John Simpson’s BBC Documentary “10 Days that Fooled the World” (annotated)
Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 14, 2014
(strictly personal views as always, based on more than two decades of prior research and publications)
for discussion of Simpson’s article from the 16 December 1994 Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/ten-days-that-fooled-the-world-1387659.html reprinted below) please see my 2005 article here: https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/22/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-two/)
posted as 10 zile care au păcălit lumea (Revoluția Română) by Uniti Salvam
In the event, the video cannot be see here, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-1to2Pzjeg
approx. min 3:42 The enigmatic Nica Leon, makes an interesting claim that those around him did not originally react to his shout against Ceausescu on 21 December 1989 during Ceausescu’s address from the balcony of the CC because they were used to and anticipating the usual pro-Ceausescu chant (for more on Nica Leon…see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/24/cc-ul-in-zilele-fierbinte-decembrie-1989/)
min. 4:20 Interesting and rarely heard explanation for what sounded like firecrackers in the square–people dropping banners and wooden supports being crushed in the panic and confusion of the moment (for a discussion, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/20/21-decembrie-bucuresti-in-legatura-cu-busculada-de-la-mitingul-lui-nicolae-ceausescu/)
min. 4:40 A good characterizations, along the lines Romanians “now know Ceausescu’s authority is under direct challenge.”
min. 5:21 An unfortunate discussion of Stanculescu, talking about his putting his leg in a cast (“ghipsulescu”) but nothing about his direct role in ordering the repression of demonstrators in Timisoara (Marius Mioc has detailed Stanculescu’s role in Timisoara extensively at mariusmioc.wordpress.com, for a recent post on the topic, see http://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/victor-stanculescu-invitatul-lui-basescu-la-receptia-dedicata-zilei-de-1-decembrie/)
min. 6:10 12:08 East of Bucharest, Ceausescu flees by helicopter via the route he had “always planned to take if the Russians invaded” (see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/nicolae-ceausescu-flight-interrupted-and-pictures-at-an-execution/ and https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/01/19/what-would-it-have-looked-like-if-nicolae-ceausescus-securitate-executed-a-plan-to-counter-an-invasion-but-the-invaders-never-came-i/ )
min. 6:45-7:20 Dan Iosif as intelligent (?); clever perhaps but…more honest is his own self-depiction at 7:20 as a “working man”
min. 8:50 Classic, Petre Roman depicts himself as noticing that he is the “only one from the streets” at the formation of the National Salvation Front, while all the rest are old politicians!
min. 11:04-11:25 Discussion of military plot’s plan to arrest Ceausescu in February 1990, but that the arms were only supposed to arrived by January 1990, and they were overtaken by events.
min. 11:53 Militaru claims emphatically that Iliescu was part of the background, more enduring conspiracy
min. 12:58 Militaru suggests Iliescu was involved (in fact it was Iliescu’s brainchild, he suggests) in the sending of a manifesto to a foreign radio station in the name of the National Salvation Front in the months leading up to December (for discussion, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/09/18/25-years-ago-front-du-salut-national-frontul-salvarii-nationale-gets-international-press-coverage-for-the-first-time/)
min. 15:55-16:16 Interesting discussion of Militaru’s visit to the Soviet Consulate on 20 August 1987
min. 16:38 Surprise! Emil Barbulescu, Ceausescu’s nephew says Gorbachev and the Soviets overthrew his uncle, in part because of Ceausescu’s territorial claims over Bessarabia and demand that the Russians return the Romanian tezaur (treasure)!
min. 17:31 Magureanu in his characterization of the time of Soviet involvement (for details, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/10/17/virgil-magureanu-despre-decembrie-1989-strict-secret-18-decembrie-1990-romania-libera-1-iulie-1994/)
min 18:09 Discussion of counterrevolution of Ceausescu’s security forces and Order 2600 (re. the latter see here https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/ordinul-2600-1988-al-ministerului-de-interne/)
min. 21:44 (Correctly) Discounts theories of a staged execution
min. 22:53 Panipat pastry shop (ah, memories of Bucharest 1994) and discussion of Romania someday getting into the EU
min. 23:43 Interesting observation of the different posthumous treatment of Nicolae v. Elena Ceausescu and the already then in 1994 nostalgia for Nicolae Ceausescu.