Archive for November, 2017

SOCIALISM LEADS TO TYRANNY AND COLLAPSE

November 22, 2017

Washington Times on November 19, 2017, published an article by Robert Knight, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union. Knight co-authored the book ”Ten Truths about Socialism”. Excerpts below:

…the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism,”…found that old, dead commies are still quite popular. Thirty-one percent of the [American] young people polled have a favorable view of Fidel Castro’s favorite executioner, Che Guevara, 32 percent Karl Marx, 23 percent Vladimir Lenin and 19 percent Mao Zedong.

They are not big, however, on Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, with a mere 6 percent seeing him in a favorable light. Perhaps this is because campus leftist professors for years have tried to distinguish “good” communists like those in Cuba from bad “Stalinists.”

But, as I said, you don’t have to go back to the last century to observe the effects of socialism on once-vibrant nations.

Oil-rich Venezuela was once the wealthiest nation in South America. But Hugo Chavez’s Marxist revolution, continued by the thuggish Nicolas Maduro, has turned it into an economic basket case and totalitarian hellhole from which tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing while they can.

Another case in point is Cuba, the model for Venezuela’s thugs. Fidel Castro’s communist crackdown upon taking power in 1961 caused a massive outflow of half a million people to Florida despite Castro’s orders to kill anyone trying to leave the island. In a Catholic Church-led program dubbed Operation Pedro Pan, some 14,000 children were sent to Miami between 1960 and 1962. Later, in 1980, another 125,000 left in the Mariel boatlift. Castro blessed it because he used it to get rid of dissenters and to empty his jails, dumping legions of criminals into America.

In 1979 when Nicaragua’s Sandinista fighters deposed the right-wing government led by Anastasio Somoza, the country came under a socialist government. About 100,000 Nicaraguans fled. By the end of the 1980s, 50,000 more Nicaraguans had left for Honduras and roughly 40,000 for Costa Rica.

During the 20th Century, Germans fled socialist regimes twice in massive numbers.

Between the National Socialist (Nazi) German Workers Party’s rise to power in 1933 and Nazi Germany’s surrender in 1945, more than 340,000 Jews emigrated from Germany and Austria. At least 85,000 resettled in the U.S. Millions of others were hauled off to Nazi extermination camps.

After the war, two million refugees fled East Germany to escape that socialist paradise before the Berlin Wall went up in 1961.

In South Vietnam, before North Vietnam’s communist forces marched into Saigon on April 30, 1975, some 140,000 refugees with ties to the defeated government fled and were resettled in the U.S.

Finally, there is communist North Korea, the most miserable, repressive place on the planet. With the entire nation run like a giant prison, more than two million people have died since the mid-1990s from starvation. Hundreds of thousands have been executed or died in concentration camps.
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Do the millennials who were polled know these historical facts? Probably not.

Comment: There are similar problems in Europe when it comes views on marxist socialism. The so called New Left from the 1960s influenced public opinion in support of communist North Vietnam. The influence of leftist media during the Vietnam conflict was well described by Sir Robert Thompson, the head of the British Advisory Missiom to Vietnam (1961 – 1965): ”The Vietnam war was lost on the television screens in the United States”.

One example of the one sided treatment in media was that of atrocities. Every incident on the side of the South Vietnamese or the Americans was recorded and presented by television companies in the West. North Vietnam and Viet Cong never invited television to witness the brutality committed behind communist lines. The thousands of people massacred by the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong were only mentioned at the margin. Sir Robert Thompson commented on this:

What concerns me about television, and this is where I’m worried about it, is that you see a vast amount of incidents and episodes covering terrorism an conflict but you do not get the issues, what it is about, what the consequences are going to be. If there are one people in the world who are never, but absolutely never, going to understand the war it is the Americans who trusted television. The war was meaningless to them.

An American survey of broadcasts of the CBS showed that the attitudes of television presenters and outside commentators was 95 % against the government viewpoint as opposed to only 5 % supporting the government.

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RUSSIAN EMPIRE APPROACHING ITS END?

November 21, 2017

American Professor Paul Goble on November 11, 2017, published an article on predictions of a Czech Russia expert, Vit Kucik, on the future of the last survival of European colonial empires. It can, so Kucik, only be preserved by an authoritarian regime. Excerpts below:

“One can expect a liberal and economically effective system only after the collapse of Muscovite centralism and the fragmentation of the country into small national units.

He points out that “the centralism of power in the empire has an authoritarian and not liberal character” because “liberal mechanisms would quickly weal the power centralism, and the empire would begin to call into pieces.” But the authoritarian power now in its place relies on individuals rather than institutions, something that is reinforcing until it leads to collapse.

Moreover, in the Russian case, “the empire is the political peak of the era of a feudal agrarian economy of the village, while a nation state in turn reflects the industrial economy of the city. Present-day nationalism,” Kučík continues, “is an urban phenomenon and it is not widely distributed in the villages.”

All European empires ended their existence at the start or in the middle of the 20th century except for Russia where the formally imperial government was replaced by the Bolsheviks who “destroyed the national and liberal forces which led to the end of the European empires and with the assistance of a harsh dictatorship conserved the tsarist empire up to now.”

“In the 1990s,” Kučík says, “Russian lost its buffer zone of security in the form of its central European satellites and an outer belt of its own territory: the Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine, the Trans-Caucasus and the Central Asian republics.” Only the coming to power of the authoritarian Vladimir Putin prevented Russia from continuing to fall into pieces.

The Czech analyst insists that Russians are fully capable of developing a liberal democratic state, but they are prevented from doing so by a state that views all conquests as permanent and irreversible and is prepared to repress its own population in order to hold on to the empire.

The leaders of the Russian state know and the Russian people suspect that under conditions of democracy many non-Russian republics and large swaths of what they view as predominantly ethnic Russian territories would elect to cut their ties with Moscow. Consequently, they oppose any liberalization lest that happen.

According to the Czech analyst, Russian foreign policy, “which always was active and at times even aggressively expansionist,” is defined by three factors: military, economic, and domestic political. Militarily, Moscow must cope with the fact that its European core has no natural geographic boundaries, and thus it feels always threatened.

Economically, it wants to dictate conditions and prices for the transit and sale of the raw materials on whose sale Moscow depends to survive.

Moscow’s ideal world would include “a belt of unstable and also poorer countries among which Russia would be set apart as a stable and flourishing state. This domestic political motive of Russian foreign policy is more important than all the others because so-called color revolutions can sweep away Russia from the map of the world.”

And because this is so, Kučík says, “the Russian empire will always represent a threat or at least a problem for neighboring states, including Eastern and Central Europe. Russian influence will spread ever further to the West until it encounters a balancing force which will be Germany or the European Union.”

With democracies, like Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic states, it will inevitably be in conflict.

Given this, he continues, “Russia will cease to be a threat only when it disintegrates into smaller formations.” Such states “will be able “to construct more effective economies and be less dependent on the sale of raw materials” and thus will seek to stimulate other forms of economic growth and cooperation.

“The West is afraid of instability on such an enormous territory and therefore it will help the Kremlin leader to preserve unity, but just as in 1991,” Kucik says, “all these efforts will be for naught. The local liberation forces will turn out to be stronger, and besides, they will be supported by powers like Turkey, Iran, China and Japan which will see an opportunity for themselves to bring the new states into their spheres of influence.”

The collapse of the last empire, albeit “a century late, will simplify the life of Europe and of the Russians themselves,” the Czech analyst concludes.

MINI NUKES IN U.S. ARSENAL

November 9, 2017

Fox News on November 7, 2017, published an article by defense specialist Allison Barrie on mini nukes being a better solution than big nuclear bombs. Excerpts below:

Earlier this year, Trump mandated a thorough review of America’s nuclear posture and ballistic missile defense. So back in the States, some of the brightest minds in the Department of Defense have been focused on this Review that will provide the President with recommendations and options relating to the threat of nuclear war.

Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that about $400 billion dollars will be invested in modernizing and maintaining U.S. nuclear forces.

The U.S. has a vast and formidable nuclear arsenal…But much of the nuke program dates back to the Cold War and is feeling its age. The review could provide ideas to adapt, modernize and innovate so the United States is even more prepared to tackle today’s nuclear threats.

The review has been very closely held with little hinted as to what the recommendations and options will be – but we do know that last year, the Defense Science Board’s “Seven Defense Priorities for the New Administration” report recommended that the Pentagon consider focusing on more low-yield nuclear weapons – aka “mini nukes.”

Smaller, variable, more “tactical” nukes are a strong contender for development by the military in the modernization process…the idea is that the power of these nuclear weapons could be adjustable.

Think of it as a “dial a yield” bomb…this mini nuke could be dialed up for stronger destruction or dialed down for less.

Each mini nuke could be tailored to the specific, necessary scale of destruction. For example, it could target and annihilate say a square mile – without the areas outside that mile being hit by the explosion.

More accurate nuclear strikes with an adjustable nuke warhead could reduce collateral damage and radioactive fallout.

The military already has some very successful initiatives underway to make nukes smaller and more precise. For example, adjustments to the B61 bombs, enhanced with advanced tech like steerable fins, have already proven very successful.

Variable yield mini nukes could potentially provide more flexibility and options.

Advocates for mini nuke type capability have argued that if the U.S. is attacked by North Korea with a nuclear weapon, then Trump needs the ability to launch a calibrated, targeted nuclear attack in response.

A variable yield mini nuke could give the President the means to launch a more contained strike with less radioactive fallout.

Selecting this low-yield, tailored weapon instead of a massive high yield nuke, Trump could eliminate a specific dangerous threat without destructively impacting the entire region – including allies like South Korea and Japan.

An adjustable mini nuke could also potentially enable the US to better discriminate by specifically targeting perpetrators and reducing civilian casualties.

If the most terrible scenario happens and the US needs to deploy a nuke, mini nukes may be one solution to ensuring this catastrophic weapon is precise and would allow Trump to avoid vast civilian casualties as much as possible.

To put this in context, rather than unleashing a nuclear weapon that could kill a country’s entire population in example [there could be an] option to use a tailored mini nuke to target a dangerous military installation instead.