The Cold War Truth Commission

by Rachel Bruhnke, Witness for Peace Southwest board member

The first “Cold War Truth Commission” will take place on Saturday, December 9 at the Pico Union Project, 1153 Valencia St. 90015 (off Pico near DTLA) where organizers will put the Cold War on trial. We say “First” because we hope this event will be recreated in other venues throughout the US.

The Latin America solidarity organization Witness for Peace (Southwest), with help from folks at KPFK, and other endorsers, are organizing panelist to testify as to illegal and immoral U.S. actions taken in the name of “Anti-Communism” over the past 100 years.

2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and 100+ years of animosity in the US government and power elite toward the philosophy of “communism,” towards anyone who supports even a discussion of Marxism. Opponents of empire are branded as “fellow travelers” of an alien ideology or foreign power. This fear has led to decades of illegal activity by the US government, toward both its own citizens and the people of many other countries. It has led to the thwarting, worldwide, of historical processes and to the vilification of human community, cooperation and common interest. It has led to endless war, to the rise of the undemocratic Military Industrial Complex, and to many of the domestic and international problems that plague the world’s peoples, and the Planet, today.

Of course the fear instilled in the US public by a century of relentless red-baiting has been an effective way to confuse the public regarding issues of civil rights, unions and workplace democracy, housing, education, health care and public welfare. International solidarity, global peace and each nation’s right to sustainable development have also all been on the Cold War chopping block. This has allowed the Neo-Con agenda to prevail, leaving the public bewildered, belittled, and broke.

We believe that unraveling the web of lies, beginning a formal “Truth-telling” on this issue, will help people in the US, especially, to understand today’s crisis, and embolden them to begin a new way forward.

We consider the Cold War to be our nation’s 3rd great, but as-of-yet-unacknowledged, crime, after the land theft and genocide of Native Americans and the kidnapping and enslavement of African peoples. Our mission with the Cold War Truth Commission is to begin exposing illegal and immoral US actions, and to show how the pervasive violence and injustice today — both at home and abroad — is tied up in the perpetuation of the Cold War. The elites of the US and their global counterparts have been crushing progressive voices for generations, both domestically and internationally.

What we are left with now is a growing corporate fascist state, and emboldened right-wing elements in many societies around the world. “We are entering”, as Winston Churchill ominously once stated, “a period of consequences.”

Upon hearing of our event, filmmaker Oliver Stone enthusiastically supported the idea of a Cold War Truth Commission, calling it “a great idea”, and “ideologically right on”. Our panels will include academics specializing in US labor, the history of anti-communism, and in the US civil rights movement. Additionally, testimony on CIA-backed interventions will be provided by experts on Africa, Asia/Oceania and Latin America and the Caribbean. Citizen testimony will be welcome at our public microphone. Please contact us with your interest.

Robert Scheer will be the keynote speaker to help tie it all together. The event will be filmed, with copies available to help as organizing and educational tools around the country, and for subsequent Cold War Truth Commission events. Clips from Frank Dorrel’s “What I learned about U.S. foreign policy” will be played, and copies made available for sale. Please contact us if your group wishes to table.

Listening to the Ralph Nader Hour on KPFK, I heard Ralph rhetorically ask his guest, “How do we combat the Big Lie?” I thought to myself, “With the Big Truth”. It’s time to think big, people. To live in resistance, build personal and local resilience and support, reach out and take big action. Join us for Our Nation’s 1st Cold War Truth Commission.

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