A Modest, Inexpensive, In Your Face Proposal

Virtually everyting that any Minnesotan has ever done is the subject of some memorial or another.

And yet the biggest single event of most of our lifetimes – the event that’s touched the most of us, for the better – goes unmemorialized.

Minnesotans; it is time to build the Cold War Memorial.

Think about it; the tools that brought the end the the Cold War (under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, after America threw off the moldy, defeatist political hairshirt of the Carter years) have been largely discarded, and are availble for a song (often for $1, you haul).

Think of it; we could get a Lafayette class ballistic missile submarine…

or one of these babies…

…and park it on the Capitol Mall as a monument to the greatest war never fought!

And on a memorial wall surrounding it, we could carve the names of the six million Minnesotans not killed in the Cold War!

Let’s get on this!

9 thoughts on “A Modest, Inexpensive, In Your Face Proposal

  1. If you’re going to have a Lafayette-class SSBN (aka a-“616” for my fellow “bubbleheads”), you only have one choice: the USS Daniel Webster (SSBN 626), which I believe is in mothballs. The other eight were destroyed.

    There is also a ship in the James Madison class (or 627 class) that’s still around: the USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635), which was converted to a dockside trainer.

    All 28 other SSBNs prior to the Ohio class were destroyed–one during George HW Bush’s administration, one during George W Bush’s administration, and 26 during the Clinton years.

    Having said this, I’d favor the Daniel Webster. It was the only submarine in her class to have its diving planes not located on the sail but forward on the bow.

  2. If you’re going to have a Lafayette-class SSBN (aka a-“616” for my fellow “bubbleheads”), you only have one choice: the USS Daniel Webster (SSBN 626), which I believe is in mothballs. The other eight were destroyed.

    There is also a ship in the James Madison class (or 627 class) that’s still around: the USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635), which was converted to a dockside trainer.
    All 28 other SSBNs prior to the Ohio class were destroyed–one during George HW Bush’s administration, one during George W Bush’s administration, and 26 during the Clinton years.

    Having said this, I’d favor the Daniel Webster. It was the only submarine in her class to have its diving planes not located on the sail but forward on the bow.

  3. It’s a nice claim “Ronald Reagain won the Cold War”, but it’s about as factually deep as the liberal claim that all corporations are evil.

    Well, duh. This wasn’t meant to be a PhD level dissertation on the subject.

    Defending Carter is, broadly, pretty fruitless.  A point by point address of yours may follow later.

    Carter brought about more true pressure with the prohibition of grain sales in 1979 than the military expenditures of Reagan did after 1984.

    Refuted in depth by Anatolii Dobrynin’s accounts of the era.

  4. The guy we funded during the Soviet-Afghan war was a guy named Ahmed Shah Masood, the Lion of the Panjshir. And sure enough, a few years later, it was his Northern Alliance who once again assisted us in a fight against another dangerous enemy.

    Osama bin Laden hated the US – he wouldn’t have taken our money, nor did he need it. He had plenty of funding from his own personal fortune, zaqat payments from the Middle East, and the Pakistani ISI.

    The whole “we funded bin Laden” trope is a pile of bovine excrement used only by people who apparently think all those swarthy brown people look exactly alike.

  5. Don’t you guys remember Reagan’s “freedom fighters?” Many muslims from outside of Afghanistan were recruited to fight that war. The US gave both financial aid and military training to those so-called “freedom fighters.” And Jay, while we may not have directly funded bin laden, we funded and trained many of the same people (and their disciples) that we are fighting today.

    What amazes me is our governments lack of awareness of the theory of blowback, which has occured repeatedly throughout our history of meddling with foreign governments, and which sure enough will occur from our current endeavors in Iraq.

  6. Wasn’t Dobrynin the one considered a disinformationalist?

    I’m not aware that there’s a general sense that Dobrynin’s memoirs are considered disinformation.

    Whether you agree is totally irellevant, the facts are the facts, they started reducing military expenditures.

    They refocused their expenditures, spending less (they needed to) and building smaller numbers of higher-quality weapons. And when you say “reducing” military expenditures, it’s VERY relative; defense was 3/4 of the Soviet GDP in the seventies, not much less in the eighties.

    Economic isolation is the key feature of the cold war. And just an FYI, the Chinese are beating the crap out of us right now, still think you’ve won?

    King? You care to take this one?

    That said, Doug makes an excellent point that I thought of only after posting. Afghanistan did to the Soviets, what Vietnam did to us. It BADLY strained their military (btw, despite their ‘massive’ buildup, claimed by the right, I remember seeing T-34/85’s rolling into Afghanistan in 1979.

    Please provide a cite on this. The Afghan military of the time had T34s, and I remember pictures of them, but not in Soviet service.

    It also required hard currency. Currency they didn’t have. I had a teacher that was a CIA officer who had two tours in the USSR in the 70’s. His comment was that the Soviets would fall when they failed to deliver basic goods to their people.

    A failure that Reagan’s acceleration of the Cold War brought on faster.

    A concise synopsis can reasonably conclude that Lech Wallesa and Pope John Paul I did more to undermine the Soviets, along with Afghanistan, than Reagan and the 3.5 Trillion spent on Defense by he and his VP, ever did, magnitudinally more in fact.

    The synopsis would be concise – and deeply wrong.

    For starters, the Pope, Thatcher and Lane Kirkland of the AFL-CIO worked in close collaboration with Reagan in supporting Solidarnosc, Walesa, Havel, the Baltic Independence movements, and so on.

    The exposure of the Soviet states to western goods through the westernization movement and solidarity movement was FAR more impactful than the Trident Submarine, The “Peacekeeper”, DIVADS, B1, Paladin, or any of a host of other programs.

    Since the war stayed cold, that would seem to be tautological.

    But since you brought up China – it seems that “western goods” alone aren’t enough to topple a murderous totalitarian state.

    Additionally, it was Dick Cheney, as SecDef, who signed the destruction orders for the F-14 molds, because we needed a “new” aircraft, just like we needed the F-16, and F-18. We wasted hundreds of Billions on programs, just to watch the Soviets field the Mig 29, which was VASTLY better than the F-16, and significantly better than the F-18. The point being we wasted money that we didn’t need to, and doubtless the Soviets knew it, knew our capabilities.

    Possible, but irrelevant.

    We rather niavely funded Bin Laden and the Mujahadeen,

    You err in lumping them all together. Remember – as noted above, Bin Laden wasn’t particularly a US client.

    Please explain to me how “BOLD” Reagan was in going into Grenada sometime,

    Better yet, Dobrynin can explain it to you; Grenada was a HUGE turning point in the way the Kremlin saw the US responding to their plans. It upset the applecart in a huge way. The left has been tittering about Grenada for 20 odd years – wrongly, as it happens.

    or maybe you can tell me how visionary he was in Beruit, perhaps?

    Not very, but then everyone including Reagan admitted as much at the time. You’re not turning new sod here.

    The truth is we didn’t need to spend what we did,

    Deeply debateable, and dependent entirely on hindsight. No significant thinker of the day from the left believed that the USSR was going to fall apart – indeed, up until 1990 Strobe Talbott insisted Communism was here to stay in as many words, and the litany of “experts” in government, business and society who said (with greeeeeat authority) that the Soviet Union was not only in for the long haul, but was in fact a viable second way approach to government, was staggering (see Dinesh D’Souza’s biography of Reagan for a detailed list of these pundits).

    Carter instituted the idea Bush is trying to coopt, namely that democracy and civil liberty are paramount, the difference of course being Carter actually acted on those words and ideas…

    …and acted from a position that in hindsight was deeply wrong to the point of stupid; that the US could export human rights by self-abnegation.

    It didn’t work then, and it really won’t work now.

  7. “Defense was 75% of their GDP in the Seventies” – from where did you get this ridiculous claim? It was 25%, a rapacious sum, but not 75%.

    Yep, my bad. It was 75% of the budget, not GDP.

    Mitch, you ducked the point, specifically that military expenditures were nearly non-impactful, whereas simple economic isolation, and exposure to western goods, was.

    I didn’t “duck” anything, you just weren’t following me.

    The impact of the US’ spending on Soviet policy – especially as perceived inside the Politburo (as noted by Dobrynin) which had to face both a citizenry that wanted a more-western standard of living and a resurgent US military and newly-aggressive foreign policy – was a one-two punch they could not absorb.

    As to the effect of the military buildup – you DO know what “tautology” means, don’t you?

    Reagan’s approach of embracing Solidarity was certainly correct, but he was not the meaningful player, that was John Paul II – who threatened excommunication on any who acted violently against Wallesa in particular, and Solidarity in general.

    You are operating in a complete historical vacuum. OF COURSE the Pope’s actions were vital in Poland; but he acted in concert with Reagan, not distanced from him.

    You seem to have trouble with that little fact.

    Hardly, it was well documented at the time, and well understood.


    Show me – with an actual citation – a credible observer any significant (and credible especially on the left, among Reagan’s opposition) movement of pundits, diplomats, thinkers, serious journalists, anyone who seriously believed the USSR was about to collapse of its own weight. Make sure this movement is large and credible enough to not be random noise, because we all know that someone has predicted, no matter how randomly or luckily, every possible event. Oh, and make sure the sources and cites are contemporary, not post-1991; plenty of people said they predicted it, but as D’Souza showed, they pretty much all reversed themselves.

    I’ll help you out – you can’t. There was no such movement.

    Your “hindsight” is merely that you don’t like being told you were wrong when history proved you to be.

    I have no problem being told I’m wrong – provided I am. But I’m not, and you are nowhere close to showing any such thing, and you never will!

    The B1 was a calamitous flop, DIVADS as well. The F-22 is inferior in all ways except stealth…

    Yeah, I know – there’s a shopping list of weapons systems and programs that didn’t work to spec. It’s irrelevant (the Soviets weren’t reacting to any single weapon or group of weapons, but to the overall policy change) and hopelessly selective (the Ohio and 688 class subs were unqualified successes, the M-1 (which Carter nearly cancelled) worked just fine, yadda yadda) and historically lazy (ALL wars, hot or cold, have been won with imperfect weaponsa and flawed plans; in WWII we won with a tank that ignited on contact and a strategic air doctrine that consumed far more resources than its results justified).

    to a thrust vectored F-14

    Hah! I knew it was PB!

    Reagan’s “acceleration” was an unecessary expense on systems which were generally not needed.

    And, again, show me that this knowledge existed in anything but hindsight. You’ve been given the challenge.

    Mitch, news flash, Greneda was a military flop of the first order.

    Yes, it was. Edwin Luttwak wrote about it at great length. And, again, irrelevant; it wasn’t the operation itself that alarmed the Soviets; it was the change in policy.

    An operation doesn’t have to be a brilliant tactical success to have disproportionate strategic impact. Grenada was certainly not the former. Anatolii Dobrynin and an array of competent historians say it was the latter. Please show me anyone besides yourself who has credible reasons to believe otherwise.

    If the Kremlin REALLY was alarmed about the “militaristic” stance of Reagan as you say (and Dobrynin said) – they were either fools, or telling us stuff we wanted to hear.

    So say you! Pity you’re not a world leader or…well, anything but a pseudonymous blog commenter and apparent armchair general.

    I think a lesson could be taken from Grenada, namely that Reagan (at first) was a little ‘unstable’ and unsophisticated

    You’re reciting lefty talking points.

    He’s also the one who struck an agreement with Gorbachev in Iceland on START talks, with the right, wrongly for the past 20 years, vilified.

    Are you sure you’re talking about the right conference?

    The left thought Reagan’s staring down of Gorbachev was a prelude to open hostilities!

    I’m done with this.

    You have your challenge. I doubt you’re up to it.

  8. “And the president who enacted that was…?

    Enacted? Are you suggesting that Reagan brilliantly sponsored the Afghans in their fight against the Soviet occupation? He sold arms to Iran and effectively created the precursor to al Qaeda? BRILLIANT!

    “Uh uh, Doug. Bin Laden was a bit player during the Soviet occupation.

    Sure Mitch. An extreemely wealthy bit player who happened to be the brother and the son of business partners of then Vice President Bush – the guy who used to head the CIA. Of course to suggest that there was any covert connection would be just silly wouldn’t it Mitch?

    Um, yeah. That and, like, I dunno, every guerrilla movement in history

    Stop the presses. We got a military genius here.

    Clearly, you’re not refering to our President who walked blindly into, like, I dunno, every guerrilla movement in history.

    Um, that’d be Al Quaeda.

    Uh huh. and I’m sure you are aware that many of the al Quaeda members were formerly Mujahedeen fighting against the Soviets.

    Tell ya what, Doug; try to explain the link, and then I’ll debunk it. It’ll be good for yuks.

    Tell ya what, Mitch; I don’t need the meteorologist to tell me if it’s cloudy outside. Simple observation and common sense are enough to tell me what I need to know.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.