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Bush says Cold War captivity one of great wrongs
NY Times ^ | May 7, 2005 | REUTERS

Posted on 05/07/2005 3:20:28 PM PDT by neverdem

Filed at 1:34 p.m. ET

RIGA (Reuters) - President Bush denounced Soviet Cold War rule of eastern Europe as ``one of the greatest wrongs of history'' on Saturday in a jab at Moscow two days before celebrations of the 1945 victory over Hitler.

Bush, visiting Latvia before the ceremonies in Moscow marking 60 years since the end of World War II in Europe, also held up the three Baltic states as examples of democratic reform since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He said the end of the war brought liberty from fascism for many in Germany but meant the ``iron rule of another empire'' for the Baltic states -- Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- and nations from Poland to Romania.

Bush admitted the United States shared some responsibility for the Cold War division of Europe after the 1945 Yalta accord between Russia, the United States and Britain.

``Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable,'' he said. ``Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable.

``The captivity of millions in central and eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of history,'' he said in a speech at Riga's guildhall.

The three Baltic states joined both NATO and the European Union last year.

Bush's visit to Riga has angered Russia by reviving tensions about the Soviet occupation when Moscow is focusing on celebrating the end of World War II, a conflict that cost 27 million Soviet lives.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed calls by the Baltic states for an apology for Soviet rule and accused them on Saturday of trying to cover up past Nazi collaboration.

BUSH MEETS PUTIN

The differing versions of history may make for frictions when Bush meets Putin in Moscow on Sunday and Monday.

Putin insists the Red Army was a liberator, not an oppressor, of Eastern Europe.

``Our people not only defended their homeland, they liberated 11 European countries,'' Putin said on Saturday after laying a wreath at a monument to Russia's war dead.

In a recent state of the nation speech he bemoaned the demise of the Soviet Union as ``the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.'' He has also said Washington should not try to export its own brand of democracy.

Bush said Russia's leaders had made ``great progress'' in the past 15 years.

``In the long run it is the strength of Russian democracy that will determine the greatness of Russia and I believe the Russian people value their freedom and will settle for no less,'' he said.

``As we mark a victory of six decades ago, we are mindful of a paradox. For much of Germany, defeat led to freedom. For much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire.''

He also held up the Baltics as examples of successful shifts to democracy, a theme he stressed for nations including Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Belarus.

``These are extraordinary times that we're living in and the three Baltic countries are capable of helping Russia and other countries in this part of the world see the benefits of what it means to live in a free society,'' Bush told a news conference.

But Bush did not back pleas by the Baltic countries for an apology from Russia. ``My hope is that we are able to move on,'' he said.

He later flew to the Netherlands where he will spend Saturday night.

The presidents of Lithuania and Estonia will boycott the May 9 ceremonies in Moscow. Georgia's president will also stay away, but Latvia's president will attend.

All three Baltic nations, whose combined population is now about 6 million, were occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940 after a pact between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia which divided up spheres of influence in East Europe.

In 1941, German troops occupied the Baltics and remained there until the end of the war when Soviet troops returned and ruled with an iron fist. The collapse of communism enabled the Baltic states to win their independence in 1991.

Bush also urged free elections in Belarus, which shares borders with Lithuania and Latvia, and ruled out any secret U.S deal with Moscow allowing President Alexander Lukashenko to remain in power. ``We don't make secret deals,'' he said.

Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga wrote in the Washington Post on Saturday: ``Russia would gain immensely by ... expressing its genuine regret for the crimes of the Soviet regime.

``Until Russia does so ... its relations with its immediate neighbors will remain uneasy at best.''

But writing in the French daily Le Figaro, Putin dismissed calls for an apology and accused the Baltic countries of trying to justify their own government's ``discriminatory and reprehensible policy'' toward their Russian-speaking populations.

Police detained about 20 protesters from Latvia's big Russian minority after they hurled smoke bombs in a demonstration against Bush.

``Bush is a horror,'' said protest leader Beness Aija. Posters in another demonstration said: ``Stop the war in Iraq.''

But many Latvians welcome Bush. ``It's important to recognize the struggle that our fathers had against communists and the Soviet Union,'' said Ugis Senbergs, a 50-year-old architect.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: bush43; bushupsetscommies; coldwar; destroagain; easterneurope; estonia; georgia; latvia; lithuania; poland; romania; russiavisit; wwii
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In a recent state of the nation speech he bemoaned the demise of the Soviet Union as ``the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.'' He has also said Washington should not try to export its own brand of democracy.

Stalin Gets New Statue

So much for this summit.

1 posted on 05/07/2005 3:20:29 PM PDT by neverdem
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: neverdem
President Bush denounced Soviet Cold War rule of eastern Europe as ``one of the greatest wrongs of history'' on Saturday in a jab at Moscow two days before celebrations of the 1945 victory over Hitler.

I'm tempted to post the "Master of the Obvious" graphic, but for many Euro-peons, and for most of the striped-pants cookie-pushers at State, this statement is NOT obvious.

More's the pity.

3 posted on 05/07/2005 3:25:45 PM PDT by Petronski (Pope Benedict XVI: A German Shepherd on the Throne of Peter)
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To: neverdem
This is payback for Putin's remarks earlier this weekend. Puck Futin.

Putin to USA: Mind Your Own Democracy

4 posted on 05/07/2005 3:27:45 PM PDT by jdm (Estoy En Una Radio Mexicana (I'm On A Mexican Radio))
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To: neverdem
Putin insists the Red Army was a liberator, not an oppressor, of Eastern Europe.

And just to prove it they built a wall around Eastern Europe and shot anyone trying to climb that wall. Putin sounds more and more like some of our liberal politicians ...tell a lie long e'nuff and sooner or later some left-wing fruitcake is gon'na believe it.

5 posted on 05/07/2005 3:34:02 PM PDT by Luke (CPO, USCG (Ret))
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To: Luke

Of course, NPR will disagree.


6 posted on 05/07/2005 3:39:48 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Not only NPR, the State Department will as well. They must be choking.


7 posted on 05/07/2005 3:51:36 PM PDT by Spirited (God, Bless America ) ;))
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To: neverdem

I like how Bush trashed Roosevelt for giving away a billion people in Eastern Europe to Communist rule to 'uncle joe'.


8 posted on 05/07/2005 4:00:21 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/charterschoolsexplained.htm)
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To: traviskicks
I just heard on the radio how Bush said FDR, the dems' icon, was partly responsible for agreeing to the outcome of the Yalta Conference. The dems must be livid.
9 posted on 05/07/2005 4:08:33 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

The idiotic headline on AOL right now, a photo of President Bush and "He Slams Putin, Chafes Wounds . . . Bush's Trip Raises Russian Ire . . . Are Icy Relations His Fault?"

Heaven forbid we have a President who tells the truth about Soviet oppression. His speech today made up for his father's infamous "Chicken Kiev" speech in July 1991, which precipitated the abortive August 1991 coup.


10 posted on 05/07/2005 4:09:22 PM PDT by Numbers Guy
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To: Spirited; Eric in the Ozarks; Luke; neverdem; Petronski; jb6
The State Dept. is behind this - they have a long term plan to break up Russia (even supporting the Chechens) and to strengthen China. That is wjy we are getting this "bear baiting".

A geostrategy for Eurasia by Zbigniew Brzezinski (America should break up Russia - strengthen China)

They want to break up Russia so the "West" (Euro-American-Germany) to be able to have access and outright ownership of Russia's vast natural resources without the Kremlin's interference and they want to strengthen and keep China whole so that the globalist economy can have access to stable Chinese manufacturing structure and emerging Chinese market of one billion plus souls (or so they hope).

That is why Bush is doing the bear baiting and ignoring the Jewish death tolls in the Baltics by avoiding the subject of their Nazi collaborationist past which taints Baltic claims of being victims somewhat. They were only enthusiastic at killing Jews for the Nazis.

PS: No statue of Stalin has gone up in Russia - it is a distorted story by neocon influenced press - it is a statue of all three allied leaders - Stalin - Roosevelt and Churchill and it was rejected - it will end up at some park in Volvograd.

We are watching a great manipulation of the news for foreign policy purposes - again.

PPS: Regarding PUTIN TO USA: MIND YOUR OWN DEMOCRACY Putin has read the Federalist Papers!! And taken the advice of George Washington to heart!

11 posted on 05/07/2005 4:11:16 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Destro

Volvograd=Volgograd


12 posted on 05/07/2005 4:12:36 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: neverdem

Okay, but I have yet to hear anyone put forth a practical alternative given the facts as they existed at the time, and "turn Patton loose" doesn't count. The Russians already had their armies in Eastern Europe and wee were not going to try to kick them out in the aftermath of Germany's defeat. Any president who tried something like that would have been impeached immediately.

Our troops in Europe wanted nothing else but to go home. The fact that some of them were going to have to go to the Pacific didn't sit well with them or their families; A shooting war with the Russians just wasn't going to happen.

What happened to the Eastern Europeans sucks. But history is full of such tragedies.


13 posted on 05/07/2005 4:17:01 PM PDT by kms61
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: kms61

A radioactive crater in the middle of Red Square might have had a most positive effect in keeping Eastern Europe free. There has to be a special circle of Hell for Stalin, FDR and Truman.

Namsman sends.


15 posted on 05/07/2005 4:35:01 PM PDT by namsman
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To: Petronski

It is sad.


16 posted on 05/07/2005 4:55:06 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: traviskicks

That's going to really frost the MSM.


17 posted on 05/07/2005 4:58:38 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: neverdem

Let them try to refute it.


18 posted on 05/07/2005 4:59:18 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: ms_68

Poland was in a tough spot in 1939.


19 posted on 05/07/2005 5:01:07 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: neverdem

No doubt the President's comments today will rouse the treasonous Bed Wetters at CBS, NPR, NYT, etc, but today is as good a day as any for conservatives to publicly hold the Rat Bastard Left to account for its historically immoral acquiescence at Yalta.

President Bush's remarks should serve as the starting point for instilling truth into our childrens' history books about this despicable act of moral and political cowardice, a betrayal engineered by a socialist President and, as Joe McCarthy so presciently pointed out, by a Communist-infested party that seldom misses an opportunity to sell out our national interests to foreign enemies (think Clinton and China.)

I can only hope that this is the beginning of a drive to hold accountable the Rats who enjoyed the benefits of a five-decade partnership with the Communist tyrants who murdered millions of innocents and enslaved hundreds of millions.

Go W, go!!


20 posted on 05/07/2005 5:03:45 PM PDT by MaryInSacto
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To: neverdem

No doubt the President's comments today will rouse the treasonous Bed Wetters at CBS, NPR, NYT, etc, but today is as good a day as any for conservatives to publicly hold the Rat Bastard Left to account for its historically immoral acquiescence at Yalta.

President Bush's remarks should serve as the starting point for instilling truth into our childrens' history books about this despicable act of moral and political cowardice, a betrayal engineered by a socialist President and, as Joe McCarthy so presciently pointed out, by a Communist-infested party that seldom misses an opportunity to sell out our national interests to foreign enemies (think Clinton and China.)

I can only hope that this is the beginning of a drive to hold accountable the Rats who enjoyed the benefits of a five-decade partnership with the Communist tyrants who murdered millions of innocents and enslaved hundreds of millions.

Go W, go!!


21 posted on 05/07/2005 5:03:45 PM PDT by MaryInSacto
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To: MaryInSacto
I can only hope that this is the beginning of a drive to hold accountable the Rats who enjoyed the benefits of a five-decade partnership with the Communist tyrants who murdered millions of innocents and enslaved hundreds of millions.

I hope this is the case too.

22 posted on 05/07/2005 5:09:57 PM PDT by Paul_Denton (Get the U.N. out of the U.S. and U.S. out of the U.N.!)
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To: neverdem
Putin insists the Red Army was a liberator, not an oppressor, of Eastern Europe.

Hey Putin, tell that to the millions that were enslaved and murdered by the your country.

Putin is nothing but a sicko. God Bless Bush for standing up to him and calling the occupation of Eastern Europe wrong.

23 posted on 05/07/2005 5:13:44 PM PDT by Paul_Denton (Get the U.N. out of the U.S. and U.S. out of the U.N.!)
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To: kms61

"Okay, but I have yet to hear anyone put forth a practical alternative given the facts as they existed at the time, and "turn Patton loose" doesn't count. The Russians already had their armies in Eastern Europe and wee were not going to try to kick them out in the aftermath of Germany's defeat. Any president who tried something like that would have been impeached immediately."

Here's an alternative...

FDR didnt *have* to have soviet spy Alger Hiss as one of his top State Dept advisors. FDR might have paid attention to the reports back to *1941* that suspect Hiss of spying ... that just *might* have helped.

Hiss helped engineer the Yalta give-away and set up the UN. Both gave USSR superpower status that they didnt deserve, and when spies like the Rosenbergs helped give Stalin the bomb, it was clear we were in a 2 superpower Cold War.

We could have demanded honest democratic elections in every eastern european state.

Standing up for eastern european freedom and sovereignty was not only possible, it was the least we owed to the soldiers who died in WWII for the cause of freedom.
WWII started because Poland's soveriegnty was violated. That violation didnt end until 1989.


24 posted on 05/07/2005 5:14:09 PM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: Paul_Denton

I guess Putin considers replacing one form of tyranny with another "liberation".


25 posted on 05/07/2005 5:20:59 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: ms_68
Even Hitler's Germany didn't murder POWs.

Really? I guess you haven't heard of the American POW's massacred near Malmedy during the battle of the Bulge where 72 American Soldiers were lined up in a field and machine gunned by a German SS unit and then buried in some deep snow. That's at least one example.

26 posted on 05/07/2005 5:27:59 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the story, neverdem. This president just keeps getting better and better.


27 posted on 05/07/2005 5:33:24 PM PDT by solzhenitsyn ("Live Not By Lies")
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: neverdem

I heard this reported on NPR and was absolutely delighted. To my knowledge, this is the first time a U.S. President has EVER acknowledged that the decisions taken at Yalta were immoral and wrong.

This is a huge piece of honesty from President Bush. I imagine it was partly based on his personal convictions, partly related to the Bush doctrine of spreading freedom rather than playing ball with useful tyrants, and partly in reaction to the many provocative things Putin has said and done over the past few months.

The reporters on NPR sounded as if they could hardly get thewords out of their mouths, they tasted so bad, but they didn't dare criticize Bush for saying what he said. It is indeed obvious, although I believe Bush is the first President to say it, and say it clearly.


29 posted on 05/07/2005 5:45:29 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: neverdem
President Bush denounced Soviet Cold War rule of eastern Europe as ``one of the greatest wrongs of history'' on Saturday in a jab at Moscow two days before celebrations of the 1945 victory over Hitler.

President Bush continues to impress. Not since President Reagan have we had the opportunity to hear a forthright denunciation of Communism from our leadership.

30 posted on 05/07/2005 5:46:08 PM PDT by snowsislander
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To: Cagey

There are always at least some atrocities in any war. But there's a big difference between atrocities committed in the heat of battle, or by soldiers acting on their own initiative, and atrocities on a large scale deliberately planned and ordered from the top. Large scale murders in violation of the Geneva Conventions were Soviet policy, coming down from Stalin himself.

A BIG difference.


31 posted on 05/07/2005 5:48:09 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Petronski

Where is the, well no s*** ping?

Did he compare the Nazis to the Commies in the USSR? He should have. The only difference was one was in Germany and other in Russia. Russia was on the winning side though.


32 posted on 05/07/2005 5:50:20 PM PDT by libertarianben (Looking for sanity and his hard to find cousin common sense)
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To: Luke
And just to prove it they built a wall around Eastern Europe and shot anyone trying to climb that wall.

Liberation shown in it's finest form...

33 posted on 05/07/2005 5:55:57 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: Cicero
I wasn't talking policy when I referenced the killing of the American POW's during the Battle of the Bulge, I was pointing out that indeed, Hitler's Germany did kill POW's. However, over 850 Russian POW's were gassed in Auschwitz and that certainly was Nazi Policy.

Hitler had plenty of official Policies that ranked right up there (or actually, down there) with Stalin's. They were both tryants worthy of our equal disgust.
34 posted on 05/07/2005 5:57:48 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cicero; Cagey; ms_68; solzhenitsyn; Spirited; Eric in the Ozarks; Luke; neverdem; Petronski; jb6; ..
ms_68 wrote: Even Hitler's Germany didn't murder POWs. When confronted with this lie ms_68 replied: Naturally, they murdered them and I know it. They also murdered many Soviet POWS, however they didn't murder officers taken to camps according to Geneva Convention.

Just one example: American and British POW pilots - officers included - were ordered murdered by Hitler - some killed as they landed others murdered by the SS after the "Great Escape". As bad and murderous as the Soviets were - better them holding Eastern Europe than the genocidal Nazis.

Most of those Eastern European countries that fell behind the Iron Curtain (but not all) were members of the Axis powers (Bulgaria, "Slovakia", Romania, Hungry, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland). Americans did not care to fight for their fates outside of regretting what happened to Poland and the Czech part of Czechoslovakia. American attitudes to these eastern nations was to hell with those ex-Nazi scums. The Republicans were even against the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe (east and west) if I recall.

Side note: The Poles elected the reformed Communist party over Solidarity. Poland is currently ruled by the reformed Communist party - democratically elected.

Neo-con Trostkyite (with an ax to grind against the nation that betrayed Trotsky) influenced revisionist history can only go so far.

35 posted on 05/07/2005 6:16:43 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: traviskicks
I like how Bush trashed Roosevelt for giving away a billion people in Eastern Europe to Communist rule to 'uncle joe'.

Yep. Bush just rolled Roosevelt down the stairs.

...lot of great quotes in this article. ...an historic trip.

36 posted on 05/07/2005 6:16:49 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: libertarianben

The Nazis were worse - as bad as the Soviets were - and they were evil - they did not make lamp shades out of people or develop methods to make soap out of human fat or felt fabric out of Jewish hair.


37 posted on 05/07/2005 6:18:11 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: neverdem
President Bush denounced Soviet Cold War rule of eastern Europe as ``one of the greatest wrongs of history'' on Saturday in a jab at Moscow two days before celebrations of the 1945 victory over Hitler.

Heh....giving 'em ulcers over at the State Department again, where moral clarity must be checked at the front door.

38 posted on 05/07/2005 6:23:05 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (Have you visited http://c-pol.blogspot.com?)
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To: Cicero; Cagey; ms_68; solzhenitsyn; Spirited; Eric in the Ozarks; Luke; neverdem; Petronski; jb6; ..
A "souvenir" made by the SS: the shrunken head of a Russian POW

Found in the pathology block of Buchenwald: tattooed and tanned skin, two shrunken heads of russian POWs, a lampshade made of human skin.

39 posted on 05/07/2005 6:25:41 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
The State Dept. is behind this - they have a long term plan to break up Russia (even supporting the Chechens) and to strengthen China.
40 posted on 05/07/2005 6:27:07 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Destro

I am not a big defender of FDR, but I know of no better way to defeat Nazi Germany than to keep the Soviets in the game, just as keeping the Nationalist Chinese fighting was important to the defeat of Japan.

Of the Mass Murderers of all time:
1. Stalin: 50 million
2. Hitler: 30 million
3. Mao tse-Tung: 20 Million
4. Chang kai-Chek: 15 Million

Poor China, having 2 of the top 4.


41 posted on 05/07/2005 6:27:57 PM PDT by Donald Meaker
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Destro
The Nazis were worse - as bad as the Soviets were - and they were evil - they did not make lamp shades out of people or develop methods to make soap out of human fat or felt fabric out of Jewish hair.

The 50 million to be killed by Stalin would be sooo relieved to know that their dead bodies would not be turned into lamp shades and -- soap.

43 posted on 05/07/2005 6:32:09 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: snowsislander

Too bad he continues to move us toward communism with steps closer toward socialized medicalcare, nationalized education and a national ID...


44 posted on 05/07/2005 6:32:27 PM PDT by ILurkedIRegisteredIPosted
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: ms_68

A large number of the Polish who made it to the West were hired as "Labor Service Battalions". Several generations of them served as guards for US munitions, depots, and barracks. They were amazingly cheerful and delightful people, though their songs were largely in minor keys.


46 posted on 05/07/2005 6:33:23 PM PDT by Donald Meaker
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To: ms_68
The Soviets killed Polish officers and intellectuals as a way to prevent an uprising against them - barbaric practice for sure - they did not seek to kill every Pole or turn the Poles into mules like slaves for the German master race.

The Poles were designated for near extinction and to be turned into human cattle for their Nazi masters. Your neo-nazi revisionism does not hold water.

And yes - the Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of "officer-intelectual class" peoples in the nations they ruled.

47 posted on 05/07/2005 6:35:11 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Cagey

Well, I will concur with you that neither Hitler nor Stalin is worth defending.


48 posted on 05/07/2005 6:35:28 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: neverdem
``In the long run it is the strength of Russian democracy that will determine the greatness of Russia and I believe the Russian people value their freedom and will settle for no less,''

Now, Bush throws a mud pie at Putin and it lands squarely in his face.

49 posted on 05/07/2005 6:39:01 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Donald Meaker
I am calling you in on your numbers - a distortion has been put out these last few years about Stalin killing more people than Hitler.

From: Twentieth Century Atlas - Death Tolls

The Black Book of Communism (in my opinion the best scholarly work on the subject) seems to vote for Hitler as the answer to the question of who's worse, Hitler (25M) or Stalin (20M).

Also, remember Hitler ruled for a shorter period of time thus making the Hitler directed death toll much worse.

50 posted on 05/07/2005 6:52:27 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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