By Marcus Aurelius Arnheiter II
Shortly after his inauguration, in late January of 1981, newly minted President Ronald Reagan began a series of meetings with key advisors and administration officials. The subject of these meetings concerned the formation of Reagan’s plan to bring down the communist and totalitarian Soviet Union. Reagan understood the innate flaws of both communist ideology and the application of Marxist principles in governance. In short, Reagan realized that Communism, like it’s watered down siblings- socialism and liberalism, simply doesn’t work. He was aware of the severe problems adherence to communist doctrine had visited upon the people of the Soviet Union and it’s Eastern European allies. Namely, the harsh and massive shortages in food and housing as well as the the stores, all across the nation, which were bare of basic consumer goods. Much like we see in the few remaining communist countries in the world today: Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea.
Reagan told his advisors and select cabinet secretaries that the status quo, of perpetual proxy wars while the Communists and Free world remained locked in a high stakes cold war, was unacceptable. Further, that Communism was a evil system and that the United States should focus on victory over the the USSR as opposed to an antagonistically tense Cold War status quo. The new Reagan policy toward the Soviet Union and it’s communist allies represented a radical break from break past administrations which had settled for mere coexistence and, in some cases, appeasement.
Reagan proclaimed that Marxism-Leninism would be left on the “ash heap of history.” On March 8, 1983, with his program to bring down the Soviets having already been placed into action, Reagan proclaimed in his famous “Evil Empire” speech, “I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written.”
This speech was given by Reagan a year after Reagan’s covert attack to bring down the USSR was initiated. As Reagan defense secretary Casper Weinberger would later say, “We adopted a comprehensive strategy that included economic warfare, to attack Soviet weaknesses. It was a silent campaign, working through allies and using other measures. It was a strategic offensive, designed to shift the focus of the superpower struggle to the Soviet bloc, even the soviet union itself.” It was a bold plan. A stroke of genius on Reagan’s part.
The objectives and particulars of the offensive were set forth in a series of highly classified national security decision directives (NSDD) from Reagan to the applicable agency and department heads. NSDD-66 mandated that it would be the policy of the United States government to, “disrupt the Soviet economy by attacking a strategic triad of critical recourses that were deemed vital for the Soviet Union’s survival. The plan also called for direct covert action against the Soviet Union and it’s allies worldwide.
On the military side, the United States, under Reagan’s directives revamped it’s military with new equipment, vehicles, tanks and aircraft. This entire transformation of the United States military also included new systems which were significantly more technologically advanced than their counterparts in the Soviet Union. Reagan also directed the deployment of intermediate range nuclear missiles to US military bases in western Europe. These military advancements and deployments alone, sent the Soviet leaders into a panic and and caused them to divert significant resources from their civilian populace in a desperate attempt to keep up with the Reagan’s new American military. This worsened the USSR’s economic woes.
The Reagan offensive to take down the Soviet Union included the following:
- The covert financial, intelligence and logistical support to the anti-communist Solidarity movement in Poland.
- Heavy financial support to the Afghan rebels fighting Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan.An orchestrated campaign to dramatically devalue the Soviet currency by driving down the price of oil and working with NATO allied countries to limit Soviet natural gas imports.
- A sophisticated and detailed psychological operation to to fuel indecision and fear among Soviet leaders.
- A worldwide campaign to limit Soviet access to high technology.
- A widespread technological campaign designed to disrupt the Soviet economy.
- An aggressive high-tech revamping and build-up of the US military which caused the USSR to severely strain and ultimately, exacerbate it’s resources. This included the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
Reagan’s plan succeed and had put the USSR and it allies on their heels within six years of the plan’s implementation. Yet, liberals are still fond of saying the hackneyed slogan, “Gorbachev ended the Cold War, not Reagan.” Yet, many of the Soviet leaders of the era seem to take strong exception to theh liberal slogan pertaining to their demise.
General Oleg Kalugin, an unrepentant communist and KGB leader said, “American (Reagan’s) policy in the 1980’s was a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
Yevgenny Novikov, another communist and former senior staff member of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee said that Ronald Reagan’s policies toward the USSR “were a major factor in the demise of the Soviet system.”
Communist and former Soviet Foreign Minister, Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, told a conference at Princeton University that Reagan policies such as the Strategic Defense Initiative accelerated the decline of the Soviet Union.
In the fall of 1990, at a conference, organized in Moscow, which was put on at Harvard’s Kennedy School, liberals filled the hall to hear Communist officials from the former Soviet Union speak on the future of the new Russian Federation as well as that of the Communist ideology. Naturally, Ted Kennedy and some of his you his younger relatives were present. All through the audience, liberals were sadly lamenting the death of Communism and the fact the United States would now go unchecked in world affairs. To those liberals, as well as the liberals of today, the real enemy isn’t totalitarian Marxism but, the United States itself. Somber liberal voices could be heard, throughout the hall, trying desperately explain away the collapse of the Communist bloc countries.
“Really, the USSR and the Warsaw Pact countries only failed because they were not true representations of Socialism or Communism,” said a Harvard student with a straight face.
“Communism had done so much for the poor and oppressed masses in Europe,” professed a saddened leftist women who conveniently forgot to recall the 60 million murdered by Soviet and Eastern Bloc governments as well as the millions more who were enslaved in the various gulags.
Many in the crowd were simply looking for excuses for the USSR’s demise as well as assurances that there was still a future for Communism in our world. Thus, this progressive crowd was rocked to their core when when former leading communist and key Soviet economist Boris Pinsker took to the podium to address the crowd of his ideological kissing cousins- the liberal/progressive crowd in attendance.
The lefty American crowd warmly applauded Comrade Pinsker as he was introduced and walked up to the podium. At last we will learn the real reason for the collapse of the Communist governments and learn about the road map back the Socialism, the crowd seemed to collectively think to itself. They would soon be disappointed.
After a few introductory remarks, the former Soviet economist cut to the chase.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Pinsker began to speak through his Russian accent, “If it had not been for the Reagan defense buildup and if the United States had not demonstrated it’s willingness to stand up for freedom by devoting considerable sums of money to defend it, I would not be sitting here today having a free and open discussion between Russians and Americans. Ronald Reagan and his policies brought down my country and it’s strategic allies in Eastern Europe.” There was a brief pause as the liberal/progressive audience members looked at each other in frantically perplexed ways. Then it began. They hissed and then booed their erstwhile ideological ally. Some yelled out, “No!” Pinsker continued through the ruckus, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, ladies and gentlemen but, Ronald Reagan’s policies ruined our great Socialist experiment. I was, after all there.” The liberal audience continued to boo and hiss- now even louder. Select audience members bellowed out disparaging remarks. Ted Kennedy shook his head disapprovingly. Harvard professors wore looks of scorn. Another former Communists official, on the panel spoke out, “He speaks the truth!” More jeers from the audience followed. The scene recalled one of Ronald Reagans more famous sayings, “A liberal is someone who will defend, to their death, your right to agree with them.”
What the former Communist officials failed to realize is that American liberals can’t accept nor afford to have history accurately recorded as it would serve as a repudiation of everything they believe in. Instead of admitting the truth, they instead choose the easier route of distorting and revising historical facts- a tactic they learned well from their ideological bedfellows, the Communists themselves. Reagan himself would not have been surprised by the leftist crowd’s response. He knew all about liberals, socialist and communists from his years in Hollywood.
Reagan started off his adult life as a liberal Democrat- for sixteen years. He saw how Communists infiltrated the major movie studios. How they attempted to place, with some success, Communist ideology into film scripts. How they recruited actors, directors and writers. He witnessed, while serving as President of the Screen Actors Guild, how Communists with the help of their liberal benefactors, sought to take over the actor’s union. When Reagan, still himself a liberal, rebuffed the Communist subversion within his union, they threatened his life and also repeatedly threatened to have someone attack him by throwing acid in his face in order to ruin his successful and highly lucrative career as a screen actor.
It was the fact that so many liberals, in Hollywood, were willing to accommodate, if not overtly promote the Communist cause, that caused Reagan to reconsider his own liberal values. After continued threats of violence from local Communists in the Southern California area, Reagan finally decided to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American activities. Reagan named the names as a friendly witness, and our country and society was better off for it.
As he often shared with his closest advisors, going back to his days as a successful Governor of California, “Liberalism, Socialism and Communism are all headed toward the same place- just at different speeds.” That “same place” was the end of capitalism, free speech, property rights, due process and complete government control of our daily lives. It’s still to this day, the very goal of the Liberal/Socialist/Communist Alliance. Only now, they’re much further along than in Ronald Reagan’s time.