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 3 of 4]
"SDI Made the Soviets Abandon Military Expansionism"
In February 1993, after the end of the Soviet empire, Alexander Bessmertnykh, a former Ministry of Foreign Affairs official under Gorbachev, visited the United States at the invitation of Princeton University. During an international symposium on "The End of the Cold War," he stated explicitly that "the SDI forced the Soviet Union to abandon military expansionism." This conference was attended by top foreign policy and defense leaders from both the United States and the former Soviet Union who had been in the government during the 1980s. The central focus of the conference was the question, "What exactly was the core element that caused the USSR to abandon its hitherto militarist and antagonistic policies toward America, thus bringing about an end to the Cold War?"
During the conference, Bessmertnykh made the following statement: "The SDI missile defense initiative announced by President Reagan in March of 1983 had a great impact on the Soviet side. General Secretary Gorbachev consolidated the opinion that 'any attempt by the USSR to compete with the SDI and develop our own missile defense network will exact a sacrifice from which the Soviet economy will not be able to recover.' This, in turn, led to his decision to relinquish the line of military confrontation [with the United States]." (Translated from an article in the prominent Tokyo newspaper Sankei Shinhun, March 1, 1993.)
Bessmertnykh's comment revealed a historical fact: The SDI program was the deciding factor that caused the Soviet Union to abandon militarist expansionism.
In addition to this, in an interview with Sankei Shinbun on October 6, 1994, Maj. Gen. Oleg D. Kalugin, former senior staff member of the Soviet KGB, made the following statement concerning SDI:
When former General Secretary Andropov of the Soviet Communist Party [November 1982 - February 1984] was head of the KGB in the early 1980s, the KGB found out about the existence of efforts to develop the SDI concept in the United States. At that time, Director Andropov secretly issued an urgent intelligence report to all positions both inside and outside the USSR. The memo was imbued with a sense of panic. According to reports, the contents of the memo stated "The United States is attempting to introduce a new weapons system that will bring both the U.S. and the USSR to the precipice of nuclear war. The current situation is the worst since the mid 1920s."
The SDI policy brought terror to the Soviet KGB because it knew all too well the implications of such a policy.
By America's adoption of SDI, Heaven provided the Soviet Union with only one road to survival: making peace with the United States and liberalizing the Soviet system and the nations of Eastern Europe. That was the road taken by General Secretary Gorbachev.
When I sit back and reflect on all these incidents, I cannot help but think that we must all bow our heads before the profound and wondrous providence of God. To bring about the demise of global communism, Heaven first worked through Reverend Moon and accomplished the election of President Reagan. Once that was complete, Heaven created the Washington Times and finally combined these two providences to bring the SDI program to the front stage in history.
In addition to the firsthand accounts we have seen above; let's take a look at how some historians view that era.
Martin Malia, former professor of history at the University of California-Berkeley and a scholar in Russian history, in his book The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991, came to a pertinent conclusion.
For the Soviets, the first of these [underlying problems of superpower competitions was their declining economy, and in particular the technological leap of SDI. Whether the latter would have provided the United States with a practical defense against Soviet ballistic missiles is not the central question. More important is the geopolitical point that SDI posed a technological and economic challenge the Soviets could neither ignore nor match. Hence, the only way to defuse the challenge was through negotiation, and so Gorbachev made winding down the Cold War his first priority. Many in the West would undoubtedly dispute this version of the turn towards ending that conflict, but former Soviet military personnel and political analysts generally agree that the Soviet Union's inability to keep up its half of the arms race, in particular with regard to SDI, was a principal factor in triggering perestroika.
British historian Paul Johnson, a harsh critic not only of the communist system but of the moral relativism that has come to permeate the free world, made an almost identical observation in Modern Times.
Part of the object of Reagan's rearmament program was, by raising the pace of high-technology development in the arms race, to turn the screw on the Soviet economy generally, and force the leadership to ask itself hard questions, as it prepared to match the US high-tech military effort at the expense of the civil economy, at the very time the Soviet people were being promised change and improvements? Could it, indeed, match the US effort, even if it wished? The answer to both these questions was no. A third question then arose: was the Soviet leadership prepared to respond to the American arms buildup by agreeing to come to the negotiating table and engage in realistic disarmament negotiations? The answer to this was yes.
Reed Irvine, chairman of Accuracy in Media and a man well aware of the contributions made by the Washington Times, told me one day, "1 can't help but shudder when I think about what direction the world would have gone in if the Washington Times had not been in existence at that time." How would the global situation have played out if Ronald Reagan had lost to Jimmy Carter in the election, if Reverend Moon had not created the Washington Times, and if the Times had not staunchly supported the SDI initiative? In all likelihood, either the whole world would have been communized or humankind would have been destroyed by nuclear war.
We can read as much into Irvine's words.
In my own case, I felt to my bones the terrible stress of those times, both in the international situation and in the United States. I shiver to think of what might have happened, if we had not acted decisively.
In light of these facts, who would deny that Reverend Moon is the Messiah? Who can deny that Reverend Moon carried out work that ensured humankind's salvation? If, despite this, any reader remains unconvinced, all I can say is, "Ask God whether it is true or not!"
Gold Medal Champion: Newspaper Design and Editorial Section
Over the past twenty years, the Washington Times has enjoyed what you could describe as a history of virtually unlimited glory and success. If I were to write about that history alone, I could still fill a whole book. However, in the following section, I will describe just a few of the more significant and salient items, as far as my memory serves me.
Why do I describe the Times as a gold medal champion? The reason is rather simple: In its short life, the Times has received innumerable gold medals as a daily newspaper, primarily for its design and editorials. In this sense, you could say that it is truly a champion.
The Washington Times has captured the highest honors in the newspaper industry for excellence in design -- not once, but several times. The Society of Newspaper Design invites prominent media figures to act as judges. The judges examine thousands of entries and decide on the prize winners in each category. The most coveted prize is Best of Show in the category Overall Design. The Times received this award for the first time in 1988 and again in 1992.
In other words, within a mere six years of publishing its first edition, the Washington Times was recognized as the most beautiful and best-designed of all English-language papers. You could say that it is a textbook on how to design newspapers.
Reverend Moon's contributions toward this high degree of quality have been largely unnoticed but essential. From the time of the creation of the News World in New York, Reverend Moon has personally guided and instructed the newspaper staff on artistic layout. This guidance has been detailed, even down to the size of photographs and the thickness of the lines of text; he always emphasized aesthetic harmony. This tradition was passed on to the Washington Times. In its early stages, the staff responsible for design often visited Reverend Moon in New York to obtain his critique of the design.
One result of this success has been that staff from the Washington Times art department are frequently invited to other newspaper firms around the country to teach the finer points of design. Even the New York Times, with its hundred years of history and tradition, invited Gil Roschuni, then head of the art department, to talk to them when they were over-hauling their layout and design.
The Washington Times has also won gold medals in the field of editorials. In 1989, the American Society of Newspaper Editors awarded the Times its Distinguished Writing Award in the Editorial Writing category. The following year, the National Newspaper Association awarded us first prize in the Best Editorial category at the National Better Newspaper Contest.
The Times has won awards for photography on innumerable occasions as well. One of those was the White House Award for Photography, won by Victoria Yokota. When Vicki went up to receive her award from President Reagan, she asked him to sign a copy of the winning photograph for her. As Reagan took up his pen to sign the photo, she said, "I'd like to give this to our newspaper's founder, Reverend Moon, so could you address your signature to him?"
President Reagan flashed a big smile and said, "Sure! Say hello to him for me, will you?" and signed the photo. This signed photo is on display in the conference room at our head offices.
When President Clinton's Whitewater scandal broke, the Washington Times published scoop after scoop related to this story. We led the way with in-depth reporting. (The Whitewater scandal concerned the Clintons' alleged conflicts of interest involving the Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, during the time Clinton was governor of Arkansas.) Our reporting gained the Award for White House Coverage through a vote by White House correspondents. When it came to its stated goals of creating a moral and ethical society, the Times did not hesitate to expose the president's allegedly unethical behavior.
At the banquet celebrating this award, Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper received the award directly from Clinton. It can't have been a pleasant experience for the president to have to give the White House Award to someone who had exposed his irregularities. When the president gave Jerry the award, he declined to shake his hand. Jerry, however, insisted on shaking hands with him. Clinton had no choice but to shake hands and even take a photograph with Jerry, in the midst of laughter from the White House press corps.
This episode is evidence that the United States is truly a democracy that enjoys freedom of the press. In what other nation is this kind of situation possible?
During the first ten years of the Washington Times, the period during which I was publisher, this paper and its staff won over 650 media awards from 46 different organizations.
The one award we have yet to receive is the coveted Pulitzer Prize. It is only a matter of time until we win this award, too. We have been slow in getting this prize because our paper is conservative, and it is well known that the judges are hard-core liberals.
The Washington Times: One of the Top 3 Dailies
In 1988, the Associated Press did a survey of some two thousand daily newspapers in the United States. Surprisingly, the results showed that the Washington Times was among the top three newspapers most quoted by other newspapers. The frequency that a paper is quoted is a direct reflection of that paper's influence. (The New York Times held first place, and the second most quoted paper was the Washington Post.) This outstanding result was accomplished within five years of the paper's being founded.
Thanks to the AP survey, the Washington Times came to be considered one of the three most influential daily newspapers in the United States.
Reporters who have access to the White House come from all over the United States and, indeed, the world. Within this virtual jungle of reporters, a small group is known as "the inner circle" (the group of journalists who are closest to the president). This inner circle is composed of the reporters from six newspapers, one of which is the Washington Times. The others are the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.
Not counting USA Today, the other newspapers have a history going back more than a hundred years, and each boasts a circulation of around one million (the Washington Post is closer to eight hundred thousand).
USA Today, the only nationwide newspaper in the United States, was the brainchild of Allen Neuharth, one of America's newspaper moguls, and was created around the same time as the Washington Times. Printed simultaneously in various locations around the country, this national daily sells several million copies a day. It has no hint of ideology and no philosophical bent; its primary purpose is to deliver that day's news quickly and conveniently to busy businessmen and women, in particular, people traveling across the nation.
But why was the Washington Times, a paper with only five years of history and a distribution of a mere hundred thousand, included in this inner circle? The reason can be found in two facts: First, it directly challenged the liberal trends in the media. With its distinctly conservative and anti-communist stance, the Washington Times' appearance on the media scene was almost revolutionary. Moreover, reading the paper was indispensable for anyone wanting to realistically discuss U.S. foreign affairs.
The first edition, published on May 17, 1982, carried a rather famous political criticism. It was a satirical cartoon of the battle between David and Goliath. The cartoon borrows from the biblical story of David, a young boy who stands forward in the name of God to bring down, with a single throw from his slingshot, the enemy Goliath, a giant man who stood in opposition to the Will of Heaven. In this cartoon, the Washington Times is the David of the media world, and Goliath is the Washington Post and, in a broad sense, the entire liberal and left-leaning media establishment of the United States. If we interpret the cartoon in another way, we could say the young David who marches forth in God's name represents Reverend Moon, and Goliath is actually the communist world, which opposes the world that God wishes to create. Hence, the cartoon depicts Reverend Moon, as God's representative, striking the communist world with a single stone from the sling and causing that system to crumble. The stone that slays Goliath here is VOC (victory over communism) thought, which has its roots in the ideology of Godism.
In any case, it is fair to say that the Washington Times has amply fulfilled the mission of David at this point in time. As for the original of this cartoon, I had it framed and now keep it as an heirloom in our family. It hangs on a wall in our home.
The Washington Times was a revolutionary in the media industry. More than any other newspaper or media source on record, it has changed and altered the history of the United States and indeed the world. The role that the Times played in supporting the SDI, described above, proved to he profoundly instrumental in the liberation of the communist system. This is just one example among numerous instances where the paper has shaped history.
For example, when Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union in March 1985, he promoted a policy of coexistence with the United States, but that didn't mean he had abandoned the Soviet ambition of world communization. Nevertheless, because of his amiable attitude toward the West, Gorbachev's popularity in the United States was increasing daily.
Gorbachev's first visit to the United States was in December 1987. Before then, no Soviet head of state had ever made a state visit, except to give a speech at the United Nations. When Richard Nixon was vice president (in Eisenhower's administration), Premier Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States, but this was not as a friend of the state. Khrushchev's ideological debates with Nixon are memorable.
Gorbachev, however, described his visit to the United States as an act of friendship. Accordingly, the United States proposed that he speak before a joint session of Congress. It seemed that even the White House would receive the Soviet leader.
The one person who opposed these plans from the start was Reverend Moon. His main concern was that, without some action, the already dampened anti-communist sentiment in the United States would slacken even further. In addition, his attitude was that, as dictator of the Soviet empire, the head of the Soviet Union represented the most evil and pernicious satanic force that had arisen in history. If the secretary-general were to stand and receive adoration in the U.S. Congress, that most sacred temple of democracy where the representatives of all the people of America gather, this would be a sacrilege before God and a traitorous act against the traditions and purpose of democracy.
The Washington Times shared this concern and embarked on a campaign to have the plan for Gorbachev to speak in Congress canceled. The members of Congress woke from their spell. The first to rise up were the Republican representatives; after that, this opinion spread out across the nation.
Before the wave of public opinion, the White House surrendered. Just before Gorbachev arrived in America, the plans for him speak to Congress were canceled. This caused the influence and power of the Washington Times to be reported throughout the Soviet Union. From that time on, Soviet television reporters could occasionally be seen reporting the news from in front of the Times building, with the lead-in, "Here we are in front of the head offices of the infamous Washington Times newspaper."
As far as I am concerned, being known as infamous in a communist nation is synonymous with being their most feared adversary and a champion of freedom.
The Newspaper Read First by the President
From early times, the Washington Times received special treatment at the White House. At three o'clock in the morning, when the newspaper first came off the presses, a limousine would be waiting outside the printing plant to pick up the first four hundred copies and drive to the White House. President Reagan usually wanted to look at the Times early in the morning. Once the newspapers arrived at the White House, they would first be delivered to his bedroom. As each member of the White House staff arrived, he or she would collect a copy of the Washington Times to read. Because Reagan read the Times in his bedroom after waking up, there was a good chance he might come out with a question about something that was reported there, so the staff developed a habit of reading the Times first thing in the morning, just to he ready.
What's more, our competition, the Washington Post, never made it anywhere near the president's bedroom. We had a most excellent gatekeeper, none other than First Lady Nancy Reagan. On a number of occasions, Mrs. Reagan had observed her husband get angry while reading the Post. She decided that the Post was a bad influence on the president's health and made sure that it never made it to his bedroom. Of course, when Reagan read the Washington Times he was invariably in a good mood, so he would look at Nancy and praise the coffee. But Nancy knew well that this was thanks to the Washington Times. In this way, for the duration of the Reagan administration, the Times became a staple at the president's breakfast table.
One day, Special Assistant to the President Michael Deaver attempted to change the president's habit when he found out that the Times had printed an article that described him in a critical light. He gave instructions to the staff not to take the Washington Times up to the president's bedroom.
When Reagan arrived at his office that morning he approached Deaver and asked, "Mike, how come no copy of the Washington Times made it to my bedroom this morning?" Deaver got the scare of his life, and answered evasively, "Ah, ah, the driver was late today and he didn't get the paper here on time. I'll make sure it is up there tomorrow."
After this episode, no one was able to put a distance between President Reagan and the Washington Times.
What's more, after the incident when Gorbachev's address to Congress was canceled, there were two limousines waiting outside our printing plant every morning. One of these was, of course, the White House limousine, but another was from the Soviet Embassy in Washington. In the midst of the heated clashes at this important juncture in the Cold War, the Washington Times had become the one paper that the heads of both the United States and the Soviet Union could not afford to miss. Every morning, the Soviet Embassy made a summary of the contents reported by the Times and reported this to the government in Moscow. It became one of the embassy's most important duties during this period.
Despite their differences, neither of the heads of these two camps could afford to ignore the reports of the Washington Times. The reason is simple: The Washington Times was and is "the newspaper of truth and justice."
I'd like to tell you a rather amusing anecdote. I have a good friendship with Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nevada). On occasion, I had the pleasure of visiting his home. One time, the senator's wife said to me a few, very meaningful words: "Mr. Pak, I thank the Washington Times for saving our marriage."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"If it weren't for the Washington Times, we would probably be divorced by now."
"Well, before the Washington Times, we had no other choice but to read the Washington Post, whether we liked it or not. Every morning my husband would read the Post and get angry. Usually I had to bear the brunt of his anger. At that time, I couldn't stand it and I felt that the only way out would be to get a divorce. But then the Washington Times came, and now my husband is in such a good mood every morning. Our breakfast table is always so cheerful, and he always gives me a kiss before he goes off to the office. That's why I'm grateful to the Washington Times for keeping our family together."
When I heard these words, I once again felt how much power and impact a "newspaper of truth and justice" has.
Withdrawal of Soviet Troops From Afghanistan
From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, the entire globe was aflame with either direct or indirect aggression by communist forces. During the Carter administration, the Soviet Union sent approximately 150,000 regular troops into Afghanistan and established a puppet government there. In Africa, communist revolutions broke out in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and so forth. In Central America, Nicaragua became a communist nation, following Cuba, and the communist threat came all but to the U.S. borders.
All these conflicts were simply links in the Soviet strategy for world communization, and the all-too-natural results of the Brezhnev Doctrine (no nation should be allowed to defect from the communist camp once it had come under communist control, and communist revolution should be aggressively exported to non-communized nations). This policy had been espoused during the regime of Leonid Brezhnev. In a nutshell, it said, "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine."
In response to this doctrine, President Reagan declared that America would support all nations in the free world in their anti-communist activities. He also stated that America had a moral responsibility to support all struggles for freedom, as well as all free peoples and their organizations. This declaration became known as the Reagan Doctrine and carried a certain revolutionary significance. Even if a struggle to attain freedom took on the form of guerrilla warfare, for example, the U.S. government still had a duty to support those carrying out the struggle.
As President Reagan said, "All the troops that belonged to our founding father, George Washington, were guerrillas. They fought against the British for the independence of the United States. If strong nations such as France had not helped our independence fighters at that time, we would never have become independent, nor would there ever have been a United States of America or the democracy we now enjoy. The freedom fighters fighting in every part of the world belong to those guerrilla troops under the command of Founding Father George Washington." (Translation from Korean)
This courageous statement elicited vehement opposition and disdain from the media and other liberals. Nevertheless, the Washington Times supported the Reagan Doctrine. In fact, the Times went one step further, arguing that the most effective, most recent U.S. weaponry available should be supplied to such freedom fighters as Angola's Jonas Savimhi (leader of the anti-communist People's Union for the Complete Liberation of Angola) and the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Otherwise, we argued, how would they be able to fight against Soviet tanks and MiG fighters? We pressed the government to take a decisive stand on the issue, urging it to supply the mujahideen with portable ground-to-air Stinger missiles that would allow them to shoot down Soviet MiGs and attack helicopters in Afghanistan. These missiles were the top-of-the-line American weaponry at that time. The user did not even have to aim it, because the missile wouldn't launch unless a hit were guaranteed. Once the missile was fired, it hit every time.
Reagan responded to this proposal wholeheartedly. What was the one thing that brought the Soviet troops in Afghanistan to their knees and then sent them packing? With the power of some two hundred Stingers supplied by the United States beginning in 1986, the guerrilla forces went on the offensive. With Stinger missiles, the mujahideen brought down Soviet aircraft like flies. Therein lies the reason for the Soviet retreat. Soviet troops stationed in Afghanistan began to withdraw in May 1985, and by February 1989, they were all gone.
From the time of the initial invasion, Soviet troops had suffered an unacceptable number of casualties. Soviet dead totaled approximately 15,000. Afghan casualties were estimated to total about 1 million people, including civilians, (about 9 percent of the population). The number of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran was close to 5.5 million, while those displaced within the national borders totaled 2 million.
The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan was the first withdrawal made by the USSR since the end of the Vietnam War. Through the Soviet regular troops' loss to guerrillas, the structure and composition of Soviet dominion began to change around the globe. In the various theaters of conflict, freedom fighters took the offensive and Soviet troops started to retreat. In Angola, the forces led by Savimbi inflicted severe casualties on the Cuban soldiers dispatched to aid the communist government's army (MPLA). In the end, the Cuban troops were withdrawn.
I'd just like to point out certain sacrifices that lie behind these victories. On October 9, 1987, Washington Times correspondent and filmmaker Lee Shapiro and his soundman, James Tindroff, were killed by machinegun fire from a Soviet helicopter while covering the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Lee Shapiro had previously produced a documentary on Nicaragua's freedom fighters that generated a lot of response in the United States and earned him a commendation from the White House. At the time of his death, he was making a documentary to inform the world of the reality inside Afghanistan. After the Soviets shot him, they landed and seized Lee's camera and film, preventing his work from seeing the light of day. The Washington Times reported this incident prominently, praising the two men as heroes who had died for the sake of freedom and the liberation of Afghanistan. There is a memorial to the two victims on Capitol Hill in Congressional Cemetery, and they were honored by the organization No Greater Love.
The death of these two individuals elicited an outpouring of anger in the United States. The Times took the opportunity to strongly assert, as described above, that cutting-edge weaponry should be supplied to the mujahideen. This became a deciding factor in influencing the decision to send Stinger missiles, which led to the Soviets' retreat from Afghanistan.
In retrospect, Washington Times reporter Tom Carter made the following comment:
Seven months after [Tindroff and Shapiro] died, the Soviet Union began its withdrawal. Up until then, the Soviet Union had never given up regions they had taken by aggression. Afghanistan became the first country from which the Soviet Union retreated. That, ultimately, led to the collapse of communism. I am convinced that the two men were martyrs dedicated to that cause.
Lee Shapiro was a member of the Unification Church. This fact is more evidence that the Unification Church, Reverend Moon, and the Washington Times played a decisive role in the liberation of communism. The price was often paid in blood.