It happened today - May 14, 2015

Warsaw Pact badgeToday is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the “Warsaw Pact” by the Soviet Union and seven of its “allies”. Supposedly it was to protect them from NATO’s aggressive intentions, especially after West Germany was admitted to NATO five days earlier, on May 9. (The Soviets even had a nasty habit of insisting Hitler was still alive and the capitalists were itching to put him back in power although actually they had found his remains.)

Over the years some people came to see a weird moral equivalence between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, since both were alliances of free people against tyranny except the Warsaw Pact. Bill Clinton, who had a disagreeable habit of apologizing for his predecessors “Cold War attitudes” that led them to resist totalitarian aggression because they lacked his enlightenment, actually said the “old NATO” was “basically a mirror image of the Warsaw Pact” in a 1997 joint press conference with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, under whom Warsaw Pact members were finally free to wriggle out from under Moscow’s iron heel and promptly did.

The Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991. NATO is still intact and trying to figure out how to cope with Russian aggression. Oddly, moral equivalence is also still alive and busy denouncing American imperialism.