(Copyright Workers World Service Permission to reprint granted if source is cited.) The Re

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(Copyright Workers World Service: Permission to reprint granted if source is cited.) The Reagan-Pope plot for counter-revolution By William Gottlieb The cover story of the Feb. 24 issue of Time magazine revealed a small part of the class war waged by the Reagan administration, in close cooperation with Pope John Paul II, against the East European countries and the USSR. This class war aimed at nothing less than the overthrow of the workers' states and destruction of socialist planning. In the article, Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame quoted Ronald Reagan to the effect that the Polish organization Solidarity was central to the attack on the workers of Poland, of Eastern Europe in general, and of the Soviet Union. "We [Reagan and John Paul] both felt that a great mistake had been made at Yalta and something should be done," Reagan explains. "Solidarity was the very weapon for bringing this about because it was an organization of the laborers of Poland." The U.S. government and its agencies of subversion, with the Central Intelligence Agency in the lead, worked closely with the reactionary Catholic Church hierarchy headed by Pope John Paul II. But it also worked through the AFL-CIO, the so-called Socialist International, and the Swedish and French Socialist parties and governments. The notorious William Casey, the late CIA director, played an especially prominent role, according to Bernstein. The Reagan administration took full advantage of widespread confusion among progressives about the real nature of Solidarity--a pro-boss organization that falsely claimed to be a trade union. According to Bernstein, Reagan met with John Paul II in the Vatican Library in Rome in June 1982. At the meeting, Reagan and John Paul "refused to accept a fundamental political fact of their lifetimes: the division of Europe as mandated at Yalta and the communist dominance of Eastern Europe." Despite Gorbachev's illusions, neither Reagan nor John Paul was a believer in peaceful coexistence. "A free, noncommmunist Poland, they were convinced, would be a dagger to the heart of the Soviet empire," Bernstein wrote. Translating this boss talk into ordinary language: Reagan and John Paul agreed that if a capitalist neocolonial government under Solidarity could be established in Poland, the fall of the other socialist countries in Eastern Europe would rapidly follow and the USSR itself would be disastrously undermined. The leaders of Solidarity, of course, knew full well what they were doing, even if they weren't informed of all the conspiratorial details. Bernstein wrote, "Walesa and his lieutenants were aware that both Reagan and John Paul II were committed to Solidarity's survival." `Tons of equipment' "Tons of equipment--fax machines (the first in Poland), printing presses, transmitters, telephones, shortwave radios, video cameras, photocopiers, telex machines, computers, word processors--were smuggled into Poland via channels established by priests and American agents and representatives of the AFL-CIO and European labor movements." Poland was saturated with a wave of propaganda that would have impressed Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels himself. "Books and pamphlets challenging the authority of the communist government were printed by the thousands. Comic books for children recast Polish fables and legends, with [Polish leader] Jaruzelski pictured as the villain, communism as the red dragon, and Walesa as the heroic knight." Radio messages proclaiming "Solidarity lives" and "Resist!" were broadcast by Solidarity with "a transmitter supplied by the CIA through church channels." Bernstein wrote, "AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland and his aide Tom Kahn consulted frequently with Poindexter [of Iran-Contra fame], Clark and other officials at the State Department and the NSC [National Security Council] on such matters as how and when to move goods and supplies into Poland, identifying cities where Solidarity was in particular need of organizing assistance, and examining how Solidarity and the AFL-CIO might collaborate in the preparation of propaganda materials." Bernstein quoted former Representative Edward Derwinski as saying: "Lane Kirkland deserves special credit. They don't like to admit [it], but they literally were in lockstep [with the Administration]." Lane Kirkland claimed to be fighting the rabidly anti-labor Reagan administration on behalf of U.S. workers, though he conducted this fight with a notable lack of energy and effectiveness. But the same Kirkland was working hand in glove with Reagan, John Paul & Company to destroy the workers' states in Europe. Disaster for workers The result is that tens of millions of workers in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union are losing their jobs and livelihoods. They are being forced to compete with U.S. and other workers on the world labor market. This further undermines the trade unions, wages and working conditions of workers in the U.S. and around the world. Kirkland's behavior was a gross violation of even elementary trade union principles, which demand that everything be done to diminish and not increase competition among the world's workers. Bernstein indicated that John Paul got something in return for his role as the CIA pope. He obtained U.S. withdrawal "from, among others, two of the world's largest family planning organizations: the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities." Nor did the pontiff-CIA neglect the Middle East: "The Administration consulted with the Vatican on other matters as well. In Lebanon, the Reagan Administration adopted policies favoring the interests of the church and Maronite Christians." The privileged Maronites are the base of the fascist pro-Israel Phalangist Party in Lebanon, an organization that has engaged in many attacks on Palestinian refugees. CIA, Vatican and Nicaragua Bernstein confirmed that the Vatican was involved in supporting the contras in Nicaragua. "Casey used church channels to deal with the contras, though the Vatican itself took no official position on the war in Nicaragua," he wrote. There was a broad movement here against the CIA's dirty war in Nicaragua. The progressive movement--except for Workers World Party--had no criticism, however, for Reagan, Casey & Company's equally dirty war against the workers of Poland, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Many progressives fell lock, stock and barrel for the propaganda that Solidarity was a free trade union fighting against "Stalinism." It was fashionable to be for both the Sandinistas and Solidarity. Now the Central American people have to conduct their struggle to be free of Yankee imperialism under far more difficult conditions. And the socialist governments in Cuba, China, north Korea and Vietnam are targets of a similar class war by U.S. imperialism, which includes attempts to promote "independent trade unions" like Solidarity. Bernstein by no means revealed the full story of the CIA, John Paul and Solidarity. He had very little to say about what happened before Reagan became president. He was also silent about the role of the imperialist banks in the destruction of the Polish economy. (For information on this subject, see the pamphlet "What the Banks Did to Poland" by Sam Marcy.) Despite its limitations, however, Bernstein's Time article is must reading for every trade unionist and progressive, and anybody else who wants to understand the economic and social catastrophe now unfolding in Eastern Europe and the USSR. ### This article originally appeared in Workers World newspaper. A 10-week trial subscription is available for $2. A year's subscription costs $15. Makes checks payable to Workers World, and send to 46 W. 21 St., New York, NY 10010.Phone (212) 255-0352. You may contact Workers World editors on NY Transfer or PeaceNet at "workers." from the COVERT ACTIONS Newsfeed - NY Transfer News Service Modem: 718-448-2358 nytransfer@igc.org nyxfer@panix.com

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