By Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
Every American who cares for our country and our freedom should watch “The Collapse of Communism: The Untold Story,” a documentary film sold on DVD. This feature-length movie was produced by Robert Buchar, an American filmmaker who defected from Czechoslovakia in 1980 and now teaches cinematography at Columbia University, and it reveals some of the most secret secrets of the 44-year post-war confrontation between democracy and tyranny.
The Cold War against the Soviet version of Marxism is indeed over, but we are now facing a new Cold War against the Chinese version of Marxism, and another one against what the liberal media call the “Arab Spring” – and its Shariah law version of justice and freedom.
“The collapse of Communism in Europe is one of the most incredible stories of the century, and the public should know what really happened,” explains professor Buchar, whose previous film, “Velvet Hangover” (a mosaic of candid interviews with personalities that created the Czech New Wave), was screened in film festivals around the world. “I collected [an] unprecedented body of interviews [about the Cold War] that, when edited together, paints the big picture of what really happened. After all it may be useful for you to find out who framed Roger Rabbit.”
Professor Buchar spent half of his life in the Soviet bloc, where the KGB and its sisters were pulling all the strings. He began working on this documentary six years ago to prove that the KGB was the main player in the Cold War, and that the KGB had also caused the breakup of the Soviet Empire.
“The Collapse of Communism” is a fascinating story narrated by some of the most authoritative experts in intelligence and foreign policy of our day. Among them are: Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and secretary of defense; Joseph D. Douglass Jr., former assistant director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Oleg Gordievsky, former KGB colonel who worked in place for British MI6, later becoming an adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev and to Margaret Thatcher; Jeff R. Nyquist, political analyst and Cold War historian; Bill Gertz, reputable defense and national security reporter; Pavel Zacek, former deputy chairman of the Office for Documentation of Crimes of Communism in the Czech Republic; Frantisek Doskocil, member of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and CIA agent; and Pavel Zacek, director of the Czech Institute for Studies of Totalitarian Regimes.
Full disclosure: I also contributed to this documentary. I became a protagonist in the drama of the Cold War in January 1951, just months after it started. Stalin called it World War III. It was a war without weapons. It was a war of ideas. It was an intelligence war, waged with a powerful new weapon called “dezinformatsiya,” which is the subject of a new book I co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak, to be published by WND Books in early 2013 (and previewed in the current issue of Whistleblower magazine).
Stalin started his World War III by appointing an undercover intelligence officer, Andrey Vyshinsky, as minister of foreign affairs. Next, Stalin appointed as Soviet ambassador to Washington another undercover intelligence officer, Aleksandr Panyuskin, who in 1953 became chief of the entire foreign intelligence service, a position he would hold until 1956.
Having done that, Stalin then created an international machinery of disinformation, which had more people working for it than for the Soviet army and defense industry put together. The Soviet bloc intelligence community alone had well over one million officers and several million informants spread around the world. All were involved in deceiving the West – and their own people – or in supporting this effort. To them should be added the vast number of people working for the international disinformation organizations that the KGB had secretly created, financed and managed.
These Potemkin villages (as we called them) were headquartered outside the Soviet Union, pretending to be independent international entities, and publishing their own newspapers in French or English. Some of those “international” organizations in which I was personally involved include: the World Peace Council (with branches in 112 countries), the World Federation of Trade Unions (with branches in 90 countries), the Women’s International Democratic Federation (with branches in 129 countries), the International Union of Students (with branches in 152 countries) and the World Federation of Democratic Youth (with branches in 210 countries).
The greatest merit of professor Buchar’s documentary is that it focuses on the war United States waged against this immense Soviet disinformation empire, and it explains how the U.S. was able to defeat it. It all started with the “Campaign of Truth” unleashed by President Truman in 1950 as “a struggle, above all else, for the minds of men.” Truman argued that the propaganda used by the “forces of imperialistic communism” could be overcome only by the “plain, simple, unvarnished truth.” The Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberation (soon to become Radio Liberty) became the Kremlin’s most important weapons during the Cold War.
Emil Constantinescu, the second president of post-Communist Romania (1997-2000), summed up the result of Truman’s Campaign of Truth:
The “missiles” that destroyed Communism were launched from Radio Free Europe, and this was Washington’s most important investment during the Cold War. I don’t know whether the Americans themselves realize this now, seven years after the fall of Communism, but we understand it perfectly well.
In his interview with Buchar, former CIA Director Robert Gates repeatedly stresses how crucial that Campaign of Truth was for winning the Cold War. Nor does Gates spare words to emphasize the decisive importance for our final victory of the fact that a former CIA director and ambassador, George H. W. Bush, served as vice president and president of the U.S. during 1981-1993, the most critical years of the Cold War.
According to Gates, our victory in the Cold War was mainly the result of our Campaign of Truth and of Bush’s experience and instincts. It was Bush’s idea, for example, “to visit Poland in the Summer of 1989, as Poland began to move toward significant change. It was his [Bush’s] idea to have both Jaruzelski and Lech Walesa to lunch at the U.S. Embassy. As I recall, it was the first time the two of them were ever in a setting like that together.”
Another crucial factor in our victory, emphasized in Buchar’s documentary, was that neither President Reagan nor President Bush tried “to get in front of a parade that had already left,” as Bob Gates worded it. They just tried to “keep the Soviet Union at bay while Eastern Europe began to move toward independence.” Equally important was that neither Reagan nor Bush had taken credit for defeating Soviet communism. For both it was more important to dispel mistrust than to aggrandize themselves.
“The Collapse of Communism” overwhelmingly proves the need for commanding leadership, long-range vision, sobriety and credibility in relations with the rest of the world. The almighty Soviet Union – which extended from the North Pole to the 35th parallel, enclosed 12 seas belonging to three oceans, 270,000 lakes and 150,000 rivers with a total length of two million miles and had more than 6,000 nuclear missiles – collapsed like a house of cards under the power of truth generated by an authoritative U.S. foreign policy.
Post-Soviet Russia has been transformed in unprecedented positive ways. The barriers the Soviets spent over 70 years erecting between themselves and the rest of the world, as well as between individual Russians, are slowly coming down, and a new generation of Russians is struggling to develop a new national identity. But the Kremlin’s dezinformatsiya empire has survived, and it is now bending over backward to persuade the world that the first intelligence dictatorship in history – created by President Putin and his surrogate, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev – is a real democracy.
During the old Cold War, the KGB was a state within a state. Now the KGB, rechristened FSB, is the state. In 2003, more than 6,000 former officers of the KGB – an organization that had in the past shot millions of people after framing them as Zionist spies – were running Russia’s federal and local governments, and nearly half of all top governmental positions were held by former officers of the KGB. The Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. In 2004, Putin’s Russia had one FSB officer for every 297 citizens. It is like trying to democratize Nazi Germany with Gestapo officers at the country’s helm.
In a 14-page article titled, “Russia on the Threshold of a New Millennium,” Putin defined Russia’s new political future: “The state must be where and as needed; freedom must be where and as required.” And what is our current policy toward this new Russia? The State Department called it “Reset,” but it had not even been able to translate this word correctly into Russian – peregruzka, meaning “overcharge,” was the State Department’s official translation for “reset.”
“The Obama administration is ignoring, and thereby enabling, the Russian government’s gross abuse of human rights and its gutting of the country’s democracy,” according to Russia’s former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who was ousted by Putin in 2004. “We have no democracy at all. We don’t have any future of a democratic state. Everything has been lost, everything has been taken from the people by the authorities,” Kasyanov said in a widely publicized interview with the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy. According to Kasyanov, the “reset” policy of the Obama administration has wrongly caused the United States to abandon its role as a vocal critic of Russian democratic and human rights abuses.
It would help if our State Department experts on Russia would also watch Professor Buchar’s documentary “The Collapse of Communism.” The United States needs to launch a new Campaign of Truth, like the one that that helped us win the Cold War.
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest official who has ever defected from the Soviet bloc. His new book, “Disinformation,” co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak, will be published by WND Books in early 2013. The September 2012 issue of the Whistleblower magazine is dedicated to this book.