Oliver Stone, with the help of American University history professor Peter Kuznick, tried rewriting American History in a ten part “documentary” series that recently played itself out on the Showtime network under the title “Untold History of the United States.”
Hopefully you missed it.
Stone’s modus operandi is to invent situations while presenting them as evidentiary. He tries to balance on the slack rope of making events fit his preordained conclusions, approaching his subject much like a sailor who, after six months at sea, approaches a woman; the woman must certainly be willing because he’s so horny.
Early on in his latest slumgullion Stone declares that “our history has been homogenized and sweetened.” Americans “think in narrow, constrained, constipated ways about the world,” continues coconspirator Kuznick.
In remedy Oliver volunteers to be our intellectual hero, patiently relating to us the greatest story ever untold. Kindly he holds up a mirror to reflect the many glories of the progressives and the communists, a mirror that has been clouded, he swears, by the hot breath of capitalism.
Oliver’s hero is “Uncle Joe” Stalin. He tells us that “[e]ncircled by hostile capitalist nations and fearing a new war, Josef Stalin embarked upon a policy of breakneck industrialization that would claim many victims.” This is the opposite of damning with faint praise. This is praising the damned with faint facts. Estimates of deaths attributed to Stalin during his reign of terror vary, most experts putting the figure somewhere around 15 million.
Truman who ordered the dropping of the A-bomb on the Japanese “was worse than being a war criminal…he threatened our species with extinction.” Ollie claims that the Japanese were eager to surrender because Uncle Joe was threatening them from the west. He fails to explain, however, that if the Japanese were so ready to surrender why they did not do so after the dropping of the first bomb.
Ollie uses the Left’s familiar accusations of racism as America’s motive. “No foe was so detested as the Japanese…There was a profound hatred of the Japanese by Americans” which “soared because of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Perhaps we should have dropped a Kumbaya piñata instead.
He even presents the Soviet building of the Berlin Wall as an ever-so-clever invention to prevent even more war. He heralds Russia’s great economic successes even as communism fails and the Berlin Wall falls.
Ike was “muddle-headed,” “lost” and “out of touch.” He left the world a far more dangerous place than he found it.
JFK was a “saber rattler” who was so afraid of a military coup that he initiated the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khrushchev, on the other hand, only placed the missiles in Cuba in the first place as a hedge against a first strike by the U.S. Khrushchev, Ollie tells us, “deserves the lion’s share of credit” for ending the crisis.
Reagan set back U.S. policy 20 years taking the world to the edge of war once again.
George W. Bush was a war criminal.
Even Obama does not escape Ollie’s wrath. Obama is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” instituting policies that are outside the law.
On and on our “ruthless” American presidents thwart each and every Russian attempt at peace. With the softest of mocking tones Ollie relates his version of history as “grounded in indisputable fact.”
America is anti-communist because it’s “good for business.”
But guess who Ollie does like. Besides Uncle Joe and Khrushchev there are Gorbachev and Hugo Chavez. And we must never forget the “glorious revolution of Mao Zedong,” leftist all.
The New York Times described the series as “a 10-part indictment of the United States that doesn’t pretend to be evenhanded.”
Stone is familiar with attacks on his work. You may remember his 1991 movie JFK where the only ones not complicit in the assassination of President Kennedy were the Warner brothers themselves.
Not all reviews of this pink-hued retelling are negative. Left wing journalists and “scholars” are quick to pat Stone on the back especially in their gleeful rehashing of America’s many errors during the Viet Nam war.
Pluckily Oliver Stone has ridden in with his white-washed charges to cut us brain-washed Americans free from the railroad ties of century-old misinformation to which we have been lashed by snidely capitalists.
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