By Andrew L. Jaffee
In the common parlance of the average man, the word “genocide” is rarely associated with communism (i.e., the Soviet Union or Peoples’ Republic of China). Historically speaking, many know of Hitler’s deeds; fewer might have heard about the Turkish slaughter of approximately 1 million Armenians circa 1915 – 1917, an incident now also termed a “genocide;” but how many know about — or dare speak of — Soviet atrocities which claimed at least 16 to 50 million lives? During Mao’s reconstruction of China in his own twisted image, he killed between 16 and 30 million. Surely these were “holocausts,” but are rarely referred to as such. How many box-office hits have reminded us of Hitler’s slaughter of 6 million Jews, but where are the high-profile tales of communist atrocities? Alright, the Killing Fields had a few minutes of mention, documenting Pol Pot’s systematic murder of 2 million Cambodian civilians, but can you think of any others?
Communist war crimes are rarely the subject of conversation at cocktail parties, especially among the Left. Why? The answer lies in the worn-out dogma that still prevails amongst those who can afford to be sympathetic to Castro, the Islamists, et. al. — anything that represents “opposition” to the supposed colonialist aspirations of America, all driven by “capitalist greed.”
Since the “liberals” feel guilty about living their comfortable lives, and cannot stand to bear the sight of the poor, they lash out in all sorts of strange ways at the society in which they live so comfortably. After all, communism promises an egalitarian utopia, in which all are (forced to be) equal. It sounds so much more palatable than the dog-eat-dog system which requires hard work and competition, but which the “liberals,” like the Kennedys or George Soros have profited so handsomely from.
At a small diner on Wednesday with some of my “liberal” friends, the subject of India came up. One of them commented, “I’ve heard that India is getting very westernized,” as if that was a bad thing. I kept my mouth shut, but wanted so much to remind her that India is a democracy, no one is forcing anything on the people there, and that Indians themselves have learned the hard way, have given up on their experiment with socialism, and have turned to capitalism of their own accord, because it is a system that works.
Admitting to communist atrocities would be too much of a challenge to leftist wishful thinking (and hypocrisy and just plain historic ignorance). But all hope of reversing the crimson tide of historical revisionism is not lost.
The University of Chicago, not exactly a bastion of capitalism, acknowledged Mao’s murderous rampages at the prodding of Youqin Wang, Senior Lecturer of Chinese Language in East Asian Languages & Civilizations. The History Channel has started airing documentaries which bring Stalin’s exterminations to light. Just issued by Euro-Reporters.com is a “Council of Europe report on Crimes of communism (I).” And the BBC just yesterday published an article about plans for commemorating the 1956 Hungarian revolution against Soviet rule, in which Russian troops killed 3,000 innocents.
Even some of my liberal friends have made mention of books they have read recently, which educated them as to communism’s atrocities.
Words like “Auschwitz” and “fascist” are now intrinsic parts of common parlance, as they should be. But incidents like the Soviet deportation/extermination of 250,000 Lithuanians, or the Katyn Massacre, are just footnotes, barely small blips on the mainstream radar.
Some (leftists) may read this article and think, “Oh, he’s just one of those fascist apologists.” To which I would answer: “I lost family to both Hitler and Stalin. Why always the continued reminders of Hitler’s genocide, yet you apologize for Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s calls for the extermination of all Jews, and his plans to host a conference proving that the Holocaust was a myth.”
As Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) would say, “The story’s too damn real, but in the present tense.” How soon is now? When will there be mass acknowledgement of the other Holocausts? When will Steven Spielberg make a movie about Soviet atrocities?
Read part 2, “That Other Holocaust, Revisited”
Related: Baltic States, Political Correctness