On the morning of September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked passenger airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York, as well as the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people. It was the first time since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that the United States suffered a blow of this scale on its own soil. The 9/11 attacks had worldwide impact. The United States launched a global War on Terror, overthrowing the Islamic regime in Afghanistan and the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
The public has since become familiar with the terrorist movement and its representatives, such as Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Few, however, are aware of the close relationship between terrorism and communism.
The terms “terrorism” and “terrorist” first appeared in 1795 as a reference to the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, which laid the foundations for the communist movement (see Chapter Two of this book).
In the modern world, terrorism comes primarily in three forms: state terrorism under communist regimes, terrorist activity carried out abroad by the agents of communist regimes with the aim of spreading violent revolution, and Islamic extremism, which owes much of its ideology and methods to communism.
State Terrorism Under Communist Regimes
The communist century is a century of lies, violence, and killing. Terrorism is an important tool for communists to spread their ideology around the world. The rise of a communist regime, in turn, results without exception in the mobilization of the state machine to impose terrifying brutality. This government-sponsored repression is state terrorism.
Vladimir Lenin relied on terrorism to take power in Russia. In 1918, Felix Dzerzhinsky, whom Lenin regarded as a revolutionary hero for his role as director of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Cheka), said plainly, “We stand for organized terror — this should be frankly admitted.”
The Marxist Karl Kautsky, who in 1919 published Terrorism and Communism, gave a comprehensive overview of what would come to pass under the proletarian dictatorship that Lenin sought to establish. Examining the violence of the French Revolution, Kautsky concluded that Lenin’s Bolsheviks had inherited the terrorist character of the Jacobins and would repeat it.
Yuri N. Afanasyev, a Russian historian, blamed Lenin for founding a policy of state terror, violence, and lawlessness: ”Violence is actually our entire history,” Afanasyev said.
Following the creation of the Soviet Union, the communist regimes of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Erich Honecker, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Kim Il Sung, and other despots all depended on killing to maintain their power. The violence and barbarism of their state terror has been addressed in previous chapters.
Violence and murder comprise but one component of communism’s terrorist agenda. Even more destructive is how communism uses the combined powers of political and religious fervor to indoctrinate people with communist party culture, planting the seeds of deceit, hatred, and violence to be passed from generation to generation.
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