Category: Historical Reprints.
Source: The Montreal Gazette, December 16, 1974
‘Brainwashed in Spirit of Hatred’:
War Games Reveal Kremlin Mind, Says Immigrant
By Tomas Schuman
As a former Soviet citizen and reserve officer of the Soviet Army, I would like to tell my Canadian friends about three common and, to my mind, dangerous myths related to East-West military confrontation and the level of defence that a country like Canada should maintain.
Detente is a dangerous myth, for while the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries cut their military spending the Warsaw bloc builds up its aggressive might in Europe.
So far, detente exists only on paper or in the minds of politicians. No real willingness to come to peace terms with the West has been demonstrated by the communist bloc. People of the socialist countries are basically as unaware of commonly accepted truths about the West as before. The Soviets are still convinced that “U.S. imperialism” is going to attack them any minute, and the Eastern communist leaders continue to brainwash their people in the spirit of war paranoia. Do not believe me — take any issue of the Soviet newspaper Pravda.
The Soviet citizen is as unfree to go out of his country as before, and no foreign newspapers are allowed in the communist countries. So detente exists only for the leaders, dining and drinking in each other’s capitals, but not for the people of communist countries.
Yes my people, Russians, may be as peaceful as the Chinese or as the Canadians. But it will not be the people who fight, it will be the armies, and the communist armies are highly disciplined, unlike the U.S. army, thoroughly
|Dialogue: A column open to express viewpoints on topics of interest. Tomas Schuman, who has lived in Canada for more than four years, is an announcer-producer with CBC International.|
brainwashed in the spirit of hatred of the “decadent West.”
To give an example: when I was a student at Moscow State University, I had to undergo military training as a reserve military intelligence officer. For our war games, our instructors used the maps of West Germany and the U.S.A. That shows the intentions of the Kremlin. I have never seen any Canadian youths in universities or schools playing war games with maps of the U.S.S.R. That is good.
“Do not act aggressively, and the aggressor will never touch you”: that does not work with communism, or fascism.
From the communist, fascist or territorist philosophical viewpoint the West is historically doomed, capitalist democracy is corrupt. Just by definition you are, in the West, wrong any way. According to Marxist dogma, you have to give way to the “better system” of centralized dictatorship of the party, the GULAG system. But, says the doctrine, the ruling imperialist circles are fighting for their survival.
Therefore, using military force to save oppressed Canadians from their industrialists is inevitable. In this context peacefulness and disarmament are signs of weakness, that is exactly what tempts the Soviet and other totalitarian leaders to strike the first blow.
What I would suggest to a country like Canada is to spend more money for an information system which tells Canadians and people outside Canada more about the positive aspects of the Canadian Armed Forces, about the peacekeeping role of Canadians. The army must be respected by the population. Canada must not allow her army to be demoralized by hysterical protesters as happened in the U.S.
One more idea from a Russian immigrant: promote peace.
Spend more money for international broadcasting of the CBC in Russian and other East European languages.
Canadians have to break through the censorship of the communist countries and explain to the Soviets and other people beyond the iron curtain that you are a peaceful people, that Canada stands for friendship, open society, freedom of movement, of ideas and people. Russians do not know about this because the Soviet propaganda machinery, of which I myself was a part five years ago, tells my people that the communist bloc is constantly being threatened by NATO (and that includes Canada) and that on the other hand, poor Canadians dream of being liberated by the glorious Soviet army.
Convince the Russians that it is not tru — spend more money for broadcasting on shortwave beamed to the communist countries. Words are more powerful these days than bullets, and the Kremlin knows that very well. That is why Moscow is so afraid of international satellite broadcasting. Spend more for the propaganda of peace, in the long run it may come cheaper than rockets and tanks.
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