The ‘Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’ (VOC) is a Washington based organisation that states its purpose is "educating Americans about the ideology, history and legacy of communism." but obviously this is not the truth. The foundation rather fulfils a propagandist role: spouting imperialist rhetoric and denouncing communism as an evil ideology while promoting capitalism as one that enshrines liberty and democracy – in a nation that imprisons the most people in the world no less. This foundation, if we are to look behind the glitzy images and well edited videos and investigate its origins and emergence, shows us its true purpose – if it was not clear already.
The Founders and the VOC’s Emergence
The foundation came into being in 1994 and its founders – Lee Edwards, Lev Dobriansky and Zbigniew Brzezinski – were a group of conservative individuals, staunch anti-communists, bureaucrats, and academics that, interestingly and yet unsurprisingly, bare connections to the Nazi war machine. For instance, one of the founders Lev Dobriansky, a Ukrainian nationalist, prior to the formation of the VOC was also the founder a chairman of the National Captive Nations Committee (NCNC), an anti-communist advocacy group formed in 1959. The co-chair of NCNC was a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator, Yaroslav Stetsko, who was also the leader of the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, both of which worked with Hitler and sought the destruction of communism. Furthermore, Dobriansky also wrote the Captive Nations Week Resolution, that is an annual official observance by the US government of “captive nations” (i.e., anywhere governed by communists) and is still practised, most recently targeting China and Vietnam deeming them totalitarian.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, another founder, also holds unsavoury credentials. Brzezinski as National Security Advisor was the architect of the Soviet-Afghan War, his plan was to ultimately lure in the Soviets into their “own Vietnam” by supporting religious zealots – the Mujahedeen with Operation Cyclone (1979-1989) – and bleed them from their underbelly. This included funding and supporting numerous individuals in Afghanistan that would hold connections to those that orchestrated the 9/11 attacks in the US. One such individual was the CIA’s prized asset Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was a close associate of Osama Bin-Laden and was crucial in the formation of al-Qaeda. Once Brzezinski, in 1998, was asked about whether he regretted his actions that led to the rise of religious fundamentalism and giving arms to terrorists, Brzezinski replied: “What was more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold war?”. The final bill for this endeavour, Operation Cyclone, was some $3 billion – while back in the United States the “Rust Belt” was ravaged by an economic depression and a crack epidemic was destroying communities, the imperial core was, and remains, crumbling while billions are spent causing death and destruction abroad.
The last founder Lee Edwards is an anti-communist academic and apart of the commentariat, that also assisted in founding the youth conservative action group the Young Americans for Freedom, in 1960, and was a former chairman of the VOC. Edwards also is a distinguished fellow of highly influential conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, which has continuously supported belligerent and sadistic US actions abroad – be it the Iraq War that the foundation unequivocally backed or the Guantanamo Bay torture camp. The Heritage Foundation has also been fighting against climate change and, more recently, been denouncing critical-race theory – the funders of this think tank are also quite illuminating as they have consisted of Mobil, Chase Manhattan Bank, General Motors, and Pfizer.
Come 1993 Congress granted the NCNC, an organisation that was formerly co-chaired by a Nazi collaborator, permission to raise funds to establish the “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” and to construct, maintain, and operate a “victims of communism” memorial in Washington (as seen below). This came in via the passing of the FRIENDSHIP Act of 1993 that was signed in by President Bill Clinton, it cited, "the deaths of over 100,000,000 victims in an unprecedented imperial holocaust" and that “these victims should be permanently memorialized so that never again will nations and peoples allow so evil a tyranny to terrorize the world." Thus, the equating of Nazism and communism – despite the Nazis purging communists and the USSR destroying the Nazi horde for which more than 20 million Soviets died – was introduced by the US government inserting a narrative of a double genocide: one being carried out by Nazi Germany and one by the Soviet Union. All while a million Indonesian communists, or even those deemed to be so, were killed and thrown in concentration camps by Suharto and his Western backed regime; hundreds and thousands killed, disappeared, and imprisoned by Washington’s Operation Condor in South America; millions killed in Korea and Vietnam; the supporting of fascist and former Nazis throughout Europe – Operation Gladio – that sentenced thousands to death and imprisonment; and countless others.
The Lie that Communism Killed “100 million”
The VOC also purports that “communism killed 100 million” and this has become a phrase that has impregnated the minds of millions via large-scale propaganda efforts. So much so, that many people when asked who these “100 million victims” of communism are many do not know the answer and continue to spew information that they read in a capitalist press. But where did this “100 million” figure come from? The source for this so-called death toll of communism is a 1997 publication, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, that further solidified and promoted the comparison between Nazism and Communism. The text has been heavily criticised by academics for a number of reasons. One being due to Stéphane Courtois, one of the authors, according to others who contributed to the text, being obsessed with reaching the “100 million” mark. This according to another one of the authors, Jean-Louis Margolin, resulted in "sloppy and biased scholarship" seeing exaggerated totals. Margolin also rejected the comparisons made between Communism and Nazism. Others such as nominal foreign policy expert William Blum even stated, The Black Book of Communism is "a book that is to the study of communism what the [fabricated] Protocols of the Elders of Zion is to Judaism." To make the text even more illegitimate, Courtois’s obsession to reach the “100 million” goal also led him to attribute the deaths of Nazis killed by the Soviets in World War Two to the overall total “death toll of communism”.
The “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” Currently
The VOC’s current chairman, Edwin J. Feulne, founded the aforementioned conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation and clearly has vested interest in spewing anti-communist propaganda. As he, along with his wealthy backers, including the US government, need to secure economic hegemony and must demonise and subdue forces that seek to liberate the oppressed, end exploitation, and free themselves from capitalist supremacy. Hence, we see the VOC make claims about Cuba, in light of the recent astroturfed protests, that “Cuba shall be free.” and “We [the VOC] urge the Biden administration stand by the Cuban people and send a clear message that human rights violations will not be tolerated.” Not mentioning the US embargo that is genocidal and, in fact, calls for increased sanctions which will only lead to hurt the Cuban people further, not caring for them in the slightest only seeking the expansion of capital and making Cuba a US colony. Furthermore, USAID, a regime-change arm of the US government, also funds the VOC and saw USAID award the VOC $1 million in 2019 for “promoting human rights in Cuba”, that actually means: destroying the revolution and re-enslaving the population and economy. All of which only debunks and further discredits this “foundations” claims of legitimacy – if there was any to begin with.
The VOC that is embedded in the imperial propaganda apparatus of the US has been central in the information war against China, spreading disinformation, propaganda, and outright lies. Utilising the forever present anti-communist beliefs of Americans and others, due to the internationalising of the Red Scare, to demonise one of Washington’s largest competitors – who happen to be communists. We see this by the VOC declaring all COVID-19 deaths worldwide, some 4.23 million at time of writing, to be the fault of China and lump them onto the “overall death toll” of communism. This also allows Washington to lay blame on China, whose COVID-19 related deaths are below 5,000 due to rapid government response, for their lack of care and the prioritising of capital that has caused the deaths of over 600,000 people in the US.
Moreover, the VOC is the source of study that allegedly exposed China’s “genocide” in Xinjiang. The report emerged from a VOC research fellow named Adrian Zenz, a German pseudo-scholar who has stated he “was led by God” to fight communism. Zenz’s study has been debunked numerous times by countless journalists and academics. For instance, Lyle Goldstein, a China specialist and research professor at in the Strategic and Operational Research Department of the Naval War College, stated Zenz’s claim of China’s “demographic genocide” is “ridiculous to the point of being insulting to those who lost relatives in the Holocaust”. The Grayzone, an independent media organisation, reviewed Zenz’s research and found “flagrant data abuse”, “outright falsehoods”, and the “cherry-picking” of source material. Further studies by Italian research institutes (Italian Institute of Politics, Society and Economics, the Italian Institute of International Diplomacy, and the Italian Eurasian Mediterranean Research Center) on the Xinjiang “genocide” have repeated aforementioned claims. Fabio Massimo Palandi, an IR scholar who organised the report, stated that many of the think tanks, media, and scholars in the West generated false reports and accusations about Xinjiang, suggesting it was for geopolitical gain.
Yet the VOC’s “study” precedes as the key source for alleged “genocide” in Xinjiang, that even US State Department lawyers have concluded lacks sufficient evidence. Nevertheless, lost in a media storm with numerous corporate news agencies reporting on one another’s stories and generating a confirmation bias, the original source is lost and not investigated. Allowing the VOC to propagate on behalf of capital and US imperialism.
Thus, the VOC a foundation that stems from the NCNC, an organisation that was co-chaired by a Nazi collaborator; founded to promote capitalism by individuals who have caused and supported the death and destruction of millions; and funded by the US government to carry out propaganda to manufacture consent for hybrid and eventual asymmetric warfare against communist states or nations deemed so is not legitimate in the slightest and only serves ruling class interests.