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The Cold War

NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday had a couple of pieces looking back at the Cold War.

In Americans Give Ahmadinejad Cold-War Treatment, Daniel Schorr compares the way Ahmadinejad was received to the way Khrushchev was treated when he came to the US.  We haven’t learned much in the last 50 years.

In Ex-Diplomats Gauge Russia-U.S. Relations , Robert Siegel talked with two former diplomats involved in the Cold War: Jack Matlock was a U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Gorbachev era; Yuly Vorontsev was Russia’s ambassador to the United States in the 1990s.

The really interesting part is at the end when they pretty much agree that no one won or lost the Cold War, the Russian people just decided they wanted a change. They wanted to be Russians, not Soviets, and didn’t see that “empire” had been much of a help to their lives. Not so much passive resistance as terminal apathy was the end of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.

2 comments

1 Badtux { 09.27.07 at 5:12 pm }

I don’t think you get the point. Political orthodoxy required that Ahmadinejad be received the way he was. Here in Soviet America, if you are a prominent official such as Columbia University President Lou Bollinger, you must express the proper doctrine as promulgated by Party commissars in the media or you will be hounded from your position as doctrinally unsound, relegated to the general category of “kooks, flakes, and nuts”, and eventually find yourself shuffling the streets in a shabby bathrobe occasionally muttering, “brother, spare some change?” to passers-by. And it is not merely enough to give mere lip service to Party doctrine as passed down by its commissars in the media. You must express it vehemently and with utter sincerity, else you are at extreme risk of your position. Official Party doctrine is that Ahmadinejad is a cross between Adolph Hitler and Satan. Thus to properly comply with Party doctrine, one must receive him as such.

This is America. If you are in a position of importance or speaking to one of importance (as vs. a random penguin blathering to fellow odd fowl) and speak freely here in Soviet America, you will be demonized, ostracized, or tasered. Compliance with Party doctrine is enforced differently here in Soviet America as vs. in the Soviet Union — we do not, for example, bother building gulags for our dissidents, we merely render them impoverished and homeless — but enforced it is. And the structure of the Party is different here in Soviet America, it is, for example, divided into two wings, the Sane wing and the Insane wing (I will let you decide which is which), but Party it is.

The only question is whether eventually the majority of the people of Soviet America will tire as much of empire and doctrinal insanity as the majority of the people of the Soviet Union did. Only time, in the end, will tell.

– Badtux the Soviet Penguin

2 Bryan { 09.27.07 at 7:33 pm }

Unfortunately it took them 70 years. You would hope that Americans had less patience.

The War on Terror has a lot in common with the struggle against the forces of the counter-revolution – the same creation of Extraordinary Committees [CheKa] to deal with the problem. The postponement of rights and freedoms to deal with the problem. The cries of a lack of patriotic fervor when someone complains. And, of course, scapegoating when everything turns to crap.

It is never the fault of the ideology, it is always the fault of some individual. If you are innocent what do you have to fear from 24/7 surveillance?

We had to defeat the Soviets so we could become them.