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Buddha
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A GREAT Anniversary...

20 years since the Berlin Wall started to fall.

Even having grown up in the cold war era, it seemed absolutely unnatural to have such a crazy thing.

A joyous day for the world when it came down.

Reagan and Gorby made a great pair.

Anybody catch the killer History Channel special about the Wall? The stories of people who escaped were fantastic - vaults, baloons, mini planes, tunnels...great examples of human spirit.

Imagine Germany's economy had they not absorbed such an economic burden with reunification. Did it peacefully, too, so kudos to them, as well.

dbowker
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...

Hear hear! I was in Berlin weeks before and there was NO sign at all it'd happen in even 50 years. That six weeks later the gates came open is a modern political miracle to warm the coldest heart.

bifcake
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...

Funny enough, the fall of the USSR was probably the worst thing that could have happened to the US and its citizens. It untied US hands so that it could complete its hegemony of the world. However, more importantly, it untied its hands economically to usher a race to the bottom. All of a sudden, Americans have to compete with the third world. That means that all the social structures that had been put in place since the depression were chipped away at best and some crumbled like the Berlin wall.

There is no way in hell that outsourcing to India or China could have taken place during the cold war. It would have been unpatriotic and it would have been seen as a national security risk. The US also had to maintain its social safety netting to compete against the Soviet propaganda machine. Banks were allowed a free reign and traders were deregulated: risks, which would have been unthinkable during the cold war.

On top of everything else, instead of scaling down the military, which is something that one would have thought was logical, the military was scaled up. Why do we need to spend more money on the military than 3 of the four CONTINENTS COMBINED? We need this to protect ourselves against whom?

In a way, the Americans and Western Europeans had been the biggest losers. It's funny that the biggest winners had been the Eastern Europeans, not the Russians, but the Poles, the Czechs, Baltic states, etc. The various Stans (aside from Kazakhstan) had been some of the worst losers.

When we celebrate the fall of the Berlin wall, let's reflect on what it means to us and how we came out of that whole deal.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...

WWI ended and everybody was happy until Hitler came along. The Cold War ended and everybody was happy until everybody figured out Russia was still on the UN Security Council. But I think Buddha is correct in wanting to celebrate the end of the Soviet Union. Fuck the Russians. Patton and Reagan were both right about them.

ncdrawl
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...

[quote Fuck the Russians. Patton and Reagan were both right about them.

Buddha
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...

Unintended consequences is a great topic.

Perhaps we should have backed the USSR in Afghanistan instead of supporting the original insurgency.

Or, if we had allowed Patton to keep going toward Moscow.

Or, if we had allowed the Confederacy to secede. (I think we'd be better off, but the South would have become a terrorist state.)

Maybe if we had just invaded the Middle East after WWII.

Lots of creative fiction to be had!

j_j
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...


Quote:
Or, if we had allowed Patton to keep going toward Moscow.

That's what my half-brother the Lt. Col. in the 3rd army said he wanted to do. What he thought of being left out of gas during the end of the war could not be said on primetime, too.

He also insisted that General George was "put out of the road" because he wanted to do that.

Heck if I know.

dbowker
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Re: A GREAT Anniversary...

The race to the bottom for some was the greatest uplifting of the world's poor in history. Last year for the first time ever 50% of the population could be said to be above poverty and in a middle class economic sphere (see the article in the Feb 12th 2009 of the Economist Magazine). Burgeoning Bourgoise

It ain't all roses, but the fall of the Soviet empire was one of the best things to happen in the late 20th century.

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