More than a little disconcerting seeing little children mugging before the memorials for their relatives and ancestors killed by the Communists in South East Asia. This small memorial is in Siem Reap, the town near Angkor Wat.
World War II, the Cold War, and Vietnam
27 million people were murdered by the Axis countries in World War II in addition to those killed in war. The United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia were joined by the USSR, China, and other allies against Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy. Most people believe that World War II was necessary and justified.
146 million people were murdered by the Communist countries in addition to those killed in war. The United States and Great Britain were joined by our old enemies and other allies against our former allies, the USSR, China, and other Communist countries. Most people believe the Cold War was necessary and justified.
Communism was everywhere on the attack from 1945 to 1985. Communism expanded from Russia into Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, China, Cuba, Czechslovakia, East Germany, Tibet, North Vietnam, North Korea, and a number of other countries. Their goal was to bring Communism to all nations. Communists used terrorism, murder and subversion to destabilize countries. Political murder and terrorism was an integral part of “Wars of Liberation.”
3.8 million more people were murdered in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos when the Cold War went hot. Millions more were imprisoned, enslaved, and ethnically cleansed.
The anti war movement changed American policy. They believed that the War was immoral and that the U.S. was there for oil. They contended we were imperialist fascist war mongers. They believed that war is evil and to be avoided at all costs. They considered Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot to be Freedom Fighters. "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is sure to Win". They thought Communism was an excellent system. They believed that Communists were fighting for freedom and self determination. They contended that the war in southeast Asia was a civil war.
The antiwar movement succeeded in their goals. The Congress elected in 1974 withdrew support leading to the successful takeover in 1975. This led directly to the massive genocide that took place in all three countries.
I believe an individual and a nation must oppose evil, especially when their avowed policy was to take over the world. We were both moral and right to oppose Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and Pol Pot.
We have largely prevailed over Communism. It has been abandoned in Europe. It is liberalizing and improving in Asia. China, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam remain totalitarian police states.
I believe that many of the anti war folks were sincere in their beliefs. And they were successful in their efforts to halt financial and military support for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. But millions of people are dead, tortured, ethnically cleansed and enslaved partly as a result of their success.
Never again. Until the next time.
Photos from the killing fields of Cambodia. Vietnam and Laos were just as bad but the people who committed the genocide and ethnic cleansing are still in charge and don't publicize what happened after the Communist takeover.
References on Murder
Professor Rudy Rummel of the University of Hawaii has published extensive referenced and documented estimates on murder by government, which he terms democide. The table below summarizes some of his work.