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Did Reagan win the cold war? A myth exploded.

by DemocracyIsGood Monday, Dec. 01, 2003 at 1:18 PM

Before I disprove this myth, I want to point out the childishness, crassness, and just plain ignorance of the propagandists who make this claim. Such a massive global struggle, and one guy who stumbled in after 90% of it was over decides to claim all the credit?

I wrote this article for my pro-Clark website:

"Welcome back, Reagan Democrats! As for the "Reagan won the cold war" myth...

As Clark unites America, I'm going to be writing a lot of welcomes.

I guess the turning point was when it became apparent that the aren't the Tough on Defense national security party they've always claimed to be. For a while it looked like Bush was going to provide, as the bumper stickers say it, peace through superior firepower. Yet now every week there's a new terror attack in a new part of the world, and every day more soldiers die while Bush and his warmongers go to fundraisers and party like it's 1939.

But what about that claim we've heard so many times, that Reagan "won the cold war"?

Before I disprove this myth, I want to point out the childishness, crassness, and just plain ignorance of the propagandists who make this claim. Such a massive global struggle, and one guy who stumbled in after 90% of it was over decides to claim all the credit?

The war against communism was not a "Cold War" in any way, shape or form. WW3 is a good name for it, though this battle of attrition started before the end of WW1, and continued to the fall of the USSR (after Reagan), though we can argue it is still being fought, against Burma and North Korea, while a sort of unofficial peace negotiation (though market reforms and better relations) moves along with China and Cuba.

Millions upon millions of soldiers, refugees, diplomats, activists, saboteurs, reformers, union members both behind the iron curtain and in the west, intellectuals, freethinkers, environmentalists, protesters, writers, artists, most of all innocent bystanders, and on and on and on, of ALL political stripes (even communists themselves) fought, agitated, where tortured and died in the battle of attrition to bring down the dark age known as communism.

Winston Churchill may have been right when he said that an "iron curtain has descended ", however, that curtain fell in 1917, long before the short-term memory of us in the west.

WW3 started in 1917 when Lenin violently overthrew the liberal democratic Provisional Government which was struggling to restore order after the revolution. The civil war effort involved a motley coalition of liberal democrats, socialists, monarchist reactionaries. It also included many forgotten soldiers of the western allies, including a lot of Americans, who fought and froze in the obscure battles of 1918.

During Hoover's great depression, it looked like the house of cards about to collapse was capitalism. Many Americans actually went to the USSR for work! Those western technicians was one of the reasons Stalin's industrialization actually succeeded. Then Roosevelt's New Deal got capitalism on its feet again, and republicans will never forgive him.

Poland fought a forgotten war against the soviets in the civil war era, then fought them again for a few days in 1939.

Finland fought three forgotten David-and Goliath battles with the USSR, in the civil war, the winter of 1939, and in World War 2.

If you're talking about inflicting sheer military and economic costs, Hitler did far, far more damage than Reagan even claims to have done. Not only Germans but millions of Europeans, volunteers and conscripts, most of all Russians themselves, fought on the losing side of that evil-VS-evil war.

Fascist Japan also fought two short, losing wars against the USSR during WW2. They also fought Chinese communists in a four-sided war that also involved Chiang-Kia Check [sp?], who probably spent more energy fighting the reds than the Japanese. The other "faction" of sorts was the Chinese warlords.

For a while in WW2 we were aiding the royalists who fought against Tito in Yugoslavia. Though Tito was a communist, he was too liberal for the USSR, so Yugoslavia played a more of less neutral role in the "Cold War began". His slightly more liberal brand of communism made Yugoslavia more prosperous than the rest of eastern Europe.

General Clark played a direct role: he defeated and opened the way to the overthrow of Milosovich's "socialist" party, which was actually a communist leftover.

The largest blow dealt to communism - bar NONE - was the Marshall plan of economic development under Truman. This was a decisive proof that foreign aid and economic development, sharing and caring, kills more fanatic movements than the shoot and loot, borrow and bomb ideology of the Bu'ushists. People who pointed this fact out after 9/11 were denounced as traitors, kicked out of jobs, schools, and families, yet today the contrast between Iraq and Germany is more obvious than ever.

Rebellions in Hungary, Prauge, Tienamen square, and other massacres added many martyrs to the cause. Unions like "Solidarity" in Poland fought strikes, and unions in America and the west constantly fought communists infiltrators. Right now, the largest labor movement in human history is fighting massive but unreported struggles in China.

The UN fought the North Koreans and Chinese in Korea. Truman's policy of containment contained them, while Republicans were more interested in starting a nuclear war. (Republicans have never understood a phenomenon known as "radiation".)

JFK and LBJ fought communism to another bloody stalemate in Vietnam. How much fighting was enough to prevent the domino-effect, and how much was just futile overkill, is am irrelevant debate that Americans should leave behind us.

Communist Vietnam invaded and destroyed Cambodia's Kmir Rouge. They also fought China once, and China fought Russia once. Now that American jobs can be sent to Vietnam and China, the republicans are silent and Maoism's only opponents seem to be fair-trade activists.

Clark has stated that he's going to make countries like them play by the same rules in global trade, such as taking on China's currency manipulation. In contrast, Bush actually apologized to China when they took our pilots hostage. He has a brother that is making money hand over fist in China.

Most of the corporate media, by the way, is actually forbidden from reporting any stories that are embarrassing to China. Too many of their investments are at stake. Go ahead, call any of the top media corporations and ask them to report something on the colossal union struggles and strikes that are occurring daily in China, for just one example.

Environmentalists behind the Iron Curtain were a major form of resistance. Throughout the world and most of all in Russia, the credit for the end of Communism goes to Micael Gorbi [I can`t spell his name, the guy with the birthmark on his head]. His market and civil liberty reforms made a huge impact that was never noticed very much all the way over here.

Solyetzin, (The Gulag Archipelego) the radical-leftist George Orwell (Animal Farm, 1984), communist-sympathizing writer John Scott (Behind the Urals) and other writers and intellectuals exposed the reality and thinking of communism in a way that could not be done by the hysterical and unbelievable propaganda from the right.

U2's best song (IMO) "Walk On", is about a Burmese dissident, while today Bush and his corporate contributors are cheerfully doing business and collaborating with the unbelievably savage Burmese communist dictatorship.

Peruvian governments, including liberal democrats, are still fighting against the terrorist Moaists of the "Shining Path" but you'll never hear about that when Bush talks about "terrah". Other than his miserably failed attempt to stop North Korea from building WMD, the only remotely anti-communist action of Bush is to use our taxes to fund fascist drug-lords in Columbia who tend to fight with their commercial rivals, the leftist drug-lords, and tend to massacre peasants who might possibly be leftists, after all, they`re peasants, right?

Tibet and pro-Tibetan activists are resisting China's invasion and settlement of Tibet. Nepal is fighting a war against Maoists.

Even peaceful Sweden played a part. When the USSR was brought down, it was generally expected that the result would be like Scandanavia, especially Sweden - a country that combines an economic higher standard of living and morals (less abortions, teen pregnancy, etc) than the rest of the capitalist world, with a superior socialism to the USSR. Had the Russians had to use the USA, with Reagan's double-digit unemployment, as a model, (let alone known the Great Depression style economic disaster they've suffered under a crony-capitalism disturbingly similar to that of Bush), would they have revolted? Probably not.

Remember that classic contrast at the Berlin Wall? The wealthy, vibrant, optimistic west just a block away from the poor, polluted, backward communists? That West Berlin was prospering under liberals and social-democrats. (That's why there's been so much hatred thrown at Germany and France by the republicans - they same liberalism that opposed the fanatic ideology of the communists is now opposing the fanatical ideology of the Bu'ushists.) If it has been a republican-governed state like Missouri next door to East Berlin, would there have been a contrast? Would people risk their lives to escape to a polluted slum in Texas?

This is all just off the top of my head. There are a million struggles and battles I have thoughtlessly neglected.

So then, what did Reagan do to fight communism? Let's see:

Reagan funded the right-wing Afgan religious fanatics and trained them in bombings and other terrorism. (One of their typical tactics - videotaping a young Russian prisoner as they skin him alive, then sending the videotape to his mother.) He compared Osama Bin Laden's friends to America's founding fathers.

Reagan focused his energy on Beruit - then caved in to terrorism, pulling his troops out. His attacks on communists in Latin America were intended to distract public attention from this.

Reagan trained every fascist terrorist group in Latin America, every nun-raping, genociding, cocaine-smuggling crack-Hitler on the entire continent. Remember those American nuns raped to death by Reagans "freedom fighters"? All morals aside, this was counterproductive.

Reagan and Bush were busily arming Saddam with WMD, then Bush suddenly switched sides, fighting an indecisive (Saddam survived) war to restore the Kuwaiti dictatorship. Those same WMD Reagan-Bush sent them might have caused Gulf War syndrome, which has killed and maimed thousands of our troops and their children. If anyone calls GW1 a decisive success, explain the horrors of Gulf War syndrome to them. With that in mind, it is obvious that GW1 was actually an indecisive, bloody stalemate. (Much of the military bases built in Saudi Arabia were done by Osama Bin Laden's family, who were greatly enriched by it.)

Reagan didn't have as much interest in the unions, environmentalists, reformists and liberal democrats who where bringing communism down from the inside. Reagan was too busy raping nuns to death.

The republican theory is that Reagan's welfare cheques to the Military-Industrial Complex corporations (the same ones Eisenhower warned us about) started an "arms race". Funny, seeing that republicans never argued that there was such thing as an "arms race" they said that spending would just give an advantage. When was the last time you heard a republican can say "no, buying weapons systems doesn't give us an advantage, but it causes the rest of the world to also waste its money on weapons."?

Reagan's main spending was on "Star Wars" which still doesn't work today. Back then, computers had no more power than pocket calculators. Yet the missile defense system still can't hit its targets, even when given advanced warning of the time and location of the attack.

So did arms spending affect the USSR? Ask anyone that has lived under communism, they'll tell you that it's consumer goods that communism finds impossible to make - they're perfectly competent at pumping out weapons systems in colossal numbers, in fact, some of the best military technology ever made were communist:

(The T-32 tank, the Il-2 attack aircraft, the RPG series, the Moaist guerrilla warfare model (still being used in Iraq more than half a century later) and infantry tactics (ask a Korea vet about how startlingly effective Mao's peasants were against our mechanical advantage in Korea - they were not the suicide charges portrayed in movies) the Viet Cong's tunnel system, the "mobile minefield" of Improvised Explosive Devices (another tactic still used in Iraq) the Mig-29 fighter, plus other things that are secret (what has that tiny bullet that managed to penetrate our invincible Abrams tank, for example? Must be Russian or Chinese).

So, had the USSR really gone all-out to beat Reagan's arms race, how do we know they wouldn't win? How do we know their missile defense system wouldn't be better than ours? Every time we fought them militarily, it was a long and bloody stalemate, because, despite their economic backwardness in the world of consumer goods, their military-industrial-complex could fight us to a standstill every time.

This is exactly the model that Truman's policy of containment was designed for. If they attack, fight to the inevitable stalemate, if not, simply wait for them to collapse.

If the nuclear war that republican hawks were craving for actually occurred, it probably would have been the same as every other war we fought against the communists - extremely bloody and indecisive.

Would you PLEASE stop complimenting the communists?

Democrats like Truman believed that communism was so unworkable it would eventually self-destruct. Democrats still believe that that's the reason it did. Communism failed because communism is a failure. Reagan and the republicans are completely different. To make Reagan a hero, they have to give him a bigger dragon to slay - so they have to pretend that communism wasn't the rotten house of cards that everybody knows it was.

But why?

Liberals have seen communism as a threat to democracy, the same as fascism, terrorism, and neo-conservatism. Communists want government to take over business, neo-cons want business to take over the government. Both want business and government owned by a small corporate elite. In the end there's no difference.

Reagan-Bush neo-conservatives see communism as just another bogeyman to frighten people into accepting totalitarianism, just like Hitler used communism to frighten people into accepting his rule. Notice how little they talk about communism now that they have terrorist bogeymen to replace it!

Thus, liberals want neo-conservatism, communism, and terrorism destroyed.

Neo-conservatives know they owe their jobs to our enemies. That's why liberals use effective strategies that win wars and bring down dictators, while neo-conservatives focus on welfare for weapons corporations and right-wing dictators while they stumble around with failed defense policy.

Just listen to them: "We must arm the Taliban! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must arm Iraq! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must go to Beruit! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must flee Beruit! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must bomb Iraq! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must not assist the enemies of Saddam as they're slaughtered! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must fight drug lords by arming drug lords! Disagree and you're a traitor! Bush must go to Somolia! Disagree and you're a traitor! Clinton must leave Somolia immediately! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must not go to Rwanda! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must blame Clinton for Rwanda! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must not bomb Bin Laden, that distracts from Clinton's sex life! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must be nice to Sudan even though it's harboring Bin Laden, we have oil companies there! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must not fight Milosovich! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must bomb China, Vietnam, the entire third world, no wait, we must export our jobs there! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must never apologize to China, I'm sorry, China! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must send foreign aid to the Taliban! Disagree and you're a traitor! I failed to stop the Taliban from attacking us, it's all YOUR fault! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must invade North Korea! No, we must invade Iraq! The rebels we allowed to be slaughtered will help us! We'll all be dancing in the streets within days! Disagree and you're a traitor! We must invade Syria and Iran, no, never mind! We WILL find WMD, but we never said Iraq had WMD! Disagree and you're a traitor! The UN is evil, evil, evil, hey, why won't the UN to send us cannon fodder? Disagree and you're a traitor! Did I call you an axis of evil, Iran and North Korea? Sorry, that was only because you couldn't threaten me with WMD at the time!"

The republicans' indecisive mess is not a foreign policy, it is simply stumbling around in the dark.

If anyone could add more examples and arguments, please do. Also, if anyone could boil this down to a series of talking-points and sound bites, I will be very thankful. Also, please provide links that provide detailed information on the various points I've made. Please copy and re-post this wherever you please. Feel free to alter it. Thanks for reading!"

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