Total Pageviews

25 August 2008

An Argument for Admission to NATO


John C. Sullivan

The Russian Bear has awakened from its hibernation. Declaring a defense of Russia, they have begun a war that threatens to expand and involve the United States, a terribly risky venture. Russian apologists would have us believe that Russia is fearful of being "surrounded" by nations that look to the West, rather than to the East. They have good reason to believe it. Those of Eastern European heritage know what "Katyn" and "Ukraine starvation" and "Gulag" mean. Moreover, they know it can happen again.

In 1940, in the Katyn forest, Russian communists executed an estimated 22,000 Polish military officers, police officers and civilians taken prisoner in the 1939 invasion of Poland by both the Third Reich and Russia. Included in this figure is the execution of prisoners of war at Starobelsk, Ostashkov and in Kalinin (Tver) and Kharkiv, Moscow.

At that time, Poland’s “draft” required university graduates to become reserve officers. Russian communists included them in their round up of Jews, Ukrainians, Georgians and Belarusians of Polish citizenship. In Smolensk was the headquarters of the NKVD (Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del. Here the Soviet secret police murdered “political prisoners” from West Belarus and West Ukraine.

The Russians also operated forced labor camps for those they did not murder outright. The late Russian exiled author Alexander Solzhenitsyn likend them to a chain of islands, the “Gulag Archipelago.” An estimated 29 million people passed through them between 1929 and 1953. They were imprisoned for being absent from work, petty theft or by telling a joke about the government, just like American late show hosts David Letterman or Jay Leno say today. Those sent to the Gulag were mostly there without any trial.

From Prague, Askold Krushelnycky wrote about the Communist-generated “…famine deliberately engineered by the regime…claimed millions of lives, mostly in Ukraine but also in some other parts of the Soviet Union. Today it is considered one of the worst atrocities of the Communist regime and a terrifying act of genocide. Even so, the famine of 1933 is relatively unknown." Krushelyncky writes "Estimates of how many people died in Stalin's engineered famine of 1933 vary. But they are staggering in their scale -- between seven and 11 million people."

Given this history, one is only left to conclude that former Soviet "Republics" have more to fear from the Russian Bear than the Russians have to fear from them. Does anyone not understand why Ukraine and Poland wish to join the NATO family?