October 29, 2004
Kerry's forgotten Communist-coddlingBy Tom Joseph
John F. Kerry has a long history of opposing the use of American military force to defend our vital interests. But the presidential campaign has so far virtually ignored his shameful behavior in the 1980s, when President Reagan was defeating Communism not only in Europe, but also much closer to home.
President Reagan took office in January, 1981. The release of the American hostages by Iran resolved only one of the many problems he inherited from the Carter Administration. Soviet troops had invaded Afghanistan. Marxist rebels had seized the nation of Angola in Africa. In Central America, Marxist guerrillas were attacking the El Salvador government and the Sandanistas had taken control of Nicaragua.
In order to counter Soviet expansionist policy, President Reagan increased defense spending and began supporting freedom movements that were fighting against Communism. Liberal extremists in the Democratic Party and most of the media elite hated Reagan's new policies. This was especially true about his support of the Contras fighting against the Sandanista government in Nicaragua.
The combative relationship between the President and the Democrat—controlled Congress exploded in October, 1983 when Reagan ordered the invasion of the small island nation of Grenada in the Caribbean. Other Caribbean nations had asked the United States to intervene when Marxists in Grenada's military killed their Prime Minister and toppled the constitutional government. President Reagan did not act until Grenada's new leaders confined American medical students on their campus. It was then that he went on television to tell the American people he had ordered military action to prevent the possibility of a hostage situation similar to what had happened in Iran.
The news media and liberal extremists in Congress openly accused Reagan of lying about the invasion. They cited his long opposition to events in Grenada and ridiculed his belief that the Soviets were actively seeking to develop more client states in our hemisphere. Both Congress and the media said they would investigate. Months passed and there was little if any information about these promised investigations. Like many Americans, I assumed Reagan had told the truth and that the issue was no longer important. I was wrong. There was a reason why the media and Congress dropped this issue.
To this day, most Americans do not know about the documents discovered in Grenada. The CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department made copies of Grenada's government documents and sent 35,000 pounds of them to Washington. The documents were examined and then given to the National Archives in Washington, where they were made available to the news media, scholars and the public.
Guess what? Ronald Reagan was right about more than his decision to invade Grenada. The Soviets were pursuing a plan for expansion through the creation and support of Communist client states in Central America. The documents revealed the connections between the governments of Cuba, Grenada and Nicaragua, together with support of the Marxist guerrillas in El Salvador.
No doubt, some people reading this article are thinking that this is ancient history and doesn't matter any more. They are wrong because there is a scandal here and many of the people involved are still members of Congress and members of the media elite.
It starts with members of Congress paying a visit to the Sandanista leader of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega. They returned with a piece of paper signed by Ortega and once again, proclaimed that he was not a Communist, but a socialist. Several days later, Mr. Ortega made fools of these dupes by flying to Moscow to collect even more Soviet support. You would think that the members of Congress with the signed piece of paper would have been very angry. But not really.
The Democrat—controlled Congress went on to pass the third in a series of amendments called the Boland Amendments. All three of these amendments were worded to prevent the President from supporting the Contras in their fight against Ortega's communist government. Think about this: Congress knew about the Grenada documents. They knew Ortega had gone to Moscow for more Soviet support. And they still wanted to protect a Communist dictatorship from their own President.
In 1990, there were elections in Nicaragua. At the time, the Soviet Empire was crumbling, President Bush had removed General Noriega from Panama, and the Contras had continued to pressure the Nicaraguan government. The Sandanistas agreed to the elections because thought they would win. Our American media conducted polls and said they would win. President Carter, who had had not tried to stop the Sandanistas from taking power, was part of the commission observing the elections.
All the people who had opposed Reagan's policies towards Nicaragua were poised to claim victory. A Sandanista win would prove President Carter was right when he didn't oppose them. It would prove Congress was right when they passed the Boland Amendments. Our media also wanted to be right about refusing to believe President Reagan. But then something unexpected happened when the people of Nicaragua actually got their chance to vote. They threw the Sandanistas out of power because they wanted freedom instead of a Communist dictatorship.
If you think that liberal members of Congress and the media finally admitted they were wrong and Reagan was right, you are dreaming. They did admit that democracy had triumphed. But, in a slant only our media could pull off, they gave credit to President Carter for overseeing a free and fair election.
Why is this important today? Well, there are a few details I haven't mentioned yet. A lot of attention has been given to John Kerry's 1971 Congressional testimony accusing our military of wartime atrocities in Vietnam. There is something else he said. "We can not fight Communism all over the world and I think we should have learned that lesson by now."
In 1985, Senator Kerry was one of the members of Congress who returned from Nicaragua with that worthless signed piece of paper. He then supported the third Boland Amendment. Apparently, not only did John Kerry not want to fight Communism "all over the world," he didn't even want to fight communism in our own backyard.
Senator Kerry voted against the first Gulf War in 1990. President Bush had a UN Resolution and a large coalition that not only included the reluctant French, but several Arab nations. This makes it very difficult to vote for a Kerry who talks about having to pass some kind of global test. If the first Gulf War didn't pass his test, then what would?
President Clinton decided to intervene militarily in Bosnia in 1994, to stop the genocide. There was no UN Resolution and no large coalition of nations. What did John Kerry say?
"If you mean dying in the course of the United Nation's effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no."
It is absurd to trust our national security and world security to an organization that is corrupt and controlled by petty, often venal interests. The UN was given the responsibility for not only destroying Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, but also for putting an end to his ability to manufacture them. The UN was responsible for making sure the benefits from the Oil for Food Program went to the Iraqi people. The UN miserably failed at both.
While Kerry did vote to give the President George W. Bush the authority to go to war against Iraq, it is important to realize that failure to support the President would have been political suicide for a presidential candidate. And when Senator Kerry voted against the $87 billion to support our troops, it is just as important to wonder if he was more worried about John Dean's anti—war rhetoric than the safety of our troops.
Today, candidate Kerry says that he'll be strong on national defense, that he'll win the war in Iraq, and that he'll win the war against terrorism. The time to be strong on national defense did not start on 9—11. I worry that a President Kerry could declare the war in Iraq unwinable, withdraw unilaterally, and leave behind a terrorist controlled nation with a wealth of oil next door to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
A man who said we couldn't fight Communism all over the world is not likely to seek victory against international terrorism. After 9—11, it's almost certain that if terrorists are not forced to run from us, they surely will come after us.