North County
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How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:36 am


How Reagan Won the Cold War

By Dinesh D'Souza

The man who got things right from the start was, at first glance, an unlikely statesman. When he became the leader of the free world he had no experience in foreign policy. Some people thought he was a dangerous warmonger; others considered him a nice fellow, but a bit of a bungler. Nevertheless, this California lightweight turned out to have as deep an understanding of Communism as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This rank amateur developed a complex, often counter-intuitive strategy for dealing with the Soviet Union which hardly anyone on his staff fully endorsed or even understood. Through a combination of vision, tenacity, patience, and improvisational skill, he produced what Henry Kissinger terms ``the most stunning diplomatic feat of the modern era.'' Or as Margaret Thatcher put it, ``Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.''

REAGAN had a much more skeptical view of the power of Soviet Communism than either the hawks or the doves. In 1981 he told an audience at the University of Notre Dame, ``The West won't contain Communism. It will transcend Communism. It will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.'' The next year, speaking to the British Parliament, Reagan predicted that if the Western alliance remained strong it would produce a ``march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism - Leninism on the ash-heap of history.''

These prophetic assertions -- dismissed as wishful rhetoric at the time -- raise the question: How did Reagan know that Soviet Communism faced impending collapse when the most perceptive minds of his time had no inkling of what was to come? To answer this question, the best approach is to begin with Reagan's jokes. Over the years he had developed an extensive collection of stories which he attributed to the Soviet people themselves. One of these involves a man who goes up to a store clerk in Moscow and asks for a kilogram of beef, half a kilogram of butter, and a quarter kilogram of coffee. ``We're all out,'' the clerk says, and the man leaves. Another man, observing this incident, says to the clerk, ``That old man must be crazy.'' The clerk replies, ``Yeah, but what a memory!''

Another favorite anecdote concerns a man who goes to the Soviet bureau of transportation to order an automobile. He is informed that he will have to put down his money now, but there is a ten-year wait. So he fills out all the various forms, has them processed through the various agencies, and finally gets to the last agency. He pays them his money and they say, ``Come back in ten years and get your car.'' He asks, ``Morning or afternoon?'' The man in the agency says, ``We're talking about ten years from now. What difference does it make?'' He replies, ``The plumber is coming in the morning.''

Reagan could go on in this vein for hours. What is striking, however, is that Reagan's jokes are not about the evil of Communism but about its incompetence. Reagan agreed with the hawks that the Soviet experiment which sought to create a ``new man'' was immoral. At the same time, he saw that it was also basically stupid. Reagan did not need a PhD in economics to recognize that any economy based upon centralized planners' dictating how much factories should produce, how much people should consume, and how social rewards should be distributed was doomed to disastrous failure. For Reagan the Soviet Union was a ``sick bear,'' and the question was not whether it would collapse, but when.

Yet while the Soviet Union had a faltering economy, it had a highly advanced military. No one doubted that Soviet missiles, if fired at American targets, would cause enormous destruction. But Reagan also knew that the evil empire was spending at least 20 per cent of its gross national product on defense. (The actual proportion turned out to be even higher.) Thus Reagan formulated the notion that the West could use the superior economic resources of a free society to outspend Moscow in the arms race, placing intolerable strains on the Soviet regime.

Reagan outlined his ``sick bear'' theory as early as May 1982 in a commencement address at his alma mater, Eureka College. He said, ``The Soviet empire is faltering because rigid centralized control has destroyed incentives for innovation, efficiency, and individual achievement. But in the midst of social and economic problems, the Soviet dictatorship has forged the largest armed force in the world. It has done so by pre-empting the human needs of its people and, in the end, this course will undermine the foundations of the Soviet system.''

Sick bears, however, can be very dangerous -- they tend to lash out. Moreover, since in fact we are discussing not animals but people, there is the question of pride. The leaders of an internally weak empire are not likely to acquiesce in an erosion of their power. They typically turn to their primary source of strength: the military.

Appeasement, Reagan was convinced, would only increase the bear's appetite and invite further aggression. Thus he agreed with the anti-Communist strategy of dealing firmly with the Soviets. But he was more confident than most hawks that Americans were up to the challenge. ``We must realize,'' he said in his first inaugural address, ``that no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.'' What was most visionary about Reagan's view was that it rejected the assumption of Soviet immutability. At a time when no one else could, Reagan dared to imagine a world in which the Communist regime in the Soviet Union did not exist.


The entire article:

http://www.ronaldreagan.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000116;p=
 
L-188
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:41 am

Excellent tribute,

Too bad you are going to get flack from people here who have a visceral hatred of Ronnie.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:48 am

A Ronald Reagan hagiography to spread the "Ronald Reagan won the Cold War" myth again  Insane

In a now famous book published in 1976, French intellectual Emmanuel Todd, after analyzing social trends in the USSR, especially the demographic, concluded that the regime would collapse in 15 years, hence in 1991. It happened exactly as predicted by Todd. That was written 4 years before Reagan was elected.

Ronald Reagan did not win the Cold War. This stance is ridiculous, because it implies that communism could have worked. Communism was doomed from the start. The USSR could not work.

Dump the myth.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
JAL777
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:51 am

Please tell us why the USSR could not work. Thanks.
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:52 am

Yeah, but it is always fascinating how they twist and turn the history during Reagan's years in office.

It it sure beats having to worry about what the USSR might do next....

I remember growing up and how in the 1970's and 80's the big worry was a nuclear war between the USSR and the US.

Though still a possibility it is not the hammer hanging over our heads as it once was....and even more so in Europe.

Someday the anti-Reagan group's kids or grandkids might finally see the light.
 
BN747
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:58 am

Of all people ...Dinesh D'Souza,

Have you ever heard this man speak??? He's the Clarence Thomas of Indian or any foreign-transplants in America. In order to gain acceptance in the American political arena he'll sing anything that gives rightwingers a hardon! His take on race in America is absolutely appalling. The man hasn't lived here more than 10 years and yet he's an expert on Race Relations in America, Bush I, Bush II Reagan and anything else conservative! Give me a break! I'll take a synopsis from Halliburton on how to get oil from celery stalks before I believe anything this idiot says! I can't wait for Mark Furman to right a book on Reagan...it oughta be good!

Jeez...the lengths these 'wannabees' will go thru to make a name for them selves!

BN747
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KROC
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:00 am

Thanks for the article. Definitely a great read. And you know Alpha 1 is sitting back having a seizure because he cannot get in and try and tear things apart.
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:05 am

The USSR could not work? It was in power from 1917 until 1991. That is a pretty long time to me and I am sure it was more then a few life times for the average Soviet and Eastern European citizen.

Reagan knew the problem would be the leadership and it's military power.

Funny how the Reagan haters bitch and moan about the evil US military but forget about the Eastern European lock down since 1944 and the murders in the USSR itself after 1917.

Funny I don't remember reading about FDR killing off his Army's officers in the 1930's like Stalin did....

10 countries were converted to communist dictatorships in the 1970's and early 1980's - doesn't look like a lame bear on the surface to me....and it didn't to any other leader in the world when Reagan was elected President.

Name me one world leader who predicted the fall of the USSR as preciously as Reagan did... and please provide a reference.

 
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yyz717
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:07 am

I agree with KROC. A great article.

Ronald Reagan did not win the Cold War.....Communism was doomed from the start. The USSR could not work.

Communism managed to survive for 70 years and could easily have lasted another 70 years. Reagan was the one who pushed it over the edge. Thank God for Reagan.

French intellectual Emmanuel Todd

Was there ever a Frenchman who was NOT a self-appointed intellectual?
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:13 am

BN747,

Seems you only had a chance to read the title and the name of the author ...there were 57 more lines quoted - please reload you system in order to read them. (Not to mentioned the rest of the article that was provided with a link at the end.)

Thanks,
North County
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:18 am

Communism managed to survive for 70 years and could easily have lasted another 70 years.

So, you're telling me, no joke, that communism works, right?

I'm supposed to be the guy on the left here, and I don't believe communism is sustainable. On the other hand, the right-wing pundits, in an effort to idolize Reagan, have to claim that communism works.

This ain't real...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
JAL777
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:24 am

Once again... please tell me what aspects of communism makes it "not work."
 
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yyz717
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:25 am

Communism managed to survive for 70 years and could easily have lasted another 70 years.

So, you're telling me, no joke, that communism works, right?


It's not a question of whether "it works". With a dictatorial government and a strong military, it can be imposed. As it was in the former USSR for 70 years. it could easily have lasted another 70 or more years in the absense of an external threat to test the limits of the communist economy.

That testing of the limits came from Reagan who spiked up military spending causing the USSR to do the same which caused it to unravel politically & economically.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Goose
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:30 am

It's not a question of whether "it works". With a dictatorial government and a strong military, it can be imposed. As it was in the former USSR for 70 years. it could easily have lasted another 70 or more years in the absense of an external threat to test the limits of the communist economy.

The argument could be made that if the USSR had survived for another few decades, that the unravelling of the Soviet system would've been far more violent than it has been. And the people probably would've been worse off economically and taken far more time to recover and "catch up" with the western world when the Wall finally did come down.
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
texan
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:35 am

Gorbachev's reforms kinda had something to do with its downfall as well, if I recall. And they had weaker leadership during the 1970s and 1980s than they had in the past. Party infighting played a major role in its downfall as well. The lack of trading partners also hurt the USSR, and eventually Gorbachev decided to allow limited trade and freedoms to people. Reagan did not "win" the Cold War. The Soviet Union would have fallen anyway because of Gorbachev's liberalization policies with or without Reagan's being in office. Now, Gorbachev may not have liberalized the country enough to actually make a natural transition to a new form of government, but Russia has a history of uprisings, and if the Soviet leadership had attempted to take away the new freedoms, popular uprisings likely would have occurred, forcing the fall of the USSR.

Texan
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North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:41 am

Weaker Leadership?--- What about the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979?

10 countries converted to Communism leadership in the 1970's-early 1980's
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:47 am

History of uprisings - yeah, in 1917

In 1917 the Czars were spending money and manpower on the war with Austria and Germany.

The people revolted because they were starving and their solders didn't have enough to eat....Funny that is how Reagan hoped to to win the Cold War...have them spend even money on "guns" so they could not spend it on "butter"....
 
Goose
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:48 am

10 countries converted to Communism leadership in the 1970's-early 1980's

How many of those countries stayed with a Communist leadership into the 1990s, though....?
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:52 am

It's not a question of whether "it works".

Baloney.

It is a matter whether it works or not. I just claim that communism cannot work and it had to collapse one day. It did so in 1991, at least in the USSR, earlier in other Warsaw Pact countries.

The only war Reagan won was against the very threatening island of Grenada, in October 1983.

What can be said about an invasion launched by a nation of 240 million people against one of 110 thousand? And when the invader is, militarily and economically, the most powerful in the world, and the target of its attack is an underdeveloped island of small villages 1,500 miles away, 133 square miles in size, whose main exports are cocoa, nutmeg and bananas...

The United States government had a lot to say about it. The relation which its pronouncements bore to the truth can be accurately gauged by the fact that three days after the invasion the deputy White House press secretary for foreign affairs resigned, citing "damage to his personal credibility''.


Read the rest here.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:52 am



More from the article:

Even some who were previously skeptical of Reagan were forced to admit that his policies had been thoroughly vindicated. Reagan's old nemesis Henry Kissinger observed that while it was Bush who presided over the final disintegration of the Soviet empire, ``it was Ronald Reagan's Presidency which marked the turning point.'' Cardinal Casaroli, the Vatican secretary of state, remarked publicly that the Reagan military buildup, which he had opposed at the time, had led to the collapse of Communism.

These conclusions are widely accepted in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. When Czech president Vaclav Havel visited Washington, D.C., in May 1997 I asked him whether Reagan's defense strategy and his diplomacy were vital factors in ending the Cold War. Of course, Havel said, adding that ``both Reagan and Gorbachev deserve credit'' because while Soviet Communism might have imploded eventually, without them ``it would have taken a lot longer.''

Havel's point is incontestable. Yet Reagan won and Gorbachev lost. If Gorbachev was the trigger, it was Reagan who pulled it. For the third time in this century, the United States has fought and prevailed in a world war. In the Cold War, Reagan turned out to be our Churchill: it was his vision and leadership that led us to victory.
 
JAL777
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:58 am

And he still refuses to answer the question.
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:59 am

About the countries staying with communism through the 1990's...well seeing as how the major communist county for the prior 70 years was in turmoil it seems to be a moot point.

I brought up the 10 countries the converted to communist leadership in the 10 years prior to Reagan becoming Presedent to show that the USSR and Communism was not on the decline.

Now after Reagan took office that changed....
 
Goose
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:02 am

I brought up the 10 countries the converted to communist leadership in the 10 years prior to Reagan becoming Presedent to show that the USSR and Communism was not on the decline.

I can only really think of a half-dozen countries which changed to a bona fide, red-banner communist country..... and again, most of those regimes didn't last a decade.
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:07 am

Any government will remain in power as long as you have control over the people and keep them in line.

The USSR has vast oil and gold reserves and incredible amounts of manpower.
The also had more Nuclear warheads then the US.

Communism the economic system will not work but a political power with enough military might and resources to sell can stay in power. Reagan talked about the inefficiencies and how the economic system was flawed.

Reagan defeated the USSR in the Cold War. He did not defeat the Russian people or destroy communism. In 1991 there were still some communist counties in the world.


[Edited 2004-02-10 23:18:43]
 
DC10GUY
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:08 am

Ronald Reagan won the cold war ? Jesus tap dancing Christ dude. The cold war lasted from 1946 until 1989. Giving Reagan the credit for "winning the cold war" is simply wrong. The republicans are so disparate for a republican hero Reagan is all they have....
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:16 am

Communism the system will not work but a political power with enough military might and resources to sell can stay in power.

See, you admit it yourself: Communism the system will not work.

The problem with this assertion is that it totally contradicts this idea that Reagan "won" the cold war. Hence many pitiful attempts to try and pretend that the USSR could have existed for another 70 years.

Proof that communism doesn't work are in the economic reforms underway in China. The communist leadership in China admits that it doesn't work. I never thought I would see, in my lifetime, a.net right-wing pundits contradict Chinese leaders on that one. Oh, the irony...

There is no way out of this: it's a perfect oxymoron. Reagan did not beat the USSR; the USSR died by itself because it had to.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
cfalk
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:23 am

If you want an interesting read about Reagan, read Edmund Morris' Dutch It is the result of 13 years of research and privelidged access, and while Morris relates Reagan's story in a dramatized, and somewhat fictionalized way, the book succeeds more than any other book in getting you into Reagan's head. From a review:

The only biography ever authorized by a sitting President--yet written with complete interpretive freedom--Dutch is as revolutionary in method as it is formidable in scholarship. Thirteen years of exhaustive research in the archives of Washington and Hollywood, and thousands of hours of interviews with the President and his family, friends, allies, and enemies, equipped Morris with an unmatched knowledge of one of the twentieth century's greatest leaders. This monumental work offers the most insightful and elegant portrait to date of Ronald Reagan: the young "Dutch," the middle-aged Cold Warrior, and the septuagenarian Chief Executive. Written with imagination, yet always anchored by the weight of research and fact, Dutch stands as both a landmark in the form of biography and an unparalleled historical account of the rise and rule of Ronald Reagan.

I mention the book because much of D'Souza's comments are taken straight from Morris. Whether or not Reagan "won the Cold War" is a pointless arguement, however. What is important is that Reagan was the first world leader (at least among the major Western Powers) to understand that communism would not survive, and that it would actually be counterproductive to adopt a friendly relationship with the USSR, as good relations would simply delay the inevitable fall. I'm sure he wasn't the first person to think that. E. Todd and others may well have predicted it as well. But they never became president, or were ever in the position to act upon their theory.

I remember growing up in the 70's and 80's. Right up until Gorbachev, it was felt by virtually everyone that one day, the sh&t was going to hit the fan and the USSR and USA would launch their missiles at each other. It was simply a matter of when. You had a choice between trying to appease the Soviets, hopefully with the effect of delaying doomsday (indefinately?), or facing the Soviets nose-to-nose and be ready to fight.

Reagan was an absolute optimist - not only in this but also all other subjects. He knew that communism would die out, and the people under the communist thumb would one day be free, WITHOUT there having to be a war to do it, as was necessary with Naziism.

Anyway, read the book. It is not a very flattering book, in many ways. Reagan often comes out as looking almost absurdly naive sometimes, just like at others he could show tremendous insight. He was without a doubt one of the most unnusual minds to reach the presidency.

Charles

[Edited 2004-02-10 23:24:22]
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North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:27 am

The USSR was not a pure form of communism - everything did not go to the people - it was a totalitarian system - where were the free elections?

The people of the USSR lived like crap -- all the nations wealth went to keep the Communist party members in power. They shipped aid off to their communist brothers in Cuba, Vietnam, Angola....that stopped once Reagan started to press them with higher US military spending.

The USSR had enough hard cash to buy extra Canadian wheat during the US grain embargo that Carter set in motion in response to the Afghanistan invasion of 1979. Their system was able to support the party members and its military at the pre-Reagan level but no more then that....

About the Cold War lasting from 1945 until the late eighties.... I remember there was a 100 years war and some won that one as well....

[Edited 2004-02-10 23:31:51]
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:37 am

We need to clear something up...the USSR could have survived since we are talking about the government, the party and the military that keep it in power.

Communism is an economic system ...a very ineffective system that has failed.

The USSR could have remained the #2 world power and controlled the Eastern bloc - due to its military power.

Communism was doomed to fail. The USSR was not...




 
texan
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:38 am

Actually, there was a privileged class not formed by the Communist Party in Russia made up of professionals.
And actually, there were public uprisings in Russia in 1922, 1918, 1917, 1905, 1896, and many others. There were also a couple of uprisings within the USSR in the past 50 years that have been put down, most notably in Siberia. Yes, there is revolutionary spirit in Russia, and yes it would have come down whether or not Reagan had been in office. I do not think it is fair to give him all the credit, but he probably did speed up the process by a couple years.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
BN747
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:01 am

As my dad said....'They couldn't eat the missiles!'

Above all else, we (the USA) needed....I repeat 'needed' the USSR..why do you think we gave them all the wheat and food credits under Carter??? After WWII, we needed them to suceed because every 'good guy' needs a bad guy in order to exist! And you don't need me to point who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. A good guy and a bad guy exist in all of your favorite movies/novels! If the US emerged from WWII as the world's sole super power there would have been hell to pay! In the eyes of an envious world there is nothing we could have done right no matter how hard we tried.

USSR as a gov't did fail..and it failed miserably, it couldn't feed itself, it's allies were draining it's coffers dry and basic homeland infracstruture was about to completely collapse in on itself. So in the end it became invest in keeping up the missile threat (and starve in the process), invest in re-inventing ourself and drop supporting other miserably run communist gov'ts. And we know which one they choose...to cut their looses. And any 10th rate economist could have told you that was coming. Poland's Solidarity movement was the 1st crack in their armor and it wasn't financially worth it for them to try and stop it...

Background to Solidarity
Regular protests in Poland usually about wages or food.
Protest didn't try to challenge Russia or government.
In the late 1970's the economy hit crisis and government couldn't solve the problems.
Small independent trade unions were set up and strikes broke out all over the country.1980 free trade union (Solidarity started by Lech Walesa) They wanted free trade unions and the right to strike.
Government agreed all 21 of their demands.
Membership of solidarity grew to over 9 million.
Poland sinks into chaos.
December 1981 Brezhnev orders Red Army manoeuvres on Polish border, introduces Marshall Law imprisons Lech Walesa and 10,000 others and
suspends Solidarity.

Why Russia / Polish government accepted Solidarity in 1980
The union was strongest in the most important industries to the government and Russia.Solidarity was not a threat to the Communist party - wasn't an alternative but worked along side it.Lech Walesa was careful not to threaten Russia - tried to avoid provoking any disputes.
Solidarity was very popular - Lech Walesa seen as folk hero.
USSR tolerated Solidarity because it couldn't do anything else - Solidarity had lots of support in the West so Russia was very cautious.
The atmosphere of Détente - more relaxed, more freedom of speech between Poland and West.

All of this begun under Carter...not Reagan. But as other's mentioned here..the writing was on the wall a long time ago!

"Mr. Gorbachov...tear down this wall!" was nothing more than a Hollywood staged grandstand sound bite....and Gorby got a polite phone call beforehand to say it was coming and not to be personally offended!

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
L-188
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:23 am

All of this begun under Carter...not Reagan

And the man the rabbit attacked had nothing to do with any of it.


Malaise
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JUANR
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:30 am

Reagan did not win the cold war, it was Jean Paul II who won it.

Juan
SKBO
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vafi88
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:33 am

There was no "war" and Reagan didn't "win" anything. The USSR collapsed on its' own because of sheer size and the VERY different ethnicities involved - like a balloon in cold weather, it couldn't support itself...

History - It's a beautiful thing

Vitaly
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L-188
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:39 am

Vafi88......

I think that is exactly the point.

The USSR would have collapsed on it's own like a ballon in cold water.

Reagan however added ice to that water to speed up the process.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
airplay
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:40 am

How Reagan won the cold war..

I'm pretty sure Ronnie thought the cold war was the one that George Washington fought when he had to spend the winter in Valley Forge. And he's just about old enough to have served.

The point is, if ANYTHING good came from that administration, it was not directly overseen or conceived by this particular meat puppet.
 
BN747
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:59 am

LOL...couldn't have said it better myself Airplay!!!  Big thumbs up

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:11 am

I have relatives in Hungary and they agree with the former Czech president and Margaret Thacher that Reagan was the one individual most responsible for ending the Cold War.

My father fought in Hungary during 1944-45 and the Russians simply sent wave after wave of troops into the line....that is how they treated their soldiers and their citizens...not surprising they had to crush uprisings in Siberia....I lost two Uncles in Siberia and one in the 1956 revolution. Never heard about any revolts in the major cities after 1945. You are all forgetting that there were still the Warsaw pact armies which were under the control of the Russian generals. The big worry in 1989 was would the Warsaw pact troops fire on their own citizens in Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest......

Carter's grain embargo failed because the Canada, Australia and Venezuela shipped addition wheat to cover the US shortfall. They were not able to replace all the US corn production. Reagan lifted the embargo because it was ineffective and hurt the US farmers and didn't effect the USSR military or party members just the common people. I am not saying Carter was wrong it just didn't work because other counties failed to honor the embargo.
 
Russophile
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:15 am

If Reagan won the Cold War, it would be interesting today to hear from him first hand about his memories on this great victory  Big grin

Saying Reagan defeated the USSR in the Cold War, is much like saying Eninem makes good music. Sure the media hype it, and hell, there are people foolish enough to believe it, but getting back to reality you realise it is a full of shit statement.

Nostradamus predicted that in the millenium, in the 12 month, the village idiot would come forward and take power. Since Nostradamus predicted this, does it mean that "How Nostradamus won the 2000 US Presidential Elections"? Moreso with Reagan predicting/guessing the end of Communism in the USSR. It was a prediction, nothing more, nothing less.

What if Communism in the USSR didn't fall? Would the Reagan kissarseites be bemoaning how he was wrong, and that he spent the US into a deficit, the likes which was never seen before in history, because of a guess?

But hey, it wasn't a really hard prediction to make -- after all Reagan was around for the Afghanistan war -- the USSR's Vietnam -- if there is any one thing which is responsible for the downfall of communism in the USSR, it was the Afghan war. There was initial widespread public support in the USSR for the war. But as time dragged on, when the true losses to the Soviet people was being realised, support for the war both in public and governmental circles in the USSR began to wain.

Added to this very costly war which the USSR never really had a grip on, you had Reagan increasing military spending, which forced the Soviets to do the same thing. Why the Soviets chose to follow suit, I never can understand, particularly given their arsenal of weapons. This increased spending, was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.

It was a somewhat mitigating factor in the downfall of Soviet communism, but it wasn't the greatest or the most important factor by a long shot.

BTW, I do realise that "prediction" by Nostradamus is a figment of someone's imagination. Just thought I should include this disclaimer here, in case some of those who truly believe Reagan won the Cold War would believe that also.
 
BN747
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:24 am

Uh North County, Carter was a hardcore humanitarian, the 1st president ever to make the call for respect for 'Human Rights' universally (esp. re: Chile/Argentina and sh*tload of other countries) and did not deny the russians grain. He did however prevent the US Olympic team from participating as his form or protest...and the press made him pay for it dearly. It's very typical for people like yourself who (and or their parents) come from places like Hungary and Iran to run and support the staunch anti-commie guy because to you he is 'The good guy' versus your bad guy. A liberal here in the states is seen as wuss and too soft on military issues...well that's just that..a well planted idea and that's about it!

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:25 am

Donk, Donk, Donk.....

That is truth banging his head against the wall after reading Russophile post.

It would be nice to be able to ask the 100 million dead at the Communist's hands what they thought of the USSR if they were still alive today but you can't.....

No use - you believe what you want....but many do credit Reagan with winning the Cold War...not defeating communism, not ending the USSR but winning the Cold War and that would include the tearing down of the Iron Curtain.

I have quite a few relatives in Hungary who love the man for what he did for them....and have told me that many times over the past 15 years.

[Edited 2004-02-11 01:27:54]
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:45 am

Very interesting reading some posts here.

Beside communism, there are other factors that precipitated the fall of the USSR. Solidarnosc was mentioned and it's a valid point. JPII also, although I would be tempted to show a healthy dose of skepticism about that one. Afghanistan, which I forgot about, but is totally true.

I also read a few years ago that the USSR was very good at producing top notch weapon systems, but was not able to transfer that technology into consumer goods.

The fall of the USSR is, undoubtedly, the result of a collection of factors. The power of the West (with the leadership of the USA) as a role model the USSR was not able to emulate, was certainly another major. But Reagan had nothing to do with that. He was "just" there.

In fact, the only American President who really have to stand his ground towards the USSR was JFK, during the Cuban missiles crisis.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
L-188
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:50 am

Oh Soviet scientists where and are excellent theorists.

Take for example the basic theories behind the stealth fighter. They came from a Soviet lab.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Russophile
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:53 am

You should bang your head against the wall a bit more North County, only then might you begin to see how it really was  Big grin

What exactly was the Cold War? What was it born out of? It was born out of paranoia (warranted or not) of Communism in the US. What was it's explicit purpose? It's explicit purpose was not to 'defeat' the USSR, but to end communism.

So saying that Reagan won the Cold War is saying precisely that he defeated Communism -- which by definition means defeating the USSR.

And please people, stop posting this "Communism killed over 100 million people" rubbish, because frankly "Capitalism" doesn't have clean hands either, and whether it be 1 million people or 100 million people, they are just as guilty as one another. This tired line on Communism is usually pulled by people who have nothing more to add.
 
Klaus
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:15 am

...From the "companion thread":

MD-90: BS. The collapse of the Soviet Empire was a huge surprise to everyone in the Bush Sr. administration.

Strange. In Europe, the surprise was somewhat limited.
Might be similar to those absent WMDs in Iraq...  Insane

But in earnest; If you had followed what was going on in Europe during those years, you could have picked up the hints quite easily. Many americans couldn´t care less and so were surprised when the end result finally became impossible to ignore for everybody.

"On the ground" here in Europe, the development was pretty much visible for quite some time - beginning as far back as with Willy Brandt´s "Ostpolitik". Time declared him "man of the year 1971" for his bold vision and realistic approach:
TIME Magazine Cover: Willy Brandt, Man of the Year - Jan. 4, 1971
TIME Person of the Year Archive -- Willy Brandt, 1970

This was coming for a long time, and many great men and women worked hard for decades for a peaceful outcome. Ronald Reagan did indeed put in his share, but he was by no means instrumental to the end of the cold war. He just happened to be there when it finally culminated.
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:30 am

To echo Klaus comments.

I once read the account of François Mitterand first encounter with Gorbatchev, back in the mid-80, when Gorbatchev was Agriculture minister. The meeting took place in Paris, between a bunch of Soviet officials and a bunch of French officials.

All of a sudden, a French officials ask the Soviet delegation a question about the poor performance of agriculture in the USSR. A Soviet official went on a diatribe, saying it's because of this, because of that, and it's not that bad, and yadda yadda yadda. When he was finished, Gorbatchev moved forward and said something like:"It's true that we do have some problems to work out. Our technology lacks behind and so does our work process."

On that, Mitterand whispered to the ear of one of his assistant:"We must keep an eye on this guy; I think we may work something out with him when the USSR goes down...".

So, no one else in the world knew anything about the future of the USSR. Only "Reagan was the first world leader (at least among the major Western Powers) to understand that communism would not survive"...

Brother  Insane  Insane  Insane  Insane  Insane
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:31 am

The Cold War was the puppet governments of the Warsaw pact countries.
Russian troops entered Hungary in '56 and Prague in '68. The Hungarian people did not "ask" for their help...

The Cold War was US, French and British troops on the West and East Germany border.

The Cold War were the thousand of Axis POWs that never came home from Siberia...

The Cold War was the Berlin airlift.

The Cold War was the Cuban Missile crises.

The Cold War was Vietnam.

The Cold War was Angola.

The Cold War was Afghanistan.


The US won the Cold War...correct? No wait, now watch them tell us no one "won" the Cold War....or better yet that the USSR "won"
 
Klaus
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North County

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:35 am

You can shut your eyes and go "na-na-na-na-naaa-na-I-can´t-hear-you!-na-na...." until you´re blue in the face. Or you could look at the background. And then things become much more differentiated.

And much more interesting!  Big thumbs up
 
North County
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:51 am

I was of voting age in 1980. First year at UCSD.....

I will not be able to change your view of Reagan and you have not changed mine....

Please tell me who you think won the Cold War?


Your answer would be shaped by your experiences - my relatives lived under the boot of the Soviets - can't get any more first hand then that....

All those Cubans that swim to Florida would be happy to tell you their life experiences...

I count three family members that died at the hands of the Russians...

But Russia was really all about good old Uncle Joe....
 
Qb001
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RE: How Reagan Won The Cold War

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:55 am

No wait, now watch them tell us no one "won" the Cold War....or better yet that the USSR "won"

No, the USSR lost. Pretty much by itself, because its system was doomed to fail in the first place.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.

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