Skip to comments.Russia also won Cold War, says Gorbachev - ("Perestroika won")
Posted on 10/23/2005 7:20:54 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
WASHINGTON: The US and Russia had both emerged victorious at the end of the Cold War, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said.
"I would not be making a mistake to say that perestroika won. It succeeded," he said during a celebration of the 20th anniversary of reforms that ultimately ended the hostilities between the two nations.
Mr Gorbachev also reflected on the current state of world affairs, noting the role of the US as the sole superpower.
"America has a right to be a leader," he said, adding that "this leadership should be realised through partnership, not domination".
Former US president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell were among about 200 guests who attended what Mr Gorbachev described as a "meeting of old friends".
Mr Gorbachev is credited with engineering a series of reforms, called perestroika, in the Soviet Union that led to the fall of communism.
In 1990, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
"It was obvious from the beginning with perestroika blooming in Russia, there was a new openness, a new sense of freedom, there was a new leader," Mr Clinton said.
"He will go down in history as a person who changed the world for the better."
Won in the sense that they're no longer ruled by the Soviets I guess.
Hey Gorby! I made a stain on a blue dress
shaped just like that one on your forehead.
Ted Turner and another 3-some he reveled in being part of.
In a sense, the Russians did win as they're not living under the yoke of Communism anymore. But Gorby will still go down as one of history's biggest losers.
And there are no American soldiers at the Baghdad airport.
"The US and Russia had both emerged victorious at the end of the Cold War"
He is absolutely right. When the communists lost the proletariat definitely won. I doubt Gorbachev was cheering, though, when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. I s'pect he didn't feel the euphoric shudders many of us felt.
Too bad for Gorbachev he couldn't hold on a little longer. Clinton would have saved the Soviet Union's ass.
He would have needed some money to donate to Clinton's reelection fund as well.
Gorbachev was trying to keep the Soviet Union intact. He failed completely. The man I respect is Yeltsin, who stood on a tank and voiced his defiance to the leaders of the Communist coup that overthrew Gorbachev. For his defiance of the Soviets, Yeltsin was later treated by our media as a buffoon, and hated by the Left.
I remember very clearly visiting a bookshop and reading, quickly, through Gorbachev's book describing the need for perestroika (restructuring) of the Soviet Union. In that instant I saw the world we live in would change. It was an event like landing on the moon, AND MORE, in what it portended for the peace and safety of people living at that time.
This is a great man, in the right place at the right time.
Everybody wins! Isn't that special. Maybe we can all get brightly colored ribbons, shiney little plastic trophies or a gold star to enhance our collective self esteem.
Why is Gorbachev so chatty lately?
This is roughly the sixth article I've seen on him in just under 2 weeks.
The Soviet Union won the Cold War!
>>>I s'pect he didn't feel the euphoric shudders many of us felt.
So he moved to San Francisco to embrace this euphoria.
BS! He was trying to save Communism! As for the Nobel Prize, they wouldn't give it to Reagan so they gave it to Gorby instead.
>>>>He would have needed some money to donate to Clinton's reelection fund as well.
You act like he hasn't.
The Gorbachev Foundation
::I just love how he has his site hosted in Russia yet he lives in San Francisco.::
Russia is now losing its population.
Russian women are leaving Russia in droves, along with the future children they will bare, for greener pastures abroad.
Life expectancy in Russia is going down.
National population down to as little as 80 million in just 50 years perhaps.
Now just WHO won WHAT, I wonder..?
IMO, one Mr. Ronald Reagan deserves the lion's share of the credit for ending (and winning) the cold war because he threw train loads of cash at the military and Soviets had to fold. It was either fold or try to keep up with us and face a truly calamitous collapse later.
Oh! I know how to solve Russia's depopulation problem!!
I volunteer our democrats to go live there!
Gorby, Clinton. and Ted Turner all slapping each other on the back. Ugh!
Sounds like he is trying to appeal to Vladimir Putin and Russian commie cranks.
The Chinese will probably just move in as the Russians vacate.....
Yes but the present head of Russia, Mr Putin is more like Khrushchev than Gorby ever could be.
What Gorby gave Russia turned out in the longer term to be Putin. Putin's successor will be a lot like Stalin.
Because he's in danger of becoming a 1980s trivia question, just like Boy George.
Reader Jack Fulmer sent me the following item, which appeared a century ago 13 September 1905 in the Paris edition of the New York Herald:
Holy War Waged
St. Petersburg: The districts of Zangezur and Jebrail are swarming with Tartar bands under the leadership of chiefs, and in some cases accompanied by Tartar police officials. Green banners are carried and a Holy War is being proclaimed. All Armenians, without distinction of sex or age are being massacred. Many thousand Tartar horsemen have crossed the Perso-Russian frontier and joined the insurgents. Horrible scenes attended the destruction of the village of Minkind. Three hundred Armenians were massacred and mutilated. The children were thrown to the dogs and the few survivors were forced to embrace Islamism.
Plus ça change, eh? Last week Islamists killed a big bunch of people in Nalchik, the capital of the hitherto more-or-less safe-ish Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. True, in our more sensitive age the Herald Tribunes current owners, the New York Times, would never dream of headlining such a report Holy War Waged, though the Muslim insurgents are fighting for a pan-Caucasian Islamic republic from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea.
And in the long run its hard to see why they wont get it, the only question being whether its still worth getting. Moscow has reduced Grozny to rubble, yet is further than ever from solving its Chechen problem. Moreover, the sheer blundering thuggery of the Russian approach has no merits other than affording Moscow some short-term sadistic pleasure as it exacerbates the situation. The allegedly seething Arab street, which the Wests media doom-mongers have been predicting for four years will rise up in fury against the Anglo-American infidels, remains as seething as a cul-de-sac in Pinner on a Wednesday afternoon. But the Russian Federations Muslim street is real, and on the boil.
Remember the months before 9/11? The new US President had his first meeting with the Russian President. I looked the man in the eye and found him very straightforward and trustworthy, George W. Bush said after two hours with Vladimir Putin. I was able to get a sense of his soul. Im all for speaking softly and carrying a big stick, but thats way too soft; its candlelight-dinner-with-the-glow-reflecting-in-the-wine-glass-just-before-you-ask-her-to-dance-to-Moonlight-Becomes-You soft. Even at the time, many of us felt like yelling at Bush: Get a grip on yourself, man! Lay off the homoerotic stuff about soulmates! This is a KGB apparatchik youre making eyes at.
But Putin was broadly supportive or at least not actively non-supportive on Afghanistan (a very particular case) and Nato expansion (a fait accompli), and some experts started calling Vlad the most Westernised Russian strongman since Peter the Great and cooing about a Russo-American alliance that would be one of the cornerstones of the post-Cold War world.
Its not like that today. From China to Central Asia to Ukraine, from its covert efforts to maintain Saddam in power to its more or less unashamed patronage of Irans nuclear ambitions, Moscow has been at odds with Washington over every key geopolitical issue, and a few non-key ones, too, culminating in Putins tirade to Bush that America was flooding Russia with sub-standard chicken drumsticks and keeping the best ones for herself. It was a poultry complaint but indicative of a retreat into old-school Kremlin paranoia. Putin was sending Americas chickens home to roost. I wonder if Bush took a second look into the soulful depths of Vladimirs eyes and decided he wasnt quite so finger-lickin good after all.
Russias export of ideology was the decisive factor in the history of the last century. It seems to me entirely possible that the implosion of Russia could be the decisive factor in this new century. As Irans nuke programme suggests, in many of the geopolitical challenges to America theres usually a Russian component somewhere in the background.
In fairness to Putin, even if he was very straightforward and trustworthy, hes in a wretched position. Think of the feet of clay of Western European politicians unwilling to show leadership on the Continents moribund economy and deathbed demography. Russia has all the EUs problems to the nth degree, and then some. Post-imperial decline is manageable; a nation of psychotic lemmings isnt. As Ive noted before in this space, Russia is literally dying. From a population peak in 1992 of 148 million, it will be down to below 130 million by 2015 and thereafter dropping to perhaps 50 or 60 million by the end of the century, a third of what it was at the fall of the Soviet Union. It neednt decline at a consistent rate, of course. But Id say its more likely to be even lower than 50 million than it is to be over 100 million. The longer Russia goes without arresting the death spiral, the harder it is to pull out of it, and when it comes to the future most Russian women are voting with their foetus: 70 per cent of pregnancies are aborted.
A smaller population neednt necessarily be a problem, and especially not for a state with too much of the citizenry on the payroll. But Russia is facing simultaneously a massive ongoing drain of wealth out of the system. Whether or not Dominic Midgley was correct the other day in his assertion that the émigré oligarchs prefer London to America, I cannot say. But I notice my own peripheral backwater of Montreal has also filled up with Russkies whose impressive riches have been acquired recently and swiftly. It doesnt help the grim demographic scenario if your economic base is also being systematically eaten away.
Add to that the unprecedented strains on a ramshackle public health system. Russia is the sick man of Europe, and would still look pretty sick if you moved him to Africa. It has the fastest-growing rate of HIV infection in the world. From virtually no official Aids cases at the time Putin took office, in the last five years more Russians have tested positive than in the previous 20 for America. The virus is said to have infected at least 1 per cent of the population, the figure the World Health Organisation considers the tipping point for a sub-Saharan-sized epidemic. So at a time when Russian men already have a life expectancy in the mid-50s lower than in Bangladesh theyre about to see Aids cut them down from the other end, killing young men and women of childbearing age, and with them any hope of societal regeneration. By 2010, Aids will be killing between a quarter and three-quarters of a million Russians every year. It will become a nation of babushkas, unable to muster enough young soldiers to secure its borders, enough young businessmen to secure its economy or enough young families to secure its future. True, there are regions that are exceptions to these malign trends, parts of Russia that have healthy fertility rates and low HIV infection. Can you guess which regions they are? They start with a Mu- and end with a -slim.
So the worlds largest country is dying and the only question is how violent its death throes are. Yesterdays Russia was characterised by Churchill as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Todays has come unwrapped: its a crisis in a disaster inside a catastrophe. Most of the big international problems operate within certain geographic constraints: Africa has Aids, the Middle East has Islamists, North Korea has nukes. But Russias got the lot: an African-level Aids crisis and an Islamist separatist movement sitting on top of the biggest pile of nukes on the planet. Of course, the nuclear materials are all in secure facilities more secure, one hopes, than the secure public buildings in Nalchik that the Islamists took over with such ease last week.
Russia is the bleakest example on the planet of how we worry about all the wrong things. For 40 years the environmentalists have warned us that the jig was up: there are too many people (see Paul Ehrlichs comic masterpiece of 1970 The Population Bomb) and too few resources as the Club of Rome warned in its 1972 landmark study The Limits To Growth, the world will run out of gold by 1981, of mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and gas by 1993. Instead, poor old Russia is awash with resources but fatally short of Russians and, in the end, warm bodies are the one indispensable resource.
What would you do if you were Putin? What have you got to keep your rotting corpse of a country as some kind of player? Youve got nuclear know-how which a lot of ayatollahs and dictators are interested in. Youve got an empty resource-rich eastern hinterland which the Chinese are going to wind up with one way or the other. That was the logic, incidentally, behind the sale of Alaska: in the 1850s, Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, the brother of Alexander II, argued that the Russian empire couldnt hold its North American territory and that one day either Britain or the United States would simply take it, so why not sell it to them first? The same argument applies today to the 2,000 miles of the RussoChinese border. Given that even alcoholic Slavs with a life expectancy of 56 will live to see Vladivostok return to its old name of Haishenwei, Moscow might as well flog it to Beijing instead of just having it snaffled out from under.
Thats the danger for America that most of what Russia has to trade is likely to be damaging to US interests. In its death throes, it could bequeath the world several new Muslim nations, a nuclear Middle East and a stronger China. In theory, America could do a belated follow-up to the Alaska deal and put in a bid for Siberia. But Russias calculation is that sooner or later well be back in a bipolar world and that, in almost any scenario, theres more advantage in being part of the non-American pole. A SinoRussian strategic partnership has a certain logic to it, and so, in a darker way, does a RussoMuslim alliance of convenience. In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact crumbling before his eyes, poor old Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice from the cocky young upstart on the block, the Ayatollah Khomeini: I strongly urge that in breaking down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West and the Great Satan, wrote the pioneer Islamist nutcase. I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.
In an odd way, thats what happened everywhere but the Kremlin. As communism retreated, radical Islam seeped into Afghanistan and Indonesia and the Balkans. Crazy guys holed up in Philippine jungles and the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay which would have been Marxist fantasists a generation or two back are now Islamists: its the ideology du jour. Even the otherwise perplexing enthusiasm of the western Left for the jihads misogynist homophobe theocrats is best understood as a latterday variation on the Hitler/Stalin pact. And, despite Gorbachev turning down the offer, it will be Russias fate to have large chunks of its turf annexed by the Islamic world.
We are witnessing a remarkable event: the death of a great nation not through war or devastation but through its inability to rouse itself from its own suicidal tendencies. The ideological vacuum was mostly filled with a nihilist fatalism. Churchill got it wrong: Russia is a vacuum wrapped in a nullity inside an abyss.
Who are these neo-liberals? We see them everyday, the ministers of finance and economy, Mr Gorbachev said. He points to the Governments attempt late last year to monetise Soviet-era social benefits, such as free public transport, medicines and electricity for pensioners, replacing them with cash payments.
Public outrage against what was seen as the Governments attempt to shirk its responsibilities led to the first mass protests in Russia since the fall of communism. He fears that there would have been social unrest had the Government been allowed to continue with the policies. It was winter, it was cold, he said.
According to Mr Gorbachev, it was President Putins intervention that caused the withdrawal of some of the measures. I would like him to succeed in economic modernisation for the benefit of the people, he said. - LINK
("Denny Crane: Gun Control? For Communists. She's a liberal. Can't hunt.")
Vladimir putin is trying to set up conditions that will allow the return of a communist state. Why, I don't know.
This was on c-span, and it was sad, really. Clinton was not in power when he was, so he invited Shirley McClain.
That's ok. The dems won't mind being closer to their campaign contributors.
("Denny Crane: Gun Control? For Communists. She's a liberal. Can't hunt.")
Not as long as that foundation of his keeps giving :P
Russia... Weak? Then, why do they have plasma stealth?
Thank you for your CLARITY, Rummyfan.
No wonder our LADY of FATIMA appeared to 3 little children, asking us all to pray for the conversion of Russia almost 100 years ago ...before Communism took its seat there, only to lose it to a world-wide tyranny more widespread than we could have ever imagined..?
Is he smoking the wacky weed?
Brought to you by the letters B and S.
They won't go. After Communism fell it lost its attraction.
Then some of those Chinese leaders must be right up your alley.
Ronald Reagan will go down in history as the person who not only won the Cold War, but ended the Soviet Union and vanquished Euro-communism in the process.
Gorby, like Slick Willie, is trying to rewrite history in search of a legacy.
I had previously read a profile of the present day life of this man. It was,I believe in the redoubtable CANADA FREE PRESS. I hastily accessed Google. I hope I have the facts. What rankles is this. Now I did not get much time to double check. Herewith. American military bases were being closed. The area know as the PRESIDIO seemed to be doomed to oblivion.
The United Nations got in there. Huge sums of money was expended and this man-Gorbachev was ensconced there. Yes, San Francisco. Now like the International Socialist that he is, he dares flip his finger at America.
It is said that those who believe in a conspiracy of a New World Order, might be wacko. I wonder?
Either one (self) laughs or cries,at the article. (Canada Free Press. Judi Mcleod. (2004)
Better stick a HUGE barf alert on the picture of those three delusional whack jobs.
Just about blew chunks meself -- and I'm tough.
[Apart from a lifetime supply of brown nosings by the KKKling Tong Crime Family and such librium-dependant droolers as the person whose name escapes me but was once important around CNN and every other member of the hate-America gang, about all Gormless Gorby ever "won" was a one-way plane ride back from the Black Sea to oblivion, courtesy of Russia's by then already effective President, "Boozing-Boris" Yeltsen]
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