HE'S BAACK – AT 11:17 A.M. ET: We're seeing more and more stories like that coming out of Russia and its associated states. They're disturbing because they may well represent a cultural trend, the resurgence of Stalinist Communism. From AP:
TBILISI, Georgia -- People across the vast territory where Josef Stalin once imposed his terror have marked the 133rd anniversary of the dictator's birth, some in hatred but others in reverence.
In Moscow, several hundred Russian Communists led by their leader Gennady Zuyganov laid flowers at Stalin's grave at the Red Square Friday, while smaller rallies were held across Russia and several former Soviet republics.
Leftists in neighboring Belarus said they found a Stalin statue that was buried after denunciation of his personality cult in 1956, but refused to specify its whereabouts because they fear authorities will order its destruction. Authorities in Stalin's hometown of Gori, Georgia, they will reinstall his statue that was removed in 2010.
In southern Ukraine, several ethnic Crimean Tatars trashed a small street exhibition on Stalin. The entire Crimean Tatar population of Ukraine was hastily deported in cattle trains on Stalin's orders in 1944 for their alleged collaboration with Nazi Germans during World War II. Of the 200,000 Crimean Tatars, almost a fifth died of starvation and diseases, and the survivors were allowed to return only in the late 1980s.
According to the prominent Russian right group Memorial, Stalin ordered the deaths of at least 724,000 people during the purges and repression of the 1930s, while millions died as a result of the forced labor system in Gulags, the Soviet prison system.
But, some people believe he was a strong and valiant leader whose grip on the nation was needed for security and his popularity in Russia has been climbing amid Kremlin-backed efforts to defend his image.
COMMENT: The phrase "Kremlin-backed" means "officially backed." That's the Putin crowd. There are many who feel that Putin is leading Russia back to Communism, and that we'll have a militarily resurgent Russia very soon. This comes, of course, at a time when Obama wants to gut our own defenses. Obama's timing in foreign policy is always impeccable. Engagement with Syria anyone?
December 22, 2012