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Invading is a misrepresentation of history

Capitalism's showing its ugly face once more since the downfall of the USSR is no reason to belittle the nastiness of actually existing socialism. The invasion of Hungary made quite an impression on the West European Left at the time. To quote an article on the "first" New Left in the current, fiftieth anniversary issue of the NLR:

The `first' New Left was born in 1956, a conjuncture--not just a year--bounded on one side by the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet tanks and on the other by the British and French invasion of the Suez Canal zone. These two events, whose dramatic impact was heightened by the fact that they occurred within days of each other, unmasked the underlying violence and aggression latent in the two systems that dominated political life at the time--Western imperialism and Stalinism--and sent a shock wave through the political world. In a deeper sense, they defined for people of my generation the boundaries and limits of the tolerable in politics. Socialists after `Hungary', it seemed to us, must carry in their hearts the sense of tragedy which the degeneration of the Russian Revolution into Stalinism represented for the left in the twentieth century. `Hungary' brought to an end a certain kind of socialist innocence.

To quote Wikipedia:

On 1 November, Imre Nagy received reports that Soviet forces had entered Hungary from the east and were moving towards Budapest.[116] Nagy sought and received assurances from Soviet ambassador Yuri Andropov that the Soviet Union would not invade, although Andropov knew otherwise. [...]

This second Soviet intervention, codenamed "Operation Whirlwind", was launched by Marshal Ivan Konev. The five Soviet divisions stationed in Hungary before 23 October were augmented to a total strength of 17 divisions. The 8th Mechanized Army under command of Lieutenant General Hamazasp Babadzhanian and the 38th Army under command of Lieutenant General Hadzhi-Umar Mamsurov from the nearby Carpathian Military District were deployed to Hungary for the operation.[124] Some rank-and-file Soviet soldiers reportedly believed they were being sent to Berlin to fight German fascists.[125] By 9:30 p.m. on 3 November, the Soviet Army had completely encircled Budapest.

To say that the Soviets didn't invade Hungary because they were already occupying it seems to me to be a prevarication worthy of Bill Clinton. The basic fact is that violence was used to suppress a popular revolution.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 02:14:13 PM EST
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