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Re: the Cold War

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  • Alberto Monteiro
    ... No, the conflicts above mentioned justify the War term, the Cold is necessary because there was no actual USA x CCCP direct conflict, with americans
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 8, 2010
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      Jon Louis Mann wrote:
      >
      >>...and judging by GDP figures, the USA is still fighting the Cold War.
      >
      > There never was a "Cold" War beginning with the Korean War WW III
      > was a global conflict against Communism in Latin America, The
      > Carribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, etc. In fact
      > the US has been in a state of war under other names for most of our
      > history. WW IV is called the war on terror, and is also global in scope.
      > Jon Mann
      >
      No, the conflicts above mentioned justify the "War" term,
      the "Cold" is necessary because there was no actual USA x CCCP
      direct conflict, with americans and soviets killing each other
      in great numbers.

      Alberto Monteiro


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    • Bruce Bostwick
      ... Depends on your definition of great numbers . There was extensive Soviet involvement in the Vietnam War, including significant numbers of Soviet pilots
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 8, 2010
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        On Nov 8, 2010, at 4:55 AM, Alberto Monteiro wrote:

        > Jon Louis Mann wrote:
        >>
        >>> ...and judging by GDP figures, the USA is still fighting the Cold
        >>> War.
        >>
        >> There never was a "Cold" War beginning with the Korean War WW III
        >> was a global conflict against Communism in Latin America, The
        >> Carribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, etc. In fact
        >> the US has been in a state of war under other names for most of our
        >> history. WW IV is called the war on terror, and is also global in
        >> scope.
        >> Jon Mann
        >>
        > No, the conflicts above mentioned justify the "War" term,
        > the "Cold" is necessary because there was no actual USA x CCCP
        > direct conflict, with americans and soviets killing each other
        > in great numbers.
        >
        > Alberto Monteiro

        Depends on your definition of "great numbers". There was extensive
        Soviet involvement in the Vietnam War, including significant numbers
        of Soviet pilots flying MiG-21's out of North Vietnam. Sort of like
        USA flight crews operating VNAF aircraft in the early years of the
        war, before we dropped the pretense and started flying under USAF
        colors. Most of this wasn't much talked about until long after the
        fall of Saigon.

        (The US pilots, mostly Navy, had noticed a rather wide distribution of
        pilot skill levels among the MiG pilots they engaged -- most were
        relatively unskilled and were a threat mostly due to their large
        numbers, but a few were clearly highly skilled and very experienced in
        air combat maneuvers. There was a lot of speculation on this until it
        was revealed much later that these were in fact USA/USSR dogfights.)

        Heard from a flight instructor:
        "The only dumb question is the one you DID NOT ask, resulting in my
        going out and having to identify your bits and pieces in the midst of
        torn and twisted metal."



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      • Euan Ritchie
        ... Yeah there was, but it didn t begin with Korea. It began about 1943 when Germany s defeat was clear and it s conquerors began to consider what would be the
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 10, 2010
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          >> ...and judging by GDP figures, the USA is still fighting the Cold War.

          > There never was a "Cold" War

          Yeah there was, but it didn't begin with Korea. It began about 1943 when
          Germany's defeat was clear and it's conquerors began to consider what
          would be the fate of Europe afterwards.

          The biggest fallacy regarding it was the Soviet threat which was always
          exaggerated. Neither militarily nor politically did the soviet Union (or
          China and other 'communist allied') ever pose an existential threat to
          the U.S.

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        • Charlie Bell
          ... No, but it did to most of Europe... and that s what the Cold War really was. It was Europe-backed-by-America *not* being invaded by a LOT of tanks.
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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            On 11/11/2010, at 6:58 PM, Euan Ritchie wrote:

            >
            >>> ...and judging by GDP figures, the USA is still fighting the Cold War.
            >
            >> There never was a "Cold" War
            >
            > Yeah there was, but it didn't begin with Korea. It began about 1943 when
            > Germany's defeat was clear and it's conquerors began to consider what
            > would be the fate of Europe afterwards.
            >
            > The biggest fallacy regarding it was the Soviet threat which was always
            > exaggerated. Neither militarily nor politically did the soviet Union (or
            > China and other 'communist allied') ever pose an existential threat to
            > the U.S.

            No, but it did to most of Europe... and that's what the Cold War really was. It was Europe-backed-by-America *not* being invaded by a LOT of tanks.

            Charlie.
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          • Euan Ritchie
            ... Well, yeah, but that was pretty much decided during the Berlin airlift when Uncle Joe made the decision that the USSR didn t want to fight. All that
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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              >> The biggest fallacy regarding it was the Soviet threat which was always
              >> exaggerated. Neither militarily nor politically did the soviet Union (or
              >> China and other 'communist allied') ever pose an existential threat to
              >> the U.S.

              > No, but it did to most of Europe... and that's what the Cold War really was. It was Europe-backed-by-America *not* being invaded by a LOT of tanks.

              Well, yeah, but that was pretty much decided during the Berlin airlift
              when Uncle Joe made the decision that the USSR didn't want to fight.

              All that followed after that showdown was just postering.


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            • Pat Mathews
              Uncle Joe wasn t going to fight with troops and tanks on the ground, no. They were in the same shape in 1945 as we d have been if the Vietnam war had been to
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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                Uncle Joe wasn't going to fight with troops and tanks on the ground, no. They were in the same shape in 1945 as we'd have been if the Vietnam war had been to the death on our own soil 25 years after we'd just been through a nasty war to the death on our own soil - the Russian Revolution in their case. Yes, they were totally exhausted that way.

                But a war of spy -vs- spy, economic maneuverings, propaganda, and all the rest? Sure! And China, in somewhat better shape, was dabbling in proxy wars in Asia where it could.

                Of course, Russia and China didn't like each other any better than we liked either one of them, or they, us. Still, Kipling's Great Game went on along all three borders for quite some time.

                I don't think anyone thought that the fate of the nation - or the world - rested on the wars we chose to fight in Asia, but we sure didn't want the Dragon taking any bites out of Asia. In Europe? As in the Middle East up until quite recently: two aging regimes keeping the peace with each other by being armed to the teeth and looking fierce at the other side and slapping the hands of any that reached across the quite-well-established borders.

                It was, of course, an uneasy peace, but ce'st la vie.

                Pat, who was 6 when the entire thing started and 50 when it ended, so this is as close to an eyewitness report as you're going to get from a civilian non-expert.


                http://idiotgrrl.livejournal.com/





                > Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 01:05:12 +1300
                > From: euan@...
                > Subject: Re: the Cold War
                > To: brin-l@...
                >
                >
                > >> The biggest fallacy regarding it was the Soviet threat which was always
                > >> exaggerated. Neither militarily nor politically did the soviet Union (or
                > >> China and other 'communist allied') ever pose an existential threat to
                > >> the U.S.
                >
                > > No, but it did to most of Europe... and that's what the Cold War really was. It was Europe-backed-by-America *not* being invaded by a LOT of tanks.
                >
                > Well, yeah, but that was pretty much decided during the Berlin airlift
                > when Uncle Joe made the decision that the USSR didn't want to fight.
                >
                > All that followed after that showdown was just postering.
                >
                >
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              • Alberto Monteiro
                ... Are you sure about that everybody-hated-America meme? I don t think there was too many anti-USA feeling in Russia and China during the 1950s and 1960s. The
                Message 7 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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                  Pat Mathews wrote:
                  >
                  > Of course, Russia and China didn't like each other any better
                  > than we liked either one of them, or they, us. Still,
                  > Kipling's Great Game went on along all three borders for
                  > quite some time.
                  >
                  Are you sure about that everybody-hated-America meme?

                  I don't think there was too many anti-USA feeling in Russia and
                  China during the 1950s and 1960s.

                  The USA might be seen as a good ally in the Soviet Union, for
                  its participation and support during WW2, and China certainly
                  saw the USA as a liberator from the japanese atrocities - even
                  if the USA supported the corrupt dictator after the War.

                  Here in Latin America, anti-USA feelings only became proeminent
                  when the USA sided with murderous dictatorships during the
                  1960s and 1970s, in such a way that we all thought that
                  Communism was nice and pretty.

                  We've had 21 years of full democracy in Brazil, and even then
                  presidential candidates still want to identify themselves
                  with the "left": in the last election (2010), the top-three
                  were former Commies (Dilma was arrested and tortured in the
                  1970s for affiliation with communist guerilla, Serra was exiled,
                  and Marina Silva claimed to be the extreme left).

                  Alberto Monteiro


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                • Pat Mathews
                  But I didn t say everybody hated America: just that Russia looked upon the US and China as its adversaries; China looked upon the US and Russia as its
                  Message 8 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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                    But I didn't say everybody hated America: just that Russia looked upon the US and China as its adversaries; China looked upon the US and Russia as its adversaries, and the US looked upon Russia and China as its adversaries. Perfect triangulation,which probably kept the peace for decades.

                    As for Latin America - I think public opinion there was very closely related to whatever our deeds were in each specific country and period, so you'd get a lot of variation there. Same with other nations outside of Europe; Europe, in that period, was our friend.

                    Does that clarify matters?


                    http://idiotgrrl.livejournal.com/





                    > From: albmont@...
                    > To: brin-l@...
                    > Subject: RE: the Cold War
                    > Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 13:34:35 -0200
                    >
                    > Pat Mathews wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Of course, Russia and China didn't like each other any better
                    > > than we liked either one of them, or they, us. Still,
                    > > Kipling's Great Game went on along all three borders for
                    > > quite some time.
                    > >
                    > Are you sure about that everybody-hated-America meme?
                    >
                    > I don't think there was too many anti-USA feeling in Russia and
                    > China during the 1950s and 1960s.
                    >
                    > The USA might be seen as a good ally in the Soviet Union, for
                    > its participation and support during WW2, and China certainly
                    > saw the USA as a liberator from the japanese atrocities - even
                    > if the USA supported the corrupt dictator after the War.
                    >
                    > Here in Latin America, anti-USA feelings only became proeminent
                    > when the USA sided with murderous dictatorships during the
                    > 1960s and 1970s, in such a way that we all thought that
                    > Communism was nice and pretty.
                    >
                    > We've had 21 years of full democracy in Brazil, and even then
                    > presidential candidates still want to identify themselves
                    > with the "left": in the last election (2010), the top-three
                    > were former Commies (Dilma was arrested and tortured in the
                    > 1970s for affiliation with communist guerilla, Serra was exiled,
                    > and Marina Silva claimed to be the extreme left).
                    >
                    > Alberto Monteiro
                    >
                    >
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                    >
                  • Bruce Bostwick
                    ... Which took the US a long time to figure out, incidentally. It also took us a long time to figure out that North Vietnam wasn t ever going to be a Chinese
                    Message 9 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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                      On Nov 11, 2010, at 7:41 AM, Pat Mathews wrote:

                      > Of course, Russia and China didn't like each other any better than
                      > we liked either one of them, or they, us. Still, Kipling's Great
                      > Game went on along all three borders for quite some time.

                      Which took the US a long time to figure out, incidentally. It also
                      took us a long time to figure out that North Vietnam wasn't ever going
                      to be a Chinese proxy the way North Korea had been, because China had
                      been VIetnam's mortal enemy and part-time occupying power for the last
                      thousand years or so, and that the "domino theory" justification for
                      the Vietnam War was based almost entirely on completely invalid
                      assumptions about how things worked in that part of the world, colored
                      in large part by the very recent experience of the Korean War.



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                    • Euan Ritchie
                      ... Your good Marxist would never be anti-U.S, just anti-capitalist exploiter. Ideology not nationalism. _______________________________________________
                      Message 10 of 16 , Nov 11, 2010
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                        > I don't think there was too many anti-USA feeling in Russia and
                        > China during the 1950s and 1960s.

                        Your good Marxist would never be anti-U.S, just anti-capitalist
                        exploiter. Ideology not nationalism.


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                      • Dan Minette
                        ... So, if the US didn t fight the cold war, let it s military expenditures fall to the present level of Europe, didn t develop the B52 or ICBMs, stand aside
                        Message 11 of 16 , Nov 12, 2010
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                          >The biggest fallacy regarding it was the Soviet threat which was always
                          >exaggerated. Neither militarily nor politically did the soviet Union (or
                          >China and other 'communist allied') ever pose an existential threat to
                          >the U.S.

                          So, if the US didn't fight the cold war, let it's military expenditures fall
                          to the present level of Europe, didn't develop the B52 or ICBMs, stand aside
                          where it fought in Korea, let missiles remain in Cuba and be expanded,
                          didn't fight to stop the multiple Marxist COIN operations throughout the
                          world that failed (e.g Greece), nothing much different would have
                          happened...the US's position in 1995 would be no worse than it was as
                          history actually unfolded. All the folks in IR studies are just full of it.
                          Folks like Hoffman and Huntington are just right wing shrills? Containment
                          was a waste of effort, we just had to wait because communists wouldn't
                          bother to take advantage of a power vacuum. Am I getting you right, or did I
                          misunderstand your statement?

                          Dan M.


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                        • Euan Ritchie
                          ... You re taking some peoples comments about the past and extrapolating an awful lot from the. Extrapolation is a logical crime and ought never be used for
                          Message 12 of 16 , Nov 12, 2010
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                            > So, if the US didn't fight the cold war, let it's military expenditures fall
                            > to the present level of Europe, didn't develop the B52 or ICBMs, stand aside
                            > where it fought in Korea, let missiles remain in Cuba and be expanded,
                            > didn't fight to stop the multiple Marxist COIN operations throughout the
                            > world that failed (e.g Greece), nothing much different would have
                            > happened...the US's position in 1995 would be no worse than it was as
                            > history actually unfolded.

                            You're taking some peoples comments about the past and extrapolating an
                            awful lot from the.

                            Extrapolation is a logical crime and ought never be used for anything
                            more serious than the occassional decision that might head off an ice
                            cream truck that's getting away on a hot day.

                            Recognizing that something was one way once is no claim that anything
                            else would have been anything in particular.

                            A person who thinks the Soviet arsenal was deliberately over-stated is
                            making no claims about policy to combat Chinese support for North Korea.

                            Said person might very well think assisting South Korea was the right
                            thing to do but also recognize that being more careful not to threaten
                            China and encourage it's invovlement would have been better (if the
                            North Korean despot had not been confused with Chinese Communism .

                            As a person who thinks the U.S assault on Vietnam would have worked out
                            a lot better if the U.S had earlier sided with the Vietnamese when
                            France tried to re-establish it's colonial control and told the French
                            to fuck off and if the u.S had then sided with ther then allies against
                            rhe Japanese Vietnam would have been a strong ally and bulwark against
                            any Chinese adventurism going forward.

                            Not that anyone who pays much attention to Chinese history thinks there
                            was much chance of any adventurism to worry about.

                            Missiles in Cuba? Well, they weren't exaggerrated so a person talking
                            about the exaggerrated isn't talking about them. Q.E.D.

                            To summarise my point - a person recognizing that the military and
                            political threat of the U.S.S.R was over stated is not making an
                            argument about individual policies, and to infer they are is to
                            apparently assumme a person only believes things aligning with ideology
                            rather than reality.

                            > Containment was a waste of effort, we just had to wait because
                            communists wouldn't
                            > bother to take advantage of a power vacuum.

                            For further example, a person could recognize the overstated threat and
                            still think containemnt was good policy, but perhaps one might think it
                            needn't have been so expensive or have ceded so much authority to a
                            military industrial complex. It could have, for instance, instead of
                            relying on increasing U.S strength and authority and the economic
                            influence of it's military unneccessarily have involved greater
                            political and economic commitment by European allies.

                            In such a scenario the U.S would likely now be richer and the European
                            welfare states poorer. So if a person did argue that they'd be making
                            what a simple ideological categorisation would say is a right wing
                            argument rather than the presumed left wing one. But that might be a
                            mistaken categorisation because a different flavour of right prefers
                            that the U.S made the commitment and increased it's power and authority
                            commiting international institutions to policies favouring the U.S.

                            I advise not making assumptions about intentions from explication of
                            reality (excepting detection of fraud). Measuring is not policy.


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                          • Dan Minette
                            ... From: brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com] On Behalf Of Euan Ritchie Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 7:10 PM To: Killer Bs
                            Message 13 of 16 , Nov 12, 2010
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                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                              Behalf Of Euan Ritchie
                              Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 7:10 PM
                              To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
                              Subject: Re: the Cold War


                              > So, if the US didn't fight the cold war, let it's military expenditures
                              fall
                              > to the present level of Europe, didn't develop the B52 or ICBMs, stand
                              aside
                              > where it fought in Korea, let missiles remain in Cuba and be expanded,
                              > didn't fight to stop the multiple Marxist COIN operations throughout the
                              > world that failed (e.g Greece), nothing much different would have
                              > happened...the US's position in 1995 would be no worse than it was as
                              > history actually unfolded.

                              >You're taking some peoples comments about the past and extrapolating an
                              >awful lot from the.

                              >Extrapolation is a logical crime and ought never be used for anything
                              >more serious than the occassional decision that might head off an ice
                              >cream truck that's getting away on a hot day.

                              OK, I didn't quote a second post of yours in my reply but I thought it gave
                              insight into your earlier post. You wrote in response to Charlie mentioning
                              an existential threat to Western Europe by the USSR:

                              <quote>
                              Well, yeah, but that was pretty much decided during the Berlin airlift when
                              Uncle Joe made the decision that the USSR didn't want to fight.
                              All that followed after that showdown was just postering.
                              <end quote>

                              If all that followed that showdown was just posturing, then nothing that
                              followed that showdown had any real meaning. Just posturing by another
                              person, by another country is not in the least bit threatening. It's an
                              empty gesture....pretty well by definition. It's only if the posturing is
                              part of a pattern that may lead to aggression do we find a threat.

                              In all fairness, I probably should have weaved a post that combined both
                              posts to precisely point out the idea I was responding to. But, I had a
                              five minute window open, and I took it.

                              When I read a post, all I have is the words on the page, emotocons, and
                              perhaps a history with another poster to indicate "I'm being a bit ironic
                              here." If that's the case with your posts, then I didn't interpret them
                              correctly. But, I clearly got the impression that you wrote that the Berlin
                              Airlift was _the_ showdown of the Cold War, and anything following had
                              little or no meaning.

                              I would very much appreciate it if you would be kind enough to explain to me
                              why this quote doesn't mean that what happened after the Berlin airlift was
                              not a serious confrontation which had the potential to end badly.

                              Finally, I always thought that totalitarian governments that had killed tens
                              of millions of its own people and weapons that could reduce the population
                              of the US by more than 80% as an existential threat.



                              Dan M.


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                            • Euan Ritchie
                              ... I understand the problem. Context doesn t travel or easily survive in these written forums. By posturing I was refering to the military deployments in
                              Message 14 of 16 , Nov 12, 2010
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                                > You wrote in response to Charlie mentioning
                                > an existential threat to Western Europe by the USSR:
                                >
                                > <quote>
                                > Well, yeah, but that was pretty much decided during the Berlin airlift when
                                > Uncle Joe made the decision that the USSR didn't want to fight.
                                > All that followed after that showdown was just postering.
                                > <end quote>
                                >
                                > If all that followed that showdown was just posturing, then nothing that
                                > followed that showdown had any real meaning.

                                I understand the problem. Context doesn't travel or easily survive in
                                these written forums.

                                By posturing I was refering to the military deployments in Europe as an
                                existential threat (meaning the liklihood of them being used in an
                                invasion of Western, or Eastern, Europe).


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                              • Dan Minette
                                ... Ah, quite different from what I read. I m glad we can agree upon the source of the misunderstanding. I think we may still have some reasonable differences
                                Message 15 of 16 , Nov 12, 2010
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                                  Euan wrote:

                                  >I understand the problem. Context doesn't travel or easily survive in
                                  >these written forums.

                                  >By posturing I was refering to the military deployments in Europe as an
                                  >existential threat (meaning the liklihood of them being used in an
                                  >invasion of Western, or Eastern, Europe).

                                  Ah, quite different from what I read. I'm glad we can agree upon the source
                                  of the misunderstanding.

                                  I think we may still have some reasonable differences on the Cold War which
                                  would be worth exploring, but it will probably be spread out as I have
                                  limited time at the moment for a well thought out discussion. I really do
                                  appreciate the courtesy of your assignment of our miscommunication to a
                                  neutral factor. I definitely used the wrong context. :-)

                                  Dan M.


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