The Third World War will not take place. Why not? That is not a flippant statement from a campaign speech filled with promises. It is a firmly grounded, historical, political, as well as moral and religious conviction. The Third World War will not take place. The West will not start a war. That is the great false doctrine of large parts of the peace movement, that they see the danger of war coming from the Americans. They close their eyes to the fact that the Soviet Union has never stopped waging war against the freedom of Europeans. The West is also not provoking any war. In fact, the West usually even goes far beyond the limit of what can reasonably be expected, in order to avoid a conflict, even a non-military one. And third, up to now the East has been totally aware of the risk that any military actions against Europe would mean. They are still aware of that today, and it must stay that way. That is what this is about!
To express the same thought in another way: Moscow wants to eliminate the pressure toward non-violent policies in Europe. Moscow’s policies are violent in Afghanistan; [they are violent] in Africa, through the exportation of revolutionary ideologies and huge masses of weapons, and in the Middle East. Moscow’s policies are violent in Central America, in the Far East – Moscow’s policies are not violent in Europe, as far as the use of military means is concerned. Moscow has not been able to reach for the sword in Europe. And now hundreds of thousands are [essentially] demonstrating for Moscow to be able to reach for the sword in Europe as well, because [if the peace demonstrators succeed] the risk involved in Moscow’s taking that step would be removed! Moscow wants once again to have freedom of movement in Europe for military actions, for threats of military force for the purpose of blackmail, to take away the will of the Europeans.
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We are also committed to pacifism. I commit myself along with my friends to responsible pacifism, which I can explain in two short sentences. As a politician who endeavors to act from the basis of Christian moral law, I would never consider using military force to assert political goals. That is the first short sentence. The second one is: Whoever wishes to use force against us to enforce a system that the people do not want should know that he will pay a price that is totally out of proportion with the hoped-for success.
That the peace movement has attracted so many people also makes clear the extent to which illusionary détente policies – since 1969, throughout the 1970s, and up to the change of governments in Bonn – have destroyed people’s awareness of the problem. More and more people – extending far into church circles – have been blinded to the historical experience that the longing for peace alone cannot force peace to come. And the longing for peace should not be confused with peace policy. Because just as old as people’s longing for peace is the abuse of it in the hands of those preparing for war.
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Source: Franz Josef Strauß, “Frieden and Freiheit sind unser Auftrag” [“Peace and Freedom Are Our Mission”], Bayern Kurier, October 20, 1983.
Translation: Allison Brown