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Posted: 6/4/2001 12:19:40 PM EDT
At what point in the Cold War would you say that the communist powers were at the peak of their influence? Or, to look at things from a different angle, what would you consider the turning point at which the ultimate victory of the West became inevitable? 1961 was a good year for the Reds; they put the first man in space and defeated an American-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs. 1981 might have been the turning point: IBM introduced the first PC (launching the "Information Age" that has undermined totalitarianism) and Ronald Reagan took office in the US.
Link Posted: 6/4/2001 4:31:26 PM EDT
wow...good one! it might just be a matter of opinion: at first i thought (there i go again) that the height of soviet influence (assuming your speaking world-wide) could have been the very beginning - stalin's regime had its filthy hands in all kinds of countries following WWII. AND those hands were armed. stalin knew this, and saw opportunity for a land grab. the US, wise to his sinister ambitions of spreading communism, thought seriously and highly enough of the USSR's abilities, that a cold war was started. all policies from then on, transpired according to the original design: 1) get land and hold it 2) use land and people to further influence world and gain glory for the USSR 3) turn world redski kruschev took official power in 1955 - he was a royal pain for the US. the invasion of hungary, planting commies in third world countries, etc. also under his watch, the soviets tested (succesfully) an ICBM, sputnik I and sputnik II were launched, 1960 they shot down Gary Powers, and 1961, (see above) - i think the reds were feeling pretty bad-*** at that point!!! i think its a matter of who's personality was the cult at the time, and how many victories in the name of communism fed that cult. as far as when did the tide turn? i would have to say the day Gorbachev took power. right from the start, his policy was one of economic change. ECONOMIC = the heart of communism. i believe it was this stealthy, beginning of an attack on soviet style socialism in conjunction with his policies under "perestroika" that opened the flood gates of change. WHEW! my tiny brain hurts!
Link Posted: 6/4/2001 8:31:32 PM EDT
1975 was the peak. The Americans had just lost Vietnam, were pushing detente and negotiating arms control treaties. The Reagan era was the start of the end. Afghanistan revealed their vaunted military was just as vulnerable as ours to dedicated freedom fighters. The Warsaw Pact saw the cracks and started pushing for their freedom. It is sad than they have gone from a Communist superpower to a banana republic feeding off the capitalist West.
Link Posted: 6/5/2001 9:41:56 AM EDT
We have a Romanian at work who left teh country in 1988. He said the collapse of the Soviet empire started in reaction to Tianimen Square. He said that everyone was watching to see what the Chinese Communist reaction would be to teh demonstrations. Once it was obvious that the people could not get meaningful change from thier governments, the governments had to go. He is an intellegent and observant fellow, and said that Solidarity in Poland was essentially irrelevant to the fall of the Eastern block. Does this sound plausible to youse guys?
Link Posted: 6/5/2001 10:00:54 AM EDT
I think Tianemman Square was irrevalant. That stuff has been happening for years, but the access to that and other information from the West was very important. Once the Com Bloc nations could see daily what the West had to offer in goods and political freedom, they wanted it themselves. Even the ChiComs are having to balance a thin line granting more economic freedom while trying to outlaw political freedom.
Link Posted: 6/5/2001 10:14:44 AM EDT
I think it was when "Red Dawn" came out. If Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey could kick the crap out of the ruskies, they knew they were beat.
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