First, Mr. President, I daresay the people of Russia and Eastern Europe hardly decided to stand up and decide that the Cold War’s conclusion would be peaceful. You might ask the citizens of Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria — to name a few countries — if their polite request for the Soviet Empire to withdraw from their borders was met with a peaceful response.
Leaving aside the fact that no one – least of all Obama – has ever suggested that the groundswell of opposition to Russian occupation was “polite,” this is pretty much exactly what happened. There was no war. The Poles and the Estonians and the Hungarians did not sack Moscow. The Soviet withdrawal was largely peaceable. Except in Christie’s fevered imagination, the Marines did not, in fact, liberate Warsaw.
When you’re in a hole, the general rule is to stop digging. Christie procures a backhoe. The next paragraph manages the neat trick of preemptively refuting his own argument:
Second, I fail to comprehend how a sitting president of the United States would travel to Russia and announce that the end of the Cold War was not the result of “any one nation.” How about the country Mr. Obama was elected to lead? The United States held the Russians at bay while supporting the Solidarity movement led by Lech Walesa in Poland and others who dared to rise up against the Soviet Union in their quest for freedom and democracy.
So after crediting the United States with sole responsibility for ending the Cold War, Christie proceeds to mention Lech Walesa and the Poles, who “dared to rise up against the Soviet Union.” Perhaps those foreigners had something to do with the end of the Cold War after all? You would think that this neatly proves Obama’s point about recognizing other nations’ contributions, but according to Ron Christie, you’d be wrong.