Skip to comments.The Candles of Christmas 1981 (Ode to Ronald Reagan et al.)
Posted on 12/21/2006 7:07:10 PM PST by neverdem
It's difficult to explain how much the world has changed in 25 years -- and for the better. Those who lived through December 1981 would be well served to pause and give thanks for the differences.
In December 1981, much of the world lived in totalitarian darkness. This was captured at the time by Freedom House, the group begun by Eleanor Roosevelt and today headed by freedom fighter Nina Shea. Freedom House published its map of global freedom, which showed the world's free nations in white and unfree nations in black. Nearly all the great Eurasian land mass was colored black, from the western border of East Germany, through eastern Europe and the massive spaces of the Soviet Union, and on to the huge terrain of China, and still further down to Vietnam and the South China Sea. The contrast was pointed out by a presidential candidate who hoped to transform the darkness: "If a visitor from another planet were to approach earth," said Ronald Reagan, "and if this planet showed free nations in light and unfree nations in darkness, the pitifully small beacons of light would make him wonder what was hidden in that terrifying, enormous blackness. We know what is hidden: Gulag. Torture." Reagan noted that "the very heart of the darkness" was the Soviet Union.
What was that totalitarian darkness like? It sought the persecution and even annihilation of entire classes and groups of hated people. According to the 1999 work by Harvard University Press, The Black Book of Communism, at least 100 million people were killed by Communist governments in the 20th century, a conservative figure that we already know underestimated the total. (We now know, for example, that Mao Tse-Tung alone killed 70 million in China, and Soviets authorities like Alexander Yakovlev maintain that Stalin...
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
God Bless Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II and Maggie Thatcher, et al. No libs helped win the Cold War. We won despite of them.
Is that the year that Reagan asked people to light a candle for Poland and put it in the window? I think I was home from college and I did it.
wow small world..I was a freshman at TCU that year..remember it so well..I had some "poles"..in my wing..their words..so proud of their heritage..
God: I'd love to see that map of the world in 1981.
view from Wawel Hill, Cracow, Poland
Paul Kengor is associate professor of political science at Grove City College, in Grove City, Pennsylvania and a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution. He is the author of The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (2006), God and George W. Bush: A Spiritual Life, and the best selling God and Ronald Reagan. He is co-editor, along with Peter Schweizer, of Assessing the Reagan Presidency (Rowman-Littlefield, 2005). Paul Kengor is on the Advisory Board of the Catholic Education Resource Center. Contact Kengor at email@example.com.
Worth a ping!
The Soviet Union was disbanded on December 25, 1991. Merry Christmas!!
(A little late, but oh well...)