Category: Historical Reprints
Source: Overdue Honors for Anti-communists, by B. Amiel, Maclean’s. 9/23/91, Vol. 104, Issue 38, p13. 1p. 1 Color Photograph.
Overdue Honors for Anti-communists
By Barbara Amiel
Three days after the fall of communism 1 on the sun-filled weekend of Aug. 24, I got two related telephone calls. The first was from an editor at London’s Sunday Times who wanted to know if I could think of any additional names for a list of writers and thinkers who had spent their life at the anti-communism barricades.
“Here’s what we have,” he said. “There’s authors, including Robert Conquest and Arthur Koestler. Then Leopold Labedz for his work in Survey magazine. Malcolm Muggeridge, naturally, and George Orwell. I’ve got Harvard historian Richard Pipes.” … From where I sat, I could match name[s] to volumes on my bookshelves: tough minds, decent men, all of them, vindicated now after years of lonely fighting. “We just wondered,”’ said the editor with a wry note in his voice, “are there any Canadians?”
The second call came from The Washington Times. Arnold Beichman, the veteran anti-Communist author and intellectual, is an American who makes his home in his wife’s province of British Columbia. He wrote a column for The Toronto Sun in the 1980s, when I was editor, and displayed an astonishing energy in keeping Canada’s teeny media network of anti-Communists in touch with one another. In his 70s now, he published his latest book on Sovietology, The Long Pretense, last year. Beichman was making a list for the Times of the “steadfast heroes”’ in the West who had opposed communism. “Is there any Canadian who ought to be included?” he asked me, full of mirth.
There are many things one can say about Canada, but the truth is that it has been stony ground for anti-communism journalists — never mind intellectuals. Still, a few names come to mind, and since America and England have celebrated its heroes in this arena, perhaps it might be nice if Canada did as well.
In the academic world — where by and large to be anti-Communist or anti-Marxist was to lose your licence as an intellectual — there was the indomitable Prof. Maurice Tugwell, who founded the Centre for Conflict Studies at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Every waking moment of his life was spent in the cause of anti-communism. I would see him in brown shoes and slightly crumpled suit, diligently taking notes and buttonholing people at think-tanks all across North America. He must have been stony broke half the time and was pooh-poohed the other half, but he persevered.
Canadian television was more intent on discovering what merit there might be in totalitarianism rather than exposing its dangerous influences. Still, a couple of exceptions surfaced. Novelist and screenwriter Martyn Burke directed his first program, The KGB Connection, in 1981. Television’s version of Prof. Tugwell was Toronto television producer Kitson Vincent. It took him years to break into the commercial world — and pots of his own money — but finally, in 1985, CTV showed his Agents of Deception on Soviet disinformation. Then, when most of the media went into its heady romance with perestroika and glasnost, Vincent stubbornly concentrated on the crumbling Soviet empire that Leonid Brezhnev had built up. The results were four excellent documentaries on Ethiopia, Angola, Afghanistan and Cuba.
A very small group of Canadians tried gamely to emulate the writing found in anti-Communist publications abroad, but it was rough going. The Toronto Globe and Mail rarely strayed from the mind-set which, according to its editorial on the occasion of Mao Tse-tung’s death, saw him as a “great humanitarian.” Apart from the right-of-centre tabloid The Toronto Sun, there was really nowhere for a strong anti-Communist journalist to get a platform. The few that survived in Canada all knew one another, but couldn’t fill a dining-room table if massed together in one room.
Who were they? There was The Toronto Sun’s Lubor Zink, of course, the man with the funny name. Zink rarely got on air for radio or television discussions about communism or international politics — he was, well, too biased for the CBC or CTV. But Zink kept on, relentlessly ferreting out the illusions and lies that Canadians held about communism. Then there was Toronto Sun editor Peter Worthington and author and columnist George Jonas, but the response of the Canadian Establishment to them was largely one of derision or indifference.
None of them suffered badly, and Worthington did well financially, but professionally he and the others would always be on the margin. Among them, Canada’s anti-Communist columnists must have written hundreds of thousands of words on the subject, but hardly a National Newspaper Award nor a mention in the Canadian Honours list graced their lives. They simply happened to be the only people who consistently saw the truth about the U.S.S.R.
The trouble was that the cutting edge of the Canadian media and intelligentsia simply didn’t want to know the truth. For most of them, the real enemy was America, not the Soviet Union. If America was bad, then her enemies were Canada’s friends. Canadians vacationed in Cuba, gave a home to the Sandinistas’ trade office when the United States booted it out, jeered at Star Wars and elected Pierre Trudeau, a man who praised the People’s Republic of China and took his children on holiday to Novosibirsk. There were good and bad reasons for this blindness, and many of them are tied up in the complex strands of our national psyche. We are just rich enough in our natural resources and just fortunate enough in geography and demographics so that we can indulge the national obsession of resenting America and its values. But this is old news. What matters is tomorrow.
I don’t expect the scales to drop from anyone’s eyes. There will be new evils, and there are already new shibboleths, and the same people who were taken in once will be taken in again. But it would be smart, I think, if our young people could get a dose of healthy skepticism about received wisdom. Let’s dig up the pronouncements of our great Canadian newspapers, academics and media stars. Let’s take a look at what they said, and what happened. Not in vengeance, not in glee, but in humility. We may need more than one small child to shout out next time an Emperor or Idea appears to dazzle us all with his new clothes.
– 30 –
Nota Bene: Ms. Amiel apparently has not read Anatoliy Golitsyn (New Lies for Old; The Perestroika Deception), in whom I have a great deal of faith, because I have found the Communist manifesto of the Parti Québécois, and also I have begun to prove that the 1995 referendum was a planned Soviet coup on Canada. In addition, the unfinished Communist coup is currently unfolding as a new scenario: the megacity of “greater” Montreal, and the megacity of “greater” Quebec City, are both challenging the Quebec Legislature to declare independence in order to seize the legislative powers out of the Parliament in Ottawa, for redistribution to new, international city states on the model of Moscow in Maurice Zeitlin’s 1975 “Planning Is Socialism’s Trademark” published in Daily World by the Communist Party of the USA. Admin ACA.
In 1991, Barbara Amiel seems to fall for the “fall of Communism” with her article entitled “Overdue Honors for Anti-communists”. But, in 2011, when Conrad Black is sent back to jail, Barbara Amiel collapsed. However, by 2013, we find Conrad apparently on the loose. Perhaps he had managed to get back into the good graces of the pro-Communist Bilderberg whose steering committee he once chaired. For, in this supposed promotional stint, Lord Black pushes a highly fictionalized account of reality (like most “news”): Peter Trent’s new book, The Merger Delusion, “explaining” to an always naive public that the creation of the Montreal mega-city with a de facto Parliament was a mistake by the (Communist PQ) who were “delusional” when they did it. Oddly, however, the new Montreal mega-city complete with a Parliament, exactly corresponds to plans promoted almost simultaneously in French by (Communist) PQ co-founder, Guy Bertrand, for an “independent” Quebec composed of expanded and consolidated municipal regions, i.e., mega-cities, each with its own Parliament. Read more here, look for the section: “The City-States are Up On Wheels – They Just Need Gas“.