This post was edited by dostoevskydr at 2013-8-8 15:52|
For those living in the West, it seems laughable that even the most staunch Communist would defend Stalin. After all, the guy killed more people than Hitler, set up the most vicious secret police the world has ever known, and opened the door to other psychopaths like Ceausescu and Lukashenko. He also engineered the famine that left three million Ukrainians dead—so it can come as a surprise to learn that his most vigorous defenders are Ukrainian natives.
In 2010, the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia commissioned a new statue of Stalin for their town square. Read that again and let the true extent of its madness sink in. The people of a nation that Stalin expressly set out to eliminate honored his memory not by burning effigies of him, but by erecting statues. As insanity goes, that’s right up there with renaming December 7 “Emperor Hirohito Appreciation Day.” But Ukraine’s love affair with Stalin goes beyond statues to even using him to advertise utility companies. It sounds crazy, and that’s because it totally is.
5. The Firebombing Of Germany
By any sane measure, the firebombing of Germany was deeply immoral. For three years, the Allies rained incendiary death down on civilian targets, killing nearly six times as many people as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings combined.
Take the bombing of Dresden: aside from one or two industrial areas, the city contained almost no military targets. What it did contain was hundreds of thousands of refugees, thousands of whom suffocated in the attack. At Hamburg, 50,000 people were wiped out in one night; while other towns of no strategic value were completely annihilated. And you better believe it was brutal. Survivors reported climbing over mountains of corpses, bodies melted into the tarmac roads by the intense heat, and shell-shocked mothers carrying the remains of their dead children in suitcases. In short, the human cost of the campaign was so high that even Churchill was disgusted by it—yet there are people out there who still claim the attacks were justified as just a part of winning the war.
4. The Armenian Genocide
In 1915, the Turkish army systematically rounded up and exterminated 1.5 million Armenians, using methods that would later find fame in the corridors of Auschwitz. Women and children were sent on long death marches into the Syrian Desert without food, water, or shelter. Others were taken to camps and worked to death, while even more were executed and dumped in mass graves. Most horrific of all, though, was the Turkish penchant for using smoke-filled caves as a primitive form of gas chamber. The effect of these policies was instantaneous and depressing: from two million in 1914, the Armenian population dropped to just 400,000 by 1922.
It was, by any imaginable definition, genocide, but despite all this, the federal government has never explicitly recognized it as such. The Turkish government, meanwhile, claims it was an unfortunate side effect of World War I—a bit like if Germany claimed the Holocaust was a “misunderstanding.” And if there’s one thing we should never willingly allow our leaders to do, it’s downplay a tragedy of this scale.