War Criminal Demjanjuk Is Just Tip of the Iceberg
The victors not only write the history books, but also decide who the war criminals are.
(Agapepress) - An American judge recently stripped John Demjanjuk of Seven Hills, Ohio, the retired Ukrainian autoworker and alleged Nazi concentration camp guard, of his citizenship.
It took nearly 20 years for the government to nail him, but the steadfast gumshoes of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, the American Nazi-hunting unit, finally prevailed.
Yet as persnickety as we are about the geriatric Nazis "in our midst," as the more dramatic accounts put it, we are remarkably blind to other war criminals. We never look at younger, more obvious targets.
Demjanjuk is the tip of the iceberg, and an old tip at that.
Younger War Criminals
One target for prosecution is Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet "leader," as the liberal media liked to call him.
Charming this fellow is, with his tailored suits, urbane manners, and ready smile. He's president of the Green Cross, has written his memoirs and even has a website, www.mikhailgorbachev.org.
And he's just as much a butcher as Demjanjuk. Gorbachev was in charge in Moscow from 1985 to 1991, during the Soviet war against Afghanistan. Standard Soviet war policies included dropping booby-trapped toys from planes, so that when children found the toys, they lost their hands.
Gorbachev's coconspirators are political commissars, military bureaucrats and rank-and-file Soviet war veterans like Demjanjuk. All of them could be accused with war crimes or "crimes against humanity." Yet some show up on American news programs as Russian military experts.
And let's not forget Fidel Castro or the Cubans, particularly those living here now, who served in the Cuban army when it was a proxy for the Soviets in Angola, Mozambique and elsewhere.
A Tougher Target
One reason we don't prosecute communist war criminals is that no one thinks we should, and no one thinks we should because the big boys in the media - the New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, NBC - never took up the cause.
For years, liberals in the media were, and many still are, communist sympathizers. Many are quite comfy with communism and reserve their moral outrage for Nazis and, of course, conservatives. They loved Gorbachev's "perestroika," but deplored Ronald Reagan's "cold-war mentality." And they adore Fidel Castro.
As Miami Herald television critic Glenn Garvin wrote, CBS just loves Castro: "CBS President Les Moonves went to Havana last year for four days of partying and came back with Castro's autograph on a cigar box. 60 Minutes once ended a piece on Castro with tape of Dan Rather escorting him to his limousine and calling out, as it sped away, 'Goodbye, Mr. President, take care!'"
Can you imagine Rather ending an interview with John Demjanjuk, on tape no less, with a happy-go-lucky "take care!"?
An Example to Follow
But just in case anyone is wondering how we could uncover the war criminals, Demjanjuk's case shows us. He lost his citizenship not because of war crimes, but because he lied on his immigration papers about being a Nazi.
We should ask all immigrants from the former Soviet Union, China, or any other Red nation if they were communists, then take things from there. The relentless prosecution could begin.
With Gorbachev, we needn't even ask. The FBI can pick him up at the airport the next time he lands in New York.
When that happens, we can believe the boys at Justice are serious about war criminals.