Reagan's role in the fall of russia?

Discussion in 'History' started by fadingCaptain, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    With all the sudden attention now being given Mr. Reagan, I have been hearing a consistent message: Ronald Reagan was a major contributor to the fall of Communist Russia and is the reason we 'won' the cold war.

    Why is it that this is a foregone conclusion and everyone seems to be in agreement? What are the facts given to support this conclusion? I haven't seen any. It is simply because he happened to be president when the cards finally toppled?

    The decline of communism started well before Reagan dreamed of being president. The nail in the coffin was Gorbachev. Just because Reagan used some tough words doesn't mean it affected the outcome of Russia's demise. It would have happened regardless of who was in the oval office.
     
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  3. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    At first I was hoping the subject might be "Reagen's role in the fall of..." Nicaragua, or El Salvador or even Guatemala. Instead I see when I entered the subject area, that you are just adressing the spin. Reagen helped launch the war of terror. Many of his henchmen are in the current administration. No doubt they are happy we concern ourselves with spin of their self grandiosement rather than anything of any validity.
     
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  5. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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  7. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    Chips,
    Hey that stuff is fair game. This thread isnt getting any attention anyway.

    Why did Reagan intervene in central america? What was the motivation? Why is the Iran-contra debacle but a footnote instead of a blackmark on his 'legacy'? All of this happened when I was young. There isn't much good analysis of this on the web that I can find.
     
  8. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    954
    Oh see if you can connect with the Democracy Now show on the Pacifica radio network. I believe the show is televised also on one of the satellite channels, maybe 375? Oliver North helped run guns to the terror squads in Nicaragua, bringing plane loads of marijuana and cocaine back into the US, the inflated proceeds were used to help arm Iran. Though many were killed in Nicaragua (30 to 50,000 civilians) by what Reagen called people with "the spirit of our founding fathers." Ever hear of the School of the Americas? Guatemala and El Salvador received expert advise in torture and mayhem with the aid of US arms and trainers. I understand that 200,000 are estimated to have been murdered in Guatemala or El Salvador alone. Big taboo on that in the conventional media.

    I understand that it was recently disclosed that bioweapons were given to Iraq, Saddam Hussein, by Reagen's regime.

    Still, Ronald McDonald cathude tube raygun was a human being, subject to the propaganda he was subjected to. I hear a guy in Nicaragua calling Reagen an "international outlaw" on the radio show right now. Now watch tude dog erupt.
     
  9. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

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    Indeed a stunning indictment of a world leader : That he played both ends against the middle. Holy Flirking Snit!!!! Stop the presses!

    What exactly is unique about that strategy in the context of the Reagan years? Seems to be that has been the rule of the game since we crawled out of the caves and began to form this thing called civilization.

    Reagan was an unabashed Anti-Communist. He fought against it on every level. So did Kennedy. Get over it. Somebody had to clean up the mess made by Nixon and Carter. Reagan got the job. I'm sure this will come as a shock to many of you but there are more free people in the world today because of people like Ronald Reagan. Sadly, there appear to be fewer and fewer people in politics today that have the stones to stand up to agression and beat it down the way he did.

    The way of nature is brutal tyranny, not freedom. The sooner you get that through your skull the sooner you will be on the path to enlightenment.
     
  10. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    954
    Oh, they include much of the data at their web site, http://www.democracynow.org

    Apparently, the 200,000 in Guatemala and the 70,ooo in El Salvador (mostly civilians, peasants, the poor) were started with the killing of union organizers for Coca Cola workers. I hear tell this is happening in Columbia right now as we jabberwock, http://www.iacenter.org/colombia.htm

    added last URL
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2004
  11. emphryio Registered Member

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    http://counterpunch.com/blum06072004.html

    I'm sure this will come as a shock to many of you but there are more free people in the world today because of people like Ronald Reagan. Sadly, there appear to be fewer and fewer people in politics today that have the stones to stand up to agression and beat it down the way he did.

    Actually there's quite a few more dead people and quite a few more right wing military dictatorships throughout the world thanks to Reagen. But although he was far more agressive than Carter, he basically did the same sort of stuff that every single US president has done. And anyone who has a clue knows that the main thing they did was attack third world countries who enacted economically liberal policies. That they were supposedly fighting "agression" is the lie that incredibly naive people believe as a result of having no understanding of the power hungry. Such ignorant masses of people amazingly believe that these men who struggle to the top in this
    dog-eat-dog world have the people's best interests at heart.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Yeah Grenada with it's 110,000 people was really an agressive threat we needed to attack.

    And we really needed to help El Salvador maintain it's right wing dictatorship.

    And the democratically elected and very liberal Aristide in dirt poor Haiti was a serious threat to the US.

    And US backing of Osama Bin Laden in Afganistan certainly made the world a better place.

    And arming the mass murdering "Freedom Fighters" in Nicaragua was necessary to.... ahhh what is it? Was it their WMDs or were we just bringing them freedom?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  12. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    I think we were bringing us sweatshops. It was and continues to be a war of the rich against the poor, IMHO. Hi emp.

    Nice statement, "Such ignorant masses of people amazingly believe that these men who struggle to the top in this
    dog-eat-dog world have the people's best interests at heart."
    Me thinks they are just after being the meanest SOBs in their neighborhood, speaking of dogs
     
  13. Undecided Banned Banned

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    Ronald Reagan was a major contributor to the fall of Communist Russia and is the reason we 'won' the cold war.

    He was not the “reason” why the US won the Cold War, he was a contributing factor. I do not deny he had a significant role to play militarily but the USSR collapse was more then anything else the inability of the Soviet system to reform. Eastern Europe fell not because of “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall” no it was rather the USSR became lax at keeping the satellite states under Moscow’s orbit. We must understand the USSR was built on fear, everyone feared it. Gorbachev rescinded the Brezhnev doctrine, that was the turning point. The USSR was in a gradual economic decline by the mid-70’s, the only thing propping up the USSR by the 80’s was the high oil prices, if you look at the decline of the USSR concurrently with the fall of oil prices you can see the connection. The USSR it was predicted under the Carter administration would collapse by the end of the 20th century, all Reagan really did was accelerate the inevitable. The USSR needed no help in her collapse.
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    A couple of simple reasons:

    • Patriotism in general - Many people don't feel the need of trashing an Alzheimer's-afflicted (or, as now, dead) president in order to counter the repugnant deification of a liar. On the other hand, some do, and they're called unpatriotic, &c.
    • Attribution psychology - All good news is attributed to a president. All bad news is written off to the president's predecessors if possible. Thus some argue that Reagan himself "won" the Cold War instead of sat in office as a long process came to a head.

    By that second point, the deification of Reagan only reinforces the idea that the intervening years of Cold War really were unnecessary, since it was Reagan that won the Cold War.

    Reagan was very good at insulting people and also distracting the issue. He was the first president elected during the period of my political awareness, and the dishonesty that bled from every word he spoke left a serious impression.

    In light of the recent CBS flap about the Reagan movie, I'm brought to mind of a PBS documentary several years ago, extolling Reagan's virtues. They basically wanted to praise the guy while he was still alive, and "honored" him by bringing out the spin wonks and lying about him.

    Very respectful.

    Dead presidents get safe passage out of town. Whatever he believed, he stood on it. And that's admirable, especially in the face of the evil it brought.
     
  15. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

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    Both Reagan and Gorbechev were instrumental in bringing down the USSR, Reagan to a slightly larger extent than Gorby. However, without either men the USSR would have lasted well into the next century, with Saddam Hussein's Iraq-Kuwait selling cheap oil to the Soviets helping to restore their economy. Gulf War I would have not been fought if the USSR wasn't on its deathbed in 1991.

    Slate.com: Ron and Mikhal's Excellent Adventure

    Rest in Peace Mr. Reagan, you saved us.
     
  16. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    Truman (him and each successive president) brought down the USSR, if it can be said that any president did. They just happened to finally collapse on Reagan's watch, it could as easily have been Jimmy Carter or George Bush I. What amazes me is how little credit the USSR gets for it's contribution to it's own demise. Lets face it, they did all the hard work themselves, the US just nudged them off the cliff they were already standing on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2004
  17. StarOfEight A Man of Taste and Decency Registered Senior Member

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    15, how can you praise Reagan for being an anti-Communist, yet claim that brutal tyranny is the way of nature? Doesn't that basically make him unnatural?

    The Soviet Union collapsed because Gorbachev was unable to implement his plan of economic reform due to the opposition of the bureaucratic elites. His response - to allow more free expression, helped condemned the Soviet Union as the cruel, inffecient shithole it was. Yeltsin's "victory" in the two failed coup attempts in the early '90s helped cement Russia's new path.

    One more thing ... the two post-Soviet leaders of Russia have been Yeltsin, a long-time member of the Party until he was expelled due to a clash with Gorbachev, and Putin, a twenty-year veteran of the KGB.
     
  18. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    It can certainly be argued that it was reagan's extreme spending that pushed the USSR that final little bit but I think saying it would have taken a century without him is ridiculous. Even before carter was president the USSR was a shell. Trying to maintain an empire of that size with no money, no food, no prospects and unbelievably inefficient resource usage and gathering had already sunk them (not to mention the very long, thorough and expensive ass kicking they'd suffered in afghanistan). They were a skyscraper sized house of cards in a hurricane long before reagan upped the pressure.

    I'm not saying reagan didn't play a role, just that doubling the deficit to kill a dying giant wasn't anywhere near worth the price paid (the price still being paid).
     
  19. Undecided Banned Banned

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    OK, pick a number -- a century is a nice round nebulous estimate. Would half a century be better?

    Twenty years is the number I think most people would like to settle on, btwn 1995-2005 the USSR would have collapsed. No one here denied that Reagan help speed up the process but he did not in any sense destroy the USSR that is completely ridiculous. This is why I don’t buy the argumentation that Reagan destroyed the USSR. In the Carter administration the State department head (the polish guy lol) said that the USSR would collapse by the early 90’s that was said in the late 70’s. What really killed the USSR was the decline in oil prices, if oil wasn’t as high as it was in the interim period the USSR would have collapsed well before 1991.

    Reagan's actions stunned everyone in the 1980's and all agree that the cold war would still be going on without him -- even Gorbechov agreed. I can't imagine a better group of people to get an insider's point of view. If anyone would know, this group would know.

    I think we are dealing with a bunch of romantics here; they aren’t going to say “Reagan did shit” are they? They are going to give Reagan the benefit of the doubt for now, but most historians aren’t going to take such grand statements and obviously fallacious ones when the facts are there. Reagan nudged the Soviet collapse further, and arguably the US’ as well.
     
  20. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    Oddly, I'm starting to feel (paradoxically) a little sorry for reagan's "legacy" (not much mind you but a little). Since the reagan deification is being pushed SO HARD, way past the point of credulity, I have a feeling it will crash quickly in that way that the media pendulum always swings. If he were just respected for what he'd actually done his media favor would likely have been reasonably positive and quietly faded as is the case for any other prez. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I can never decide) this kind of "uber-hype" always comes back to haunt the recipient 10 times worse and often gets very ugly in the end. I suspect this sort of extreme political amnesia will actually hurt him in the long run, likely in nancy's life time... that's a shame.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    A fair point. As a curious aside, the first whiff I had that the Soviet Union would collapse came from, of all things, a copy of The Plain Truth, a religious news magazine (Watchtower, I think), sometime around 1984 or so.

    Reagan "won" the Cold War by spending ridiculously on weapons. Soviet paranoia was the weak link, and he broke it by spending over a trillion dollars in the first three years of his presidency. (A number I picked up from some random news blurb praising his name.)

    Reagan won the Cold War by playing brinkmanship on the one hand and puppet wars on the other. But he's not alone on either count. Brinkmanship had broken the Soviets once before, and by a Catholic Democrat no less. And puppet wars--from fruit companies to waltzing with Marcos and empowering Saddam Hussein and beyond. Hussein? While he needs to be a bad guy to play the role in the first place, he's also a victim of American foreign policy in the region dating back to our anti-Communist overthrow of Mossadegh and before (e.g. WWII).

    None of it had to be, and winning this particular pissing contest is only a crown jewel inasmuch as the Cold War itself is over. Hooray. We won the war. We enforced our irrationality. And Reagan is the poster boy ...?
     
  22. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

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    My take:

    Truman through Carter played containment. That worked in so far as we told the Soviets "hands off Europe and Japan." Beyond that the Soviets were hardly contained. They stoked "Wars of Liberation" throughout the Third World: Cuba, Central America, all over Africa, North Korea, Vietnam, Indochina, Afghanistan and so on.

    The Soviets continued to gobble up countries into the 1970s. Carter and his security advisor thought of trying to bleed the USSR in Afghanistan but they never gave it the resources it deserved. Granted Iran was a problem and they didn't have eight years like Reagan.

    Reagan used the CIA to crush communsim in Afghainstan and Central America (ok it was a little dirty no doubt). This was the first substantive rollback/contaiment of communism since the 1950s.

    This sent the Soviets reeling and denied them a satellite closer to the Gulf.

    More important than these military things was the fact that the USSR was in disrepare. That cannot be denied. Private businesses, illegal and antithetical to communsim, were creeping up under Breshev (spelling?), representing a downward slide.

    However it's possible, quite possible, that without an arms race, the Soviets could have recovered. Think about it, they could have gobbled up Afghanistan and undoubtdly used its resources to its advantages. Not to mention, had the US not gotten the USSR mired in the nation, the Soviets would have saved a shitload of money and domestic upheaval.

    Reagan, along with Thatcher, used Hayek instead of Keneys to repair the West's two most important economies. Armed with economic machines they went off to a spending war with the USSR in nuclear weapons, and conventional arms. This, along with the death of two Soviet dictators, created the need for reform.

    The only reform that could work to save the Soviet Union was ultimately democracy and capitalism, although watered-down versions of both were used by Gorbechev.

    Without Gorby and Reagan the Soviet Union would have survived. They probably would have got some more countries by 1991, upon which Saddam Hussein would have invaded Kuwait (protected, surreptisiously by the USSR) and sold cheap oil to the Soviets.

    It's possible that the Soviets could have survived, and without Reagan, a weak US economy could have amounted to the Soviets really kicking ass going into 2000.

    Plain and simple: the West may have not survived too much longer.
     
  23. Undecided Banned Banned

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    That worked in so far as we told the Soviets "hands off Europe and Japan." Beyond that the Soviets were hardly contained. They stoked "Wars of Liberation" throughout the Third World: Cuba, Central America, all over Africa, North Korea, Vietnam, Indochina, Afghanistan and so on.

    The United States in turn employed terrorism, fascist dictatorships, and reactionary govts and aid to prevent such wars from happening. The US told the Soviets in 1965 explicitly that they will not tolerate further “Soviet aggression” in Vietnam. The US failed in that endeavor, quite spectacularly as well. The US funded the Mujahedin in Afghanistan throughout the 80’s (who in turn attacked you).The US was anything but hands off Europe and Japan."

    Reagan used the CIA to crush communsim in Afghainstan and Central America (ok it was a little dirty no doubt). This was the first substantive rollback/contaiment of communism since the 1950s.

    Reagan used the CIA quite effectively in Afghanistan that is true, and boy did that bite in the ass. The Soviets really didn't care much for Nicaragua, that wasn’t a defeat for the USSR at all it was a defeat for self-determination. The Soviets by no means suffered in Central America, they did in Afghanistan that is a certainty, but that wasn’t enough to destroy the USSR either.

    More important than these military things was the fact that the USSR was in disrepare. That cannot be denied. Private businesses, illegal and antithetical to communsim, were creeping up under Breshev (spelling?), representing a downward slide.

    Thus one can clearly see that this conclusion of yours: It's possible that the Soviets could have survived, and without Reagan, a weak US economy could have amounted to the Soviets really kicking ass going into 2000. Makes little to no sense at all, if you think the US economy was bad I suggest looking at the Soviet one. The USSR was in a terminal decline, it could not be salvaged.

    However it's possible, quite possible, that without an arms race, the Soviets could have recovered.

    You would have to go back to 1945 to make that reality, if there was no arms race then there was no Cold war, no Cold war no need for Reagan. Think about it…

    Think about it, they could have gobbled up Afghanistan and undoubtdly used its resources to its advantages. Not to mention, had the US not gotten the USSR mired in the nation, the Soviets would have saved a shitload of money and domestic upheaval.

    Firstly the USSR like the US today was not able to control Afghanistan so the premise is already false, secondly what resources? Afghanistan is a resource poor nation, now it is thought that the USSR wanted Afghanistan’s natural gas reserves, but I don’t believe it would be enough to justify an invasion. The USSR could have saved money if US arms weren’t brought into Afghanistan no doubt, but I don’t see how that could have made the USSR stronger. The USSR was not by any means an economic power, it was one ruled by the military. If you learn about the inherent problems within COMECON, and the oil prices you could plainly see that the USSR wasn’t going to win even with a “pacified” Afghanistan.

    Without Gorby and Reagan the Soviet Union would have survived. They probably would have got some more countries by 1991, upon which Saddam Hussein would have invaded Kuwait (protected, surreptisiously by the USSR) and sold cheap oil to the Soviets.

    Are you serious? Firstly even without Gorbachev as I said before a million times the country was predicted to collapse. As I said the prediction of the Soviet collapse happened prior to any Reaganomics, or military buildup. Thirdly why would Saddam give the USSR cheap oil? The USSR was self-sufficient in oil, and provided her satellite states with it. If you look at the economic composition of the USSR post mid-70’s to the end her economy was floated by high oil prices. I will repeat this her economy was floated by high oil prices. If the West’s economy was to decline as would the Soviet economy and it eventually did. One of the only ways the Soviets got hard currency was through oil exports. So I don’t see why Saddam would give the USSR cheap oil? If anything Saddam would have pumped more oil so he could make a killing on the international markets that was the plan not to defect to the crumbling Soviet bloc.

    It's possible that the Soviets could have survived, and without Reagan, a weak US economy could have amounted to the Soviets really kicking ass going into 2000.

    Again this is based on your imagination (which is obviously quite active). The Soviets didn’t even have enough bread to feed her population, her military was too large to maintain, and her and her satellites fell far behind the West in development. If anything without Regan the USSR could have lasted until the year 2000, not kicking “ass”.

    Plain and simple: the West may have not survived too much longer.

    Rightttttt…
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2004

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