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New Turn that around
Why did the USSR collapse? The single most fascinating article on this that I ran across was in the early 90's when I was reading through copies of the Whole Earth Review circa 1984 or so. The article was on how an alliance between the CIA and Roman Catholic Church enabled the US to funnel union efforts in the US into encouraging and supporting peaceful resistance in the form of the Solidarity movement in Poland. In the article this was described as a "successful experiment".

Reading this circa 1991 or so I could not help but think through a whole series of Soviet regimes that fell fairly shortly thereafter due to more than mildly similar movements.

What I have never seen commented on, but suspect, is that the CIA-Roman Catholic experiment was judged a success, and the effort was repeated on a larger scale with results that we now saw. Hurrah, us.

Flipping this around, I notice that a lot of the same people who would have been influential in any such decision back then are back in power now. And look like they are working for providing means to crack down on any similar kind of movement within the Western world today.

Coincidence? Or merely my dose of paranoia for tonight?

Cheers,
Ben
"Career politicians are inherently untrustworthy; if it spends its life buzzing around the outhouse, it\ufffds probably a fly."
- [link|http://www.nationalinterest.org/issues/58/Mead.html|Walter Mead]
New Re: Turn that around
Begs the question: was the collapse, brought about by whatever means, a good thing or no?
"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist."
New Not begging the question
To answer your question depends on understanding the full ramifications of the collapse. I think that the mode of collapse is relevant to that issue.

Is a political vacuum filled by international criminal gangs and Islamic fundamentalists better than brutal dictatorships and the ever-present danger of nuclear holocaust? If one does not live in one of said dictatorships, and the nuclear holocaust does not happen, then probably not. If either had happened, then what we have now is better, much better.

Cheers,
Ben
"Career politicians are inherently untrustworthy; if it spends its life buzzing around the outhouse, it\ufffds probably a fly."
- [link|http://www.nationalinterest.org/issues/58/Mead.html|Walter Mead]
New Re: Nuclear Holocaust.
Here is where I am my most Un-American. I think the Soviets were morally superior to us in this regard. It was only because Krushev was a far greater world citizen than Kennedy that nuclear exchange did not happen in October. (The facts were that we could reach them, but they could not reach us, hence they wanted to "balance" the threat we posed by placing missles in Cuba. Our response? Threaten the world with annihilation - Krushev backed down and left his country virtually defenseless, but the world in tact). And note that we remain the only nuclear power barbaric enough to have actually used nukes, not once but twice.

If the USSR had survived and if there was a nuclear exchange, you can bet dollars to donuts we would have made the first strike. Then, I ask, who is the real greater threat to humanity? Imo, the greater threat to humanity survived.
New Re: Nuclear Holocaust (10/62)
You are perhaps a bit (only a bit) unjust here: the Sov regime in 1962 had had experience in living memory of the devastation of their land; America had to look back to the 1860s--vivid as those memories might be to the Trent Lott set. Khruschev had a visceral sense of the stakes that Kennedy lacked, although a miscalculation forty years ago would have resulted in consequences direr than the outer reaches of either man's memories. I speak as one who remembers the stripped supermarket shevles of 10/62.

cordially,

"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist."
New I think that applies a lot.
Sorry to take this off on a tangent, but I think you've hit something that still colours the US's policies today.

We do NOT have direct experience of living with the destruction of war.

We see it sanitized and Disney-fied at the movies.

But we don't live with it.
New f you use the word civilian in your sentence
Ill accept that. We have a lot of people that have seen war up close and blood on the fingers.
thanx,
bill
will work for cash and other incentives [link|http://home.tampabay.rr.com/boxley/resume/Resume.html|skill set]

You think that you can trust the government to look after your rights? ask an Indian
New Sorry, I didn't clarify that sufficiently.
That was what I meant when I said "We do NOT have direct experience of living with the destruction of war."

We go there, we kill people, we come back to our nice, safe families.

We go there, we bomb buildings, we come back to our nice, safe homes.

We live in a safe environment (or just about as safe as can be found). At times, we leave this environment to go inflict some pain and loss on others and then we come back.
New Re: The stakes.
This is what has troubled me since I was a little boy. Everything the Soviets did during the Cold War involving nuclear capability was a defensive action. And virtually everything we (the US) did was offensive. Indeed, it can well be argued that using two nukes in Japan was to send Soviet Russia a message.

Still, we proclaimed our innocense to the world. "We" were the good guys, "They" the bad. Our propaganda worked, and continues to work exceedingly well. Soviet propaganda, otoh, was not at all effective. I speak here of the people. In 1969, during the Cold War, if you were an American in the Soviet Union you were treated like gold. I speak here of personal experience. My father has returned to Russia several times since the fall and his experiences since the fall were much different. He has been mugged each time, once bad enough to be flown to medical facilities in Frankfort.

It seems now that they *know* us, they don't care much for us. Except, of course, for the new corrupt elite (including some old Bolsheviks) who can work now in concert with our corporations to exploit Russia and her people even more than the old Party ever did.

We are not now, nor have we ever been, good World Citizens.

I take heart in the knowledge that it is now our turn. It happened to the Ottoman Empire, the Roman Empire, the Turkish Empire, etc. We are, if we stay the course, going to fall as hard and as far as our imperialist predecessors.
New Defensive: an example.
It was Livermore Labs, under \ufffdgis of our Other (Hungarian) Strangelove misanthrope, the Dark Dr. Teller et al - who spawned, invented, started the MIRVing; this at a time (dates escape my mentation just now) when we were well ahead of the quantities and qualities of Holocaust-producing Peace Missiles extant, yada yada. There was indeed No Need - but we could so we did. Oblivious to consequences - as ever, when pursuing an insanely-Great new techno idea..

The USSR simply *had* to respond to this overt and cynical escalation. Ronnie was willing to quadruple (?) our Nat'l Debt to spend the USSR into submission; some believe that was a wise solution. But our laissez-faire penny-pinching (re assisting their conversion to a more US Bizness-friendly target of exploitation) - indicates the same short-term-gain mentality which drives everything we implement. 90 days / next election.

Our ongoing habits of er Christian Innocence won't soon dissipate (try turning the Other Cheek\ufffd to a Rumsfeld or worse!/earlier a Ego-besotted McNamara). It's part of the ingrained Disneyland fantasy that We Must be The Good since, God IS on Our Currency Side. Hey, this stuff Sells!

How else explain the inevitable next (and soon) Solo First-Strike.. no matter what anyone in the world says. We shall unleash a reservoir of hatred such that - You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet, Bub. And this - no matter how 'surgical' our techno-toys or how many $100K insurance policies we later bestow upon the collaterals we damage, on National Tee Vee.

Billy was able to buy off 7? 8? of the States - from pursuing legitimate legal redress from the barbarians. W and a lot of folk imagine we shall buy our way out of what is coming, keep the [oil] AND 'create' a nicely domesticated 'democratic' ME, *orchestrated to Dubya's dream of "fixing the World" (As-told-to - Woodward, recently)

* Tune: It's a Small Small Small Small World \ufffd Disney Galactic Corp

(Yes, they do think this way. No secret, that)


Hah; pass the WassUp? bowl,

Ashton,
just about off to enjoy a last Pre-War celeb of the Season
Hope you are 'off' to the same :-)
When the rich assemble to concern themselves with the business of the poor, it is called Charity. When the poor assemble to concern themselves with the business of the rich, it is called Anarchy.

-Paul Richards
New Re: The stakes.
And what happened on the ground did it not trouble you?

From the Elbe River in Germany to Vladivostok (Владивосток) and on to the Bering Straits 12 timezones to the East you had the Soviet Union and it's client states. That's ignoring Cuba! And "revolutions" fomenting in other places in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. These were defensive actions? Give me a break!
Alex

"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."\t-- Mark Twain
New Of course! that is the "other side"
of an infinite series of stimulus/response == the Same Game as makes the Palestinian/Israeli matter just as insoluble:

from present juvenile Eye-for Eye Old Testament mindsets, forged in ignorance and superstitions of the past.

I may be cracked, but - I deem that escalating the already significant risk of nuclear winter for All Species, via MIRV escalation: is on another scale from all of these ordinary, predictable homo-sap Power-quests. That was obscene, despicable and we started it.

(As of 12/25/02: ICBM response time is still TWO MINUTES, last I heard from the hardened grapevine)


Ashton
When the rich assemble to concern themselves with the business of the poor, it is called Charity. When the poor assemble to concern themselves with the business of the rich, it is called Anarchy.

-Paul Richards
New Re: Not begging the question
//Is a political vacuum filled by international criminal gangs and Islamic fundamentalists better than brutal dictatorships and the ever-present danger of nuclear holocaust?//

My point was, that is *not* the choice. Brezhnev's USSR was gone well before Gorbachev's USSR perished. Had Gorbachev succeeded in morphing the national entity he inherited into a civilized member of the international community--and remember that it's not to our moral advantage to regard the mere possession of genocidal-capable quantities of armaments as evidence of evil intent--would it not be preferable from the standpoint of *our* imperial maintenance of the status quo to have a fellow empire with a stake in the bipolar world?

cordially,

"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist."
New I don't think that assumption of yours is right
The nuclear holocaust scenario was a given as long as the USA and USSR remained facing each other. Certainly there were - and are - many in the USA who would make it politically unacceptable for us to reduce our armnament levels.

As for dictatorships, Gorbachev tried to make changes. But he was working within an organization that was very repressive, with client governments that were even more so. Not to mention that many of the dictatorships that I was referring to were ours, not theirs.

Cheers,
Ben
"Career politicians are inherently untrustworthy; if it spends its life buzzing around the outhouse, it\ufffds probably a fly."
- [link|http://www.nationalinterest.org/issues/58/Mead.html|Walter Mead]
New Re: I don't think that assumption of yours is right
//The nuclear holocaust scenario was a given as long as the USA and USSR remained facing each other.//

Not necessarily. Had the USA and USSR the wit and will to arrive at a rapprochment forty years ago we could by now have carved up the so-called Third World (deprived of the opportunity to play one superpower against another) like the Christmas roast, and be feasting on its resources uncontested to this day. Absent that ruinous rivalry a dimestore Stalin like Saddam Hussein would never have been suffered to arise.

cordially,

"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist."
New Um, the US needs enemies
It is politically convenient for those in charge to have a well-known and easily identified enemy for rhetorical purposes. Had it not been the USSR, it would be someone else.

Just like Saddam Hussein and Al Queda have been volunteered to be now.

Cheers,
Ben
"Career politicians are inherently untrustworthy; if it spends its life buzzing around the outhouse, it\ufffds probably a fly."
- [link|http://www.nationalinterest.org/issues/58/Mead.html|Walter Mead]
New Re: Um, the US needs enemies
But of course we need enemies!

And why not choose these from among the many populations who are weak enough for us to exploit but not strong enough (absent a lapse in our vigilance) to present a serious threat?

In other words, if one potential enemy has a zillion nuclear-tipped ICBMs and another can only muster, on a good day, half a dozen Boeing 757s, do you want to go for Door Number One or Door Number Two?

cordially,
"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist."
Expand Edited by rcareaga Dec. 21, 2002, 11:06:28 PM EST
New ya go for the one you can find
example from our history, Indians scalp whites, whites try looking for rogue Indians. Cant find any so go to the reservation where they know there is Indians and massacree them. Black man rapes white women, we cant identify him so we know where to find black men. Conversely in the Raj days, a member of the watch goes into the market and drags a thief back to be tortured. He didnt do the specific crime but a lesson is learned after all. "Somebody Pays"
thanx,
bill
will work for cash and other incentives [link|http://home.tampabay.rr.com/boxley/resume/Resume.html|skill set]

You think that you can trust the government to look after your rights? ask an Indian
New Does this explain...?
Why we are going after Iraq instead of Northern Korea?

Cheers,
Ben
"Career politicians are inherently untrustworthy; if it spends its life buzzing around the outhouse, it\ufffds probably a fly."
- [link|http://www.nationalinterest.org/issues/58/Mead.html|Walter Mead]
New bingo!
"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist."
     Long time, no Sov - (rcareaga) - (40)
         From the Left, I'm Mike Moffitt. - (mmoffitt) - (2)
             Re: From the Left, I'm Mike Moffitt. - (rcareaga) - (1)
                 You'd like Taosim. - (mmoffitt)
         Turn that around - (ben_tilly) - (19)
             Re: Turn that around - (rcareaga) - (18)
                 Not begging the question - (ben_tilly) - (17)
                     Re: Nuclear Holocaust. - (mmoffitt) - (8)
                         Re: Nuclear Holocaust (10/62) - (rcareaga) - (7)
                             I think that applies a lot. - (Brandioch) - (2)
                                 f you use the word civilian in your sentence - (boxley) - (1)
                                     Sorry, I didn't clarify that sufficiently. - (Brandioch)
                             Re: The stakes. - (mmoffitt) - (3)
                                 Defensive: an example. - (Ashton)
                                 Re: The stakes. - (a6l6e6x) - (1)
                                     Of course! that is the "other side" - (Ashton)
                     Re: Not begging the question - (rcareaga) - (7)
                         I don't think that assumption of yours is right - (ben_tilly) - (6)
                             Re: I don't think that assumption of yours is right - (rcareaga) - (5)
                                 Um, the US needs enemies - (ben_tilly) - (4)
                                     Re: Um, the US needs enemies - (rcareaga) - (3)
                                         ya go for the one you can find - (boxley)
                                         Does this explain...? - (ben_tilly) - (1)
                                             bingo! -NT - (rcareaga)
         from the fringes I'm boxley - (boxley) - (9)
             an additional thought - (rcareaga) - (8)
                 as you said, veritas in vino - (boxley) - (2)
                     Re: as you said, veritas in vino - (rcareaga) - (1)
                         betrayed bosses meaning fathers of our country :-) -NT - (boxley)
                 Couldn't agree more. - (mmoffitt) - (4)
                     what disney book did you read that in? -NT - (boxley) - (3)
                         Being there (USSR), 5 universities, numerous lectures, etc. - (mmoffitt) - (2)
                             not a prob will get to it in a bit in a new thread -NT - (boxley) - (1)
                                 Here we go rebuttal to mmoffet on Founding Land Grants (new thread) - (boxley)
         Methinks the method of the breakup outweighs the fact. - (Ashton) - (4)
             Re: Methinks the method of the breakup outweighs the fact. - (rcareaga) - (3)
                 Hmmm ____the homeopathic theory of ingrained Hate - (Ashton)
                 Hitlers without end. - (Brandioch) - (1)
                     But Hatred is always derived from Fear. - (Ashton)
         Winding it up - (rcareaga) - (1)
             Don't be a stranger.. :-) - (Ashton)

Duck, and cover.
202 ms