Filed under: History, Iraq, Military, News | Tags: Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Support the Troops!, War
Five years ago today, Saddam Hussein was captured by US military forces nine miles south of his home town of Tikrit, hiding like a rat in a six- by-four foot hole in the ground. The announcement (above) was met with jubilant cheers from Iraqi reporters, who leapt from their seats shouting, “Death to Saddam!” and, “go to hell, Saddam!” Upon hearing the news, Iraqis took to the streets, dancing, honking their horns and firing shots into the air in celebration. And they celebrate today, in freedom and very hard-won stability.
War may be hell, but so was life under Saddam’s murderous tyranny. Today, both are over — the latter because of the former.
(h/t Hot Air)
Filed under: Europe, Foreign Policy, News | Tags: Georgia, Mikhiel Saakashvili, Russia, War
15,000 Georgians rallied Tuesday to support President Mikheil Saakashvili — even his opposition. “I promise you today, that I’ll remind them of everything they have done and one day we will win,” Saakashvili told the crowd to cheers of, “Georgia! Georgia!”
Filed under: Foreign Policy, History, Media Bias, News, Politics | Tags: Communism, EU, NATO, New York Times, Russia, Soviet Union, Ukraine, War, WW2
Russia’s lawmakers have passed a resolution stating that the 1930’s famine that killed millions of peasants in Soviet Ukraine should not be considered genocide. Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the 89 year old renowned author dismissed Ukrainian claims that the famine was genocide as a myth. Historians agree that the 1932-1933 famine was instituted by Soviet authorities under Joseph Stalin.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is leading an effort to gain international recognition of the famine as an act of genocide.
That the Great Famine was engineered to force peasants to give up their plots of land and establish collective farms is a matter of history. The number of peasants deliberately starved to death is estimated to be around 10 million, but the actual number is unknown. Grain was removed by the authorities from the villages, and the animals, and any food, and the peasants and their children were forced to remain. Ukrainians call it Holodomor, or death by hunger.
Many argue that the famine was meant to target private landowners as a social class in order to pay for the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union. Others suggest that the famine was simply meant to eliminate Ukrainians as an ethnic group, as if one were better than the other.
President Vladimir Putin’s government has angrily clashed with nations formerly of the Soviet bloc about efforts to reinterpret 20th century events. Moscow accuses those nations of seeking to rewrite history and cast Russia as the villain.
Americans in 1933 were assured by New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty that “any report of famine” was “exaggeration or malignant propaganda”. Duranty received the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting, though the British chargé d’affaires in Moscow reported in his dispatach that “According to Mr Duranty the population of the North Caucasus and the Lower Volga had decreased in the past year by three million and the population of the Ukraine by four to five million”. Robert Conquest says that “the influence of his false reporting was enormous and long-lasting”.
Also in the news is President Bush’s visit to the Ukraine to stress America’s support for its leaders hopes to join NATO. President and Mrs. Bush visited a memorial honoring famine victims along with President and Mrs. Yushchenko.
Of course the demand for the recognition of the Great Famine as an act of genocide is connected to Ukraine’s desire for NATO membership, and Russia’s angry denials are a sign of their displeasure at the actions of its former state.
Events have consequences. People have long memories.