Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day in America. It’s the day we who didn’t serve in the military honor those who did.

And it’a also two days after the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – a symbolic event, to be sure, but one whose symbolism should not be diluted by modern revisionism.

And there’s a connection: while Communism is not a sustainable model of governance (like its passive-aggressive cousin “Democratic Socialism”). there is no guarantee that when it falls it won’t be replaced by something even worse.

And among the reason that Soviet communism fell when it did was the fact that two generations of American (and NATO) soldiers ensured that “inducing a conflict to keep the peoples’ minds off their misery” wasn’t a valid end-game.

The world changed thirty years ago last Saturday because American will, and American steel, and American troops, ensured that that change took place in its proper lane.

Nobody (and that means you, Democrats) predicted the wall, and the blood-lusting tyrants who built it, would go away.

Well, almost nobody.

But while Reagan’s (and Thatcher’s, and Pope John Paul II’s, and Lech Wałęsa) were the hammer that pounded the Soviet system on the head, that hammer jammed them against the anvil that was the American soldier (and the German, British, Dutch, Belgian, Italian, French, Danish and Norwegian troops they joined).

And fall, it did.

And so I thank all you veterans out there.

And as a special treat for all of you – “Bornholmer Strasse”, a German TV dramedy about the point where the dam broke thirty years ago Saturday.

It’s in German – worse yet, Berlin German – but even if you don’t speak the language (and I, modestly fluent in “High” German, stretch to keep up with Berlinisch – the actions are pretty self-explanatory.

17 thoughts on “Veterans Day

  1. Yet it would be difficult to find a single academic historian who would give Reagan any credit at all for the collapse of the USSR. Indeed, it would be difficult to find an academic historian who would say that the collapse of the USSR was a good thing, since it led to the current neo-liberal world order.

  2. I, modestly fluent in “High” German, stretch to keep up with Berlinisch

    I lived in Munich for about 3 years. I think Bayerisch is harder to understand.

    After I had a conversation in German with an Italian bartender in Austria, however, Bavarian was much easier to understand.

  3. Ian,

    Don’t disagree. Bayerisch is harder. Schweizedeutch harder still. Schwäbisch, for me, far and away the worst of all.

    My Berlinisch has improved, mostly from watching movies set in Berlin.

  4. I enlisted in the last days of Vietnam (never went there), and during the time I put in I seriously doubt morale of the military or the country has ever been lower. The leftist reprobates hated us, most of the “dates” guys got were limited to “Olongapo girls”; American girls didn’t want anything to do with us…I was happy to finally be able to grow my hair out, blend in and forget the Navy.

    Fast forward 40 years. Now I’m getting Rockstar parking and 10% off at Lowes, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby.

    I don’t deserve any special treatment, and neither do 80% of the people that served in the military; certainly not anyone that didn’t see combat. We got 3 hots and a cot, our tuition paid for, guaranteed home loans and preferential treatment for jobs. More than enough for something everyone should be happy to do.

  5. I agree that Reagan was/is the gold standard for Republicans.

    Fast forward: Trump was speaking today at a New York City’s Veterans Day parade. Last week, Trump was ordered to to pay $2 million for misuse of charity funds, including using money raised for veterans to aid his 2016 campaign. Incredibly disingenuous, but not at all unexpected.

  6. Per that conservative swamp and known Trump collaborator: Snopes

    Trump’s list of checks already issued read as follows:

    22Kill: $200,000.

    Achilles International : $200,000

    American Hero Adventures: $100,000

    Americas for equal living: $100,000

    America’s vet dogs: the veteran canine corp Inc: $75,000

    AmVets: $75,000

    Armed Services YMCA: $75,000

    Bob Woodruff Family Foundation Inc: $75,000

    Central Iowa Shelter and Services: $100,000

    Connected Warriors Inc: $75,000

    Disabled American Veterans Charity: $115,000

    Fisher House Foundation: $115,000

    Folds of Honor Foundation: $200,000

    Foundation for American Veterans: $75,000

    Freedom Alliance : $75,000

    Green Beret Foundation: $350,000

    Higher Heroes USA: $75,000

    Homes for our Troops: $100,000

    Honoring America’s Warriors: $100,000

    Hope for the Warriors: $65,000

    Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: $175,000

    Canines for Warriors: $50,000

    Liberty House: $100,00

    Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation: $1.1m (including $1m from Trump himself)

    Navy Seal Foundation: $465,000

    Navy Marine Corps Relief Society: $75,000

    New England Wounded Vets Inc: $75,000

    Operation Home Front: $65,000

    Project for Patriots: $100,000

    Puppy Jake Foundation: $100,000

    Racing for Heroes, Inc: $200,000

    Support Siouxland Soldiers: $100,000

    Task Force Dagger Foundation: $50,000

    The Mission Continues: $75,000

    National Military Families Inc: $75,000

    Veterans Airlift Command: $100,000

    Veterans Count: $25,000

    Veterans in Command Inc: $150,000

    Vietnam Veterans Workshop Inc: $75,000

    Warriors for Freedom Foundation: $50,000

    I hope a vet detects what a POS you are today, and smacks you down to the pavement.

  7. See, Emery, this right here is why no one likes you.

    The subject is Veteran’s Day. But you can’t stick to the subject, you just have to get in a dig at the President. No segue is too contrived for you to ruin the occasion. I bet you’re a treat at Thanksgiving dinner.

  8. Bullcrap. And leave it to you to politicize what should be a non-political day.

    So, since you decided to go there, my Soviet Union professor in 1980, predicted the Soviets would fall, and fall soon, when they could no longer provide basic goods to their people. I’ve told you this in the past.

    Jimmy Carter said the Soviet state was failing when he defunded the B1, he called it obsolete and needless technology and said the effects of a US, Canadian and Australian grain embargo would do far more damage to the Soviets than the B1.

    Charlie Wilson said we could bring down the myth of Soviet supremacy by funding the Taliban, something Reagan initially opposed.

    FDR and MANY others said the Soviet state would ultimately fail.

    You need a history lesson, or so it seems.

    As far as Veterans go, PAY FOR BENEFITS. you all trumpet around how much you appreciate service but you underfund veterans care. in short, it’s lip-service if you don’t put your money where your mouth is. THAT should be the focus, caring for our homeless vets, not making political points. 30% plus of vets are Dems, probably 40% are Repubs, I appreciate all of their service and one thing I learned in uniform which I have to suggest you are missing, is that you have NO political opinion in uniform. They all deserve care and Dems have stood up against the Soviets as much as the GOP and FAR more than the GOP stood up against Russian aggression since 2010.

  9. MamPrim, that’s a craptasticle lie. Would you like me to find 10,000 academicians who assailed the USSR for you? how about 100,000. What a load of utter horse hockey. Yet, Trump is clearly in the bag for an ex-KGB officer who wants to reinvent the USSR and Trump jams his head up Putin’s rear and you all applaud. Good lord, hate your neighbor much?

  10. BTW, Mitch, Reagan made a demand to tear down a wall, he did not say the Soviet system was about to fail. Further, and more importantly, while I have (OFTEN) given Reagan credit for presiding over the fall of the Soviet Union, he did not do it alone. We spent nearly 70 years isolating the Soviets, through half a dozen Presidents, all of whom supported those actions. Even further, by 1987, when Reagan made this demand, it was WELL understood the Soviets were collapsing, so Reagan wasn’t exactly prescient and even more his demand was more grandstanding than a statement. Or do you think the Soviets collapsed because of a speech? In fact, by 1983, we knew the Soviet military expenditures were falling, we had a good idea the Soviet system was crumbling, YET Ray GunZ demanded another $2T in defense spending, spending which would ultimately lead to doubling the national debt. So while you build your revisionist shrine to Reagan, pardon me if I credit a number of others, most importantly Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy, for doing more.

  11. “Would you like me to find 10,000 academicians who assailed the USSR for you?”
    I think that it would be amazing if you could find one who credited Reagan for the collapse of the USSR, and was willing to condemn the failed socialist state known as the USSR. Back in the 80s, historians said that all of the bad parts of the USSR — the gulag, suppression of artists and intellectuals (which was all they cared about) was because the Soviet state was conservative.
    It wouldn’t kill you to open a book once in a while, peeve. Then you would know that Carter’s disastrous, weak-sister handling of the collapse of the Shah’s government in Iran is was what led to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
    There is hardly a single disaster in US foreign relations since 1977 that can’t be sourced directly to Carter’s feckless foreign policy. He was kicked out of office after one term because Americans realized he was leading them to surrender or nuclear war.
    Most of the academic historians of the 1980s failed to see that collapse of the USSR was close because they believed the bad intelligence produced by the CIA. They consistently overestimated Soviet GDP in absolute terms and in terms of growth.

    April 24, 1990
    12 AM

    A panel of high-ranking Soviet economists contended Monday that the CIA has consistently overestimated the size of the Soviet economy–possibly by a factor of three–and has underestimated the proportion that Moscow devotes to military spending.

  12. ^^ Huh — wut? This was a nice prep run before Trump took the dishonest fiduciary thing national.

    It’s important to work out all the bugs before you tackle the Federal Treasury.

  13. “THAT should be the focus, caring for our homeless vets…”

    Tell that to your shitbag ilk that use our tax dollars to provide room and board, legal assistance, education and health care for foreign nationals that violate our border, commit identity fraud and other crimes because it helps them politically.

    You fucking people utterly disgust me.

  14. Here is USSR supporter & Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm on the end of the USSR. It is difficult to imagine a more credentialed academic historian than Hobsbawm.
    Even hobsbawm is driven to incoherency by the failure of the world’s first and most powerful Marxist state. At one point he writes “There is no historic justification for teleology, whether non-Marxist or Marxist, . . .” while later he writes “the enormous social injustice which gave communism its historic force in the last century is not diminishing in this one.”
    Hobsbawm rejects the idea that history has a teleology, but can’t let go of “enormous social injustice” as the driver of history. It is confounding; when you look at the major events in recorded history, world wide, you never see “enormous social injustice” doing anything, unless you are Hobsbawm.

  15. More Hobsbawm: the sudden collapse of the USSR was neither probable nor expected before the late 1980s. A prominent CIA figure interviewed by Professor Fred Halliday of the LSE thought that, supposing Andropov had survived in good health, there would still have been a USSR in the 1990s – clumsy, inefficient, in slow and perhaps accelerating economic decline, but still in being.
    If Peeve really had a “Soviet Union professor in 1980” (whatever that is) who “predicted the Soviets would fall, and fall soon, when they could no longer provide basic goods to their people” what evidence did he have of this? Reagan was looking at the same numbers the economists and Russian specialists were looking at. Reagan’s belief was not supported by the numbers, but by his optimistic view of the United States. He rejected the idea that the US was in permanent state of decline, because he knew that it wasn’t. Reagan was right, the liberals were wrong.
    I was around in the 1980s. Most believed (because the government told us) that the GDP of the Soviet Union was about half that of the US. The lack of Soviet consumer goods was usually blamed on the US — the apologists said that the USSR was justifiably paranoid of a US invasion and was spending double their share of GDP on defense because they feared an invasion by the US (NATO, specifically).
    This was a fantasy the libs fell for. US forces in Europe were defensive, not offensive. There was no public support in America for a US invasion of Russia or its satellites. There was no support among our NATO allies for a military invasion of the USSR.
    The American Left was completely wrong about the dynamics of the relationship between the US and the USSR for all of its history.

  16. If Paddyboy were correct, and the Soviets were on the brink of demise in the late 1970s to the point that the B1 was no longer necessary, we would expect that the Soviets would have decided not to go into Afghanistan, Angola, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Seems that his favorite Sovietologist wasn’t paying much attention to the facts on the ground, which was typical at the time.

    Having been an avid reader of U.S. News at the time (I was in high school debate, it was “training”), I can affirm that the guys they were quoting were all saying that the Berlin Wall was going to be there forever.

    Perhaps some day, Paddyboy will tear down the wall preventing contrary evidnce from reaching his brain. It’s no crazier of a hope than the notion that Erich Honecker would allow his wall to be torn down in 1989, after all.

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