Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monument to Victims of Communism

"We dedicate this memorial because we have an obligation to thosewho died, to acknowledge their lives and honor their memory. The Czech writer Milan Kundera once described the struggle against Communism as "the struggle of memory against forgetting." Communist regimes did more than take their victims' lives; they sought to steal their humanity and erase their memory. With this memorial, we restore their humanity and we reclaim their memory. With this memorial, we say of Communism's innocent and anonymous victims, these men and women lived and they shall not be forgotten." -- George W. Bush, June 12, 2007

Today in Washington, President Bush dedicated a memorial to the victims of communism. Fittingly, today is also the 20th anniversary of one of President Reagan's most famous speeches in which he stood in front of the Berlin Wall and said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

The monument is a statue in the style of the one erected in Tienanmen Square in Beijing in 1989. Communist Chinese military units later destroyed it while driving tanks over the assembled peaceful protesters. Hundreds were killed.

Communism doesn't get the same bad rap that other brutal ideologies do. Maybe it's because we fought no great war to end it as we did against the Nazis. Or maybe it's because we never had to face it in our own country as we did slavery.

Anyone sickened by the atrocities of the holocaust (about 6 million Jews killed) should be simply horrified at the destruction wrought by communism. Communist atrocities weren't aimed at only one group of people. they weren't confined to only one country, and they have been occurring for 90 years now. In China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam these atrocities continue. By a conservative estimate the victims of Communism include:

65 million (and counting) in China; 20 million in the Soviet Union, 2 million (and counting) in North Korea, 2 million in Cambodia, 1.7 million in Africa, 1.5 million in Afghanistan, 1 million in Vietnam, 1 million in communist Eastern Europe and 150,000 in Latin America.
In short, communism, an evil ideology unlike any the world has seen, is responsible for the slaughter of more than 94 million human beings. It tops all plagues, natural disasters, crime, and other political ideologies, probably combined. -- Cal Thomas

Other estimates put the total at closer to 150 million.

May they rest in peace.