Bush and Stalin Apologists
By: Mark W Adams

Still revising history to fit his narrow worldview ... Dean Esmay ponders Pete Seeger disavowing Stalin and leaves no strawman unburnt.
Better late than never I guess. Let's hope it's true, and let's hope more communist apologists ("it's just an economic system") have a similar awakening.
Have another vodka and tonic, Comrade, and relax. I think you and yours are safe from the Red Menace.

If Mr Esmay knew the first thing about either economics or political theory,
he wouldn't scoff at the classic definition of communism. He does the same thing with the word fascism -- equating it with something oppressively evil but neglecting to define it any further. This enables him to misuse invectives with impunity and paint his victim de jure with his well meaning bile, finding islamo-fascists under every bathtowel.

That's how a self-professed neo-con defends liberal traditions, I guess.

But I digress. To digress even deeper, anyone who deems themselves proficiently competent to run a political blog should be completely aware that communism, as a political/economic theory of governing, had little or nothing to do with the socialism espoused (something instrinically different, btw), and the authoritarian/dictatorial/militaristic/genocidal/expansionist/imperialistic oppression actually practiced by Joseph Stalin. Stalin was to communism as Jefferson Davis was to racial equality.

I'm not promoting or defending communism here. I'd just like to occasionally get our terms straight.

The futility of re-educating such right-wing zealots is not lost on me, those who casually throw out incendiary terms with the same effects as IED's -- random, notorious, sensational. And while individually ineffective in the grand sceme, they create such confusion and overreaction in the aggregate, their utility becomes clear in the long run after attacks follow even more attacks. It changes the terms of the battle. Indeed, I've learned today that it may be a scientific impossibility to kill zombie lies.

Stalinism was it's own brand of evil, not to be conflated with any classic political "ism," yet having kindred spirits found in Pol Pot's Cambodia and Idi Amin's Uganda. To me, the best contemporary cousin of Stalin's tyrany was none other than Saddam Hussein's regime.

It most closely resembled Stalin's USSR in the pervasive system of power abuse, punishment of dissent, emphasis on militarism, with an economic domination of the country from a central authority. The difference of course being the Iraq's ability to use petro-dollars to buy off it's population and the USSR found it's resources inadequate to create such an export economy or the self-sufficiency to even feed it's people. But both were murderously oppressive, kleptocratic dictatorships -- true police-states.

Funny though, I never heard anyone seriously call Saddam Hussein a commie. But he was just as much a communist -- running a nominally socialistic nation into the ground -- as was Stalin.

I won't even touch the cognitive dissonance you need to ignore when wrapping your head around what it means to be a so-called islamo-fascist, and equating that term with the many, many "enemies of our freedom" Wingnuttystan likes to smear. Maybe another day. Dealing with commie baiting in the 21st century is enough for now.

Media Matt muses over some counter-revisionist history, and comes to a wonderfully amusing conclusion about who really is the contemporary leader most Stalin-like -- someone unworthy of spit-shining Stalin's jackboots.
It hasn't come together, but according to Andrew Bacevich the world now does have a somewhat different new pro-Stalin tract: "While frankly exploring the full extent of Stalin’s brutalities and their impact on the Soviet people, [Geoffrey] Roberts also uncovers evidence leading to the stunning conclusion that Stalin was both the greatest military leader of the twentieth century and a remarkable politician who sought to avoid the Cold War and establish a long-term detente with the capitalist world."

This comes via McMegan. Meanwhile, Bacevich unleashes a level of shrillness I was pondering this afternoon at the gym: "In this sense, Stalin’s commitment to 'freedom and peace between peoples' bears comparison with President Bush’s post-9/11 commitment to eliminating tyranny." In some ways, though, I think this may be too hard on Stalin as his plan for Soviet domination of Eastern Europe at least actually did result in decades of Soviet domination. Bush can't even get the oil pumps working in Iraq.
And there it is. George W. Bush, the only man who could make Joseph Stalin look good by comparison. Nice.

We've got 500 more days until the end of this nightmare, and Yglesias went and pulled out all the stops, leaving the rest of us with no decent metaphors to see us through this last year of Bush-Boozlement. After this, simply saying Mussolini ran a nicer railroad than Bush, or opining that even Hitler wouldn't have traded Sammy Sosa just seems lame.