tv The Presidency The Cold War Considered CSPAN November 24, 2018 12:21pm-1:17pm EST
>> a little bit later, in just under an hour we will hear from a u.s. ambassador to the vatican. >> the executive vice president of the heritage foundation served at the state department and on the defense policy board. before taking up his present position as the executive vice president, he spent more than two decades overseeing the foundation's defense and foreign-policy team. that is an important job in itself. he is the author of many books and articles, his most recent book and i have to say this is one of my favorite titles in a long time. his most recent book "the closing of the liberal mind." ladies and gentlemen, kim holmes. [applause] kim: good afternoon everyone, it is a pleasure and an honor to be her this afternoon. to be a cosponsor with many of
the other organizations here for this wonderful conference. it is this middle of the afternoon where people are thinking about doing their coffee breaks. i thank the people still hanging out in the conference and staying with this. what a remarkable day it has been. you heard about the vital importance of ronald reagan and pope john paul ii in advancing the march of freedom. you heard about the men themselves, their creative backgrounds, communication skills, and their early struggles with communism. when talking about the remarkable events of how john paul ii and reagan impact the east and central europe. an inside look at how the reagan white house integrated the vatican in its strategy to beat the soviet threat and challenge.
throughout it all, we see over and over again certain things. that the alliance of reagan and the pope grammatically changed the course of history. that the key to that dramatic change was a common belief that communism was a violation of the human spirit. the message was heard loud and clear in a huge crowds that attended. it was heard by dissidents lingering and suffering in soviet prisons. it was heard by millions of americans, who after decades of confusion, welcomed the clarity of ronald reagan standing up for freedom. why was this tacit alliance as i call it of reagan and pope john paul ii so successful? because they were playing for
very high stakes. let me be clear that the universal aspirations of all humanity were at stake. the cold war was not just about the number of arms that nations had but about the universal calls of freedom. it was the marriage of this universalism to the actual natural strategy of the most powerful nation on earth, the united states of america that produced an extremely powerful force. it not only change diplomacy in a way that we organize our militaries, it also and i think as important if not more importantly, it changed the hearts and minds of millions of people. that change of heart, perhaps more than anything was why the policies of reagan and the example of john paul ii were successful. we have learned a lot.
our task now is to understand what we have learned and to use that knowledge to move forward. of course, we face a different world today. the legacies of reagan and john paul ii can still help us answer the big questions of the day. should we still have universal goals in our foreign-policy for example? some people say no. they think we should not raise moral issues in human policy. the think we should focus on material interests. are they right? what would reagan say? what would the pope say? some of the countries of east and central europe today are facing new challenges to freedom. from russia and nondemocratic political forces. how should they be handling the challenges?
some of the same countries are facing challenges and even threats of contradiction and criticism from the european union. how well does this conflict billed for the sustainability inside europe? these are hard questions but i'm confident that what we learned here today can help us answer that. to help me with that task, i will close and say thank you for having me here. you will have a distinguished panel of speakers to help grapple with some of these issues and answer some of these questions. i say god bless all of you and thank you for hanging out there. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your moderator, john o'sullivan. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we have before us an extremely interesting panel which has been
provoked by an extremely powerful and interesting speech. i don't need i think to introduce president klaus. but perhaps i could welcome anna maria anders who represents her country as a senior diplomat. she is also like paula in the earlier panel, she represents something important. that the end of the second world war, the trail of poland left a number of poles in western europe and the united states, just as the hunk arian revolution in 1956 meant the expulsion of a large number of hungarians. the significance of these communities and in our countries, during the cold war cannot really be overestimated. i went to school with boys with polish names, the sons of polish soldiers.
it is true to say that in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, maybe later, as somebody on the left you could not plausibly mount a defense of the soviet union or its allies if there was a hungarian or pole, or czech in the room. they were a rebuke to appeasement or equivalents. i would like to welcome you particularly today. having said that, we have to begin our discussion by asking anna maria and then lee to respond to the remarks of president klaus. they were powerful, but they
were pessimistic. they recognize great achievements but describe a world in which those achievements were decaying or had been overthrown. we have to deal with that first and then we will go on to other questions. ms. anders: let me begin by saying how grateful i am to have this opportunity to be here today. the timing of this conference is particularly fruitful since poland is so much in the news to to our president's visit here in
washington last week. ironically, the situation is similar in a time when we are talking about allies between united states and poland. as john said, i was born in the u.k. when john paul ii was elected, i was in paris, france, when ronald reagan was elected i was in paris, france. many years later, i am an american citizen, i am also a polish citizen. i think the situation is similar. i think the thing that for me is most important and i have heard very many important comment here, it is the lack of the knowledge of history. i am appalled traveling around the world how little is known
about history. i am appalled about the fact that so little is said about communism. we hear the word communism i don't how many times today, we are not hearing that. it is not just about the young people. it is the older people. i am stunned that there are people in the united states of a certain age who do not know that germany invaded poland in 1939. they did not know 1.3 million people worked up from poland to siberia -- were deported from poland to siberia. my father saved 100 20,000 people by taking them out of siberia. many of whom are alive all over
the world. i have taken this conference very seriously. i feel it is my obligation to talk about that. moving forward, i think history definitely, we have to know that history. we have to examine the two people who made such an impression on the world. both have incredible charisma. i was amused to hear the remark that they were both actors. i think unfortunately, the word today does not have that kind of actor. i think we have people who are stronger politicians but we do not have anybody really with that charisma that is able to carry the inspiration of the world with it. i, as somebody in the polish government, i am most concerned about the security of poland. the concern is the same as it was. we talk about u.s. bases, nato bases, and we are trying to talk
about it diplomatically. i think the most important thing is the transatlantic cooperation. i think moving forward, that is the thing we need to do to make the world go forward like ronald reagan and john paul ii would like to have it go. >> perhaps i could turn and ask this question. in the light of remarks of president klaus. do you think that the outcome of the post-cold war world would have been different if ronald reagan's presidency had ended not at the end of the night -- 1988 but let's say in 1990 because the reward for reagan's diplomacy and strategy came
later under george bush. though i think practically everybody admired the skill and the diplomacy that the bush administration carried out, nonetheless there was no sense that a great triumph for liberty and freedom of western society had been achieved. we played it down. would it have been different? >> i think in america and eastern and central europe there was jubilation. there was not just dancing and champlain toasts on top of the berlin wall. who can forget leonard bernstein conducting beethoven's ninth symphony and it was that magnificent ode to freedom. there was a very explicit celebration of that time.
getting to the question of how to respond to the president, let me put it to you this way. i think there were certain lessons to be learned from this partnership and this alliance we were talking about all day. number one, ideas matter. they do matter. it is not just a question of power for power's sake. it is not just a question of kneeling and bowing down but ideas matter. that difference in the mind of both ronald reagan and john paul ii. number two, friends and allies matter. both reagan and john paul ii realized there cannot be one
single power, even the great and mighty united states of america. friends and allies matter. three, this is almost been a day long mass with the very real presence of the father, son, and holy spirit. god matters. that was one thing that came out very clearly in this. it mattered to reagan, it mattered to john paul ii, it mattered too many people around them. four, morality matters. both ronald reagan and john paul ii understood that what was involved here was a moral struggle. there was not a moral equivalence between east and west.
between the soviet union and the united states. between the choices of democracy -- the forces of democracy and the forces of communism. five, i think this is perhaps the most important leadership matters. you must have the right leaders. men and women who dare to speak out against tyranny. you must have leaders who are charismatic and courageous. and who are driven by not just their own places in history, but trying to change history for everyone. i think these five lessons of ideas, friends, god, and leadership, and morality can lead us to a way forward. perhaps led them a little bit to pessimism from president klaus. >> if that is the case, have we reached our present condition as described. do we not have those things now? me not have for example god,
when the european union was drafting the constitution there was a long debate about whether to include god, but not only god but the contribution of christianity to european history in the gamble and it was decided not to. it turned out the constitution was defeated in election. it is a very revealing moment. mr. edwards: it is but if you remember the parliament address, something about looking back, if you want to talk about the right kind of europe for the future he said it must be a europe that looks backwards to western civilization. that includes the romans, greeks, jews, antiquity as far back as we possibly can. i think we learn lessons from that by looking to -- certainly the role of a transparent being. if we look to hungary, if we
look to the czech republic as you said earlier, you said there is a very real religious i won't say fervor but presence there in the czech republic and i think elsewhere as well. if you look at these five conditions, these five lessons, some are weaker, some are stronger. they exist and they will come about with the right leadership. i think that is key. you must have the right leaders to make these come about. mr. o'sullivan: i have one point before we go to president klaus. at the end of the cold war, it was agreed in the united states that everyone had been responsible for the victory. republicans and democrats left and right. that was certainly true for the period of truman to kennedy and through lbj arguably.
it doesn't seem to have been to me at least it central for the period after 1968. when along with other institutions as the democratic party fell under the square and the same development happened in europe. people were claiming victory for the freedom of liberty which many of them had been at the very least members of the peace movement. didn't that agreement in a sense not to be honest about how the war had been one and by whom, doesn't that disable some of the peace? isn't that partly responsible for the disappointing developments that occurred in europe since then? mr. edwards: i am an optimist. i may reagan optimist.
i worked at the memorial for 20 years. [applause] thank you very much. they said fort 20 years it cannot be done. they said -- i said it can be done and it will be done. with the bipartisan approach, i am happy to remind you scoop jackson and jackson-vanik made a tremendous difference. believe it or not, the number two democrat in the house of representatives is an anti-communist and did except our truman-reagan medal of freedom and spoke at our founding after the communism memorial. i do not disagree with you that there are flaws. there are many things to applaud. ms. anders: everybody was so busy patting each other on the back over the victory of the cold war that nobody actually
saw the next hurdle coming. poland was treated -- somebody was overreacting, we were talking about russia and vladimir putin, it was the crimea war, the takeover of crimea that made the world wake up. in the united states too, there was a reduction in arms. we are now beginning to pick up. everybody felt that the cold war was over forever. are we in a cold war now? we are certainly not in a friendly situation. i think that is a real problem. mr. o'sullivan: president klaus, an important moment in the post war world occurred in 2009 when i think 22 distinguished european intellectuals and
political leaders sent a message to the u.s. administration then under the control of president obama in a sense appealing for a greater u.s. commitment to not europe as a whole but also particularly central europe where as they said, america has in some of its strongest allies. that appeal was in effect ignored. in your view, what should the american government have done and particularly, do you see a gradually declining interest in europe from the u.s.? how does your pessimism stand up
against these optimists? mr. klaus: i really don't accept the label of being a pessimist. this is absolutely untrue and i would strongly differentiate a pessimist from a realist. i am sure that my approach is realistic. [applause] i am an advocate of wishful thinking and therefore, i always try to be realistic. this is my first point that i would like to stress. my advice, my recommendation to the united states, we should give advice to ourselves. we should not pretend to be clever enough to give advice all over the world.
therefore, i am not recommending anything to the united states of america. as lee edwards mentioned, his several preconditions, one of them is ideas matter. i fully agree more than anything else. in the case of ronald reagan, and john paul ii, margaret thatcher, they were not just pragmatics doing government jobs as daily business, they were ideologues and optimists. they had strong views and strong ideas. i fully agrees that -- i fully agree that ideas matter. if you look at the world around us and our politicians, most here in western europe, in
eastern europe, are there any ideals among contemporary politicians? i don't see anyone with a strong views, strong ideas. if they are -- if there are ideas, they are totally unacceptable. post-nationalism, post democracy, so i am absolutely convinced that ideas matter, more than anything else. in this respect, i am an idealist. i am afraid that there are no great ideas among current politicians. that is my pessimism and therefore i do not see some hopeful tomorrow's or days after tomorrow. mr. o'sullivan: i want to come back to break that down in several areas. ms. anders: let me put my
american had on, i am a polish politician but the american -- but a u.s. citizen. i think that the u.s. government has to make sure that europe is safe. an unsafe europe is trouble for the united states. europe is our neighbor, we have seen this through history. in 1995 in bosnia, the united states had to step in. we have seen it obviously in the second world war. we cannot out run the risk. the alliance between the united states and poland is very good. the alliance between the united states and the rest of europe is not that good. i am a polish politician but the american -- but a u.s. citizen. i think that the u.s. government has to make sure that europe is safe.
an unsafe europe is trouble for the united states. europe is our neighbor, we have seen this through history. in 1995 in bosnia, the united states had to step in. we have seen it obviously in the second world war. we cannot out run the risk. the alliance between the united states and poland is very good. the alliance between the united states and the rest of europe is not that good. the relationship between poland and the rest of europe is not that good. i think we need another ronald reagan. we need another john paul ii. we need another margaret thatcher. we do not have the right players at the moment. we talked a lot about transatlantic alliance at the conference the other day. absolutely. at this moment, i have more faith in a transatlantic alliance than i do in a european alliance. all of the countries in europe are divided. until europe can work together,
we cannot unite and this is very important. [applause] mr. o'sullivan: i would like to come back to all of those points quickly. we are talking about a lasting legacy. let's break it down into economics, religion, we are talking about the book as well as reagan today, and politics. let's talk about religion first in a way. no one on the panel here is a theologian. at the end of his life, the pope was the best -- depressed because europe had not revived
the belief in christianity in europe as he had hoped once communism was gone. in fact, one could argue eastern and central europe had been infected by the decrypted miss of the west rather than enjoying the prosperity. the first question i would like to put to all three of you is, is the disappointment understandable and how should we respond to it? he felt christianity was decaying faster rather than it had before. maybe christianity had been stunted by the oppression of the communist system. at the end of the 15 20's, how to we feel christianity is doing in europe after the great effort made for it at pope john paul ii. ms. anders: not great. i think in poland, religion was what kept poland going during
the communist years. the fact that john paul ii came along, he was definitely instrumental in the solidarity movement. the church in poland is still pretty strong, not as strong as it used to be. that does not go for the rest of europe and certainly does not go for the rest of the world. i think the problem is we have seen christianity suffering all over the world now. nobody is coming particularly to the aid. if john paul ii were alive today, i think you would be more depressed today. mr. o'sullivan: it is fair to say that most european governments, not all, have not responded with enthusiasm to the cause of persecuted christians.
they have wished it would go away. mr. edwards: i think one of the most touching things i heard today was the story of the pope in zaire. i think that is one of the futures for the catholic church and christianity. i think there is a rising -- there is an explosion, and awakening, throughout all of africa. a belief in god, both in protestant, and evangelical pursuits and of roman catholic. i think the image in my mind is the pessimism but the pope reaching out to the child in zaire and rocking it in his arms and loving it. it seems to me that, that is a more likely image.
there are problems here in america and also elsewhere. it looks as though the bad guys are on the rise. history tells us that it is precisely at a critical time like this, a time of crisis that leadership arises, the people come together and i do not want to get into politics and give you specifics, but i can name several very charismatic, courageous politicians. clinical leaders who are under 40 who you will be hearing about in a very short period of time. mr. o'sullivan: do you have any comments on this?
mr. klaus: as someone as compared to our lady here who spent two thirds of his life in communism, i would like to argue that fighting communism at least in our part was not done with the catholic church ideological on our mind. one of the aspects of people who were opposing communism and wanted to bring it to an end, to expect the fall of communism would mean the renewal of christianity and of the devotion to the catholic church was a naive assumption. i think it is not worth discussing now. i am afraid that the catholic church, the pope's created some
problems as well. pope john paul ii was able to inspire all of us. not only true believers, i am afraid the new pope is damaging all the credibility. this is very left, very progressivist, very liberal views for which he is defending all over the world. [applause] this is a blow to christianity and to the catholic religion. don't blame the people in central and eastern europe for not jumping on pope francis bandwagon. [applause]
mr. o'sullivan: it is optimism one, realism two. mr. edwards: jesus christ left someone behind when he left and he was still with us, called the holy spirit. catholics believed that the holy spirit will be there and is there and is guiding. it may very well be the outcome is not going to be one that we will like. we believe that there will be one that will in the end bring about a more christian and a more believing world. that has been the case. mr. klaus: that is true but i
definitely have to blame the catholic church as well. some 15 years ago, i, as president of the country vetoed the new pill about the so-called registered partnership. the catholic church was silent. i, as president, vetoed the bill and then i met the confederation of czech bishops and they thanked me. i said excuse me, i expected that you would be loud enough to protest against it. not waiting for my veto in the bill. it is always more complicated. mr. edwards: i agree, the
problem is the bishops and the bishops were the problem. the ships are the problem now. the worst they act and the people will rise up and you may see a different kind of church in the years ahead. mr. o'sullivan: i think i'm going to try to sum up the particular vision by saying there are times when the hand of providence is clearer than other times. the reagan, thatcher, and john paul ii time was much clearer than it is today. ms. anders: one remark the president said was that john paul ii was able to inspire everybody. there was an exhibition yesterday in the shrine that thanked john paul ii. i looked around and even though i know the story, i was fascinated. photographs of him with
thousands of people. i did not live in the united states when ronald reagan was president so i do not know what kind of divisions you had. it seemed to me was the one thing they had in common was being able to work across aisles . certainly, you see john paul ii working with religious leaders from all over the world. you see ronald reagan working with leaders all over the world. i think this is the problem, this is the problem which exists in poland. apart from the fact that we need a leader who is charismatic, i think we need a leader who is able to work with everybody. [applause] we do not have a great deal of time left so it would like to hurry the debate along and bring in the question of economics which president klaus, you have great experience and reviving and transforming the economy of
czechoslovakia. let me ask you this, at the moment, the record of growth of unemployment and generally of initiative in western europe in particular is rather weak. it does not seem to be doing to kimberly well and furthermore, you have the problems associated first with the 2008 crash and secondly with the euro. is the economic optimism of the first 10-15 years of the pope's cold war world or are the prospect of better for an economic future? i feel very optimistic about poland. the gdp is going up. we don't have a problem with the economy, we have a problem with the media and the message getting across. in the last year or so, we really are going
forward. i travel with other ministers and we have an awful lot going on in poland. i feel very optimistic. it is true that the bush record has been very good. our dream was freedom, democracy, and market economy. that was not regarded now at least in the last decade or two double about decades. parliament, democracy, and not free markets in europe, and many respects, the european economy
is as regulated as in late communism. when communism was already soft and unable to be tough and function. for me, the economic system in europe is very far from our dreams and dreamers as well. the free markets are not there. you mentioned the tragic mistake to introduce in europe, i wrote books about it. there is no time to develop those points. this is the reality in our part of the world. you mentioned the rate of unemployment growing. i must say
that the czech republic has the lowest unemployment rate in europe these days. [applause] our almost crazy rate of unemployment is 2.6%, which is an unfound figure. there are differences among countries. poland is definitely very efficiently and cleverly using all of the european subsidies. [laughter] our ideas to not only privatize and deregulate, to be subsidized -- d subsidize. we did it. we eliminated all kinds of subsidies and to our great regret, subsidies are coming
back through the european union. something we don't want and it creates lots of problems. i would like to turn to the question of democracy. this is a subject of great debate on both sides of the atlantic. i want to suggests that there seem to be two battles. one is the eu, particularly france and germany, are critical of what is happening in poland and hungary and elsewhere, in which they allege that courts and the restricted media is controlled and democratic decisions come
even though there might be elections, are not really free and fair. on the other hand, the critics of the eu, they said if the eu tried to join come a would not be accepted because it did not meet the democratic criteria. and therefore, the charges against poland, hungary, and other countries fall by the wayside because they are not made by democratic institutions. let me go back to a conversation i had with senator mccain when the government changed. he and a i had with senator mccain when number of other senators sent a letter to poland saying they were worried about democracy and the supreme court and so on and so forth. i spoke with him
several months later and said, why would you say this? where are you getting your information? i think we are still dealing with the problem. you can read any newspaper you want in poland. they are not all friendly. we have two tabloids that regularly bash us. nobody writing in those papers ends up in jail. i was asked by a democratic senator that same visit, what about women's rights in poland and how many women? i cannot believe we get this bad press. there are several people
continuously in the united states are bashing the polish government. we have several issues. we have a problem with migrants. we have a problem with the courts. we are told we are now controlling the courts. that was a long subject and i do not want to get into it. but i think to accuse poland of being a nondemocratic country, we were under communist rule for so many years, we want to have our identity. let poland the poland. we do not want to be ruled by the eu. [applause] what is so hard for me to figure
out is people keep criticizing hungary and poland for these anti-democratic measures which they are eventually carrying out. and yet, the last time i looked at it, i believe the present government and hungary has been elected three times in a row i a two thirds majority -- by a two thirds majority. i believe in the last several elections in poland, same way. so the people are voting dim -- democratically. isn't that democracy in action? so perhaps we americans should not be so quick to criticize our friends and allies over there and let them go about their business as
their people seem to want to do. one of the charges is that in these countries, the great majority all supports one party, which i think would never happen in the united states area -- united states. [laughter] it was me as prime minister who sent a letter to brussels in 1996 asking for membership in the eu. and it was me in april 2004 as president of the country who signed the entry into the eu. there was no other chance for a post-communist country, no choice, no chance to do it differently. we did not have the luxury of being kept independent, like switzerland, we did not have the luxury of being an island close to europe
like great britain. we cannot afford, in the heart of europe, surrounded on all sides by eu members. we had no other chance. so i from the beginning and someone who opposes the wrong idea of european unification. i am very much in favor of european integration. since the beginning of the european process, the unification is a postcard -- post democratic concept which i cannot agree with. so my idea, i was applauding brexit decision and i think either of the countries would leave the eu or the eu would undergo a radical system of transformation, a real substantial change, otherwise the eu has no future. [applause] i am sorry for the
representatives of the check embassy -- czechoslovakian embassy here. i'm going to ask a question about one of the issues of the day. populism is a major force in europe growing in importance. his populism a dangerous threat to democracy, or is it instead a democratic response to the fact that remote elites have been imposing policies on the european countries, which the people do not want and are now rebelling against and going to populist parties for it? and if reagan and thatcher were here today, would they be described as populists? i think you need to make a distinguished -- distinguished -- distinction between modern and historical populism. malik
-- modern populist represents the will of the people. here in america and the republican side, we have had a string of populism since reagan and goldwater and the moral majority and the tea party. all of it is populist, expressing the will of the people. and they are saying limited government, free enterprise. classic american ideas. in terms of taking something out of today's brilliance, the quality of the panels and the moderators has
been fantastic. and i have been to a lot of these things in my life and this is one of the best things i have ever been to. [applause] one idea from the pope and the other from president reagan. from the pope, be not afraid. that is what i am taking away from this meeting. be not afraid. and with ronald reagan, it is the famous thomas paine one. we have it in our power to make over the world again. i think if we can take those away from us, they would inspire estimate necessary advances, reforms we need to make this country and the world a lot better. thank you for indulging me, john.
i hope i will never make a mistake using the term populism in my speeches, in my remarks. this is a label, a wrong label, misused label, it is not an analytical term. so i would suggest never allow people to use the term populism, because it is an artificial attack of the political elites and all those who would disagree with what is going on. this is my very strong statement. [applause] and optimism. there is a famous german saying, optimism is an obligation. and i
agree. i agree with what lee has said. the last question was going to be, will emmanuel macron save europe, but we do not have time. [laughter] i ask you to show your appreciation for this tremendous panel. [applause] next, on the presidency, we continue our coverage from the right from the white house writers group with the cold war partnership between president ronald reagan and pope john paul ii. callista gingrich talks about the diplomatic