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A monument to communist terror

One particular exhibit seemed deeply poignant to this visitor: a 1936 public letter to the U.S. Congress by a regional assembly. The document reads in part: “This is our strongest appeal to your country … you have the power to assist us in this time of hardship … you are the only ones who could do something for us … although we don’t have proper arms, we will defend ourselves by any means with swords and daggers.”

– A Monument to the Terror exhibition now open in (former Soviet) Georgia

The year was 1936, and “Pipe-smoking Uncle Joe Stalin,” as the American media lovingly referred to him back then, was slaughtering the citizens of another small state that dared to resist the elites’ dream of communism – at least for ordinary people.

Did the U.S. Congress help? It couldn’t be bothered.

Perhaps it was too busy mailing out the first U.S. Social Security checks. Lots of photo ops there. Maybe Congress didn’t help because members were busy battling “global warming”? After all, 1936 was the year of “Detroit’s killer heat wave,” the one that set records in many states – records that still stand today.

Then again, Congress may have been contemplating an earlier forerunner of endangered species legislation: 1936 was the last year a wild camel was spotted in Nevada. Or they may have been preoccupied with matters of appearance; Hart Schaffner had just introduced pants with the zip-up fly.

Maybe too many congressmen were traveling that year. It was the year Pan-Am began regular passenger flights from San Francisco to Honolulu. Or perhaps congressmen had made plans to visit the 11th Olympic Games, opened by Adolf Hitler in Berlin. Then again, they may have been distracted because 1936 was the year Franklin Roosevelt gave the FBI authority to pursue fascists and communists in America. And none too soon: 1936 was the year Alger Hiss – poster boy for the elites’ communist sympathies – went to work for the U.S. State Department. Later, he would sit behind Roosevelt at Yalta, where Berlin was partitioned, half being given to the communists.

More likely, Congress was just too busy socializing America as part of the “New Deal”; they had no time to deal with terror. Between 1936 and 1939, the number of people shot or sent to the gulag by “Uncle Joe” was around 5 million. On Dec. 5, 1936, “Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR & Kirghiz SSR became constituent republics of the Soviet Union.”

By then it was too late to answer the Georgian state’s call for help; the people in Georgia had “embraced” communism. Anyway, Congress didn’t notice. And what’s the point in upsetting the folks back home with saber-rattling over the holidays?

Then again, perhaps the real reason Congress didn’t help the citizens of Georgia was that more congressmen than we’d care to know thought “Uncle Joe” – not “Uncle Sam” – had it right. The “New Dealers” were perpetually annoyed that the U.S. Constitution limited federal government power. Perhaps they were envious of a leader who didn’t let such legal technicalities impede the march of mankind toward a single-payer economy?

(For the full story behind the opening quote, visit OpinionJournal.com.)

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