Eastern Europe: Worried and Nervous

Worried and Nervous Neighbors Gorbachev's reforms are causing concern among the satellites

East Europeans use political humor to stay sane. A joke now making the rounds in coffeehouses and parlors involves a meeting of East bloc leaders to decide how to react to Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness. Recalling the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia to stop reforms, they announce that Warsaw Pact troops are invading the Soviet Union to crush the threat to Communism posed by the radical Gorbachev regime.

If the people are laughing, many of the aging leaders of Moscow's East European satellite states are not. Most appear concerned about Gorbachev's program of economic and political reforms...