Many liberals suggest that there are no fundamental differences between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Gulag is dismissed as an embarrassing aberration. The invasion of Afghanistan stemmed from an understandable sense of insecurity. The shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 was, of course, tragic, but understandable given American spy flights. I leave it to you to imagine the reaction from the same individuals had the United States or, say South Africa, committed a similar act.
The most serious danger which the West faces from the Soviet Union is not nuclear weapons but a loss of will. The day that the West decides that the Soviets are really not so bad and certainly not worth fighting, the war is lost. This sort of attitude can already be observed to an alarming degree across Europe where pacifism is taking strong root. Such pacifism by the sheep would be fine, but the bear is not convinced.
Straying off course in not recognized as a capital crime by
Jeane Kirkpatrick, in reference to the Soviet destruction of Korean Airways Flight 007
Better a missile in the garden than a Russian in the kitchen.
Bumper sticker in Amsterdam
Happy hour is slightly different in the Soviet Union. There are
no ice cubes or orange-peel twists in the vodka. Also, it lasts
The Afghans have demonstrated their willingness to fight, but
blood and courage alone are not enough. Don't we owe it to our
principles of freedom to give these people more effective means
to resist their would-be Soviet conquerers?
M. S. Forbes Jr.
We only came out to kill people... In the Soviet Union, there is
freedom only to dream... Nobody believes in Communism, not even a
minority, not even Chernenko himself. It's just a matter of
memorizing set answers to each question and repeating them auto
Nikolai Movchan, Soviet defector in Afghanistan
The only law we broke was the Brezhnev doctrine that once a
country is in the Soviet bloc it cannot be overthrown.
Jack Kemp, on the liberation of Grenada
It is no coincidence that when the thugs tried to wrest control
over Grenada, there were 30 Soviet advisors and hundreds of Cuban
military and paramilitary forces on the island.
I just don't see this old idea of the Red peril, itching to take
over the world. I think you can explain a lot of the Soviets'
moves as stemming from a basic sense of insecurity.
It is easy to see why those trapped behind the Iron Curtain,
including the Russians themselves, would be driven to the bottle.
There is nothing good to spend their money on; they are bored,
cold, frustrated, silenced-- and tired to death of cabbage.
Marvin Stone, Editor, US News & World Report
I would rather have the United States as the world's policeman
than the Soviet Union as the world's jailer.
The most cost-effective move we could make in defense spending
would be to shift the focus of CIA operations, giving this agency
the directive to make trouble for the Soviet Union.
Jack Wheeler, Reason
With all this talk about the supposed strain in relations [with
the Soviet Union], there is an inference that somehow it is our
fault. But we didn't kill Russian civilians by shooting down a
civilian airplane. We didn't attempt to conquer an adjacent
country to ours. We didn't walk out on negotiations and refuse to
give a date for when we would resume.
The remedy for Bolshevism in bullets.
Editorial in the London Times, 1917
The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the
milstones of taxation and inflation.
Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot.
As an ultimate objective, "peace" simply means communist world
Soviet power is a new type of state in which there is no
bureaucracy, no police, no standing army.
It is true that liberty is precious - so precious that it must
The reason why there is now no communist government in Paris is
because in the circumstances of 1945 the Soviet army was not able
to reach French soil.
The dictatorship of the Communist party is maintained through
recourse to every form of violence.
The Communists have for decades loudly proclaimed their goal of
destroying the bourgeois world, while the West merely smiled at
what seemed to be an extravagant joke.
Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury
If that's what's bugging the Russians, we can sure as hell add a
little something to the neutron bomb to destroy property as well
David Langdon, Punch
Russian cars are silly. They look like imports drawn by a
cartoonist for a UAW newsletter.
While gruesome exploitation and the horror of unemployment
drives people into the arms of alcohol in capitalistic countries,
the Soviet citizens like to drink because of their overflowing
joy of life and the desire to celebrate the great success of
Radio Moscow speaker
In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in
order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the
U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law: a) Freedom of Speech; b) Freedom
of the Press; c) Freedom of assembly, including the holding of
mass meetings; d) Freedom of street processions and
If the German people lay down their arms the whole of Eastern
and Southern Europe, together with the Reich, will come under
Russian occupation. Behind an iron curtain mass butcheries of
people would begin.
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propoganda minister
When fraternities are not allowed, Communism flourishes. Young
men who are inexperienced but have faith are more useful than
older, experienced men without faith. The fraternity system is a
bastion of American strength.
Barry Goldwater, in reference to Harvard's lack of fraternities
Moscow is the city where if Marilyn Monroe should walk down the
street with nothing on but shoes, people would stare at her feet
I sometimes think Adam and Eve were Russians. They didn't have a
roof over their head, nothing to wear, but they had one apple
between them and they thought that was Paradise.
Inconsiderate to the last, Josef Stalin, a man who never had to
meet a deadline, had the bad taste to die in installments.
No matter how hard Western individuals try to soften the image
of "the evil empire," the Soviets will foul things up: shoot the
Pope, destroy the airliner, use poison gas.
It's not inflammatory for [Secretary of State, George] Schultz
to say, "We may not see freedom in Eastern Europe in our
lifetime. Our children may not see it in theirs. But someday it
will happen." It's a statement of fact.
Malcolm S. Forbes
When the West responds with tremulous discord to U.S.S.R.
threats, it merely whets the Russians' overwhelming appetite for
Malcolm S. Forbes
The Soviet threat is a very real one, and it represents a
profound commitment of Soviet policy. And it affects our most
vital interest, our political independence. Unless we win that
war, our future will be that of a Soviet satellite.
[A 17 percent defense spending boost is] Very important, because
otherwise, the Soviet Union has no incentive for compromise.
They're not philanthropists.
It is a modern tragedy that one of the Soviet Union's most
intelligent and realistic leaders has served and died during the
administration of the most ill-informed and dangerous man ever to
occupy the White House.
George McGovern, on the death of Yuri Andropov
This is not the first time Uncle Sam has held `free elections'
abroad for his own purposes...But this has not saved other
`people's choices' from a bullet or dagger if they were no longer
Aleksandr Palladin, Izvestia's Washington correspondent on the El Salvador elections
What they really want is a promise to hand over defectors.
F. Don Miller, executive director of the US Olympic Committee on the Soviet boycott
No wonder the Soviet economy is in such bad shape. They have to
go to all the expense of rewriting their history books every time
they get a new leader.
A police state finds it cannot command grain to grow.
John F. Kennedy
Soviet officials blame a cold snap, of all things, for
imperiling their winter wheat crop. Maybe the revolutionary
planners weren't expecting winter this year.
Just let the United States defend us against the influence of
Soviet revisionism and guard the coast of the East China sea so
that we can have more strength to deal with the power in the
north and engage in state construction. When the time is right,
we will be candid and say: "please, Uncle Sam, pack up your
things and go."
Keng Piao, Chinese Politburo member in a secret speech in August, 1976
To be sure, China's foreign policy goals and actions do not
fully coincide with American interests and policies... What is
significant, however, is the substantial parallelism of U.S.-PRC
[People's Republic of China] interests which permits us to
maintain compatible approaches to many issues around the globe
that affect our national security in various dimensions.
Harold Brown, Carter's Defense Secretary
The president, who finds so much to complain about in other
areas of the world, apparently saw nothing wrong in recognizing a
Communist regime that has killed more people in its short history
of control over the teeming millions of that great country than
any other collection of dictators or tyrants in the history of
Barry Goldwater, Arizona Republic, February 8, 1979
If the door to Sino-American relations is opened, we will open
up the road to revolution in the United States.
Hua Huang, PRC Foreign Minister in a July 1977 secret report
We will not, within the next decade, use force to liberate
Taiwan...[We will shelve] the Taiwan question until all
preparations have been made.
Huang Hua, Foreign Minister of Communist China July 30, 1977
I found Mr. Carter's actions toward the Republic of China so
incredible that they defy description by socially acceptable
expletives. If December 7, 1941 was a "day of infamy" then
December 15, 1978 ranks right up there in international
betrayal...The pathetic thing about this whole mess, however, is
that it is typical of this administration's conduct of foreign
affairs, which could be kindly described as being riddled by
ineptitude and hypocrisy.
Believe me, after the destruction of Chinese nuclear sites by
our missiles, there won't be much time for the Americans to
choose between the defense of their Chinese allies and peaceful
co-existence with us.
Leonid I. Brezhnev, January 30, 1980
I believe that we are going to get along very well with him
[Josef Stalin] and the Russian people -- very well indeed.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Christmas Eve Fireside Chat, 1943
It is hard to make Communists of Poles; they are too Catholic
and they have a sense of humor.
There are no unemployed, either in Russia or in Dartmoor jail,
and for the same reason.
In Russia religion is the opium of the people; in China opium is
the religion of the people.
Yuri Andropov is furious over President Reagan's proposed "Star
Wars" missile-defense system. He is convinced it will never work,
and resents Reagan's wasting the taxpayers' money on a futile
Karpov beat Korchnoi [in chess], the Soviet media went wild, and
in the frenzy of the moment Leonid Brezhnev said that the victor
displayed "genuinely Soviet character." Most experts, however,
felt that Karpov had won honestly.