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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Dr. Strangelove wrote:

2. Able Archer


That's the one. 1983 NATO exercise.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Gregg wrote:
Dr. Strangelove wrote:
The 1980s were the most dangerous. At least two incidents almost triggered a nuclear war. Not a 1950s or 1960s style nuclear war but with ICBMs and unleashing the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in all history. If there ever was a time to be scared, it was then.

I think what is happening right now is nothing like those days. Our threat is internal. You all know what I think is coming. If only it were just a Soviet Union on the other side of the pond. This is more insidious.


Doc, the 1980s were less dangerous than the 1960s. The Soviets feared and respected President Reagan, while they believed (mistakenly) that President Kennedy was a kid that could be pushed around. And, it is always underestimating an opponent that leads to war. And, the Soviets clearly did that with Kennedy.



Bullshit. Read up on your history. The stockpiles were enormous. There were ICBMS, something that never existed in the 1960s. SLBMs. Neutron bombs.

Worse, those two events I just mentioned SHOULD have resulted in nuclear war. We are alive DESPITE probability itself. You can thank God for that. Because that war should have happened. It took Soviet officers to disobey orders to avert them.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:00 pm 
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I agree with DSL that the Fall of 83' was even closer than the Cuban Missile crisis and the arsenals were more comprehensive on both sides in 83', rather than in 62'.

I just meant that the Cuban crisis was more in the consciousness of the public. People kind of noticed the KAL 007 shoot down, but Joe and Jane Q. Public were not really conscious of Able Archer/OKO, at the time. Came out later how close it was.

Funny thing is, when 007 got shot down, I said to my Dad "We're on the brink of WWIII right now". He said "relax kid, you're watchin' too much TV".

But I was right. The Soviets were hands on the launch keys, behind the scenes. Right at the brink. Years later I was like "See?!!" My Dad: "Lucky guess."

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Last edited by Smitty-48 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Scary stuff. It be so nice and ironic if the fuse was lit by mistake... Decades of political bickering, and the missiles fly because of a software glitch.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:10 pm 
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The Mad Zeppelineer wrote:
Scary stuff. It be so nice and ironic if the fuse was lit by mistake... Decades of political bickering, and the missiles fly because of a software glitch.


That was at the end of a long build up of tension. Reagan administration had the Soviets freakin' out.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:42 pm 
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Gregg wrote:
Doc, the 1980s were less dangerous than the 1960s. The Soviets feared and respected President Reagan, while they believed (mistakenly) that President Kennedy was a kid that could be pushed around. And, it is always underestimating an opponent that leads to war. And, the Soviets clearly did that with Kennedy.
Must be nice to feel confident in making up your own historical facts. Probably makes debating politics easier when you can ignore actual history and use revisionist history instead. On September 26, 1983 it was one Soviet Lieutenant Colonel on duty who prevented the start of a nuclear war. That's wasn't because of that man's respect for a US President, whatever your propaganda masters have brainwashed you to believe. High states of readiness do to "fear and respect" can lead to war as readily as "underestimating an opponent". But I'm guessing you come from the same set of historical revisionists who believe Paul Revere rode to warn the British, right? Better to change American history than to admit that one of your political idols might have made a mistake.


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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:54 pm 
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Atanamis wrote:
Gregg wrote:
Doc, the 1980s were less dangerous than the 1960s. The Soviets feared and respected President Reagan, while they believed (mistakenly) that President Kennedy was a kid that could be pushed around. And, it is always underestimating an opponent that leads to war. And, the Soviets clearly did that with Kennedy.
Must be nice to feel confident in making up your own historical facts. Probably makes debating politics easier when you can ignore actual history and use revisionist history instead. On September 26, 1983 it was one Soviet Lieutenant Colonel on duty who prevented the start of a nuclear war. That's wasn't because of that man's respect for a US President, whatever your propaganda masters have brainwashed you to believe. High states of readiness do to "fear and respect" can lead to war as readily as "underestimating an opponent". But I'm guessing you come from the same set of historical revisionists who believe Paul Revere rode to warn the British, right? Better to change American history than to admit that one of your political idols might have made a mistake.


LA LALALALALALLALALALALALLALALA RONALD REAGAN LALALALLALALLAALLA WON THE COLD WAR SINGLEHANDEDLY! :SilentRage:

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:00 pm 
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The Reagan administration pushed the Soviets to the brink, but Gorbachev decided to break up the Soviet Union, after a trip to Canada, seeing up close, the lifestyle of Canadians vs. Soviets. So Canada won the Cold War, after the US almost lost it.

Brock and Tecumseh, FTW! :goteam:

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:20 am 
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I think a lot of people are responsible for putting an end to the Soviet Union, but Gorbachev deserves far more credit than the Reagan administration. Even what credit the Reagan administration deserves falls down mostly on cabinet members.

Reagan was one crazy bastard. No doubt about that. But I reject the notion that the American response in the 1980s was somehow an aberration attributable to his insanity as nothing more than a failure to appreciate the American temperament. When pushed to such a point, Americans will always toss aside domestic differences and go balls to the wall against whatever threatens them like that. If it is another superpower, fully able to wipe us out, and whose leaders are slamming their shoes on the table at the UN, ranting how they would destroy us.. then yeah, we flip that switch and everything else doesn't matter anymore.


But as far as the end of the Soviet Union, I think the more accurate statement is to say that Gorbachev was able to wind it down despite the Reagan administration.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Thread commandeered by Cold War buffs...

Interesting discussion, and I learned something, but I'm concerned about domestic issues. The Soviet Union in the 1980s is a good jumping off point, because I often feel like we could be in our version of the Soviet Eighties. Our establishment just doesn't have the answers anymore. Technocrats will cling to an increasingly irrelevant orthodoxy in the hopes of indefinitely keeping the lid on. Hardliners will become become ever more dangerous and reactionary. Tell me I'm wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:50 pm 
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dbhstockton wrote:
The Soviet Union in the 1980s is a good jumping off point, because I often feel like we could be in our version of the Soviet Eighties. Our establishment just doesn't have the answers anymore. Technocrats will cling to an increasingly irrelevant orthodoxy in the hopes of indefinitely keeping the lid on. Hardliners will become become ever more dangerous and reactionary.


And then what happens?

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Your guess is as good as mine...

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:54 pm 
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dbhstockton wrote:
Your guess is as good as mine...


Which is why we started talking about the Cold War.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:56 pm 
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touche. But then the analogy stops. There's no existential threat out there in the form of another military superpower.

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 Post subject: Re: Course of Empire question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:02 pm 
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dbhstockton wrote:
touche. But then the analogy stops. There's no existential threat out there in the form of another military superpower.


Sure there are. The US perpetually overrates itself. Imperial Hubris.

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