Bill Keller, the New York Time’s attack poodle against the Catholic Church, calls himself “a collapsed Catholic.” How clever. If only the New York Times had reported on collapsed Catholics summer of 1936. Catholics by the tens of thousands were collapsing in Spain that summer. They were collapsing into mass graves from a bullet to the neck, Soviet style. Pope John Paul II beatified 233 of them last month. The biggest mass ceremony of this type ever — because it was the biggest slaughter of Catholics in recent times.
Did you read about this major Catholic event in the big media?…..hummmm?
A total of 85,940 “reactionaries” and “fascists” were shot, burned, buried alive, pushed off cliffs, thrown down mineshafts, and otherwise murdered in Red Spain during the reign of what the New York Times called the “Loyalist” or “democratic” government; 7,937 of these were Catholic clerics, including 283 nuns, many whom were raped first. And if this sounds like baseless “atrocity-mongering” I invite you to read it yourself in, Historia de la Persecucion Religiosa en Espana, by Antonio Montero. Oops, forgot, that’s in Spanish.
Okay, then read it in Hugh Thomas’ (himself a pink, former Labour candidate) The Spanish Civil War.
These Catholic clerics’s crimes?
Eschewing politics. The Pope himself said in the recent ceremony. “They didn’t die for politics, they died for the Church.”
“Join the peoples militias or die,” sneered their Red captors and torturers. Most made the sign of the cross and immediately forgave their killers. BANG! — thump. Into a mass grave.
Actually the ones who got a quick bullet were the lucky ones. Thousands died slowly after hideous tortures in the “Chekas” that sprouted all over Red Spain. Far from fishing around for a blander euphemism, the Spanish Reds gloated in the name “Cheka.” After all, it was their Soviet mentors, advisors, and chums who made the name infamous in 1919. A decade later it changed to NKVD.
This very NKVD and its Iberian disciples were hell-bent on the same in Spain. Both Lenin and Trotsky had predicted that Spain would be the next Soviet Republic.
Archbishop Romero of San Salvador was killed by “right-wing” gangsters and we had it all over every major network, every Beltway publication, plus a major Hollywood movie. Thousands of clerics (including 12 bishops) are murdered in Spain by left-wing gangsters and we get For Whom The Bells Toll, with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman glorifying the murderers!
Red propaganda travels on wings and sticks forever. Take one of the major hoaxes of recent history (after Castro Cuba’s Literacy and Healthcare); I refer to the bombing of Guernica. Every history book hails it as the wanton terror bombing of a peaceful Basque village that left thousands of dead civilians. Indeed Picasso’s rendition of the tragedy became the most famous canvas of the century. The villainous Franco forces snickered maliciously and twirled their black pointy mustaches as they contemplated the carnage.
It’s a crock, a complete snow-job planted by a Commie reporter and rapidly spread by the Comintern’s propaganda apparatus called Agitprop. Believe me, no Cuban-American will EVER be surprised at how quickly communist myths spread, how persistent they remain in the mainstream media, and especially, how impervious they become to documented refutation. Take Cuba’s vaunted “health-care.” Who knows that Cuba’s infant mortality has actually worsened relative to the rest of the world since Castro took over? That’s using the UN’s very statistics. The same UN that falls over itself feting Fidel at any of it’s hoe-downs. And let’s not even get into economics.
But we were talking about Spain. Guernica was bombed by the Nationalists alright, and some “collateral damage” resulted. The town had an arms factory, a railroad yard, and was a major crossroads for the massing of Red troops. But most of the damage to civilian areas was by dynamite and wanton arson on the ground by Red troops before they evacuated — and for the very reason of a propaganda barrage.
A reporter from London’s Daily Mail named Howard Cardozo was with Franco’s troops at the time and entered Guernica. He reported on this. Naturally his story got spiked. You can read about this in Spain: The Vital Years by Luis Bolin. National Review devoted most of an issue back in the late 60’s to the Guernica hoax.
But back in Spring ’37 the Comintern’s version was all over the New York Times within days. The same NYT that maintained a deafening silence about the Red massacres of priests and nuns and lay Catholics. And why not? After all, their man in Spain was none other than the redoubtable Herbert Matthews.
Yep, the same Matthews who sold us Fidel the Robin Hood of the Sierra twenty years later. The same Matthews who claimed in 1960 that Fidel was “not a communist but a strong anti-communist.”
This sagacity didn’t just get him promoted at the Times, it got him a juicy book contract. Amazingly though, it didn’t get him a job at Foggy Bottom. They already had enough sages. Even more sickening than Matthew’s reporting ( if such a thing was possible) were the dispatches from a certain “Frank Pitcairn” of London’s Daily Worker.
Pitcairn was the pen-name for a Stalin propagandist named Claud Cockburn. Compared to Cockburn, Walter Duranty sounds like John T. Flynn — hell, he sounds like Westbrook Pegler. It’s unbelievable, even hilarious, until you remember that he was covering-up for mass-murder. The Purges and show trails were in full swing at this time.
Rather than a reporter, Claud Cockburn was simply Stalin’s stenographer. His “reporting,” recently embalmed in, “Cockburn in Spain; Dispatches from the Spanish Civil War” was such blatant propaganda, such a nauseating compendium of shameless lies, such shoddy camouflage for such horrific bloodletting, that even career pinks like Christopher Hitchens gagged.
I searched my kid’s high school history books in vain for any mention of Communist mass-murder. So I seethed, grabbed a glass of rum and drove to the school.
“What the hell are ya’ll teaching my kids here!” I screamed at the crowd in the faculty lounge. “Ever heard of the Black Book of Communism.”
Blank expressions. “Well dammit, I demand equal time! I’ll teach your students about if ya’ll won’t! Let’s file them into the gym next Wednesday at 4 and I’ll set em straight on History. Whaddaya say?”
“Fine with us.” And here I’ll turn to a local newspaper for the scene.
“It was a rowdy crowd that filed into Mandeville High’s gym last night. They milled around in excited anticipation much as their grandparents had done for Huey Long. Suddenly drums rolled, lights snapped on and a phalanx of burly Mandeville High football players wearing camouflage armbands marched out and took their place in front of the stage, legs spread, scowling, with arms folded.
“A minute later trumpets blared and the lunatic Cuban-American ‘speaker’ climbed the stage to a deafening — and somehow frightening — roar from the crowd. There was something vengeful and sinister in the faces around me.
“Humberto, or ‘El Guapo’ as he is known to his mass of followers, quickly worked himself into a fine froth, repeatedly denouncing ‘Pinkos!’ and ‘Commie Faggots!’ between shots from a Bacardi flask.
“‘I say we storm over to detention hall, open the gates and free our brothers!’ shrieked the inflamed speaker who was dressed in his classic camouflage jumpsuit and cap. ‘Then we storm the goddam faculty lounge and kick their commie butts til their noses bleed!’
“‘YES!!..YES!!’ roared the crazed crowd. ‘VIVA HUMBERTO!… VIVA EL GUAPO!…VIVA LA CONTRA-REVOLUCION!!’
“Suddenly a lone figure in a tie-dyed T-shirt and wire-rimmed glasses jumped on a chair near the rear. ‘Fascista!’ he said pointing at the stage. ‘No Pasaran!’ and the room fell strangely silent. But they looked stageward for a cue.
“‘WHAT!’ Humberto narrowed his eyes, rested his elbows on the lectern and looked over at the skinny heckler. Humberto was rock still for a second, like a Brittany Spaniel on point. The room was silent… Then he grimaced maliciously. ‘Do I hear dissent?’ he snarled while pointing a tight fist at Mr. Tie-dyed who was looking around like a cornered rabbit. ‘Do I detect a heckler?….’
“The crowd started to stir and look around ‘Has the ENEMY infiltrated this auditorium?’ Humberto’s voice was booming now. ‘Sure sounds like the ENEMY is in our MIDST!’ And he swivelled his cruel-eyed gaze around the gym. ‘And what is the FATE of our enemies, I ASK?! What is the fate of all Fifth Columnists?’ He lifted his elbows from the lectern, folded his arms and paused for effect. ‘We ALL know the FATE of our enemies, DON’T we?….’ then nodded to the football-player guards.
“The crowd erupted in howls of vengeance as the guards sprung into action. In seconds the hapless heckler was buried under a swarm of muscle-rippled bodies. The crowd went wild with blood-curdling screams. ‘YEEE-HAAA!’ Chairs and beer cans flew through the air. The poor heckler finally emerged from the melee gasping and grimacing and in a firm choke hold. His shirt was shredded. He was dragged to a side door and hurled out.
“‘That’s BETTER!’ Snapped Humberto while jutting his jaw and folding his arms Duce-like.
“Then he resumed his ominous oratory. ‘Comrades…My dear COMRADES, I’ve changed my mind.’ Silence and puzzled faces from the crowd again. The burly football guards climbed the stage, folded their bulging arms and resumed their scowls… ‘The problem, my comrades, is NOT in the faculty lounge..IS it?’
“Confused looks and a few claps and whistles from the crowd. ‘That’s not the SOURCE of the problem is it, my Comrades?…….NO!’ Humberto’s eyes suddenly blazed ‘NO! The SOURCE is in the Education Dept building downtown!.. RIGHT!’ veins jutted obscenely from his neck and forehead.
“‘YES…YES!’ Came a few shrieks. ‘The Education Dept…the Kremlin!’
“‘THAT’S the head of this Hydra — RIGHT!..The Queen Bee!..THAT’S the real Kremlin — RIGHT!’ Spittle shot from El Guapo’s mouth and flecked the lectern.
“‘RIGHT!- RIGHT!” The crowd was working itself up again.
“‘WELL THEN!’ Humberto raised both arms. His fists were clenched and teeth bared. ‘What are we WAITING FOR?!…. Are we a bunch sniveling WIMPS! OR do we STORM IT!’
“‘STORM IT!…. We STORM IT!’ shrieked the inflamed crowd in one terrifying voice.
“‘OF COURSE!’ resumed Humberto. ‘Then we carry out all those commie textbooks , load em in our pick-ups, and head over to the levee for a big BONFIRE!!’
“‘YEEEE-HAAAA!’ The crowd exploded. ‘YES YES!…HUMBERTO SI! FIDEL NO!…EL GUAPO SI!… FIDEL NO!!’ Boots stomped the bleachers till I thought they’d splinter. Chairs flew through the air. The crowd high-fived and poured beer on each other. Complete pandemonium now. Humberto had to really bellow to be heard over the insane tumult. But he was up to the task.
‘And COMRADES! LISTEN!…. PLEASE!’ He raised his arms and spread his palms….. ‘While the commie books are BLAZING away! While those vile blasphemies are BURNING as surely as their authors will BURN in depths of Hades! While those glorious flames devour the FOUL scribblings of those gutless COMMIE SWINE — with this marvelous backdrop, I say we crank up the Lynyrd Skynyrd , throw out some trot lines and booze it up for the rest of the NIGHT!’
“‘YEEEE–HAAA!’ Shrieked the berserk crowd who was already storming for the exits in their blood-lust. ‘VIVA!… VIVA EL GUAPO!’
“‘Then we do a little drag-racing on the back levee ROAD!’ Humberto called after them.
“‘YES — YES! WHOO-HOO!..YEAH YOU RITE!’ The crowd was uncontrollable now. The only thing missing were the torches and pitchforks.
“‘Hell let’s bring the GUNS TOO!’ Humberto’s voice was finally cracking. His eyes bulged and face seemed to glow with some supernatural ecstacy. ‘Hell yes! Let’s Bull-Eye some deer and rabbits and make a HUGE GUMBO!!!
Humberto Fontova [send him mail] holds an M.A. in History from Tulane University. He’s the author of Helldiver’s Rodeo described as "Highly entertaining!" by Publisher’s Weekly, as "Terrific!" by Salon.com, and as "Just what the doctor ordered!" by Ted Nugent.