Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 19 - The Unsung Hero of Soviet Liberation Reverend Moon Meets Gorbachev [Part 2 / 6]
The Path Toward Perestroika
Let us look at what changes the Soviet Union went through during the fourteen years between Reverend Moon's Washington Monument Rally and the Moon-Gorbachev talks in 1990.
I stated that Reverend Moon had predicted that "changes will arise from within the Soviet Union ... changes such as a transformation in consciousness." And that's what happened. The changes that occurred in the Soviet Union during those years could only be described as a transformation in consciousness.
During the decade from the early 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s, the Cold War was at its zenith. The conflict, of course, was only a "cold" war in words. In reality, it was a "hot war," albeit one without the sound of guns. During this period, local conflicts and proxy wars broke out here and there across the globe, and the East-West axis was passionately involved in a fight to the finish. The man at the center of power in the Soviet Union at this time was General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev devoted his iron-willed determination and vision to the gruesome goal of world communization. Enflamed in his ambition of world communization, he proclaimed the Brezhnev Doctrine and established a basic strategy for the victory of Bolshevism worldwide: Once a nation becomes socialist (communist), it should never be allowed to remove itself from the sphere of the Soviet Union's influence. Second, the communist camp, with the Soviet Union at its center, must actively support the spread of the communist cause (exportation of the revolution).
In other words, the Soviet Union exercised ironfisted control over the entire communist empire. If any nation attempted to remove itself from the communist ranks, it would be subject to retaliation by the Soviet military. An example of this doctrine was the violent suppression of the so-called "Prague Spring" in Czechoslovakia.
In 1968, the head of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, Alexander Dubchek, promoted various reforms under the slogan "socialism with a human face." In advocating freedom of thought and of the press and a multi-party political system, Dubchek met with considerable public support. The Soviet Union, perceiving a threat to its interests, mobilized Warsaw Pact troops and intervened to crush the popular movement for liberty and freedom. This merciless implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine soon had the other nations of the communist camp shaking in their boots.
Even before Brezhnev, a similar incident had occurred in Hungary in 1956. In this case, the Soviet army invaded the country to overthrow a reform-minded government. The administration wanted to defect from the Soviet camp, abolish the single-party dictatorship, and promote liberalization. The incident eventually resulted in the execution of Imre Nagy, the leader of the administration. Three thousand people were killed and two hundred thousand made refugees.
During Brezhnev's era, there was virtually no place on the globe that was untouched by the bloody hand of the Soviet Union. The world was rife with the fires of communist revolution. Numerous nations in a variety of regions fell under the sway of the communist march. The territories of the Soviet empire changed constantly, and it seemed like the map of the globe had to be redrawn every other day. With America's bitter defeat in the Vietnam War and its subsequent retreat from the region, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos all fell to communist control. One could fairly describe this period as the Soviet Union's golden age. The goal of world dominion seemed close to materialization. Finally, in a gesture that seemed to be a direct challenge to the credibility of the United States as leader of the free world, an exultant and super-confident Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan with 150,000 regular army troops. Nevertheless, with the coming of the 1980s, the fortunes of the USSR began to change in a big way.
Even as its political power extended throughout the world, the Soviet Union's economic power began to crumble. Every time a new nation was turned, the Soviet Union's burden increased to an equivalent extent. For example, it spent an average of $1 million per day to support Cuba. The global reach of the Soviet Union's allies -- from Angola in Africa to Nicaragua in Central America, from North Korea in Northeast Asia to Vietnam in Southeast Asia -- ensured that they could not be supported forever by its economic might.
The Soviet domestic economy was stagnated. Yet the Soviets, who had hitherto held superiority in the arms race with the United States, strained to invest in producing ICBMs. Even Brezhnev, once so full of limitless ambition, began to get anxious.
The final goal of Brezhnev's plan was to subdue and communize the United States by the 1980s. Once the United States had fallen, victory would he assured, so the Soviet strategy hinged on bringing the United States under communist control. The first line of attack was to threaten the United States with an overwhelming nuclear force, then instigate revolution in small regions all across the globe to weaken America in a war of attrition, and finally to arouse confusion, agitation and a sense of hopelessness inside the United States by way of an ideological offensive in the form of a war of propaganda.
In this way, the Soviets intended to take the United States without so much as a gunshot. For this strategy to be successful, the nuclear factor was decisive; the Soviet Union required at least two or three times more nuclear weaponry than the United States. Until the 1980s, despite the difficult economic conditions, everything seemed to be going according to Brezhnev's blueprint. The core of the Soviet leadership still had plenty of reason to walk around with smiles on their faces and confident satisfaction in their step.
The next development was unexpected. To the bewilderment of the Soviets, Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States. This turn of events was not in the Soviet plans; under their scenario, the incumbent, Jimmy Carter, would be reelected. Reagan knew only too well what the communist strategy was, and his philosophy was thoroughly anti-communist.
With the beginning of the Reagan administration, the morale of the American people was revived and transformed. The U.S. economy rebounded under Reaganomics, and the renewal of military power led to a revitalization of defensive strength. Reagan kept his campaign promise.
The knockout blow was delivered, as I have noted, the day that the SDI was announced, March 23, 1983. The announcement of this policy shift virtually negated the nuclear superiority for which the Soviet Union had striven with every drop of its energy. Once this strategic defense strategy was implemented, it would not matter how many ICBMs the Soviet Union had equipped with nuclear warheads; they would all be virtually useless. Faced with the prospect of the SDI, the Soviet leadership found their future looking extremely bleak.
By now the U.S. government had gone on the offensive against the Soviet Union, and a slackening appeared not only in the Soviet economy but also in the political system. The reason for this relaxation was the successive deaths of several Soviet supreme leaders. In 1982 General Secretary, Leonid Brezhnev, the leader of the world communism strategy, died.
Yuri Andropov, 68, served after him but died after holding power for little more than a year. Next was Konstantin Chernenko, who became general secretary at the age of 72. Old and weak, he died after a mere thirteen months as Soviet leader.
In this way, a desire for generational change grew and eventually peaked with the dawn of the Gorbachev administration. When he became the most powerful leader in the Soviet Union in March 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev was a sprightly 54 years old. He was the youngest member in the Politburo. The senior members of the Politburo were all feeble with old age. To avoid a repetition of the deaths of Andropov and Chernenko, the youngest and healthiest member of the Politburo was chosen to lead the nation.
Gorbachev was, in fact, a baptized Christian. He had received baptism as an infant, thanks to his mother, who was a devoted believer in the Russian Orthodox faith. Gorbachev was also born with a large red birthmark across the right side of his forehead.
One time after Gorbachev had come to power, I made the prediction that "Gorbachev will he the last ruler of the USSR." I was giving a series of lectures during a tour of major South Korean cities. Using a slide to illustrate my point, I said, "God sent Gorbachev and stamped his forehead with the symbol of blood to tell him that he must liquidate the debt owed to the 150 million innocent victims of communist slaughter."
Gorbachev's wife, Raisa, was a devout communist and philosopher/scholar who lectured in Marxism-Leninism.
The newly elected secretary general inherited a legacy of debt that looked all but impossible to resolve. Although the Soviet Union appeared on the surface to be a superpower able to exert its influence across the globe, its domestic problems were both acute and pervasive. The domestic economy was in shambles, the people's morale had hit rock bottom, the ability of the Communist Party to lead the nation had waned considerably, corruption was rampant, and the Soviet ambition for world communization had failed utterly. Faced with these realities, Gorbachev's only choice was to implement an overhaul. The Soviet Union would have to abandon its ambition of world dominion.
To revive the Soviet economy, Gorbachev had to reduce defense spending, which was one of the nation's primary burdens, and pursued coexistence with the West. He squarely confronted the reality that there was no way for the Soviet Union to overcome the difficulties facing it without the West's support.
Nevertheless, at the time Gorbachev did not intend to go so far as to abandon communism. He planned to buy time by advancing the policy of disarmament and coexistence with the United States, and in the interim refurbish the Soviet Union's domestic infrastructure to a level befitting a superpower. Partial reforms made within the framework of the communist system could not bring the required results, however, and gradually the secretary general began to pursue reform of the communist system itself, finally arriving at what was effectively a rejection of Marxism-Leninism. (Marxism-Leninism was not denied per se, but non-communist policies were implemented, such as the introduction of a market economy under democratic principles.)
The first major domestic policy change came in 1986. This was the policy of glasnost (openness). No one in the West trusted him, however. At this stage, everyone thought that glasnost was just another deceptive policy designed to mislead the Western alliance and bring about worldwide Bolshevism. This is when Gorbachev's natural character and innate diplomatic skills really came to the fore. He had the ability to persuade people and came across as charismatic. Step by step, Gorbachev began to win the confidence and trust of the West.
In 1987, he took the next big step with another policy initiative, perestroika (reformation, reconstruction). Considering the rigid Soviet society at the time, this new initiative meant nothing less than a revolution. Now, revolutions are usually instigated by junior officers who can no longer stomach injustice or corruption. They are not normally instigated by the top leader of the nation. This revolution, however, designed to open up the way for the Soviet Union to survive, did not begin with the military or the KGB. It began with the secretary general of the Communist Party himself.
Reverend Moon once said that there were three ways that the collapse of the Soviet Union could come about. The first was a military revolution, or coup. The second was where the Soviet Union sank further and further into difficulty, then finally, as a last resort, started a third world war. This would expand into a nuclear conflict, and collapse would follow. He pointed out that this particular path would lead to the destruction of not only the Soviet Union but also the United States, the Western world, and all humankind.
The third possible path, he said, was the most preferable. If the highest levels of the Soviet leadership embraced the winds of freedom and instigated reforms, in the end this would lead to the demise of communism. Reverend Moon added that God would guide humanity along this third path.
If we look at the facts, we can see that Reverend Moon's prediction was completely on target. God never desired the destruction of humankind. He provided the Soviet Union with a courageous, youthful leader and used him to ignite a "new Russian revolution."
Reverend Moon's strategy for the liberation of the Soviet Union was a "soft landing." He stated clearly that blood must not he shed and that nuclear conflict must be avoided no matter what. This was God's Will. Looking back on events, we can see that the Will of God was indeed realized.
Another Unknown Fact About Soviet Liberation
In chapters 14 and 15, I testified how Reverend Moon came to the United States to fight against the communist threat and liberate the Soviet Union, how he invested himself in securing Reagan's election, and how he established the Washington Times as a VOC newspaper and thus played a decisive role in suppressing the Soviet Union's ambitions for world communization.
However, Reverend Moon's efforts to liberate the Soviet Union were not limited to these activities. Let me testify about certain related facts that the world in general has been largely ignorant of.
There is an old Korean saying about hanging a carrot in front of the donkey. This particular maxim is quite useful in explaining how the liberation of the Soviet Union was accelerated. In this case, the donkey was the Soviet Union under Gorbachev, and the strategy was to hang a carrot before that donkey's nose, so the donkey focused completely on going ahead. The donkey can think of nothing else but getting that juicy carrot. The path that the Soviet donkey was encouraged to run along was the path of perestroika, economic reform, military curtailment, and disarmament. If the Soviet Union ran on this path, in the end it would come to abandon communism of its own accord.
The carrot was the aid that the Western nations could provide: economic aid, technological aid, and normalized trade relations. The Soviet Union, whose very foundations had begun to shake, soon found itself in a situation where collapse would he inevitable without this "carrot." If anyone felt this reality to the bone, it was Gorbachev. Naturally, any strategy that could dangle this carrot and get him to run in the direction of reforms was the best strategy for liberating the Soviet Union from the chains of communism as fast as possible.
Gorbachev dealt with two U.S. presidents while in office. For the First three years, his opponent was Reagan, and for the last three years he was dealing with George H. Bush.
Reagan was able to perceive the true intentions behind Gorbachev's reforms. However, ever since the time of Lenin and Stalin, the Soviet communists had employed deceptive policies as a matter of course. For them it was conventional to outwardly profess coexistence and friendship toward the United States but in reality pursue worldwide revolution behind the scenes. For this reason, conservative forces in the United States were slow to believe in Gorbachev.
When Bush was inaugurated in January 1989, the opinions of his close advisers were divided. One group judged the Gorbachev reforms to be deceptive policies in the tradition of Lenin. This was the view of National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. The other view, held by Secretary of Defense James Baker, was that the Gorbachev reforms were just that. Bush remained undecided and spent much time in consternation over which of these views was correct.
At this point, Reverend Moon came on the scene. His view was that there was no need to believe either side. Just dangle a carrot in front of Gorbachev and establish a clear-cut measure to gauge the genuineness of the reforms. In other words, he was saying, "Don't believe what anyone says. Believe actions. You have to decide the authenticity of the reforms based on what they actually practice." This view liberated Bush from making a choice between two uncertainties. Moreover, Reverend Moon developed that "measure to gauge the authenticity of the reforms" and made it available to the Bush administration.
On May 12, 1989, President Bush, in a foreign policy speech on U.S.-Soviet relations, set out a clear standard for evaluating the Gorbachev reforms. In the area of foreign relations, the main criteria were as follows:
Respect for the rights of Eastern European communist nations to self-determination (abandonment of the Brezhnev Doctrine);
Large-scale cutbacks in armaments, beginning with nuclear weapons but including conventional weapons;
Ending military aid to Cuba and Nicaragua;
Severing ties with the terrorism-sponsoring nation of Libya;
Recognition of the territorial integrity of China (self-determination for Taiwan); and
Collaboration with the United States on global issues such as drugs and environmental problems.
As far as the Soviet domestic situation, the criteria included:
Establishment of unrestricted political activity and political pluralism (which essentially meant the termination of the dictatorship of the Communist Party);
A policy of recognizing and protecting human rights;
Freedom of the press and publication; and
Removal of travel restrictions (freedom to emigrate) for Soviet citizens of Jewish descent.
Essentially, Bush was saying to Gorbachev: "Mr. General Secretary, if you want the support and aid of the West, show us your sincerity by implementing these criteria. Abandon the dictatorship of the Communist Party. Abandon your ambition for world revolution and join the ranks of the free world." Unexpectedly, Gorbachev quickly snapped at the bait. From this point on, everything began to change, all at once.
But just how did Reverend Moon convey his proposal to George Bush?
The St. Louis Declaration of the International Security Council
The story starts in the office of the chairman of the Washington Times in 1983. At that time, I was chairman of the paper, which Reverend Moon had founded only one year before.
One day, I received a rather important visitor, Dr. Joseph Churba, a renowned authority on international affairs, national security issues in particular. (Dr. Churba was also a professor of Middle East Studies at the Air University, senior Middle East intelligence estimator for the Air Force, special adviser to candidate Ronald Reagan on foreign policy, and senior policy adviser on U.S. disarmament policy, as well as the author of a number of books.)
Dr. Churba told me, "Since the Washington Times was established, I have really felt its worth. I am certain that it can play a decisive role in helping us win the Cold War. Moreover, I'm sure that Reverend Moon is the only person who can liberate communism. He is our only hope.
`Today, however, I have brought a proposal for him. In short, my proposal is the creation of an international security council. A newspaper is not enough. We have to produce concrete theory and policies for defeating communism and then provide them to policymakers. Otherwise, we are just building castles in the air. I truly want do this. Give me the responsibility. I'm determined to devote my life to doing this project."
I was moved by Dr. Churba's proposal. As far as I could see, he really hit the nail on the head, so I hopped on a plane to New York and submitted his outline to Reverend Moon, who immediately authorized us to create the organization. Antonio Betancourt was appointed vice president, and William Selig became administrative director.
Actually, when all was said and done, this organization proved to be an atomic weapon in our fight to lead communism toward liberation. From the time of its creation until the liberation of the Soviet Union, the International Security Council (ISC) was one of the foremost think tanks in the United States. Over an eight-year period, it produced numerous diplomatic and defense policies. These policies, all grounded in Victory Over Communism theory, were then made available to government policymakers.
In this way, the organization brought countless good results. Can you imagine how grateful the government was? We came up with many original ideas, then turned them into policies that the government could implement. We held many international meetings and conferences. Virtually every important specialist or scholar on security issues from America and around the globe had some kind of interaction with the ISC.
In the process of developing the ISC, one person played an important behind-the-scenes role: Mr. Sang Kook Han, then vice president of the Washington Times and onetime South Korean ambassador to Norway. Ambassador Han helped give birth to the ISC and was a big support to Dr. Churba.
One of the International Security Council's more important meetings was a three-day symposium held March 29-31, 1989, in St. Louis, Missouri. With the title "Assessing Change in the USSR," this symposium brought together eighteen internationally prominent security officials and communist-issues specialists from America and the Western bloc. It was a meeting focused more on quality than quantity, a gathering of the highest levels of global influence and power.
The focus of this symposium was the prospects for the Soviet Union and the Gorbachev reforms, as well as (in fact, particularly so) the foreign policy that the United States should adopt toward the USSR at that juncture. The issues were discussed in view of the fundamental principles that Reverend Moon had always advocated, and one outcome of the symposium was the so-called carrot policy. As I have mentioned, this policy introduced certain specific criteria by which the recent developments in the Soviet Union might be assessed.
With the conclusion of the conference, the ISC issued what came to he known as the St. Louis Declaration. This declaration put forward ten specific provisions by which the reforms taking place in the USSR might be evaluated. In other words, if the Soviet Union complied with these ten provisions, then that could be taken as signifying that the reforms were genuine. If the USSR did not comply, however, then the reforms could he regarded as false and understood as a simple ploy, a deceptive decoy policy.
These provisions were as follows:
Renunciation of the Brezhnev Doctrine;
Substantial reduction of Soviet military programs, including procurement and modernization, sustained for a period of several years;
Termination of military support of communist regimes such as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Ethiopia;
Faithful compliance with arms control treaties, including termination and reversal of violations of the ABM Treaty;
Agreement not to tie a START agreement to SDI restrictions;
Removal of the Berlin Wall;
Honoring the Helsinki Accords, including free emigration;
Institutionalization of the process of political change, including adoption of the rule of law (free trade unions, an independent judiciary, a multi-party system, etc.);
Ending the campaign of disinformation and slander being waged against the United States; and
Ending support for international terrorism.
The premise included in the criteria is that if the USSR would comply with these ten provisions, they would be eligible for large-scale aid from the Western nations. However, even a quick glance at the provisions will show that the St. Louis Declaration was virtually a demand that the Soviet Union abandon its defining characteristics, its identity. In other words, the declaration presses hard on the Soviets to abandon their ambitions of world communization, renounce the dictatorship of the Communist Party, and even give up Marxism-Leninism.
In the end, these policy proposals formed the foundation of the "Fundamental Policy for U.S.-Soviet Relations," announced by President Bush on May 12. Shortly after this announcement, the workings of the "carrot policy" were set in motion.
An important fact to realize here is that these proposals were actually the concept and creation of none other than Reverend Moon. The concept he put forth was discussed by world-level scholars, then submitted to the government as the professional opinion and suggestion of the ISC. In the end, the St. Louis Declaration came to fulfill a role comparable to the Potsdam Declaration made during World War II, but as yet only a few people are aware of the above-mentioned facts surrounding the declaration.
The Gorbachev Reforms Face Their First Test
The first real test of the Gorbachev reforms came in August 1989. How far would the Soviet Union go in implementing their reforms? How far would the reforms match the new criteria? Would they abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine? Would they actually be able to give up the dictatorship of the Communist Party? In the beginning, no one thought that the Soviet Union would comply with even one of the policy stipulations.
In August 1989, the Polish prime minister, Wojciech Jaruzelski, head of the Polish communist regime, resigned from office. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a leader of the Solidarity movement, took his place. The Solidarity movement had for many years fought a continuing struggle against the communist regime, focusing on the cause of free labor unions. The news, then, was truly amazing. When a Solidarity administration was inaugurated on September 12, the first non-communist government in modern Eastern Europe was born. To everyone's surprise, General Secretary Gorbachev abstained from intervening in the unfolding chain of events.
On October 18, Hungary adopted a multi-party presidential political system. It also changed the nation's name from the People's Republic of Hungary to the Republic of Hungary. Together, these actions were a clear indication that Hungary was abandoning the communist agenda. Once again, however, Gorbachev did not intervene.
Finally came the day that shook the whole world. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed. Prior to the collapse, a continuous stream of East German citizens was escaping, pouring out to the West via Hungary. Before the Erich Honecker regime in East Germany knew what had hit it, it had succumbed to the wave of freedom and democratization that by then was sweeping all of Eastern Europe. The Egon Krenz government took over from the Honecker regime and quickly moved to permit travel through "the Wall."
The Berlin Wall had been created along the border dividing East and West Berlin in 1961. Since then, it had always been a symbol of the Cold War. When the Wall collapsed in 1989, it signaled the impending collapse of the communist world. The entire world was taken by surprise. Everyone was shocked, captivated. It seemed as if the very axis of the planet had shifted. Now, those people who thought that a communist collapse was impossible, that the idea of the fall of communism was an idle fantasy, were forced to rethink their position.
Perhaps the fact that Gorbachev was visiting East Germany at the time of the Wall's collapse was even more amazing than the collapse of the Wall itself. The occasion of Gorbachev's visit was the fortieth-anniversary celebration of the founding of the East German nation. Gorbachev had been actively urging reform in East Germany, and in the end, it was he who brought about the retirement of Honecker, who opposed any reform whatsoever.
On November 10, Bulgaria's hard-line communist premier, Todor Zhivkov, handed in his resignation. Once again, Gorbachev's influence was largely behind this move. In Czechoslovakia, President Gustav Husak was pressed to resign.
Then, on December 1, 1989, Gorbachev visited Italy for a meeting with the pope. There he declared the validity of the Czechoslovakian political reformation movement that had been quashed by merciless Soviet tanks (Warsaw Pact troops) in the spring of 1968 (the so-called Prague Spring). This was a clear signal that the Soviet Union was renouncing the Brezhnev Doctrine.
Developments in Romania were also dramatic. The Romanian people had suffered many long years under the ruthless dictatorship of President Nicolae Ceausescu. They took to the streets to hold mass demonstrations for days on end, and finally the dictator was chased out of power. On December 22, fearful of the angry masses that surrounded the Communist Party's headquarters, the president and his wife attempted to escape by helicopter. They were captured almost immediately. On Christmas Day, they were summarily executed after a brief and terse military trial.
I remember clearly even today how the events in Romania were televised to the entire world. Gorbachev had long urged Romania to follow the path of reform. Ceausescu, however, had refused to listen.
Meanwhile, on December 2 and 3, on the Mediterranean island of Malta, President George Bush and General Secretary Gorbachev held a summit. The two leaders formally declared an end to the Cold War that had held the world community in fear for decades. Finally, the dark cloud of a nuclear holocaust between the United States and the Soviet Union was cleared away. At the same time, the defeat of communism and the USSR became a patently obvious fact.
Thus, 1989 was truly an eventful year. All the incidents and events that occurred, streaming one after the other, showed clearly that the motives behind Gorbachev's reforms were genuine. The facts showed that the general secretary was sincere in his professed desire for liberation and democratization, both in the Soviet Union and other communist nations. The events also indicated clearly that Gorbachev was sincere in seeking the support and cooperation of the "free" Western world.
Even so, Gorbachev's popularity in the USSR was extremely low. There was always a chance that the conservative communist forces would launch a counterattack and overthrow him. Gorbachev did not yet represent the sentiments of the entire nation. The military's attitude toward the reforms was hesitant, and it still wielded enormous power.
At this point, Reverend Moon determined that he must meet with Gorbachev and protect him from both the conservative communists who opposed him and the army that was waiting eagerly for an opportunity to depose him. How could he protect the general secretary? By imparting God's blessing to him, by investing the general secretary with Heaven's fortune. And Reverend Moon was the only person who could do it.
He called me in one day and instructed me to hold a mammoth conference in Moscow. "Hold the eleventh World Media Conference together with the third Summit Council for World Peace, with all the national leaders. You should also hold the ninth AULA [Association for the Unity of Latin America] conference with them."
With this incredible heavenly providence in the works, that eventful year of 1989 came to a portentous close.