June 2, 2005

The Gulag of Our Times, Revisited

The other day I wrote briefly about Amnesty International’s comparison of Gitmo to the Gulag. I didn’t bother to spell out the differences. They’re obvious to anyone who knows even a little about Stalin’s slave labor camps.

But it’s still nice to see the key differences cited by someone who does it as articulately as John Podhoretz does here.
Number of prisoners at Gitmo: approximately 600.

Number of prisoners in the Gulag: as many as 25 million, according to the peerless Gulag historian Anne Applebaum.

Number of camps at Gitmo: 1

Number of camps in the Gulag: At least 476, according to Applebaum.

Political purpose of Gulag: The suppression of internal dissent inside a totalitarian state.

Political purpose of Gitmo: The suppression of an international terrorist group that had attacked the United States, killing 3,000 people while attempting to decapitate the national government through the hijack of airplanes.

Financial purpose of Gulag: Providing totalitarian economy with millions of slave laborers.

Financial purpose of Gitmo: None.

Seizure of Gulag prisoners: From apartments, homes, street corners inside the Soviet Union.

Seizure of Gitmo prisoners: From battlefield sites in Afghanistan in the midst of war.
UPDATE: Don't miss this post at Beautiful Atrocities - In the Future, Everyone Will Be Hitler for 15 Minutes. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 2, 2005 4:40 PM

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