Tim Tzouliadis' book, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia, detailed the calamity for Americans who naively moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Jobs were tough to find during the Great Depression and these socialist-leaning people blindly swallowed Soviet propaganda about the USSR being a workers' paradise. Their passports were confiscated, most of them were thrown into the gulags, and many of them were executed. Some of them tried to contact the American embassy in Moscow, but Ambassador Joseph Davies refused to help them, even though his staff was eager to assist Americans in trouble. Davies was too busy attending Stalin's show trials and apologizing for the millions of murdered people.
Davies was FDR's handpicked choice for ambassador. Davies spoke no Russian, but FDR wanted a friend whom he could trust "to be his eyes and ears on the ground." Therefore, it is a safe assumption that FDR was kept informed of all that went on in Moscow. Davies' wife once complained of the constant nighttime gunfire from the Lubyanka Prison where people were being shot almost in an assembly-line fashion, saying, "I know perfectly well they are executing a lot of those people." Davies replied, "Oh no, I think it's blasting in the new part of the subway."
Charlie Ciliberti was Davies' chauffeur and a favorite of Davies' wife, Marjorie -- General Foods heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post -- who bought Ciliberti a fur-lined American coat. While waiting for Davies to finish shopping, Ciliberti once noticed a blond girl standing close by, watching him intently and smiling as if she understood every word he were saying. He asked, in Russian, if she spoke English. She replied, in perfect American English, "I was born in Cleveland." She had been brought to Russia by her parents six years ago. Now 21, she had been cut adrift and was desperate to return to the USA. He saw her again a week later. Neither he nor Davies lifted a finger to help her and she disappeared into the Soviet darkness. Ciliberti later wrote that he did not want to go "out on a limb" in case the girl was a "phony." Many other Americans were arrested outside the American embassy.
After Davies met Stalin, he said to an aide, "I have seen him; I have finally had a talk with him; he is really a fine, upstanding, great man." Another aide remembered that Davies told her "this was one of the great days of my life, that the president had instructed him that his main mission in Moscow was to win the confidence of Stalin." Davies told an assistant to FDR that he told FDR that he "took all measures to stop the campaign on the Rubens case organized by officials from the American Embassy in Moscow in his absence without any pressure from Washington." He was referring to 29-year-old Ruth Rubens, an American held in Butyrskaya Prison, whom his staff had tried to help without first asking Davies. Rubens also disappeared into the Soviet darkness after being tortured.
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Donald Trump is quickly proving himself to be a fool regarding world history and a chump at diplomatic relations. He told the WSJ, "Korea actually used to be a part of China."
Setting aside the fact that the statement is historically and factually incorrect, it makes one wonder if his newfound adoration for China has anything to do with the fact that most of his billionaire friends are raking in piles of loot via trade with China. Or maybe Chinese President Xi Jinping is simply more adept at The Art of the Deal.
Trump's statement will no doubt be used by China to further its territorial ambitions, just as it has furthered them in the South China Sea.
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Even though Alejandro Cao de Benós -- someone who uses a nom de guerre on the Internet, with Leon Davis being a favorite -- is Spanish, not American, he is traveling in Davies' footsteps. He is the "unofficial ambassador to the West" for the DPRK, a role he apparently relishes, not to mention the first westerner to be granted North Korean citizenship.
He does not believe that labor camps are used as a means of repression: "In Korea there are labor camps where the criminal picks rice for the people or makes furniture for homes, which is delivered to the people." The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, just one of many organizations dedicated to informing the world of the horrors of the DPRK, offers many documents to prove the existence of labor camps used for ordinary people. And note the use of the word "Korea" instead of "North Korea," because, like all true DPRK believers, he is devoted to reunification under the DPRK's terms.
On the subject of a possible attack of North Korea by the U.S., he proclaimed: "No-one is going to touch Korea. If it is touched the people will defend it with guns and missiles. We have the thermonuclear bomb. With three of those the world is finished."
But he does raise an interesting, if terrifying point. The nature of North Korean dictators was perfectly expressed by Kim 2.0 in a reply to Kim 1.0's query regarding North Korea's reaction to certain defeat on the battlefield: "Great Leader! I will be sure to destroy the Earth! What good is this Earth without North Korea?"
What if Cao de Benós was actually referring, even unintentionally, to salted bombs, i.e. thermonuclear devices employing jacketing intended to substantially increase radioactive fallout half-life? For example, a thermonuclear device jacketed in Cobalt-59 would result in fallout with a half-life of 5.26 years.
He might not understand the science, simply parroting what he is told -- in between bouts of sleeping with vulnerable North Korean girls, of course. Three cobalt-jacketed bombs would not kill everyone on Earth, comprising a doomsday device as the Soviet Dead Hand system was intended to do, and the fallout distribution would depend upon atmospheric conditions and the yield of the devices, but they could serve as extinction events for some islands, e.g. Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Australia, not to mention the Korean peninsula. The winds could just as well carry the lethal dust north to China or Russia. Weather prediction would be a life-and-death endeavor.
If Kim 3.0 was assassinated, there would be plenty of room in the recently liberated labor camps for Cao de Benós.