by Dr. D. N. Christensen, WW II Vet
(Reprinted with permission of Military magazine, 2122 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. A sample copy of Military may be obtained by writing to the above address)
The Democratic convention brought to memory their meeting in Chicago in 1968 which was totally disrupted by the Viet-Nam War protesters. Several of those people (Tom and Jane Fonda Hayden) were professional protesters appearing at numerous rallies. Protests were orchestrated in part by the American Communist Party and allegedly financed through secret connections with the Russian Communists. The purpose of the Viet-Nam War was never forcefully explained to the American public, and the communist inspired protests led many uninformed Americans to act in a most disgraceful way toward Viet-Nam veterans who served with great honor when our nation called. Perhaps some of your readers will recall Viet-Nam and 40 years of the Cold War.
Prior to WWII, Russia had a treaty with Germany and Japan which was broken when Hitler attacked Russia. A major blunder by Hitler or otherwise Russia may have been allied against us, thereby changing the outcome of WWII.
Russia did not declare war on Japan until three months before the end of WWII, and they did so only to gain access to Korea and some Japanese-held islands (Sakhlin). During WWII, the USA sent billions of dollars in supplies to the Russians because we mistakenly believed they (Stalin) were our friends.
In May 1945, when General George Patton met the Russian Army in Czechoslovakia, he was the first to recognize that they were a problem and he advocated fighting the Russians then and there.
We dropped atomic bombs on Japan in Aug. 1945, but spies at home and in England stole our secrets of the bomb, passed them on to Russia, allowing Russia to detonate their bomb in 1949, years in advance if they had relied on their own technology.
At the end of WWII when Germany and Berlin were divided into the east and west sectors, suddenly the Russians wouldn’t allow us to cross their sector into Berlin. This was a major confrontation causing President Harry Truman to institute the Berlin Airlift in order to get food and fuel into starving Germans in our sector of Berlin. Perhaps the first official government act of the Cold War.
In the early ’50s, Senator Joe McCarthy (WI) warned us that certain segments of our society (Hollywood, academia, government) were populated by communists, sympathizers and other subversives who were out to undermine our government. The Senator was correct, but because of his sometimes bizarre actions he was pooh-poohed and lost credibility to the public.
At the end of WWII, Korea, which was then occupied by the Japanese, was split into North Korea, under Russian Communists, and South Korea, administered by the USA. In 1950 the North Koreans attacked the South and we were in the Korean War. The Russians did none of the fighting, but inveigled the Chinese Communists into the war, and the conflict was settled at the 38th parallel in a stalemate. Thirty-four thousand Americans died in the battle of Korea, fighting communism.
In the early 1960s, the Russians using communist Cuba attempted to put nuclear missiles on that island aimed at the USA, but they were thwarted by the actions of President J. F. Kennedy. Note again that the Russians instigated and used other people in their dirty work. During the 1960s and ’70s Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter continued to put out the fires lit around the world by the Russian Communists and their allies.
In the 1980s President Reagan, who upset our media by calling Russia “The Evil Empire,” got the Berlin Wall torn down, rescued medical students from Grenada and sent missiles to Afghanistan allowing those freedom fighters to blow the attacking Russians out of the sky and country, an unsuccessful invasion where Russians tried to do their own dirty work. President Reagan applied the Coup de Grace to the Russian Communist Regime when he announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
At this point, we need to give special recognition to one of the most important events in the Cold War; Viet-Nam. WWII veterans were welcomed home as heroes because we did in Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito, and many went on to serve in Korea, the Forgotten War. But VietNam is extra special because we sent our men and women out to fight Russian-instigated communism while at home the left wing socialists portrayed our military forces as criminals and they couldn’t wait to televise the body bags coming home from Viet-Nam. The fact is that VietNam veterans and the 50,000 who died in those jungles are special Americans who fought communism to a standstill in Viet-Nam with their hands tied behind their backs by a wimpy, vacillating government swayed by hippies, flower children, draft dodgers, Woodstock dopers and home-grown communist subversives.
Stand tall Vietnam veterans, it is entirely possible that without your sacrifices we could have lost the Cold War.