Monday, November 26, 2007

November Book of the Month

Crimes, Terror, Repression
Authored by
Stephane Courtois, et al

For those our age, throughout our military service and most of our civilian lives, we were actively involved in the containment of Communism. And, after reading THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM, it was for good reason. Communism was the great and evil story of the twentieth century and at its zenith, ruled a third of mankind. It seemed poised to spread indefinitely and then it collapsed like a house of cards. It violated one of the basic tenets of civilization, "Thou shalt not kill."

The book is so revealing of the crimes, terror, and repression of this world wide totalitarian movement, that the authors, all past proponents of Communism, "ten years before would not have believed what they then had to write." The turning point was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of its archives. Advocates could run, but they could nno longer hide from the hideous and devastating truth their beliefs engendered.

The authors and many others wonder why so many on the Left are still unwilling to admit to Communism's cruelty and its failure; especially, since new research makes it look more despicable every day. Such findings are dismissed by the Left as "right-wing, anti-Communist rhetoric" and further explained by the author as encountering one intractable obstacle: "That any realistic accounting of Communist crime would effectively shut the door on Utopia." Unlike Nazism, they conclude that it will be a very long time before Communism is accorded its fair share of absolute evil.

To fully digest what you are about to experience through the reading of THE BLACK BOOK, I recommend that you begin with the Introduction, skip to the Conclusion, then begin the study of the text in full. That allows one to better understand the ensuing depiction of the twentieth century as it was; a century filled with human catastrophes an bloodthirstiness beyond all others. The scale and gravity of Communism's crimes against humanity is estimated at 100 million civilian deaths alone!

Click on the following link for a full accounting of civilian and war deaths: HOW MANY DID COMMUNIST REGIMES MURDER?

The authors attempt to answer some fundamental questions that all ask: Why did Communism immediately turn into a system of bloody dictatorship and criminal activity? Why could its aims only be achieved through extreme violence? How could such crimes be thought of as a part of normal procedure for so many decades? Socialism seemed to beget violence; and power was achieved and held through the terrorizing of its citizens.

Throughout Communist history, supposed enemies of the State were pejoratively labeled as leeches, rats, enemy agents, and capitalists. Such derogatory classifications of the enemy created the justification for terror, and totalitarian states need enemies to survive. There was no need for citizens to actually have done anything at all; extermination was in order to discipline and punish; enemies were to be killed. Trials, famine, and concentration camps were organized in the strictest secrecy and legitimized as a method.

The last remaining matter posed by the authors is why have scholars neglected the crimes committed by the Communists while names such as Himler and Eichmann are infamous? Why as the academic community neglected its duty to speak the truth? Why do Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and even Stalin enjoy a surprising reverence among them?

The answer revolves about the concealment of the misdeeds by the perpetrators and the systematic attack against all who dared expose the crimes. But, the indifference of contemporary scholars to the criminal dimension of Communism and to their fellow humans can never be forgotten. It borders on criminality itself.

I have often thought about the twentieth century without the worldwide spread of Communism. Would there have been something even more evil with which to deal? What would our lives have been? How powerful would America have needed to be? What would the world be if the twentieth century had not been so bloody? What effect would Nazism have had?

There are many insights to be gained by thinking of the paths not followed; some good and some bad, but it was what it was and we lived it. As for the U.S., one scholar noted that "Democracy is hard or everybody would have it." After reading THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM, we should never think of Democracy as being too onerous, but more a joy of life to be protected to the last man. Thank you, and your comments are well appreciated.

Reviewed for C-133 Crew Members by
Richard L. Spencer

39th ATS 1962-65

To find out more about this enlightening book, and buy it for $15.49, click on: The Black Book of Communism

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Great Idea!

From Sandy Sandstrom

When you're making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D. C. 20307-5001

And while you're at it, please pass it on to your e-mail list.