Letter to the editor of Business Day published today, by Warwick Davies-Webb in response to Pallo Jordan’s article “Barbarism with impunity still a terrible scourge.“
By Warwick Davies-Webb
A REVIEW of Pallo Jordan’s self-serving tripe (Barbarism with impunity still a terrible scourge, January 31) suggests that all the world’s tyranny can be safely dumped on the doorstep of western colonialism.
Yet for a man of his apparent intellect, where is mention made of the depravities of socialist systems, exemplified by the former Soviet Union and China, which saw millions executed, starved and herded into concentration camps to die a wretched death?
Whole classes and subgroupings were wiped out in their totality — the kulaks, landowners and entrepreneurs, intellectuals, aristocrats, peasant farmers — in the quest to establish a socialist paradise.
The terror of the Nazi Holocaust is indisputable, but deaths on Stalin’s watch numbered anything from 20-million to 35-million (Robert Conquest, Solzhenitsyn, Medvedev) and Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution”, shaved another 30-million to 40-million off China’s population (Brzezinski, Stephen Possony, Jasper Becker) with some suggesting a figure of more than 70-million (Jung Chang).
Dr Jordan’s history lesson also forgets to mention the likes of Pol Pot’s Khymer Rouge regime which wiped out between 1-million and 3-million people in his efforts to implement “agrarian socialism” (Amnesty International, François Ponchaud, Yale Cambodian Genocide Project).
China’s occupation of Tibet is said to have cost the lives of 600,000 Tibetans to date.
Neither does Dr Jordan mention the cold-blooded murder of 22,000 Poles at the hands of Stalin’s ruthless security service NKVD during the Second World War. Such luminaries were masters of tyranny.
Closer to home, no mention of Africa’s endless cycle of ethnic fratricide and genocide: Rwanda (500,000), Darfur-Sudan (300,000 to 400,000 — United Nations estimates), Idi Amin-Uganda (300,000), — “the butcher of Addis Ababa” Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Ethiopia, the Biafran war, Robert Mugabe, and on and on.
Dr Jordan’s attempt to link colonialism with the Nazi Holocaust stretches credulity. Colonialism was primarily about conquest yes — genocide no.
Perhaps Dr Jordan’s amnesia has to do with the fact that the greatest purveyors of human destruction over the past 100 years drew their inspiration from the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, which fed the madness of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Mengistu and others. They in turn mentored their ideological offshoots like the ANC and Swapo to carry forward their “liberation struggle” against “colonialism”.
Dr Jordan’s party was well infused with the jack-boot mentality of its socialist mentors — documented in its dealings of dissent in torture camps strung across Southern Africa during the “struggle years”, and which continues to frame the worldview of the ANC’s current leadership in its dealings and engagement with opposition formations today.
Dr Jordan’s readers deserve a better rendition of history.
PS. Below are some evidence of the socialists Stalin and Hitler’s killing sprees.