« 2016 election forecast - 19 September | Main | What happened to the Red Crescent convoy? »

19 September 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Historical note. McCarthy was a friend of Kennedy family, befriended by Joe-father in the 40's. In 1952 RFK was minority counsel on McCarthy's Senate investigating committee. JFK refrained from public criticism of McCarthy until 1956.
History or misery, curious bedfellows...

David Habakkuk


‘Tailgunner’ Joe was never a ‘tail end Charlie’ – to use a British term.

From his Wikipedia entry:

‘McCarthy served 30 months as an intelligence officer (August 1942 – February 1945), and he held the rank of captain by the time he was discharged in April 1945. He volunteered to fly twelve combat missions as a gunner-observer, acquiring (or perhaps giving himself) the nickname of “Tail-Gunner Joe” in the course of one of these missions.

‘He later falsely claimed 32 aerial missions in order to qualify for a Distinguished Flying Cross, which he received in 1952. McCarthy also publicized a letter of commendation which he claimed had been signed by his commanding officer and countersigned by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, then Chief of Naval Operations. However, it was revealed that McCarthy had written this letter himself, in his capacity as intelligence officer. A “war wound” that McCarthy made the subject of varying stories involving airplane crashes or anti-aircraft fire was in fact received aboard ship during a ceremony for sailors crossing the equator for the first time. Because of McCarthy’s various lies about his military heroism, his “Tail-Gunner Joe" nickname was sarcastically used as a term of mockery by his critics.’

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy .)

The point about McCarthy is not that he was simply wrong in claiming that there was high-level Soviet infiltration – there was.

What however happened, largely as a result of his activities, was that anyone who wanted to suggest that the world was rather more complicated than notions of the ‘international communist conspiracy’ suggested was either purged or cowed into silence.

A key figure here is the State Department China expert John Paton Davies.

A deeply committed anti-communist, he argued in the late ‘Forties and early ‘Fifties 1. that Chiang Kai-shek was going to lose, 2. that the relations of a Chinese Communist regime to the Soviet regime might end up being closer to those of Tito’s Yugoslavia to Moscow than the ‘stooge regimes’ in Poland, Hungary, or Czechoslovakia, and 3. that rather than chasing the mirage of preserving a non-communist China, it would make more sense to pursue a judicious policy that fostered divisions between Moscow and Beijing.

It was ‘Tail-Gunner Joe’ who both destroyed Patton Davies’s career, and made it very difficult for anyone to make the case for the kind of ‘Machiavellian’ strategy to deal with the challenges posed by communist revolutions which was actually appropriate in the circumstances.

(See https://www.chinafile.com/library/nyrb-china-archive/breaking-honorable-career .)

Incidentally, there is another Joe McCarthy who is well-remembered among some of us in Britain.

A former Coney Island lifeguard, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force months before the United States entered the war in Germany. He was one of the crack pilots ‘head-hunted’ by Guy Gibson when 617 Squadron was formed in 1943, to implement the plan for low-level attacks on the Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe dams.

It was McCarthy who led the attack on the Sorpe dam – which was in part a diversionary raid (which did not make it less dangerous – only one of the five aircraft attacking the dam got through.)

Rather remarkably, McCarthy went on flying with 617 Squadron and survived the war.

(For an account of his career, see http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/s,joemccarthy.html .)



" high priced valuables at stake"

Access to the internet is valuable, that's why the Chinese regulate it. This effort is simply more of the same in camouflage.


Thanks for posting another example of agitprop in the US main street mendacity. They fooled me a lot during Cold War v1, but not in this Cold War v2.

The US can take its Cold War for profit, death, and destruction and shove it.



"With the loss of Union membership (and their dues), the Dems were left with only one other choice," ... "We need some kind of something to replace the unions' lost political influence,"

Why do you think opposition to political spending of union dues was solely due to Republican politicians and not the actual union members? Why do you think that rank and file members should have their political influence channeled via the professional management unions and have that being solely directed towards being for Democratic Party positions?

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I thought I'd get the flavor of Stephen Cohen's work, so I did a quick search on duck duck go. It took a bit of downscrolling to find something that wasn't a denunciation from the likes of Slate or TNR. So it's not just the NYT and the WaPo. There's a full court press of, as Nassim Taleb calls them 'Intellectual Yet Idiots' raging against anyone who urges sanity in the rush to confrontation with Russia.



Thank you for another well reasoned insight. I think we are seeing a similar pattern of behavior here in the US:

“ What however happened, largely as a result of his activities, was that anyone who wanted to suggest that ..... was rather more complicated than notions …. suggested was either purged or cowed into silence.”

Dr. K

Where did you get this misinformation. The John Birch society history of the United States? Joe McCarthy's whole life was made up. No bombing missions. No commendations. Nothing. Wrapped himself in the flag and got shot in the ass.

Seamus Padraig

Another, similar perspective on the decline of the NYT: http://www.unz.com/article/an-obituary-of-the-new-york-times/


NMS & Lemur

The four nations were widely reported:
Probably, “One for all. All for one” CYA.

The use of Identity politics by “liberals” who are not leftists to stay in power is a huge cause of cognitive dissonance. Shaming people for not welcoming Muslim refugees is a prime example. "Liberal" has been so corrupted that it really means “anything goes for the connected”. The left has disappeared. I identify myself as a “progressive”. Corporate globalists are dismantling sovereign governments, the only protector of the little people, forcing mankind to revert back to the safety of their tribal religious roots. On the ground I fear for those who don’t belong.

The only good jobs left in America are serving the elite. To get one and keep it, a person has to be credentialed plus believe the propaganda.

Edward Amame


Why do you think that rank and file members should have their political influence channeled via the professional management unions and have that being solely directed towards being for Democratic Party positions?

As labor unions diminished, so did their influence over the Democrats, but back in the days when Dems were beholden to unions and their members, it DID make sense to have the unions' political influence channeled. If the Dems revitalize themselves and focus again more sharply on labor issues, it will still make sense. As Lewis Powell in his famous memo to the head of the US Chamber of Commerce on how business had to fight back against Washington regulations in the early 1970s:

"Lessons can be learned from organized labor in this respect. The head of the AFL-CIO may not appeal to businessmen as the most endearing or public-minded of citizens. Yet, over many years the heads of national labor organizations have done what they were paid to do very effectively. They may not have been beloved, but they have been respected — where it counts the most — by politicians, on the campus, and among the media."

For more on what's happened in the U.S. as labor unions have been diminished, see: http://ideas.time.com/2013/01/29/viewpoint-why-the-decline-of-unions-is-your-problem-too/

and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winner-Take-All_Politics


just trying to stir up a hornet's nest.
the association w/ the Kennedy's is very well documented. Joe Kennedy liked him, he even dated two of the Kennedy daughters (how do you manage dating sisters?). Gave Robert Kennedy a job.

he served as a Marine in the Pacific and not in the Air Corps. He served some in military intelligence. He did serve as a tail gunner observer, but padded his record.

he had the personality of a bulldog. Even worse than "the Donald."

What killed his career was television. Televised hearing with tens of millions watching. His favoriblity ratings plunged as the hearings went on

The release of Verona transcripts have verified some of his hunches on the deep communist penetration of the government. But he often went halfcocked after the wrong targets, notably George Marshall (a VMI grad) and the United States Army. Eisenhower could have done a lot to moderate what was happening, but he declined to use his bully pulpit. McCarthy ruined lives and caused suicides. He died of cirrhosis of the liver.

Maybe one day, there will be a Senate investigation of the Israeli penetration in the US government. Schumer would be glad to lead it, NOT.

Been watching as even moderate criticism of Israel policy is labeled not anti-semitism, but NEW antisemitism. The Israeli Firsters in US government and media has cost millions of lives overseas, American military casualties, and the consumption of our treasure in the range of trillions.

Trump has a converted Jewish daughter and Jewish granchildren, but amazingly he has spoken of being evenhanded. This is a statement against his interest. He called out and destroyed the Repub meme that Dubya kept us safe. I like it when he said he can get along with Putin. But, I am worried about his Iran view. But at the end of the day, he is a businessman interested in creating wealth and not an ideologue. I will vote for him.


Dr. K,

Probably not from the history department at UW.



Union members are not solely directed by mammon. Union members might oppose using their dues to support politicians who would support positions they opposed. Here's two ideas not in your references:

The '73 Supreme Court Decision in Roe v Wade was not decided by Unions or the Chamber of Commerce or the Powell memo.

The calls for increased regulations of firearms were not decided by Unions or the Chamber of Commerce or the Powell memo.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad