David Kopel at the Volokh Conspiracy reminds us that on this day in 1991 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republicans ceased to exist. Now that’s worth drinking some more champagne to celebrate.
The Telegraph reports:
Poland’s newly elected government threw open its top secret Warsaw Pact military archives – including a 1979 map revealing the Soviet bloc’s vision of a seven-day atomic holocaust between Nato and Warsaw Pact forces.
The defence minister, Radek Sikorski, showed off the map at an emotional press conference.
He described it as a “personally shattering experience”, pointing to a long line of nuclear mushroom clouds neatly stamped along the Vistula, where Soviet bloc commanders assumed that Nato tactical nuclear weapons would rain down to block reinforcements arriving from Russia.
About two million Polish civilians would die in such a war, and the country would be all but wiped off the face of the Earth, he said.
On the map, western Europe lay beneath a chilling overlay of large red mushroom clouds: Warsaw Pact nuclear strikes, using giant warheads to compensate for their relative lack of precision.
Soviet bombs rain down on cities from northern Denmark down to Brussels, the political headquarters of Nato. Large red clouds blot out cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and Baden Baden, Haarlem, Antwerp and Charleroi, above the Franco-Belgian border.
In 1979, the town I was living in, Redding, Connecticut, was debating, and ultimately passed –despite some speeches of mine– a Nuclear Freeze resolution, promoted by the American Left throughout much of the United States, opposing the deployment of medium range missles in Europe by NATO. The Soviet Union was no threat, we were told. One does not like to think about what might have happened had Ronald Reagan not been elected president in 1980.