For 100 years, “Over-Kill” and “Scorched Earth” has been the dominant strategic modus operandi in the “Total War” waged by the bourgeois empires and their allies against communists, but not only on the physical level.
“… If we have made the decision to use military force to solve problems, then we ought to use it, and use an overwhelming amount; use too much, and deliberately use too much, so that there are no errors…”
— Curtis LeMay, US General and Leader of Strategic Air Command (1952, Korean War)
Merely 2 weeks after the October Revolution of 1917, a combined army from 14 countries lead by the USA and UK invaded Russia, in what wikipedia dishonestly terms “Allied Interventions in the Russian Civil War” (much like how the Korean War was called a “police action” until recently). Totally ignored or glossed over in Western history books, the “white armies” committed countless atrocities all over Russia, slaughtered communists, extensively funded monarchists, fascists, and other reactionary groups (part of the reason why the 1930s purges were necessary), and did everything they could to destroy the revolution.
In the first 3 months of the Korean War, the US ran out of military targets, and spent the remaining 3 years targeting cities, infrastructure, and civilian population. Carpet bombing destroyed 8,000+ hospitals, 9000+ factories. The US army burnt forests, poisoned rivers, used white phosphorous, agent orange, and other chemical and biological weapons on civilians. Koreans moved entire farms and factories underground. By the end of the war, 20% of the North Korean population had been killed, and the survivors lived underground.
The USA dropped more bombs were dropped on the tiny country of Vietnam than both WW’s combined, and even more than that on Cambodia.
US backed fascist dictators, installed to suppress communist uprisings, have been continuously conducting countless atrocities all over Latin America, as elsewhere in the former colonised world. One example out of dozens, US backed right-wing government of El Salvador massacred 32,000 indigenous Nahua people in 2 weeks in 1932, for support of and involvement in the communist party.
Virtually no one in the US and Europe are aware of the 2000+ student protestors and leftists slaughtered, and many more tortured, by the US puppet regime, the capitalist military dictatorship in South Korea, during the Gwangju Uprising of 1980. And this was only a continuation of the massacre of tens of thousands of communists and torture programs by the South Korean government in the 1960s before the war, and in 1950 before the war (cause for the North Korean “invasion” of the South — in order to stop the atrocities).
US, France, and Belgium plotted murder of the first democratically elected socialist leader of the newly independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba, in 1962 was only one of many such destructions of democracies, replaced by puppet dictators. This has plunged one of the most resource rich places on Earth into the worst, abject poverty, underdevelopment, and continuous war between rival war lords who seek to control mineral mines in order to sell to Western corporations at very low prices. Here is a piece detailing the harsh and tragic reality of this ongoing heinous crime against humanity.
The list goes on and on: assassinations, military coups, fascist militias, death squads, torture, and genocides, all to eradicate communism.
Much of this legacy of mind-boggling corporeal violence, and the just as brutal history of economic strangulation and political coercion, other than a few episodes too big to hide, is brushed aside and ignored in mainstream Western narratives, omitted from the text books and curricula of academia and the books and movies of popular culture.
And wholly discounted is the combined effects of this sustained and relentlessly attack on the existing leftist states, on military, economic, and political fronts, and how this is the reason for their governments to seize up, becoming rigid, totalitarian, and repressive (which is of course also wildly exaggerated in bourgeois narratives).
But that is only half of the story.
Shocking amounts of brutal force has been deployed on not only military fronts, but also in propaganda campaigns. This “Total War” against communism involved not only dropping 10 times, 100 times the number of bombs initially calculated to be necessary, but also continuously flooding the world with deception, fabrication, and misrepresentation; inundate global consciousness with a ceaseless, ubiquitous, and devastating deluge of lies.
Even more concealed, disguised, and obscured than the process of physical and material onslaught are the innumerable and never ending operations in the war for hearts and minds. Even more hidden from public view are the myriad of disinformation campaigns; the countless counterfeit radio-stations; the labyrinthine global media networks (such as the “Radio Free…” networks, with tentacles deep in every continent); the CIA and Pentagon deals with Hollywood studios; the hordes of “independent” think-tanks publishing blatant lies under the flags of “liberty” and “human rights”. All of this comprising an elaborate global propaganda structure, with mutual support between its various branches, quoting and verifying each other. The red-scare content generated, which pushes imperialist agendas, normalises bourgeois ideology, valorises capitalism, and vilifies socialism, then finds its way into text books, taught in academies largely purged of leftist professors save for some tokens.
Innumerable tall-tales have been told of the socialist states: “starvation in the Soviet Union”, wild exaggerations of the gulag system, the distorted fabrication of “holodomor”, “Mao killed 80 million of his own people”, the fraudulence regarding Castro’s violations, the myth of the “TianAnMen Square Massacre”, lies surrounding Falun Gong practitioners, the “1 million Uyghurs detained”, and North Korean men forced to get the same haircut as Kim Jong-un — most of these falsifications require significant amounts of energy to unpack, to separate the towering fictions from occasional kernels of truth.* (Give me some time, inshallah)
That is the central part of the strategy: to wear down enquiring minds with layers upon layers of constructed obstacles, so that most simply give up, and choose the much easier path of going along with the flow. The weariness and fatigue that comes with debunking these delusions have been calculated into the equations of this war: the way people get tired of the sources being questioned, the way they roll their eyes at the yet-again mention of the CIA.
Day after day, and year after year, for an entire century, waves upon waves of wild exaggerations, gross biases, slanderous distortions, and plain falsifications have been incessantly unleashed by the bourgeois states, with their hegemonic control & total monopoly of media, against movements toward freedom, equality, and community. The structural hostility against revolutionary leftism has been built over generations, with inherited attitudes passed down from fathers and mothers to the sons and daughters of entire populations all reinforcing each other, together forming a nearly unshakable fortification of deceit.
Most tragically, the accrued effects of this process, the epic power of this fortress of untruth, is not only routinely disavowed by the liberal subscribers of the Oprah-world-view, not only denied by the fascists who are sworn enemies of leftism, but has been under-estimated by so very much of the Western left, who have internalised anti-communism to a frightening extent.
But today, many facts which disprove the mountains of falsehoods which have shaped the attitudes of most of the world are bubbling up to the surface. Just 2 examples from the USSR; first, “starvation”:
And here is the CIA on this subject of Soviet diet.
Another example would be the lies told of the gulag system. We can argue about which historians are more credible until the end of time, but once again, likely the most believable evidence comes from the enemy of the Soviets, CIA reports unceremoniously published on their website (due to transparency laws) more than half a century after. (At any rate, more believable than the quasi-fiction writers they have funded to paint horrific pictures, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
“95% of prisoners were ordinary criminals; conditions were humane; and the prison population was smaller than in the USA — according to CIA documents — which accords with the fact that when the USSR fell and we epxected video after video of the terrible camps to be released, video after video of prisoners telling their horror stories-well-there were none-none at all which meant to me at least that everything we were told was nonsense and now we have the CIA document that proves it was all nonsense.”
None of which is to say that mistakes were not made in the history of the USSR, China, etc. (in the context of the nation desperately needing to centralise and consolidate in the push for development, while under constant siege). But proportionally, these unfortunate episodes, as serious as some may have been, were a tiny fraction of the massive and astonishing good that was done by the revolutionary states for the people of their nations and of the world, and an even smaller fraction of the crimes committed by capitalist countries.
Wholesale demonisation of figures like Stalin, Mao, Castro, etc., and existing socialist states, should be expected of rightists and liberals, but it is also disastrously way too popular on the broader Western left, who has breathed and internalised untruth 24 hours a day for more than a century just like everyone else.
Liberals, leftists, and all good people of the imperial core nations which have experienced neither colonialism or socialism, know that when you error, as anyone can, the overwhelming chance, almost without exception, is it will be on the side of extreme naïveté and gross under appreciation, for the sheer scale and magnitude of the sustained assault bourgeois states have launched against the forces of liberation for 100+ years, against socialism where ever it has blossomed, with devastating military force, crippling economic strangulation, and pervasive, slanderous propaganda that has washed Western brains for at least 4 generations.