Gen. James Jones is not a “useful idiot.” He’s a well-educated respected military professional. He’s also a highly decorated Marine. He is President Obama’s National Security Adviser. Ordinarily, that would be good news for all Americans.
That cynical “useful idiot” phrase comes to us from Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik revolutionary who overthrew Russia’s democratic government in 1917. Lenin set up the world’s first Communist regime. Soon after taking power in Moscow, the Communists saw famine overtake their new Soviet Union. Everything was rationed. All property was owned by the proletariat—and soon everything was in short supply.
Beset by shortages, invading Germans, and civil war at home, Lenin presided over one famous Kremlin meeting during which he renewed his assurances that capitalism was on its last legs. “We will hang all the capitalists,” Lenin pledged. His comrade Martov bitterly answered: “Under our great new socialist government, we couldn’t even find enough rope to hang them!” Lenin, ever humorless, responded: “When I get ready to hang the capitalists, those useful idiots will sell me the rope—on credit.”
The Washington Post celebrated July 4th with an astonishing front-page story. In it, the entire national security apparatus of the United States was laid out. The daily—and nightly—routines of Defense Sec. Robert Gates, Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, as well as Gen. Jones and CIA Director Leon Panetta were described in detail. Was that wise?
In the article, Gen. Jones is described as someone who feared the Soviet Union when he was a boy. The Post tells us that when the 6’4” strapping general was growing up, he was never afraid of the dark, but he was afraid of Russia. “His parents would talk soberly of the Iron Curtain,” the article informs us. “The image ‘terrified me as a child. Millions of people in prison, behind a so-called curtain,’ the article quotes the general.
Now, we are told, the general calls Sergei Prikhodko, the Russian national security adviser, many nights. Gen. Jones believes that by regularly interacting with Prikhodko, he can better defend Americans from the threats we face today.
Can we? Another recent press report—this one from Reuters-- informs us that Russia is cooperating with Syria in building a nuclear power plant. Now, if we recall, Russia is the country whose own large nuclear power plant—Chernobyl—melted down with catastrophic results in 1986. Why even a Syria would want Russian help in building a nuclear power plant is highly questionable. Russia never reported, however, any difficulties building nuclear weapons.