The Cold War Connection

I won’t waste any words with a loquacious beginning, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the Cold War, though we supposedly “won” it, has come back to bite us, to be cliché, almost 20 years since the collapse of the USSR.

To put it bluntly: our Cold War policies of trying to to prevent the spread of Communism are the real reasons for us being at war right now (or, at least, planted the seeds; I still hold the Administration wholly responsible for getting us into these wars) — we created our enemies with our foreign policy of interventionism for the sake of stopping the spread of Communism, or, as it’s euphemistically called, “spreading the ideals of liberty and freedom and democracy”.

I’ve been over this before; in a comment (responding to a conservative) on Will Rhodes’s blog, I said:

But all you do tell us how awesome it is for us to go into nations and bomb people into liking democracy and freedom at the point of a gun, saying how wonderful “liberty” is. Who are we to police the world? Shouldn’t we be keeping to ourselves and worrying about our problems here at home rather than going around liberating people from awful governments? I’m not saying I don’t empathize with those in Afghanistan under the Taliban or those in Iraq under Hussein, but I feel like it’s their issue, and not ours. Yes, you can talk about how this nation building bullshit is all about the “common good”, but, really, is it? How many people have lost their lives because of this war? If we really cared about our troops, wouldn’t we avoid altercation at any cost? I digress. The irony is my “liberal” point of view is actually more “conservative” than your own.

It’s funny how you mention the Taliban and Hussein’s regimes as the specific reasons for us going and creating freedom for the people. Want to know how they got into power? WE GAVE THEM MONEY AND GUNS. We created the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan, fighting a proxy war there, during the Cold War. We gave them money and guns, and after the Soviet Union collapsed, those with guns assumed power in Afghanistan. Thus, we gave birth to a regime that we had to come back and kill 15 or so years later because they were too oppressive. By “liberating” the people from one oppressor (the Soviets), we created another one.

The same goes for Iraq. Saddam was put in power because he was part of a CIA organized conspiracy to usurp the Iraqi monarchy. The Baath party, helped by the CIA, established a coup, and they took control of the government. The CIA endorsed the fighting within the Baath party after they assumed power, and Saddam and his “master” quickly assumed power. During the 1980 invasion of Iran, Saddam received arms and money from our government, IE the WMDs we tried to find but disappeared. WE were the ones who put Saddam in power, and he quickly became a dictator. It should be noted that Saddam, a Sunni, was put in power to establish a balance of power between Shia-dominated Iran; there were fears that, with a Shia government, Iran would swallow Iraq. The point is, we’ve tried to build nations before, and they’ve come back to bite us 10-20 years. If we didn’t try to build nations during the Cold War, we wouldn’t be in any war right now!

Yes, during the Cold War, we did, indeed, establish nations for the sake of combating Communism. Now, we’re just engaging in nation building for the sake of combating terrorism. The latter is no different than the former; we just slap a tag on whatever seems to be the “greatest threat of our time” and use it to justify interventionism in countries that don’t want our help. As I said above, what’s the point of nation building if the regimes we erect end up despising us? It’s just a bad investment, and something that we should try to avoid, but our leaders insist on trying to expand the American Empire for no reason other than to “combat Communism” or “combat terrorism”. As we’ve seen over the past 8 years, that is no way to run a stable nation, let alone an empire. And now the country, the empire, is crashing down, mired in debt, our military stretched too thin.

Bush and his cronies thought that they could make America the next Rome. They may not have succeeded, but they are making us collapse like Rome did.

  1. thebeadden

    Well said, Leap! It is a sad day to see what they have done to America. It will be a long struggle to bring it back, but it can be done.

  2. Thanks for linking back, Leap.

    The over all seeds for the US to come back are there and ready to be planted – yet not by the current wave of conservatives.

    They use words, a derivative of Liberal, Liberty – as this is the thing they espouse to, it is, as we have seen over the last eight years, not.

    To current conservative the word “liberal” is something to hate – McCain yesterday said that he would show America who was the most liberal and who was the most conservative.

    By saying this – McCain stretches the view that “conservity” is the same as liberty, it isn’t – it is a matter of holding things as they are because you believe to change them is to spoil them.

    The United States of America wasn’t spoiled by those who believe in liberty and are Liberal – she was and is spoiled by those who want to stay the same, the status quo. This is why so many who tout conservatism as the best of all policy are, with the butt of a whip, hitting themselves over the head until it bleeds.

    The whole world really believes in Liberalism – but they stay tied to apron strings that are the past because they cannot see a brighter future without that which they know.

    Break the bonds of Conservatism and the world will be a better place – and we can then begin to speak to each other rather than trying to kill the messenger.

  3. Actually, current conservatives’ policies are, really, neo-liberal, though I doubt they know that.

    I have no problem with actual conservatives, like Ron Paul (though he is a bit of a wackjob, but that’s okay), but the neoconservatives (90% of the GOP) are the real evils in our government. It’s the neoconservatives that are destroying America now, what with their holy wars and imperialistic polices.

    True conservatism would scale back government in all facets; not as many wars, less government interference, less strict laws, etc. They should, in essence, stick to the constitution, and not stray too far from its contents.

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