Archive for the ‘ANTICOMMUNISM’ Category

THE INSTITUTE OF WORLD POLITICS, WASHINGTON DC, ON THE CHINA THREAT

April 23, 2020

John Lenczowski, Ph.D., founder and president of The Institute of World Politics, Washington DC, on April 15, 2020, at a webinar lectured on the many dimensions of the threat from China. For excerpts from his comments see below:

…I noted that the American policy of friendship with China that began with Nixon and Kissinger led to a moral-strategic confusion about the nature of the Chinese regime. I listed a good number of the Chinese Communist Party’s actions inimical to our national security, of which too many Americans are unaware. I also explained why so many of our government, corporate, media, and academic leaders have turned a blind eye to Chinese human rights violations, military buildup, espionage, and influence operations: too many of them have been, in effect, “owned,” corrupted, or otherwise neutralized by China. The resulting self-censorship means that the American people, until recently, have not been hearing the full truth.

…the COVID-19 pandemic…has served as a wake-up call to many Americans about the totalitarian and aggressive nature of the Chinese regime and the dangerous depths of our dependence on China for pharmaceuticals and the supply chains for our defense systems.

Comment: The self-censorship is even larger in Europe, where China has managed to disinform governments, the corporations, media and academics. The action taken by President Richard Nixon in the 1970s concerning China was a bold and useful geopolitical move at the time. The continuation of that policy has been a disaster and according to recent polls 90 percent of Americans now regard China as a threat. It is time for the European nations to wake up to the China threat and consider ways of decoupling from Communist China and move production to countries like India instead.

GORDON CHANG: CORONAVIRUS SHOWS ELITES HAVE BEEN GETTING IT WRONG ABOUT CHINA

April 16, 2020

Fox News on April 16, 2020, reported that Foreign affairs expert Gordon Chang said that it is ”probable” that the coronavirus pandemic originated a laboratory in Wuhan, China, not in one of the city’s wet markets. Excerpts below:

“There was an article in The Lancet, which is the authoritative British medical journal, I think it was posted January 24, which said about a third of the initial cases had no connection with the Wuhan market that everyone talked about,” Chang said. “That means that there had to be another source for this, and when you look at Wuhan, obviously that Wuhan Institute of Virology, is at the top of the list of suspects.”

Fox News reported on April 15, 2020, that U.S. officials are increasingly confident that COVID-19 likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory not as a bioweapon, but as part of China’s effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.

Multiple sources have been briefed on the details of early actions by China’s government and have seen relevant materials… one source saying Beijing may have engaged in the “costliest government coverup of all time.”

Chang told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the pandemic should lead America’s leaders to “question their assumptions” about the Communist country.

“I think what this really says is that all of our policymakers, all of our analysts, our academics really need to go back and question their assumptions about what happened and in a general way their view of China,” Chang said. “Because clearly we have been getting it wrong for a long time. And now this has had consequences which are just disastrous. We are going to bury many Americans because of this.”

THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY LIED AND MILLIONS ARE SICK WORLDWIDE

April 10, 2020

Executive Director Marion Smith of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. on April 5, 2020, on the Foundation website published an article on communism’s grave threat to the entire world. Smith concluded that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) caused the crisis. Excerpts below:

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, one fact is increasingly clear: The Chinese Communist Party caused this crisis.

From the moment the coronavirus emerged in central China, Beijing has acted in a way that made a pandemic possible and then inevitable.

At every stage, the Chinese Communist Party has lied.

Beijing’s culpability is the result of its oppression — its “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The only way to stop a spreading sickness is to spread information even faster, giving people and countries the facts and the time to prevent a pandemic. China’s rulers made that impossible. Starting in December, communist authorities cracked down on anyone talking about the coronavirus.

The truth was terrifying, although largely unknown beyond China’s borders. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that China systematically hid the real number of sick people, as well as the number of deaths. Sure enough, in mid-January, Beijing still claimed that only a few dozen people were infected with the coronavirus. The real totals of people infected and deaths were likely far higher, as my organization was already hearing from dissidents within China.

Beijing’s lies lulled the world into a false sense of security…A senior White House official pointed out that Chinese data caused the medical community in the United States to think “this was serious, but smaller than anyone expected… we were missing a significant amount of the data.”

[CCP]…covered up the nature of the coronavirus itself. In doing so, Beijing violated international treaty obligations to which China is a signatory, including the International Health Regulations (2005).

Beijing denied until January 20th that human to human transmission was occurring.

The results have been tragic. China’s actions made other countries less able to contain coronavirus outbreaks. In some cases, those outbreaks were perhaps already underway but unknown, because China lied about the sickness’ spread. By that point, a pandemic was only a matter of time.

Now the world is facing upheaval unseen since the Second World War. Whole countries are shut down. Borders are closed. Economies are unraveling. Governments are mobilizing for an extended struggle. Billions of people are terrified.

But all of this was preventable, if the Chinese Communist Party had just been honest.

…Beijing wasn’t honest. It lied. It is lying still. As a result, more than a million people are sick, and millions could die before the year is out.

Their blood is on the Chinese Communist Party’s hands. If the coronavirus crisis proves anything, it’s that communism — its logic, its brutality, its incompetence — is still a grave threat to the entire world.

The sooner communism is swept into the dustbin of history, the safer we’ll all be.

REPUBLICAN SENATORS RUBIO, GARDNER, ROMNEY URGE CREATION OF TASKFORCE TO COUNTER COMMUNIST CHINESE PROPAGANDA

March 27, 2020

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), in a press release on March 23, 2020 reported that he joined Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in sending a letter to President Trump requesting the creation of a taskforce under the National Security Council (NSC) to counter propaganda emanating from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) surrounding COVID-19. Excerpts below:

“The Chinese Communist Party is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence. While the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess, they continue to seek geopolitical advantage and undermine the U.S. at every turn. It is critical that our country fight back against this propaganda and an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the NSC is a distinctive tool to formulate a coordinated, USG-wide response.”

Full text of the letter

Dear Mr. President,

We write to you requesting the formation of an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the National Security Council (NSC) with the purpose of countering the sinister propaganda campaign emanating from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) (P.L. No: 115-409), which you signed into law in December 2018, authorizes funding “for United States Government efforts to counter the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China,” developing the foundation for such an initiative.

In early December 2019, citizens of the city of Wuhan, China began experiencing symptoms of what would become known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This new virus has continuously proved highly infectious and in the four short months since its discovery, it has become a global pandemic and a crisis here at home. Despite early indications that this was a new virus comparable to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) from 2002, the CCP made concerted efforts to obfuscate and downplay information that would have been critical for the health of their citizens and later the world.

Now that COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the globe, the CCP and its officials have the audacity to spread disingenuous claims that the United States is responsible for this pandemic. This is not simply dishonest, it is dangerous. This tactic, in addition to being a despicable exploitation of a global emergency, threatens to undermine the worldwide coordination necessary to combat this coronavirus. It is for this reason that we request an interagency taskforce within the NSC to counter the malicious propaganda coming from CCP apparatchiks.

This interagency taskforce should include representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and from agencies within the Intelligence Community. These representatives should work together to disseminate accurate and appropriate information to U.S. Government (USG) employees and the global public at-large concerning the origins of COVID-19 and efforts at national and international levels to halt its spread.

To that end, this taskforce should focus on 1) producing a white paper on the origins of COVID-19 and subsequent CCP efforts to conceal its seriousness, 2) provide guidance to USG employees and U.S. Embassies on messaging surrounding COVID-19 and methods to counter false CCP narratives around its origins and containment, and 3) regularly coordinate with and brief the appropriate Congressional Committees on these efforts.

The Chinese Communist Party is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence. While the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess, they continue to seek geopolitical advantage and undermine the U.S. at every turn. It is critical that our country fight back against this propaganda and an interagency taskforce under the aegis of the NSC is a distinctive tool to formulate a coordinated, USG-wide response.

THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY WUHANVIRUS PLAN

March 26, 2020

National Interest on March 19, 2020 published an article on China’s coronavirus plan. For excerpts see below:

… the virus has become a new front in the Sino-American confrontation. 

The fact is that the CCP lied about the pandemic by minimizing the threat, punishing people who spoke the truth, deliberately concealing information, delaying public announcements, denying a timely investigation by the World Health Organization, and refusing experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entry to the country. As a result, the CCP allowed the virus to spread first within China and then throughout the world. Its outrageous actions are a crime against the health and wellbeing of China’s and the world’s population as well as of their economic livelihood. Now the United States, like so many other countries, has to spend tens of billions—maybe even trillions—of dollars to avoid the financial disaster caused by the CCP recklessness. This has significantly weakened U.S. strength and resources that could have been used to advance American prosperity.

It is horrible, fantastic, and incredible that the world’s population has to take significant steps to protect people from the virus due to the deceit, malpractice, and misgovernment of the CCP. The rest of the world must suffer due to the CCP’s perverse and rotten regime.

China has launched a premeditated global propaganda campaign to blame the United States for this pandemic while projecting an image of China’s global leadership in fighting successfully to control the situation and bought the world more time to prepare for it. Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the CCP Foreign Ministry fabricated a blunt lie when he said that the “U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” Many Chinese top diplomats around the world re-tweeted this lie.

Chinese officials have announced that China will use this crisis to catalyze a “Silk Road” of health care.  The significance lies in that it shows the Sino-American confrontation is all azimuths—economic, diplomatic, technological, military, and global opinion. 

The Xi Jinping regime applies this strategy with multifaceted objectives: By blaming the United States, Xi can shift the Chinese people’s focus on fabricated external threats, stimulate ultra-nationalism against America in order to cover up his own mismanagement and missteps in this pandemic crisis.

As part of covering up and countermeasures, China last month expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters for the paper’s report about the Chinese virus and pandemic it created.

[It is] a page out of the Soviet’s or Mao’s Cold War playbook, but reveals that China aggressively shapes a narrative and rewards supportive news outlets. Equally, the disinformation campaign launched by the CCP which accused the U.S. military of starting the pandemic in the pantheon of lies may only be rival by the KGB’s lie that the AIDS pandemic was started by the United States.

Thus far, the United States has been too passive in response to China’s actions,…Bolder action is needed and warranted given the extent of this conflict.  This includes a vigorous counter-disinformation campaign to fault China’s government for allowing the pandemic to spread unhindered for months.  Not only is it culpable for the spread but its people have tried to blame the United States.  This is an outrageous lie and all countries should call out China on this deceit.  Alarmingly for U.S. interests, China has projected itself as the world’s savior from the Wuhan virus,… 

The United States must act to aid the world in identifying these lies.  Yet, more significantly, the United States must convey to other countries the perverse nature of Xi Jinping’s regime. The coronavirus is the product of an equally virulent and pernicious Chinese regime and a perfect metaphor for the nature of Xi’s rule.  U.S. leadership and population need to realize that the country is under attack from a regime that allowed a pandemic to occur. 

Additionally, the United States must continue to pressure China providing critical information about the origin and prevalence of the Chinese virus, including the true death toll, and to allow access of CDC doctors into the epicenter to investigate. The U.S. government should work with America’s allies and the United Nation to investigate who is responsible for the spread and mismanagement of the pandemic. In particular, WHO’s Tedros Adhanom should be investigated and held accountable for colluding with China and allowing the pandemic spread.  At the same time, the United States should consider legal actions against the parties responsible for the disaster, and seek appropriate compensations for the damage it has done to the United States and its people based on the final investigation report. 

The United States must support China’s healthcare whistleblowers, citizen journalists, and activists who are persecuted for speaking the truth. It must systematically expose the humanitarian crises and human-rights abuses before, during and after the pandemic, such as the continued imprisonment of over a million Uighur and Kazakh men in concentration camps, oppression of the Muslim minority in Xinjiang, and the suppression of religious and political freedom in China.  Indeed, the CCP is using the pandemic to increase its monitoring and control over the population. 

…the United States should seriously rethink its global supply chain and take immediate action to de-couple from China to reduce its dependence on China’s economy. The United States should use this opportunity to work with U.S. allies and free trade partners to create a new global supply chain, leveraging the U.S. market to weaken the Chinese regime while helping itself and its allies to prosper. This could eventually defeat Communist China’s dictatorial plan for the world.

Authors of the article

Bradley A. Thayer is a professor of Political Science at the University of Texas San Antonio and is the co-author of ”How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics”. 

Lianchao Han is vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Dr. Han was one of the founders of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars. He worked in the U.S. Senate for twelve years, as legislative counsel and policy director for three Senators.

Comment: The authors of the National Interest article are rightly calling for American decoupling from China to stop the dependence on Chinese economy. A “new global supply chain” is needed and the United States ought to work with allies and free trade partners on this.

REPUBLICAN SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, FLORIDA, BLASTS CHINA FOR HIDING KEY INFORMATION ON WUHAN PANDEMIC

March 25, 2020

Fox News on March 23, 2020, reported on Senator Rubio blaming China for hiding key information on the Whuhan coronavirus pandemic. Excerpts below:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called out Chinese government leaders on March 22, 2020, blaming them for the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic due to hiding key information early on and pressuring other countries into not taking action.

… rather than taking appropriate steps to alert the world that there was a problem, they did the opposite.

“The way you respond to something like that, in a global event of that magnitude is you immediately declare it to the world, you bring in all of the experts, and you start working and you try to contain it to the place where it starts,” Rubio said.

Rubio accused the Chinese government of hiding information from researchers and not letting anyone know that they had evidence of human-to-human transfer until late December of 2019.
“We could have been four to six weeks ahead of this had they been more transparent.”

“I can tell you it has made it much harder by the fact that not only did the Chinese not disclose it, they bullied a bunch of countries into not cutting off flights,” Rubio said. “These cases got into other countries as well because they didn’t do what President Trump did here.”

FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. STAND WITH HONGKONG

October 7, 2019

It could be Hongkong today and the world tomorrow.

freedomhongkong.org is an initiative by Hongkong freedom fighters to launch various advertisment campaigns in support of the Hongkong freedom struggle starting from the 2019 G20 Osaka summit in June.

The demands of Freedom Hongkong are:

1. Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill;
2. Retraction of the characterisation of any anti-extradition protest as a riot;
3. Amnesty of all protesters in relation to the anti-extradition protests;
4. Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to inquire into alleged police brutality; and
5. Immediate implementation of dual universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections.

These are modest demands in light of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) tearing apart of Hongkong.

In spite of the existing treaty Beijing is de facto running the city. CCP has for years been infiltrating the political and business sectors of Hongkong. This and other forms of subversion have undermined institutions and eroded Hongkonger’s freedom.

Watch Freedom Hongkong’s advertisments on You Tube and follow freedomhongkong.org on the web.

CHINA GLOBAL STRATEGY TARGETING AMERICAN ECONOMY

September 7, 2019

Ret. USAF Brigadier General Robert Spalding in a June 2019 interview on radio warned that the geopolitical China threat to the United States had not been adressed strategically. Spalding has served at the White House as the Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, Washington D.C.:

China wages economic warfare against the U.S, said Spalding. It supports — and enriches itself off of — America’s competitors in Asia and the Middle East.

To approach this effectively the United States must work with its allies. In the Middle East with the Saudis and other Arab states and in Asia with mainly Japan and South Korea.

Spalding further said that in each of these regions, the partners there have to step up. America must reinvest in the country and grow the economy.

The focus has to be on deterrence and the growth of economy. Don’t spend all your money on weapons and focus on growing your economy. Military capacity cannot be separated from economic capacity, the brigadier general continued.

The United States must build and rebuild in the field of infrastructure and things that are actually growing the economy. If you don’t have a strong economy, it doesn’t matter, because you’re not going to be able to pay for the things you need to secure yourself.

When China entered the WTO, America closed 78,000 factories. 5.4 million people were put out of work. We closed ship-building facilities. We closed so much of our manufacturing capability that today we’re heavily reliant on the Chinese to provide the things we need to fight.

Spalding also said that the Chinese have managed to buy global ports and buying most of the global shipping — control the logistics. So think about that $800 billion defense budget we spend, and then all the money we’re spending to move and ship personnel and supplies all over the world, and you realize that the Chinese are making enormous sums out of what we do on a day-to-day basis. This is what they’ve built.

Spalding further highlighted China’s procurement of influence via financial relationship with America’s academia, businesses, entertainment and news media companies, non-profits and think tanks, and politicians.

The Chinese have studied the United States and the competition we had with the Soviet Union. They realized that if we ever became focused on their activities, then that would be tough for them because they relied on our openness in order to go after us. So they were essentially slowly eroding our personal freedoms through their economic and financial interaction with the country.

A large part of America’s elites have essentially aligned themselves — corporate interests, academia, politics, law firms, think tanks — with the Chinese Communist Party. The party knew that if it could go on to pursue that they could continue to slowly erode our competitive edge.

In essence, they want us to spend as much money as we can on defense, because that is not the area where they want to compete with us, Spalding warned. “They want us to bankrupt ourselves. That’s the goal.

President Donald Trump had in Spalding’s view reversed the status quo of America’s approach towards China set by his presidential predecessors. In 2017, the president basically said, ‘Enough is enough.’

They use the profits they make off the dealings with America to help the Iranians, to help the North Koreans, to help the Russians, both in a technological sense and economic sense,” concluded Spalding. He described Trump’s “decoupling” of America from dependence on Chinese exports and logistic as a means to reinforce America’s global positioning. China is aiding and abetting the countries that we try to put sanctions on. Whether or not they’re directly involved in the Iranians placing mines on tankers in the Persian Gulf, they’re complicit in that they’re enabling the Iranians to have the resources that enable them to do these things.

CHINA’S KILLING MACHINE – ORGAN-HARVESTING BY EXECUTION

July 30, 2019

New York Post on June 1, 2019, published an article by US China expert Steven W. Mosher on the brutal China organ harvesting for profit. The world is beginning to understand that transplants in China are costing human lives – every time. Excerpts below:

Zheng Qiaozhi — we will call him George — still has nightmares. He was interning at China’s Shenyang Army General Hospital when he was drafted to be part of an organ-harvesting team.

The prisoner was brought in, tied hand and foot, but very much alive. The army doctor in charge sliced him open from chest to belly button and exposed his two kidneys. “Cut the veins and arteries,” he told his shocked intern. George did as he was told. Blood spurted everywhere.

The kidneys were placed in an organ-transplant container.

Then the doctor ordered George to remove the man’s eyeballs. Hearing that, the dying prisoner gave him a look of sheer terror, and George froze. “I can’t do it,” he told the doctor, who then quickly scooped out the man’s eyeballs himself.

George was so unnerved by what he had seen that he soon quit his job at the hospital and returned home. Later, afraid that he might be the next victim of China’s forced organ-transplant business, he fled to Canada and assumed a new identity.

First-person accounts like George’s are understandably rare.

Experts estimate that between 60,000 and 100,000 organs are transplanted annually in China. Multiply that number times the cost of a liver transplant ($170,000) or a kidney transplant ($130,000), and the result is an eye-popping $10 billion to 20 billion.

…experts like Ethan Gutmann, author of several books on the subject, believe that the vast majority [of organs] obtained by executing prisoners of conscience.
One particularly rich source of fresh organs for China’s transplant industry in recent years has been the Falun Gong, which was declared a heretical Buddhist sect in 1999 by then-Party Secretary Jiang Zemin.

The Muslim minorities of China’s far west are apparently next in line. Over the past couple of years, between one to three million Uighur and Kazakh men have been arrested and sent to concentration camps — Beijing calls them “vocational training centers” — in the region.

Tellingly, all these prisoners of conscience not only had their blood drawn upon entry but also had their organs examined, presumably so they could be more quickly matched with those willing to pay for them.

All this suggests that assembly-line harvesting of Uighur, Kazakh and Tibetan organs is already getting underway.

Despite China’s claims to the contrary, its transplant business is booming. And, thanks to a Western technology called ECMO — extracorporeal membrane oxygenation — it has become much, much more lucrative.

Twenty years ago, it was only possible to successfully harvest an organ or two — two kidneys, say, or a heart — from a transplant victim. The other organs, such as the lungs and liver, had to be discarded because they had been deprived of oxygen too long to be usable.

Now, the victims are put on an ECMO machine, which serves as an artificial heart and lung and keeps every last organ fresh enough to be harvested. Before ECMO, a victim’s few salvageable organs were worth maybe $250,000. Now, with ECMO, every organ can be harvested — even the skin — and the victim is easily worth two or three times as much. ECMO, which has saved countless lives in the West, has had the opposite effect in China: It has accelerated the killing of innocent people.

Proof that the slaughter of “donors” continues is revealed by the country’s amazingly short wait times for organs. In normal countries, sick people can wait for many months or years for an organ to become available.

Only in China do organ tourists receive a kidney, heart or liver transplant within days or weeks of arriving. In fact, in some cases patients have reported that their transplant surgeries were scheduled before they even arrived in China — something that could only happen as a result of forced organ harvesting.

The world is beginning to wake up to the fact that virtually every organ transplant in China costs the life of an innocent human being.

China’s organ-transplant assembly line is not only murder for hire but may turn out to be a kind of genocide as well.

Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order,” out now.

COMMUNISM’S DEATH TOLL

July 28, 2019

Foundation for Economic Education’s ”FEE Daily” on July 28, 2019, published an article on Ukraine’s legislation making natioinal socialism and communism legally synonymous. Below is an excerpt from the article:

The Black Book of Communism, an international bestseller, reveals that the handiwork of twentieth-century communists more than matched the Nazis. In fact, a glance at the figures shows the communist death toll dwarfs the bloody work of the Nazis: In China, 65 million dead; in the Soviet Union, nearly 20 million; Vietnam, 1 million; Cambodia, 2 million. North Korea is 2 million and counting. Chalk up a few million more with Eastern Europe (1 million), Africa (1.7 million), and Afghanistan (1.5 million).

The different perceptions of the horrors of Nazi Germany to horrors of twentieth-century communism have long been a source of frustration for many who see cognitive dissonance in how the hammer-and-sickle is treated compared to the Swastika.

For lawmakers in Ukraine, this cognitive dissonance was apparently more than they could bear. In 2015, legislation was passed to make Nazism and communism legally synonymous.

In 2019, that law was upheld by a Ukrainian court.

“The communist regime, like the Nazi regime, inflicted irreparable damages to human rights because during its existence, it had total control over society and politically motivated persecutions and repressions, violated its international obligations, and its own constitutions and laws,” the court declared, in a ruling published on its website.

The ruling…paves the way for the removal of most of the remaining communist monuments and landmarks bearing Soviet names in Ukraine. It also prohibits the use of Nazi and communist symbols.

The Starvation of Ukraine

That communism is a touchy subject in Ukraine should come as no surprise. As the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum chronicled in her 2017 book Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, nearly 4 million Ukrainians died from starvation in the Soviet Union between 1931 and 1934. Applebaum makes is quite clear how this happened.

“The Soviet Union’s disastrous decision to force peasants to give up their land and join collective farms; the eviction of ‘kulaks,’ the wealthier peasants, from their homes; the chaos that followed,” she writes, “all [was] ultimately the responsibility of Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.”

Millions of people starving is horrifying. What’s more terrifying is that this policy was not accidental.

As late as the summer of 1932 mass starvation appeared avoidable, Applebaum writes. The Soviets could have asked for international aid, as they had in previous famines. It could have stopped exporting grain or halted grain requisitions. Party leaders chose not to.

Instead, in the autumn of 1932, the Soviet Politburo, the elite leadership of the Soviet Communist Party, took a series of decisions that widened and deepened the famine in the Ukrainian countryside and at the same time prevented peasants from leaving the republic in search of food. At the height of the crisis, organized teams of policemen and party activists, motivated by hunger, fear, and a decade of hateful and conspiratorial rhetoric, entered peasant households and took everything edible: potatoes, beets, squash, beans, peas, anything in the oven and anything in the cupboard, farm animals and pets.

As a result, 3.9 million Ukrainians died. In light of these horrors, it’s no surprise that many in Ukraine, which suffered under Nazi rule the following decade, see little difference between the collective atrocities of the Nazis and the collective atrocities of the communists.