Over the last few days I’ve read about how crazy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the rest of the Iranian clerics are. I’ve been told that because the Iranians sacrificed their peasants to clear minefields during the Iraq – Iran War that makes them perfectly capable of launching nuclear missiles at Israel. It seems that the main reason for attacking Iran is that Ahmadinejad is crazy and will use a nuclear bomb as soon as he gets it. I’m supposed to believe that this crazy motherfucker wants to die in a blaze of glory. It made me think about two other crazy motherfuckers. Mao Zedong and Joe Stalin. Let’s assess their craziness as opposed to Crazy Mahmoud.
People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong’s regime (1949-1975): 40,000,000 Deaths
- Agence France Press (25 Sept. 1999) citing at length from Courtois, Stephane, Le Livre Noir du Communism:
- Rural purges, 1946-49: 2-5M deaths
- Urban purges, 1950-57: 1M
- Great Leap Forward: 20-43M
- Cultural Revolution: 2-7M
- Labor Camps: 20M
- Tibet: 0.6-1.2M
- TOTAL: 44.5 to 72M
Soviet Union, Stalin’s regime (1924-53): 20,000,000 Deaths
- There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to the number who died at Stalin’s hands. There’s the “Why doesn’t anyone realize that communism is the absolutely worst thing ever to hit the human race, without exception, even worse than both world wars, the slave trade and bubonic plague all put together?” school, and there’s the “Come on, stop exaggerating. The truth is horrifying enough without you pulling numbers out of thin air” school. The two schools are generally associated with the right and left wings of the political spectrum, and they often accuse each other of being blinded by prejudice, stubbornly refusing to admit the truth, and maybe even having a hidden agenda. Also, both sides claim that recent access to former Soviet archives has proven that their side is right.
- Here are a few illustrative estimates from the Big Numbers school:
- Adler, N., Victims of Soviet Terror, 1993 cites these:
- Chistyakovoy, V. (Neva, no.10): 20 million killed during the 1930s.
- Dyadkin, I.G. (Demograficheskaya statistika neyestestvennoy smertnosti v SSSR 1918-1956 ): 56 to 62 million “unnatural deaths” for the USSR overall, with 34 to 49 million under Stalin.
- Gold, John.: 50-60 million.
- Davies, Norman (Europe A History, 1998): c. 50 million killed 1924-53, excluding WW2 war losses. This would divide (more or less) into 33M pre-war and 17M after 1939.
- Rummel, 1990: 61,911,000 democides in the USSR 1917-87, of which 51,755,000 occurred during the Stalin years. This divides up into:
- 1923-29: 2,200,000 (plus 1M non-democidal famine deaths)
- 1929-39: 15,785,000 (plus 2M non-democidal famine)
- 1939-45: 18,157,000
- 1946-54: 15,613,000 (plus 333,000 non-democidal famine)
- TOTAL: 51,755,000 democides and 3,333,000 non-demo. famine
- Adler, N., Victims of Soviet Terror, 1993 cites these:
The crazy motherfuckers starved and murdered approximately 60 to 80 million of their own people during the past century and the US was supportive of both men at various times. I’d say that they both give old crazy Adolf a run for his money. And guess what? They both died of old age. They didn’t desire to die in a blaze of glory.
By far the greatest loss of life during Mao’s regime stemmed from the deadly spring famines (1959–1961) of the Great Leap Forward. Unlike the Ukrainian famines in the early 1930s, which Stalin had planned to crush as anti-Russian nationalism, the famine of 1959 resulted from the misguided economic policies of the Great Leap Forward. However, once it became clear that the Great Leap Forward had not only failed to produce the promised economic miracles but also led to serious economic disruptions, Chairman Mao refused to change course because he feared a loss of face, if not his preeminent position. The acrimonious debates about economic reform in 1959 convinced Mao that alleged rightists in the party wanted to replace him. After crushing his supposed enemies, Mao relaunched the Great Leap Forward in late 1959; it collapsed on its own a year later. Due to lack of direct evidence, the number of famine victims can only be calculated on the basis of incomplete demographic data. Most historians agree that excess deaths (the difference between projected and actual demographic data) total at least 20 million (with more than two-thirds of these deaths occurring in 1960 alone); high estimates stand at 65 million (in 1957 China’s population was 646 million).
In light of revelations from the Soviet archives, historians now estimate that nearly 700,000 people (353,074 in 1937 and 328,612 in 1938) were executed in the course of the terror, with the great mass of victims being “ordinary” Soviet citizens: workers, peasants, homemakers, teachers, priests, musicians, soldiers, pensioners, ballerinas, beggars. Some experts believe the evidence released from the Soviet archives is understated, incomplete or unreliable. For example, Robert Conquest suggests that the probable figure for executions during the years of the Great Purge is not 681,692, but some two and a half times as high. He believes that the KGB was covering its tracks by falsifying the dates and causes of death of rehabilitated victims.
Mao was paranoid, as well as not a stickler for hygeine (Mao’s teeth were coated with a green-colored film, and when Li touched Mao’s gums, pus oozed out).
On 8 November, 1932 Stalin’s second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, committed suicide following an argument with Stalin during a party at the Kremlin. Her suicide also reportedly came after a group of students she was teaching were arrested for sedition after attempting to inform Stalin of the plight of the peasants. Nadezhda Alliluyeva’s suicide, and the scathing personal note she left him, are believed to have had a shattering effect on Stalin.
As you can see, these were really swell guys. I’d say on the crazy scale, they make Mahmoud Ahmadinejad look like an Eagle Scout. So, if being crazy is the only reason you can come up with for attacking Iran, you need to go back to the drawing board.