Deja Vu in Western Europe

I’ve been reading Peter Schweizer’s Reagan’s War, about which I’ll have more to say in the future. But I was somewhat reassured this weekend–as millions of people world-wide, and especially in Western Europe, demonstrated in favor of tyranny–to be reminded of what happened in the early 1980’s. President Reagan’s anti-Communist policies generated fierece opposition both in Western Europe and in the U.S. When he visited Europe in June 1982, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to oppose his proposal to place medium-range missiles in Germany. And the demonstrators represented no mere fringe element. In West Germany alone, 4.7 million people signed a petition calling for unilateral nuclear disarmament–a policy that would have resulted in their immediate enslavement.
Then as now, the anti-war forces adopted a pose of moral superiority, but were in fact led by traitors, criminals and terrorists. The most popular German anti-war leader was General Gert Bastain, who was respected not only in Germany but in America. Sponsored by the anti-nuclear group SANE, he made appearances on The Today Show, NPR’s All Things Considered, and many other radio and television programs. After the fall of Communism, Bastain was discovered to have been an East German agent who received a salary from STASI, the Communist secret police. And the anti-nuclear petition campaign was run by the German Peace Union, which secretly received 5 million deutsche marks annually from East Germany.
Likewise, in America the nuclear freeze movement was popular and powerful. Some polls suggested that even a majorityof Republicans favored a freeze, and many leading Democratic politicians supported the freeze movement. One of the principal organizers of the freeze movement was the World Peace Council, a group that was feted on Capitol Hill by Democratic Congressmen. After the Soviet Union collapsed, it came to light that the Council was a creature of the Soviet Politburo. The Politburo suppored it to the tune of $50 million a year, and the Countil’s anti-war activities were directed by the International Department of the Politburo’s Central Committee.
Today, opposition to the Administration’s pro-freedom policy is led in Germany by Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, a former terrorist who is now a dedicated supporter of terrorism. Today’s opposition is no more entitled to moral credibility than the Communist-inspired “peace” movement of the early 1980’s. Thankfully, it appears that President Bush, like President Reagan, is neither fooled nor deceived by those who demonstrate for “peace.”


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