- Capitalism and Alternatives -
AntiStalinism, not anti-Communism
Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on November 15, 1999 at 18:23:01:
In Reply to: Huh??? posted by Stoller on November 15, 1999 at 17:31:08:
I can't agree with the Cold War in general, of course. Certain specific interventions, yes. We were right to try and keep Stalin from taking over much of Eastern Europe and overriding the wishes of teh local people. We were right to take a generally suspicious and hostile attitude towards Stalinism. We were right to intervene to defend South Korea against a Northern invasion, and right to defend Taiwan against threats of Chinese invasion. We were right to uphold the cause of Tibet at the United Nations. Hell, maybe there was even some merit to delaying the admission of China to the UN, although the rest of the world was against us on that one....
But we must never, ever forget the dark and evil side of teh Cold War. The Cold War became fundamentally wrong when it became an excuse to fight communism per se, rather than the specific wrong actiosn fo specific communist nations. That there was an International Conspiracy directed from Moscow, was first 1) ludicrous, and 2) even if it was right, was no excuse for crushing democracy and self-determination all over the world. We bribed Italian politicians, hired ex-Fascist thugs and broadcast propaganda in order to rig the Italian elections year after year. We backed murdrerous terrorists against freely elected governments in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Chile. We attempted to use biological warfare against the Cuban people simply because they chose to follow a leader we didn't like. When faced with a choice between the world's largest democracy (India) and a Pakistani dictator who was murdering 3 million Bengalis, we chose to come (unsuccessfuly, thank God) to the aid of the dictator. We prevented elections in Vietnam because we knew that Ho Chi Minh would win them, and then proceeded to use this as a reason to kill 3 million Vietnamese, including 545 old men, women and children, all civilians, at My Lai. We prevented free elections in Guyana, installed a repressive regime in Grenada, supported a murderous, capitalist, anti-clerical, anti-worker, repressive death-squad regime in El Salvador. We arranged for teh assassination of teh Congo's only democratic prime minister, an immensely popular anti-colonial martyr, and installed in his place a savagely repressive thief. At various points in the Cold War, we chose to ally ourselves with a bunch of sordid ex-Nazis (the Congo), totalitarian racial supremacists (South Africa), arch-capitalist death squads (El Salvador), genocidal 'Christian' fundamentalists (Guatemala), and the state with the highest fraction of prisoners-of-conscience in the world (Uruguay).
Can a policy that included such highlights as the latter list be called 'good' or 'necessary'? I don't believe so. The Cold War included soem good, but a great deakl of evil fn our part as well. Let's try to look at the perido issue by issue, rather than as a whole. Because when it come sdown to it, I can never agree that a policy that involved supporting D'Aubuisson, Ian Smith and Yahya Khan was any less than abombinable.