Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 15 - The Washington Times Pioneers the End of the Cold War [Part 2 of 4]
"They Won't Last More Than Six Months"
The reported founding of the Washington Times astounded not only the United States but also the world. The focus of amazement, however, was not the newspaper itself, but who was making it. When people heard that the founder was none other than Reverend Moon, the preacher from Korea, not some well-known media mogul or some famous American financier, their mouths virtually gaped in surprise. "Reverend Moon? Sun Myung Moon ... that guy? ..."
Once the world media were aware of this fact, Reverend Moon's reasons became the subject of widespread conjecture. The first response was: "It's a joke! A big joke!"
"Sun Myung Moon is making a newspaper in Washington? And he's going to go up against the Washington Post? Not a chance! I mean, even the publishing monolith Time Life wasn't able to keep it running, and Sun Myung Moon says he's going to do it? You've got to be kidding." This was the first impression expressed by the American public.
One media analyst predicted, on a nationwide broadcast program, "This newspaper won't last more than six months." His attitude was almost a challenge to me: I thought, "Just you wait and see!"
A somewhat more prudent view speculated that the newspaper would be used by Reverend Moon to proselytize and spread the views of his church. They underestimated the Washington Times, thinking it would he a religious newspaper published by a minority denomination, and assuming that it wouldn't be a full-fledged daily. As a religious publication, they thought, the articles would be mostly promotional, advocating the publisher's church. The conclusion was that no one would want to read that kind of paper, so the newspaper would have to shutdown in the end.
There was also a third, more widespread but equally skeptical, opinion. This view held that although Reverend Moon was rich, there was no way he could cope with the economic difficulties of running such a paper. The prediction that the paper "wouldn't last for more than six months" was accepted as a logical conclusion, from the point of view of economics. "Sun Myung Moon has bitten off more than he can chew. Just wait and see."
Of course, in reality, it takes an astronomical amount of money to run a newspaper in the United States. That's why all the outstanding capitalists in the United States, despite feeling some attraction to the idea of producing a daily newspaper in the nation's capital, came to the conclusion that they couldn't make it work financially.
In fact, Reverend Moon invested about $1 billion in the Washington Times over the first ten years of its publication. This was possible simply because he was prepared to invest such an amount from the very beginning. As he said, "Even if we have to sacrifice the Unification Church, we have to make this newspaper. No matter what happens. The salvation of America and the world from the threat of communization requires it."
There was probably not one person in America who was aware of this kind of noble motive behind the creation of the Washington Times. The fact is, among all the wealthy individuals in the United States, not one could, without reservation, sacrifice $1 billion, even for a great and noble cause. Actually, this kind of concept would not even arise in the mind of the average American, wealthy or not.
But for a great cause, $1 billion is not a problem for Reverend Moon. He had already made the grim determination to give up his life for the cause, if necessary. Moreover, he imparted that kind of determination to his followers as well. He possesses the same spirit of sacrifice that allowed Jesus to die on the cross for the sake of all humankind.
In every sense, protecting the world from communism is equal to saving humankind. The one person who was willing to sacrifice even his own life for this goal was Reverend Moon. For someone who has determined to sacrifice his own life, is a billion dollars too dear a sacrifice? The newspaper business may be just a business for others, but for Reverend Moon, it is a holy task for which he has been appointed by Heaven. The paper is not a commercial enterprise in search of profit, but a heavenly providence with the goal of saving the world.
Since its founding in 1982, the newspaper has defied all predictions concerning its future.
On the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Washington Times, the media analyst who so confidently asserted that "this newspaper won't last more than six months" went on national television again. This time he apologized for his shortsighted narrowness and declared that the reality of the Washington Times reflected something quite extraordinary. The most amazing part of this admission was his testimony that, in the case of the Times, all those elements that ordinarily would have prevented a newspaper from being successful actually worked in reverse to make it a successful newspaper.
Previously, he had concluded, first of all, that the Times could not succeed because its founder was a religious leader ostracized and disliked by all the major media. In the end, however, the paper was successful precisely because the founder was Reverend Moon. As a religious leader who defies common understanding, the analyst explained, Reverend Moon approached the undertaking with a spirit of sacrifice and religious conviction, and this was a major factor behind the paper's success.
Second, the analyst had previously judged that the paper could not be successful as long as most members of the newspaper staff were Unification Church members with no experience in the newspaper business. In fact, however, because the Unification Church members were ignorant of newspaper publishing realities, they jumped right into the work without fear or concern for failure, and this also made the success of the paper possible.
Of course, this statement basically amounts to a recognition that the Washington Times succeeded because of the sacrificial dedication of the Unification Church believers, who invested themselves single-mindedly day and night for the sake of the newspaper.
Third, the analyst had predicted that the paper would definitely fail because the newspaper staff and owners were ignorant of economics and business realities; they didn't know what they were getting themselves into. However, at the end of the day, the analyst explained, because the personnel were not real business people, they invested over and over regardless of the economics. This allowed the newspaper to find its niche and eventually run on an even keel.
Actually, Reverend Moon looks at the balance of income and expenditures in a completely unusual manner. If he were just a good businessman, how could he even start such a foolish enterprise?
Reverend Moon always spoke to us like this: "How much would you sell your life for? What is the price you would put on it? Would you sell your life for $1 billion? For $10 billion? If I can contribute to liberating communism and prevent the suffering of millions of people, or even thousands of people, or even hundreds of people, under communist oppression, $1 billion is not too high a price to pay. Do you think I would shy away from this if it cost $10 billion, when I'm already determined to give my life if necessary?"
This is the spirit that gave birth to the Washington Times and allowed it to fulfill the purpose for which it was created.
On August 22, 1992, Reverend Moon gave the Founder's Address at the twelfth World Media Conference (hosted by the World Media Association) at the Hilton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. The title of the address was "The Mission of the Media in the Twenty-first Century." In his address, Reverend Moon talked about the state of the world ten years after the founding of the Washington Times.
So where are we now, after ten years? The bells heralding the collapse of communism rang out clearly on November 9, 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. And on Christmas Day, 1991, the communist empire founded on atheism vanished from the earth after having held the world in fear for seventy-four years. I am not saying that the Washington Times accomplished all this by itself. These developments were the results of God's providence. God, however, works His will on earth through human beings. I do not have the slightest doubt that the Times played a decisive role in bringing about the fall of communism. God used the newspaper as His tool to bring an end to the most pernicious worldwide dictatorship in history and gave freedom to tens of millions of people. Even if I had spent ten billion dollars instead of one, I could not have made a more valuable investment.
The conclusion is a moving one. This speech clearly reveals the underlying power that raised the Washington Times to the level of success it has gained.
The Times has a circulation of about 107,000, and from a worldly point of view, it runs at a loss. From God's point of view, however, this newspaper is 'a weapon in the fight against evil, a sacred instrument of the Messiah being used for the sake of world salvation.
After the collapse of communism, the Times' mission became the realization of a world of moral justice. This new direction, initiated by Reverend Moon, amounts to a call for the newspaper to become an instrument for the construction of an ethical society by working to erase corruption and unrighteousness in the world. In the Korean way of expressing things, we would say that the paper is called to instigate a moral revolution. In religious terms, this means that the Times should become the main mover in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Washington Times and SDI
When the Star brought its illustrious 12S-year history to a close, no one experienced more consternation than the White House. President Reagan had been in office for a mere seven months. The White House, now the residence of a conservative president, looked set to become stranded, an isolated island in an expansive and unfriendly ocean.
Are artist's rendition of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
President Reagan suffered anguish over the situation. He said, "The chances may he slim, but I strongly anticipate that some miracle or other will rescue the Evening Star." Through this statement, we can understand what the president's most fervent hope was. Of course, the miracle happened, but it did not come in the form of a rescue for the Evening Star but rather as the birth of the Washington Times.
The White House quietly observed the Times' development. It didn't take them long to grasp the fact that the Times was playing a leading role in the formation of public support that would be decisive in the implementation of President Reagan's policies.
The Reagan administration started the fight that would turn out to be its greatest contribution and veritably the decisive blow that would rip the scales and usher in the liberation of communism. With the staunch support of the Times, Reagan was able to stave off the attacks of the hungry, liberal-media wolves and succeed in establishing a historic policy program. This was none other than the groundbreaking program announced on March 23, 1983, under the title Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which became dubbed "Star Wars."
At this point, I'd like to offer a little bit of explanation. Reverend Moon understood the true nature of communism and the Soviet Union better than anyone else. Moreover, he clearly saw through the Soviet Union's worldwide communization strategy. He pointed out that "communist ideology allows adherents to commit any act, regardless of the loss of human life. Whether it means the complete destruction of the United States or the sacrifice of half the human race, the communist ideology is capable of carrying out such things. As long as world communization is being advanced, communists will have no hesitation. This reality is in complete agreement with the communization strategy advocated by Lenin: `The end justifies the means.' If it thinks there is any chance of winning a nuclear war, the Soviet Union will work to produce two or three times more nuclear weapons than the United States, even if it has to sacrifice its entire domestic economy. There can be no doubt that it will carry out a preemptive strike if the opportunity arises. The result would be a war that destroys the whole planet.
The deterrent policy current in the United States dictates that a nuclear strike is returned in response to a preemptive strike by the USSR. This policy is destined to fail," Reverend Moon warned. "You [the United States] have to develop a new strategy that allows protection from Soviet ICBMs [inter-continental ballistic missiles] before they reach American soil. Otherwise, not only the United States but the whole free world will be destroyed.
Around this time, as if to support the very things that Reverend Moon was saying, an impetus for a new strategic conception began to emerge in the United States. This concept was what Lt. Gen. Daniel O. Graham, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, called "High Frontier."
High Frontier envisioned several layers of a netlike barrier being woven across the high-altitude space between the USSR and the United States, using satellites equipped with computers and high technology.
According to this idea, the 432 satellites that had been dispatched into space would detect nuclear missiles launched by the Soviet Union. Once detected, the missiles would be pinpointed and destroyed by light attack missiles deployed from these satellites. Any nuclear missiles that penetrated this first-level defense net would then be pinpointed and destroyed in space by space-based lasers. Finally, any missiles that managed to escape the second-stage defense net would be spotted and destroyed by land-based missile and laser attack when reentering the atmosphere.
In other words, all the missiles launched from the Soviet Union would be detected and destroyed before arriving in U.S. territory.
Such a conception is a very thorough, defense-based strategy. Assuming it could be implemented, you could not wish for a better strategy than this. General Graham asserted that with the development of leading-edge technology, this model would become a feasible reality, not just an abstract idea.
Previously, the main thrust of the U.S. strategy for nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union was known as MAD (mutually assured destruction). This strategy was designed to deter the possibility of nuclear war using the threat of retaliation: If one side attacks, the other retaliates. Or to put this in simpler terms: If the USSR attacks us first, we will absolutely retaliate. Don't attack us unless you want to be destroyed also.
What this means is that the United States was prepared to receive a first strike by the USSR. If a first strike were made by the USSR, the United States would launch a powerful second strike against the USSR using any nuclear weapons not destroyed, thus inflicting decisive destruction upon the Soviet Union in return. The logic is that a preemptive nuclear strike by the Soviet Union would result in massive destruction on the U.S. side, but the Soviet Union would also he conclusively destroyed. With this balance of terror as a deterrent, the Soviet Union would be prevented from launching a preemptive strike. Because the same strategy would also be applied in the case of a preemptive strike on the USSR by the United States, this strategy was known as mutually assured destruction.
In addition, the United States had nuclear-capable strategic bombers continually flying the skies and submarines equipped with SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) constantly plowing the world's oceans, to make sure that retaliatory ability was maintained in the extreme case where all America's ICBM bases were destroyed by a Soviet nuclear strike.
However, this state of affairs slowly became less and less favorable to the United States for a number of reasons.
First, the Soviet nuclear capability began to drastically overwhelm the nuclear capability of the United States. In the mid-1970s, the Soviet stockpile of ICBM nuclear warheads (capable of traveling 5,500 kilometers to directly strike the enemy's home territory) caught up to that of the United States and began to exceed it. By the end of 1983, the United States possessed 2,145 warheads to the Soviet Union's 5,678 war-heads, thus placing the Soviet Union in a position of great advantage.
Second, the destructive power of Soviet nuclear weapons had increased dramatically; this too allowed the USSR to gain an advantage over the United States. Just one hydrogen bomb (of the megaton range) has enough power to finish off a large metropolis like New York City. The greater the destructive power, the less important is accuracy in aiming the device. Even if the main target focus is not hit, hitting the surrounding areas will eliminate all strategic targets within that range. Even though nuclear submarines may be hidden beneath the surface of the ocean, there would be a much greater chance of destroying them.
Third, a preemptive strike by the Soviet Union had already come to mean the complete destruction of the United States. For example, the SS-18 delivered from 8 to 10 MIRVs each. (These are individually guided, multiple target warheads; i.e., several nuclear warheads were loaded in one missile, and each warhead is guided to an individual target.) The USSR possessed a total of 308 SS-18s, and these alone made up almost half the entire nuclear warhead capability of Soviet ICBMs. It had been said that even with only these 308 SS-18s, the USSR had more than enough firepower to completely take out all the ICBMs (1,054) of the United States. A first strike by the Soviet Union could completely destroy the United States. Even if a retaliatory strike were still possible, that would simply be a case of closing the barn door after the horse is stolen if half of the American population were wiped out.
Fourth, if all the U.S. ICBMs were destroyed by a Soviet nuclear strike, a retaliatory strike would have to rely on nuclear submarines or strategic bombers. However, the hit ratio and destructive power of these weapons falls far short of that for ICBMs; these weapons by themselves would not allow a decisive attack on the USSR. In truth, the most effective weapon for a retaliatory attack is the ICBM.
As if in disregard of these facts, the United States froze completion of ICBMs during the 1970s and neglected efforts to increase the number of missiles. From the Soviet point of view, the stronger the U.S. retaliatory capability, the less the USSR could afford to initiate a nuclear war first because they would also be destroyed. But the United States tended to undervalue ICBMs and placed too much emphasis on SLBMs. Thus they failed to make a sufficient response to Soviet nuclear development.
All these points demonstrate that the MAD strategy used by the United States to deter a nuclear strike by the USSR had become ineffective by the 1980s and was, in fact, a recipe for catastrophe. In the midst of these dark circumstances, the High Frontier proposal by General Graham was a beacon of hope.
Since this proposal was extremely revolutionary, opposition to it was also intense and powerful. First, if the High Frontier initiative were successfully established, none of the Soviet Union's nuclear missiles would he able to hit the U.S. mainland, no matter how many missiles they produced. Consequently, their entire stockpile would become a useless pile of junk, and even more important, the Soviet Union's strategy for world communization would be stranded high and dry, like a flimsy dinghy on some unforeseen sandbar. To avoid this outcome, the Soviet KGB used every trick in the book to promote a movement that could block the High Frontier initiative.
This time, the leftist and liberal media, the press organs in which the USSR placed so much trust, displayed the fearful extent of their power. They sneeringly labeled the High Frontier concept "Star Wars," from the immensely popular Star Wars film of the late 1970s, and turned it into a joke that most people found hard to take seriously. They asserted that, with the current level of technology, the concept was nothing but pure fantasy, and also that the cost of developing space-based laser weapons and a space-based defense system would involve a budget of astronomical proportions, one that would destroy the U.S. economy. On top of that, the environmentalist camp jumped in, declaring that the concept would "turn our unpolluted space into a garbage disposal area."
Although the opposition was tough, by far the biggest concern facing the Reagan administration was persuading Congress to approve a budget for it. Congress was overwhelmingly Democratic, and there was not much chance it would cooperate with a Republican president.
At this point, Reverend Moon made a decision. "The whole reason I made the Washington Times was for a situation like this," he said. "Now is the time for the Washington Times to stand up and give it everything it's got."
"This fight will have historical proportions," he added. "It will be the one struggle that decides whether humanity lives or dies in this century. Don't lose the chance that God has given us."
He instructed me, as president of the Washington Times Corporation, to take the lead. And so the Times went after the opposing media like an angry lion.
The editors of the Times decided to invite General Graham for an interview to explain the High Frontier concept, Afterward they determined that what he had to say merited the full attention of the American public. Up until that point, Graham had been given the cold shoulder by the U.S. media, but now he was being hailed as a hero. As a result, we made a lasting friendship with him. General Graham passed away at the age of seventy in 1995, but while he was alive, his personal testimony was: "Reverend Moon saved America. Reverend Moon is my hero."
The Times proceeded to directly attack the KGB and the liberal U.S. media, exposing Soviet machinations in detail. It also lambasted the Democrat-led Congress as "unpatriotic" for "keeping U.S. citizens hostage."
The media campaign finally bore fruit in the formation of a new national sentiment that SDI could save America. President Reagan took advantage of this new tide of public opinion. In a nationally televised address to the nation on March 23, 1983, Reagan declared his intention to formally make the High Frontier concept the basis of U.S. defense policy, referring to it as the Strategic Defense Initiative.
For President Reagan, who had adopted the motto "a strong America" during his campaign and worked hard to expand the military's strength after his inauguration, the SDI program was the decisive blow that would block Soviet expansion and thwart its foreign strategy. At the same time, this declaration marked a major change in the U.S. nuclear strategy, away from MAD's focus on the threat of retaliation to a peaceful strategic approach with the focus on defense.
Reflecting on the fact that the SDI is a purely defensive strategy, he suggested that the Soviet Union follow suit and also develop such a defense initiative. From this viewpoint, his speech was a very ethical and morally strong declaration.
Here I would like to introduce an outline of this most significant speech.
First of all, Reagan defended his proposed military budget by pointing out the need for enhanced deterrence in an era when Soviet military strength was accelerating while that of the United States was deteriorating. "There was a time," he said, "when we were able to offset superior Soviet numbers with higher quality, but today they are building weapons as sophisticated and modern as our own." Furthermore, as the Soviets increased their power, "They've been emboldened to extend that power" and consequently "can directly challenge our vital interests and those of our allies." In fact, he pointed out, "The Soviet Union is acquiring what can only he considered an offensive military force."
He outlined to the American people what his administration had been doing to turn things around in U.S. military preparedness. Nevertheless, he said, "I've become more and more deeply convinced that the human spirit must be capable of rising above dealing with other nations and human beings by threatening their existence." Even if the goal of stabilizing the nuclear balance is achieved, "it will still be necessary to rely on the specter of retaliation, on mutual threat. And that's a sad commentary on the human condition.
"Wouldn't it he better," he asked, "to save lives than to avenge them? Are we not capable of demonstrating our peaceful intentions by applying all our abilities and our ingenuity to achieving a truly lasting stability?"
He then proposed that the United States "embark on a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive."
What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?
The effort to eliminate the threat posed by nuclear missiles "could pave the way for arms control measures to demote the weapons themselves," he added. "We seek neither military superiority nor political advantage. Our only purpose ... is to search for ways to reduce the danger of nuclear war." Such an effort, he concluded, "holds the promise of changing the course of human history."
Later, in his autobiography An American Life, Reagan confirmed this: "If I had to choose the single most important reason, on the United States' side, for the historic breakthroughs that were to occur during the next five years in the quest for peace and a better relationship with the Soviet Union, I would say it was the Strategic Defense Initiative, along with the overall modernization of our military forces."
Though the opposition often derided Reagan as a "military expansionist," the fact remains that his statements overflowed with ethical and moral conviction. In his autobiography, he revealed his shock when he was told the statistics of how many Americans would be killed in a nuclear war. "For Americans who survived such a war, I couldn't imagine what life would be like." Nuclear war "would certainly mean the end of civilization as we knew it.... My dream, then, became a world free of nuclear weapons."
At this point, let's review the SDI concept as it gradually came together after the president's speech. SDI developed the High Frontier concept to a higher level. It became a multi-layered defensive system composed of four separate stages, the basic concept of which was to destroy Soviet nuclear missiles using non-nuclear weaponry during the missiles' flight in the atmosphere.
Boost phase. The ballistic missile ascends by firing its boosters (the source of propulsion). After launch, it would take about five minutes until the boosters completed their burn. During this phase, the missiles are destroyed by laser weapons mounted on space-based satellites.
Post-boost phase. This lasts from the time the boosters have completed firing until the warheads are released from the missiles. Targets are shot down by laser light-beams fired from earth-based installations after the beams are reflected off mirror satellites positioned in space.
Mid-course phase. During this phase, which lasts for twenty to thirty seconds from the time the warheads are released until they enter the atmosphere, the warheads are destroyed using particle beams fired from satellites.
Terminal phase. This phase extends from the time the warheads reenter the atmosphere until they hit their targets. During this phase, any remaining warheads are destroyed by land-based anti-ballistic missiles.
If SDI were implemented, Americans would have no need to fear a preemptive Soviet strike. Moreover, the need to make a retaliatory strike, involving numerous deaths among the population of the Soviet Union, would disappear. Although many obstacles had to be overcome, this was a truly courageous and farsighted plan that deserved an attempt to implement it.
Naturally, the Soviet Union attempted to block it. After having invested great amounts of time and effort in expanding their military capability during the 1960s and '70s, the Soviets had obtained an overwhelming advantage over the United States in terms of nuclear firepower. During the 1980s, however, the Soviet economy began to show signs of exhaustion, and greater military expenditures would be impossible.
Labor productivity in industry had fallen, and it had become quite clear that the level of technological innovation was far behind that of the West. Inferior-quality products made their way to market, many necessities were unavailable, and the condition of the food industry had deteriorated badly. The contradictions inherent in the ineffective and rigid planned economy were coming to a head, and the living standards of the general populace were worsening.
Furthermore, the fight against the Afghan guerrillas had exacted an enormous price in blood, and supporting the satellite nations in the communist empire had become a heavy burden. Both had a severe impact on the Soviet economy. By this time, the USSR lacked the economic flexibility to challenge the SDI program by entering a race for developing space-based weapons, and it suffered from many technological limitations.
In a sense, we could say that the demise of the Soviet Union started the day Reagan gave the address announcing the SDI. The Soviet Union frantically tried to prevent SDI, but in reality, it had no real solution to the challenges raised by the SDI proposal.
In March 1985, General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1931, in office 1985-91) ordered an extensive analysis to determine whether a counterstrategy to SDI was possible. It was already clear that if his nation blindly rushed into an arms race in competition with SDI, the already fragile economy would be completely destroyed.
Gorbachev had no choice but to change the Soviet strategy from one of world communization to coexistence with the United States. Thus, in the end, SDI was responsible for bringing the Soviet Union to its knees, because there was no other way for it to go.
Pushed up against a wall, The Soviets had to deal with the situation. The result was glasnost (opening) and perestroika (restructuring), and a new, disarmament-based military policy. The countdown to the collapse of the Soviet empire was under way.
In his later reminiscences, Reagan recognized that without the support of the Washington Times, the SDI program would never have seen the light of day.