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Exile

Is The Cold War Over?

Is it really over?

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Tough question... But to give you an answer I don't think its over.

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Define 'cold war'?
Democrats vs. Commies? We'll see how China holds up.
US force-feeding its culture down the throats of the rest of the world? Don't think we'll see an end to that soon.

More ramblings to follow later, if interested.

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QUOTE (MeHT @ Jun 8 2008, 05:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Define 'cold war'?
Democrats vs. Commies? We'll see how China holds up.
US force-feeding its culture down the throats of the rest of the world? Don't think we'll see an end to that soon.

More ramblings to follow later, if interested.

The war to end the spread of communism.

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It was never truly about that, was it? smile.gif

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QUOTE (MeHT @ Jun 8 2008, 07:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was never truly about that, was it? smile.gif

Then what was it about?

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Yes, the Cold War is over. It's no longer about the two major "superpowers", USSR and US, glaring at each other, pointing nuclear weapons at each other, and stockpiling and escalating the arms race. It's a whole new game now.

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I agree with I.M.B, the cold war was between the United States and the USSR. I do not see in any way how we are still to this day in a cold war with communists, unless of course they start supplying terrorists (or already have?) with the means to make bombs and shit. just my 2c.

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QUOTE (Exile @ Jun 8 2008, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MeHT @ Jun 8 2008, 05:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Define 'cold war'?
Democrats vs. Commies? We'll see how China holds up.
US force-feeding its culture down the throats of the rest of the world? Don't think we'll see an end to that soon.

More ramblings to follow later, if interested.

The war to end the spread of communism.

The Cold War had very little to do with communism and democracy... you can see that in the ways that the USSR cooperated with democracies, in the ways that the USA cooperated with communist states, in the ways that the USA overthrew democracies while protecting communist states, and in the ways that the USSR denied help to communist states but gave it to democracies.

The Cold War was in many ways a front, an occasionally hostile competition between the two fledgling imperial powers under which they could extend their geopolitical and economic power vampirically across the periphery.

Since that's basically still happening, Read: Iraq, in a way no, the Cold War is not over, if it ever really existed in the first place. Edited by gaia.plateau

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I recently took a course in geopolitics, I'll lay out the most appropriate GP approaches in their relevance to the Cold War tomorrow. tongue.gif

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QUOTE (gaia.plateau @ Jun 9 2008, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Exile @ Jun 8 2008, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MeHT @ Jun 8 2008, 05:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Define 'cold war'?
Democrats vs. Commies? We'll see how China holds up.
US force-feeding its culture down the throats of the rest of the world? Don't think we'll see an end to that soon.

More ramblings to follow later, if interested.

The war to end the spread of communism.

The Cold War had very little to do with communism and democracy... you can see that in the ways that the USSR cooperated with democracies, in the ways that the USA cooperated with communist states, in the ways that the USA overthrew democracies while protecting communist states, and in the ways that the USSR denied help to communist states but gave it to democracies.

The Cold War was in many ways a front, an occasionally hostile competition between the two fledgling imperial powers under which they could extend their geopolitical and economic power vampirically across the periphery.

Since that's basically still happening, Read: Iraq, in a way no, the Cold War is not over, if it ever really existed in the first place.



You forget it wasn't America's intention to promote democracy, but rather to stop communism. We adopted what was deemed a pragmatic approach by supporting virtually any anti-communist forces. To say the cold war wasn't about substantive differences in ideology is foolish. Did we have such an enormously antagonistic relationship with England or Germany when they were our only competitors? No, there was something fundamentally different in regard to our affairs with C.C.C.P. However, certainly the fact that they were an opposing power block was a factor regardless of ideology.

When you state, "it wasn't about communism or democracy" you are right. It was a competition primarily between economic visions. For instance, Finland was democratic, but allied itself largely with the soviet bloc. Despite the exaggerated fear mongering the west felt threatened by the communist challenge to capitalism. Even though the Soviets weren't really communists, they definitely had a socialist system. Obviously, capitalists abroad feared their assets being taken by a powerful state.

When you say we aided communist states I can only think of China. We only opened relations with them to deepen the Sino-soviet split. This was intended as a pragmatic move to strike a blow at the U.S.S.R. The U.S was hoping to woo china and damage the greatest communist threat.

Both the U.S and Soviet Union almost always made decisions in line with their general ideology (i.e. Capitalism/Communism). This can be seen in the various wars waged throughout the period. Vietnam and Korea were obvious attempts to halt communist expansion. This was Truman's famed policy of containment. On the soviet side the Afghan war was an attempt to prop up a newly elected communist and socialist legislature. The president began making moves against the newly elected body, and the afghan governing body allegedly asked for help.

Now to answer the question of whether a conflict continues, I would say no. There are lingering social issues and antagonism remaining from the cold war, but the world is fundamentally different. The Russians may be resurgent, but they no longer offer a competitive world view. They are also largely tied to Europe and others by market relations. Even Putin during his presidency advocated a multi-polar world. Of course, he wanted Russia to be a pole, but thought the time of a one or two pole world was ending. Do economic relations neutralize them as a threat? Probably, though countries like Germany have attacked others they had strong economic ties to. However, they simply aren't a global movement anymore. They simply don't have the influence they once commanded. Their so called friends may include China, India, North Korea and perhaps Iran, but the bonds that ties them are week at best. I don't believe a loose system of alliances can present the coherent threat necessary for a cold war. It will never have the same us vs. them mentality. Edited by John Stuart Mill

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QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You forget it wasn't America's intention to promote democracy, but rather to stop communism.

But it was America's professed and propounded intention, and the commonly understood intention by mainstream anti-revisionist academics. Reread the Truman Doctrine.
QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We adopted what was deemed a pragmatic approach by supporting virtually any anti-communist forces. To say the cold war wasn't about substantive differences in ideology is foolish.
Meant to be a non-sequitur? At any rate I guess it's a good thing I said that it had little to do with it, as opposed to nothing to do with it. Anti-Communist forces are functioning and free democratic states, such as Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iran, and Grenada before the US government overthrew them and replaced them with brutal, facist, military dictatorships who neither opposed nor supported communist forces in any way, but simply kept the foreign and domestic policies of the country in question favourable to the economic interests of the present US-based transnational corporations.

QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you say we aided communist states I can only think of China. We only opened relations with them to deepen the Sino-soviet split. This was intended as a pragmatic move to strike a blow at the U.S.S.R. The U.S was hoping to woo china and damage the greatest communist threat.

I was thinking specifically of the USSR, actually. Think back to the relationship between Kennedy and Kruschev, and the ways in which Kennedy acted to deliberately bolster and support the Soviet sphere of influence. The Cold War was in many ways more of a cooperation between the USA and USSR, than it was a competition or conflict. It had to appear as those things, obviously, to 1) continue to foster public support for expensive military operations, and 2) keep the international community from focusing on the completely illegal, illegitimate and immoral actions of both superpowers in the periphery.

QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Both the U.S and Soviet Union almost always made decisions in line with their general ideology (i.e. Capitalism/Communism). This can be seen in the various wars waged throughout the period. Vietnam and Korea were obvious attempts to halt communist expansion. This was Truman's famed policy of containment. On the soviet side the Afghan war was an attempt to prop up a newly elected communist and socialist legislature. The president began making moves against the newly elected body, and the afghan governing body allegedly asked for help.

I disagree with this, but will neither cavil endlessly nor put in the time to dig up primary sources to refute. PM me if you'd like a full rebuttal to this, complete with documented sources.

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QUOTE (gaia.plateau @ Jun 11 2008, 07:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You forget it wasn't America's intention to promote democracy, but rather to stop communism.

But it was America's professed and propounded intention, and the commonly understood intention by mainstream anti-revisionist academics. Reread the Truman Doctrine.
[/size]
QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[size="3"]We adopted what was deemed a pragmatic approach by supporting virtually any anti-communist forces. To say the cold war wasn't about substantive differences in ideology is foolish.
Meant to be a non-sequitur? At any rate I guess it's a good thing I said that it had little to do with it, as opposed to nothing to do with it. Anti-Communist forces are functioning and free democratic states, such as Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iran, and Grenada before the US government overthrew them and replaced them with brutal, facist, military dictatorships who neither opposed nor supported communist forces in any way, but simply kept the foreign and domestic policies of the country in question favourable to the economic interests of the present US-based transnational corporations.

QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you say we aided communist states I can only think of China. We only opened relations with them to deepen the Sino-soviet split. This was intended as a pragmatic move to strike a blow at the U.S.S.R. The U.S was hoping to woo china and damage the greatest communist threat.

I was thinking specifically of the USSR, actually. Think back to the relationship between Kennedy and Kruschev, and the ways in which Kennedy acted to deliberately bolster and support the Soviet sphere of influence. The Cold War was in many ways more of a cooperation between the USA and USSR, than it was a competition or conflict. It had to appear as those things, obviously, to 1) continue to foster public support for expensive military operations, and 2) keep the international community from focusing on the completely illegal, illegitimate and immoral actions of both superpowers in the periphery.

QUOTE (John Stuart Mill @ Jun 10 2008, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Both the U.S and Soviet Union almost always made decisions in line with their general ideology (i.e. Capitalism/Communism). This can be seen in the various wars waged throughout the period. Vietnam and Korea were obvious attempts to halt communist expansion. This was Truman's famed policy of containment. On the soviet side the Afghan war was an attempt to prop up a newly elected communist and socialist legislature. The president began making moves against the newly elected body, and the afghan governing body allegedly asked for help.

I disagree with this, but will neither cavil endlessly nor put in the time to dig up primary sources to refute. PM me if you'd like a full rebuttal to this, complete with documented sources.


To me the Truman doctrine was primarily aimed at communism not totalitarianism. In any case, the policy adopted wasn’t one of promoting democracy but stopping communism. Ostensibly it was about protecting free peoples and democracy, though in reality it marked the beginning of containment at almost any cost. Hell, at the time Truman proposed support for turkey their democracy was questionable at best under Ismet Inönü.

I didn’t mean to suggest that all our actions were in the interest of containing communism, though many were. We also wanted to benefit our general interests where we could. However, those were not directly related to the cold war. Your mentioning of Grenada is interesting. We entered after a revolution ousted the prior president. They called themselves the people’s provisional government and were certainly communists. Regan even believed that they were building a soviet airbase and used that to partially legitimize the war. Now in Guatemala Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was aligned against the U.S and it influence despite professing capitalism. He instituted land reform that was decried as communistic by the west. Another decision we disliked was his legalization of their communist party. With our interests threatened (i.e. American business interest like united fruit) it was only natural that we acted. None of your other examples illustrate what you probably hope. The Cold War didn’t determine every geopolitical decision. Sometimes we were merely trying to benefit ourselves regardless of its impact on communism. However, because we didn’t always focus on communism doesn’t indicate that a true antagonistic relationship didn’t exist. Suppose I hate my neighbor, do I spend every last second trying to thwart him?

What relationship between Kennedy and Khrushchev? Sure, they met and talked, but they accomplished little. Few would consider the partial test ban treaty emblematic of some greater relationship. What about the Cuban missile crises. That affair was largely the cause of Khrushchev’s fall from grace in the Soviet Union. Obviously, the two regimes weren’t particularly close. Plus, Khrushchev tried to dramatically reduce his spending on armed forces by relying on ICBMs. So your argument concerning their shared interest in propagating defense spending seems flawed. Khrushchev wanted and did shift more resources to general economic development.

Look, our cooperation with the soviets was limited at best. The two powers did not exist in some conspiracy to carve up the world. However, the soviets did have the desire to create a global socialist movement. Just look at their seal, which is a hammer and sickle over the world. Their leaders genuinely believed in socialism, even though many had probably abandoned some of the utopianism in Marx. These views led to a genuine fear from the western world. An ideology that has revolution and absorption of all other governments at its core is a threat to other nations. It wasn’t even as much about imperialism for the soviets as spreading their almost religious socialist zeal.

Has there ever been a conflict more divisive?

Communism vs. Capitalism

Atheism vs. Christianity

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