Skip to comments.Advisor: Reagan Threatened War Over Poland
Posted on 04/04/2005 5:29:57 PM PDT by wagglebee
After forming a close alliance with Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan was prepared to go to war with Russia to stop a planned invasion of Poland, one of Reagan's top advisers tells NewsMax Magazine.
Judge William P. Clark, President Reagan's National Security Adviser (1982-1983), revealed just how close the world came to the brink of war and possible Armageddon in the early 1980s.
Clark made his revelations in NewsMax Magazine's latest edition "The Pope's Final Battle in These End Times."
After Archbishop Karol Wojtyla's rise to the papacy in 1978, he soon ignited a prairie fire for freedom in his native Poland.
The Russians had become unnerved by the discontent brewing in Poland, a nation that had remained a Soviet satellite since Russia "liberated" her from Nazi occupation after World War II.
As early as 1981, the Reagan administration had warned both Moscow and the Polish government against taking action against Poland's growing Solidarity movement.
When the Russians appeared to be on the brink of an invasion similar to ones they had launched to crush freedom movements in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, President Reagan's White House made clear the U.S. would not be acquiescent again.
Judge Clark told NewsMax bluntly, "We in the Reagan administration were prepared to recommend the use of force if necessary to stop such an invasion."
The Secret Alliance
In the end, however, the Russians backed down. Soviet domination of Poland and Eastern Europe ended, along with the Soviet Union itself, without a shot being fired, thanks to that alliance that was formed in June 1982 between two men who understood the evil nature of communism and knew how to bring it down.
It was a pact that once put the U.S. on the brink of a war with the Soviet Union.
It began on June 7, 1982 at a private Vatican meeting between President Reagan and Pope John Paul II. The two men were alone for 50 minutes and the subject of their discussion was Poland and the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.
Writing in "The Holy Alliance, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II," one of the Pope's biographers, Carl Bernstein, described what happened: "Reagan and the Pope agreed to undertake a clandestine campaign to hasten the dissolution of the communist empire Richard Allen, Reagan's first National Security advisor [was quoted as declaring] This was one of the great secret alliances of all time.' "
Judge William P. Clark, Reagan's national security adviser, said that the alliance between the two men emanated from a shared common view on the nature of the Evil Empire.
"The pope and the president shared the view that each had been given a spiritual mission a special role in the divine plan of life," Clark told NewsMax. "The two men shared the belief that atheistic Communism lived a lie that, when fully understood, must ultimately fail."
Both also shared the remarkable experience of almost dying at the hand of an assassin and miraculously surviving the ordeal.
The Casey Plan
In October of 1982, President Reagan took the first open step to exert pressure on Poland's Communist masters.
Following that government's outlawing of the Solidarity movement, which the Pope had publicly and covertly supported, Reagan suspended Poland's Most Favored Nation trading status, costing cash-strapped Poland some $6 billion a year in sales.
Solidarity was the weapon that the Pope and the U.S. would use to batter down the tyrannical Polish Communist government.
The trigger was an unemployed electrician, Lech Walesa, who had worked at the Gdansk shipyards. He was one of the leaders in a clash there in December 1970, was fired in 1976, and in 1980 became leader of the labor movement that became Solidarity.
Under the iron hand of the Communist regime, that movement could not survive on its own.
The mastermind of the U.S.-Vatican strategy was Reagan's CIA director, William J. Casey. A famous World War II spymaster and also a devout Catholic, Casey saw the Vatican as a secret conduit to supply the Solidarity movement with the financial resources it needed to survive and grow.
The clandestine U.S. support using the Vatican's Catholic network grew to $8 million a year during the mid 1980s. High tech communications equipment was smuggled in along with printing equipment, supplies, VCRs and freedom tapes.
Thanks to the Vatican's covert pipeline, over a seven year period 1,500 underground newspapers and journals and 2,400 books and pamphlets were circulated.
Using CIA supplied equipment Solidarity was even able to insert slogans and messages at breaks during soccer matches.
By 1988 Solidarity was strong enough to stage nationwide strikes in 1988 which forced the government to open a dialogue with it.
In April 1989, Solidarity was legalized and allowed to participate in the upcoming elections. In these limited elections, union candidates won an astonishing victory which sparked a succession of peaceful anti-Communist counterrevolutions in Central and Eastern Europe starting on June 4.
By the end of August, a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed and in December Walesa was elected president, resigning from his post in Solidarity.
As Jesuit scholar Thomas J. Reese, S.J. has written, the Pope's "support of Solidarity in Poland began the avalanche that swept Communism from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union."
During Solidarity's years of confronting both Moscow and the Polish government the danger of armed Soviet intervention in Poland in the face of the growing anti-Communist movement was always present.
In the end, however, Soviet domination of Poland and Eastern Europe ended, along with the Soviet Union itself, without a shot being fired, thanks to the alliance between Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II an alliance formed between two men who understood the evil nature of communism and knew how to bring it down.
Reagan and the Pope, along with Thatcher changed history forever.
He could have launched nukes. But, had us put candles in our windows on a cold December night instead, and wait them out until they collapsed from within based on their internal economic and social corruption.
I guess after all it was the right call.
This was pretty good reading until, "...one of the Pope's biographers, Carl Bernstein..."
Sorry, I draw the line at Woodward and Bernstein. I'll never trust one word out of either of their mouths again, after their appologetic comments concerning the Clintons.
Thag was a young, dumb 2nd Lieutenant in Germany in those days. Nov-Dec 1981 was a very scary time. Thag's Christmas leave (along with a lot of other peoples' leaves) almost got cancelled in mid-December because of rising tensions over Poland.
thanks for posting that. Very interesting. This should be front cover on every newspaper.
"Judge Clark told NewsMax bluntly, "We in the Reagan administration were prepared to recommend the use of force if necessary to stop such an invasion." "
You Go , Boy!
I was a young Captain (pilot) in the Strategic Air Command at that time.......so I know exactly what you went through. Not fun times.
I'll bet that Reagan and the Pope are doing a lot of reminiscing now : )
I don't like them either, but I've heard Bernstein speak admirably about the Pope a few times.
BTW, here is a link to the original article: A Holy Alliance
Yep. That's cuttin' it REALLLL close.
Poland has always been viewed as a strategic buffer between Germany (Western Europe) and Russia. Poland also has the very strategic port of Danzig (Gdansk) on the Baltic Sea. Napoleon laid seige to Poland in 1806-07 as a staging point for his failed Russian campaign.
Damnn I kinda remember the Poland and Martial law I was having surgery when I was a kid and only thing that was good on I thought back in da day was McNeil Hour on PBS and CBS evening news with Dan Rather
Okay I was only 12 year old LOL!
Thought you'd like to see this, Sierra!
God bless you, honey!
So basically you heard that the Soviets were the good guys.
OH YEAH back when I was young girl growing in Liberial town like LA i thought Soviets were good guy and Ronnie was bad guy until I knew better LOL!
The headline does not seem to match the quote.
Who was prepared to recommend the use of force to whom ?
I'm not sure I believe this. For one thing, given the difference in levels of force strength ("order of battle") between NATO and the Warsaw Pact--or even just between the US and the USSR in 1981--there is not much the US could have really done to prevent an invasion if the Soviets were hell-bent on it. I remember the numerical differences back then (ca. 25 years ago) and they were downright scary. As I recall, the Sovs did not want a bloodbath to ruin economic ties with Western Europe (Poles, unlike Czechs, would resist), plus they were busy in Afghanistan. Getting Jaruzelski to crack down on Solidarnosc was a "cleaner" way of handling it. I don't know how reliable NewsMax is, plus why did this Judge Clark wait so long after the fall of communism to come out with this bombshell (no pun intended). Keep in mind that Poland was not a NATO member (just the opposite in fact) and our "allies" in Europe would have had no part in any action against the Soviets over Poland. Call me a doubting Thomas.
Poland was a Warsaw Pact (Soviet alliance) member; other NATO nations, the UK, West Germany, Spain and Italy, would certainly have been behind us.
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