When pressed on that statement, by Major Garrett of Fox News, Obama stuck to his position, making it even more inaccurate, saying, "There were a whole bunch of people around Eastern Europe who showed enormous courage and... uh, I think that it is very important in this part of the world to acknowledge the degree to which people struggled for their own freedom. We don't have to diminish other people in order to recognize our role in that history."
In that one, short, ridiculously inaccurate statement, Obama takes victory from the Cold Warriors and President Ronald Reagan. I take this very personally. He minimizes the victory I shared through my 27 years of service during the 45 year long Cold War, 1946 to 1991.
Standing before the Berlin Wall, Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" And, Mikhail tore it down then disassembled the USSR. Reagan didn't say, "Mr. Gorbachev, lots of people all over the world want you to take down this wall." He just commanded, "…tear down this wall." Gorbachev saw the jig was up, Reagan had won, and the USSR fell apart.
The Cold War had long been underway when I came aboard the US Air Force in 1959. Those marvelous heroes of the Berlin Airlift and the dauntless Korean War Veterans had stepped forward to fight opening, brutal battles long before my era.
Strategic Air Command had been flying round-the-clock airborne alert in B-36s, B-47s, and B-52s by 1960 when I went into a 3 1/2 year missile tour to put the Atlas D & E ICBMs on Alert in Cheyenne, WY. We stood merciless alert tours of up to 48 hours. Titan IBCM crews joined us. It was then that President John F. Kennedy rattled our missiles in Premier Nikita Khruschev's face to kick the Russians out of Cuba.
Obama's contention that it wasn't the West that won the Cold War evidences his universal apologetics and desire to revise history to give undue, gratuitous credit to nations and cultures who didn't earn it. He builds them up with fiction and tears us down with falsehood.
Some Soviet Union Republics and satellites "wanted" to be free, but that wish didn't end the Cold War. It was Minuteman I, II, and III, and Peacekeeper ICBMs, US Navy Nuclear Missile Submarines under the seas, the US Army facing down the USSR along the Iron Curtain, US Navy carrier task forces exerting global pressures and the threat of Reagan's Star Wars plan that won it.
I've listed hardware, and hardware can't be insulted. But the millions of men and women, airmen, soldiers, Marines, sailors, Coast Guard, officer and enlisted forces of the US, it's allies, and millions of devoted US civilian military workers, and sacrificing family members who confronted the Soviet evil and took it down.
These facts are totally dismissed and made trivial by Obama's fairytale history. Seventeen of my years were as a certified Combat Crew Member in Atlas, Minuteman, B-47s, WC-135s, EC-47s, and EC-135, plus 3 years of commanding Space and Missile Warning Combat Crews at BMEWS and PAVE PAWS radar sites. Three flying tours in Vietnam were mere interludes in the greater war that Obama denigrates.
I honor every man and women I served with. They won the Cold War. Many died to win it. Many were dear comrades.
Congress didn't strike a Cold War Victory Medal, much to the disgrace of Congress, but we won it, Mr. Obama. You may think Lech Walesa, Czeks, and the Poles, etc., were big players. Their willingness to stand before tanks and resist was admirably brave, but ultimately they greased Soviet Tank tracks as they were overrun, Mr. Obama. It's clear that law school didn't teach you much history.
Undeniably, it was the overwhelming power of the United States Military and it's Western Allies that brought victory.
Obama should remember that Khruschev said, "We will bury you!" To play footsy with Putin, unilaterally reducing our nuclear arsenal and stopping all further improvements of our nuclear weapons, as Obama has said he will do, plays nicely into the Russian hands. Putin is the same "we" of whom Khruschev spoke, and Obama's digging the hole.
© Curtis D. Dale, PhD, August 2009 REPRINT