Reagan did not win the Cold War

This post was written by marc on June 11, 2004
Posted Under: Politics

Actually Gorbechev did.

Here’s an exerpt from MSNBC Story where Gorbechev sets the record straight.

‘We all lost’
But if he had warm, appreciative words for Reagan, Gorbachev brusquely dismissed the suggestion that Reagan had intimidated either him or the Soviet Union, or forced them to make concessions. Was it accurate to say that Reagan won the Cold War? “That’s not serious,” Gorbachev said, using the same words several times. “I think we all lost the Cold War, particularly the Soviet Union. We each lost $10 trillion,” he said, referring to the money Russians and Americans spent on an arms race that lasted more than four decades. “We only won when the Cold War ended.”

By Gorbachev’s account, it was his early successes on the world stage that convinced the Americans that they had to deal with him and to match his fervor for arms control and other agreements that could reduce East-West tensions. “We had an intelligence report from Washington in 1987,” he said, “reporting on a meeting of the National Security Council.” Senior U.S. officials had concluded that Gorbachev’s “growing credibility and prestige did not serve the interests of the United States” and had to be countered. A desire in Washington not to let him make too good an impression on the world did more to promote subsequent Soviet-American agreements than any American intimidation, he said. “They wanted to look good in terms of making peace and achieving arms control,” he said of the Reagan administration.

The changes he wrought in the Soviet Union, from ending much of the official censorship to sweeping political and economic reforms, were undertaken not because of any foreign pressure or concern, Gorbachev said, but because Russia was dying under the weight of the Stalinist system. “The country was being stifled by the lack of freedom,” he said. “We were increasingly behind the West, which . . . was achieving a new technological era, a new kind of productivity. . . . And I was ashamed for my country — perhaps the country with the richest resources on Earth, and we couldn’t provide toothpaste for our people.”

Reader Comments

Gorbachev is pretty close to telling the truth. Fact is, he fell behind the mood of the general population after he was put under house arrest by the old communist guard. After Gorbachev was released it seemed like he still didn’t get it. There was already a mass movement toward democracy and he was still talking about the future of communism.

Hey, this is one of the best cartooms around:

http://www.democracymeansyou.com/satire/explainified.htm

#1 
Written By richard on June 11th, 2004 @ 10:56 am

Gorbachev is pretty close to telling the truth. Fact is, he fell behind the mood of the general population after he was put under house arrest by the old communist guard. After Gorbachev was released it seemed like he still didn’t get it. There was already a mass movement toward democracy and he was still talking about the future of communism.

Hey, this is one of the best cartooms around:

http://www.democracymeansyou.com/satire/explainified.htm

#2 
Written By richard on June 11th, 2004 @ 10:57 am

As a person who lived in Moscow at the time of the break-up, I have to agree with Marc on this one. The Gorbachev quote is authentic, and fully representative of the factual causes for the end of the Soviet Union. If anything, the “cold war” and the “Western threat” was an enabler of stricter Soviet hard-line antics that excused militarism and held the Communist system in power.

Dictatorial Communism sucks, of course, but its not a problem that can be solved militarily. It was diplomacy that saved the world from Communism, not Reagan’s foreign policy. If the militant Republicans had been in power more often in America, such as during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there’d be many craters all over East Coast USA.

It’s a sad but unavoidable fact that, in the great scheme of things, each country ends up with the sort of government that it deserves. The idea that dictators can hold power through violence is a children’s fairytale: the majority of people in those countries are simply willing to trade what we call freedom for the security and psychological simplicity of fundamentalist rule (the advantages of which we perhaps underestimate, who knows). Usually those countries gradually evolve toward Democracy over time, as they become ready, which has been happening in Russia over the past ~15 years with still a long way to go. And maybe some don’t. Even what we call Democracy isn’t perfect or final: it is evolving, and one day our current practices may seem barbaric to our descendants. But forced revolutions — especially those instigated externally, as the revolution US created in Iraq — only lead to decades of disorder and bloodshed, and can often result it more steps away from freedom than toward it.

~~Alex~~

#3 
Written By Alex Libman on June 12th, 2004 @ 8:12 am

I love history revisionists. The facts do not support this like these lunatics above claim.

Gorbachev is still a man and has pride so he can never admit defeat. He never has, even when he was removed from power when the USSR fell.

A couple lines of someones personal commentary doesn’t override history and the economic situation of the whole issue.

Take an economics class and realize how the Soviet Union fell and then Reagan will be praised as the hero he should be.

Reagan never got credit for this Cold War victory, and what happened in other parts of the world has brought a little shame upon that legacy (Iran/Contra). But he is the one responsible… And there is no doubt about it.

http://www.nationalreview.com/flashback/dsouza200406061619.asp

#4 
Written By Bill Jenkins on September 6th, 2004 @ 2:46 pm

ddddud no way reagan sucks he lost big time

gogogogo russians

#5 
Written By dd on May 16th, 2006 @ 5:44 am

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