It's incredible that critiques of Stalinism -- 'gulagism' -- are invariably one-sided, to the point of being obviously propagandist. Consider that the USSR's degenerated workers state, such as it was, was still considered a rival to the Western / European capitalist paradigm and to Western Civilization itself.
If any proffered criticism of Soviet-Union heavy-handedness is laid side-by-side next to the barbarities of *Western* civilization, we'd have a fairer comparison between the two societal / civilizational approaches.
I'll add that the Cold War paradigm boils down to exactly that -- *rivalry* -- and nothing else. While I don't geopolitically apologize-for this-or-that nation-state, the reality around the end of the 19th century was that of geopolitical *rivalry*, between the industrialized, established Western powers and the up-and-coming regionalist empires like Germany and Japan. (For example the right-wing term 'crony capitalism' is simply referring to a tighter integration between commerce and state, which trades off a 'freer' domestic civilian civil liberties domain for the efficiencies of an overall *guided*, planning-type nationalist administration, over its nationalist businesses, so as to industrialize and better-compete with the West.) (Consider the relative composition and statuses of the societies of Scandanavia versus North Korea, today.)
U.S. imperialism, too, has plenty of battlefield and gulag-type victims, too -- an area of history not usually explored due to the prevailing paradigm of U.S. exceptionalism, triumphalism, and hegemony. For example:
A sustained and widespread massacre of Filipino civilians followed. All food and trade to Samar were cut off, with the intention of starving the revolutionaries and the civilian populace into submission. Smith's strategy on Samar involved widespread destruction of land and towns to force inhabitants to stop supporting the guerrillas and turn to the Americans out of fear of starvation. He used his troops in sweeps of the interior in search for guerrilla bands and in attempts to capture Philippine General Vicente Lukbán, but he did nothing to prevent contact between the guerrillas and the townspeople. American columns marched across the island, destroying homes and shooting people and draft animals. The exact number of Filipino civilians killed by US troops will never be known. Littleton Waller, in a report, stated that over an eleven-day period his men burned 255 dwellings, shot 13 carabaos, and killed 39 people. An exhaustive research made by a British writer in the 1990s put the figure at about 2,500 dead; Filipino historians believe it to be around 50,000. As a consequence of his order in Samar, Smith became known as "Howling Wilderness Smith".
Regarding the massacres in Bud Dajo, Major Hugh Scott, the District Governor of Sulu Province, where the incidents occurred, recounted that those who fled to the crater "declared they had no intention of fighting, ran up there only in fright, and had some crops planted and desired to cultivate them." The description of the engagement as a "battle" is disputed because of both the overwhelming firepower of the attackers and the lopsided casualties. The author Vic Hurley wrote, "By no stretch of the imagination could Bud Dajo be termed a 'battle'". Mark Twain strongly condemned the incident in several articles he published, and commented: "In what way was it a battle? It has no resemblance to a battle. We cleaned up our four days' work and made it complete by butchering these helpless people."
A higher percentage of Moros were killed than in other incidents now considered massacres. For example, the highest estimate of Native Americans killed at the Wounded Knee Massacre is 300 out of 350, a death rate of 85%, whereas in Bud Dajo, there were only six Moro survivors out of a group estimated at 1,000, a death rate of over 99%. As at Wounded Knee, the Moro group included women and children. Moro men in the crater who had arms possessed melee weapons. While fighting was limited to ground action on Jolo, use of naval gunfire contributed significantly to the overwhelming firepower brought to bear against the Moros. During the engagement, 750 men and officers, under the command of Colonel J.W. Duncan, assaulted the volcanic crater of Bud Dajo (Tausūg: Būd Dahu), which was populated by 800 to 1,000 Tausug villagers.
Moving on the timeline, we can readily ask why the Allies weren't more proactive in shutting down the Nazi war machine early-on, instead of allowing Western 'intelligence' to go to waste, allowing the descent into a preventable all-out World War II, and civilizational polarization, thus *necessitating* the USSR's wartime state, and its gulags.
The Polish government-in-exile in London first reported crimes in the Auschwitz complex to the western public in 1941. Information about tortures inside this camp was published in the same year in New York in a government report from occupied Poland titled The Polish White Book The Auschwitz camp was also noted in The Black Book of Poland a 750-page report published in 1942 in New York by the Ministry of Information of the Polish government-in-exile, describing atrocities committed by Germany in occupied Poland in twenty-two months between the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and the end of June 1941. Both were printed in New York by The Greystone Press and G.P. Putnam's Sons
In 1942, Lieutenant Jan Karski reported to the Polish, British and U.S. governments on the situation in occupied Poland, especially the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto and the general systematic extermination of the Poles and Jews nationally. He did not know about the murder by gas, repeating the common belief at the time that deported Jews were being exterminated with electricity. Karski met with the Polish government-in-exile, including the Prime Minister, Władysław Sikorski, as well as with members of political parties such as the Socialist Party, National Party, Labor Party, People's Party, Jewish Labour Bund and Zionist Party. He also spoke to Anthony Eden, the British Foreign Secretary, and included a detailed statement on what he had seen in Warsaw and in Bełżec. In 1943 in London he met the author and journalist Arthur Koestler. He then traveled to the United States and reported to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR reacted to Karski's report by inquiring jokingly into animal rights abuses (specifically, horses). His report was a major source of information for the Allies.
The Polish Government — as the representatives of the legitimate authority on territories in which the Germans are carrying out the systematic extermination of Polish citizens and of citizens of Jewish origin of many other European countries — consider it their duty to address themselves to the Governments of the United Nations, in the confident belief that they will share their opinion as to the necessity not only of condemning the crimes committed by the Germans and punishing the criminals, but also of finding means offering the hope that Germany might be effectively restrained from continuing to apply her methods of mass extermination.
— Edward Bernard Raczyński (1891–1993) Note to United Nations, 10 December 1942.