Monday, April 04, 2005

Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan worked together to assist the Solidarity movement in the liberation of Communist Poland

Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan hold discussions at the Vatican

Via Newsmax:

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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.

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June 7, 1982[:] . . . a private Vatican meeting [was held] 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 . . . 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 . . . alliances of all time.' "

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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.

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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.

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Another staunch foe of Communism, The Right Honorable Baroness Margaret Thatcher, wrote moving eulogies for both Pope John Paul II and President Reagan.


Blogger nancy said...

This is thought-provoking. You write well. Keep it up!!

This is Joshua from Israeli Uncensored News

11:57 PM  

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