Skip to comments.Wisdom after the fall of the USSR (good stuff.....commies give Reagan credit)
Posted on 06/06/2004 8:43:37 AM PDT by doug from upland
Wisdom after the fall of the USSR:
Ronald Reagan's appeal ["Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!", Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, June 12th 1987], laughed at in the East as reverie and dismissed in the West as being a utopian dream, was to become reality a good two years later with the collapse of East Germany. After the fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989, Brandenburg Gate was officially opened on December 22nd of that year.
---- Berliner-Morgenpost International, From Fantasy to Wonderful Reality, 1997.
Ladies and gentlemen, if it had not been for the Reagan defense buildup, if the United States had not demonstrated that it is willing not only to stand up for freedom but to devote considerable sums of money to defending it, we probably would not be sitting here today having a free discussion between Russians and Americans.
---- Boris Pinsker, Soviet Economist.
American policy in the 1980s was a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
---- Oleg Kalugin, former KGB general (Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union, page xi.)
[Reagan administration policies] were a major factor in the demise of the Soviet system.
---- Yevgenny Novikov, former senior staff member of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee (CPCC) (Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union, page xi.)
Some 100 prominent Poles have formed a committee to rechristen one of Warsaw's central squares 'Reagan Square.' In this they show a splendid sense of history, and of gratitude. The committee's honorary chairman is Marian Krzaklewski, head of Solidarity, who says, 'Reagan was the main author of the victory of the Free World over the Evil Empire.' National Review's old friend and contributor, Radek Sikorski, now Poland's deputy foreign minister, is chairman of the committee. The square in question is currently called 'Constitution Square,' and the constitution it refers to is the bogus, Communist one of 1952. Reagan Square would join plazas named after George Washington and Woodrow Wilson. Obviously enough, we wish the committee well.
---- National Review, July 26, 1999, pg. 12, column 1.
We are very happy that the coup failed because we have now really destroyed the communist empire, the Soviet state, and of course, as Ronald Reagan said, it was indeed an evil empire and we are glad that it is gone from the earth.
---- Andrei Kozyrev, Yeltsin Foreign Minister, speaking to ABC's Sam Donaldson, after the communist hard-liners coup attempt failed in 1991.
On Fox News Sunday this morning, Juan Williams thought the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden had more to do with the fall of the Soviet Union than Ronald reagan did.
"...if the United States had not demonstrated that it is willing not only to stand up for freedom but to devote considerable sums of money to defending it, we probably would not be sitting here today having a free discussion between Russians and Americans."
And what is different about today and the Islamo-Facists?
It's good to see those most effected...and intimately familiar with, are giving credit were credit is due. Now, if we could just convince some others. With the death of Ronald Reagan, begins the liberal revisionsism over just how important and influential his policies were in the defeat of the Soviet Union. Many [Liberals] say that Reagan just happened to be in the right place, at the right time...and that the USSR was already imploding because of its own economic malaise. This is absolute nonsense. After our setback in Vietnam, the Soviet Union engaged in one of its most expansionist programs since the end of WWII...invading 10 countries from 1974 to 1979 (AEI statistic). From N. Africa to the Mid-East (Afghanistan) to Central and S. America, the Soviets hand their hands in everyone's pie.
While I will concede that Communism, in general, doesn't bode well for a growing and prosperous economy, the Soviets didn't simply rely on "their" economic system to support their government. This is important as this is something liberals seem to ignore in their attempts to diminish Reagan's accomplishment by claiming the USSR was bond for failure. The Soviets used their expansionism to set up proxy governments that in turn, would be in debt/provide booty and rewards, to the Soviet Union.
The only thing that stopped them from succeeding and collecting on those debts, was Reagan's aggressive interventionism. If the Soviets had succeeded in setting up these proxy governments, unhindered, they would have had new trading partners that would've coalesced to form an economic bloc (similar, but larger than the Tripartite Pact prior WWII) that would've supported each other, and essentially, paid tribute to the Soviet Union. Fortunately, from Grenada to N. Africa to Nicaragua, Afghanistan, etc., Reagan met the Soviets head on with support for insurgents of his own.
Instead of following in the foot-steps of others, Reagan declared containment a failure....afterall, the Soviet's Bryzhnev Doctrine had seen the Soviet's engaging in their most aggressive expansionism since the end of WWII. Unlike US policy that was usually reactive...and often resulted in direct US confrontation with enemy combatants, Reagan supported counter-insurgency programs to aid pro-democratic forces before the Soviets could ever get a foothold. Liberals, who often whined about the American bully in places like Genada, fail to realize that it was this early intervention that resulted in victory...and ususally without the costs of wasted American lives.
Even events like Iran/Contra...that liberals label as scandalous, were important to the final defeat of the Soviet Union. This is why when we hear the condemnations over Iran/Contra things need to be kept in perspective. The US support for the Contra's prevented the Soviet's from setting up those very proxy governments in places like Latin America...which would've created new trading partners and increased the Soviet's economic strength. From Grenada to Cuba to Nicaragua and El Salvador, the Soviets were attempting to spread their influence into the Western Hemisphere...an insurgency that would have had dire implications to the security of the US as our own neighbors to the south would've become enemies. The Cold War would not have ended, as it would've been brought to our own southern borders.
The Iran portion was also a little more complicated than just a weapons for hostage exchange. While Iran was an unfriendly government, a completely defeated Iran at this time would've left it open for Soviet insurgents, who we later discovered, were not only working with Saddam but also with the new Afghanistan government. The Soviets became Saddam's biggest supplier for his war in Iran because their intentions were to completely destroy the government making it easier for their own insurgents. While the US wanted Iran bruised, we didn't want it broken to the point of collapse, leaving it open to Soviet occupation. If the USSR had gotten its hands on Iran and its oil wealth, the Cold War and the Mid-East would've also been completely different.
This was already a major concern with the USSR's occupation of Afghanistan on one border of Iran and Saddam's ongoing war with Iran on the other border. The Soviet's presence in Afghanistan was so influential that it actually helped finance part of the very destabilization that led to the Iran Revolution. Cross-border insurgents, led by sympathetic Shi'ites and other Tudeh party members within Iran, iteself, were attempting to move Iran towards the USSR. These groups worked hand-in-hand with the fundamnetalist in their efforts to depose the Shah and move Iran away from its Western roots.
This myopic view when it comes to Iran/Contra has to stop as it was far more complicated than what the media made it out to be. These events were fundamental to the defeat of the USSR, who had been making advances towards the Mid-East's wealth for decades. In fact, one of the very first confrontations in the Cold War occured shortly after WWII ended, when the Soviets refused to withdrawal their forces from positions in Iran. Heck, by 1972 the Soviets had over 15,000 troops in Egypt, training their forces in what was a mutual freindship pact. A closer look at these events shows that had the Soviets been successful in the Mid-East, they would've had enormous amounts of wealth at their disposal.
While the "closed" economic system of Communism is doomed to failure, the Soviets had "opened-up" their system through expansionism and allies who would've helped support the survival of the Soviet Union for some time to come. The Soviet system collapsed becasue they were forced at every turn to expend more resources and men because Reagan confronted them at every oppurtunity. Afghanistan literally became the Soviet's Vietnam, as they lost valuable soldiers and resources in that war. Reagan made them spend more because he built up our military, forcing them to do the same. If not for this intervention throughout the world, the Soviets would have spent much less and established new trading partners that would've helped the Soviet Union recover and further prosper. Sorry... the Soviet Union was still a threat and Reagan was directly responsible for its failure.
God bless the brave Republican Cowboys !
Freedom is not the sole perogative of a chosen few but the universal right of all God's children. Ronald Reagan
Thanks, this is a heart-warming article.
He ought to try that line in Krackow, Tallin, Riga, Dresden, Prague, or a thousand other places once under the cloak of communism.
Juan Williams is a fragile affirmative action media hothouse mutant who would wither and die at the first exposure to the cold unforgiving light of reality.
Plus, he has sh*t for brains.
Even the reformed (are they reformed?) commies hailing Reagan's defeat of communism! Can't get any better than that!!
Juan obviously forgot who was decisive in the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Thankx Mr. Reagan... Thankx for Everything!
It was Jimmy Carter! Man, he really showed them Russkies when he kept us home from those Moscow Olympics, didn't he?
I was fortunate enough to have two exchange students in my home in 2000-2001, both girls were born under communism. One was from Ukraine, and the other was from Albania, and both expressed the thanks of their families that America held on during the Cold War, and was magnanimous in communism's defeat.
One of the great moments of my year with them, was watching George W. Bush taking the oath of office while being sworn in as President. We were all wiping away tears of joy, and when the new President concluded his Inaugural speech with "God bless America," the Albanian girl said, through tears, "It is true, all over the world people know that God has blessed America." I said, "And we will always share these blessings with our friends; we are a nation that will always welcome the chance to turn an enemy into a friend."
Truly, one of the most wonderful years of my life to have these daughters in my home!
Thanks for sharing that great story.
They got their square.
They said, "We didn't think anything like that could happen in America!" I said, "I didn't think so, either."
I'm sure they were cheered when the final news of the 2000 election reached them. Especially the Yugoslavian young man, who hated Clinton and anything connected with him as much as I did! He was quite gratified to find that there were many Americans who despised this evil man.
Clinton had neither the character nor vision to take on the Islamo fascist terrorists. He was busy making the White House his personal whore house. He just wanted to hang on for his eight years. The next guy could clean up the mess.
No, it wasn't just about sex. White house attorneys spent their time in coverup mode. He came to office hiding scandals and it continued. Hillary's greatest fears during the campaign were that the rapes of a former Miss America and of a nursing home operator would be exposed. Rather that having a top professional in charge of WH security, he chose a compromised unqualified former bar bouncer named Craig Livingstone. (or, did Hillary choose him?) Many of the personnel couldn't pass drug tests.
It was not just a wasted presidency; the damage he has caused is incalculable. Clinton had his pants off in the WH. A real president never even took off his coat out of respect. Clinton both figuratively and literally stained our White House. He is a disgusting human being, yet still has people who adore him. I respect no one who has any love for this scumbag. That is probably why I no longer have DemocRAT friends. I can't respect them any longer.
"Juan obviously forgot who was decisive in the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan."
Juan Williams (and probably lots of other liberals/Demos) probably think
that Dan Rather's on-foot reports from Afghanistan were what caused the USSR
all that grief.
I guess Juan thinks all those Stinger missles were just so much chopped liver.
Not to mention what other covert support we sent.
To be fair and non-partisan, there was one Texas Democrat who really helped
make Afghanistan into a quagmire for the USSR: Rep. Charlie Wilson.
Here is a link to the book on him:
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