Behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains

Centuries from now, historians will find the attitude of many Western intellectuals toward the Soviet Union and Red China incomprehensible. Much as we today condemn Neville Chamberlain for his concessions to Nazi Germany, so will the historians and people of tomorrow condemn those who today urge the West to be understanding and tolerant towards the communist nations. The words and deeds of the communist leaders are abundantly clear. Their goal is world rule.

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.

The Soviet Empire is a gray and stupid thing, run by fourth-rate dullards, mostly fat, administered by leaden bureaucrats, guided by principles which have long since been exploded -- what's original in Karl Marx is not true and what's true is not original. What can you expect from Russia? Czar or commisar, Russia's always been a stupid tyranny.
Jeffrey Hart

Straying off course in not recognized as a capital crime by civilized nations.
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 all day.
P.J. O'Rourke

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 matically.
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.
Ronald Reagan

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.
John Anderson

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.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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.
Ronald Reagan

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.
Nikolai Lenin

Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot.

As an ultimate objective, "peace" simply means communist world control.

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 be rationed.

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.
Josef Stalin

The dictatorship of the Communist party is maintained through recourse to every form of violence.
Leon Trotsky

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.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.
Nikita Khrushchev

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 as personnel.
David Langdon, Punch

Russian cars are silly. They look like imports drawn by a cartoonist for a UAW newsletter.
P.J. O'Rourke

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 socialism.
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 demonstrations.
USSR Constitution

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 first.
John Gunther

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.
Ronald Reagan

Inconsiderate to the last, Josef Stalin, a man who never had to meet a deadline, had the bad taste to die in installments.
A.J. Liebling

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.
Jeffrey Hart

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 more.
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.
Eugene Rostow

[A 17 percent defense spending boost is] Very important, because otherwise, the Soviet Union has no incentive for compromise. They're not philanthropists.
Eugene Rostow

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 needed.
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.
Gordon Haff

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.
National Review

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 the world.
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.
Barry Goldwater

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.
Adalai Stevenson

There are no unemployed, either in Russia or in Dartmoor jail, and for the same reason.
Philip Snowden

In Russia religion is the opium of the people; in China opium is the religion of the people.
Edgar Snow

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 boondoggle.
National Review

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.
National Review

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