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LWW
11-24-2011, 06:57 PM
The left has never been able to deal with the fact that the Soviet Union truly was an evil empire.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was a terror state.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was the only real threat to world peace.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was a thugocracy which murdered it's citizens for the slightest offense against the state.

But, most of all, they have never been able to admit the simple truth that Reagan was right.

Contrast that with anyone who lived through the eastern bloc gulag state(s) and you get and knows the truth up close and personal. It's a shame that most leftists would never leave their intellectual echo chamber circle jerk to actually converse with anyone who has first hand knowledge.

But, from those who do possess such knowledge, Reagan has again been recognized for his historic and heroic actions.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- <span style='font-size: 14pt'>Georgia's pro-Western president has unveiled a monument to Ronald Reagan in the capital of the ex-Soviet state praising the 40th U.S. president for "destroying the Soviet Empire."</span>

Mikhail Saakashvili, whose government has for years had tense relations with Russia, also lambasted Moscow's attempts to "restore" the Soviet Union by creating an economic bloc with other ex-Soviet nations.

He said Wednesday that the bronze statue that depicts <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Reagan sitting on a bench "deserves a place in the heart of Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia."

Several statues of Reagan have gone up this year, the centennial of Reagan's birth, including several in former communist bloc countries.</span>

In 2008, Georgia lost a war with Russia over two separatist provinces sinking Russia's ties with the U.S. to Cold War lows.</div></div>
The world needs another Reagan. (http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/international/news/20111124p2g00m0in070000c.html)

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:16 PM
Howdoyalikethat.
Destroyed the USSR, and the USA.
mac.

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:28 PM
Revisionist History 101: How Ronald Reagan Destroyed The Soviet Union With Only Four Words

The Latin phrase "post hoc, ergo proper hoc" translates literally as "after this, therefore because of this". It's a class of logical fallacy, and it's an easy one to spot. Any half-wit can see that it is not always (or even usually) true that because event B followed event A, therefore A caused B.

Twenty years ago today, Ronald Reagan made a speech in Berlin, in which he uttered the famous line "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Somewhat more than two years later, a large number of people, not including Ronald Reagan, tore down the Berlin Wall.

Since that time, neocons, so-called journalists, and other less-than-half-wits have been saying that Ronald Reagan himself tore down the Berlin Wall, ended the Cold War, defeated the Soviet Union and saved America from Communism.

They're loony, of course. The idea is not worth half a banana in historical terms. But as propaganda, it's irresistable. Here's a recent example, from TIME's Romesh Ratnisar:
The four most famous words of Ronald Reagan's Presidency almost were never uttered.

Twenty years ago, on the morning of June 12, 1987, Reagan arrived in Berlin, on the occasion of the city's 750th birthday. He was scheduled to speak on the western side of the Brandenburg Gate, for years the city's symbolic dividing line. His speechwriters had drafted an address intended as much for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom Reagan was forging a close relationship, as for the 20,000 people who gathered to hear him speak. In the speech, Reagan would call on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, but that language was opposed strongly by Reagan's National Security Council and the State Department, who feared it would be used by hardliners in the Kremlin to discredit Gorbachev.

This idea is loony too, of course. As if Fred saying something could discredit Barney! But it's also emblematic of a longstanding problem among the "thinkers" who had been making national security policy for the previous forty years: the "negative veto" power they granted the Soviet Union. In the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon, the State Department and elsewhere, virtually nothing could be done unless it could be demonstrated that the Russians wouldn't like it. And every policy initiative was viewed through the imaginary prism: What will the Russians think of this? Never mind that the geniuses in the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State had no idea what the Russians were actually thinking, much less the ability to predict what they might think under some hypothetical circumstance.

After forty years of such twisted "analysis", it's no wonder the "experts" at State and elsewhere thought the Russian hardliners would (or could) use something Ronald Reagan said to discredit Mikhail Gorbachev. The Russian hardliners were nothing if not pragmatic, and clearly they understood Gorbachev could be discredited only by things he actually did or said. Similarly, Ronald Reagan was discredited by his words and actions, not by anything anyone else said about him, or to him.

But the White House wizards didn't understand any of this, and therefore, the article continues,
When the President's entourage arrived in Berlin, Reagan's team was still arguing over the final wording. State and NSC submitted yet another draft of the speech. But in the limousine ride to the Wall, Reagan told his deputy chief of staff, Kenneth Duberstein, that he intended to issue the fateful challenge to Gorbachev. "It's the right thing to do," he said.
...

For all its drama, the speech received relatively little media coverage. Compared to the younger, more vigorous Gorbachev, Reagan seemed to be a diminished figure on the world stage, a lame-duck President hobbled by the Iran-Contra scandal at home. But in hindsight, the "Tear Down this Wall" speech helps explain how the Cold War ended.
Sure it does! Unless it explains nothing of the sort!

Realistically speaking, the Soviet Union was never a threat to the existence of the United States, nor to our so-called "way of life". But the presence of a threat which could be exaggerated at will was very handy for those who would profit from an arms race. So we were told outright lies about the intentions and capabilities of the Soviets -- from the end of World War II, through the dissolution of the USSR and beyond. It was (and still is) good for business.

Much has been made of the fact that the CIA "missed" the collapse of the USSR. How could such a huge event have come as a shock to the world's most sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatus? The standard analysis seems to imply that they underestimated the power of Ronald Reagan's speech.

The problem with this analysis is simple: there already existed ample evidence that the Soviet Union was ready to crumble. But so much horse manure had been fed into the system over the years that our vaunted intelligence experts had no idea what to think.

It would never have been politically correct to explain their failure in such terms. Therefore a fictional history had to be invented, and one was readily available. Reagan had made a speech asking Gorbachev to tear down the wall, the wall was torn down, therefore, post hoc ergo propter hoc, Reagan's speech tore down the wall.

And this is why the TIME article is headlined: "The Speech That Brought Down a Wall".

O' course, matey! It was the speech that done it!
Two decades later, what can we learn from the epochal events that followed — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union? "People were afraid of the consequences of what Reagan would say," George Shultz, Reagan's long-serving Secretary of State, told me over lunch in Berlin last week. "But it turns out he was right."
Sure he was! Really!! As long as you don't look at any of the historical facts!

As Bob Parry wrote in Rating Reagan: A Bogus Legacy:
How, why and when was the Cold War “won”? If, for instance, the United States was already on the verge of victory over a foundering Soviet Union in the early-to-mid-1970s, as some analysts believe, then Reagan’s true historic role may not have been “winning” the Cold War, but helping to extend it.

If the Soviet Union was already in rapid decline, rather than in the ascendancy that Reagan believed, then the massive U.S. military build-up in the 1980s was not decisive; it was excessive. The terrible bloodshed in Central America and Africa, including death squad activities by U.S. clients, was not some necessary evil; it was a war crime aided and abetted by the Reagan administration.

That debate, however, has never been engaged, except by Reagan acolytes who chose to glorify Reagan’s role in “winning the Cold War” rather than examining the assumptions that guided his policies in the 1970s and 1980s. Although it’s largely forgotten now, Reagan’s rise within the Republican Party was as a challenge to the “détente” strategies pursued by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger – before the Watergate scandal forced Nixon from office – and later by Gerald Ford. Détente was, in effect, an effort to ease the Cold War to an end, much as finally occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
And nowadays, Reagan is portrayed as a hero of America because he supposedly turned his back on the failed policies of his predecessors and went in another direction. In this context, it wouldn't be appropriate to mention that his "Tear Down This Wall" speech was actually an extension of détente rather than a rejection of it!

Later Ratnisar quotes George Schultz saying:
"It's become famous, first of all, because what he called for happened. If you look back to the day after the speech, or the month after, I don't think it was written about that much. But it got big reverberations once the Wall came down and people looked back at Reagan's speech and remembered that it was controversial at the time to say that."
Listen: In the fall of 2000, a private interest group issued a position paper calling for "a catastrophic and catalyzing event", a "new Pearl Harbor", as they put it, which would enable their radical foreign and domestic policy agendas to be implemented very quickly. Four months later, more than a dozen signatories to that position paper found themselves in very high government positions, thanks to a new administration which hadn't exactly won any legitimate elections. Eight months after that two buildings at the World Trade Center were hit by hijacked airplanes and three WTC buildings disintegrated; in addition the headquarters of the world's most sophisticated military / intelligence organization was hit by a missile. One could make a reasonable claim that this was the New Pearl Harbor -- and therefore that the position paper had knocked down the towers. But even if you don't do that -- even if you merely mention all these facts in the same paragraph -- you're branded a lunatic fringe nut-case with a tin-foil hat, by the very same people who claim that Ronald Reagan's speech on June 12, 1987 was responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall, two and a half years later!

Talk about nut-cases!!

Still and all, it is quite correct to say that the PNAC document has become famous, first of all, because what it called for happened. If you look back to the day after it was published, or the month after, I don't think it was written about that much. But it got big reverberations once the towers came down and people looked back at "Rebuilding America's Defenses" and realized that it was a smoking gun pointing to treason.

But Romesh Ratnisar probably never even thought of that. Instead the article continues:
Shultz went on. "I guess the point I'm making here is that ideas matter a lot, the underlying ideas that stand behind policies. When you don't have ideas, your policies are flip-flopping all over the place. When you do have ideas, you have more consistency. And when you have the right ideas — then you can get somewhere." Reagan had the right ideas.
Bob Parry describes some of those "right ideas":
Cold War obsession led him to coddle an unsavory collection of right-wing psychopaths, including death squad operatives who engaged in genocide, neo-fascists who relished bizarre torture techniques, and drug traffickers who seized a rich geopolitical business opportunity.
None of this "coddling" upended the Soviet Union, but it did enrich a few of the guiltiest people on the planet, while killing tens of thousands -- or more! -- of the most innocent.

Predictably, after the Soviet Union fell, the
neocons claim[ed] credit for “winning the Cold War” and thus walk[ed] away from accountability for supporting brutal right-wing regimes and even terrorists in the 1980s.
So it goes.

And now the lie is being resurrected, by the supposedly liberal media, who want to keep you ignorant of everything that matters and obsessed with this bizarre fiction they call our national history.

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:33 PM
The “Reagan Destroyed the USSR” Myth
Posted on March 29, 2011 by acivilamericandebate (Return to the Contents Topics page.)

In “The American Bad Dream” I described how troubled I had been during the Reagan Administration about the insane nuclear arms race, a race that did not (and could not) serve any legitimate military purpose, but made fortunes for military contractors. There was such a steady drumbeat during the Reagan Administration about the evil Soviet Union and “godless” communism that I had suspected the “Cold War” itself was to a great degree an effort to maximize the fears and hatred of the American people.

“The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!” was always a standing joke. We had every reason to feel safe from any attempt at a conventional attack by the Soviet Union on our soil, all the way over here in the Western Hemisphere. After all, wouldn’t their protracted war with Nazi Germany, probably the most brutal one-on-one in history with the protracted and deadly war on the German “Eastern Front,” the total destruction of Stalingrad, and a German advance almost to the outskirts of Moscow, have been more than enough for them for a while?

So our fears about the threat posed by the Soviet Union, it always seemed to me, were exaggerated… except for the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

The degree to which its participation in the nuclear arms race bankrupted the Soviet Union has always been a matter of speculation in the U.S. To justify its massive nuclear build-up, the Reagan Administration made both qualitative and quantitative misrepresentations that the U.S. had fallen behind in the arms race. Based in part on my own observations, I also believe that Soviet communism was an unsuccessful economic system, and that the U.S.S.R. was also collapsing economically in the 1980s.

Even so, if the Russians were trying to keep up with the United States and spent anywhere near as much as we did, there would have been a significant drain on the smaller Soviet economy. I’m sure that we Americans, back then, could absorb the multi-trillion dollar costs more easily than the Russians could.

I learned a lot in 1990 when I joined a citizens-exchange group from Albany, New York that visited Russian citizens in their Moscow apartments, and also visited two neighboring cities and St. Petersburg. In exchange for our three-week visit, we hosted a return delegation of Russians in Albany in 1991.

Arriving in Moscow, we discovered that our hosts lived in small, mostly unfurnished apartments in run-down neighborhoods. I was startled to see things like people foraging for food in the fields on the outskirts of the city, and a woman in the coat check room of a downtown government office building hand-rolling toilet paper.

The country was in a depression. We saw almost no stores with anything to sell. Government markets had mostly collapsed, we were told, and nearly all commerce was taking place in black markets. One of the most amazing things we were shown was a line of people circling a park, three city blocks long, waiting to get into the one McDonald’s outlet that had opened in downtown Moscow.

When our Moscow hosts took us to see Red Square around noon on a weekday, the streets were deserted near Lenin’s tomb and St. Mark’s Cathedral. We walked all the way around the Kremlin, and on the opposite side near a huge hotel we found a political rally taking place. Speakers, we were told, were protesting for economic and governmental reforms. A company of soldiers was deployed near the Kremlin walls about a block away from the large crowd, but we saw as we walked by them they were lounging, bored and indifferent. Many in the crowd were waving a red, white, and blue striped flag, which we later learned was the Russian national flag. (I looked for, but did not see, any red Soviet flags.) We were told that this kind of demonstration was relatively new, but was happening more often.

Anti-government sentiment was rising at that time, and grass-root reform movements were exhibited in meeting we were invited to attend, including a welcoming visit with the Moscow “peace” committee that sponsored our visit. Although not always openly, people seemed to be questioning everything, down to the way math was being taught in the schools.

The Berlin Wall had come down within the past year, and European communism was in its last throes. As to why people were finally turning openly against their government, we were told that they had mostly trusted their government before they learned that it had lied to them about Chernobyl in 1986. The Russian people, they said, were furious at learning first about how bad the disaster really was on Swedish radio. According to them, this was the first time they had dared to openly challenge authority.

A week later in Zagorsk, we witnessed another surreal scene, like that at the McDonald’s in Moscow: We visited a jewelry store that had nothing in its display cases but one item, a cheap necklace. There was no reason for that store to be open, yet there was a line of people several hundred feet long waiting to enter that store!

After Zagosrk, we were taken to a small city north of Moscow called Dubna. This was a center of science and engineering. The most stunning thing about the Dubna visit was that when we arrived the first thing they did, even before taking us to our lodgings, was to drive our bus a few miles into the countryside by the edge of the Volga River to show us a flat slab of concrete on the ground, about 40-50 feet wide. We sat in confused silence for a few moments, staring at the slab.

While it was being explained why they took us there, our Russian hostess broke into tears. We were told that this once was the site of a giant, 50-foot bronze statue of Josef Stalin. It was erected not far from a monumental engineering project, the building of the Volga Canal, at which many of Stalin’s enemies had been sentenced to manual labor for the rest of their lives. We were reminded of something we already knew, that Stalin had been responsible for the deaths of millions of Russians.

We were told in detail how, upon Stalin’s death in 1957, the citizens of Dubna immediately rushed out with their trucks and ropes and toppled the statue, then tore it to pieces. One of the boots, we were told, was thrown in the pond in the middle of town, where it remained for several years. Our hosts made it clear to us that the suffering of the Russian people at the hands of Josef Stalin had not been, and would never be, forgiven or forgotten.

One day our Dubna hosts took us on a tour of an old nuclear research facility, which was housed in a small, old two-story building in the heart of town. The facility, we were told, had not been much used in recent times. It was an interesting one-hour tour, nonetheless, especially since the facility did not seem modern or high-tech. What I still remember most about that tour is something I’ll never forget: I was very surprised to find, just off the main hallway on the second floor, an open, deserted computer room full of old IBM mainframes and peripheral equipment. It appeared to have once been one of the facility’s main computer rooms.

I went into that room alone for a few minutes gazing at the equipment, and recalling that when I had worked for IBM twenty years earlier I had heard rumors of major Russian contracts in the works. I recalled that I had wondered, back then, how the United States could justify allowing Big Blue to share our cutting-edge computer technology with our cold war enemy, especially since we were engaged with the U.S.S.R. in a deadly nuclear arms race that potentially threatened the survival of our nations and, indeed, all life on earth. I wondered about that again as I stood in that computer room, and I still wonder, although our corporate leadership wanted us to fear Russia, how much they actually did.

As for our self-congratulatory myth that Reagan, like Davy Crockett, single-handedly defeated the Russian Bear, well, maybe: Both sides squandered unfathomable resources competing in that horrifying game of nuclear chicken. Tragically for 99% of the American people, however, we now face our own payback. The “Reagan Revolution” that, starting 30 years ago unfairly shifted a disproportionate share of arms race costs away from the wealthy and their corporations and onto Americans with ordinary incomes, ushered in the rapid shift of American wealth to the billionaires at the top and the corporate takeover that now threatens the demise of America’s freedom and prosperity.

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:37 PM
GREAT THOUGHTS OF RONALD REAGAN
"A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?" -- Ronald Reagan (Governor of California), quoted in the Sacramento Bee, opposing expansion of Redwood National Park, March 3, 1966

"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk." --Ronald Reagan (Republican candidate for president), quoted in the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, February 15, 1980

"It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas." --Ronald Reagan (candidate for Governor of California), interviewed in the Fresno Bee, October 10, 1965

"...the moral equal of our Founding Fathers." --President Reagan, describing the Nicaraguan contras, March 1, 1985

"Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal." --Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time, May 17, 1976

"...a faceless mass, waiting for handouts." --Ronald Reagan, 1965. (Description of Medicaid recipients.)

"Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders." --California Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966

"We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet." --Ronald Reagan, TV speech, October 27, 1964

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:38 PM
LAST FOND MEMORIES

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY LARRY SPEAKES
October 15, 1982
The Briefing Room
12:45pm EDT

Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement - the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?

MR. SPEAKES: What's AIDS?

Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?

MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

Q: No, I don't.

MR. SPEAKES: You didn't answer my question.

Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President -

MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)

Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?

MR. SPEAKES: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.

Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?

MR. SPEAKES: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any -

Q: Nobody knows?

MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.

Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping -

MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no - (laughter) - no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?

MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn't say that.

Q: Didn't say that?

MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)

Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why (Laughter.)

MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, I retract that.

MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.

Q: It's too late.

OH, THAT EXPLAINS IT

GEORGE W. BUSH: 'I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone ...'

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:38 PM
THINGS PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT REAGAN

Steve Kornacki, Salon - By the summer of 1992, just 24 percent of Americans said their country was better off because of the Reagan years, while 40 percent said it was worse off -- and that more Americans (48 percent) viewed Reagan unfavorable than favorably (46 percent). .

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:42 PM
REAGAN LIE DETECTOR

Reagan conducted one of the most absurd invasions of American history, targetting the tiny island of Grenada.

As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan informed on fellow actors to the FBI.

The Reagan admininstration was one of the most corrupt in American history, including by one estimate 31 Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and 16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal. By comparison 40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake of Watergate. 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these occurring during the Clinton administration itself. There were in addition 61 indictments or misdemeanor charges. 14 persons were imprisoned.

Using a looser standard that included resignations, David R. Simon and D. Stanley Eitzen in Elite Deviance, say that 138 appointees of the Reagan administration either resigned under an ethical cloud or were criminally indicted. Curiously Haynes Johnson uses the same figure but with a different standard in "Sleep-Walking Through History: America in the Reagan Years: "By the end of his term, 138 administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations."

Four members of the Reagan cabinet came under criminal investiation, as compared with five in the Clinton cabinet. Three top officials of the Harding administration were in indicted in the Teapot Dome scandal.

The Reagan administration had secret plans for an unconstitutional takeover of the federal government under an ill-defined national emergency. Members of the government created by the coup had been selected and included Richard Cheney.

Reagan's decision to send troops to Lebanon cost 241 lives. As the NY Times noted recently, "Mr. Reagan's decision to send marines to Lebanon was disastrous and his invasion of Grenada pure melodrama."

During the Reagan administration the number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third.

Reagan's policies led to the greatest financial scandal in American history: the Savings & Loan debacle which cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Julian Bond, president of the NAACP: "He was a polarizing figure in black America. He was hostile to the generally accepted remedies for discrimination. His appointments were of people as equally hostile. I can't think of any Reagan policy that African Americans would embrace."

Reagan made major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and school lunch programs.

Reagan fired 13,000 air traffic controllers in a devasting blow to government union members from which the labor movement never recovered.

Washington Post: "Reagan, during his 1980 campaign, blamed trees for emitting 93 percent of the nation's nitrogen oxide pollution -- giving rise to jokes about 'killer trees.'"

The national debt tripled under Reagan

The AIDS crisis exploded (with 20,000 deaths) before Reagan could even bring himself to address the issue six years later. In his authorized biography he is quoted as saying that "maybe the Lord brought down this plague," because "illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments."

Washington Post: "The administration in 1984 secretly sold arms to Iran -- which the United States considered a supporter of terrorism -- to raise cash for Nicaraguan contra rebels, despite a congressional ban on support for the Latin American insurgency. An independent investigation concluded that the arms sales to Iran operations "were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan [and] Vice President George Bush," and that "large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials." . . . Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel who ran the inquiry, said there was "no credible evidence" that Reagan broke the law, but he set the stage for the illegal activities of others. Impeachment, Walsh said, "certainly should have been considered."

His administration was responsible for numerous brutal actions in Latin America, including massacres in El Salvador and the war against Nicaragua.

The claim that Reagan won the Cold War is pure rightwing propaganda. The Soviet Union had long been far weaker than many American leaders knew, or wished to acknowledge, thanks to CIA gross overestimates of its economy. The Soviet Union was brought down by a number of factors including the inherent weaknesses of dictatorship and ethnic divides that eventually forced its breakup.

William Blum: "[George Kennan], the former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, and father of the theory of 'containment' of the same country, asserts that 'the suggestion that any United States administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish.' He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. 'Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union.'"

After a major tax cut, there was a long recession and unemployment that hit ten percent.

Bill Press - "It was Reagan who first proposed a missile defense system -- immediately dubbed "Star Wars" by skeptical reporters -- in a March 23, 1983 speech from the Oval Office. However, as Frances Fitzgerald reveals in her brilliant history "Way Out There in the Blue," Reagan didn't get his plan from the scientists or the generals. The Pentagon wasn't even notified of his speech ahead of time. Reagan stole Star Wars directly from -- the movies.

In 1940, appearing in the Warner Brothers thriller "Murder in the Air," Reagan played an American secret agent charged with protecting a super weapon that could strike all enemy planes from the air. Seed planted in Reagan's brain. Then in 1966, Alfred Hitchcock released a Reagan favorite, "Torn Curtain," in which American agent Paul Newman works on developing an anti-missile missile. In words that must have made Ronnie tingle, Newman's character asserts: "We will produce a defensive weapon that will make all nuclear weapons obsolete, and thereby abolish the terror of nuclear warfare." Sound familiar? Reagan used almost the exact words in selling missile defense from the office, 17 years later

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 09:47 PM
SAM SMITH - Ronald Regan has carried out his last con. The first occupant of the White House to make politics just another form of show business is being buried as a hero despite having been one of the worst presidents America ever had.

True, he was not as corrupt as Nixon or Clinton, nor as gleefully imperial as George Bush the Lesser, and the damage he did was largely unintentional, the fatal mischief of a small minded man granted too much power.

But the result was to begin the decline and fall of the first American republic by convincing its leaders, media, and citizens that the main thing they needed for happiness was a free, unfettered market accompanied by sufficient faux cowboy rhetoric. That there was never any empirical evidence for the absurd economic assumptions didn't matter; his charm sufficed where logic failed.

A quarter century later we are left with a middle class with substantially greater problems, a lower class far more ignored, an ecology far more damaged, a much larger gap between rich and poor and between CEO and employee, Medicare and Social Security in danger, and a culture of greed and narcissism that has buried ideals of democracy, community, and cooperation.

The nausea-inducing elevation of Reagan into someone he never was is another triumph of rightwing spin being swallowed whole by a media that not only doesn't know the facts, it doesn't even think it has to, for it, too, has become just another part of show business.

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 10:00 PM
THE BIGGEST REAGAN lie is that he won the Cold War by terrifying the Soviets with Star Wars, upping defense expenditures, and generally being such a tough guy. The myth, though basically just GOP campaign spin, has been widely promulgated in current news coverage. The facts of the matter are quite different.

FOR EXAMPLE, two years before the breakup, the Progressive Review ran an article by Thomas S. Martin - Devolution, Soviet Style, that reported that "Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of perestroika, or restructuring, has opened a Pandora's box of separatist and devolutionary movements in the Soviety Union. The article went through the union, state by state, and spoke of the "the last desperate cry of Soviet statism." Thanks to the American right's distortion of the issue, Americans to this day have little idea of what really was happening in the Soviet Union. Besides, it's part of the delusional American creed that good things in the world only happen because we will them.

ARCHIE BROWN, BBC, 2001 - The Soviet Union on the eve of Gorbachev's perestroika (reconstruction) had serious political and economic problems. Technologically, it was falling behind not only Western countries but also the newly industrialized countries of Asia. Its foreign policy evinced a declining capacity to win friends and influence people. Yet there was no political instability within the country, no unrest, and no crisis. This was not a case of economic and political crisis producing liberalization and democratization. Rather, it was liberalization and democratization that brought the regime to crisis point. . .

SOUTH ASIA ANALYST GROUP - The Congressional Quarterly Researcher wrote on December 11,1992: "After the Soviet break-up, economists were amazed at the extent to which the CIA had overestimated the performance of the Soviet economy, leading many to speculate that the numbers were hyped to fuel the arms race." Mr. Allan Goodman, Dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, described the CIA's economic intelligence performance as "between abysmal and mediocre." Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said after the Soviet break-up: " For a quarter century, they (the CIA) told the President everything there was to know about the Soviet Union, excepting the fact that it was collapsing (due to a bad economy). They missed that detail."

FAREED ZAKARIA, NEWSWEEK - During the early 1970s, hard-line conservatives pilloried the CIA for being soft on the Soviets. As a result, CIA Director George Bush agreed to allow a team of outside experts to look at the intelligence and come to their own conclusions. Team B--which included Paul Wolfowitz--produced a scathing report, claiming that the Soviet threat had been badly underestimated. In retrospect, Team B's conclusions were wildly off the mark. Describing the Soviet Union, in 1976, as having "a large and expanding Gross National Product," it predicted that it would modernize and expand its military at an awesome pace. For example, it predicted that the Backfire bomber "probably will be produced in substantial numbers, with perhaps 500 aircraft off the line by early 1984." In fact, the Soviets had 235 in 1984.

BILL BLUM, KILLING HOPE - It has become conventional wisdom that it was the relentlessly tough anti-communist policies of the Reagan Administration, with its heated-up arms race, that led to the collapse and reformation of the Soviet Union and its satellites. American history books may have already begun to chisel this thesis into marble. The Tories in Great Britain say that Margaret Thatcher and her unflinching policies contributed to the miracle as well. The East Germans were believers too. When Ronald Reagan visited East Berlin, the people there cheered him and thanked him "for his role in liberating the East". Even many leftist analysts, particularly those of a conspiracy bent, are believers. But this view is not universally held; nor should it be. Long the leading Soviet expert on the United States, Georgi Arbatov, head of the Moscow-based Institute for the Study of the U.S.A. and Canada, wrote his memoirs in 1992. A Los Angeles Times book review by Robert Scheer summed up a portion of it:

“Arbatov understood all too well the failings of Soviet totalitarianism in comparison to the economy and politics of the West. . . Arbatov not only provides considerable evidence for the controversial notion that this change would have come about without foreign pressure, he insists that the U.S. military buildup during the Reagan years actually impeded this development.”

George F. Kennan agrees. The former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, and father of the theory of "containment" of the same country, asserts that "the suggestion that any United States administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish." He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. "Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union."

Though the arms-race spending undoubtedly damaged the fabric of the Soviet civilian economy and society even more than it did in the United States, this had been going on for 40 years by the time Mikhail Gorbachev came to power without the slightest hint of impending doom. Gorbachev's close adviser, Aleksandr Yakovlev, when asked whether the Reagan administration's higher military spending, combined with its "Evil Empire" rhetoric, forced the Soviet Union into a more conciliatory position, responded:

“It played no role. None. I can tell you that with the fullest responsibility. Gorbachev and I were ready for changes in our policy regardless of whether the American president was Reagan, or Kennedy, or someone even more liberal. It was clear that our military spending was enormous and we had to reduce it.”. . .

ORDER

ARCHIE BROWN, BBC, 2001 – The Soviet Union on the eve of Gorbachev's perestroika (reconstruction) had serious political and economic problems. Technologically, it was falling behind not only Western countries but also the newly industrialized countries of Asia. Its foreign policy evinced a declining capacity to win friends and influence people. Yet there was no political instability within the country, no unrest, and no crisis. This was not a case of economic and political crisis producing liberalization and democratization. Rather, it was liberalization and democratization that brought the regime to crisis point. . .

The Soviet economy was in limbo in the last two years of the Soviet Union's existence - no longer a command economy but not yet a market system. Significant reforms, such as permitting individual enterprise (1986), devolving more powers to factories (1987), and legalising co-operatives (1988), which were to become thinly disguised private enterprises, had undermined the old institutional structures and produced unintended consequences, but no viable alternative economic system had been put in their place. . .

SOUTH ASIA ANALYST GROUP - The Congressional Quarterly Researcher wrote on December 11,1992: "After the Soviet break-up, economists were amazed at the extent to which the CIA had overestimated the performance of the Soviet economy, leading many to speculate that the numbers were hyped to fuel the arms race." Mr. Allan Goodman, Dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, described the CIA's economic intelligence performance as "between abysmal and mediocre." Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said after the Soviet break-up: " For a quarter century, they (the CIA) told the President everything there was to know about the Soviet Union, excepting the fact that it was collapsing (due to a bad economy). They missed that detail."

KEVIN BRENNAN - Sovietology failed because it operated in an environment that encouraged failure. Sovietologists of all political stripes were given strong incentives to ignore certain facts and focus their interest in other areas. I don't mean to suggest that there was a giant conspiracy at work; there wasn't. It was just that there were no careers to be had in questioning the conventional wisdom.

A good example of this was the nationalism that helped to bring about the downfall of the USSR -- something that was overlooked by Westerners. You see, the USSR used to claim that socialist amity had made nationalism irrelevant. Nobody quite bought that, but Sovietologists did think that the Soviets had managed to mostly eliminate nationalism, because after all they never saw any evidence of it. How could they? Anyone who wanted to pursue a career in Soviet Studies had to be able to get into the Soviet Union to do their research, after all. Without doing research, you didn't get tenure, and the Soviets made sure you didn't get to do research on that topic by simply denying you access to the country. Even if you thought it might be a bigger problem then the Soviets let on, you'd never be able to prove it. So you found other things to work on, and eventually you got onto other topics that kept you busy.

There were other kinds of institutional biases as well, such as those that led to the now-infamous "Team B" Report:

“During the early 1970s, hard-line conservatives pilloried the CIA for being soft on the Soviets. As a result, CIA Director George Bush agreed to allow a team of outside experts to look at the intelligence and come to their own conclusions. Team B--which included Paul Wolfowitz--produced a scathing report, claiming that the Soviet threat had been badly underestimated.

“In retrospect, Team B's conclusions were wildly off the mark. Describing the Soviet Union, in 1976, as having “a large and expanding Gross National Product,” it predicted that it would modernize and expand its military at an awesome pace. For example, it predicted that the Backfire bomber "probably will be produced in substantial numbers, with perhaps 500 aircraft off the line by early 1984." In fact, the Soviets had 235 in 1984.

“The reality was that even the CIA’s own estimates--savaged as too low by Team B--were, in retrospect, gross exaggerations. In 1989, the CIA published an internal review of its threat assessments from 1974 to 1986 and came to the conclusion that every year it had "substantially overestimated" the Soviet threat along all dimensions. For example, in 1975 the CIA forecast that within 10 years the Soviet Union would replace 90 percent of its long-range bombers and missiles. In fact, by 1985, the Soviet Union had been able to replace less than 60 percent of them.” - Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek

In short, Team B . . . brought a substantial set of preconceived notions about the nature and functioning of Soviet Russia to the task of evaluating the CIA assessments and any data that contradicted those conceptions was summarily discarded. No doubt it was easy enough to justify--after all, the data was flawed, just not flawed in the way that Team B assumed. So they went looking for things that would let them discount the data, and found them in the rhetoric of their opponents. It's an error in judgment that Wolfowitz seemed destined to repeat.

cushioncrawler
11-24-2011, 10:04 PM
JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE - The elaborate Reagan state funeral may well prove a satisfying goodbye for Nancy, relatives, and close friends. For the Bush re-election campaign managers, it comes as an unexpected gift. This shouldn't surprise us in an era in which D-Day is compared to the war on terror, Bush Junior (by inference) to Eisenhower, and the occupation of Baghdad to the liberation of Paris. . .

The Democrats who voted for Reagan abandoned the sour, nitpicking Jimmy Carter for the cheerful Hollywood figure, but they also did what the political pros and historians still don't get. Led by the determined cadres of the "New Right," they supported a candidate and a plan for a new America with an ideological agenda. That agenda called for doing the unthinkable: grabbing control of Congress and smashing the New Deal, while leaving a token "safety net" in its place. It was in the early days of Reagan that the homeless began to appear in growing numbers on the streets of American cities, an early sign of the slow process of turning over the functions of the federal government to companies through such ideas as privatization. Reagan practically initiated the concept of turning social welfare over to charitable foundations. All of this was accomplished with the glue of anti-Communism, a shared bond that tied otherwise quarreling factions together—the libertarian-minded Republicans, the anti-feminist crusaders, the Christian fundamentalists. Under Reagan, the government borrowed the concept of guerrilla warfare from the winning side in Vietnam and used it to win a victory over the Sandinistas. Reagan escaped the Iran-Contra scandal without a scratch. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>For some, Reagan spelled the turning point in the death of the first American republic.</span>

Stretch
11-24-2011, 10:44 PM
Thanks for all the great information Mac, it was a good read. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif St.

LWW
11-25-2011, 05:16 AM
Nothing brings out the hateful nature of the left like the truth.

Qtec
11-25-2011, 05:21 AM
You posted a myth, C posted fact. Accept it.

Q

LWW
11-25-2011, 05:24 AM
Actually, I posted the truth:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The left has never been able to deal with the fact that the Soviet Union truly was an evil empire.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was a terror state.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was the only real threat to world peace.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was a thugocracy which murdered it's citizens for the slightest offense against the state.

But, most of all, they have never been able to admit the simple truth that Reagan was right. </div></div>

and the cabal proved me right.

Thanks for the help, but y'all were never really in the game.

Qtec
11-25-2011, 05:32 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">and the cabal proved me right. </div></div>

Like how?



BTW, this..


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The left has never been able to deal with the fact that the Soviet Union truly was an evil empire.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was a terror state.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was the only real threat to world peace.

They have never been able to deal with the fact that it was a thugocracy which murdered it's citizens for the slightest offense against the state.

But, most of all, they have never been able to admit the simple truth that Reagan was right. </div></div>

...is ONLY your opinion, ie it doesn't hold much water.

OTOH, C provides many links and sources to back up his opinion that the 'Reagan won the cold war myth' is exactly that, a myth.

Q

LWW
11-25-2011, 06:02 AM
Are you actually denying the existence of the soviet gulag state which murdered over 61,000,000 (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM) human souls?

Are you actually that desperate to deny the truth?

Actually ... as I predicted ... you are.

The left will stop at nothing to deny the truth about their beloved USSR ... and to deny the truth about their self proclaimed satan R-R-R-RAAAAY - GUUUUNNNN!!!!

Qtec
11-25-2011, 06:31 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The left has never been able to deal with the fact that the Soviet Union truly was an evil empire. </div></div>

LOL. It all depends on what you consider evil.

A guy in America just got 80 years for passing a fake $20 bill while buying a hot dog!

Q

Soflasnapper
11-25-2011, 11:09 AM
Nicely done, mac! Agree with all your several posts here.

What goes unmentioned in most historical accounts is that Reagan never altered the order of battle of the west vs. the Warsaw Pact forces, despite doubling the military budget in nominal terms (maybe up 60% in real terms). Each and every advantage he proclaimed as deadly for the Warsaw Pact over the western alliance remained identical. Because although Reagan decried the (then-unratified) Salt II negotiated between Carter and the Soviets as 'locking in' a western inferiority, he honored those limits, and decommissioned enough launcher systems to keep our totals below the limits prescribed in that treaty (later ratified under his Veep's presidency).

Soflasnapper
11-25-2011, 11:13 AM
But, most of all, they have never been able to admit the simple truth that Reagan was right.


Right about WHAT?

Right about everything he himself took back, including his 'evil empire' line?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">During his second term in office, in May–June 1988, more than five years after using the term "evil empire," Reagan visited the new reformist General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. When asked by a reporter whether he still thought the Soviet Union was an "evil empire," Reagan responded that he no longer did, and that when he used the term it was a "different era"; that is, the period before Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost reforms. Still, Reagan remained a critic of the Soviet regime for its absence of democratic institutions. </div></div>

Right about never entering into agreements with them, because all they do is cheat on their agreements (even though he then entered into plenty of them)?

Right about all the 'winning a nuclear war' talk from his administration, although he himself walked all that back?

cushioncrawler
11-25-2011, 02:39 PM
The usofa iz lucky. Lucky that it kan learn a lesson from the ussr experience. But in reverse.

Pretty soon u will see usofa citizens rushing to jump onto the end of a queue -- and then asking what the queue iz for -- hopefully food of some sort.

Here the usofa haz an advantage.
Due to libertarian-darwinist-krappynomix -- the fattest will tend to fall behind -- and u get survival of the fittest, u karnt get purer than that.

But what flag will protestors wave. British Union Jack????
mac.

Soflasnapper
11-25-2011, 06:38 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Are you actually denying the existence of the soviet gulag state which murdered over 61,000,000 (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM) human souls?

Are you actually that desperate to deny the truth?

Actually ... as I predicted ... you are.

The left will stop at nothing to deny the truth about their beloved USSR ... and to deny the truth about their self proclaimed satan R-R-R-RAAAAY - GUUUUNNNN!!!! </div></div>

If, in a scant 4 years, according to Reagan, the Soviet empire ceased being an evil empire, how long ago before that was it that there was a Stalin doing these things? 30 years since his death at the time?

LWW
11-26-2011, 07:38 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Are you actually denying the existence of the soviet gulag state which murdered over 61,000,000 (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM) human souls?

Are you actually that desperate to deny the truth?

Actually ... as I predicted ... you are.

The left will stop at nothing to deny the truth about their beloved USSR ... and to deny the truth about their self proclaimed satan R-R-R-RAAAAY - GUUUUNNNN!!!! </div></div>

If, in a scant 4 years, according to Reagan, the Soviet empire ceased being an evil empire, how long ago before that was it that there was a Stalin doing these things? 30 years since his death at the time? </div></div>

That's some right fine word parsing their sofa.

No, there wasn't a "Stalin doing these things" after uncle Joe went to stoke the furnaces of Hell.

But there was, afterwards, a Georgy Malenkov doing those things. And a Nikita Khrushchev ... and a Leonid Brezhnev ... and a Yuri Andropov ... and a Konstantin Chernenko ... and even a Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev "doing these things" until US strength forced Gorbachev to crack the door of the USSR open.

The left's willingness to give a pass to mass murderers seems to actually have no limits.

Soflasnapper
11-27-2011, 10:43 AM
As the number you cite is STALIN'S alleged body count, how many millions of deaths or murders in the Soviet Union do you claim were done after his rule had ended?

Was it more than the millions killed by capitalism in the 20th century in general, or the US in particular post-WW II?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Rosefielde also notes that "while it is fashionable to mitigate the Red Holocaust by observing that capitalism killed millions of colonials in the twentieth century, primarily through man-made famines, no inventory of such felonious negligent homicides comes close to the Red Holocaust total."[53]</div></div>

From Wiki's article on Communist mass killings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killings_under_Communist_regimes)