Around the World in Three Minutes “REDS UNDER THE BED” Edition!

 

Good morning, Ricochet! Please join me today in a special tour–communism, on the march to peace, justice and prosperity around the globe! 

***

Our trip today begins in Kidapawan City in the Philippines, where communist insurgents killed a member of a platoon of soldiers investigating reports of gunmen exacting “protection money” from farmers in Tubay town:

Local officials identified the slain soldier as Pvt. Phet Jordan of the Army’s 14th Scout Ranger Company, felled by rebel snipers while distributing ammunition to his companions as he and other soldiers traded shots with some 30 New People’s Army guerillas over the weekend in Barangay Tagamamarkay, Tubay.

Rest in Peace, Phet Jordan.

Rest in Peace, Patrick Weneger:

The NPAs have claimed responsibility for the March 7 murder at the public market here of Filipino-Swiss entrepreneur, Patrick Weneger, 48, who spoke against the extortion activities of communist rebels operating in Kidapawan City and surrounding towns.

The slain businessman, whose family owns a rubber plantation at the border of Kidapawan City and Makilala, North Cotabato, was known for his tough stance against the payment of “revolutionary taxes” to the NPA by members of the local business community.

Asia’s longest-running  communist insurgency, notes the International Crisis Group, “has continued so long it has ceased to receive the attention it deserves.”

(What suffering does receive the attention it deserves, I wonder?)  

***

You always know what’s coming next in a story about a communist insurgency, don’t you? Words like “Children forced to join the the insurgency and fight. Farmers killed for refusing to join or support them. Businessmen threatened with death or the destruction of their property if they don’t pay kickbacks. Politicians assassinated. Development set back a billion years.” Happy communist insurgencies are all alike (inasmuch as they comprise the null set); all communist insurgencies are unhappy in the same way. 

***

So, having given the 120,000 victims of this insurgency a minute of our attention, which is about the best they’ll get in today’s hyper-saturated media environment–although that hardly means they didn’t notice–let’s spin around the globe to beautiful Orissa, where Maoist rebels have abducted two Italian nationals. This even made news in the West. After all, when they start abducting Italians, it’s serious.

Frankly, it was serious even before the Italians got messed up in it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh46uv8PCGU

Orissa really doesn’t deserve this.

Orissa, your suffering too has been recognized with a minute of our attention. I hope that’s a comfort.

***

ITEM: A museum about communism opens in Albania.

A museum? How interesting! What’s in it, I wonder? 

terrori-komunist.jpgSome 100,000 Albanians were imprisoned, sent to internment camps or executed during the 46 years of Hoxha’s repressive regime.

Albanians toppled a 20-foot (6-meter) statue of Hoxha in the capital’s central Skanderbeg Square on Feb. 20, 1991, about two months after the collapse of the communist regime. Hoxha himself died in 1985.

The museum has photographs of mass graves where many of the executed were buried, as well as handcuffs, chains and victim’s clothes and personal belongings.

Actually, I didn’t wonder. I knew.

Bedri Blloshmi, who spent 15 years in the notorious Spac prison, 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of the capital of Tirana, said none of Albania’s post-communist governments had helped.

“No one is interested in us. Where should we ask for our rights?” he said during the exhibition opening. “There is only one hope for us: To die as soon as possible so that we are rid of the sons of the former communists, who persecuted us then and who now run the country.”

***

ITEM: Cuba! Best health care in the world, you know

cuba-s-ladies-in-white.jpgPolice in Cuba have arrested dozens of dissidents ahead of a rare visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the Communist island nation next week, media reports citing activists said late on Sunday.

Most of those detained were members of a group of female relatives of imprisoned dissidents, known as the ‘Ladies in White.’ They were arrested while participating in their weekly silent protest march held in capital Havana.

The ‘Ladies in White’ group has been holding silent protests in Havana every Sunday, demanding the release of political prisoners. The Cuban government has alleged in the past that the dissident movement was part of a U.S. conspiracy aimed at undermining the Communist regime. It also accuses the ‘Ladies in White’ members of being agents of the U.S. government.

No comment.

***

ITEMMélenchon takes the Bastille! Our correspondent in Paris, Arun Kapil, has the update:

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Front de Gauche staged a big march this afternoon, from Place de la Nation to the Place de la Bastille, culminating in an address by Mélenchon to the masses in front of the Bastille Opera. The event was a huge success. There were several tens of thousands, considerably more than the 30,000 that had been predicted. It was the biggest march in France of the peuple de gauche not directly organized by trade unions in a very long time, with legions of aging PCF militants, probably every last member of Mélenchon’s own Parti de Gauche, and activists from other sundry hard left associations and groupings. People of all ages. The other campaigns were certainly following the event very closely, particularly Hollande’s—which will be concerned by its success, as it wants as many of these folks as possible to vote for him in round one—and Sarkozy’s, which will be pleased by the success, as they hope Mélenchon will create problems for Hollande.

Have these people no goddamned shame?

Arun has provided some fine photos of this event.

(Note: I removed the one I selected because I decided it was unfair.)

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  1. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    ITEM: Panic in St. Louis – Reds Under the Bed!

    Reds-Under-the-Bed.jpg

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MelFoil

    [Edited with apologies–I’m removing your comment because I thought better of the photo I posted. My fault.]

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    [Edited–no mystery here, just Claire’s momentary bad judgment.]

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MelFoil
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    [Edited: A dig was at the Wisconsin teachers unions is always welcome on Ricochet, however.]

    Image48.jpg

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @tabularasa

    This appears to be the single, most-edited thread in Ricochet’s history.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MollieHemingway
    tabula rasa: This appears to be the single, most-edited thread in Ricochet’s history. · 11 minutes ago

    I know. I kind of want to say something outlandish and then redact or have a typo or something so that I can keep the trend going.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @Sandy

    Re: the Cuban Ladies in White who have been rounded up, Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote yesterday in the WSJ here that the Pope seems to have refused to grant this group even the one minute of time with him that they have requested.   I am not a Catholic, but as a conservative and an admirer of some of his writings, I did expect more of this Pope.  Does he not get that even a little support for groups like this can make a huge difference, to say nothing of his moral and religious obligations?  

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  8. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Ms Berlinski, I’m sorry to see your natural optimism and good nature decline with the updates you are providing.  It is indeed sobering to see, because you are observing and reacting (understandably) to “events” in your larger neighbourhood, near the crest of the next wave of history.  We here in soft, doughy North America worry about things unimportant and trivial, blissfully unaware of the items that you are so gracefully sharing with us.  Thank you!

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Schwaibold

    The information I was able to find regarding NPA puts the estimated dead at 40k instead of 120k. The 120k number is closer to the number of deaths attributed to the Moro Liberation Front. 

    No worries nobody knows about either one.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Madcap

    Hoxha was a horrible man. I had a friend who was Albanian and she remembers her parents watching his propaganda videos again and again, hoping to see familiar faces in the cheering crowds. It was the only way they might find out about family members back in Albania.

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  11. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    jhimmi: The information I was able to find regarding NPA puts the estimated dead at 40k instead of 120k. The 120k number is closer to the number of deaths attributed to the Moro Liberation Front. 

    No worries nobody knows about either one. · 3 minutes ago

    I based that number on this report, but I have no idea whether the number is accurate. Usually if AP inserts it as a boilerplate “this is the statistic” number, it’s been vetted a bit, but it could well be nonsense.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    tabula rasa: This appears to be the single, most-edited thread in Ricochet’s history. · 2 hours ago

    No way–go back and study your Ricochet history, tabula rasa. There was an episode once when an unladylike word was repeated about 20 times before Diane and managed to expunge them all. Perhaps more, but I can’t think about it or I’ll faint.

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  13. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Erik Larsen: Ms Berlinski, I’m sorry to see your natural optimism and good nature decline with the updates you are providing. 

    This may have more to do with me than the world, although you’re certainly correct to notice it in me. But as a corrective, for both of us, tomorrow we’ll go around the world looking at good news–which is as real as the bad news.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LarryKoler

    Thank you, Claire.

    The most important thing that the Nazis did for the Communist movements in the latter 20th century is to give them a foil to always point at to divert attention from their own atrocities.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Schwaibold
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    jhimmi: The information I was able to find regarding NPA puts the estimated dead at 40k instead of 120k. The 120k number is closer to the number of deaths attributed to the Moro Liberation Front. 

    No worries nobody knows about either one. · 3 minutes ago

    I based that number on this report, but I have no idea whether the number is accurate. Usually if AP inserts it as a boilerplate “this is the statistic” number, it’s been vetted a bit, but it could well be nonsense. · 2 minutes ago

    Ah, ok – all the numbers seem a bit sketchy, but it does seem odd that the NPA and the MLF would be responsible for exactly the same number of deaths, 120k.  It really is hard to believe the plight of the Philippines doesn’t get more press in the US, especially since there’s such a large number of Americans of Filipino descent.

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  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @tabularasa
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    tabula rasa: This appears to be the single, most-edited thread in Ricochet’s history. · 2 hours ago

    No way–go back and study your Ricochet history, tabula rasa. There was an episode once when an unladylike word was repeated about 20 times before Diane and managed to expunge them all. Perhaps more, but I can’t think about it or I’ll faint. · 14 minutes ago

    I’ll take your word for it.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @outstripp

    I speak to you from 10 34 N, 124 1. 48E. I will check on this immediately and get it all straightened out…after I finish this beer.

    • #17
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