Communism Was Never a Monolithic System — Nor Is Islam!

One of the most useful lessons I learned resulted from my high school history teachers allowing me in successive years back in the early 1950s to do studies respectively of Stalin and Mao. There was not much written in book or journalistic sources then, but I drew upon the Encyclopedia Britannica materials that could be ordered by mail and found much useful information. Possibly the most important things were that Soviet and Chinese Communism were both brutal towards individuals. Such is enough to turn any advocate off institutional communism which tends to go the way of all totalitarian regimes with gross corruption by those in control and cruel abuse of those who try to resist.

However, maybe even more important was the fact that no two communist states were working in synch with each other and particularly the Soviets and Chinese despised each other. Mao had set out to establish an agricultural base for his regime which meant a brutal battle against industrial communists in China which he won. And the differences between regimes were manifest in the histories of attempts prior to communism of major states to dominate and incorporate lesser ones around their borders, The Vietnamese, thus, would ally themselves with the Soviets to stave off traditional Chinese expansionist impulses against their neighbors and the Soviets would never be able to establish a stable empire in the face of the resistance of dominated lesser peoples. Tito in fact managed to keep Yugoslavia free of direct Soviet controls. We saw the failed attempt of Hungary’s 1956 rebellion, etc.

Had our political leaders seen these realities they never would have come up with the rationale for going to war with Vietnam on the false assumption that as Vietnam went, so would go all of South East Asia. In effect we fought a pointless and destructive war there for no good reason. The Soviets were protecting North Vietnam from the Chinese and the Chinese simply were giving their warning along the same lines as in the Korean war — keep your troops away from our borders or we will counter attack.

I am going on at length here because I think the Bush administration neocons have been applying the same stupidly erroneous thinking to the Middle East and they have really blown it. Obviously there is no single monolithic Muslim super state there nor will there ever be one. They have launched yet another war against a ghost enemy which exists only in their narrow propaganda ridden mentalities. The damage being done both to people and the world economy is yet to be fully calculated. If only these guys had had good teachers in high school who had let them learn on their own before they had been brain washed by a superficial culture.

Hopefully an Obama administration will recognize the differences and negotiate accordingly. McCain could only be more of the same. He is still fighting the war in Vietnam.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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