Soviet Treaty, Soviet Crime
Hot on the heals of the highly successful campaign for delivering
comeuppance to Swiss banks, Germany, and other beneficiaries of
the Holocaust, a fresh opportunity with vast potential has fallen
into our lap. Insisting that the ABM Treaty was valid, the Russian
Federation has firmly declared itself legal successor to the Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Who are we to say otherwise?
Instead of jumping up and down with joy every time Vladimir Putin
appears less threatening, we should respond with a resounding "yes!"
Meanwhile, President George W. Bush can freely pursue his current
policy no longer to recognize the ABM Treaty because the Russians
go their own way in any case. We should not forget: just the other
day they teamed up with the Chinese Communists and issued instructions
to the United States about the correct approach to its own defense.
In the same vein, we can expect a joint communique any minute now
by the Congo and Bangladesh, enlightening Americans about food production
and distribution, followed by a Sudanese-Albanian treatise with
the title, "Internet: The Next Level."
But I digress.
In the best tradition of American largesse, we might as well forget
the bottomless pit of U.S. aid to the Soviet Union during World
War II. Those who have been killed, maimed, robbed, and otherwise
wronged under and by the Soviet Union will keep us - and the Russians
- occupied for some time to come.
That is, if we resolve to be consistent for a change.
As watchers of American television know, neither file footage nor
Hollywood movies can be seen about the seventy-four years of Soviet
terror. If such things exist, they are well hidden from view. Imagine
if seventy-four years of Soviet Socialist crimes would be accorded
representation proportionate to the twelve years of German National
Socialist ones. There would be no time for any other kind of programming
on certain channels.
Perhaps the drive for restitution will dislodge some much-needed
information as well.
No one can compete with the mechanical precision and speed with
which the National Socialists of Germany implemented their program
of extermination. But in terms of sheer numbers, the international
Socialists hold the incontestable record.
Even in the absence of detail, the world knows about the tens of
millions killed, the nations bulldozed into the ground, the historic
crime of the Soviet Union in turning back the clock wherever its
military forces buttressed a government of surrogates.
The greatest irony is that so many outside the Soviet Union - none
too few of them in America - have spent their lives under the delusion
the Soviet Union represented progress.
In practical terms, the demand for restitution should rely heavily
upon organizations with a proven track record. Prominent among them
would be Jewish organizations in the United States, at once for
two reasons. First of these, of course, is the historic fact that
a large proportion of Jewish families who have found security, prosperity,
and happiness in the United States had come here as a result of
Russia's anti-Jewish pogroms during 1905. (Adolf Hitler was a mere
16, worrying about his poor grades.) The second reason is the record
Jewish organizations have established in championing the cause of
victims of all kind, and with notable success.
A prominent place in this international organization ("Restitution
Now!" might be an appropriate name) ought to be given to NATO
member Poland. The world keeps getting sidetracked by the constant
repetition of Germany's attack on September 1, 1939, that occurred
in the Western half of Poland. A corresponding attack with even
more murderous results was launched by the Soviet Union on the same
day in the Eastern half.
Hungary, another new member of NATO, might contribute significantly
to the effort - not only because of the systematic destruction of
its ability to recover from World War II, but specifically because
of the tens of thousands killed in 1956, many of them unarmed school
A special fund must be established for individuals and families
who somehow survived the German concentration camps and ghettos,
only to be imprisoned or deported by the Soviet authorities a year
or two later.
Lest readers think any of the foregoing is proposed tongue-in-cheek,
here is an important point. Persons truly interested in a better
future for Russia should realize that accepting responsibility for
the past, and developing a better relationship to truth are indispensable
for such a future. Getting a "pass" all the time has never
helped a student; it will scarcely help a country.
So let us direct our demands for restitution, so prominent in the
media of late, to the right place. The current fashion is to focus
on the difficult proposition whereby persons now living would be
given money because their skin tone is similar to entirely different
persons wronged a hundred, two hundred, three hundred years ago.
Instead of such a tenuous scheme, all good people might combine
efforts to establish justice for the living who themselves have
suffered, or whose parents perished by the official act of an unspeakably