.

    • I don’t mind having my preconceptions challenged by something original and thoughtful, but Radosh here just regurgitated the same standard Russia conspiracy talking points we see in NY Times, Washington Post, Daily Beast, New Yorker, The Atlantic, BBC etc etc etc. I don’t shy away from reading these views, but it becomes extremely repetitive after a while when so many publications are printing exactly the same opinions. I’m not sure if Quillette really needs to be a platform for neolib/neocon Trump/Russia views for the sake of challenging preconceptions, when those views are ubiquitous across almost all of mainstream media at the moment and it’s almost impossible not to be constantly confronted with them anyway.

  33. >> There is, however, clear evidence that Trump has made decisions and statements that benefit only Putin and his expansionist agenda for the Russian state.

    Substitute “Obama” for “Trump”, “Mullahs” for “Putin” and “Iranian” for “Russian” and this statement might make some sense. How many planeloads of illicit and very beneficial cash has Trump sent to Moscow in the middle of the night while lying about the whole thing? Something tells me that Obama’s example of a president explicitly siding with his the country’s enemies at our expense, while lying his ass off about the whole thing, didn’t bother you so much.

    All snark aside, Mr. Radosh, you need to enumerate this clear evidence that isn’t so clear. Only Putin? There is no other justification for any decision and statement from Trump except fealty to Putin? Really? And you expect to be taken seriously as commentator as you emote in public?

    I think what we really have here is the left criminalizing policy foreign differences. The challenge to their will to rule is the primary crime that concerns them. Love of country is not the motive. Judging from Lisa Page’s recently leaked congressional testimony, is seems the FBI took it upon themselves to decide what US foreign policy is acceptable and what foreign policy will trigger the FBI to accept political opposition research as adequate evidence to surveil you. To say this a dangerous state of affairs is quite an understatement. All those that took it upon themselves to steer US foreign policy via an FBI investigation of the elected president based on their assessment of his stated policy positions and a known political smear from his opponent need to do serious prison time if the republic is to survive intact.

  34. Winston Smith says

    This story is not about Trump, it’s about leftist Russia apologists who wittingly or unwittingly advance a hostile agenda to the trepidation of there fellow Americans. But it’s interesting to see how it how smoked out all of the Trumpists who read Quillette. Their willful blindness is appalling.

    “Trump isn’t in cahoots with the Russians. He just said they should hack Clinton and then it happened. It’s obviously a coincidence!”

    • Ah, I’m sorry I replied to another of your comments. I see that you’re hard at it, peddling ridiculous propaganda yourself. “Leftist Russia apologists”: you either need help or you’re being paid to write this nonsense.

  35. Robert Franklin says

    Radosh complains that Greenwald left out highly pertinent information about Henry Wallace. Fair enough. But of course Radosh leaves out the fact that the reason the FBI investigated Trump was a very dodgy dossier trumped up and paid for by the Clinton campaign. Nothing to see here, move along? Please.

  36. Grant says

    Didn’t hear anyone saying the Iranians had something on Obama when he dropped sanctions, a billion in cash and nuclear weapons even when Iranians were killing American soldiers. It’s the left convinced that Trump is corrupt. Now they’ve started it with Graham, saying Trump must have something on him because he supports some of his policies.
    It’s why many of us consider these allegations partisan and suspicious.

  37. Bubblecar says

    Sensible analysis. But alas in today’s topsy-turvy world, as the comments here make clear, it’s the Right who will defend both Russia and the Russian sympathisers in high US office, regardless of the obvious danger to Western and global security.

    Most are ignorant dupes, but a good many these days do essentially regard themselves as opponents of “decadent” Western democracy. They yearn for a strong man like Putin to sweep aside the prevailing culture and replace it with a Russian-style conservative autocracy.

    • tarstarkas says

      What Russian sympathizers in high office? Remember Gen. Flynn was very hostile to Russian interests, which may have been one reason for the interview trap they laid for him. You may be paying too much attention to words rather than actions. Trump has a rather obvious MO when it comes to hostile countries; praise the leader, punish the policies and actions. He’s done it to Kim, to Xi, and to Putin, to name the three most prominent. And count me out as a Putin supporter, I’d like nothing better than to run him and his nomenklatura through a wood chipper for what he’s done to individuals and his country. I suspect may commentators here may have similar attitudes for that corrupt bloodthirsty tyrant.

    • codadmin says

      Er…What danger to global Security?

      You obviously hate Russia because you are a bigot.

    • Farris says

      When it appears everyone is a dupe but you, it means you’ve consumed too much of the Kool-Aid.

    • Ooooohh kaaay. Yeah, your in conspiracy land man. The right wing guys want to make money, have low taxes, and keep government small and out of their business. If you think they want a big government state that rules over them you may be projecting.

  38. Speaking for myself, I respect and even welcome a variety of opinions. What I don’t respect is an article which embodies so much caricature and comical distortion of contrary opinions. Am I wrong to observe that authors with more credentials or prestigious backgrounds seem to be the ones who get away with the more egregious distortions of contrary opinions?

  39. michael says

    “Bad history” indeed! Interesting to see the author flouting the wonders of Left-Media reporting on Trump’s “deference” to Putin, especially the New York Times, then quickly wandering off into historical comparisons with Wallace, without mentioning Walter Duranty and the Times hagiography of Stalin that persists to this day. Seems a bit disingenuous for a Historian to let this slip by, when discussing why everyone should be ready to incorporate such reporting into their “fact finding” as to why an FBI investigation into Trump is fully justified. And closing out with a bit of high praise for Wallace being forced, by the realities of Stalin’s purges and slaughter of millions, to give up his fantasy about what a fine and beneficial an ally the USSR would be, is more than a little sickening.

  40. codadmin says



    …New York Times editors say they ‘absolutely believe’…

  41. Chad Jessup says

    It is a sad state of affairs when calling for other NATO members to “pay their share” is equated with being Putin’s bitch. Sans USA membership in NATO, the remaining member nations GDP is approximately thirty-five times greater than the Russian economy.

    As Kurt mentions previously, the left is criminalizing foreign policy decisions, which I add that benefit American taxpayers.

    I suspect Ronald Radosh greatly supports our war machine, which is the reason behind his criticism of Trump’s policies.

  42. Richard Doosh Sr says

    Many of the comments here ring sycophantic, credulous and, frankly, unpatriotic. It’s my perception that the Quillette articles which are in any way critical of Trump tend to provoke comments which identify the originators of the associated opinions as least valuable/most suspect. In 10 or 20 or 30 years (or more), in the cold, clear light of history, I may have to eat my words and that’s OK. I’m young and patient.

  43. Elmer says

    The improbability of trying something different. Hear me out…

    Say you’re neighbor asked if you would pay for a security guard to watch over their house because they felt threatened, but that same neighbor didn’t have locks on their doors. Would you take your neighbors seriously? Even if they could afford locks and deadbolts? Neither would I.

    Why don’t countries like Germany and France ramp up their defense spending if Russia is such a threat? In fact, Macron bragged via Twitter after the NATO Summit about how they had no intentions of ramping up spending to get to the 2% they agreed to long ago. Germany ended conscription and is now purchasing 1/3 of their natural gas from Russia via the Nordstream pipeline and we can bet that some of those profits are going into Russia’s defense budget.

    So why no locks or deadbolt? In fact, why is the door left open? Why is post-war American foreign policy towards Russia not up for any new deviation or discussion for that matter given they appear to be no threat to our allies closest to them geographically?

    Remember when our best and brightest experts thought there were only nine planets in our galaxy?

    Remember the four basic food groups and the pyramid telling you to eat more carbs?

    I could go on and on with this, but I really just want to say that maybe the foreign policy experts’ best proved to be wrong and we may just have to mirror the EU’s posture towards Russia. Which is precisely what Trump has been doing.

  44. “the way to hump a cow is not
    to push and then to pull
    but practicing the art of swot
    to preach the golden rull

    to vote for me(all decent mem
    and wonens will allows
    which if they don.t to hell with them)
    is hows to hump a cows”

  45. Paul Peterson says

    My one question to Professor Radosh is are we at war with Russia. This is important because the answer to this question substantiates the viewpoint or invalidates it. If we are at war with a communist empire, then Trump is fighting a new Cold WAR and must adopt policy befitting it. If not then he must normalize and deescalate the relationship.

    Did Russia try to influence the election…of course it did. Putin’s first priority is his country’s and his people’s interest . Did Russia get Trump elected….Of course not. We have interfered with Russia’s elections many time. Also we interfered with Israel’s elections…who is an ally. Does this make this right?…no. Does this mean War…of course not.

    So Trump increased sanctions upon Russia. This sounds like Putins plan. Pulling out of Syria for which he was elected for must mean 63 million people are also following Putin’s plan.

    As far as Green Wald’s article is concerned, i agree that these are not parallel situations. Was a different time. Progressives then were openly supportive of Communism….recommend “Liberal Fascism,” by Jonah Goldburg if you have not already read it.

  46. Robert Mitchell says

    This author did not include any evidence to support his allegations towards Trump except the New York times. Dude should look at his own Cognitive bias. It seems to be out of control.

  47. pete chip says

    Trumps deference to Putin, as laid out by David Frum…and the New York Times.??? This author is an idiot. What is meant by deference, is actually insufficient belligerence and an attempt to work together. Sounds like a good idea to me. The last people anybody should cite is Iraq War Criminal David Frum , and the failing (I want to hurt white men) New York Times

  48. The curated article is good. The curated article is bad. I can not assume to know the real vision for Quillette and Quillette followers, I will assume it to be as stated and not motivated by politics and/or profit. In that case, the best of Quillette, IMHO, is that which displays uniqueness, fact and well considered analysis. Does that preclude opinion? Of course not. Label it as such. Don’t disguise it as unbiased research and analysis. Rather provide citations that support the “opinion” being articulated. If not, one is no different from the MSM with the exception of access to audience.

    Many of the articles, and especially comments, here fall prey to a number of common traps. Avoiding these in thinking and publishing would benefit all and lead to more productive debate, thus advancing understanding. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    Pertaining to political based articles (and some others) these traps are: 1) Issues become binary. Call it polarized if you prefer. Everything is black or white, one or zero, right or wrong, left or right. There is no grey scale middle ground. One might say stereotyping applies. 2) Opinion and fact are indistinguishable. Isn’t that the universal complaint about media today? 3) Articles and comments are often generated without considering holistic viewpoints, inter-dependencies, unintended consequences and/or long term results. Do the benefits of a particularly controversial decision result in a net positive if considered more broadly? 4) We assume, or pretend, we have full knowledge of factors pertaining to various strategies and decisions. In fact, even much of the administration, not to mention Congress and the government as a whole, does not. 5) While we like to believe we have a good understanding of what is controlled by whom, we do not. 6) Our analysis is based on a belief that we understand other country’s intentions. In some cases we may. For those of most interest (Russia, China, North Korea) those with access to highly classified intelligence have an incomplete understanding. With access to much less knowledge we have far less.

    In short, social justice, victim-hood, censorship and similar topics of discussion are what this forum does best. Otherwise, where we have access to legitimate data (or video of students on the mall), and can debate unbiased interpretation, this can be a great forum. If it continues to polarize, push various political agendas and (un)wittingly use incomplete data it becomes less so, particularly as applies to authors assuming they “know” Putin, his intentions and methods.

  49. Deserttrek says

    “clear evidence that Trump has made decisions and statements that benefit only Putin and his expansionist agenda for the Russian state.”
    To state or worse believe that cancels out any semblance of sanity
    The endless war folks want more conflict to detract from their failures and corruption

  50. JimInNashville says

    I was stunned by the logical and factual inadequacy of Radosh’s presentation.
    Here’s the essence.

    1. Greenwald defended Trump by comparing the assault on Trump with what happened to Wallace 70 years ago.
    2. Greenwald neglected to point out that Wallace actually was a communist affiliated with Communist spies, so there was legitimate reason to be concerned about Wallace.
    3. David Frum, Max Boot, etc. have laid out the case against Trump elsewhere. Trump is anti-NATO, anti-our-wonderful-trade-partners, a stooge of Putin, blah blah blah.
    4. Therefore Trump is a clear and present danger who should be investigated, and Greenwald is an ignoramus.

    Even an intellectually challenged undergrad could spot the argument falling apart in at point 3 above. Trump has articulated *policies* regarding NATO taking advantage of the U.S. that he has every right to articulate. Ditto with his trade policies. And, might I add, Frum and Boot wrote nothing more than hysterical ad hominems!

    YES, the Soviets did “invade” the Democrat party in the 1940’s and 1950’s. McCarthy was far more correct than most writers want to admit. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that Putin has any control over Trump, and Radosh should be ashamed for this piece. At least he can still go to cocktail parties with Bill Kristol.

  51. Constantin says

    This article rests its entire argument of alleged “proof” presented elsewhere by the likes of David Frum, Max Boot and others. This is most unusual for an opinion piece in a journal that expects some kind of logical argument. Nevertheless, I followed the links and read David Frum and Max Broot’s hit pieces. The prize goes to Max Broot who, despite his obvious paranoia with respect to the billionaire’s penchant of making awesome cash deals in Russia, admits in the title that his 18 reasons just “might” support the idea that Donald Trump has deeper connections with the Russian state. So much for the categorical tone of Ronald Radosh’s article. I understand and respect Quillette’s drive to remain open to arguments coming from both the right and the left of the political spectrum, but could we draw the line at not accepting for publication articles that fail to make their core argument? It is rather funny how the record of an absolute imbecile enamored with the Communist doctrine and Soviet Russia, makes persons with absolutely no idea of the intellectual acumen required for undercover infiltration at high levels of government, pontificate about Mr. Wallace. Excuse me, Mr. (pompous professor) Radosh, but only a spy wit an IQ under 60 will advertise his political allegiance by visiting 22 Soviet cities and part of the Gulag only to lavish praise over them thereafter. The fact that the American Left consistently displays unparalleled levels of mental density, does not make a terrorist out of any apologist of Palestinian political intransigence any more than it made a Russian spy of any left wing nutbar salivating over the Soviet propaganda output. You might be surprised to learn that many Americans voted Donald Trump to implement a certain agenda and he is faithfully fulfilling his electoral promises. He is no more Russian spy than 60 million of your fellow citizens. We all know you do not agree with his policies and with a sweeping agenda focuses America on its own interests that destabilizes your particular worldview, to the extent that you suspect and want to believe that you are the victim of a foreign inimical military act of subversion. I hate it to break it to you so plainly, Mr. Radosh, but you do not understand that the Heart of America wants nothing to do with your fixation on a profoundly anti-American world order and voted this President to implement these very policies. Life is harsh! LOL

  52. Craig Howard says

    Perhaps, the most disappointing article I’ve ever read on “Quillette”.

    That some far-left publications have found some of President Trump’s policies as favorable to Russia is hardly worth citing.

  53. Wallace broke with the Progressive Party in 1950 over the Korean War, and in 1952 he published Where I Was Wrong, in which he declared the Soviet Union to be “utterly evil.”

  54. You can debate about Wallace all you want as to whether he was a ´Russian dupe´ or just held political positions the FBI didn´t like – but that does not refute Greenwald´s underlying point, which is that the FBI has frequently overstepped its bounds and engaged in unethical and even criminal behavior motivated not by genuine national security concerns, but political ones. The historical record of the FBI doing this, especially under J Edgar Hoover, is not debatable. These are the people that tried to blackmail MLK into killing himself because they also believed him to be a ´Communist stooge´ (despite zero evidence) and/or just hated him for the impact he was having on American society.

    This article is idiotic – this writer is stuck in some 1950s red scare mentality, as if we are at war with Russia. Every president since Clinton has done just as many things that could potentially benefit Russia as Trump has. So what? We´re not at war with them. All those presidents have done just as many things to benefit a dozen other foreign countries.

    The author never even addresses Greenwald´s central point. And the fact that he refers to discredited, moron neoconservatives who have made a career on being wrong about everything they have ever written about as some kind of ´appeal to authority´ is just laughable. All he has done is refute his own argument by placing it on a foundation of liars and charlatans, the same people who brought us ¨WMD in Iraq´. That he doesn´t even bother to present any argument backing this up, but assumes that because these clowns wrote something all must trust it without question, only demonstrates his own arrogance and how little regard he has for the intelligence of his own readers.

  55. Oilan Greeze says

    I thought that the article was very good… apart from the “Orange Man Bad” tripe of the first 6 and last 2 paragraphs.
    And, what was that? Trump is worse than Henry Wallace was? Only a person with full blown ‘derangement syndrome’ could suggest that.

  56. Very astonishing that Ronald Rodash would support this `Russian collusion’ witchhunt – and a witchhunt it definitely is. I read his book on Hollywood leftism, and he did document quite thoroughly how commonplace were Communists in the `California film colony’. Yet, that doesn’t mean that anti-Communism wasn’t misused by Joseph McCarthy for his own cynical ends… Yet the amount of evidence in the case against Trump is just about… zilch. Of course, the contemporary witchhunters and their apologists will accuse everyone who accurately identifies the Russian investigation as a witchhunt as `Trump supporters.’ I don’t support Donald Trump and never did. But I do smell a rat and this `investigation’ and everyone who supports it is a witchhunt. David Frum’s proof? Essentially: Trump is acting in a way that suits Putin, I don’t have any evidence either, but I just know it’s true! Ronald, this is just embarrassing.

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