February 18, 2003
The Warsaw Pact's legacy

The difference between the Old and the New Europe is exemplified by this op-ed in the Czech newspaper Lidové Noviny. It talks about the new Cold War that's developing between the French and the Germans on the one side, and the US on the other and puts this into the context of old Cold War. More specifically, it casts the Germans and the French as the moral and ideological successors to the Warsaw Pact. Although I don't fancy myself becoming a translation service here, it's so good that I'll translate most of it (as best I can):

You can't say that the Warsaw Pact didn't work. First, it had a whole bunch of rockets of all ranges, second the cooperation of the participating countries ensured the same communist doctrine, third it did not fail in its propagandistic aggression in the fight against imperialism. And in this regard (fourth) the "fight for peace" activities paid off. Even to the extent that they left deep marks in the minds of Europeans. [...] In the [western] countries there were big "peace" protests, but the "pro-imperialist" governments remained firmly in power. As much as Josif Vissarionovich would have cried over the recent fall of his empire, so it would please him how alive the legacy of the Warsaw Pact is today [...]. He would be very content how this institution is renewing and preparing the ground for the continuation of the Cold War. The old rulers of the Kremlin could not have dreamed in their wildest dreams that a decade after the fall of the Warsaw Pact, that in France and in a unified Germany the anti-American, "anti-imperialist" "fight for peace" would be carried out not by communists, but by civil governments, who moreover would be cooperating on the basis of the ideology of European cooperation. Sure, at the moment this is all just the preparation for a Cold War, nevertheless it is in this spirit that the anti-American cooperation is taking place in the "Old Europe." And in this contest with the reviving Warsaw Pact both NATO and the EU might fall apart.

Comparing the situation of the Iraqi crisis with the Cold War is not an exaggeration. In many respects the approaches by France and Germany are completely different from the Kremlin's "fight for peace," but in a way the current peace movement has actually gone beyond that. The aggressive anti-American pacifism reaches all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and threatens to break apart the West into mutually inimical European and American parts. It amounts to the utopian idea that the best way to get along with totalitarian regimes is by appeasing them. This is supported by influential media and prominent circles of the intellectual elite, who really should mainly be reflecting the events of the Cold War. To destroy the unity of the West - could the Cold War strategists in Moscow imagine anything more beautiful? Let's hope that the US will face down the current peace-making anti-imperialist aggression. France and Germany may write [the US] off however much they want, but they have little hope of success - the US can only be defeated, as in the Vietnam war, only by its own people. But America is not the only target of this pacifist attack. The "Old Europe" has long since written off Israel, without even realizing that the fall of Jerusalem would be but the first step in the fall of Rome. And now they're trying to get rid of Turkey, the only real ally of the West in the Islamic world. With all this they're preparing for the continuation of the Cold War. It would be good to stop this while there is time.

Could the difference between the Old and New Europes be any clearer? The so-called "peace" movements that are now out in force against the US are the same ones who were protesting against the US in the 1980's. Then, they were the Kremlin's useful idiots. Today, they are Saddam's. Tomorrow, they'll be the Saudis'. And they've always been Yassir's. But what do you expect of the Old Europe that gave us Gretta?

While the Warsaw Pact analogy is appropriate (the new Axis Powers share the same anti-Americanism as the old Warsaw Pact and have a losing ideology to boot), there is still time to avert a new Cold War. I hope the French and the Germans come to their senses before it's too late. But I have one plea: don't call it the new Warsaw Pact. That's an insult to the Poles; recently liberated from communism, they are choosing the right side in this conflict. Perhaps we should call it the Strasbourg Pact instead.

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Posted by: rosignol on February 18, 2003 11:33 PM

There is nothing to this, at least not from the side of Germany.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 12:02 AM

We should pull our troops out of the "Axis of Weasel" nations and reposition them in friendlier territory. Belgium, Chirac's poodle, is no longer suitable for the headquarters of any NATO to which America belongs. Warsaw would be a good choice. We might call such an alliance "The Warsaw Pact."

Posted by: Peter Koren on February 19, 2003 12:12 AM

I came across this new replacement name for NATO a couple of days ago: NEATO, New European American Treaty Orginization.

Posted by: BigFire on February 19, 2003 12:35 AM

Chirac has made a big mistake but did Europe a favor by showing just how bad a leader of Europe France would be!

Posted by: tallan on February 19, 2003 01:10 AM

Then, they were the Kremlin's useful idiots. Today, they are Saddam's. Tomorrow, they'll be the Saudis'. And they've always been Yassir's.

Well, logically we should call them "Peace Whores".

Posted by: Jabba the Tutt on February 19, 2003 01:16 AM

Ralf - nothing to this? Your current foreign minister was a paid Soviet agent!

I'm a little worried though. I think Chirac is too good a politician to lose his cool this way. He's up to something.

Posted by: Kevin on February 19, 2003 01:47 AM

Kevin, please!

I guess you are referring to this article:


Sorry, that is pure nonsense, nothing to it.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 02:03 AM

To clarify, the terrorists were financed by Moscow, but Fischer's connection to them was never provenī.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 02:05 AM

Thank you very much for translating the article. If anyone should appreciate the folly of appeasement it is the Czechs. I hope America and the Czech Republic will stand together in the coming struggle.

Posted by: George Lee on February 19, 2003 02:22 AM

Thanks, Ralf - that cleared it up! See, he didn't do any of that - Ralf says so.

Posted by: Erik Kugler on February 19, 2003 02:37 AM

"That's an insult to the Poles; recently liberated from communism, they are choosing the right side in this conflict. Perhaps we should call it the Strasbourg Pact instead."

Thanks for noting. How about
"Munich Pact Revisisted"


Posted by: radek on February 19, 2003 03:14 AM

Come now Ralf, Joschka Fischer was no doubt a paid thug for the left when he was trying to murder police officers on at least two well documented occasions.


It appears the German government is now complicit in selling precursors to Nerve Gas to North Korea:


And Germany has been keeping quiet about bioweapons in Iraq:


After Iraq, Germany should be kicked out of NATO and the US should pull all troops out and stop all trade with the new Nazis who so want to finish the final solution.

Posted by: Bruce on February 19, 2003 03:50 AM

Question is: why do the "peace marchers" still march? While it may amount to "the utopian idea that the best way to get along with totalitarian regimes is by appeasing them." then how do we account from the profound historical ignorance that this reflects?

I've just blogged this topic after jousting with one such marcher and have to admit that I could make no sense of her. If the U.S. is damned for intervening to oust a tyrant and damned for being "insular" when it turns away from injustice, then it will eventually decide to do whatever it damn well pleases (a line stolen from Wildmonk.net - don't gag if you see it there as well!)

But, surely, there must be some animating philosophical spirit in the "peace" marches. Are we really supposed to believe that all of these marchers are just hoping appease an evil that has little chance of actually harming them if the U.S. were to act? What animates their hatred of the U.S.?

Posted by: WildMonk on February 19, 2003 03:52 AM

Wildmonk wants to know what motivates the peacenuts. It seems to me that it is a combination of theatre & ego. These people think of themselves as important actors on the stage of history. They are affirmed by their solidarity with other peacenuts. The whole thing is selfreinforcing - they only hear what other peacenuts say, and only read what other peacenuts write. In short, they are out of touch with reality.

Posted by: harmon on February 19, 2003 04:08 AM


Posted by: dan on February 19, 2003 05:10 AM

Peace marches are a good place to get laid. This was well known in the '60s and is being rediscovered today. Nothing gets a young woman wetter than hearing a young man profess his idealism and love for humanity.

Posted by: Jerry on February 19, 2003 06:21 AM

What motivates the peace protestors? Well, the hardcore ANSWER morons are motivated by their hate for the 'Bush junta'.

The vast majority of marchers are motivated by nai.. wait, I'm not using french words. They're motivated by the childish belief that if the US doesn't monger wars, wars won't happen. They firmly believe that 9/11 and things like it can be avoided with policing and butting out of the affairs of people on the other side of the world.

They are gripped by the belief that mankind has 'outgrown' the need for wars. The West has done this, but they fail to see that there are still billions of people on this planet who are trodding along in the 16th century, if not the bronze age.

Since they think that inaction and diplomacy will keep the status quo of relative peace, they can't accept the real motivations for the war in Iraq. So they take the explanation that this leaves, an explanation that is very plausible if you don't think about it too much. They're convinced Bush wants the oil, and this fuels their delusions. They view themselves as standing up against greedy warmongerers. They actually believe the 'No blood for oil' line.

It's not that hard to understand, really. Most people are for gun control because they think that it will take guns away from people who might use them. When I was 16 or so, I believed that too.

They are seduced by leftist ideals because on the surface it seems benevolent, much more 'just' than the cutthroat nature ascribed to capitalism. 'To each according to his need, from each according to his ability' seems like a sound philosophy, and 'every man for himself' seems greedy, materialistic, and selfish. All the while forgetting that human beings are, among other things, naturally greedy, materialistic, and selfish. They think that communism is considered a bad thing because the US and the Soviets were enemies, not because communism leads to suffering and oppression. The wide-eyed leftist youths from Finland, who came to my hometown Tallinn under Soviet rule, shown what the PARTY wanted them to see, thought it was a paradise on earth where all men are equal.

To me it came as no surprise that the Sean Penns believe what they are shown in Iraq. If you don't think about it too hard, or look too closely, the pacifist lefty view of the world is tinted in lovely shades of pinks and baby blues. Much like a child clinging to the belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and every other wondrous, magical, and beautiful form of soul narcotic, they cling to their view because they fear the monsters in the dark their own minds have created.

Those are the Viggo Mortensens and the Sheryl Crows of the world. And then there are the Robert Fisks and the Noam Chomskys and the Free Mumia! nutballs. No analysis is needed here, they're as diseased and repugnant as the murderous dictators they knowingly support.

Posted by: Sam on February 19, 2003 08:16 AM


Fischer was a thug, but he's over it. He's completely different now.

The German government isn't complicit in selling North Korea that stuff, some German company did illegally

Talking Points memo fell for a bad translation, there was no attempt to cover anything up:

Lost in the translation

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 11:10 AM

If not the Strasbourg Pact, why not let the name commemorate a previous Allemano-French entente? I propose the Vichy Pact.

Posted by: Martin Adamson on February 19, 2003 12:36 PM


that's ridiculous, we don't have anything to do with them, really.

I'll have to blog some5hing about this here:

http://chicagoboyz.blogspot.com/">Chicago Boyz

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 01:00 PM

Ralf...I can't believe the sum total of your insultingly casual response to this passionate statement is..."there's nothing to it." Try that BS over at Daily Pundit, let's see how it will work there--where you usually comment--and are even more typically 'fisked' for such contemptible and patronizing commentary. The arrogance of Germans is pathetic. You are morally as well as fiscally bankrupt...you will soon be crawling on your knees to America to bail you out once again. You are no longer serious players on the European stage. You and your hard core left wing anti-American allies in the west--no longer fellow travelers but the true heirs to the Soviet ideological propaganda machine--have attempted to hijack democracy and hold it hostage for your own selfish purposes. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and the rest of the Eastern Bloc have all issued hard-nosed official statements and op-ed pieces in the last hours that have exploded with a century of stored up and residual hatred towards Germany--whose wars of aggression and subsequent sellout to the Soviet Union sacrificed millions of lives and quashed the dreams of hundreds of millions more seeking freedom. This is only the beginning Ralf; the sunken policies of Germany are spearheaded by a man who earned but 8% of the total vote in his country (but claims to speak for the other 92%,), He was and is a communist sympathizer, and hence is by definition anti-Eastern European and American. Fischer's political history includes a lifetime stint as a covert operative of both terrorists and the Kremlin. You are dreaming if you don't think most of Europe...if not all, including even France, hates Germany. We have long memories of your behavior. The Eastern Europeans--as well as the west--are about to unburden themselves of their hatred of you over the coming decades...only now they will use diplomacy, unlike your ovens and missles...to punish Germany. This will be fun.

Posted by: John@ on February 19, 2003 01:40 PM


I have stopped taking you seriously some time ago, I'm only responding so the others won't get the impression that I'm impressed by your rant.

A short reply to this passage:

"Ralf...I can't believe the sum total of your insultingly casual response to this passionate statement is..."there's nothing to it." Try that BS over at Daily Pundit, let's see how it will work there--where you usually comment--and are even more typically 'fisked' for such contemptible and patronizing commentary."

I was brief in my response, because these articles are simply wrong, exccept the part about Fischer's past as a leftist thug. I'll post something about this soon at Chicago Boyz, in detail.

Also, I'm not fisked at Daily Pundit, even if not all people agree with me.

"The arrogance of Germans"

I'm only arrogant to you. :)

The rest of your comment is too ridiculous to deserve an answer. Take some Ritalin, dude.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 02:06 PM

A bit more rational attitude would be to treat this all as a left-right dispute; the German conservatives would have signed that letter of eight and would never take such an anti-American stance as Schroeder does. One the guy's gone, things will be very different.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens on February 19, 2003 02:28 PM


The rise of these "peace marchers" and WTO/World Bank protesters occurred just after Jerry Garcia's death (Lead singer, Grateful Dead). Hmm, I wonder, did the dead heads just need something new to occupy their time?

Isn't it Ironic? Don't you think?

Oh, and Incidentally, I believe Ralf is right, german companies, NOT the government, sold illegal WMD material to Iraq. Read up on Saddam's arms buyup pre-gulf war, you'll see the same pattern. If you don't think it's possible, think of it like this (I did)- the EU has no internal borders (Obvious), therefore it is very easy to 'launder' suspicious material inside the EU, then ship it to IRaq. Their border checks have to be worse than the US. After all, the fedgov doesn't have a 1600 page document to tell customs officials what constitutes a banana. The EU does. The whole organization is so bound up in read tape I'm amazed it functions in any capacity.

Posted by: Eric on February 19, 2003 04:22 PM


Living in Frankfurt, Joschka Fischer's old "stomping ground", I can confirm that the National Review article is largely accurate and even left out some dirt.

For example, the article mentioned the proven linkage between Fischer and Hans Joachim Klein, who became a terrorist participating in the assault on OPEC headquarters in Vienna (four dead). What it did not say is that for two decades, Klein was a fugitive from the law, hiding out under an assumed name in France.

It is a known fact that Fischer's bosom buddy Daniel Cohn-Bendit (now a member of the European Parliament) maintained contact with Klein all through his flight from justice. It is inconceivable that Fischer did not also know where Klein was hiding.

This is Germany's foreign minister and "vice chancellor". The media continue to give him a free pass.

German readers may want to look into http://www.bettinaroehl.de

Roehl is the German journalist who broke the story on Fischer's violent past and published the photographic evidence that shows Fischer beating up on a police officer.

For her trouble, she was subjected to vicious character defamation in the German press.

Nor do I agree that everything would be peachy keen just as soon as "the guy" (Schroeder) is gone.

There are highly influential politicians in the CDU (Karl Lamers, for example) who appear to be hell bent on countering what they see as American arrogance.

Roland Koch, the governor of Hessen, is pro-American but has no chance of being elected chancellor, in part because of his pro-American stance.

Posted by: Eugene on February 19, 2003 08:03 PM

"What it did not say is that for two decades, Klein was a fugitive from the law, hiding out under an assumed name in France."

He was also a fugitive from his comrades, denounced by his former terrorist friends as a traitor for losing interest in terrorism. Klein's disaffection seems to have stemmed from Carlos forcing him to rise from his hospital bed in Vienna with a bullet in his stomach in order to take a hostage-laden plane to Libya.

Fischer also appears to have changed, as people do. Cohn-Bendit once did a TV doco in the 1980's meeting up with his former comrades, including a calm and moderate Fischer. While some comrades became enviroloonies, many had grown up. Jerry Rubin had metamorphosed into a merchant banker. An ex-anarchist Dutch colleague of Cohn-Bendit's, asking by Cohn-Bendit whether he had considered sharing profits with the employees of his printing company, replied "Why should I? It's my company" or words to that effect.

But all this is moot. Whatever Fischer's or Schroeder's or Chirac's views, nothing they do or say will save Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: Clem Snide on February 20, 2003 02:03 PM
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