This raises my hackles quite a bit.
KGB Letter Outlines Sen. Kennedy's Overtures to Soviets, Prof Says
By Kevin Mooney
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
October 20, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - The antipathy that congressional Democrats have today toward
President George W. Bush is reminiscent of their distrust of President
Ronald Reagan during the Cold War, a political science professor says.
"We see some of the same sentiments today, in that some Democrats see the
Republican president as being a threat and the true obstacle to peace,
instead of seeing our enemies as the true danger," said Paul Kengor, a
political science professor at Grove City College and the author of new
book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism.
In his book, which came out this week, Kengor focuses on a KGB letter
written at the height of the Cold War that shows that Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D-Mass.) offered to assist Soviet leaders in formulating a public relations
strategy to counter President Reagan's foreign policy and to complicate his
The letter, dated May 14, 1983, was sent from the head of the KGB to Yuri
Andropov, who was then General Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist
In his letter, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov offered Andropov his interpretation
of Kennedy's offer. Former U.S. Sen. John Tunney (D-Calif.) had traveled to
Moscow on behalf of Kennedy to seek out a partnership with Andropov and
other Soviet officials, Kengor claims in his book.
At one point after President Reagan left office, Tunney acknowledged that he
had played the role of intermediary, not only for Kennedy but for other U.S.
senators, Kengor said. Moreover, Tunney told the London Times that he had
made 15 separate trips to Moscow.
"There's a lot more to be found here," Kengor told Cybercast News Service.
"This was a shocking revelation."
It is not evident with whom Tunney actually met in Moscow. But the letter
does say that Sen. Kennedy directed Tunney to reach out to "confidential
contacts" so Andropov could be alerted to the senator's proposals.
Specifically, Kennedy proposed that Andropov make a direct appeal to the
American people in a series of television interviews that would be organized
in August and September of 1983, according to the letter.
"Tunney told his contacts that Kennedy was very troubled about the decline
in U.S -Soviet relations under Reagan," Kengor said. "But Kennedy attributed
this decline to Reagan, not to the Soviets. In one of the most striking
parts of this letter, Kennedy is said to be very impressed with Andropov and
other Soviet leaders."
In Kennedy's view, the main reason for the antagonism between the United
States and the Soviet Union in the 1980s was Reagan's unwillingness to yield
on plans to deploy middle-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe, the KGB
chief wrote in his letter.
"Kennedy was afraid that Reagan was leading the world into a nuclear war,"
Kengor said. "He hoped to counter Reagan's polices, and by extension hurt
his re-election prospects."
As a prelude to the public relations strategy Kennedy hoped to facilitate on
behalf of the Soviets, Kengor said, the Massachusetts senator had also
proposed meeting with Andropov in Moscow -- to discuss the challenges
associated with disarmament.
In his appeal, Kennedy indicated he would like to have Sen. Mark Hatfield
(R-Ore.) accompany him on such a trip. The two senators had worked together
on nuclear freeze proposals.
But Kennedy's attempt to partner with high-level Soviet officials never
materialized. Andropov died after a brief time in office and was succeeded
by Mikhail Gorbachev.
In his attempt to reach out the Soviets, Kennedy settled on a flawed
receptacle for peace, Kengor said. Andropov was a much more belligerent and
confrontational leader than the man who followed him, in Kengor's
"If Andropov had lived and Gorbachev never came to power, I can't imagine
the Cold War ending peacefully like it did," Kengor told Cybercast News
Service. "Things could have gotten ugly."
In the long run of history, Kengor believes it is evident that Reagan's
policies were vindicated while Kennedy was proven wrong. In fact, as he
points out in his book, Kennedy himself made a "gracious concession" after
Reagan died, crediting the 40th president with winning the Cold War.http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/arch...10/NAT20061020b.html