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A World of Enemies -- is It All Reagan's Fault?
Toogood Reports ^ | 19 February 2003 | Nicholas Stix

Posted on 02/19/2003 12:07:28 PM PST by mrustow

http://ToogoodReports.com/

Call me a Cold War sentimentalist — but smile when you say it. I never felt so alive, as when I was passing through Checkpoint Charlie at the Berlin Wall, my heart in my throat, between free, West Berlin, and its garrisoned sister city in the East.

And how I lived, with a few American dollars in my pocket, on the other side of The Wall. Two weeks ago, on Joe Millionaire, I saw golddiggers and the ditchdigger spend nights in the sort of four-star hotels I once stayed in. In June, 1989, just months before The Wall fell, I ate chateaubriand in, and stayed at the Hotel Gellert, Budapest's most luxurious digs. The Gellert even had pissoirs fit for a king. Our room had a balcony overlooking the Danube. (I also got awoken from my dreams the next morning, at 6 a.m., by the screeching of streetcar wheels.) The Germans have a phrase, "wie Gott in Paris leben" — to "live like G-d in Paris."

Today, with the influx of dollars in the East, and attendant inflation, I could sell my wife and son to slavers, and still couldn't afford the fare to Budapest, and a night in the Gellert.

Alright, so maybe you're no beef eater, the Danube is only the title of a banal waltz, and as far as you're concerned, Germany is just "Old Europe." But you too have reason to miss The Wall.

With America poised to send hundreds of thousands of men in harm's way in Iraq, it is understandable that there should be a heated debate as to the merits of going to war, even if most commentators are now resigned to war. And yet, much of the debate has been dominated by false historical assumptions. The truth is not only intrinsically valuable, but in matters of war and peace, of great utility.

People usually seek to explain the fall of the Soviet Union and the East Bloc, via either of two competing theories. A theory popular in the U.S., especially among Republicans, holds that Ronald Reagan's 1980s arms buildup forced the Soviets to compete with us, a competition that eventually exhausted their economy, and caused their system to collapse. By contrast, the theory of choice among many American leftists and foreigners is that the Soviet Union and East Bloc were brought down by a bloodless, popular revolution – what fans (among them, journalist Paul Berman) of Czechoslovakian dissident playwright and contemporary President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel and his group, Charter 77, called the former Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution."

During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan engineered the biggest peacetime arms buildup ever. On June 12, 1987 in West Berlin, he told the Soviet premier – thanks to speechwriter Peter Robinson – "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" And beginning in June, 1989, less than six months after Reagan handed over the reins of power to George Herbert Walker Bush, the world saw the biggest liberation, in terms of sheer numbers, in history. What's not to like?

If the conventional wisdom in the U.S. is correct, and Ronald Reagan's arms buildup caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, then Reagan must get both the credit and the blame for today's world order, or lack thereof. With all due respect, however, I don't think he deserves either. Reagan cared deeply about the millions oppressed by Soviet totalitarianism, but he did not cause The Wall to come down.

Alternatively, we are to believe that, inspired by a group of poets and artists who signed petitions and wrote editorials, in 1989, the Czechoslovakian people "shouted down" their communist rulers, and young East Germans simply decided to tear down the Berlin Wall. So, for 44 years, the Czechoslovakians and East Germans (not to mention all the other nationalities who suffered under the boot of Soviet terror) had needed only to mass in the street, and start shouting! Think of all of the missed opportunities! Such silliness will not convince any sober person above the age of consent, much less anyone familiar with the history of Soviet communism.

It was Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev that caused The Wall to fall, but not because Ronald Reagan had succeeded in converting him to the cause of freedom, and not because Gorbachev sought to end the Soviet Union and the East Bloc. Rather, Gorbachev was a vain, confused man. Dreaming of being a beloved dictator, he sought to be both the dictator and the liberator of his people. As Stalin, Hitler, and Mao had already shown, however, the way to become a beloved dictator, is through murdering millions of one's own people, and terrorizing the rest. Most of the citizens whom a tyrant has not yet murdered, will learn to fear him, others will learn to love him, and some will feel both emotions for him. Witness the nostalgia for the "certainty" and "security" Stalin supposedly provided that is still widespread in "free" Russia, and the former Soviet Republics and East Bloc nations.

Gorbachev was a tyrant who stopped tyrannizing. In a tyranny, such a man is soon out of a job, if not dead. Gorbachev expected the Soviets to embrace him as their leader. Instead, they no longer recognized him as leader, but as the cause of a vacuum in leadership. Soon enough, Gorby was an ex-leader. In 1991, his resignation as Premier of the Soviet Union was redundant, since as many observers have commented, he was the ruler of a nation that no longer existed. Gorbachev is lucky to still be alive.

Had any other Soviet leader been in power on November 9, 1989, the East German border guards would simply have shot all of the protesters who massed at The Wall. But Gorbachev's confusion had spread west, and immobilized the East German apparat, as well, and so instead of shooting demonstrators, the East German authorities opened the border crossings.

In the summer of 1989, East Germans engaged in mass demonstrations, action that would have been suicidal before Gorbachev. They also began leaving the country by the tens of thousands for Hungary, which they could use to enter free, neutral Austria. (It did not help that the Soviets' man in East Berlin, Premier Erich Honecker, was then ailing, but the role of the East German premier was to follow orders. The Soviets always called the shots, when it came to the border.)

Hungary had long had a unique status as the freest country in the East Bloc, where some people had private property, and as a result, the standard of living was the highest in the communist world.

During the early 1980s, while visiting East Berlin, I recall a pervasive climate of fear. In September, 1980, wandering through a pedestrian tunnel, two machine gun-wielding, East German "Vopos" ("Volkspolizisten" – people's police, though they looked more like soldiers than cops) stopped me. "Ausweis, bitte!" one commanded me. (Papers, please!) The point was to intimidate me – and it worked.

By contrast, the first time I visited Budapest, in spring of 1982, I was wandering around with a map, obviously lost, when two machine gun-wielding, Hungarian policemen stopped me. These guys, however, were trying to help. I tried to communicate with them, but they spoke neither German nor English, and my Hungarian was limited to "please" and "thank you," and "yes" and "no." Before I'd gotten very far, a forty-something Hungarian couple barged in, and started telling jokes and yucking it up with the policemen. I wandered away, without them even missing me.

In East Germany, the locals did not yuck it up with policemen, and foreigners did not wander away from the police unnoticed. (Between 1980 and 1989, I visited East Germany and Hungary three times each.)

Oddly, even Gorbachev has supported the popular revolution theory. In November, he told the Berliner Morgenpost (my translation), "Basically, the entire development showed that the Honecker Regime had blown any credit it had with the people."

So, it was all a legitimacy crisis? So, Stalin enjoyed great legitimacy with the Soviet people, as did Honecker and his predecessors with the East German people in earlier years? Only if legitimacy comes out of the barrel of a machine gun.

If my interpretation is correct, liberty arose in Eastern Europe, and chaos elsewhere, as a fluke.

Am I knocking Reagan? Not at all. But even hindsight is often blind.

While those who identify themselves as conservatives are the first to speak of "the law of unintended consequences" regarding their opponents' proposals, many of them put on blinders when it comes to their own plans.

It was the fall of the Soviet Union that opened the Pandora's Box of Islam, and led directly to today's world, in which America finds herself beset by enemies, particularly Islamic terrorists. As the saying goes, be careful what you pray for, because your prayers just might be answered.

To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Nicholas at adddda@earthlink.net .


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Germany; Government; Russia
KEYWORDS: barfalert; berlinwall; ccrm; charter77; coldwar; czechoslovakia; gorbachev; hungary; presidentreagan; reagan; revisionism; ronaldreagan; teardownthiswall; vaclavhavel; velvetrevolution
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1 posted on 02/19/2003 12:07:29 PM PST by mrustow
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To: *CCRM; Peacerose; Shermy; seamole; Fred25; Free ThinkerNY; ouroboros; ChaseR; A.J.Armitage; ...
FYI
2 posted on 02/19/2003 12:11:40 PM PST by mrustow
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To: bulldog905; Askel5; eFudd; Publius6961; jrherreid; Mr. Lucky; Lessismore; TLBSHOW; randog; ...
FYI
3 posted on 02/19/2003 12:13:03 PM PST by mrustow
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To: Doctor Raoul; Lexington Green; mickie; van helsing; AmericanVictory; Octar; holden; glegakis; ...
FYI
4 posted on 02/19/2003 12:14:04 PM PST by mrustow
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To: Taliesan; KarlH; Sooner; ftrader; okie_tech; NeoCons; Gritty; Colt .45; Pokey78; TBP; ...
FYI
5 posted on 02/19/2003 12:15:14 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
Numerous ex-soviet officials I've heard interviewed on the topic of the collapse of the USSR beg to differ.
6 posted on 02/19/2003 12:18:19 PM PST by skeeter (Sona si Latine loqueris)
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To: mrustow
Actually it was the policies of Jimmy Carter that opened the pandora's box of Islamofacism. That Islamofacism backed by the obscene Opecker Oil $'s enabled the Islamofacists to buy the PR and war tech from Russia, ChiCom land, France and Germany.

This has to be one of the worst articles I have read recently.
7 posted on 02/19/2003 12:22:05 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Stamp out Freepathons! Stop being a Freep Loader! Become a monthly donor!)
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To: mrustow
History is incalculable. Nevertheless we must act, or be swarmed.

Good article.
8 posted on 02/19/2003 12:22:53 PM PST by headsonpikes
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To: mrustow; belmont_mark; Alamo-Girl; backhoe; rightwing2; kattracks
This Revisionist malarkey deserves a Barf Alert! This guy does not really understand what motivated Gorbachev. Glasnost was a last desperate rally attempt by communism to DEFLECT the siren-call of the West to the oppressed subjects (note we can't call them citizens) of the Soviets. He would have ignored the restiveness of the people if he hadn't been completely foiled by the Reagan buildup to continue the Soviets extortion rackets against the West...which did drain Moscow's coffers. All in a vain effort to keep up...and achieve a level of military superiority that would cow the West into more 'protection racket' deals.

Pure squandry by the disciples of Lenin. And they haven't gone away. Eventually they recognized their failure with a strong, united, and technologically superior West to feel threatened by the communist empire. When it failed, they executed a scheme to take covert charge of the 'popular revolution' and still are pulling strings today. The real engineers of the Fall, manipulated many things to make the fall look spontaneous, and 'natural' but the strings were a little too blatant. Reagan does deserve credit for defending us, getting SDI going under the bitter circumstances of an anti-defense Congress, and forcing the Soviets into this gambit. And for whatever freedoms the spin-off state's citizens now have. The Russians meanwhile are slowly but surely fastening the manacles back in place, as their Press is muzzled and controlled once again.

9 posted on 02/19/2003 12:23:51 PM PST by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: mrustow
One of my pet peeves is people who say that Gorbachev won the Cold War. Yeah, he won because the country he was leading totally collapsed. Did you know that Hitler won WWII? Yup. His country collapsed too -- Germany was defeated because of Hitler's leadership. He deserves the victory!

Personally, I continue to feel that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher won the Cold War. Gorbachev lost.

10 posted on 02/19/2003 12:25:02 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: mrustow
Why do they hate us? It's a simple one word answer. Money. Money and future concessions through backdoor deals that Clinton promised these countries and couldn't deliver through his bagman Al Gore because he lost. Clinton gave these nations whatever he could under the table, but his commitments were too many and spread out at one time. They would have to wait until the next administration to collect. They weren't worried, it was Al Gorp's election to lose. When President Bush won, they were angry. Clinton's promises and obligations were now dust.
11 posted on 02/19/2003 12:28:22 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult ("Read Hillary's hips. I never had sex with that woman.")
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To: mrustow
I can remember the day the Berlin Wall fell. heck, I remember the day construction started.

But the day they started tearing it down, I told my wife, we won world war III, but world war IV will be fought in the middle east.

My view of Islam was filtered through the rantings of Yassir Arafat, but I was certain he had a vast hoard behind him, all aimed at Israel.

12 posted on 02/19/2003 12:32:39 PM PST by js1138
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To: skeeter
Numerous ex-soviet officials I've heard interviewed on the topic of the collapse of the USSR beg to differ.

That doesn't make them right.

13 posted on 02/19/2003 12:35:50 PM PST by mrustow
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To: Grampa Dave
This has to be one of the worst articles I have read recently.

Many ex-Soviet officials beg to differ -- just kidding, that's for the other guy. When I posted this article, I knew some FReepers would fail to appreciate it, but that's ok. It's a free country.

14 posted on 02/19/2003 12:38:29 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
If my interpretation is correct, liberty arose in Eastern Europe, and chaos elsewhere, as a fluke.

I'd like to borrow a line from my objectivist friends - when your conclusions point to something this unsatisfactory it's time to "check your premises." "Fluke," after all, is merely a term for something you cannot explain. Liberty in Eastern Europe is not a fluke, it was an ideal tenderly preserved through times of outrageous oppression, nurtured carefully by its adherents on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and allowed to flower in the muck that was the chaos of post-Gorbachev Europe. The conditions that led to this chaos were legion, with more causes and actors than will ever be known, much less listed here. But the goal was always there, and reaching it was not by accident.

Reagan deserves credit for inspiration if for nothing else. His principal function was not to spend the Soviet Union into extinction, it was to raise morale and to remind us that the ideals that had been deliberately marginalized and dismissed during the practiced cynicism of the Carter years were, in fact, real, and their proponents sincere, and most of all, that they were attainable. It is that last that socialism and its proponents have never been able to offer, attainability, and they have, by way of compensation, substituted a contrived world-weariness that held that because their ideals were unattainable all ideals were so, that because their ideals were merely buttons to push to manipulate a desired mass reaction, that all ideals were that as well. It was Reagan who reminded us that this was not the case. He meant it, and between us all, East and West, we proved him right.

15 posted on 02/19/2003 12:41:19 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: mrustow
This guy is sick! He waxes nostalgic for the old Soviet Empire that allowed him to stay in a 5 star hotel in Budapest at Motel 6 prices. What a selfish, shallow man. The problems we face with Islam today, existed during the Cold War. There were Islamic terrorists during the 70s, all funded by the Soviets. 9/11 did not result because of the restraining influence of the Soviets. The escalation of Islamic terrorism to 9/11 is directly attributable to the inept foreign policy of Bill Clinton, who continually threatened the terrorists, but either failed to follow through or acted cowardly as in Somalia. Bush now has to clean up the mess.
16 posted on 02/19/2003 12:43:02 PM PST by Pres Raygun
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To: Paul Ross
Soviets extortion rackets against the West...

Huh?

Pure squandry by the disciples of Lenin. And they haven't gone away. Eventually they recognized their failure with a strong, united, and technologically superior West to feel threatened by the communist empire. When it failed, they executed a scheme to take covert charge of the 'popular revolution' and still are pulling strings today. The real engineers of the Fall, manipulated many things to make the fall look spontaneous, and 'natural' but the strings were a little too blatant.

"They"? "Strings"? "The real engineers of the fall"? Have you taken your meds today, buddy?

17 posted on 02/19/2003 12:43:21 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
That doesn't make them right.

Maybe not, but you must agree that they offer a more qualified opinion than the tourist who wrote this article:)

18 posted on 02/19/2003 12:46:17 PM PST by skeeter (Sona si Latine loqueris)
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To: headsonpikes
History is incalculable. Nevertheless we must act, or be swarmed.

Budweiser.

Good article.

Glad you liked it.

19 posted on 02/19/2003 12:46:42 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
This is certainly a different slant on subject.
20 posted on 02/19/2003 12:47:48 PM PST by B4Ranch (Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.)
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To: mrustow
>>>It was Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev that caused The Wall to fall...

Horseshit.

21 posted on 02/19/2003 12:52:42 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: skeeter
That doesn't make them right.

Maybe not, but you must agree that they offer a more qualified opinion than the tourist who wrote this article:)

If I agreed with that, I'd have to grant pride of place to every politician who ever wrote a memoir justifying his crimes, including Bill Clinton. After all, the criminals all "offer a more qualified opinion" than any "tourist" or historian. So, you can support the Clintons of the world, or give the "tourists" a hearing.

22 posted on 02/19/2003 12:57:55 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
If there were those in the West who hadn’t heard about Lithuania before, they almost certainly had by the end of the day, January 13, 1991. That was the day Soviet troops cracked down in Vilnius and the resulting bloodshed made headlines around the world. The action was apparently a bid to stop Lithuania’s independence drive in its tracks. By the time the firing stopped and the smoke cleared, more than a dozen people lay dead, and hundreds more were injured.

_____

On the eve of the killings, on January 12, there was a deceptive calmness in the air. There was confusion. We knew Lithuania was on the agenda in Moscow and that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was sending a special delegation to Vilnius. Because the situation was so tense, I spoke several times with the chairman of that delegation on the 12th, urging him to come directly to the Lithuanian capital. But he said he had to go to neighboring Belarus, and that he would spend the night there. I called him again and again to try to persuade him to come straight to Vilnius. But because they didn’t want to be in Vilnius that evening, I felt something was wrong. There was a similar situation in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1989, when unarmed people were massacred by Soviet troops at night. Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze stayed in Moscow on the eve of the massacre, and it was said that there was no need for him to go to Tbilisi. The situation in Vilnius was very similar. When the Soviet delegation didn’t agree to come to Vilnius, I was very worried.
       That evening, I decided to go home. I wanted to take a bath after being at Parliament for so many days. But when I got home, information came in that the gates were thrown open at Soviet barracks and the tanks were preparing to move. I got home at around midnight, but went back to parliament immediately.
       By then, it was clear tanks were moving. You could hear the roar of the tanks. But for a while, we didn’t know what their target was. Then, from inside Parliament, we could hear the shooting of machine guns and tanks, and we could see the gunfire in the night sky.

--Vytautas Lansbergis, President of Lithuania

Source


23 posted on 02/19/2003 12:59:41 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Reagan Man
>>>It was Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev that caused The Wall to fall...

Horseshit.

You get today's Ripping a Statement Out of Its Context Award!

24 posted on 02/19/2003 1:00:20 PM PST by mrustow
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To: 1rudeboy
Thanks for the post from the real world of Soviet tyranny.
25 posted on 02/19/2003 1:03:12 PM PST by mrustow
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To: Pres Raygun
This guy is sick! He waxes nostalgic for the old Soviet Empire that allowed him to stay in a 5 star hotel in Budapest at Motel 6 prices. What a selfish, shallow man.

Apparently, you only read the first couple of paragraphs -- who's the shallow one?

The problems we face with Islam today, existed during the Cold War. There were Islamic terrorists during the 70s, all funded by the Soviets. 9/11 did not result because of the restraining influence of the Soviets. The escalation of Islamic terrorism to 9/11 is directly attributable to the inept foreign policy of Bill Clinton, who continually threatened the terrorists, but either failed to follow through or acted cowardly as in Somalia. Bush now has to clean up the mess.

You blame everything on Bill Clinton, and deny the spread of radical Islam over the past 13 years, yet you call other people "shallow." What's wrong with this picture?

26 posted on 02/19/2003 1:09:01 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
If my interpretation is correct, liberty arose in Eastern Europe, and chaos elsewhere, as a fluke.

Not a fluke at all. Credit Gerry Ford for the Helsinki Accords that held the Soviets and their satellites to a bare minimum of respect for basic human rights in exchange for desperately needed western trade. While Carter preached ad nasium about human rights, he never understood how to leverage Helsinki or how to stand up to a bully. (I bet he got his butt beat a lot in grade school) Reagan did understand. He beat the Russians over the head with Helsinki and forced them to try to create "Communism with a human face" -- i.e. Gorby. The rest of the analysis is sort of on the mark, but it was Helsinki that created Gorby and using Helsinki as a lever, Reagan broke the back of the Soviet power structure simply by forcing them to quit killing their own people. As to chaos elsewhere, I'd note that in the absence of a Godfather, (the Kremlin), the little gangsters like Saddam will go off in all directions and do their own thing.

27 posted on 02/19/2003 1:09:53 PM PST by Ditto (You are free to form your own opinions, but not your own facts.)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
You may be right about Clinton having promised certain countries too much, but I don't see the direct connection to al Qaeda.
28 posted on 02/19/2003 1:11:01 PM PST by mrustow
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To: Ditto
Helsinki. That's an interesting take on things. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.
29 posted on 02/19/2003 1:12:37 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
PULLING THE PLUG

"The United Nations is a rectal threshold through which ill-mannered guests egress, but never go home."

"Any guest that treats you as discourteously in your own home . . .

deserves to get . . . his *** kicked (( link )) - - -

all the way back to the Third World - and possibly to the Fourth."

*** . . . my addition !

30 posted on 02/19/2003 1:13:06 PM PST by f.Christian (( + God *IS* Truth -- love * DELIVERANCE* *logic* -- *SANITY* Awakening + ))
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To: mrustow
If the conventional wisdom in the U.S. is correct, and Ronald Reagan's arms buildup caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, then Reagan must get both the credit and the blame for today's world order, or lack thereof. With all due respect, however, I don't think he deserves either.

HUH?!?

31 posted on 02/19/2003 1:17:35 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: mrustow
Gorbachev was a tyrant who stopped tyrannizing.

Horsehockey!!!! Tell that to the 13 he slaughtered in Vilnius in 1991.

32 posted on 02/19/2003 1:21:32 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
``I was a communist for 30 years and I listened to so much of this . . . demagoguery (( link )) - - - that now, with my democratic views, I can no longer stand it,'' Itar-Tass news agency
33 posted on 02/19/2003 1:24:48 PM PST by f.Christian (( + God *IS* Truth -- love * DELIVERANCE* *logic* -- *SANITY* Awakening + ))
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To: mrustow
It was the fall of the Soviet Union that opened the Pandora's Box of Islam, and led directly to today's world, in which America finds herself beset by enemies, particularly Islamic terrorists. As the saying goes, be careful what you pray for, because your prayers just might be answered.

America was a target of Islamofacists before the fall of the Soviet Union. Remember Libya and Lebanon? Remember Carter and the fall of the Shaw of Iran? And Ayatolla Komeini? America is a target because we are Christian, because we have sympathy for the Jews, and because the Islamofacists must have a bad guy external to their country to unify their people.

It is true that the people of the Soviet Union brought down the Soviet Union. But Reagan deserves a lot of credit. He insisted on calling a spade a spade and made clear to the world that he considered their system of government to be evil. Reagan spoke at Moscow University about basic human rights. He stood at the Berlin wall and shamed Gorbachev into tearing it down. And in his commitment to make sure America was able to defend itself, he did increase the economic burden on the Soviets. Yes it took people within the Soviet Union to listen, to allow those external events to even make news and be discussed inside the Soviet Union, and to eventually stand up and insist on democracy. But to completely say Reagan had no impact, is to ignore history.

34 posted on 02/19/2003 1:27:08 PM PST by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: mrustow
Helsinki. That's an interesting take on things. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

They thought we would sell them the rope to hang us with, but it turned out to be the sweetest diplomatic honey trap ever set.


Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev (with translator Viktor Sukhodrev at this ear), President Ford, and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko during the Helsinki Summit, August 2, 1975.

THE HELSINKI ACCORDS

Representatives of thirty-five nations gathered in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975 for a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Final Act of the Conference, known as the Helsinki Accords, sets forth a number of basic human rights:

"The participating States will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

"They will promote and encourage the effective exercise of civil, political, economic, social, cultural, and other rights and freedoms all of which derive from the inherent dignity of the human person and are essential for his free and full development.

"Within this framework the participating States will recognize and respect the freedom of the individual to profess and practise, alone or in community with others, religion or belief acting in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience.

"The participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the right of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them the full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will, in this manner, protect their legitimate interests in this sphere.

"The participating States recognize the universal significance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for which is an essential factor for the peace, justice and well-being necessary to ensure the development of friendly relations and co-operation among themselves as among all States."

35 posted on 02/19/2003 1:28:32 PM PST by Ditto (You are free to form your own opinions, but not your own facts.)
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To: mrustow
If I agreed with that, I'd have to grant pride of place to every politician who ever wrote a memoir justifying his crimes, including Bill Clinton.

Clinton - yikes.

I'm not sure I understand your comment... how would crediting Reagan with the collapse of the USSR benefit above mentioned soviet officials?

36 posted on 02/19/2003 1:28:42 PM PST by skeeter (Sona si Latine loqueris)
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To: mrustow
Over the past 2000 or so years, there has been one nation founded in the idea that all people are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To believe that the tyranny of Communism collapsed independent of the efforts of that nation is absurd.

Yes, Gorbachev had a hand in it. Most importantly, he refrained from killing thousands, maybe millions, as the house of cards tumbled. But credit must be given where credit is due: the United States, and its leaders, caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. And among those leaders, I believe Reagan was the most influential.
37 posted on 02/19/2003 1:47:50 PM PST by Mr. Bird
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To: mrustow
>>>You get today's Ripping a Statement Out of Its Context Award!

Sorry, but I don't like the content of that statement, in any context. It's simply not true.

Frankly, the entire article is quite convoluted, IMO. This writer does attempt to diminish the efforts and accomplishments of President Reagan, through the use of the unintented consequences argument. That's horseshit and you know it. I don't believe the article offered a fair rendering of history, as I know it, that I lived through and witnessed first hand.

38 posted on 02/19/2003 2:04:08 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: Grampa Dave
Yep Carter fired all our field operatives in the Middle East, shortly afterwords KGB agents moved in Ayatollah Khomeni to Iran as a bascillus and the Shah fell.
39 posted on 02/19/2003 2:09:21 PM PST by weikel (Anti democratic right of Atilla reactionary objectivist tory minarchist monarchist 4eva)
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To: mrustow
What slimy liberal rock did this confused idiot crawl out from under??
40 posted on 02/19/2003 2:11:31 PM PST by Porterville
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To: mrustow
"I am going to totally dismantle every intelligence agency in this country piece by piece, nail by nail, brick by brick..." - Ron Dellums (D-CA)Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, 1993

Republicans should be flashing the twin towers explosion in the backround with this quote superimposed in campaign ads when they attack their opponents.

41 posted on 02/19/2003 2:23:38 PM PST by weikel ( Ad space here rates are reasonable)
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To: Billthedrill
Reagan deserves credit for inspiration if for nothing else. His principal function was not to spend the Soviet Union into extinction, it was to raise morale and to remind us that the ideals that had been deliberately marginalized and dismissed during the practiced cynicism of the Carter years were, in fact, real, and their proponents sincere, and most of all, that they were attainable.

Very well said and worth posting again, IMNTBHO.

42 posted on 02/19/2003 2:32:50 PM PST by BfloGuy (The past is like a different country, they do things different there.)
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To: BfloGuy
NTB? Not terribly bright?
43 posted on 02/19/2003 2:47:27 PM PST by mrustow
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To: B4Ranch
This is certainly a different slant on subject.

Apparently. Some folks are complaining, because I didn't attach a barf alert. Oh, well, much as you try, you can't please every paying customer.

44 posted on 02/19/2003 2:51:36 PM PST by mrustow
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To: Porterville
What slimy liberal rock did this confused idiot crawl out from under??

I don't know what your point is, because you didn't say anything intelligible, Newbie. Tell you what, how about you post your criteria for what articles I may post? Then I can print them out, and wipe my butt with them.

45 posted on 02/19/2003 2:58:23 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
Numerous ex-soviet officials I've heard interviewed on the topic of the collapse of the USSR beg to differ.

They were right. And you are rather pious and intemperate against those who disagree with your pet revisionist theory...especially for someone who casts unwarranted personal attacks around so freely...

46 posted on 02/19/2003 2:59:55 PM PST by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: mrustow
Dear Nick, 2+2=4 try and remember that.
47 posted on 02/19/2003 3:02:50 PM PST by tet68 (Jeremiah 51:24 ..."..Before your eyes I will repay Babylon for all the wrong they have done in Zion")
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To: Paul Ross
"Unwarranted personal attacks"? Where?
48 posted on 02/19/2003 3:08:20 PM PST by mrustow
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To: mrustow
I visited Leipzig in formerly East Germany in 2000. The guide I had one day on a tour of the city said that during Communist rule there everyone got to go to the opera free. She acted like she yearned for the good old days. They were a country in transition. She also complained that the allies bombed Dresden area during WWII. [It was a Nazi route] There were still anti American sentiments in 2000. Well, my dear tour guide, my uncle gave his life to free you and yours from Nazi rule, in a B17, 1944, still MIA. And Ronald Reagan said TEAR DOWN THIS WALL, echoing the sentiment of the FREE WORLD. I have a piece of that God forsaken wall. My father-in-law toured there, he was one of the first tour groups to pass through after the wall came down. He was able to go chip away part of the wall and keep it. I am happy to have a piece of the wall as a reminder of the DEEP DEEP EVIL THAT HUMANS CAN DO TO EACH OTHER!
49 posted on 02/19/2003 3:11:23 PM PST by buffyt (Dick Gephardt for President? NO WAY!)
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To: weikel
"I am going to totally dismantle every intelligence agency in this country piece by piece, nail by nail, brick by brick..." - Ron Dellums (D-CA)Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, 1993

Republicans should be flashing the twin towers explosion in the backround with this quote superimposed in campaign ads when they attack their opponents.

Well, I'm shocked by Red Ron's statement, but not surprised. The guy has always been a traitor. Dellums begs the chicken-egg question: Is he so bad, because Oakland is so bad, or is Oakland so bad, because he's so bad?

50 posted on 02/19/2003 3:12:01 PM PST by mrustow
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