Archive for the ‘ANTICOMMUNISM’ Category

MADAME NHU AND THE STRUGGLE FOR VIETNAM FREEDOM

May 31, 2018

One of the most recognized figures in the history of the Republic of Vietnam (Viet Nam Cong Hoa) was Tran Le Xuan, better known as Madame Nhu, the wife of Ngo Dinh Nhu, the brother of the first Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and the unofficial “First Lady” of South Vietnam. Aside from her husband, Madame Nhu herself had quite an illustrious ancestry. Her mother was Than Trong Nam Tran who was a daughter of Princess Nhu Phien who was the youngest daughter of H.I.M. Dong Khanh, the ninth Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.

She married Ngo Dinh Nhu and converted to Christianity, becoming a Catholic and a very public face for the young South Vietnamese government. Her husband, Ngo Dinh Nhu ran the Can Lao political movement in support of the personalist regime of Diem. Madame Nhu was, in every respect, a fiery and committed woman, which both her friends and her many enemies could agree on. She played a leading role in the moral reform President Diem instituted in South Vietnam, closing down brothels, opium dens and gambling houses. She was at the front of imposing what was known as the “campaign for public morality” on South Vietnam, which included the abolition of divorce, contraceptives and abortion. Nightclubs and ball rooms were also often targets. Even beauty pageants were halted as Madame Nhu believed they simply contributed to the objectification of women. This campaign of decency, while admirable, was met with a great deal of hostility by those who did not share Madame Nhu’s view of ethics.

“The Dragon Lady” as she came to be called, was also a passionate anti-communist and was determined that women should play a leading role in defending their country from Communist infiltration. She formed a corps of women warriors and there is a famous photograph of her at their training ground, firing a .38 pistol for the first time. That event sums up a great deal of her character. Having never used a firearm before she was startled by the noise of the first shot. Laughing it off, she vowed that she would not flinch again and fired the remaining five rounds as though she were an expert. She also fostered a renewal of commemorations for the Trung Sisters, the heroic co-Queens of early Viet Nam who fought against Chinese occupation.

Madame Nhu was, like the rest of the Diem clan and most Vietnamese of her background, extremely devoted to her family. In her eyes, her husband was the heart of the Diem regime and could do no wrong. Commenting on the American effort to remove Ngo Dinh Nhu, she said that Diem refused because he knew that, as she said, “my husband could do without him, but he, he could not do without my husband”. She was also patriotic.

After being removed from power, Diem was assassinated along with his brother Nhu. Madame Nhu was, at that time, on a tour of the United States giving speeches in support of Vietnam’s war against Communism. When hearing of the event and the rumored involvement of the United States she said, “Whoever has the Americans as allies does not need enemies”. She went on to predict a dark future for her country, which was sadly to prove all too acurate. With Diem gone, the U.S. was firmly in control of the Vietnam conflict and Madame Nhu retired from public life to Italy.

Comment: The struggle for Vietnam freedom continues both outside and inside Vietnam. Madame Nhu was a patriotic leader of South Vietnam and should be more widely recognized as such.

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LIBERATING UKRAINE: PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRIME MINISTER YAROSLAV STETSKO SUPPORTED THE UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY (UPA)

May 28, 2018

Both Bush and Stetsko supported the UPA in its liberation strategy for Ukraine.

Extremely brutal occupation policies of the Nazis forced the party for liberation, OUN (b) Provid (the governing body of the organization) to take up arms and defend the population. The first UPA hundred (military unit) was formed on January 22, 1943. And on February 7 it already defeated the German commandant’s office in the district center Volodymyrets, Rivne region.

In the spring of 1943, the UPA constantly increased the extent of resistance. Their fiercest clashes with the Germans happened near Lutsk, Kovel, Horokhiv, Rivne, Kremenets, Kostopil, Sarny and Lanivtsi. During March 1943, the insurgents seized regional centers five times. At the end of the first spring month, the German officials reported to Reichskommissar Erich Koch that only two areas in Volyn were free of “gangs”.

The occupation administration began undertaking extensive anti-partisan operations involving armor and aircraft. At the end of April, a division for fighting the UPA was redeployed to Berezne, Lyudvypil, Mizoch, Ostroh, Shumsk, and Kremenets.

The Nazis counterinsurgency actions proved to have little effect. While in March the UPA units attacked the German economic targets only 8 times, in April there were already 57 attacks, and 70 in May.

Heinrich Schoene, General Commissar of Volyn-Podillya, reported at a meeting in Rivne June 5, 1943 to Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories Alfred Rosenberg that “Ukrainian nationalists cause more difficulties than the Bolshevik gangs” to his administration.

The Soviet partisans’ leadership also recognized this fact later. Petro Vershyhora, commander of Soviet partisans, reported to the Ukrainian Partisan Movement Headquarters on March 4, 1944, “We cannot make the same mistake in Poland as we did in Volyn by passing the leadership of a popular uprising against the Germans into the hands of counterrevolutionary groups of nationalists.”

The available Nazi forces were not enough to suppress resistance. Therefore, Erich von dem Bach, commander of anti-partisan forces in the East, took the struggle against the UPA in his hands in July 1943. He commanded the 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer (10,000 soldiers) and 10 mechanized infantry battalions with artillery. The grouping was covered by 27 aircraft from the air and 50 tanks and armored vehicles on the ground.

However, UPA units maneuvered and gave the enemy no chance to destroy them. Overall, in July the insurgents attacked German bases 295 times, and maintenance building 119 times.

In early August 1943, von dem Bach was sent to another area. The German pressure weakened, and the UPA intensified their anti-German operations: 391 assaults on garrisons and 151 attacks on enterprises.

But soon, Hans-Adolf Prützmann, Higher SS and Ukrainian Police Leader, organized a new attack on the UPA. This attack lasted from August 23 to September 9, 1943 in South Volyn. First, aircraft bombed the village of Antonivtsi, which was the headquarters of the Bohun group. Then the punitive expedition attacked the UPA camp in Kremenets forests. The Kurins(battalions) had to split into small units and break out of the encirclement.

In the summer of 1943 the insurgency anti-Nazi movement spread over Halychyna. On August 18, Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNS, the original name of UPA in Halychyna) attacked the German stone quarry in Skole, Lviv region. The nationalists freed 150 forced laborers and killed the camp security guards.

Autumn 1943 was the beginning of larger scale battles between the insurgents and the Nazis. On September 3, Ukrainian soldiers on commanding eminence executed a German battalion that was travelling by narrow-gauge rail in the mountains near the town of Dolyna. The invaders left about 200 soldiers on the battlefield. On September 25-29, the Trembita hundred repelled a punitive attack on their camp on Mount Stovba.

On November 29-30, 1943, there was heavy fighting between 1.5-2 thousand Schutzmanns and the Kryvonis-II Kurin near the village of Nedilna, Sambir district. The insurgents retreated with considerable losses, almost the entire headquarters and the leader of the Kurin were killed on the battlefield.

Prützmann undertook the last major counterinsurgency action in Volyn in November 1943. On November 2-3, aircraft bombed the town of Stepan and ousted the units of Zahrava group to the north. Simultaneously, on November 3 German planes bombed and shelled the town of Kolky, where the UPA had formed the Kolky Republic. It should be noted that the Nazis could not seize the Republic from June to early November 1943, and then they carried out a clearance operation, killing 600 civilians.

In October-November 1943, the UPA-ONS conducted 47 fights against German occupiers, and the UPA village self-defense clashed with them 125 times. The Nazis lost more than 1,500 soldiers.

The Nazis failed to suppress the UPA resistance completely. The approaching Soviet-German front drained most part of military forces. Therefore, the German generals stopped undertaking actions against insurgents in Volyn. In Halychyna, the confrontation lasted until the end of summer 1944. Ukrainian People’s Self Defense (UNS) was re-formed into the UPA-West. In March-May 1944, the UPA defended Ukrainian villages against looting by the Germans. In May, the Wehrmacht defeated the Halaida and Siromantsi hundreds in Lviv region.

From May 31 to June 6, 1944, the units of the Wehrmacht’s 7th Armored Division fought against the UPA in the Chornyi Lis village. By mid-summer the confrontation in Halychyna peaked.

The biggest clashes of the UPA-West with the German-Hungarian troops took place around Mount Lopata on the boundary between Drohobych and Stanislav (now – Ivano-Frankivsk) regions. These events were also detailed in written reports of the Polish underground. From July 6 through July 16, 1944, heavy fighting took place – both with artillery engagement and close-handed fights. Insurgents under Vasyl Andrusyak’s command won. Fifty Ukrainians were killed. The invaders lost 200 soldiers and retreated.

Under pressure of the Red Army the Wehrmacht left Ukraine. The UPA continued to skirmish and disarm German units until early September.

There were episodes in the history of the Ukrainian insurgency movement when some commanders tried to illegally negotiate with the German command using the formula “neutrality in exchange for weapons” or “food in exchange for weapons.” Besides, several cases are known when from 80 to 100 small arms were handed over to the insurgents using the above formula. But the Ukrainian underground leadership did not welcome such arrangements. In some cases, it even led to severe punishment. In March 1944, the UPA field court martial sentenced Porphyriy Antoniuk, the first initiator of the unauthorized negotiations, to death. In April 1944, Mykola Oliynyk was sentenced to death by the UPA court.

However, the talks with the German occupation officials were subsequently held by the OUN (b) Provid. The occupiers wanted the OUN and UPA to stop fighting against them so that the Germans could focus on repelling the Soviet Army’s advance. The OUN members sought to secure the release of prisoners of concentration camps (Stepan Bandera, Yaroslav Stetsko and many others) as well as to obtain weapons, which they always lacked. Meetings between the Provid members and German authorities took place in March, April, June and July 1944. As a result of them, the insurgents received several hundred units of weapons, and in September – October 1944 Bandera and other Ukrainian nationalists were released, though they remained under the Gestapo supervision.

Instead, insurgents decreased intensity of their anti-Nazi actions (mainly in Volyn), but did not stop them. Major Müller, officer of the group of armies “South” reported: “While some Ukrainian nationalist gangs follow the orders of the German Wehrmacht or perform its task, others fight fiercely against the Wehrmacht.”

According to researchers, 12 thousand German invaders and their allies were killed by UPA members. The Ukrainian underground and insurgent units also lost 10-12 thousand people during the armed confrontation with the occupiers.

On August 25, 1943 Hans-Adolf Prützmann, Higher SS and Ukrainian Police Leader, sent the following telegram: “To the Commander of the group of armies ‘South’. Due to the fact that the Reichsführer-SS ordered to send strong teams of military units previously assigned to me to the front, I have to limit myself to the remnants of these units to suppress the Ukrainian national uprising in Volyn. Since this results in appearing of large uncontrolled areas in the north of Ukraine, in the near future there will be increased pressure from gangs in the south sector.”

REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM IN THE UNITED STATES

April 12, 2018

On November 7, 2017, the White House declared November 7 the National Day for the Victims of Communism. For official text see below:

Today,the National Day for the Victims of Communism, marks 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution gave rise to the Soviet Union and its dark decades of oppressive communism, a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life.

Over the past century, communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation. These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights we hold sacrosanct. Citizens yearning for freedom were subjugated by the state through the use of coercion, violence, and fear.

Today, we remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism. In their memory and in honor of the indomitable spirit of those who have fought courageously to spread freedom and opportunity around the world, our Nation reaffirms its steadfast resolve to shine the light of liberty for all who yearn for a brighter, freer future.

GROWING CHINESE THREAT TO US NATIONAL INTERESTS

March 31, 2018

CHINESE TRADE AND INVESTMENT PRACTICES HARMFUL TO UNITED STATES
The Diplomat on March 29, 2018 reported on growing American concern about Chinese harm to national interests in the trade and investment area. Excerpts below:

[President Donald] Trump’s increasing anti-Chinese turn on U.S. industrial policy [has largely gone unnoticed].

Over the last five years, Chinese acquisitions in the United States boomed. As reported by the Rhodium Group, during this period Chinese companies invested $116 billion in the United States, raising the overall investments in the country to $138 billion. This sharp increase has produced several concerns in Washington, leaving many questioning the real intentions of the investors and their possible connections to the Chinese government.

A good share of these investments, indeed, have been directed toward strategic sectors with a high concentration of advanced technologies. Concerns stemmed from the possibility that these acquisitions could enable China to transfer cutting-edge technologies to its own companies, reinforce its high-tech industry, and pose a significant challenge to Washington’s technological supremacy.

Central to the reshaping of the relationship is the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee tasked with reviewing inbound investments for national security concerns. Among its members, CFIUS includes the heads of the Department of Treasury (who chairs it), Commerce, Energy, State, Homeland Security, Defense, and other offices. Although usually working behind closed doors, it has the power to block multibillion dollar deals if they are judged detrimental to national interests.

The first evidence of the administration’s change of approach came last September, when CFIUS did not approve the acquisition of U.S. chipmaker Lattice by Canyon Bridge, a semiconductor investment fund sponsored by a Chinese state-owned asset manager.

Since December, the administration made its stance even more clear regarding the high-tech industry. The National Security Strategy document released that month labeled China as a “strategic competitor”and fixed as a priority the protection of the U.S. “innovation base” from IP theft by the Chinese in order to preserve the United States’ long-term competitive advantage.

Therefore, since January, a string of interventions highlighted this new outlook. First, the deal for Moneygram, the second biggest money transfer provider globally, came under fire. The acquisition for $1.2 billion had been agreed with Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba specializing in internet and mobile payments. Alex Holmes, director general of Moneygram, acknowledged the changes in the geopolitical environment as one of the reasons behind CFIUS’ refusal to give the green light.

Shortly after, CFIUS discreetly raised its voice once more when it put on hold two investments by the Chinese conglomerate HNA into U.S. hedge fund SkyBridge Capital and miner Glencore until the the buyer provided adequate information about its shareholding structure.

A month later, the committee intervened again in order to make clear that it was unlikely that it could approve the acquisition of Xcerra, a U.S. semiconductor testing company.

Only a few days after the Moneygram deal collapse, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei was going to announce a deal with U.S. telecom carrier AT&T, marking a breakthrough for its penetration into the U.S. market, when suddenly the partner company backed away.

Indeed, Washington has a long record of mistrust toward Huawei and the last move appears motivated by concerns over Beijing’s espionage and presence in a strategic sector like telecommunications.

…the most prominent chapter of this saga occurred this month, when CFIUS took some unusual steps to kill the biggest deal ever in the technology industry. Broadcom, a Singapore-based formerly U.S. tech company, offered $117 billion for the acquisition of rival Qualcomm, one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers and a prominent developer in the race for the next-generation high-speed wireless network known as 5G. Before the deal was even concluded, CFIUS made clear that it might not let the acquisition go through and soon Trump, building on the committee’s decision, issued an order to block the takeover.

This is probably the most interesting case to date because it shows a shift in how CFIUS thinks about the protection of national security.

After all, the massive bank borrowing required for the deal did anything but assuage that concern. Against that backdrop, CFIUS warned that China would be able to fill any void left by a “hostile” Qualcomm takeover: reducing its competitiveness and its standard-setting abilities, the committee said, would have a negative impact on U.S. national interests as Chinese companies such as Huawei would finally be able to take the lead in the development of the most advanced technologies. This, of course, could bear great military implications.

Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill to reinforce CFIUS’ scrutiny powers. The reform, which appears to have bipartisan backing, would expand its jurisdiction to outbound investments from U.S. companies in order to fight China’s practices of forcing foreign enterprises to share their technologies in exchange for market access.

…economic tensions between Washington and Beijing are heightening. Despite Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s latest endeavors to reassure his counterparts, the U.S. perception that Chinese trade and investment practices are unfair and harmful for national interests is highly unlikely to go away and Trump’s announcement of a new round of tariffs last week proves that.

THE GREATEST COLD WARRIOR – A NEW BOOK BY MAX BOOT

January 17, 2018

Washington Times on January 16, 2018 published a review of Max Boots latest book: The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, Liveright, US dollars 35.00, 768 pages. Excerpts from the review by Gary Anderson below:

Edward Lansdale is probably the greatest cold warrior that most Americans have never heard of. Max Boot has written a fascinating account of how this California college humorist, frat boy and advertising executive evolved into a counterinsurgency expert before the term was even coined. He was a virtual shadow American proconsul in both the Philippines and South Vietnam in the 1950s wisely advising both Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and South Vietnamese leader No Dinh Diem on how to deal with Communist inspired insurgencies.

His success in the Philippines was spectacular and made his reputation. In Vietnam he was originally successful, but saw his influence wane for reasons beyond his control. However, he became the father of today’s American counterinsurgency doctrine even though few American advisers have been able to replicate his skill in influencing foreign leaders.

Max Boot has become one of the master chroniclers of American counterinsurgency efforts, and his biography of Mr. Lansdale is a tribute to a guy who recognized the threat of insurgency in a post-World War II environment where most American leaders saw only brute force as a solution to any political-military problem.

Mr. Lansdale argued that success was dependent on getting the people to stop supporting the insurgents, and have some hope that the government was a better alternative. Eliminating insurgents militarily was only a secondary part of the Lansdale approach. It worked in the Philippines because Mr. Lansdale developed a unique brand of trust with that nation’s leader.

When he was asked to do the same things in South Vietnam, Mr. Lansdale was initially successful in developing a personal rapport with Prime Minister Diem. However, Mr. Lansdale eventually lost influence with Mr. Diem due to the machinations of Mr. Diem’s brother No Diem Nhu and his manipulative wife Madam Nhu.

Mr. Boot also points out that the differences in culture and language worked against Lansdale in Vietnam — he never developed a facility for foreign languages — but he was still able to develop a close personal relationship with Diem. Unlike the island archipelago of the Philippines, South Vietnam’s insurgents had sanctuary in North Vietnam and China that would prove fatal to the south in the end.

Mr. Lansdale eventually became an Air Force major general and Pentagon official; but he was never able to replicate the success inside the Washington Beltway accomplished in Asia, and he watched the American tragedy in Vietnam unfold despite several attempts to change policy on trips to Saigon before it fell to the Communists.

Mr. Lansdale’s ability to develop personal relationships with foreign leaders and guide their policy-making has never been fully replicated by his modern American adviser successors in fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His philosophy of attempting to separate the civilian population from the insurgents has now been codified in U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine. He was a firm believer that American constitutional democracy was far superior to the kind of authoritarianism that the Communists offered and believed that local forces, not Americans, should lead the fight.

This book should be read in Baghdad and Kabul, not only by Americans, but by local leaders.

Gary Anderson is a retired Marine Corps colonel who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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.

100 YEARS OF CRIMES OF COMMUNISM 1917 – 2017

August 27, 2017

The Post Eagle newspaper on August 24, 2017, reported that in the Estonian capital of Tallinn progress was reported on the progress of the CICROC initiative called for in the Tallinn Declaration of August 23, 2025. CICROC (Council for Investigation of Crimes of Communist regimes). Excerpts below:

Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia have now confirmed their cooperation with Estonia toward the establishment of CICROC.

The occasion was the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Totalitarianism commemorated on the EU level in Tallinn.

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience, Prague, Czech Republic lauded the confirmation of the eight countries.

Information on the Platform

The platform is a non-profit international non-governmental organisation. It was established on 14 October 2011 in Prague by 20 founding Members from 12 EU Member States. The Platform currently brings together 55 public and private institutions and organisations from 19 countries – 13 EU Member States (Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria), Ukraine, Moldova, Iceland, Albania, Canada and the United States of America, active in research, documentation, awareness raising and education about the totalitarian regimes which befell Europe in the 20th century.

The establishment of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Through its Members, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience represents at least 200,000 European citizens and over 1,100,000 North American citizens with European roots.

Identifying crimes and criminals

Since 2014, Platform researchers and lawyers have identified several types of crimes against humanity committed during Communism in Europe as well as over 200 potentially living responsible persons, including former members of the politburo of the Communist parties, from at least four countries, today’s Member States of the EU.

“The systematic work of the Platform – bringing to light unpunished international crimes committed during Communism, their surviving perpetrators and victims and asking the international community for prosecution, – is our best argument against those who try to deny today that Communism was a criminal totalitarian dictatorship,” says Platform Managing

Director Neela Winkelmann.

NORTH KOREAN TYRANT LIVES IN FEAR

June 20, 2017

Fox News on June 19, 2017, reported that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un travels incognito in his poverty stricken Hermit Kingdom. It might be prudent for him to be careful. Excerpts below:

The 33-year-old, third-generation ruler is “extremely nervous” about a clandestine plot to take him out, according to a key South Korean lawmaker who spoke to The Korea Herald. Rep. Lee Cheol-woo, chairman of the South Korean parliament’s intelligence committee, made the claim based on reports from South Korea’s intelligence agency.

“Kim is engrossed with collecting information about the ‘decapitation operation’ through his intelligence agencies,” Lee said following a briefing last week.

The rumored “decapitation plan” to target Kim and key deputies in the event fighting broke out on the peninsula first surfaced in late 2015, when the U.S. and South Korea signed “Operation Plan 5015,” a joint strategy for possible war scenarios with North Korea. According to the Brookings Institute, the plan “envisions limited warfare with an emphasis on preemptive strikes on strategic targets in North Korea and “decapitation raids” to exterminate North Korean leaders.”

According to Lee, Kim’s is so frightened that he now disguises his movements, travels primarily at dawn and in the cars of his henchmen. Public appearances and jaunts in his prized Mercedes Benz 600 have been curtailed.

By January of this year, there were reports that South Korea was speeding up the creation of a specialized unit designed for this mission, initially slated to be ready by 2019.

“A U.S. special operations strike against Kim Jong Un in today’s conditions would make the bin Laden raid look easy,” said Mark Sauter, a former U.S. Army and special forces officer who operated in the Korean de-militarized zone during the Cold War and now blogs about the decades-long effort to defend South Korea at http://www.dmzwar.com.

“Pyongyang is surrounded by antiaircraft weapons, and while the corpulent Kim presents a large and sluggish target, he’s kept on the move, always surrounded by fanatical guards and often near or in complex underground compounds,” Sauter said.

Despite those potential challenges, Sauter suggests the North Korean leader “does need to worry about strikes by precision-guided missiles and bunker-buster bombs in the early stages of a preemptive allied attack, and if a conflict continues, everything from (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to special operators will be on his tracks.”

NORTH KOREA’S CYBER OPERATIONS

May 20, 2017

Fox News on May 18, 2017, reported North Korean hackers, believed to be some of the best in the world. Excerpts below:

North Korea and the group to which they are being linked, have quite a resume when it comes to aggression in cyberspace.

A 2013 Department of Defense report suggests the sluggishness of North Korea’s economy may be the reason why they are pursuing operations in the digital space, and that “[offensive cyber operations] may be seen as a cost-effective way to develop asymmetric, deniable military options.”

Cost-effectiveness aside, experts agree that the Hermit Kingdom’s cyber capabilities are undeniable. In April 2016, Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, now the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the North Koreans “are among the best in the world and the best organized” when it comes to cyber threats.

South Korea has claimed that the North’s digital army could number as many as 6,000, a number confirmed by a North Korean defector in a 2015 BBC interview.

That same defector, Professor Kim Heung-kwang, suggests that Bureau 121 was established decades ago, and initially began in China. Experts believe that North Korea continues to conduct illicit activities in China, though Kim suggests China-based operations have been scaled back significantly.

The [so called] Lazarus Group [connected to North Korea] has been linked to last year’s $81 million digital heist from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett has reportedly argued that if North Korea had anything to do with the attack, “that means that a nation state is robbing banks,” something he calls “a big deal.”
Lazarus was also implicated in the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment…

…researchers describe the scale of the Lazarus Group’s operations as “shocking,” and suggested the “rare cases when they are caught [using the same kind of code twice] are operational mistakes, because the group seems to be so large that one part doesn’t always know what the other is doing.”

AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE TO FOCUS ON NORTH KOREAN THREAT

May 14, 2017

Fox News on May 11, 2017, reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had opened a mission center with the sole task to monitor North Korea. Excerpts below:

Many of the details about the center are not yet known. It is led by an unnamed CIA veteran, who was tapped as the new assistant director for Korea. The CIA offshoot will work closely with the intelligence and national security community, the agency said.

“Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “It also reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges.”

The opening of the mission center comes as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea increased over the last few months.