Editor's Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison.
President Obama’s senior thesis at Columbia University has been embargoed. It is said to be an endorsement of the Nuclear Freeze Movement that was so much the cause célèbre of the left here and throughout Western Europe in the Reagan years. We may have to wait for his presidential library to open to find out.
And we may have to wait until then, too, to learn whether young Barack Obama attended the massive, one million plus Nuclear Freeze rally in Central Park in June, 1982. It’s hard to imagine that the young student who, he tells us in his book Dreams from My Father, consciously sought out the Marxist professors on campus would have missed this huge anti-nuclear demonstration unfolding on his doorstep. It’s odd, too, that he seems never to have been asked about this during two campaigns for the White House or during any press conference.
Why is this important now? Because now is when President Obama’s promise to be “flexible” with Russia’s Vladimir Putin is being redeemed. Mr. Obama has just tapped as his Sec. of State John Kerry, the man who rode into the Senate as the most outspoken proponent of the Nuclear Freeze. Kerry was never held accountable for that full-throated embrace of the Soviet Union’s Number One foreign policy objective for almost the full decade of the 1980s.
Even when Kerry ran for president in 2004, opponents focused on his 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a youthful, long-haired anti-Vietnam War protester, and not on the fact that he helped to further the KGB’s goals as a U.S. Senator.
Of course, President Obama’s choice of former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to be the next Sec. of Defense seems incomprehensible to many in Washington. He’s so obviously unfit. Even his defenders—like former Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh—concede that “[Hagel] didn’t bring his ‘A-game’ to his confirmation hearings.” Imagine that: a Sec. of Defense-designate whom even his backers say was unprepared.
The Hagel choice only makes sense if you realize that Obama and Kerry would not want a civilian leader in the Pentagon making waves as they seek to disarm and disable the United States of America. Hagel will be a loyal member of the “go along to get along gang,” if confirmed.
We now know that the Soviet KGB, the deadly secret police, was a leading pusher of the Nuclear Freeze and they had thousands of willing accomplices on the left. They wanted to be able to put Soviet missiles in Eastern Europe and have the West respond with a “Freeze” on their own deployment of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles—Cruise and Pershing rockets.
The best way to think of that policy goal is to think of the rabbit and the boa constrictor. The boa moves menacingly toward the rabbit and the rabbit freezes, hoping the boa won’t notice him. But to the boa, the rabbit is lunch.
Left-wing advocates of the Freeze, like Bill Hyland, argued publicly that our freezing would create a world outcry for the Soviets to withdraw their own IRBM’s from Eastern Europe.
Harvard’s Polish-born biographer of Stalin, the great Adam Ulam, punctured Hyland’s pretty bubble when he asked him in his heavily-accented English: “An’ wot will you doo iff they dun’t?”
President Reagan wisely and courageously resisted calls for the Nuclear Freeze. He believed the United States’ strength should always be “second to none.” He advocated instead a Zero Option under which both sides would massively reduce their nuclear and conventional weapons. He was careful always to say: Trust but verify. Which was his polite way of saying: We aren’t going to trust you without proof.
Today, America’s foreign and defense policies are being crafted at the top by those who so obviously failed in the great Cold War struggle of the 1980s. The Freezeniks are in power now.
And their negotiating partner, Vladimir Putin, knows what he can get from them in the way of flexibility. No other world leader is a former KGB agent. It may well be that Putin rose through the ranks of that dreaded outfit by crafting the very policies that credulous Western “peace” politicians fell for.
We don’t know if young Barack Obama was on board for the Freeze, but Vladimir Putin knows. Russia’s spy network has never been dismantled. In 2010 the FBI caught ten Russian spies just before the famed “Hamburger Summit” between President Obama and Putin’s seat-warmer, Dmitri Medvedev, the spies were allowed to leave the U.S. without extensive questioning, without so much as a TSA pat-down.
When Russia briefly tasted freedom in the 1990s, happy throngs tore down the Moscow statue of Felix Dzerzhinksi, the founder of the Soviet secret police. “Iron Felix’s” bust was quietly returned to Russia’s police headquarters by Vladimir Putin, shortly after he resumed power in 2000. It is to this man, this successor to creators of the Gulag where millions died, that President Obama gave his promise to be “flexible” after the election. Frozen in fear; flexible to our foes. That’s the best summary of U.S. foreign policy now.