right’s claim to be the only source of patrioticrnsentiment. “If only the politicalrnliberals had known. If only those in thernuniversities had known,” he wails.rnKnown what? That the Soviets wererntrying to subvert the United States, alongrnwith the rest of the West? That the CommunistrnParty USA was a tool of thernU.S.S.R.? That those who were “duped”rninto taking a pro-Soviet line against thernpolicies of the United States were helpingrnthe expansion of a hostile power?rnCan anyone really believe that it was onlyrnthe failure to release a particular set ofrntranscripts that kept people in the darkrnabout these things? A few more governmentrnfiles would have been dismissedrnjust as hotly as were the mountains ofrnother evidence presented over the years.rnThe left has never cared whom they werernin league with against the evil Americanrnempire. Even after the Berlin Wall fell,rna prominent leftist like Daniel Singerrncould write in the Nation that “the SovietrnUnion was the only check on the PaxrnAmericana, the only external obstacle tornU.S. imperialism . . . it is this chapter ofrnSoviet resistance that is now comingrnrapidly to an end.” Jeane J. Kirkpatrickrnhad it right when she said that the collapsernof Soviet communismrnas an alternative focus of loyalty,rnmay eventually have an effect onrnthe relationship of the AmericanrnLeft with the United States, but Irndoubt it. I believe the Left’s attitudesrntoward America have influencedrnits attitudes towards Communismrnrather than the reverse.rn. . . I believe one of the distinctivernattributes of the American Left is arnbroad, though not universal, alienationrnfrom the dominant Americanrnsociety and culture.rnDuring the Vietnam War, leftistsrnburned the American flag, raised the VietrnCong one in its place, and decoratedrntheir rooms with posters of Lenin andrnMao. This open embrace of the enemy’srncause led to a major breach of secrecy:rnthe release of the Pentagon Papers. Arndissident Defense Department employee,rnDaniel Ellsburg, gave a copy of whatrnwas to be an in-house history of the warrnto reporter Neil Sheehan, whose ownrnradical views led him to advocate thatrnAmerican leaders be tried as war criminals.rnDid this sudden availability of informationrnimprove the quality of discussion?rnJust the opposite, in fact. Wildrnclaims were made regarding what thernmassive collection of documents actuallyrncontained, with excerpts and contingencyrnplans taken out of context torn”prove” a conspiracy to wage an “aggressive”rnwar on a “wider” scale. Thernabridged version ran 677 pages; the fullrnstudy, to six volumes. Few people havernever bothered to read it, beyond thosernseeking to mine passages to support theirrnpreconceived opinions. As Richard GidrnPowers notes, “Almost none of the mindsrnchanged by the Pentagon Papers everrncame into contact with the words thatrnsupposedly constituted the proof of thernconspiracy. Amazing.”rnThus, Moynihan’s argument that reducingrnsecrecy will lessen the role ofrndemagogues is not well supported evenrnby his own examples. But the senatorrnhas another line of argument: that subjectingrnthe data and analysis of governmentrnto the scrutiny of private specialistsrnwill improve their quality and preventrnpolicymakers from basing decisions onrnerroneous assumptions. Again, there isrnmuch merit in this argument, at least inrnthe abstract, and so a tendency has arisenrnto refer government studies to outsidern”Team B” criticisms. Once more, however,rnthe central example that Moynihanrnuses demonstrates the extent to whichrnhis liberal ideology has clouded hisrnmind. He subjects the CIA to heavy firernfor overestimating Soviet capabilitiesrnduring the Cold War, in particular byrnportraying the economy of the SovietrnUnion as stronger than in fact it turnedrnout to be. Moynihan places great emphasisrnon a 1957 study predicting thatrnrapid growth would move the Sovietrneconomy from one-third to one-half thernsize of the American GNP by 1980. Afterrnthat, according to the report, Sovietrngrowth, while slowing, would still reachrnparity with the United States by 1998. Ofrncourse, this didn’t happen. In the 1980’s,rnSoviet growth didn’t just slow, it ended.rn(By the time of its collapse, the economyrnof the U.S.S.R. again amounted to aboutrnone-third that of the United States.)rnYet this failure of analysis can hardlyrnbe attributed to secrecy on the part of thernAmerican government. Economic overestimatesrnwere common in academicrncircles too, especially among those onrnthe left who were keen to demonstraternthe superior growth potential of centralrneconomic planning. Straight-line projectionsrnhave been common in otherrncontexts, most recentiy in the unforeseenrncollapse of the Pacific Rim economiesrnon which far more data was availablernthan was the case with the Soviet Union.rnHordes of analysts with billions in investmentsrnat stake pored over this informationrnin detail — yet the consensus viewrnpredicting continued robust growth heldrnup until the collapse was well under way.rnFaddish claims, popular in corporate circles,rnthat China will have the world’srnlargest economy by 2020 will probablyrnalso prove wrong.rnMoynihan’s concern, finally, is lessrnwith faulty economic analysisrnthan it is with what he regards as the excessivernmilitary spending which flowedrnfrom it. Noting that American touristsrnhad discovered how poor the U.S.S.R.—rnwhere food, clothes, and housing were inrnshort supply—really was, he characterizesrnthe prevalent assumption as beingrnthat, while Moscow was certainly capablernof causing us trouble, “it was troublernwe could handle.” No need to panic,rnand certainly no need to run up hugernbudget deficits to finance President Reagan’srnmilitary buildup. We only neededrnto sit back and wait for the Soviet Unionrnto collapse beneath its own weight,rnwhich Moynihan asserts was GeorgernKennan’s message in his famous “containment”rnarticle in Foreign Affairs inrn1947.rnThe problems with this view, unfortunately,rnare legion. That it was hard tornfind meat in Leningrad didn’t meanrnthere weren’t 13,500 Soviet tanks supportedrnby 5,600 tactical aircraft in servicernin 1985, the peak year of the Reagan defensernbudget. Indeed, it was the priorityrngiven to military expansion in thernU.S.S.R. which precluded the provisionrnof consumer goods. The Soviets, thoughrnaware of their inferior economic position,rnwere still determined to attain militaryrnsuperiority. In 1928, Soviet militaryrntheorist M.N. Tukhachevsky laid the intellectualrnfoundation for aggressive warrnas a means to redress the underlying economicrnimbalance between the U.S.S.R.rnand the West when he wrote, “The occupationrnof new territory—an expansionrnof the military-economic base —mayrnbring about a change in relativernstrengths.” The building of a first-strikernnuclear capability and the reinforcementrnof forward-deployed Red Armyrnunits in East Germany, poised to driverninto Europe’s industrial center with minimalrnwarning, were confirmations thatrnthis view was still dominant a half-centuryrnlater. Of course, the United States hadrnAPRIL 1999/25rnrnrn