While much of the media noted the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, Marion Smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. recently took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal and reminded the world that communism remains the malevolent force that it has always been. “As important as the fall of the Berlin Wall was, it was not the end of what John F. Kennedy called the ‘long, twilight struggle’ against a sinister ideology,” writes Smith. “By looking at the population statistics of several nations we can estimate that 1.5 billion people still live under communism.” This evil is a daily, present force for misery abroad still, yet it goes on ignored or downplayed by the American media.
While there have been roughly 100 million dead victims of communism, according to the authoritative Black Book of Communism, its totalitarian regimes have failed to generate the widespread fear and loathing associated by most of our liberal news media organizations and by Hollywood with Nazi Germany. Smith adds 400 million abortions from China’s one-child policy to the death toll that communism has wrought worldwide.
But Nazis continue, some 70 years after the death of Adolf Hitler, to be the evil, totalitarian force that Hollywood falls back on to incite fear and loathing. The Nazis certainly were that, and deserve that judgment from history. The Holocaust, in which some six million Jews were murdered, stands as one of the singular atrocities in history. But other than Hollywood’s decision to give an Academy Award for best foreign film in 2006 to “The Lives of Others,” which depicted life in the Communist police state of East Germany, Hollywood has, both in TV and on the screen, largely ignored the blight on the 20th and 21st centuries that communism was, and continues to be. As a matter of fact, communists are often portrayed as heroic revolutionaries who fought for the common man and social justice, and were unfairly singled out for persecution or assassination by the American government, particularly by conservatives.
“Today, Communist regimes continue to brutalize and repress the hapless men, women and children unlucky enough to be born in the wrong country,” writes Marion Smith, who points to China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, and, perhaps, the “most shocking,” North Korea. Lives have been lost, tortured, imprisoned, starved—all under the banner of communism. The perpetrators are even nearby, just off the coast of the United States: “In Cuba, a moribund Communist junta maintains a chokehold on the island nation,” writes Smith. “Arbitrary arrests, beatings, intimidation and total media control are among the tools of the current regime, which has never owned up to its bloody past.”
In 2007, I produced a 30-minute video for AIM that marked the unveiling of the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington. You can view it here. It includes comments by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), former Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), and former President George W. Bush.