Oliver Stone has a new mini-series on Showtime called the “The Untold History of the United States”. The reason it is “untold” is because it’s his view and opinion of history, not at all based on facts, but on his biases. In fact, Stone makes assumptions of how history would have changed for the better had for instance, Truman not been President. This is conjecture, not historical facts.
Stone is a huge a fan of FDR and his vice president Henry Wallace. These two can do no wrong in his view. Stone raves about FDR’s handling of World War II politics between Churchill and Stalin and of course loves Wallace’s labor view as being pro union. Stone falsely gives FDR credit for ending English imperialism even though this did not officially happen until 1997. The truth is that England was bankrupt after World War II and they could not maintain their empire and some states gained their independence shortly after the War (India), but many other states did not gain their independence for decades after the war. Although U.S. presidents after FDR did not like English imperialism, they were correct to view it as better than the expansion of communism. FDR did not stop English imperialism, but was responsible for the spread of communism. Thus, FDR failed on both fronts. Stone hails FDR for winning U.S. best interests at the Yalta conference by getting the Russians to agree to enter the war against Japan three months after the surrender of Germany. In return, the U.S. would allow for Russian expansion in Asia. Stone says FDR was unfairly criticized over Yalta, but does not say why. That is because most historians agree FDR gave Stalin and the Russians what they wanted. Isn’t it odd that in FDR’s view it was not okay for English imperialism to exist, but at the same time he betrayed Poland and handed them over to the Soviet Union as part of the Yalta agreement? And why was it okay for Russia to expand their empire and influence in Asia if English imperialism was intolerable? And why didn’t FDR object to Stalin annexing Estonia and Lithuania during the war and holding Stalin accountable for killing, raping, and recruiting their citizens into the Red Army (untold by Stone)? Stalin had most of the leverage at Yalta because the Red Army was within 100 miles of Germany. FDR and the allies delayed their plans to invade Europe for nearly a year and half. Had FDR acted sooner, maybe the U.S. and England would have had more leverage over Stalin at Yalta – a point Stone fails to mention. Maybe the U.S. could have gotten Germany to surrender and liberated Eastern Bloc nations before Russia invaded them. When the war ended, Stalin turned all Russian occupied states into Soviet Satellites – Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, and East Germany. This was the start of the Cold War and the Yalta agreement and FDR’s weakness allowed for it to happen. Yes, Stalin ignored many provisions made during the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, but this is what happens when the President negotiates with a genocidal maniac. FDR trusted Stalin while history showed there was no reason for FDR to trust Stalin. FDR was a fool. Also, Oliver Stone conveniently fails to mention the involvement of socialists, such as Alger Hiss, at the Yalta Conference. Hiss was a top aide to the Secretary of State and he sympathized with Russia and communism.
Stone insists the Russian Army stopped raping and killing German civilians when FDR made this request to Stalin. This is nonsense, the Soviet Army never stopped torturing, raping, and killing not only Germans, but citizens of all countries occupied by Russia. In fact, over 3 million German prisoners of war were assigned to hard labor after the war and nearly one half million died. It is ludicrous and an outright lie for Stone to insist that one of the biggest genocidal figures in history heeded to any civil liberties request made by FDR. Stalin not only defied FDR at every point in history Stalin, for the most part, dictated his terms to FDR.
Stone raves about the huge sacrifices made by Russia in World War II and says the Western allies would not have won the war without Russian involvement (maybe true). Over 20 million Russians died in WWII, but Stone says very little about how millions of Russians were slaughtered by Stalin himself. Stone admits that fewer than 100 thousand Russians were killed by the Russian Army and Stalin himself (not factual). Stone is very complimentary of the Russians and applauds JFK for his acknowledgement of the Russian sacrifice in WWII in one of his speeches. But let it be known, Stalin was one of the worst genocidal maniacs in world history (if not the worst) responsible for killing up to 6 million of his own people and well over two million during World War II. And this does not include when he turned his back on thousands of Ukrainian’s who died of famine.
Stone despises Truman because of his ordering to drop the atomic bomb on Japan only two days before Russia would was to enter the war based on the Yalta agreement. Stone’s distaste for Truman is evident when he resorts to calling Truman the names he was called as a youth - four eyes, coward, etc.. Stone is not giving historical facts when he hypothesizes the outcome of the war would have been better had Truman not dropped the atomic bomb. He also infers that neither FDR nor Henry Wallace would have dropped the atomic bomb if they were President. But remember, the Manhattan Project started under the guidance of the FDR / Wallace executive branch. Stone dismisses the fact that dropping the atomic bomb saved the lives of thousands of Americas and stopped the expansion of communism into Asia. And why is Stone is so harsh on Truman’s decision to kill innocent civilians while at the same time being lenient about Stalin’s genocidal rule throughout the war? The truth is that Stone only tells the side of history which paints FDR in a good light and most of his assumptions are unfounded and we will never know the answers to. This is not history being told, but it’s solely Stone peaching his biases and beliefs.