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Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

Aaaaahhhhhh....
It wasn't Jason, it was David Horowitz!

Corrected it. Sorry Jason.
Was thinking that this must be one of those JM vs. Map debates.
Looked like. Lengthy postings..., lots of quoting..., about saving the world...
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
Map,
If you question Hitler's propensity for evil check these out:

Why would I question Hitler's propensity for evil... Neither me nor my relatives lived through fascism, so fascism is really simple - it's pure evil. Wehrmacht soldiers put children and women in sheds and fire them, smiling in process. It's only recently I read somewhere that there were enough suicide cases among German soldiers who were made to do it. Our press never reported this for some reasons, must be to keep things clear and simple, and not to confuse the audience.


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"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

....
Ok, after somebody' 6 millions dead bodies in post-Stalin Gulag I wondered what is ther about Tiananmen besides popular legends...
I made a search with "casualties statistics Tiananmen Square" and here we are.
"Reports on the number of dead were sketchy. Three Beijing hospitals reported receiving at least 68 corpses of civilians and said many others had not been picked up from the scene. Four other hospitals said they had received bodies of civilians but declined to disclose how many. Students said, however, that at least 500 people may have been killed in the crackdown.
....

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, "Crackdown In Beijing; Troops Attack and Crush Beijing Protest," New York Times, June 4, 1989
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/chincrac.htm

How big was the massacre Tiananmen Square?
Well, it all comes down to who you believe, independent eye witness accounts at the scene of the massacre or the official government version of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I will give some brief commentary on your cut and paste contributions in an attempt to stimulate some thinking.
The URL you gave in this post states , "Four other hospitals also reported receiving bodies, but refused to say how many." Why wouldn't those four hospitals say how many? Let's not waste time debating the most obvious/reasonable answer to this question...
Two URLs to suggest the CCP version of the death count was off by a few thousand :
http://www.fsmitha.com/~fesmitha/h2/ch31.htm
http://www.tibet.ca/wtnarchive/1999/6/2_2.html
First person accounts contradicting CCP version of events :
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Tiananmen/Story/0,2763,206051,00.html (states there was machine gun fire from rooftops)
http://www.peacemagazine.org/archive/tiananm.htm
("There are all kinds of ways they could have cleared the square without killing anybody.")
As to the peacefulness of the students, they were peaceful at first, but some reacted violently after being tear gassed according to declassified National Security archives, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-01.htm.
Other eye witnesses suggested the violent ones were "agents provocateurs " and perhaps not students at all. The communists could have had their own inside people acting within the crowd do provocative acts to allow the justification for their violent actions, conjecture yes, but not fantasatical, http://www.peacemagazine.org/archive/tiananm.htm
The URL you gave at http://www.polyconomics.com/searchbase/01-10-01.html, seems to rely on papers whose genuiness is uncertain. Perhaps the bias at that URL can be revealed by the fantastic statement. "Mathews notes the Times has since noted the lack of evidence of even one death... No one was killed within Tiananmen Square itself." Those statements contradict too many eye witness accounts to be given any credibility and seriously taint the perception of the objectivity of the author.
Finally, the URL you gave at http://www.tsquare.tv/themes/truthturm.html is obvious a non too subtle pure propaganga piece which described the protest as " throwing Beijing and even the whole country in a serious anarchic situation." Such exageration is a clear lie as was the statement that "...During the whole operation not a single person was killed....."
Furthermore, the style is classic, non-subtle, communist propaganda, "

"...The measures adopted by the Chinese government to stop the turmoil and put down the rebellion have not only won the acclaim and support of the Chinese people, but they have also won the understanding and support of the governments and people of many other countries. The Chinese government has announced that it will unswervingly carry on the policy of reform and opening to the outside world, the policy of developing friendly cooperation with different countries of the world on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, and the policy towards Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. We will continue to strive for the realization of the socialist modernization. We are fully confident of our future."
Civilized nations condemned China for its brutality, they did not "praise" them.
[ February 14, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Funny but I know quite a few people from Russia and they all agree that Russia is a much better place to live now than it was under communism. Perhaps you are looking at communism through the eyes of an 8 year old?

Ok, I found a poll that was made be The Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems (RIISNP), in March 2000 http://www.riisnp.ru/frame0/database.htm?
2059 people were asked, who represented 11 social groups, 58 places of residence, 82,5% of them Russian, rest other nationalities.
1. Which periods made positive and which negative influence on Russian history?
<table BORDER="1" ><tr><td > </td><td >+</td><td >-</td></tr><tr><td >Communist revolution 1917</td><td >45, 3</td><td >53,3</td></tr><tr><td >Industrialization</td><td >85,0</td><td >13,5</td></tr><tr><td >collectivization (agriculture politics)</td><td >41,5</td><td >56,6</td></tr><tr><td >Gorbachev's perestroika</td><td >28,6</td><td >69,5</td></tr><tr><td >market economy</td><td >40,5</td><td >57,4</td></tr></table> 2. Who of political leaders did more good than harm? <table BORDER="1" ><tr><td > </td><td >+</td><td >-</td></tr><tr><td >Lenin</td><td >50,4</td><td >47,5</td></tr><tr><td >Stalin</td><td >36,2 </td><td >62,4</td></tr><tr><td >Bregnev</td><td >53,9</td><td >43,8</td></tr><tr><td >Gorbachev</td><td >32,6</td><td >66.3</td></tr><tr><td >Yetlsin</td><td >21,8</td><td >76,6</td></tr><tr><td >Putin</td><td >70,85</td><td >17,1</td></tr></table> 3. In which period of history Russin people had better life: <table BORDER="1" ><tr><td >Tsarism</td><td >7,7</td></tr><tr><td >1920-s</td><td >6,1</td></tr><tr><td >1930-s</td><td >1,7</td></tr><tr><td >1950-s</td><td >5,7</td></tr><tr><td >1960-70</td><td >54,9</td></tr><tr><td >Perestroyka</td><td >2,3</td></tr><tr><td >After "perestroyka"</td><td >5,8</td></tr></table>
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Well, it all comes down to who you believe, independent eye witness accounts at the scene of the massacre or the official government version of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Is this "either-or"? I would suspect all of them, government under special suspicion, though.
I will give some brief commentary on your cut and paste contributions in an attempt to stimulate some thinking.
Herb, I do not like to discuss politics of countries I never been to and I have no idea about. It probably needs to be an American to imagine that your set of ideas fits rest of the world just Ok. It probably takes to be born in America to be blind and death to the evidences of otherwise. I was trying to tell only what I have some experience with, it were you who kept bringing up this "Chinese" topic. How else can I contribute if not by cut and paste? "an attempt to stimulate some thinking" -- I am so grateful :roll: I would suggest for you to try to practice the same
The URL you gave in this post states , "Four other hospitals also reported receiving bodies, but refused to say how many." Why wouldn't those four hospitals say how many? Let's not waste time debating the most obvious/reasonable answer to this question...
The most obvious? And why is it so obvious to you? Have you ever been there? I guess not, yet you imagine you have perfect understanding of what happened. Government hides thousands of dead -- but how do you know there were thousands, besides it feels good to think so?
Thomas Paul imagines he knows better than me what life in Russia is. I wish Thomas Paul would never have to go through anything similar to the life in Russia he is so fond of.
In 1993 tanks shoot the building of the Parliament of Russia and burnt it -- yes, the same building that was on one of your picture, when Yetsin was talking in 1991. There were rumors that hundreds of dead bodies were thrown in Moscow river - and I never seen exact numbers since then. Nobody cares, not in Russia, nor here. I wonder why. The most obvious/reasonable answer -- nobody cares about ANY atrocities unless they are made by communists or whomever else current USA administration portraits as the Enemy N 1. (today: Saddam Hussein)
I'll go through some your links tomorrow, for now...
Other eye witnesses suggested the violent ones were "agents provocateurs " and perhaps not students at all. The communists could have had their own inside people acting within the crowd do provocative acts to allow the justification for their violent actions, conjecture yes, but not fantasatical,
There is simpler explanation:
"There was little reporting in our sample on the ambivalent attitude the student leadership had toward worker participation. By mid-May, the students had begun guarding the Great Hall of the People and Zhongnanhai to prevent the outbreak of violence by bands of youths out looking for action who might be branded "hooligans" by officials. A lot of these non-students were members of a "floating population" of youths from the countryside, without the work permits needed to live in the cities, looking for employment on Beijing construction projects. Some routinely slept under the highway overpasses or on the sidewalk outside the Beijing Railway Station; these sites tended to be depopulated on the nights of the massive demonstrations in and around the square. Others were city youths, dressed in flashy clothes, who were, in the government euphemism, "waiting for employment." The fact that students marched with cordons of marshals to limit the participation of outsiders was reported, but the reasoning behind it was not explained in most of our sample."
Finally, the URL you gave at http://www.tsquare.tv/themes/truthturm.html is obvious a non too subtle pure propaganga piece
I explicitly said: "A Chinese government account of Beijing Spring 1989" -- since I believe that even government voice must be heard.
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Well, I guess, I have better to explain all my reasons upfront instead of being suspected in nobody knows what.
Russia is not China, I realize that.
I also realize there can be more similarities between Russia and China than there are between the USA and China (but I can be wrong here).
As a person, who did not skip any anti-communist demonstration in my city, I can assure you that a crowd of young protesters is FAR MORE IRRATIONAL THAN GOVERMENT TROOPS. Herb, please, try to think out of anti-communist box. If you have a gun and you know other people do not, will it make you think twice before shooting? I bet it will. Whether you are Chinese, Russian or American.
I may sound cynical, but if you do not want to be dead, stay home if the government said so. If you do not, at least try to escape when government troops left a path for you to escape. And if you did not this time, then what the heck you expect? Soldiers aren't nannies.
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
John Dunn
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If you question Hitler's propensity for evil check these out:

This was a rhetorical request.
I don't think anyone really questions that...


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I may sound cynical, but if you do not want to be dead, stay home if the government said so. If you do not, at least try to escape when government troops left a path for you to escape. And if you did not this time, then what the heck you expect? Soldiers aren't nannies.

They may not be nannies but we would hope they aren't cold blooded murderers either. I am gald that there are patriots (like Sam Adams and Boris Yeltsin for example) who didn't follow your advice.


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frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

...
Ok, I found a poll that was made be The Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems (RIISNP), in March 2000 http://www.riisnp.ru/frame0/database.htm?
2059 people were asked, who represented 11 social groups, 58 places of residence, 82,5% of them Russian, rest other nationalities.
...
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

First, was the poll a random or accurate sample of Russian society? Also, how many people that were polled actually lived through most of the time periods mentioned? Due to communism's unique penchant for murdering its own citizens, there could have been between 15-25 million people who were murdered who could have influenced the results of those polls. I suspect those people that were murdered would have had the opinion that a switch to democratic/market economy was best option... Those people who had the strongest views against Stalin/Industrialization would have been the least likely to be alive today to participate in the polls.
I doubt many(any?) people who participated in the poll actually lived through the Revolution or Tsarist times. Therefore the value of such opinions on those times appears to be minimal depending on the purpose of the poll.
I could not read the Russian at the second URL, so I am not aware of the ages of those who participated in the poll. This is significant since young people 16-21 often have the greatest amount of time and could have participated in the poll in greater numbers than other groups. They would have had no first hand knowledge of many of the qusetions being asked. Another point on the accuracy of the poll would be the statistical range of error or statiiscal standard deviations. I was unable to find that info.
The second major point concerns the well known fact of human pyschology that negative opinions of past events tend to fade and diminish in intensity over time. Although Stalin/Industrialization could have received high marks now from those not murdered during those times, there are pyschological factors at work.
I was in St. Petersburg Russia several years ago and saw many old women in the subways and on the streets begging. I believe there is a significant demographic group of older people who lived most of their life under communism and did not hold any strong political views, but rather like most people, simply did what society expected of them and played by the rules at that time. Now they are in a new society without skills and resources needed to be happy. They are understandably not happy with the way the transistion to a market economy is occurring.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Well, it all comes down to who you believe, independent eye witness accounts at the scene of the massacre or the official government version of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Is this "either-or"? I would suspect all of them, government under special suspicion, though.

I agree, but a number of independent, diversified witnesses who corroborate each other, at least to the extent of viewing deaths that the communists denied, leads reasonable people to believe the communists are lying as to the number of people killed.

It probably needs to be an American to imagine that your set of ideas fits rest of the world just Ok. It probably takes to be born in America to be blind and death to the evidences of otherwise.

Ah, yes, the typical Americans are ignorant, stupid, unsophisticated, etc, argument.... I won't waste time on that.

I was trying to tell only what I have some experience with, it were you who kept bringing up this "Chinese" topic. How else can I contribute if not by cut and paste? "an attempt to stimulate some thinking" -- I am so grateful :roll: I would suggest for you to try to practice the same

I mentioned Chinese communism, Russian communism, and other communist nations to support my statements regarding whether there could be such a thing as "social truths" which was related to the orignal topic of this thread. I never intended this to be only a Soviet vs USA or capitalism debate. If we wish to restrict our discussions to certain countries and only allow people born in those countries discuss those countries, we can start another thread to see what only Chinese people think about China, only Russians about Russia, etc..

The URL you gave in this post states , "Four other hospitals also reported receiving bodies, but refused to say how many." Why wouldn't those four hospitals say how many? Let's not waste time debating the most obvious/reasonable answer to this question...
The most obvious? And why is it so obvious to you? Have you ever been there? I guess not, yet you imagine you have perfect understanding of what happened. Government hides thousands of dead -- but how do you know there were thousands, besides it feels good to think so?

I gave several URLs stating that Chinese hosptials themselves initially estimated the number of dead in the thousands. Later, they suddenly refused to give any estimate or others reduced it dramatically.
Did they originally miscount very, very badly and then became so incredibly embarrassed/ashamed they refuse to talk about it? Yes, Mapra, that is one possible scenario... No doubt there are other scenarios my ignorant American mind cannot even conceive of (that the independent witnesses and hospitals conspired to together, or the URL authors simply made the whole thing up, etc)
Another scenario is that as that after the situation escalated into the world spot light and made front page news on nearly every major newspaper on planet earth, the party in power did not desire bad publicity....
I, like most reasonable people (including yourself), often cite facts of which I have no personal, absolute knowledge of their truthfullness. Like I said earlier, it depends on which sources you trust and how reasonable their story sounds. Being an ignorant American, I believe the eye witness accounts for the reasons given in the prior posts and this post.
I find statements that 'no people' were killed in the Square simply too hard for my biased mind to believe. Yes, I knowingly have a bias, but it is the biases that are subconscious and people are not aware of that are the most dangerous...
My biases came from reading history and commentary, and listening to the arguments of both capitalists and communists over a long period of time. I began to see too many, too often, the discrepancies and inconsistancies in the moral and practical arguments of the Left/Socialist/Communist side. I thus switched my biases from sympathy with communists to bias against them. But to have a bias, to be aware of it, yet to have respect for the truth, means that I can have an open mind on such matters...
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[QB
Finally, the URL you gave at http://www.tsquare.tv/themes/truthturm.html is obvious a non too subtle pure propaganga piece
I explicitly said: "A Chinese government account of Beijing Spring 1989" -- since I believe that even government voice must be heard.
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ][/QB]

Yes, but the style of its writing, especially, the last paragraph, is so crudely, typically communistic, propagandistic, that a comment must be made regarding that which bears on the degree of trustworthiness of it to at least some extent.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I may sound cynical, but if you do not want to be dead, stay home if the government said so. If you do not, at least try to escape when government troops left a path for you to escape. And if you did not this time, then what the heck you expect? Soldiers aren't nannies.
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Yes, a simple solution Mapra, just always obey the government and always run when soliders show up. The soldiers/govt is not to blame, it was the students fault.
The argument sounds similar to condeming people who jump in front of a train and then expect not to get hurt by the train. But soldiers are not trains, they have the choice of whether to kill or not. It may mean their own death not to kill others, but it still a choice. I came across a URL earlier that mentioned several Chinese army units began fighting amongst themselves. It is possbile some soldiers had enough outrage at watching unarmed students being killed they revolted. I could not find enough supporting URLs to substantiate this however.
Is it possible the students had some sort of right (we're back to rights again) to be in the public area where they were demonstrating? The sequence of events I remember is that martial law was declared a day before there was the tear gas and violence. Martial law may have simply a legalistic option exercised by the govt to break up the protest.
My personal definition of a hero is those who risk their lives or sacrifice their lives for a good cause. For me, Liberty is a good cause. The Chinese student who stopped the tanks in the famous photo I mentioned earlier is a hero. The Chinese students who peacefully demonstrated in the Square and who were murdered are heroes to me. The Chinese students who were imprisoned for organizing dicussions on liberty and demostrations are my heroes. Gandhi and the signers of the Declaration of Independence were also heroes supporting liberty and resisting a super power nation at the time against incredible odds.
Mapra, who are your heroes???
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

This was a rhetorical request.
I don't think anyone really questions that...

You did not spend enough time in MD then
Speaking of which...
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
They may not be nannies but we would hope they aren't cold blooded murderers either. I am gald that there are patriots (like Sam Adams and Boris Yeltsin for example) who didn't follow your advice.

I wasn't giving advice to Presidents of Federal republics and former professional Communist functioners on which card to gamble their further political career. I had in mind young people, living in "totalitarian" by your admission country who do not want to please their parents with their heroic dead body. Those who do want, are free to throw stones in armed soldiers.
As for "patriot", 76,6% of Russian population wish such kind of patriots never existed, but don't let this change your perceptions.
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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First, was the poll a random or accurate sample of Russian society?
A random - not sure. They said about quotes, I guess it was more "proportional representation". Accurate - as accurate as polls can be, I guess.
Also, how many people that were polled actually lived through most of the time periods mentioned?
The front page said people older than 18 were asked, from students to retired folk. I guess, not many lived in Tsar time, so I do not give too much importance to estimates of this time. But 60-70 vs. 1980-90 - many/most did live through this time, I would imagine.
Due to communism's unique penchant for murdering its own citizens, there could have been between 15-25 million people who were murdered who could have influenced the results of those polls.
You use total numbers, while your own historians estimate that 2-3% of population were killed in worst years yearwise .
"Contrary to widespread opinion, the share of deaths in detention rarely exceeded 2–3% of total deaths in the country and did not have a major influence on the demographic situation as a whole."
I could not read the Russian at the second URL, so I am not aware of the ages of those who participated in the poll. This is significant since young people 16-21 often have the greatest amount of time and could have participated in the poll in greater numbers than other groups.
From what I read, I did not get an impression that the researchers asked those who were easily available. They state they asked miners, construction workers, engineers, college instructors, scientists, school teachers, service and transport workers, businessmen, military and police personnel, urban and rural residents, students and retired people.
Another point on the accuracy of the poll would be the statistical range of error or statiiscal standard deviations. I was unable to find that info
I couldn't find it either, normally it's around 3% and I do not see why it would be different in this poll.
The second major point concerns the well known fact of human pyschology that negative opinions of past events tend to fade and diminish in intensity over time.
To a certain point, yes. However, I never heard anybody's recollection about wonderful life during WWII.
Although Stalin/Industrialization could have received high marks now from those not murdered during those times, there are pyschological factors at work.
Well, my mother was born in 1935, and when Stalin died in 1953, she was going to go to Moscow to his funeral because what else she could do, after such a national catastrophe?? People's opinion in these times were formed by communist propaganda. Even if some people were arrested -- so what? They were "enemies of folk".
I was in St. Petersburg Russia several years ago and saw many old women in the subways and on the streets begging.
Because "democratic" government said that all their savings were just a communist joke, so forget about it? And old women cannot throw stones in soldiers, all they can do is to beg.
I believe there is a significant demographic group of older people who lived most of their life under communism and did not hold any strong political views, but rather like most people, simply did what society expected of them and played by the rules at that time. Now they are in a new society without skills and resources needed to be happy. They are understandably not happy with the way the transistion to a market economy is occurring.
"skills and resources needed to be happy" -- do not get me started. You do not want to hear what these skills and resources are.
[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
As for "patriot", 76,6% of Russian population wish such kind of patriots never existed, but don't let this change your perceptions.
I can think of at least 6 million Ukranians that wish that little experiment with communism had never been tried.
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I can think of at least 6 million Ukranians that wish that little experiment with communism had never been tried.

I have Ukranians among my friends.
Not all of them are fans of Communsts reforms, certainly.
As I am getting tired of your demagogy, could you provide some evidences that at least 6 million Ukranians were opposed to Communist regime?
Mapraputa Is
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Yes, a simple solution Mapra, just always obey the government and always run when soliders show up.
You are precious.
"always run when soldiers show up"
-- if you keep in mind that "soldiers" are 18-20 year old boys, maybe you will stop to rely on their political wisdom and try to think for yourself. Maybe you will even try to prevent them from killing you.
The soldiers/govt is not to blame, it was the students fault.
Whoever is more intelligent, is always to blame. If you think the soldiers were the most intelligent part of the whole history, so be it.
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
As I am getting tired of your demagogy, could you provide some evidences that at least 6 million Ukranians were opposed to Communist regime?

And I am getting tired of your defending communism.
Here are your 6 million Ukranians: http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/famine.html
Thomas Paul
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All I have to say is, thank God that there are people who are brave enough to stand up in the face of tyranny and risk their lives to overthrow it.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

As I am getting tired of your demagogy, could you provide some evidences that at least 6 million Ukranians were opposed to Communist regime?

Actually Thomas Paul may have undestimated the number killed by a million or so. But what's a few million amongst friends? As Stalin was reputed to have said "One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic".
These sites give 7 million :
http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/20thhome.php3
http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/stalin.htm

Stalin claimed he killed 10 million in the famines, but you can't trust them communists :
http://www.biblio-india.com/articles/MJ01_ar5.asp?mp=MJ01
Oops, time to recount the dead killed by Stalin,
another 30,000 found in mass grave some months ago :
Link
I could give more URLs for the Gulags in addition to the famines or secret policee executions, but you can use Google as well as me.
Estimates vary, but whether we're talking 3 million or 15 million, the numbers seem practically equally horrific to me.
(I only shortened a long link, because it made window too wide)
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Thomas Paul
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Map, here is a question for you... which was responsible for the deaths of more Russians in the 20th century? Fascism or communism?
Mapraputa Is
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I apologize for my anti-American and anti-Thomas Paul comments in this thread.
But it's like if I said that Bill Clinton is a patriot and he fought republicans' tyranny for the better life for American people.
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I apologize for my anti-American and anti-Thomas Paul comments in this thread.
But it's like if I said that Bill Clinton is a patriot and he fought republicans' tyranny for the better life for American people.

Micael will agree with you.
Mapraputa Is
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All quotes from "Turmoil at tiamammen. A study of U.S. press coverage of the Beijing spring of 1989"
I agree, but a number of independent, diversified witnesses who corroborate each other, at least to the extent of viewing deaths that the communists denied, leads reasonable people to believe the communists are lying as to the number of people killed.
A major problem for journalists was that the high emotion among Beijing citizens, together with a lack of any usable information from official sources, resulted in the media's receiving false accounts from Chinese sources on the streets. A vivid but false first-person account of the massacre in the square, by a student from Qinghua University, was run in the Outlook section of the Sunday Post of June 11, excerpted from the Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Pao. The New York Times also ran (a day after the Post) this eyewitness account attributed to the Qinghua student. But unlike the Post, the Times ran an article by Kristof the next day debunking the story and quoting Chinese and Western witnesses as saying the events it described on the square "did not happen."
A problem for the networks was that there was virtually no footage available of soldiers in the act of killing civilians in the dark hours of June 3-4, though the fact of many such killings was beyond dispute. On the other hand there were many shots of civilians attacking armored personnel carriers and the troops that emerged from them. There were many shots of wounded civilians being rushed to medical treatment, and heartwrenching stills of dead bodies and devastated relatives at the hospitals.
I gave several URLs stating that Chinese hosptials themselves initially estimated the number of dead in the thousands. Later, they suddenly refused to give any estimate or others reduced it dramatically.
Did they originally miscount very, very badly and then became so incredibly embarrassed/ashamed they refuse to talk about it? Yes, Mapra, that is one possible scenario... No doubt there are other scenarios my ignorant American mind cannot even conceive of (that the independent witnesses and hospitals conspired to together, or the URL authors simply made the whole thing up, etc)
Another scenario is that as that after the situation escalated into the world spot light and made front page news on nearly every major newspaper on planet earth, the party in power did not desire bad publicity....

There have been and will remain different estimates of the number of deaths on the streets of Beijing during the hours of darkness on June 3-4. In Time for June 19, with a June 10 deadline, the death toll in the "Tiananmen massacre" was raised from a range of five hundred to two thousand six hundred, in the previous week's issue, to five thousand, without attribution. By the July 3 issue, the number of deaths was reduced to "many hundreds." Readers should have been given an explanation for this startling arithmetical adjustment.
Many observers accept the retrospective estimate by Kristof of the New York Times that the civilian death toll in Beijing on the night of June 3-4 was four hundred to eight hundred. (28) The American government "intelligence" estimate was initially three thousand--announced on background by Secretary of State James Baker in the days immediately after the event. But it was scaled back to between one thousand and fifteen hundred, a figure compiled in the fall of 1989 after an extensive secret inquiry conducted collectively by a group of military attach´┐Żs from various Western nations stationed in Beijing.
According to four American government officials, who discussed their findings with us only on condition that they not be named in this report, the three thousand figure cited by Baker on June 5, coming from "U.S. intelligence," actually was an extrapolation of the twenty-six hundred figure released by the Chinese Red Cross, and was taken off the U.S. television news broadcasts, ABC and CNN in particular.
Some reporters continued to stand by the initial estimate of twenty-six hundred deaths by officials of the Chinese Red Cross. Others expressed the belief that this figure and other claims of ten thousand or more deaths, put forward by partisan advocates of the protest movement (and at one point by the BBC), were greatly exaggerated and motivated by a desire to generate anger at the army and the government, both inside and outside China.
There was a realization in the media some days after June 4 that exaggerations from Chinese sources had been passed on to the American public. On June 12, Holley and Daniel Williams in the Los Angeles Times published the first pruning back of the excessive claims. They said that most deaths--"hundreds"--occurred on streets away from the square as troops moved towards the square, and that "several dozen were shot and killed on Changan Avenue at the north side of the square." As for the students at the monument, most "and perhaps nearly all of them--were allowed to leave." Chinese "who claim to be" witnesses give "conflicting reports," and no foreigner saw the whole thing, they wrote. "It appears that proof of the true figures [of dead] will never be obtained." This was a good summation of what was actually known.
Mapraputa Is
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I find statements that 'no people' were killed in the Square simply too hard for my biased mind to believe.
It might seem a Talmudic point to note that the overwhelming bulk of the violence was not in Tiananmen Square itself but in surrounding streets. Clearly, many Chinese participants and American press organizations felt the distinction was not worth making. "That's not the important issue," Shen Tong told us. "A lot of press was there, they know a lot of people died right in front of them. Did he or she die on the west part of the Changan Avenue ... or Tiananmen Square? For me, that's pointless and I wouldn't go on to argue about that."
Nate Polowetzky, who was in charge of AP foreign coverage, said AP's editors felt that "the use of the phrase 'Tiananmen Square' becomes a shorthand, more a symbolic thing, rather than a geographic location." He said, "The battle of Lexington didn't occur [only] in Lexington. I would not really feel guilty about [using the phrase] 'Tiananmen Square massacre.' It's close enough--it's symbolic." The nagging problem is that laxness of precision became a pretext for the Chinese government and some media critics to castigate the entire foreign press coverage of the event.
And beneath the Talmudic point lies a broader concern. Many journalists, editors and producers saw the movement as a "Tiananmen Square" movement, for this gave it a ready-made drama with a physical, visual locus, which made taking pictures and measuring support easier than in the reporting of dispersed demonstrations. Such an emphasis had the effect of mythologizing Tiananmen Square. It brought with it the tendency to neglect the movement in cities other than Beijing and the parts of the movement other than the student part based at Tiananmen Square. Thus the "Tiananmen Square" label, with which the media indelibly marked this historic series of events, is more than technically misleading. It has provided a falsely narrow legacy for what was a widespread, decentralized, socially diverse movement.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
All quotes from "Turmoil at tiamammen. A study of U.S. press coverage of the Beijing spring of 1989"
Chinese "who claim to be" witnesses give "conflicting reports," and no foreigner saw the whole thing, they wrote.

I thought The Guardain was a widely respected newspaper. One of their reporters gave eye witness testimony of many events that contradict the official CCP version. Since the Square is quite large and some of the events did not actually occur in the square, I can see how there could be some degree of inconsistency and that it was not possible for anyone to see the "whole thing". While perhaps no one could possibly see the "whole thing", that is totally unncessary in regards to reaching reasonable conclusions on certain specific and important events that happened (e.g. that there were some causalties in the Square).
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Tiananmen/Story/0,2763,206051,00.html
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
All quotes from "Turmoil at tiamammen. A study of U.S. press coverage of the Beijing spring of 1989"
Some reporters continued to stand by the initial estimate of twenty-six hundred deaths by officials of the Chinese Red Cross. Others expressed the belief that this figure and other claims of ten thousand or more deaths, put forward by partisan advocates of the protest movement (and at one point by the BBC), were greatly exaggerated and motivated by a desire to generate anger at the army and the government, both inside and outside China.

Is there any real evidence that the Red Cross would deliberately "greatly exagerate" its death estimates? I had assumed that such an avowedly non-political institution that has survived in China since 1904 would not risk its credibility by gross lying on this one incident. I had thought the Red Cross would wish to continue to operate in China and avoid certain reprisals had it deliberately "greatly exagerated" the deaths to generate anger at the government. We all operate under certain biases and assumptions, but I am willing to change them in the face of facts or other more reasonable assumptions.
The exact number, whether a few hundred or a few thousand, seems not terribly important since I would call any of them massacres. The general point, of which the Square was just one example (see also the Stalin URLs mentioned earlier, etc) is that communist societies seem to have the general habit of murdering their own citizens in far higher numbers than those of democratic/capitalistic countries.
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Mapraputa Is
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Map, here is a question for you... which was responsible for the deaths of more Russians in the 20th century? Fascism or communism?
You probably mean "Soviet" rather than "Russian."
Communism: "Starvation and epidemic disease were rampant from 1932 to 1935. By some estimates, between 5 million and 7 million peasants died in this state-made famine.
In the darkest years of the terror, from 1937 to 1938, the political police rounded up several million people; as many as 1 million people were shot, while another 2 million are estimated to have died in the camps.
Internationally, the Soviet Union was also active, sending a large military force across its border with Afghanistan. The war eventually cost about 15,000 Soviet lives
http://www.legacy-project.org/events/display.html?ID=12
Total: 8-10 millions.
Fascism: "a more realistic figure for Soviet losses was between 27 million and 28 million."
(the same source)
Here is European POV, just for balance.
"We know that from 1900 to 1945 some 50 million Europeans were killed in wars that were caused in great part by the instability of this state system. We also know that since 1945 only some 15,000 Europeans have been killed in wars: roughly 10,000 Hungarians and Russians, in what we might call the Russo-Hungarian War of October and November, 1956, and somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 Greeks and Turks, in the July and August, 1974, war on Cyprus."
Why We Will Soon Miss The Cold War
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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And I am getting tired of your defending communism.
"I sense some confusion between justification and explanation. I guess I have to go on record now and say I am not in favor of, nor endorsing of, any behavior that could be considered genocidal. There were hot headed or even evil people on both sides. I do not condone atrocities no matter who did them. "
Herb Slocomb
Tom, you aren't disgusted with lawyers who protect rights of criminals in trials? Even criminals need their reasons to be heard and all the info to their benefit to be exposed.
Here are your 6 million Ukranians: http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/famine.html
We were talking about a poll in Russia in 2000, when people basically said that the fall of communism brought a disaster. Here you are with your 6 million Ukranians who died in 1930-s.
-------------------
"I understand nothing," Ivan went on, as though in delirium. "I don't want to understand anything now. I want to stick to the fact. I made up my mind long ago not to understand. If I try to understand anything, I shall be false to the fact, and I have determined to stick to the fact."
F.Dostoevsky. The Brothers Karamazov.
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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MI: It probably needs to be an American to imagine that your set of ideas fits rest of the world just Ok. It probably takes to be born in America to be blind and death to the evidences of otherwise.
HS: Ah, yes, the typical Americans are ignorant, stupid, unsophisticated, etc, argument.... I won't waste time on that.

I can only compare Russians and Americans (not sure what "typical American or typical Russian is"), and I think that Americans in general are better informed and more rational. But what I was talking about, "imagine that your set of ideas fits rest of the world just Ok" - I found it here far more often than in Russia and I am still think it is true. It's not ignorance and I am not sure what correct term is. Communist propaganda notwithstanding, but people around me did not want to "show the world the truth" or "save the world" or anything like that.
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I can think of at least 6 million Ukranians that wish that little experiment with communism had never been tried.

"Stanley Karnow recalled the dual attitude of Henry Luce. "He would reject any suggestion that Mao and the Communists were succeeding," Karnow said of his one-time employer, "with the argument that Communists can't succeed. And with the same passion, he would reject any argument or any suggestion that China was failing with the argument that Chinese can't fail. This kind of schizophrenia helped me in a way as a reporter," Karnow went on, "[and prevented too much intrusion] into my reporting, because I could attribute progress to the Chinese and attribute setbacks to the Communists."
http://www.tsquare.tv/themes/TatTlegacy.html#anchor433578
Thomas Paul
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Total: 8-10 millions.
8 - 10 million in the period of 1932-1938. Was communism only in the USSR between those years? Wasn't there a civil war in Russia in the prior to 1920? Didn't Lenin kill many of his enemies in the 1920's? We know that the Gulags were quite active in periods other than 1937-1938. Do you think Stalin just had them open those two years?
We also know that since 1945 only some 15,000 Europeans have been killed in wars: roughly 10,000 Hungarians and Russians, in what we might call the Russo-Hungarian War of October and November, 1956, and somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 Greeks and Turks, in the July and August, 1974, war on Cyprus."
I love it when people state facts which are so easuily refuted. Did the author of this never hear of the Greek Civil War? Did the author not know that Europeans fought in Korea? Did the author not know that the French are Euoropeans and they fought in Vietnam in the 50's?
Of course the reason that so few Europeans died in the post-war period was because the US was there to stand up to the Soviet Union.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Thomas Paul
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And the NY Times rejected any story that showed Stalin as a mass murderer:
http://www.faminegenocide.com/duranty/duranty5.html
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
We were talking about a poll in Russia in 2000, when people basically said that the fall of communism brought a disaster. Here you are with your 6 million Ukranians who died in 1930-s.

Who the hell cares about 6 million dead Ukranians? Communism made life easy. So what that innocent people got killed because they were inconveneient. Serves them right! :roll:
Mapraputa Is
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HS: We all operate under certain biases and assumptions, but I am willing to change them in the face of facts or other more reasonable assumptions.
I do appreciate your position.
Earlier you said:
My biases came from reading history and commentary, and listening to the arguments of both capitalists and communists over a long period of time. I began to see too many, too often, the discrepancies and inconsistancies in the moral and practical arguments of the Left/Socialist/Communist side. I thus switched my biases from sympathy with communists to bias against them.
Interesting, I probably moved in the opposite direction. During communist years, I did not think too much about political issues, but when Gorbachev's "perestroyka" happened, I was about 20 and there was no chance I could stay indifferent. Believe me, after all I read, I hated communism as much as you, and I wished communism to die in Russia what eventually happened.
What I saw later, and maybe more important, what I see here, in the USA, made me rethink my ideas. Your country now is much closer to "communist" Russia than it is to "democratic" Russia. It's not only my opinion. Just yesterday I read another guy's report about his traveling to the USA: "they live like under communists!"
But these can be false similarities, of course...
Another thing I discovered here, most of anti-communist propaganda we were fed by our
communist
powers, came from the USA and from radical anti-communist part of intelligentsia. "Moderate" part of US intellectual elite isn't published, read and known in Russia.
While searching the Internet during this discussion, I found that many facts can be only found on "communist" sites. Our liberal elite doesn't like them and doesn't want them to be known. So I felt it's my duty to bring these facts up.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Who the hell cares about 6 million dead Ukranians? Communism made life easy. So what that innocent people got killed because they were inconveneient. Serves them right! :roll:

Tom, I must admit you are the most mysterious person on this board for me, in spite of all my good attitude to you. I just cannot understand your motivation. Do you feel pain of every human being innocently killed? Then how about this:
The Hanoi government revealed on April 4 that the true civilian casualties of the Vietnam War were 2,000,000 in the north, and 2,000,000 in the south. Military casualties were 1.1 million killed and 600,000 wounded in 21 years of war. These figures were deliberately falsified during the war by the North Vietnamese Communists to avoid demoralizing the population.
End Translation
Note: Given a Vietnamese population of approximately 38 million during the period 1954-1975, Vietnamese casualties represent a good 12-13% of the entire population. To put this in perspective, consider that the population of the US was 220 million during the Vietnam War. Had The US sustained casualties of 13% of its population, there would have been 28 million US dead.
Casualties - US vs NVA/VC
http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html
- for some reason I do not think you care much.
You care about Ukranians - GREAT! How about Chechens??? Have you ever read what they have to go trough? It's genocide. Should I say it again?
It is genocide. Happy?
Does the USA or you, Thomas Paul, personally, care?
Big NO.
Chechen women came to Moscow to participate in an attack on peaceful theater, they said "you do not like it? That's what we've been feeling last years" -- they were killed.
Cool.
Did I hear a word of sympathy from you? No.

So you do not care a freaking dime about alive people, but you are damn concerned with guys that died 70 years ago.
I do not understand you.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

HS : I thus switched my biases from sympathy with communists to bias against them.[/b]
MI :Interesting, I probably moved in the opposite direction.

I thought communism was quite an ideal at first, with the goal of everyone living in one big family taking care of each other it seemed. The fact that communism didn't seem to be working very well economically (bread lines, rationing, etc) in any communist country I concluded was due to the failure of the people to live up to the communistic ideals. Studying economics (Austrian School view especially) I learned that centralized planning and control is by its very structure less efficient. On the social side, I began to read of the Gulags and the secret police in various countries who would take people away in the middle of the night never to be seen again. Morally, it was the philosopher Ayn Rand, a Soviet emigre, who laid bare the philosphical/ethical/moral shortcomings of communism. Emotionally, its the communist ideal of collectivism as opposed to individualism, that has the greatest impact on me. The willingness to sacrifice millions of lives for an abstract ideal of the collective good and the complete abscense of rights of the individual when pitted against the rights of the collective, I found horrifying.


What I saw later, and maybe more important, what I see here, in the USA, made me rethink my ideas. Your country now is much closer to "communist" Russia than it is to "democratic" Russia.

Yes, the Democratic party was successful in instituting many socialistic laws and instituions.

While searching the Internet during this discussion, I found that many facts can be only found on "communist" sites. Our liberal elite doesn't like them and doesn't want them to be known.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

You used the word "liberal elite"! You must be trying to sweet talk me into submission so you will have more time to spread propaganda on the other threads
Yes, the liberal elite exist and have significant influence(control) over the educational and mass media (see the book "Bias") of the US. Looking back at my school years now, I believe there was serious defects in my education in regards to giving out the facts as to why communism is inferior and evil. More importantly, there was no attempt to justify the morality of capitalism as Ayn Rand, John Locke, and others were able to do.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
- for some reason I do not think you care much.
This is the stupidest thing you have posted. I have said that the Vietnam War was wrong and that our actions in the Vietnam were wrong. Apparently you only remember wehat you want to remember because I also wrote about my sorrow over the deaths in Moscow. All murder is wrong always. The communist goverments around the world have long practiced the active murder of their population.
Anyway, I'm done with this topic. When Map starts insulting me then I'm done.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
John Dunn
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Anyway, I'm done with this topic. When Map starts insulting me then I'm done.


No man, you're too late!! Be orignial, cause I'm Dunn.
Michael Ernest
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If nothing else, the sheer word count of this topic is impressive.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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