Romanian Army forces during the 1989 Romanian Revolution
The Romanian Revolution took place in December 1989. I lived in Romania at the time and was assigned to the American Embassy in Bucharest.
Few Americans or Westerners lived in Romania during that period. It was one of the East Bloc’s most repressive regimes. Media were not allowed into the country, and so there remains relatively little coverage of one of the most extraordinary political upheavals since World War II.
Romania was one of the final Eastern European Communist dictatorships to collapse, following a series of relatively peaceful revolutions in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and East Germany — which had taken place during the preceding months.
However, aside from the aftermath of Yugoslavia’s demise in the early 1990s, Romania’s “revolution” was by far the most violent. Thousands died in the bloody street battles between the dissidents aligned with the Romanian Army and dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s private military forces known as “Securitate.” In fact, a series of demonstrations and riots plagued Romania over the next six months leading into the Summer of 1990.
I’ll be writing a series of narratives about these experiences in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of some photography (most of it mine, which is why it’s of lesser quality) which has not been seen before. Most of these photos have been kept in my garage. Keep in mind these photos were taken before digital cameras. Moreover, film was very difficult to obtain in Romania at the time, which makes photographs (and especially video) of the revolution somewhat rare.
Nolan (in white) with officers in the Romanian Army
Yesterday’s blog ended with the following statement:
“President Obama’s first term has been a failure not because he has been one of us – which means being a Liberal. His presidency up to this point has been a crushing disappointment, because — the fact of the matter is — he has been one of them.”
So, what do I mean by – “one of them?”
President Obama has failed to break from the mainstream establishment on any major issue of importance. Never mind that he’s been falsely labeled a leftist, a liberal, a socialist, and (gasp!) even a Marxist — preposterous characterizations to anyone with an understanding of what those terms mean aside from all the demagoguery. Fact is, the current Administration has taken virtually no major risks in it’s first three-and-a-half years and has essentially governed from the political center.
LBJ’s Blueprint for “Change” Ignored Completely by Obama Administration
The American left, with the President entrusted to carry Liberalism’s mantel, have squandered a once in a generation opportunity.
We blew not only the chance to pass to desperately-needed legislation not seen since Great Society programs of the 1960s – but to actually alter the national consciousness when it comes to perceptions about government and public policy and ways to make society and our lives better.
Think about that for a moment — actually changing the way people think about their government and their leaders. Improving dialogue. Creating an honest platform for deliberation and debate. Solving actual problems without demagoguery and scare tactics.
On virtually every issue critical to the future of this nation, the Obama Administration has not only dropped the ball, it didn’t even take the field. Two words I’d use to describe President Obama’s management style and actions during his first-term would be – abdication and compromise. Abdication from becoming the champion of the working class, and compromise to the point of surrendering without a fight on virtually every important issue before it even enters the legislative assembly line in Congress.
Between January 2009 — when President Obama initially took office — and the midterm congressional elections held 21 months later — when the predictable backlash occurred and Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, thus erecting the gauntlet of governance that would lead to current gridlock — the liberal agenda had a rare window of opportunity not open since LBJ won in the 1964 presidential election.