Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Who Ended The Cold War? A Short History Lesson for the AP

Apparently, the Associated Press needs to brush up on their 20th Century history. In a news story Wednesday, they seemed enamored of former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, as he spoke out against U.S. "arrogance". They gave him full credit as "the man who ended the Cold War". Well, that's a little contradictory to the view I hold.

I like what the editor of the Lone Star Times says:
Gorbachev ended the Cold War like Hirohito ended World War II: by losing. The collapse of the Soviet Union wasn’t "given as a gift." The USSR was dragged into the modern world, kicking and screaming, by an aggressive U.S. foreign policy.
Read his whole post here.

And, just so the AP is clear on who won the Cold War, they should take notice of the sequence below. I even included pictures to make it easier.







[Thanks to Pajamas Media for the link!]


dataman said...

I love this blog entry. It should be enshrined. Thanks for keeping the spirit of Mr. Reagan alive. The end of the cold war would never have happened without his lifelong quest to free people from the yoke of communism.

Jesse Clark said...

I think Gorbachev deserves some credit.

The guy seriously pushed for reform in the Soviet Union, and even when the glasnost got out of hand he didn't back down. I've seen video of the numerous Soviet reform meetings where he's getting torn to shreds by various regional deputies or whoever and yet he refuses to close the session.

When the Soviet satellites began to revolt, and their Communist leaders called for troops to stop the revolution, Gorbachev refused. "Why should I help you?" he said, "If you can't maintain order in your own country, you are not fit to rule!"

There are numerous anecdotes where he relieved regional Communist deputies of their posts because they failed to win a majority of the votes in the regional elections. When they complained to Gorbachev, "but I got the most votes!" He told them that they still didn't get a majority, and that they weren't going to govern anybody unless the people deemed they were fit to do so.

He appealed to the common people of the Soviet Union to push up against the bureaucracy as he pushed down. "Like a vise", as he described it.

While some pushed for rapid changes (Sergei Stankevich, the young and brilliant deputy mayor of Moscow comes to mind), Gorbachev knew that a steady pace was needed. Like a victim of starvation, who must begin to eat again slowly, the Soviet Union had to move cautiously toward reform.

The first university-educated leader of the Soviet Union since Lenin; a child during the tyrannical reign of Stalin; a man with a voracious appetite for knowledge; Gorbachev knew the country was headed for violent collapse and he set out to allow that to happen as peacefully as humanly possible.

Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II certainly hammered at the Iron Curtain from without; Gorbachev allowed it to fall from within.

And don't forget about sheer chance! Had Yuri Andropov lived long enough to implement his reforms, the Soviet Union would likely still be around today. Or if Andropov hadn't picked Gorbachev from relative obscurity and placed him on the Politburo, he never would have come to power.

Like most significant events in history, the fall of the Soviet Union was the result of the collective effort of a handful of great people.

Canadian Sentinel said...

Wonderful post, CP. Brings back the memories I have of the fall of the "Evil Empire". I remember watching it live on TV... as it was happening. Yeltsin on the tank... a moment to remember. Yeltsin ordering Gorby to "Read it!"...

Yep; Reagan really saved the Free World from the evils of communism by systematically choking the life out of the dogma's largest, most powerful regime.

John Paul II also deserves special credit. People everywhere listened to him and it made plenty of difference. No wonder we just learned that the Italians have declared the USSR was behind his assassination attempt; the Pope really terrified the commies... no small achievement for only one man.

Today, however, the threat of evil is ascending at an alarming rate, yet the Free World again ignores it. A whole new Axis power group is forming, coming closer together into a dangerous front right before our eyes.

We need another Reagan. Another Thatcher. Another PJPII (likely the current Pope). I'm hoping my new Conservative PM Stephen Harper will carry the spear and shield for Canada. And the Minister of Public Security is well-known for his strong views on security and the combating of evil. His record is clear, both in public and private life... a fearless man, Stockwell Day. And finally, a real Minister of Defence, a former warrior himself, Gordon O'Connor. Thank goodness we have Conservatives with strong, traditional values in power just in time to help Canada come to grips with the reality of the threats now facing the Free World.

Let's roll!

CP said...


Gorbachev may deserve some credit for pushing reform and going against some of the other hardliners. However, it was Reagan who pushed first. He stood against the evil of Communism for 40 years. The Soviets did not lose because they all-of-a-sudden saw things our way. They lost because we made it so they could not win. Reagan was fighting the Kremlin to free the people it had imprisoned and thank God, they won their freedom. I think you make some good points, but just as that Time cover illustrates, the Left has never given Reagan the real credit he is due. They didn't respect him and if truth be told, the extreme liberal left today is, in its soul, still in favor of some elements of the socialist/communist model. They have not learned from history that it is a failed philosophy.

CP said...

Canadian Sentinel,

You said, "Today, however, the threat of evil is ascending at an alarming rate...A whole new Axis power group is forming, coming closer together into a dangerous front right before our eyes."

I think you are exactly right. I really hope the Free World does not ignore it. I don't think it is too late for them to act, but they must begin to act boldly and decisively.

I, too, hope that Canada reclaims its place in the Coalition of the Willing. We need every ally who will stand with us. The West cannot be divided as it faces new threats from Islamism, China, and continued competition from Russia. I think we will have to continue to embrace other countries like Japan and now, India if we are to adequately counterbalance our enemies.

Jesse Clark said...


Well of course Reagan pushed first! Gorbachev didn't come to power until 1985! ;-)

But in all seriousness, you're right that Reagan made an enormous impact which has been largely ignored by the Left. People forget the military/economic game of chicken between the US and the USSR that Reagan won spectacularly.

Arguably, the only point in the Cold War in which the Soviets were the dominant superpower was immediately after Sputnik. Of course, that simply served as a spark to ignite the American industrial machine, which eventually drove the Soviet command economy into the ground, as it did with the Empire of Japan and the Third Reich just decades earlier.

But, similarly, I think Gorbachev's efforts have been ignored as well, particularly by the Right. Not because of any malicious intent, but because Americans know less about him than they do Reagan/Thatcher. He is a foreigner, after all, and a Communist at that. On the surface, there's not much to like.

Oh, and you hit the nail on the head about the extreme Left: They do still adhere to a socialist/communist model of sorts. Many of them claim that 'true communism' has yet to be achieved. (They are, in fact, correct. Modern Communism--captial 'C'--as we know it is a complete bastardization of Marx's original ideals which, however radical they may be, are quite insightful in a number of theoretical secondary fields which Marx may not have initially intended. But I digress...)

However, the far Left forgets that the one crucial quality necessary for a successful communal utopia continues to be quite elusive: Human Perfection.

Even beneath all the various ideologies and -isms, it's all about whether human nature is inherently good or evil. Bring on the Hobbes and Machiavelli...

Canadian Sentinel said...

CP: "...the extreme liberal left today is, in its soul, still in favor of some elements of the socialist/communist model. They have not learned from history that it is a failed philosophy."

This is exactly what I've been thinking for years. And, further, the left, since to collapse of the USSR, has been engaged in bold, devil-may-care self-destruction as never before seen in the Free World. It seems that the end of the Cold War brought an end to a certain seriousness of perspective the Free World had which prevented any radical leftist extremism from taking root and growing to such proportions as to gradually transform the very nature of Free World society... I mean, for example, the arrogance of the judiciary in imposing its own personal dogmas in rulings, freeing moonbats to do as they please while simultaneously shackling the very values and codes of conduct that originally made the Free World free, like freedom for all, democracy and the rule of law.

Entire empires throughout history have fallen or been destroyed by stronger enemies due to their own choice to carry on with unfettered, hedonistic decadence which rendered them impotent and unable to foresee, let alone respond to threats. I've been seeing this happening in the Free World. The Axis build their militaries as we've cut back ours. In fact, our people in Afghanistan: their sidearms are actually relics going all the way back to WWII... the Liberals refused to provide funds from overtaxation and ever-ballooning surpluses to properly, safely equip our warriors. And just the other day, a Canadian mil vehicle in Afghanistan collided with a civilian taxi, rolled over, killing one and injuring others. And this has happened before with the same type of vehicle. Thank the Liberals, who also bought used, defective, sitting around and rusting subs from Britain, one such sub killing another warrior... and I'll never forget when the cavalierly selfish Jean Chretien stole $100 million from the Forces to purchase for himself a couple of luxury jets when the one purchased by Mr. Mulroney was all ready to go and while there were other existing alternatives... that money could've bought some very important hardware for the Forces, but the Cretch never cared a whit! At least today he's disgraced, as is his successor, "Mr. Dithers", for all the corruption and criminality they wrought upon Canada...

Theway2k said...

Gorby deserves credit like a Farm employee deserves credit for cleaning the barn of cow manure. Good job Gorby.