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In his book, “After the Fall,” Jeffrey C. Goldberg was struck by
democratic Czechoslovakia’s cult of personality. “Plastered on walls and
buildings, in subway corridors, in car and store windows, on all available
spaces, I saw the smiling, benign image of Vaclav Havel,” Goldberg wrote.
Havel’s face had replaced the slogan, “Workers of the World, Unite!”
What was this democracy that had come in place of communism to Central
Europe? An American who has business contacts in common with the country’s
army says the same old communists remain at the head of the armed forces.
Today, despite everything, communist professors who supported the Warsaw
Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 have not lost their jobs. Civic
Forum itself, the organization that led the Velvet Revolution against
communism was a closed circle. Its leaders were chosen by the man whose
face, like that of Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984, was plastered
everywhere. And Havel did not act against the communists. Critical of their
tyranny, he nonetheless served as a kind of preservative agent.
A few years ago a friend told me a story. He had been asked to take in
a young woman who had fled Havel’s Czechoslovakia. She had been an organizer
in Civic Forum who made a disturbing discovery. She found evidence that the
Velvet Revolution was under the control of the communist secret police.
Unafraid to talk openly about this, she was abducted by the secret police.
Drugs were used on her, which permanently affected her mind. She was then
institutionalized and declared “insane.” After being treated, she left for
the United States.
Was she really insane?
In late 1989 Andrei Codrescu entered his native Romania from the West,
hoping to observe and celebrate the final moments of the revolution that
overthrew Nicolae and Elena Ceausecsu. What he did not understand at the
time, being completely fooled by television pictures, was that Moscow was
behind Ceausescu’s overthrow.
A group of Romanian citizens in Timisoara,
calling themselves “the December 21 Association,” proposed to find the truth
about Romania’s 1989 revolution. According to Codrescu, they discovered that
the events of the revolution were fabrications. The Ceausescu government had
been accused of firing on large crowds of demonstrators, killing between
60,000 and 80,000 people. But in reality, only 682 died and 1,200 were
wounded during the uprising.
Codrescu wrote that “a process of mass hypnosis
was going on, aided in part by the desire of the world to believe that
communism had finally come to an end in a spectacular and definitive way.”
The revolution was a conspiracy, asserted Codrescu. “The Romanian
Revolution would have been a neat closure to the stunning collapse of
Communist bureaucracies,” he wrote. “The only trouble is that it wasn’t a
closure. More troubling than that, it was a skillfully staged play.”
And who staged this play?
Codrescu names three “nuclei of the conspiracy” to overthrow Ceausescu.
Each of the three “functioned independently from one another so that any
betrayal would affect only their immediate circle.” There was the head of
the political structures, Silviu Brucan; the head of the military structures,
Nicolae Militaru; and the third branch was the secret police as a whole.
According to Codrescu, “Militaru was a KGB agent” and Silviu Brucan was not
arrested by the secret police “because he, too, was under the protection of
Before Codrescu had entered Romania, he had appeared on Nightline with
Ted Koppel. Seeing the overthrow of communism on television, he believed it
was a spontaneous outbreak. “Today I stand abashed by my naivet?,” wrote
Codrescu. “Much of that Romanian ‘spontaneity’ was as slick and scripted as a
Codrescu is no conspiracy theorist. He is perhaps the only mainstream
commentator to notice the phoniness of the 1989 East European revolution.
Only because he was Romanian did he realize the truth. “If I were in charge
of the Emmys,” wrote Codrescu, “I’d give one to the Romanian directors of
A century ago Gustave Le Bon wrote that “one of the most essential
functions of statesmen consists … in baptizing with popular or at any rate
indifferent words things the crowd cannot endure under their old names.”
The word “communism” was exchanged for the word “democracy”; the words
“Workers of the World, Unite!” was exchanged for the face of Vaclav Havel.
The Warsaw Pact, no long endurable, vanished. The new word was “European
“History’s great revolutions are full of grave consequences for millions
of human beings,” writes Polish dissident researcher Dariusz Rohnka, in a
recent essay. “The French and Bolshevik Revolutions,
unlike the Polish Revolution, had serious and real consequences.”
The Polish Revolution, says Rohnka, did not have such consequences.
“The Polish Revolution was the most unrealistic and illusory event in
history. In fact, there was no revolution.”
Rohnka is the author of two books exploring the deeper significance of
Poland’s 1989 revolution. The first of these books is entitled “Contrary to
Others” and the second is entitled “The Fatal Fiction.” In these books
Rohnka discusses the work of Polish thinker and author Jozef Mackiewicz, and
he explains the mechanisms of behind-the-scenes control used by the Polish
communists to “guide” the revolutionary process.
“The Year 2001 will be a time of triumph for communism in Poland,”
explained Rohnka in a recent letter. “But truly interesting is the situation
on the other side of political scene – what happened with the ‘great
movement’ which began the bloodless ‘revolution’ in Eastern Europe.”
Rohnka’s statements about the revolution in Poland follow and reinforce
those of Codrescu on Romania’s revolution. According to Rohnka, “in 1989
there was no ‘movement’ [in Poland] at all, but a plot of the communists and
the ‘democratic oligarchy’ with the label of ‘Solidarity’ on its lapels. As
you know, this is not conspiracy theory but reality.”
In 1984 KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn predicted the collapse of
communism in Eastern Europe in his book, “New Lies for Old.” In a chapter
entitled “The Final Phase,” Golitsyn forecasted the demise of the Warsaw Pact
and the unification of Germany. Golitsyn said this dramatic collapse would
be orchestrated by the KGB and the Communist Party Soviet Union for strategic
Our well-foddered, famous wise ones dismissed Golitsyn as a clinical
paranoid. Today, still hypnotized by their own arrogance, America’s media
pundits remain oblivious to the reality in Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union. All dissident voices have been blotted out.
But I predict that one day, not so far in the future, these same voices
will be hailed as prophets.