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Thread: How Reagan did beat Communism.

  1. #1 How Reagan did beat Communism. 
    Forum Sophomore timel's Avatar
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    I read this in a book yesterday, I though it was facinating.
    It's a point of view.

    US governement were aware at some point that Russia was having economical troubles. The Idea was to Bankrupt them.


    1. USA made arangement with Arabia Saoudia so that they would boost oil production so that the oil barrel would go very low, which would make that Russia wouldn't make much profits of oil barrels.

    2. Reagan did arm talibans in order for them to fight against communist and give them a whole bunch of troubles in the Afgan war. Which made that Russia lost a lot of money down there making this war.

    3. And USA started this armement race (space race)(nuclear weapons) and all the rest. It did cost 7% of US PIB versus 20% for Russia.

    At some point it became impossible for Russia to keep appearances and they economicaly collapsed.
    Not bad hey? It sounds a little simplistic though.


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  3. #2 Re: How Reagan did beat Communism. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by timel
    It sounds a little simplistic though.
    Yes it does.

    The book simplified a whole period of history to the struggle of just one important man.
    You simplified the book to three simple points.

    What else did you expect?


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    I Expect you to give your opinion on the topic and I did a resume of 10 phrases of the book which I though were interresting.
    You are welcomed on elaborating since you seem to be a professional on the topic.
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    I am definitely not a professional historian. But I lived through some of the history involved.

    One thing your summary ignores and I can't is the centrifugal forces of countries and peoples trying to break off the Soviet empire. My own Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, later Romania and the Baltic states. East Germans yearning to reunite with their western twin. Of course, we had US support, but we weren't Reagan's hired agents; we were pursuing our own national interests.

    Again, this is a part of the history, concentrating of what I know more or less first hand. Russian dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov have their story to tell. And there may be many more aspects to it.

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    A major factor ending the cold war was Gorbechev. It was his decision NOT to use force against the East European satellites that led to the breakdown of the Warsaw pact system. Furthermore when some generals tried to pull off a coup to put back the old system, it was Yeltsin, backed up by the general population, that stopped them.
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    From what I understand, most of what Russia had on the Eastern European countries was their ability to send tanks. I'm pretty sure the Hungarian revolution of 1956 would have held if the Russians had to fight them soldier to soldier.

    What we did in Afghanistan was arm the local population in a way that enabled them to destroy Russian military helicopters. It soon became apparent that we would arm any resisting groups with weapons of equivalent effectiveness to whatever Russia sent, be it tanks, helicopters, or whatever else. (While at the same time their faltering economy made those same weapons harder to build)

    Basically, we put the fear of democracy into 'em.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman
    A major factor ending the cold war was Gorbechev. It was his decision NOT to use force against the East European satellites that led to the breakdown of the Warsaw pact system.
    Well yes he was significantly less trigger-happy than most his predecessors and at least one successor. He did use military force in Lithuania, but that was within the inner empire then (one of the "Soviet republics" as opposed to the outer "people's republic" satellites).
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    From what I understand, most of what Russia had on the Eastern European countries was their ability to send tanks. I'm pretty sure the Hungarian revolution of 1956 would have held if the Russians had to fight them soldier to soldier.

    What we did in Afghanistan was arm the local population in a way that enabled them to destroy Russian military helicopters. It soon became apparent that we would arm any resisting groups with weapons of equivalent effectiveness to whatever Russia sent, be it tanks, helicopters, or whatever else. (While at the same time their faltering economy made those same weapons harder to build)

    Basically, we put the fear of democracy into 'em.
    I read some airplane pilots reports from this times that they were even parachuting Korans into the country so that people would focus on Islam instead of communism.
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    University of Nebraska at Omaha got $50 million to produce jihadi school primers. These were shipped to Afghanistan and Pakistan in such volumes, they're still very common and used today by poor schools, i.e. charitable religious schools for war orphans and refugees. The books start "Alif is for Allah" and they continue to extremism, explicitly "Ti is for tufang" (rifle) "Jim is for Jihad". The math problems involve counting bullets and dead secularists. The illustrations are gory. There are mines, beheadings, tanks in flames. These elementary primers were produced by the Reagan admin for growing minds overseas.

    The students would go on to training camps staffed by Western advisers and taught to build improvised explosives and lay ambushes. They'd be armed and sent north into Soviet controlled areas. It was an assembly line. Pakistan's PM Bhutto warned Bush Senior this was "creating a Frankenstein’s monster".

    "The Taliban" literally translates as "the Students". This savage generation followed on the heels of older mujahideen, and supplanted them.
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    And Al Gore invented the Internet and Tesla invented just about everything else..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    University of Nebraska at Omaha got $50 million to produce jihadi school primers. These were shipped to Afghanistan and Pakistan in such volumes, they're still very common and used today by poor schools, i.e. charitable religious schools for war orphans and refugees. The books start "Alif is for Allah" and they continue to extremism, explicitly "Ti is for tufang" (rifle) "Jim is for Jihad". The math problems involve counting bullets and dead secularists. The illustrations are gory. There are mines, beheadings, tanks in flames. These elementary primers were produced by the Reagan admin for growing minds overseas.

    The students would go on to training camps staffed by Western advisers and taught to build improvised explosives and lay ambushes. They'd be armed and sent north into Soviet controlled areas. It was an assembly line. Pakistan's PM Bhutto warned Bush Senior this was "creating a Frankenstein’s monster".

    "The Taliban" literally translates as "the Students". This savage generation followed on the heels of older mujahideen, and supplanted them.

    And the irony in all of that is that we are trying to defeat what we have been building for many years. They were also armed by US. Like the weapons to destroy helicopters. NATO soldiers are beeing attacked with the weapon or intelligence we provided them.

    As you said in an other post. There is no way this conflict will be won by arms but by negociations with the Talibans and accepting them in a governement.
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    This whole discussion is pretty funny. Because in the aftermath of the collapse of the communist countries (some still exist and the western world uses them as their workbench ) everybody and his idiot brother claim to have played an important part in bringing communism to an end and bringing peace and happyness to the world and a chicken in every pot. Fuck, if Gorbachov would have been the same hardliner as his predecessors there would have been NO (read my lips: none whatsoever) change in the world and we would still be having an arms race with the USSR. He had the absolute power, he had an army of - what? - 5 million soldiers and the means to dig into almost unlimited resources from the socialist/communist Brothers as well as his own country. And after he let go of the iron grip the CP of the USSR held on almost everybody in the eastern hemishpere, first protest movements started in Poland, Hungary and later on the eastern part of Germany (funny thing is: the then Chancelor of West (good) Germany Helmuth Kohl also claims that HE - and He alone - is responsible for the fall of the GDR and the re-unification. Man, he would not have recognized the end of communism if it had bit him in his fat, incompetent ass )
    So those guys just seized the opportunity and now claim it was their accomplishment. Sheesh. Ray-Gun was just another actor selling snake oil to the masses.

    It was his decision NOT to use force against the East European satellites that led to the breakdown of the Warsaw pact system. Furthermore when some generals tried to pull off a coup to put back the old system, it was Yeltsin, backed up by the general population, that stopped them.
    Absolutely correct but everybody expected him to use force, including - once again - the fabulous CIA. And nothing happened and this further incouraged the comrades in the other Warshaw Pact States to go a step further.....and further...and further.

    From what I understand, most of what Russia had on the Eastern European countries was their ability to send tanks. I'm pretty sure the Hungarian revolution of 1956 would have held if the Russians had to fight them soldier to soldier.
    No chance. The army of the USSR was a 5 Million soldier Behemoth. If the have to fight the Hungarians in a hand to hand combat, the Russians would not have cared the least bit. An army where the death toll during boot camp is almost as high as in other armies during a fighting mission the single soldier does not count. And you think that the USMC is the only outfit with highly trained infantery?? Well think again. The Russians would have crushed this uprising no matter what.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zitterbewegung
    (Gorbachov) had an army of - what? - 5 million soldiers and the means to dig into almost unlimited resources from the socialist/communist Brothers as well as his own country.
    One correction: if the CP of the USSR and their puppets in satellite states had had "almost unlimited resources", few people if any at all would have bothered to protest against the regime, let alone rebel against it. But the glorious achievements of planned economy included a shortage of almost anything, except - and you are right here - cheap young Russian cannon fodder.
    If Communism were introduced in Saudi Arabia they would be out of oil in five years and out of sand in fifteen.
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    I tend to agree with Zitter. Having lived through those times it was quite apparent to most of us (for a given value of 'apparent') that the one big change in the late '70s and early to mid '80s was the presence of Gorbachev.
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    Our goal in places like Afghanistan was to cost them as much money as possible. We loved that we could spend a few thousand dollars supplying Taliban with a missile that would shoot down a multi-million dollar (equivelent) helicopter.

    The resistance groups provided us with free soldiers we didn't have to feed or cloth, just arm.

    From what I understand, most of what Russia had on the Eastern European countries was their ability to send tanks. I'm pretty sure the Hungarian revolution of 1956 would have held if the Russians had to fight them soldier to soldier.
    No chance. The army of the USSR was a 5 Million soldier Behemoth. If the have to fight the Hungarians in a hand to hand combat, the Russians would not have cared the least bit. An army where the death toll during boot camp is almost as high as in other armies during a fighting mission the single soldier does not count. And you think that the USMC is the only outfit with highly trained infantery?? Well think again. The Russians would have crushed this uprising no matter what.
    Only by de-populating the entire country. And doing that would absolutely certainly have provoked a world wide response, giving the United States full political cover to send in its own troops.

    Russia either had to crush it quickly or not at all. Besides that, the economic cost of a 5 million soldier invasion is very different from the cost of a 50,000 (or so) tank invasion.

    It was his decision NOT to use force against the East European satellites that led to the breakdown of the Warsaw pact system. Furthermore when some generals tried to pull off a coup to put back the old system, it was Yeltsin, backed up by the general population, that stopped them.
    Absolutely correct but everybody expected him to use force, including - once again - the fabulous CIA. And nothing happened and this further incouraged the comrades in the other Warshaw Pact States to go a step further.....and further...and further.
    Gorbechev realized that his crumbling economy couldn't afford to send millions upon millions of soldiers all over the place if he ended up having revolts in a lot of nations at once.

    He certainly had enough troops/resources to suppress one or two, but if the rest of the nations saw that his army was busy, they might revolt too, and then he'd have like 5 or 10 separate revolts happening at the same time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    I tend to agree with Zitter. Having lived through those times it was quite apparent to most of us (for a given value of 'apparent') that the one big change in the late '70s and early to mid '80s was the presence of Gorbachev.
    Where did you live through those times? Remember, the point of view depends on the point of sitting. My hypothesis is that your post represents a Russian, German, or possibly French perspective. A typical American or Brit would stress Reagan, be it with admiration or disgust; a Pole like me, John Paul II and the Solidarity trade union. I wonder how an Afghani would describe those times.

    I think the bottom line is that the collapse of the Soviet empire took more than one man, more than one stubborn nation refusing to be a satellite, and more than one offensive to achieve. At the same time, it was inevitable in and of itself, their system being untenable in the long run.

    There is an old Soviet joke (told to me by my late Ukrainian great-uncle, then a citizen of the USSR) about the Gipsy who loudly protested against food shortages in Russia. The police took him and said he had been yelling against the Soviet rule.
    - Who, me? Never! I'm yelling against the Romanoffs (the last dynasty of czars). They ruled Russia for 400 years, why didn't they stockpile enough resources for 60?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    the point of view depends on the point of sitting
    Yeah. Everybody's got to have identity... even made up from reinterpreted history. I think it is easy to recast one's chosen group as eternally distinct from "them" the whole one's group was once a part of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Yeah. Everybody's got to have identity... even made up from reinterpreted history. I think it is easy to recast one's chosen group as eternally distinct from "them" the whole one's group was once a part of.
    Could you be more specific please?
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    Sure. A recent example is the Georgians, who feel Soviet Union gave them a bad deal and no doubt this year's Georgian schoolbooks are pleased to say so... though Georgians were part of it, just as every other group who got a bad deal was. I'll bet even the Russians now feel Soviet Union was bad for Russia, a kind of imposition Russians laboured under. Like somebody else must be responsible.

    An example of group re-writing history is the Kurds, who killed each other for decades before quite recently deciding to blame Saddam for all the killing. The uncomfortable truth of mass graves was swept under the rug. "Them" Iraqis did it to "us" Kurds, so Kurds now get along with a common, unifying history. Questioning this version of history is questioning the basis of Kurdistan.

    If Quebec separates from Canada of course Quebecers will like to think they never really were Canadians, never really part of and responsible for Canada. The people of any separating province would think likewise.
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    Every straw in the load thinks it's the one that broke the camel's back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    Quote Originally Posted by Zitterbewegung
    (Gorbachov) had an army of - what? - 5 million soldiers and the means to dig into almost unlimited resources from the socialist/communist Brothers as well as his own country.
    One correction: if the CP of the USSR and their puppets in satellite states had had "almost unlimited resources", few people if any at all would have bothered to protest against the regime, let alone rebel against it. But the glorious achievements of planned economy included a shortage of almost anything, except - and you are right here - cheap young Russian cannon fodder.
    If Communism were introduced in Saudi Arabia they would be out of oil in five years and out of sand in fifteen.
    Well, if you look at the individual you are right, Leszek. But the fact that there was a shortage of e.g. meat for the masses did not mean that there was a shortage in equippment for the army. And I looked it up, the number of troops during "peace" or cold war times was more like 2.5 million troops. But nonetheless, when it comes to raw material (ores, energy, manpower) there was almost nothing that could not be acchieved. And the missing raw material (information) they got from their spies. I mean, the russins had no problem getting Plutonium from their primitive nuclear reactors. They just let those run for a certain while, tear them apart and send in Gulag-prisoners to seperated the chunks of mteal from the debris. What, those people are dying after 1 hour in there? Who cares it's for the greater good of communism. Their main problem was the little tidbit of information that you only can use a Germanium-Plutonium alloy to make a stable core for the Plutonium style nuclear bobm. This bit of information they got from Klaus Fuchs in the late 1940ies.

    Only by de-populating the entire country. And doing that would absolutely certainly have provoked a world wide response, giving the United States full political cover to send in its own troops.
    Not at all. And the Russians did invade a whole country. Remember Afganistan? Or Georgia? And what did the US do??
    Besides, you only have to go in with enough force to defeat a regular army. Totally different story for the guerrilla tactics like at the Hindukush. Ideally suited for guerilla warfare while Middle Europe is not.


    Russia either had to crush it quickly or not at all. Besides that, the economic cost of a 5 million soldier invasion is very different from the cost of a 50,000 (or so) tank invasion
    They did not invade with 50,000 tanks. They did not even have 50,000 tanks, more like 25,000 to 30,000. And again, two or three airborne elite batallions would do the trick. Swift, brutal and shoot first-ask questions later attitude will take care of a centralized regime with an according command structure.
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    Only by de-populating the entire country. And doing that would absolutely certainly have provoked a world wide response, giving the United States full political cover to send in its own troops.
    Not at all. And the Russians did invade a whole country. Remember Afganistan? Or Georgia? And what did the US do??
    Besides, you only have to go in with enough force to defeat a regular army. Totally different story for the guerrilla tactics like at the Hindukush. Ideally suited for guerilla warfare while Middle Europe is not.
    The Hungarian revolution was an insurgency, just one on such a massive scale that the whole government was overthrown.

    Because they didn't have anti-tank missiles (like the Afghans did), they were powerless against the tanks. The Afghans would have lost too, if they similarly didn't have missiles (provided by the USA) to shoot down the helicopters.

    Russia either had to crush it quickly or not at all. Besides that, the economic cost of a 5 million soldier invasion is very different from the cost of a 50,000 (or so) tank invasion
    They did not invade with 50,000 tanks. They did not even have 50,000 tanks, more like 25,000 to 30,000. And again, two or three airborne elite batallions would do the trick. Swift, brutal and shoot first-ask questions later attitude will take care of a centralized regime with an according command structure.
    My point exactly. Tanks require less logistics. A smaller number of them will do. The problem with using soldiers is that the Hungarians would have done about exactly what insurgents are doing in Iraq right now.

    The airborne guys would have to walk the streets looking for the revolutionaries (they weren't all gathered in one place waiting for an attack), getting shot at from every street corner. The tanks could roll through the same neighborhoods and the most the insurgents could do is maybe throw a molotov cocktail or something.
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    Imo Reagan was a figurehead, he probably wasnt told about half the crap the US was doing (tilting elections in the West /instating dictatorship in Grece/ killing european civilians to frame communists[Gladio], CIA control over US media[Mockingbird], smuggling drugs in the west and using revenues to fund black ops, funding muslim extremist schools to use muslims as proxy cannon fodder vs the USSR, phoney framing of Libia in the blowing up of flight 103, or about the US supported death squads killing villagers and priests in south america, etc), though VP Bush senior was surely in the loop. Which makes me think of the American Liberty Leagues(industrialists) attempted fascist coup d'etat model of the 30s which would have resulted in a president figurehead while a would-be subordinate (ex:secretary of state) would have been the person in charge of managing the whitehouse away from the theatre spotlight. :wink:

    As for what caused the collapse of the USSR theres probably a number of internal reasons and there probably are pivotal aspects that are kept secret from the public that we wont know about for a few decades if ever (ex: economic warfare, western support for corruption/organized crime/factions inside Russia, etc). It took several decades after WW2 was over for any information about Enigma to be known.


    As for Kosovo and Gorgia etc, as legitimate as their independance are, you have to consider that States inside the US would probably not be allowed (juging from amercian civil war) to seperate even if they wanted to(and should be allowed), and that former soviet republics/satelites have been instrumentalized by the west to further dismantle Russia. I mean, Georgia minister of defense has an Israeli passport for pete's sake, thats almost as if Texas wanted to seperate during the cold war and the leader of the independance movement had a russian passeport. The issue is not whether province/state/people X should be independant but who is pulling the strings (and how hard theyre pulling).
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    I wouldn't be surprised if Mosad did the bombing of flight 103.

    Reagan was at least smart enough, politically, to take credit. The Iran Contra scandal, for example.
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    >> And USA started this armement race (space race)(nuclear weapons) and all the rest. It did cost 7% of US PIB versus 20% for Russia.

    This is 80% of why what happened, happened.

    Communism didn't "collapse" because it was Communism. The USSR de-federalised because it didn't have Canada to it's north, Mexico to it's south, and two wide oceans on either side.

    Instead it had a million heavily armed NATO troops on one side, a million armed and angry Chinese on the other, and 14 intermittently hostile nations on the borders between.

    The USA has never been invaded, and except when it de-federalised itself, during the "Civil War" (and no one claims that "Capitalism failed" in that case), has never really seen a war.

    The USSR was steam-rolled during WWII. Has been invaded a dozen times.

    They just lost the money war. Nothing to do with Communism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    They just lost the money war. Nothing to do with Communism.
    And of course the fact that the US dollar was, and still is, practically _the_ world currency while the Soviet rouble was, on the world market, little more than a funny piece of paper with exotic lettering - this fact had nothing to do with the difference between Capitalism and Communism?
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    Um, how could "losing the money war" have nothing to do with Communism? At its core, isn't Communsim's goal mostly economic? Wouldn't failing in that area kind of tell us something about its effectiveness at that goal?
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    Both your replies don't seem to indicate any understanding of mine.

    The Capitalist Mexican peso isn't worth less than an American dollar *because* it is a Capitalist peso? Is it? Or is Mexico an example of how Capitalism has "failed"?
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    Interestingly enough: Yes. Mexico is a wonderful example of failed capitalism. The thing about the USSR and the USA is that both were trying to prove their systems' superiority.

    You're right that Russia had some disadvantages, but ... they also had a few advantages. In the first place, they have a lot more oil than we do. Saudi Arabia/OPEC could not squeeze them like they squeezed us in the early 70's, the late 70's, and more recently in the early part of this decade.
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    Actually Mexico is doing very well. If you don't count the disenfranchised rural farmers. It's classified as an "upper middle income" country. It's only really rivaled by Brazil in Latin America.

    The uneven income distribution is a problem though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Actually Mexico is doing very well. If you don't count the disenfranchised rural farmers. It's classified as an "upper middle income" country. It's only really rivaled by Brazil in Latin America.

    The uneven income distribution is a problem though.
    True, but that still means it's accurate to call them a "failure of capitalism". They produce lots of manufacturing goods and services, but have a hard time even giving their people basic necessities like food.

    It's like a starving person who owns a Ferarri, but they're still hungry.
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