----- Editorial: Memorial for victims ....
The headline (Bulletin editorial, April 28, 2012, pg 4) reads “Memorial to the victims of ... what?” The question is asked. My answer is one the editorial does not provide.
This is the second time that the Bulletin has an editorial critical of the memorial to the victims of communism. The arguments presented remain unpersuasive and feeble. The editorial asks why look back when there are so many current issues meriting recognition. All memorials, including Canada's war memorial, look back into history, so that should hardly be a surprise. The question is does the issue that is the focus of this memorial serious enough to warrant the attention it will bring?
Start with the number of victims. Scholars calculate ... a vast number, not including the family and friends of those murdered. Mass murder is a key feature of the last century and should lead to questions of how it happened and how we can avoid repeating it. The ideology that underpinned and justified this ghastly death number needs to be understood and condemned. It was the delusion of too many ... that a classless society could be built. The deaths in pursuit of this end were legitimate means to this end. There continue to be those who do their best to avoid this lesson by ignoring it. Some even say that the problem with communism is that it has not been properly tried. Read George Orwell to understand what nonsense this is. The building of utopias always ends in failure. The grander the idea, the greater the disaster.
The editorial ... compares the shortcomings of nuclear power with the victims of communism. Some data from a quick Google search ... [provides numbers contradictory to those of the editorial]. The number of indirect deaths is higher but miniscule when examined in relation to those killed under communism. To compare these numbers, even if indirect deaths are included, to the deaths under communism is folly.
Furthermore, if we are to critique deaths caused by nuclear power we should start with coal and build a monument to the victims of coal. (The numbers are global ... ). A debate on future energy sources, including nuclear, is always welcome but inferring nuclear energy is equivalent to those killed under communism is nonsense.
Gerry Van Kessel
EDITOR'S NOTE: We were unable to confirm the writer's unconventional death toll numbers, and so they are not specifically included.