To the editor:
When the USSR collapsed, historian Fukuyama proclaimed “the End of History.”
It was wishful thinking by the prominent professor. History not only continues, but repeats itself.
Consider the Cold War and the Islamic terrorism.
In the fall of 1917 Bolsheviks overthrew the young democratic government of Russia and embarked on building the world’s best society. Western capitalism assisted the Communist effort.
“Capitalists will sell us the rope on which we will hang them” as Lenin said. From 1929 to 1932, the American Albert Kahn designed and built 571 heavy industry plants in the USSR. European industrialists were likewise involved.
Hitler in collaboration with Stalin started WWII in 1939. Two years later, Hitler attacked the USSR. Stalin begged for help and received an enormous amount of war material and food. After the war, President Truman invited the USSR to participate in the Marshall Plan. Stalin declined though the entire western part of the country lay in ruins.
Why reject assistance to alleviate suffering and hunger after crying for help a few years before? The answer belongs to the nature of the country.
The USSR was a brutal totalitarian state where people were as replaceable as the nuts and bolts in the machinery. They did not participate in decision making, they had no freedom and no free choice in anything significant. Every segment of life was ruled by the enormous state bureaucracy. The result of this system was low productivity, appalling living and working conditions, malnutrition, theft, alcoholism and shortened lifespan.
In the capitalist world, the standard of living was improving and blue-collar workers were living better than Soviet professors. In order to conceal the truth and protect the Soviet populace from the corrupting influence of the West, the Iron Curtain was dropped around the USSR. However, it could not be made information-tight. Truth about life in the West continued to seep through, rendering propaganda ineffective and undermining the ideological foundation of Socialism.
So, the Soviet rulers, in order to maintain their grip on the unhappy populace needed to eliminate the influence of free societies.
How to do it? War was out of question. The only alternative was to bring the West to its knees. That’s how the Cold War came into existence, on many fronts.
Propaganda — Support “useful idiots” (Noam Chomsky, Paul Robeson, Henry Wallace, Walter Duranty, Jane Fonda etc.)
Train and equip terrorists of all colors and kinds (IRA, PLO, Red Brigade). Few people know that special camps were built in Tajikistan and Crimea in the USSR to train Palestinian terrorists.
Inflaming conflicts — North Korea and Vietnam.
Sabotage — Any significant western initiative in the U.N. and its Security Council.
Arms Race — The Soviets believed that they could exhaust America and provoke internal unrest. That was their fatal mistake; President Regan stood up to the challenge: Strategic Defense Initiative, a 600 ship Navy and other programs broke the back of the Evil Empire.
Let us consider Islamic terrorism. The majority of Muslims are not terrorists, but the majority of terrorists are Muslim guided by the most radical interpretation of certain verses in the Qur’an. Existence of the free world, globalization and the Internet are threatening the core of Islam which is not only a religion but an amalgam of social mores, rules and politics. That amalgam is totalitarian because it does not allow any deviation from the wisdom of the Qur’an.
Militant Muslims are fighting for the survival of their totalitarian civilization, and no compromise will work, no matter how many times Mr. Obama extols the achievements of Islam or apologizes for the misdeeds of America.
What needs to be done?
Terminate assistance to Muslim countries that continue to adhere to extremist interpretations of the Qur’an calling for Jihad on Infidels.
Reward countries which implement pro-active policies to arrest and bring extremists to justice.
Muslim communities must acknowledge the dishonor of terrorism, not deny it.
The root of the Cold War and Islamic terrorism is based on the very existence of the free world that threatens totalitarian systems by providing a model for a more rewarding and happy life.
Ronald Regan won The Cold War. The current administration is losing the fight against Islamic terror.
Norwood Heights, Gloucester