Regarding the Feb. 25 article “Thai leader in hot water over remarks”: I would like to comment as one who lost part of his life due to communist brutalities during the Cold War. Nowadays people tend to forget the past and to forgive leftists who might have caused great havoc to a country’s security if they had succeeded in weakening its national government. Today there is a tendency to idealize and romanticize leftist movements of the 1960s and ’70s.

Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s remarks about Thailand’s 1976 student massacre might sound callous, but the Thai government’s suppression of the leftist movement at that time was absolutely unavoidable, considering that all of Indochina had already suffered under the Pol Pot and North Vietnamese regimes. What if Thailand had been subjected to such an offensive?

Long before that, many pro-Western/pro-capitalist nationalist governments worldwide, especially in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, had been forced to react fast against violent leftist uprisings that were incited and effectively supported by the Soviet- and Chinese-led communist blocs.

Even Japan would have been turned into a communist country had the United States not kept the country under its wing after World War II. Now that the Free World, thanks to the courage and sacrifices of soldiers and leaders all over the world, has won the Cold War, let us look back on these leftist movements without idealizing and romanticizing them. If they had won, much of the world would be a gulag today and Japan would be no better off than North Korea.

hideo kaito