In Jim Cook's Archive


I read a lot of books about the Second World War, especially the struggle on the Eastern front between Russia and Germany. Nothing compares to the ferocity, scope and duration of that struggle. The U.S.A. lost almost 300,000 soldiers in WWII fighting Japan and Germany. The Russians had 12 to 14 million soldiers killed fighting Germany. There are quite a few books and personal accounts written by German soldiers, but not many by Russians. So, I was glad to get a copy of Tank Rider just published this year in the U.S. The author rode tanks from 1943 to 1945 as a 20-year-old lieutenant through some of the fiercest battles in Russia and Germany. He wrote the book years after the war was over, but his memory was still sharp.

Books like this also give you insight into the culture and the living conditions inside Russia at the time. One thing that stands out is the lack of food and physical comforts. In the late 1930’s, the author often went hungry and slept on the floor without blankets. As a recruit he sometimes had nothing more than a single beet in boiled water for a day’s nourishment. Finding something to eat became an obsession. As the war unfolded, the Russian army had to live off the land taking food from civilians or from captured German supplies. The point is that under communism, Russia couldn’t feed its people or even sustain its army. Russian communism led to starvation and poverty.

A current example of starvation under communism exists in Venezuela. Shortages of food have reduced the population to eating flamingos, anteaters and donkeys. This once prosperous country has descended into socialist hell and the people are fleeing. When you dismantle capitalism, your citizens begin to starve.

Nevertheless, half the people in America cannot connect the dots. They see capitalism as evil or unworkable. They want to replace it with a government-controlled system. In other words, they favor socialism over capitalism. This is a form of national suicide. Its advocates are strongest in the media, the campuses, Hollywood, New York City, Silicon Valley, and other liberal bastions. If they had a few weeks on 200 calories a day, they would see things differently. But by the time that happens, it will be too late.

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