And The Wall Came Tumbling Down

09November in Germany is filled with lots of history….I shall let Padre Steve take on from that statement…..https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/770114/posts/2478338726

This is a bit of a departure from normal posting technique for IST…but it is a historic event…and we love history…..

Nope not some religious rant about he walls of Jericho….something more important…the 30 year anniversary of the beginning of the end…….first the Berlin Wall….09 November 1989 the wall came tumbling down.

Least we NOT forget.

First we should know the history of why it was erected at all….and then why it came down…..

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-berlin-wall-28-year-history-1779495

Try to remember that events of that November…..

Nearly 30 years ago, in the night of November 9-10, 1989, East German border police opened the gates at crossing points in the Berlin Wall, allowing masses of East Berliners to stream through them unhindered.

This started a night of unbridled celebrations as people crossed freely back and forth through the Cold War barrier, climbed on it, and even danced and partied on it.

The signal for the mass breach of the previously heavily guarded wall was a fumbled announcement in a press conference by the Socialist Unity Party (SED) Party chief of Berlin, Günter Schabowski.

https://theconversation.com/world-politics-explainer-the-fall-of-the-berlin-wall-100812

Will this day be remembered?

The fall promised a bright new world without the USSR and the divisive politics that the Cold War brought about.

You know, it’s strange. There are certain moments that you and everyone in your generation never forget. For instance, I can tell you exactly where I was – eating a 25-cent hamburger in a diner that might have been called the Yankee Doodle in New Haven, Connecticut – when a man stuck his head in the front door and said, “The president’s been shot.” That, of course, was John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and I have little doubt that, if you asked just about anyone else my age, they’d have a remarkably specific memory of that moment, too.

But here’s the strange thing that TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist James Carroll brought to my mind with today’s piece on what may qualify as the single most important historical event of my life: the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. I have no idea what I was doing or where I was that November 9th in 1989 when I first heard that the forever structure dividing East from West that symbolized the two-superpower world of the Cold War was coming down. I have just vague memories of TV images of crowds surging and the wall being whacked at by people with sledgehammers

What the Dismantling of the Berlin Wall Means 30 Years Later

A good retrospective……for those that would like to remember….

It was on 9 November 1989, five days after half a million people gathered in East Berlin in a mass protest, that the Berlin Wall dividing communist East Germany from West Germany crumbled.

East German leaders had tried to calm mounting protests by loosening the borders, making travel easier for East Germans. They had not intended to open the border up completely.

The changes were meant to be fairly minor – but the way they were delivered had major consequences.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50013048

It appears that this event means NOTHING….and why should it….it only changed the world as we had known it and gave way to the crippling globalization with which  we have a love/hate relationship….so why look back?  Why try to remember what went wrong/right?

I was eating dinner of a ‘Wheel Burger’, a local famous burger and fries and watched the TV as I dined and enjoying my ice cold Miller….how about you?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

16 October 1962

2 days ago…a memory……my bad….all the silliness, the craziness of the last couple of days and I missed posting this bit of history……an important piece of history….

A day us old farts will never forget……ever hear of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Let us look at the event and the timeline…..

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. In a TV address on October 22, 1962, President John Kennedy (1917-63) notified Americans about the presence of the missiles, explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba and made it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. Following this news, many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war. However, disaster was avoided when the U.S. agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s (1894-1971) offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for the U.S. promising not to invade Cuba. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis

This was a huge deal for about 2 weeks……us older Americans remember just how the situation played out……or did we?

John F. Kennedy and his advisers were stunned to learn that the Soviet Union was, without provocation, installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. With these offensive weapons, which represented a new and existential threat to America, Moscow significantly raised the ante in the nuclear rivalry between the superpowers—a gambit that forced the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear Armageddon. On October 22, the president, with no other recourse, proclaimed in a televised address that his administration knew of the illegal missiles, and delivered an ultimatum insisting on their removal, announcing an American “quarantine” of Cuba to force compliance with his demands. While carefully avoiding provocative action and coolly calibrating each Soviet countermeasure, Kennedy and his lieutenants brooked no compromise; they held firm, despite Moscow’s efforts to link a resolution to extrinsic issues and despite predictable Soviet blustering about American aggression and violation of international law. In the tense 13‑day crisis, the Americans and Soviets went eyeball-to-eyeball. Thanks to the Kennedy administration’s placid resolve and prudent crisis management—thanks to what Kennedy’s special assistant Arthur Schlesinger Jr. characterized as the president’s “combination of toughness and restraint, of will, nerve, and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated, that [it] dazzled the world”—the Soviet leadership the world”—the Soviet leadership blinked: Moscow dismantled the missiles, and a cataclysm was averted.

Almost every word of that statement is FALSE.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/

Just another Cold War situation that could have boiled over into a real life war…….and calmer heads prevailed…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Manchurian Offensive

We here on IST have had a bit of a discussion on the Second World War and the acts that were undertaken to end it. Basically we were discussing whether the bombs dropped were necessary.

The entry of the USSR into the war in the Pacific made Japan think that their position was hopeless was brought up….I thought I would look into that event and what were the repercussions.

At one minute past midnight on 9 Aug 1945, or 61 minutes after the declaration of war, Soviet troops organized in three fronts poured into Japanese-occupied northeastern China, a region also known by its historical name of Manchuria. Northeastern China had been governed by the Japanese-sponsored puppet regime of Manchukuo since 1932. The Soviet troops were of the Far Eastern Command under the overall command of Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, who devised a giant pincer movement against the unprepared Japanese troops. In Vasilevsky’s plan, the Transbaikal Front under Marshal R. Y. Malinovsky was to attack from the west across the Inner Mongolian desert and over the Greater Khingan mountain range, with Mukden (Shenyang), Liaoning Province, China as the primary target; the attached 36th Army was to break off after the initial invasion and head toward Harbin and Qiqihar to meet the 2nd Far East Front. The 2nd Far East Front under General M. A. Purkayev attacked in the center largely in a support role only, with the primary objectives of securing Harbin and Qiqihar, upon the successful completion of which, the front was to move toward the port of Lushunkou (Russian: Port-Artur; Anglicized: Port Arthur) of the city of Dalian, Liaoning Province after the 1st Far East Front completed its primary objectives. Finally, from the east over the Lesser Khingan mountain range, the 1st Far East Front under Marshal K. A. Meretskov was to capture the cities in east, including Changchun; its secondary objective was to cut off Japanese escape routes into Korea, and its tertiary objective was to invade and occupy northern Korea. In total, 1,577,725 men in 89 divisions with the support of 3,704 tanks, 1,852 self-propelled guns, 27,086 artillery pieces, and 3,721 aircraft were utilized in the invasion.

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=167

But why did the USSR feel it necessary to enter into the War in the Pacific?

The Second World War was an unparalleled calamity for the Soviet Union. As many as 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died as a result of the conflict that started with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended with the Japanese surrender in August 1945.

Consumed by this existential struggle along its western border, the Soviet Union was a comparatively minor factor in the Pacific War until the very end. Yet Moscow’s timely intervention in the war against Japan allowed it to expand its influence along the Pacific Rim.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-why-the-soviet-unions-entry-the-pacific-war-matters-13628

09 August 1945 was a Day of Destiny for the world.

If you, my reader, has an opinion on this historical event please feel free to join in the conversation.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Year Is It?

Good damn question!

I remember when I was a kid in elementary school (yes I am an old fart) when we had the “duck and cover drills”….these were drills we had where we would get under our desks and cover our heads to practice for the impending nuke attack by the Russians.

Not our finest time and I will bet you are wonder just why that came to my busy mind……

First, our president in his tiny brain has taken the US out of the 80s nuke treaty we had with the Soviets……(this post of mine has some info about the INF Treaty)……https://lobotero.com/2018/10/30/the-inf-in-the-rear-view-mirror/

It is 2019 not 1959…..but yet Trump’s bromance, Putin, since the end of the treaty has thump his chest at the US……..

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States wanted one and threatened to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near U.S. territorial waters.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-putin-idUSKCN1QA1A3

That was a scary threat for I was around for the first one and it worried us all daily until it was over.

Remember there was a time when all our major cities we targets for Soviet nukes and likewise for all the Major cities of the USSR.

And you thought those scary days were over, right?

Think again!

Vladimir Putin is seemingly following DC’s lead of late, first by announcing that Russia will, like the US, pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and now by threatening another mirroring. The Russian leader gave his annual speech, akin to the State of the Union, to the nation Wednesday, and he dropped a warning to the US: If you deploy missiles anywhere in Europe, we’ll not only target those countries, but also America. “Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centers of decision-making are located,” he said, per Reuters. “We know how to do this and we will implement these plans immediately, as soon as the corresponding threats to us become a reality.”


Putin stressed that Russia would only deploy if the US did first, but that the US should watch its step. “It’s their right to think how they want,” he added. “But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing.” To underscore his warning, Putin took the opportunity to throw in that testing for two new missiles has been completed, per the Washington Post. Putin ended his speech by noting he hoped to keep the arms conversations going with the US, but that Russia “would not keep knocking on a locked door,” per CNBC. The US and Russia have a six-month period in which they can try to hash out the terms of the INF Treaty before making a final pullout. (Putin has been bragging about Russia’s new hypersonic weapon.)

As an old radio show use to tell us….”Let’s return to yesteryear”……

Afghanistan: USSR’s Vietnam

More international stuff for my readers……

Afghanistan makes the news and not because of it being our longest war…..but rather the babbling of an ignorant president that wants to sound intelligent…..and he fails….

– President Donald Trump seemed to misstate the former Soviet Union’s involvement in Afghanistan on Wednesday with a convoluted account that sparked ridicule on Twitter.

“Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/01/02/president-trump-former-soviet-union-right-invade-afghanistan/2466897002/

The last day of the year and NO has mentioned that December of 1979 was the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union….I realize that most people are fixated on their treasures from the Christmas thing and the wait for the big party that ends another year….most people’s minds are numb right now….a good time for me to try and jump start the mental process.

39 years ago the troops of the USSR entered the country of Afghanistan in support of a new leader of the socialist persuasion….

Afghanistan was the ground for one of the last Cold War battles between the United States and the Soviet Union, after the Red Army rolled into the country on December 24, 1979.

Observers give a number of reasons for the Soviet invasion. Until 1973 Afghanistan was a monarchy led by King Mohammad Zahir Shah before he was overthrown by his cousin Mohammad Daoud, whose party consisted of pro-Communist elements.

Daoud was overthrown by the Afghan communists. Internal struggles among the communists led to another coup in which Hafizullah Amin took the reins of power. According to experts, the Soviets perceived Amin as a potential Tito – he was in touch with both China and the United States and the Soviets saw Afghanistan slipping out of its orbit.

https://www.aljazeera.com/archive/2003/04/2008410113842420760.html

This invasion is a great course for anyone going into diplomatic studies…….

It was to last nearly a decade and would plant the seeds for the rise of the Taliban and Islamic terrorism and the subsequent invasion by the U.S. more than 20 years later.  On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union sent thousands of troops into Afghanistan and immediately assumed complete military and political control of Kabul and large portions of the country. It was the only time the Soviet Union invaded a country outside the Eastern Bloc.(It also nearly fit the 12-year pattern of major Soviet invasions — Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968.)

https://adst.org/2014/12/the-soviet-invasion-of-afghanistan-december-1979/

But now that Trump has opened mouth and inserted that small foot….maybe we should look at the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR……

There are plenty of reasons to seriously examine Russia’s role in Afghanistan, but too many articles fail to ask questions fundamental to making sense of Moscow’s aims. By refusing to closely scrutinize the facts on the ground, the role of China, and the logic of U.S. policy, the authors of many pieces can claim expertise but never be held accountable for their analysis. Russia is certainly an adversarial power for Washington, but Afghanistan deserves more than talking points from an aerial view.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/08/making-sense-of-russias-involvement-in-afghanistan/

Russia had their hands full with the opposition to their invasion…..and what made anyone in DC think that the Afghans would be open to another invasion and occupation?

Good question, huh?

The sad part with all the information available there will be those mental deficient that support Trump and will buy his version of the affair.

If Trump graduated from Wharton then I am a Mexican gardener named Jesus…..

How sad is that?

**************

Side note:  A pet peeve……the people of Afghanistan are Afghans not Afghanis…that is the currency of the country.

Now you know!

They Did Not Survive The Cold War

The death of the president that resided over the end of the Cold War got me to thinking about a lot of things especially in the fields of foreign policy and international relations…..

There comes a time when even something as the Cold War becomes history…..so for those youngsters that may be visiting IST let me tell you about the Cold War…..the Cold War was a state of political hostilities between the US and the USSR…..

A few attempts to explain the Cold War to my readers…..it is simple and quicker than trying to write a simple explanation……

Now that you have the background on the Cold War I can move on to where this post is going……

Ever heard of Aceh….or Biafra……or maybe Tibet……those are a few of the countries that did not survive the Cold War and they are NOT alone……

The Cold War spelled the end of numerous countries from 1947-91. Grenada, whose story was featured at the Historiat earlier this week , survived. Poland, Egypt, and Thailand survived, too. The country of South Vietnam, on the other hand, did not survive. On Oct. 26, 1955, South Vietnam declared its independence from Vietnam proper, kicking off a decades-long war that dragged in both Cold War superpowers and the longtime regional kingmaker in southeast Asia, China.

We all know that things ended badly for the rebels. Here are 10 more countries that didn’t survive, either:

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2018/10/25/10_countries_that_didnt_survive_the_cold_war_372.html

I shall keep posting on the history around the Cold War whenever I can find something unusual for my readers……

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Treaties That Ended The Cold War

In the late 1980’s the US and the USSR made several treaties to limit weapons of mass destruction……and 30+ years later those treaties are falling apart….

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) was probably the Alliance’s most important and secretive institution during the Cold War. Notably, it worked out NATO members’ joint strategy and tactics for using non-strategic nuclear weapons in a possible all-European war with the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. Such a confrontation seemed all too possible—and sometimes almost inevitable—during acute crisis situations that brought the Cold War opponents to the brink in 1949, 1956, 1962, 1973 and 1983. In the last of the aforementioned crises, tensions spiked as the United States deployed nuclear-tipped land-based cruise missiles as well as medium-range Pershing II ballistic missiles on the territory of several European NATO allies to counter the threat of the deployment of hundreds of Soviet SS-20 nuclear intermediary missiles known in Russia as Pioneer. The Soviets produced over 800 Pioneer missiles, and each carried a heavier payload than the Pershing IIs; but their U.S. counterparts were stealthier and much more accurate.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/10/10/agreements_that_ended_the_cold_war_are_disintegrating_113882.html

The INF Treaty, what is it?

https://www.state.gov/t/avc/trty/102360.htm

One of the main treaties from those days was the INF Treaty…..Trump with the urging of Bolton is thinking about withdrawing from this treaty….

Years of US allegations that Russia is violating the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) may be coming to a head, with John Bolton reportedly pushing hard for President Trump to withdraw outright from the pact.

Instead of negotiating over the questions, Bolton wants the US to just withdraw outright, despite that being a major escalation on tensions with Russia. State Department and Pentagon officials are both opposed to this.

The administration was to have talks on Monday to discuss Bolton’s idea, but this has been postponed, at least for now. Still, Congress is also pushing for action on Russia, as part of general hostility toward Russia.

(antiwar.com)

Trump has made it official and pulled out of the treaty……

President Donald Trump said Saturday he will pull the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia has violated the agreement. The 1987 pact, which helps protect the security of the U.S. and its allies in Europe and the Far East, prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles. “Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years,” Trump said after a rally in Elko, Nevada, per the AP. “And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to.” The agreement has constrained the US from developing new weapons, but America will begin developing them unless Russia and China agree not to possess or develop the weapons, Trump said.

“We’ll have to develop those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let’s really get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons, but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable,” he said. National Security Adviser John Bolton was headed Saturday to Moscow to meet with senior Russian officials at a time when Moscow-Washington relations remain frosty over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race and upcoming US midterm elections. US officials have previously alleged that Russia violated the treaty by deliberately deploying a land-based cruise missile in order to pose a threat to NATO.

Yet another international treaty the Trump thinks he can throw away….And of course Russia will have something to say…..

A day after President Trump announced his intention to scrap a landmark arms control deal with Russia, the Kremlin called the pullout “a very dangerous step.” Trump is sending national security adviser John Bolton to Moscow to meet with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and was to relay Trump’s decision. Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as telling state news agency Tass on Sunday that a US withdrawal “will cause the most serious condemnation from all members of the international community who are committed to security and stability.” The 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty bars the US and Russia from possessing, producing, or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 miles to 3,400 miles, reports the AP.

Britain said it stood “absolutely resolute” with the US, while Germany called Trump’s move “regrettable.” Heiko Maas said Sunday that the three-decades-old treaty is “an important pillar of our European security architecture.” Maas says Germany has repeatedly urged Moscow to “clear up the serious allegations of breaching the INF treaty, which Russia has so far not done.” He says Germany is urging Washington to “consider the possible consequences” of its decision, including for a US-Russian nuclear disarmament treaty beyond 2021. But Britain’s defense secretary, Gavin Williamson, blamed Russia for making a “mockery” of the pact and called on the Kremlin to “get its house in order.” Independent Russian political analyst, Dmitry Oreshkin said, “We are slowly slipping back to the situation of cold war as it was at the end of the Soviet Union, but now it could be worse because (Russian President Vladimir) Putin belongs to a generation that had no war under its belt.”

Once again Our Dear Supreme Leader has taken it upon himself to make the world a little less safe…..nukes unregulated not a very promising situation.