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Wednesday on the Web Nov. 12, 1998 issue

Loathing Liberals
Phil Brennan

Some time ago columnist Joseph Sobran wrote about the incredible tolerance America's liberals exhibited towards Communism and the Soviet Union despite the Reds' widely publicized and long-running crimes against humanity. This failure of large segments of the American left to condemn the crimes of communism was, he wrote, something which he could never forgive. For him, his resentment of liberals was ordinarily political, but in this case it was strictly "personal."

In other words, their behavior in this matter was loathesome, and they deserve to be loathed. A new book, compiled by a left wing group in France, makes an even more compelling case for branding these people with the mark of Cain.

The Black Book of Communism, written by what Britain's Telegraph newspaper called "a group of Left-wing historians" estimates that the number of people killed by all communist regimes since the Russian Revolution in 1917 was as high as 100 million victims. Originally entitled The Book of Communist Crimes by co-author Stephane Courtois, it was given its present and more politically correct title after his fellow leftists complained it was too harsh.

100 million victims!

100 million innocent human beings sacrificed on the altar of atheistic materialism. The number simply boggles the mind. It's only slightly lower in number than was the population of the United States when I was born. 100 million people starved to death in the Ukraine, or shot in the basement of the Lubyanka, or butchered in the Gulag or in countless other killing fields from East Berlin to Cambodia, Korea, Nicaragua and Viet Nam. Killed in a countless and brutal variety of ways, victims of a system nurtured by their life's blood.

And the book makes clear that this monstrous killing machine was knowingly set in motion by Lenin -- the father of Soviet communism still much admired in certain collegiate circles here and abroad -- and not by his power-crazed successor, Josef Stalin. It was endemic to the system -- power from the barrel of a gun or the tip of a bayonet.

Note that the killing started in 1917! It was no mystery to the West that a reenactment of the terror of the French Revolution was taking place in Russia, with the rifle and the bayonet taking the place of the guillotine.

The reaction of many of America's liberals, one of whose idols reported from Russia at the time that he "had seen the future and it worked?" They simply echoed Lenin's justification for the murderous terror he unleashed: "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs." And the omelet the Soviet thugs were making was one admired by the left in America. It was the future after all -- and it worked, didn't it?

The fact that what was being broken was not eggs, but fellow human beings did not seem to enter into the equation. After all, sometimes one does have to make a few sacrifices while going about the admirable business of creating Utopia.

The killing went on unabated. While millions of Ukrainians were being deliberately starved to death on Stalin's orders, scores of gullible American liberals were flocking to join the communist party. And some stayed even after the Hitler-Stalin pact exposed communism's cynicism and its dictatorial underpinnings.

The killing continued up to World War II. It increased in severity and numbers in it's aftermath. And when the Cold War set in what was the reaction of America's liberal community to Khruschev's boast that "We will bury you?" They whimpered "Detente" the battle cry of the Doves who could excuse the Soviet Union's continuing devotion to mass homicide in the name of some twisted devotion to peace at any price.

Give the butchers what they want, they implored, and maybe they'll leave us alone. Many demanded that the US unilaterally disarm, insisting that this would relieve Soviet fears of US aggression which they insisted was the root cause of Communist hostility to the United States, and not the Soviet's burning need to enslave the world.

While all this was going on, America's liberals turned their attention inward and set out to find the real enemies of freedom and peace on earth right here in the USA.

And they found them.

Richard Milhaus Nixon was one of the earliest anti-communist scoundrels. He had dared to lead the campaign to brand a Soviet agent, Alger Hiss, as the traitor he was. So for the liberals Nixon became the real villain and Hiss the real hero.

In the Soviet Union the killing went on, while in this country, the liberals were so busy looking for enemies of the people among the anti communists, they had no time to notice the river of blood flowing out from under the Iron Curtain. They found Hiss's accuser, Whitaker Chambers, and launched one of the most vicious smear campaigns in all American history against this tragic hero who sacrificed himself on the altar of truth.

The left created myths, such as the so-called blacklist of Hollywood's red brigades, seeking sympathy for men and women who made common cause with history's most blood-thirsty thugs and who in most cases continued to find work using aliases.

Studiously ignored was the real blacklist, which kept anti-communists such as Adolph Menjou or Ward Bond and countless other actors from working at their trade simply because the opposed the Soviet Union and their Hollyood minions. (And the left heaped scorn on John Wayne because his Motion Picture Alliance dared to come to the aid of the blacklisted anti-communists, and who personally kept many of them working in his own films.)

And of course there was Joe McCarthy. Brash, combative, and sometimes reckless, he was made to order for the liberal grinding machine. To this day, the left simply revels in chanting the slogan hatched at the KGB's blood-drenched headquarters at Number 2 Dzerjinsky Square, Moscow, and first aired in America by the Communist party's slavish organ, the Daily Worker: McCarthyism.

McCarthy was the real enemy. The butchers in the Kremlin or their stooges in America were simply victims of this out-of-control red hunter. And, as such, they deserved the sympathy much of the left denied for the towering mountain of corpses behind the Iron Curtain.

And so it went. Until the hated Ronald Reagan took up the banner of freedom, rebuilt America's military might and forced the Soviets to spend themselves into bankruptcy trying vainly to catch up.

And the wall came tumbling down. And the killing stopped

Looking back on liberalism's sorry record in one of history's most significant struggles, when they played patsy to our sworn enemies, it is hard not to believe that the terrible wave of homicidal terror could have been halted much earlier and millions of lives saved had it not been for the craven pusillanimity of many of America's leading liberals.

There is blood on their hands, and they deserve nothing but our contempt and our loathing.

With me, as with Joe Sobran, it's strictly personal.