The Reagan doctrine for dealing with dangerous empires, NSDD-75
|NSDD 75: Ronald Reagan's secret 1983 plan to reform the USSR and "reverse Soviet expansionism".|
Reagan's declassified, formerly Secret 17 January 1983 National Security Decision Directive Number 75 (NSDD-75) is reprinted in Norman A. Bailey's book The Strategic Plan that Won the Cold War, which can be found linked here. NSDD-75, largely written by Reagan's communism expert, Harvard professor Richard Pipes, and rapidly leaked to the Kremlin, states:
"U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union will consist of three elements: eternal resistance to Soviet imperialism; internal pressure on the USSR to weaken the sources of Soviet imperialism; and negotiations to eliminate, on the basis of strict reciprocity, outstanding disagreements. Specifically, U.S. tasks are:
The U.S. should:
- Expose at all available fora the double standards employed by the Soviet Union in dealing with difficulties within its own domain and the outside (“capitalist”) world (e.g., treatment of labor, policies toward ethnic minorities, use of chemical weapons, etc.)
- Prevent the Soviet propaganda machine from seizing the semantic high-ground in the battle of ideas through the appropriation of such terms as “peace.” (S)"
Within two months, on 8 March 1983 Reagan publically denounced the USSR as an "evil empire", incuring enormous scorn from the Neville Chamberlain's of the appeasement, disarmament, diplomacy, and preserve-the-USSR-to-prevent-the-risk-of-nuclear-war lobby. Reagan then announced SDI, which negated Lenin's 1920 plan for world communist revolution (the utopia promised to follow the dictatorship and KGB secret police state stage of socialism, in Marx's two-step communist dream):
"It was ... on Jan. 17, 1983, that the blueprint for American victory in the Cold War was quietly formalized by President Ronald Reagan. It came with the roar of winter, by the name of NSDD-75, probably the most important foreign-policy document by the Reagan administration, institutionalizing the president’s intention to undermine the Soviet communist empire."
Strobe Talbot makes his prejudice clear in the 1 January 1990 issue of Time magazine, writing:
"A new consensus is emerging, that the Soviet threat is not what it used to be. The real point, however, is that it never was. The Doves in the Great Debate of the past forty years were right all along."
Stephen F. Knott points out in his article "Reagan’s Critics" (The National Interest, No. 44, Summer 1996) that Talbott was biased by Nixon’s condemnation of Reagan:
"The Soviet Union was ruled, in Reagan’s view, by a sclerotic group of oppressive apparatchiks intent on world domination, but its economy was a ‘Mickey Mouse system’ on the verge of collapse, a collapse Reagan intended to hasten. By engaging them in an arms race they could not win, and isolating them from Western commerce (with the notable exception of American grain), Reagan hoped to win the Cold War. … his intelligence briefings confirmed that belief, showing that ‘the Soviet economy was being held together with baling wire; it was a basket case, partly because of massive spending on armaments. . . . I wondered how we as a nation could use these cracks in the Soviet system to accelerate the process of collapse.’ As early as June 1981, Reagan publicly made the remarkable prediction that ‘I think we are seeing the first beginning cracks: the beginning of the end.’ … Reagan’s rhetorical assault on the Kremlin reached its peak on March 8, 1983, with his address to the National Association of Evangelicals, perhaps the most famous one of his presidency - the ‘Evil Empire’ speech. …
"Talbott had conducted a highly publicized interview with Nixon, published in December 1982, in which they seemed to agree that isolating and publicly criticizing the Soviet Union was a mistake. Talbott saw Nixon as the last president capable of conducting a coherent and ‘successful policy for managing the rivalry between the superpowers.’ Nixon (himself inherently incapable of delivering a speech with the theme of good versus evil) rejected Reagan's belief that the Soviet Union could be weakened through external pressures. ‘We’ve got to make them understand that we’re not out to get them. I know there’s a school of thought that if we can fence them in with sanctions, their whole rotten system will come tumbling down. There’s a school of thought that hard-line policies on our part will induce change for the better on their part. I wish that were the case, but it’s just not going to happen’."
The problem here is that if you prevent WWIII and cause the USSR to collapse, you will always get claims that no WWIII would have occurred anyway and the USSR would have folded:
"Those who spent their adult lifetimes denying that the Cold War was worth fighting … are now attempting to rewrite history. It’s a little reminiscent of the Stalinist style of history, in which inconvenient or liquidated historical figures were simply airbrushed out [e.g. Trotsky] … This rewriting … argues that the USSR’s demise proves that the nation Ronald Reagan labelled an ‘evil empire’ was really nothing of the sort, and the Cold War was an unnecessary and potentially catastrophic mistake."
– Mona Charen, Useful Idiots: How Liberals got it wrong in the Cold War, 2003, p. 8.
Or as George Orwell explained in his book 1984: "He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present, controls the past." Historians and politicians make taboos of, or simply ignore, all historical facts that do not suit their prejudices, which cater to popular fears and hysteria. The West lost 100,000 lives fighting "Cold War" Communism in Korea and Vietnam, fighting for freedom of dissent, freedom of speech, and justice. These wars were very costly in money and lives, but small compared to WWII (484,374 Americans were killed fighting for freedom in WWII).
But the USSR began to collapse after the challenges from Ronald Reagan extorted arms control concessions from Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik in exchange for a promise to not deploy SDI. Reagan killed Lenin’s plan for world communist revolution, leaving Gorbachev to try and fail to save the USSR’s doomed arms industry dominated economy by internal reform: perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness). But curtailing KGB, Stasi, and other communist block secret police purges of dissent was the explosive equivalent to removing the lid from a high-pressure cooker.
The rebellions in East Germany in 1953, in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968 were repeated in 1989, but without ruthless suppression by tanks. (The 1989 uprising in China was an exception, and was suppressed was tanks.) Political prisoners like Vaclav Havel were released and the "iron curtain" was quickly torn down. On 5 February 1989, East German border guards shot dead Chris Gueffroy, aged 20, their final victim trying to escape to the West. The Berlin Wall had set up on 13 August 1961.
A thirteen-part American-British-Japanese TV documentary broadcast in January 1989, The Nuclear Age, concluded that the financial and reform crisis of the USSR was indeed due to the arms race:
"This new Soviet thinking about military policy was dictated by the crippling effects of arms spending. That spending must be diverted to the civilian economy if Gorbachev is to be successful in his internal reforms."
However, there was no money to spend on the civilian economy, any more than on arms, because the USSR had exceeded its credit card limit and was effectively bankrupt. The socialist method of spending its way out of recession and debt failed. Baird Professor of History Emeritus at Harvard, Richard Pipes, states in the concluding chapter to his Communism (Phoenix, London, 2002, pp. 155-6):
"To the true believers … the failures proved not that the doctrine was wrong but that it had not been applied with sufficient ruthlessness. Confirming Santayana’s definition of fanatics as people who dedouble their efforts after forgetting their aim, they went on killing sprees of mounting savagery … from Lenin to Stalin, and from Stalin to Mao and Pol Pot. … to enforce equality, its principal objective, it is necessary to create a coercive apparatus that demands privileges and thereby negates equality … ethnic and territorial loyalties [dissolve] Communism into nationalism … apathy and passivity of the population … led to a steady decline of the economy … relaxation of authority subverted the whole Communist regime … As soon as Gorbachev began to tamper with the system, it developed fissures … Communism was … incapable of adjusting to changing circumstances."
The reason for its rigidity was the suppression and dictatorial censorship needed to prevent rebellion, i.e. the "reverse evolution" of the medieval Church’s terrorism against free criticisms of its groupthink dogmas (preventing any real innovation for centuries and arresting Galileo). Pipes argues on pages 160-1:
"In their effort to impose total conformity, Communist regimes drove into exile, incarcerated, and silenced those who would not conform … reverse evolution was set in motion, with the most dependent and conformist having the best chance of survival. The enterprising, truthful and public-minded perished. Communist societies thus lost the best and found themselves correspondingly impoverished. … Marx maintained that capitalism suffered from insoluble internal contradictions, which doomed it to destruction. In reality, capitalism, being an empirical system responsive to realities and capable of adjustments, has managed to overcome every one of its crises. Communism, on the other hand, being a rigid doctrine – a pseudoscience converted into a pseudo-religion and embodied in an inflexible political regime – has proven incapable ...."
Communism originated in Plato’s Laws, which forecast one-to-many television, radio, and mass protest groupthink politics propaganda: "in some way see and hear and act in common, and all men express praise and blame and feel joy and sorrow on the same occasions." Plato promoted a perverted utopian vision of a classless groupthink society in which people are physical and mental clones with shared possessions, wives and children, and where, as in the USSR "change is most dangerous" and innovation even in children’s games must be banned for fear of "confusing" children as to "right." Plato was criticised by his student Aristotle, who argued that disagreements due to common ownership (sharing) cause more heated arguments and fighting than private ownership: "it is not possessions, but the desires of people, which need to be made equal." Sharing requires conformity of standards. Everybody must read the same books, watch the same TV.
Wars and unhappiness are due to human desires, not simply inanimate physical possessions. Saint Paul (I Timothy 6:10): "the love of money is the root of all evil," which was misquoted by communists as "money is the root of all evil." The Russian Vladimir Soloviev explained this crucial difference between Christianity and Marxists: Jesus taught giving up the desire for money, whereas Marxists want to forcefully seize and share possessions. There is a very big difference between giving up a desire (Christianity) and forcefully sharing all possessions (Communism). Morelly’s 1755 Le Code de la Nature similarly blames desire not inanimate money: "Analyze vanity, conceit, pride, ambition, deceitfulness, hypocrisy, villainy; break down the majority of our sophisticated virtues themselves, all dissolve in this subtle and pernicious element, the desire to possess." Thomas More’s 1516 book Utopia described the penalty for abolishing money: the death penalty for private discussion of public affairs. You cannot secure communism unless you ban individualism and criticisms of the state.
Karl Marx applied Charles Darwin’s 1859 evolution theory to communism in an effort to provide pseudo-scientific credibility to Plato’s secular religion of equality (Darwin attributed social evolution theory’s origins to Malthus’s pseudoscience). Just as the pseudoscientific misapplication of Darwin’s evolution propped up the flag of Marxism, it was also used by the French eugenicist Medical Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrell to argue for the moral use of gas chambers by Hitler to purify humanity. So much for the "harmlessness" of mainstream pseudoscientific dogma. Friedrich Engels, Marx’s collaborator, claimed: "Just as Darwin had discovered the law of development of organic nature, so did Marx discover the law of human history." Pipes comments on page 8 of Communism:
"The injection of evolutionary thinking into socialist theory introduced into it the element of inevitability. According to ‘scientific socialism,’ … capitalism in time must inexorably yield to socialism. The emotional appeal of this belief is not much different from the religious faith in the will of God, inspiring those who hold it with an unshakable conviction that no matter how many setbacks their cause may suffer, ultimate victory is assured."
This abuse of science for propaganda sets Marx and Engels apart from their predecessors like Plato, Gerrard Winstanley (who founded the "Digger" movement which sought to cultivate common lands in England to escape capitalism), and Francois-Noel Babeuf’s (leader of the socialist "Conspiracy for Equality" movement during the French Revolution). While Plato, Winstanley and Babeuf were laughing stock, Marx and Engel could disguise their errors and produce readable advertisements.
Vladimir Lenin’s radical older brother Alexander was executed in 1887 for a plot to assassinate Tsar Alexander III. Vladimir, then a student aged 17, was expelled from the law school of the University of Kazan for involvement in a disturbance over regulations. He took his law degree by external examinations in 1891 and took up the work of revolutionary terrorism. Exploiting popular dissatisfaction with the Tsar during World War I, Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917. Lenin in 1920 explained that a world communist revolution was needed to secure his regime: "we knew that our victory will be a lasting victory only when our undertaking will conquer the whole world, because we had launched it exclusively counting on the world revolution." (Lenin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 5th ed., Moscow, vol. 41, p. 1). Lenin immediately began using agents to try to cause communist revolutions throughout the world, starting with a communist revolt in Germany in January 1919. Hitler later adopted communist eugenics and state control within his National Socialist party, while fighting off the other ideology of Marxist communism.
In England, the home of social Darwinism, eugenics and imperialism, Bertrand Russell wrote The Theory and Practice of Bolshevism, after his 1920 visit to Russia with the British Labour delegation. Similarly, well-meaning Fabian Society authors Sidney and Beatrice Webb were given a three-week guided tour of the USSR in 1932 and in 1935 published a 1,200 pages long two-volume propaganda dossier, which was approved "for accuracy" by the Soviet embassy before publication, called Soviet Communism: a New Civilization? As with the recent claims by dictators Saddam and Gaddafi to not be dictators, they falsely claimed that Stalin was not a dictator, and had less power than the American president or British prime minister. (Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in his final BBC news interview claimed that he wasn’t even a president, and couldn’t be a dictator because he "lived in a tent".)
George Bernard Shaw, a fellow Fabian, praised the Webb book as "the first really scientific analysis of the Soviet State." Beatrice Webb in 1942 claimed in yet another book of lies, The Truth About Soviet Russia: "[the USSR is] the most inclusive and equalized democracy in the world." The USSR was then popular because the Nazi-USSR Pact had been broken and the USSR was temporarily an ally of the free world in the fight against the Nazis. As a result, communist-duped British scientists like Dr Klaus Fuchs ended up giving the secrets of the Los Alamos bomb project to Stalin.
In America, the New York Times reporter Walter Duranty was blackmailed while in Moscow and made paper heroes out of Lenin and Stalin. By 1939, the year of the Soviet-Nazi Pact to jointly invade Poland from opposite sides, there were 66,000 registered members of the American Communist Party. Taking a lead from Moscow, these American communists opposed and denounced Britain’s stand against Hitler as being imperialist interference.
Mary McCarthy, explained how USSR influence operated in America in her 1961 autobiography, My Confession (pp. 48-50). She accidentally became a member of the "Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky" in New York in 1936, after Trotsky’s embarrassing criticisms of Stalin’s dictatorship of the USSR led him to be framed as a traitor and driven into exile (Trotsky was murdered while in exile in Mexico by an agent of Stalin, who also had Trotsky air-brushed out of photos of Lenin’s speeches):
"People whom I had not seen for months or whom I knew very slightly telephoned to advise me to get off the newly formed Committee. These calls were not precisely threatening. Indeed, the caller often sounded terribly weak and awkward, as if he did not like the mission he had been assigned. But they were peculiar. … there was no real effort at persuasion: the caller states his purpose in standardized phrases, usually plaintive in tone (the Committee was the tool of reaction, and all liberal people should dissociate themselves from its activities, which were an unwarranted intervention in the domestic affairs of the Soviet Union), and then hung up, almost immediately, before I had a proper chance to answer. … Those people who admonished me to ‘think about it’ were not people whose individual opinions could have had any weight with me. And when I did think about it, this very fact took on an ominous character: I was not being appealed to personally but impersonally warned. … When I saw what was happening, I rebounded to the defense of the Committee … I was now an anti-Communist, where before I had been either indifferent or pro-Communist."
The point is, the successful outcome of NSDD-75 sets it up as a blueprint for dealing with dictatorships. UPDATE: please see also the posts on NUCLEAR DETONATIONS IN URBAN AND SUBURBAN AREAS (updated 3 January 2014 with latest secret UK National Archives files from 1984), also The exaggerated urban effects of nuclear weapons: proof tested civil defence, and Britain's 1950 studies of nuclear 9/11 and the disappearance of civilian airliner MH370.