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Discussion in 'The OT' started by fluffybear, Apr 8, 2013.
From Fox News:
So she would have been about 54 when Reagan got elected. I always thought she was much older than that.
The third and final person in the trio of leaders who was responsible for the downfall of Eastern European Communism and the Soviet Union has left us. Joining her colleagues President Reagan and Pope John Paul II as the architects of the demise of Communism as we knew it, Margaret Thatcher will be remembered as a great person, a great woman, and a great prime minister.
RIP, Iron Lady.
What about democratic socialists who mobilized workers, church people, intellectuals, and others to fight Communism? The Solidarity and the Charter 77 movements started before Reagan. Reagan pushed military use when it was the non violent actions that succeeded.
RIP Margaret Thatcher.
And who led the charge and inspired them? Pope John Paul II wasn't elected by accident. His election having generated intense hatred and fear in Moscow (so much so that they knew they had to try and have him disposed of), he was from communist Poland, whose churchgoing folks led by Lech Walesa and his Solidarność party were instrumental in fighting Communism. Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul II didn't just act, but more importantly inspired those people to whom you refer above.
A couple of years ago, I met a political science graduate exchange student from Germany who was studying at the University of Maryland. As you might expect, he was as well versed on American politics as most Americans. I mentioned to him the video of Reagan saying "Tear down this wall" and asked if he had seen it. He said, yeah, he's seen it hundreds of times on Fox News since he came to this country, but had only seen it once or twice before that. He then proceded to tell me the story about the gaff that let the gates open... a chronology I had read previously, but which, as a German, he knew in excruciating detail. I told him that there are lots of people in this country who think that speech had something to do with the wall coming down. He said, "You're kidding, right?"
I think it's foolish if anyone believes that speech had anything to do with the wall coming down. Like the Kremlin's going to say, "All right. We've got to take the wall down. Reagan just told us to do so." As is the case with almost all presidential speeches, that one was more show than anything else. Symbolism over substance.
Fortunately, Reagan's actions (along with the actions of John Paul II and Thatcher) accomplished more than his words did.
Gorbachev choosing to not interfere in the domestic policies of other countries in Eastern Europe had a big impact, too, and I'd say he was more responsible than Reagan. The thing he did best was spend boatloads of money paying his supporters in the arms race to outbuild the Soviets (Star Wars). The CIA overly exaggerated the Soviet's resources.
I always found it amusing that someone who's considered so influential in ending Communism and had anti-communist policies that were so powerful, didn't end Communism in countries like North Korea, Cuba, China, etc...
Thatcher and the Pope definitely contributed substantially.
Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader who had not experienced World War II as an adult and as such, was not burdened by the paranoic fear of another European ground invasion. The Soviet European satellite nations were not like the British and French colonies and U.S. supported Shiekdoms that got economically raped by the colonial powers. They were expensive, unproductive military buffers and Gorbachev was simply not willing to expend lives and treasure maintaining them.
It is peculiar and frustrating that we can't stamp Communism out of North Korea and Cuba. For 30 years, we told outselves that Cuba could not survive without its Soviet support, and yet, 20 years later...
Why must it be amusing? It's not like JPII, Reagan, and Thatcher were unaware of North Korea, China, Cuba, et. al. Unlike those countries, however, the USSR was a far greater cancer in the world and posed a greater threat to freedom than any other Communist country. Moreover, those other countries didn't control a portion of Germany like the Soviet Union did; nor did those countries possess a nuclear arsenal the size of the USSR's. In the scheme of things, the Soviet Union was much more important than any other Communist country, including a more populous China.
This is probably really bad, but one thing I do find amusing is there was apparently some confusion on Twitter and people started thinking Cher had died. A group that was not among Thatcher's fans created the hash tag #nowthatchersdead, putting spaces in different places creates a whole different meaning.
What a shame that people are so partisan that they have to be happy someone's dead. I personally can't stand Cher's politics and more; however, I'd mourn her passing because she's talented and has done good things during her career. I didn't agree with much of Roger Ebert's politics, but I was deeply saddened by his death. I liked him personally and professionally, and I thought he was the best movie critic there was, hands down.
Margaret Thatcher was obviously political--she was a politician, for Pete's sake; but to applaud her death like a lot on the Left are doing (I'm not talking about people on this board, BTW) it just ridiculous and appalling. I wouldn't doubt that these same idiots still mourn Hitler's passing.
A great leader, a great woman, has died. That should be mourned.
1.) I never understood or grasp how people are saddened by famous people they've never met dying. I'm not suggesting it's wrong; I just don't get it.
2.) Regarding people celebrating a death... IMO, it's because of the internet. The net gives people a barrier to act ignorantly and be venomous. Politics (both sides), religion, and sports seem to be worst.
1.) I can understand your thoughts. With Roger Ebert, I met him once. We chatted about life at the U. of I., where we both went to school (though he long before I did). We even laughed when I told him I had many run-ins with the Daily Illini, a newspaper at which he worked and was its editor.
I never met Thatcher, (I did, however, meet both President Reagan and Pope John Paul II, the latter in a semi-private meeting at the Vatican) but I am still saddened because the world has lost a great leader. To me, it's just sad to see good people die, even though we all know that we all shall pass sooner or later.
2.) I think you are absolutely correct about the Internet giving people a hiding place, so to speak, but I also believe that the Internet wouldn't always matter, because there are people who'd publicly and visibly celebrate one's death no matter how that made them look in the eyes of others.