Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvira and Philip John Lee who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





RE: Vive la France   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>Off Topic >> Page: <<   <   1 2 3 [4] 5    >   >>
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

I made it clear that I had nothing to do with running human sources. The work I was involved in was almost purely technical, evaluating and criticizing analyses of data collected by satellites and other means, participating in inputs to National Intelligence Estimates, and directing collection taskings for the next quarter.

The three emigrants I did help to interview were all volunteers from the Soviet Union who had left on their own, and who had been thoroughly vetted by U.S. intelligence. Their information was seen as potentially interesting enough to be examined by members of the ABM Panel.

If you would like to read a detailed account of the career of one of the most important human sources of the Cold War, I can recommend The Billion Dollar Spy by David E. Hoffman.

Hoffman is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a Contributing Editor of The Washington Post, and a correspondent for the Public Broadcasting System investigative show Frontline.

Hoffman's subject is Adolf Tolkachev, and the skilled agents of the CIA's Moscow Station who interfaced with him.

Tolkachev was an engineer at one of the leading Soviet radar research and development bureaus. He held a deep grievance against the Soviet regime for their persecution of both his and his wife's parents. He persisted for a year in his attempts to contact U.S. intelligence officials in Moscow. They were slow to react, fearing he might be a "plant" sent to deceive them.

When at last the Moscow Station Chief decided to take Tolkachev seriously, they quickly realized the immense value of the information he proposed to deliver, and Tolkachev's determination to do the most damage to the Soviet regime that he possibly could, putting himself in mortal danger in the process.

Hoffman had access to detailed CIA cables and reports, as well as interviews with former Station Chiefs, Soviet Section heads, and agents who supervised Tolkachev.

A detailed picture emerges of the tradecraft required to operate under the noses of heavy KGB surveillance. The wives of the U.S. agents often were involved in operations as well.

Tolkachev provided photographic copies of thousands of pages of documents and blueprints. He even provided samples of prototype circuit boards for U.S. analysis. The documents included detailed planning for Soviet radar development over the next ten years. Tolkachev's bureau was involved in airborne radar, but his connections were good enough to answer specific questions about Soviet strategic defense radars which were posed by the ABM Panel. We didn't know who he was or where he worked, but we knew we had a valuable, highly productive and reliable source at the heart of Soviet radar development.

As a direct result of Tokachev's work we had immediate air superiority when U.S fighter aircraft eventually met in combat with Soviet supplied Iraqi fighters during Operation Desert Storm, to push Saddam out of Kuwait.

Tolkachev's espionage was extremely dangerous. He checked out documents from the bureau's library, smuggled them out at lunchtime to his nearby apartment and photographed them to deliver copies to the agents of Moscow Station during infrequent meetings. He was fully and constantly aware that if he was caught it meant certain death. He seemed to regard this with a fatalisic attitude. Moscow Station constantly cautioned him to take fewer risks. Instead he took more risks and persisted from early 1977 to March 1985.

Tolkachev's career was ended by betrayal from within the USA. Edward Lee Howard was washed out of training as an agent for the CIA and forced to resign. He had enough information to know that there was a source within a technical design bureau in Moscow, but he didn't know exactly where nor did he know Tolkachev's name. Howard was infuriated by his treatment by the CIA and contacted the Soviets in revenge. His information presumably inspired a KGB investigation which was detected by Tolkachev, but failed to identify him. Despite the heightened danger, Tolkachev continued his work for the USA.

Tolkachev was definitively identified by Aldrich Ames, the CIA headquarters agent responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people working for the CIA in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries.

Tolkachev was arrested, interrogated and executed.

This is how the game actually was played.

One might expect Barkell, who springs so readily to the defense of the U.S. intelligence establishment for which he and I both worked, to show a little more respect for the people who actually gave their lives in its service. Estebanana's and Barkell's sophomoric attempts at ridicule are disrespectful toward the determination and outstanding bravery of people like Tolkachev and of the skill and dedication of people like the Moscow Station agents and their wives who interacted with him.

Ruphus and I will never agree on our evaluations of U.S. actions, but for once we discuss them civilly and this merits ridicule?

What's up with you guys?

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 5:40:21
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Dear Richard,

I apologize for creating posts which are seen as ridicule. I am in error and I will not take the fiction further out of bounds.

I extend the apology to Ruphus and Larissa as well.

Allow me to explain, I was having a good time with the situation and did not mean to ridicule anyone. Bill and I had a moment of surprise when you and Ruphus more or less agreed and I suppose what got the better of me is that this agreement was comically shocking. The serious content of your messages, and Ruphus', was not up for ridicule, but what I thought was a gentile lampooing of the fact that you and Ruphus had come to an agreement or understanding.

Humor is an odd thing, and I want to tell you in a heartfelt way I did not mean any harm, my humor is simply odd. I extrapolated fantastically on the idea that you and Ruphus could have a dialog in person. I have seen too many 'send up' spy movies and I framed this agreement in some fantasy/fictive scenario I imagined you guys could have. I am very sorry it was taken the wrong way.

I hope you know that I read your posts with great interest for what I learn about the workings of the cold war era and other subjects. If you don't, well this is true. Bill and I get carried away, and there's also that fact that Bill has major dirt on me and pressed me into service as a bad actor. Bill is well connected and I fear him.


There I go again.......well honestly, I meant no harm or certainly no ridicule. I only meant to entertain Bill, who probably has cabin fever locked up in DC.

I only meant to give you and Ruphus a of bit teasing, but not a mean spirited sarcastic treatment. I am truly humbled and sorry if this has been the case.

Stephen

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 11:32:20
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Thank you, Stephen, I just altered first line of this comment after having seen your post.
-

I think people would prefer things more simple, Richard. All good here and all bad there.

-And they might be surprised to see that I fully understand the motifs of a person like Tolkachev. Notwithstanding constant foreign hostility, the atmosphere introduced by Stalin was not only pathologically paranoid but incredibly careless with ruining or exterminating lives just prophylactically or on plain denounciation.

To think of the masses who immigrated to the SU with hopes of a scocialist society and brotherly solidarity only to then be targeted as potential spies ist still so depressing to think of.
-Hence, quite some luck for my old man that he was only expelled from the country after openly in congress critisizing Crushtchov for having been responsible for major ravage under Stalin, as head of most populated state Ukraine. (Suppose international reputation may have saved him, for being foreigner alone wouldn´t help much.)

Under actual or deemed pressure, regimes are always good for lowly private revange of spineless trash who then can bring hell over disliked individuals through denouncing. Where I currently am a good part of the population seems to earn some extra income or receive extra treatment for quietly reporting critics or defamed fellow men.
Just days ago the state itself proclaimed to be having 2 mio. members of one of its paramilitary orgs in the capitol alone.

I guess every fart is being tracked, including electronic communication whichs infrastructure and monitoring tech western allies -whilst officially opposed- have been glad to install and briefing staff for.

And while less openly, supression of unwanted intellect long after the Cold War is a standard in the West as well. There exists monitoring and black lists for minds who request state of the people. (Which for whatever reason won´t function that well on monitoring fanatics discussed in this thread. In the Paris case again warnings about IS blokes travel to France were ignored. This time allegedly because of the warning Turkish secret service to be not kosher. Which is true, yet makes no reason to refrain from monitoring colported djihadists at least just as firmly as any harmless leftist.)

On same token I would today hesitate visiting the USA like I used to before the times of internet. You would never know whether there could be an abuse of the "Patriotic Act" on me now for having mentioned particularities about US policies that I almost completely learned from reading a legit source like the SPIEGEL.

Though not politically handling as fiercely like say of the US´Japanese minority during WWII or like with what there was done to Wilhlem Reich and others, political dictature is still alive and kicking.

Not for the religious minority dealt with in this thread, however. Who in the USA is being better welcomned than in any other western state. Also by the people.

After 9/11 I thought there could be coming up reservations against immigrants who won´t distant themselves from the martial culture, but there was nothing thelike reported in the media.

Also now after the event in Paris, immigrants from that origin confirm to be receiving occasional expressions of dislike in western public, even in London the most liberal European ambience for Asian residents.
Not so in the USA where as it seems the population stays largely confident into their local neighborhood from ME.

So what?
Yes, I would deem it only appropriate to see disciples either plausibly renounce or request reformation of the aggressive doctrin they identify themselves with. It is stupidly contradictive to embrace them worshipping one´s own destroyal.

Unfortunately, just yesterday there was news about the passing away of an academic ME lady who had been requesting reform. Her decades-long plea remained unheard. And I doubt there to have been any support from outside to get her word spread.
It should be contradictive to say that philantrophy had prevented that.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 13:07:13
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

One might expect Barkell, who springs so readily to the defense of the U.S. intelligence establishment for which he and I both worked, to show a little more respect for the people who actually gave their lives in its service. Estebanana's and Barkell's sophomoric attempts at ridicule are disrespectful toward the determination and outstanding bravery of people like Tolkachev and of the skill and dedication of people like the Moscow Station agents and their wives who interacted with them.


Richard,

I bought and read Hoffman's book, "The Billion Dollar Spy," about the Russian Tolkachev spying for the United States, when it first appeared in book stores. He indeed rendered invaluable service to, and provided critical information for, the United States. And he was betrayed by one of our own shabby, human wrecks who never should have been considered for an intelligence career in the first place.

I apologize to you, Larissa, and Ruphus for going over the top with Stephen in our "story," but your three-day exchange of posts with Ruphus appeared to be so uncharacteristically in agreement that they seemed ripe for caricature. It was not meant to be mean-spirited or ridicule, but an exaggeration and caricature. You two just seemed to be in bed with each other, although I know that not to be entirely the case.

Regarding Tolkachev, the Russians, and East Europeans (many in third countries) who spied for us, as well as the many intelligence case officers who ran them, I have always had the greatest respect for them. How could I not? Some of them were friends and colleagues with whom I worked. In fact, William (Bill) Plunkert, who is mentioned prominently in Hoffman's book as one of Tolkachev's case officers in the 1980s, is a friend of mine. We served together at a U.S. Embassy in Southeast Asia. You would make a huge leap and a big mistake to confuse caricature for disrespect toward both the brave individuals from the Soviet and Eastern bloc who spied for the U.S. and the U.S. intelligence case officers who ran them.

In any case, I hope you, Larissa, and Ruphus accept my apology for running with our "story" and going over the top with it.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 13:20:42
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to estebanana

Stephen--

You have no reason to be humble. The warmth of your apology exhibits a generosity of spirit that should make you proud.

If you, Bill and I had been sitting in the Elephant Bar in Bangkok, enjoying the Russian jazz trio accompanying the African American chanteuse, you would have noticed me getting a little hot under the collar, and you would have trimmed your sails.

But this is the internet....

Thanks, friend.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 18:12:43
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

Bill--

Thank you for your apology. Done like a gentleman. But I owe you one as well.

The dig about people giving their lives was an insult, one not deserved by even what I mistakenly saw as ridicule. I am ashamed to have written it, and you have my apology.

My great grandfather's volcanic temper earned him nearly as many enemies among gringos as his land grabs did among the Spanish speaking people of 19th century south Texas. It seemed to skip my grandfather, but my father was known for his short fuse. He cooled off pretty quickly as a rule, and would apologize to a buck private if he saw he had been in the wrong.

In contrast, I thought I was pretty even tempered when I was young. But in my early twenties a sequence of events made me almost constantly angry. By my mid thirties I had given up life as an outlaw and stopped getting into bar fights. By 45 I recognized my temper as a character flaw and took steps to rein it in. I take a little credit for that.

But with age, I am just grateful for sailing on a more even keel, probably due to changing hormone balance as much as anything. I take no credit for it. Still once in a while my temper gets the best of me. It is a flaw, and once again, you have my apology.

Here's to smooth sailing on the Foro,

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 18:27:17
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Since I brought Larisa's name into this, maybe I should say a little more about her.

She was born in Kiev. Her mother was Ukrainian, her father Russian. Her mother was an aeronautical engineer, her father a mechanical engineer. They briefly took a voluntary assignment in Siberia, but returned to Kiev.

Larisa's Ukrainian grandparents were kulaks: landowners, but not nobility. They barely escaped with their lives from the intentional famines instituted by Stalin, overseen by Khruschev, and denounced by Ruphus's father, as I have just now learned. The famines were instituted by Stalin to force farmland and farmers into collectivization. We don't know whether her grandparents resisted, or whether they were just caught up in the maelstrom of creating the "new socialist man."

Larisa's father was gone by the time she was four. Although her mother was a degreed engineer she had to work two jobs to support the two of them.

Last Spring Larisa and I dropped in on one of my old motorcycling buddies who has put together a few hundred acres as a farm southeast of Austin. Willie's farm runs almost entirely on solar energy, and he sells his products in the local farmer's markets. When he heard that Larisa grew up in the Soviet Union, he asked about her life there.

She told of standing in sub-freezing cold while it snowed for three hours after school, in line to buy some chicken necks so she could make stew for her mother to eat between jobs. "So how old were you then?" asked Willie. "I was six," she replied. I had never heard the story before. Larisa doesn't dwell on the past.

When she was eight they lost their apartment because a neighbor envied it, and denounced them falsely to the secret police. I had heard that one before, and how they nearly froze to death in the aftermath, before they could find another place to live.

When Larisa was 13 in 1991, the Soviet Union was at an end, and so were her mother's jobs as a government employee. Her mother married an American medical doctor. They moved to Rochester, New York. The marriage soon failed. Her mother found work and supported them, but not very prosperously. Larisa finished high school, and worked as a waitress while she started courses at community college, but after finishing her first semester she joined the U.S. Air Force.

When I asked her why she joined the Air Force, she said she had two reasons. She wanted to get away from Rochester, and she wanted to give back something to the country that had done so much for her.

During her second enlistment she was the lead avionics technician in a U.S. F-16 fighter squadron at Aviano, Italy, north of Venice. That's where she learned fluent Italian and made the Italian friends I have enjoyed so much. She and her motorcycle buddies rode all over Italy, and parts of Switzerland and Austria. She earned a bachelor's degree while she was in the Air Force.

After the Air Force, she decided on an adventure at Kwajalein. She was a technician in the Optics division of the test range, operating and maintaining optical and infrared cameras mounted in the big tracking telescopes, living on the island of Kwajalein at the south end of the world's largest coral atoll. She took up with a young M.I.T. PhD, who dumped her unceremoniously when it was time for him to return to the USA. She moved to Roi-Namur fifty miles away at the north end of the atoll to work at the radars where I did.

During the last contract turnover I had left management and returned to the technical side. I was suspicious of the new management, and didn't want to be part of it. Larisa and I were colleagues, not boss and employee. Larisa is an enthusiastic scuba diver, and enjoyed that part of life on Roi-Namur, but she felt socially isolated within the small island community. We became friends. She would sometime drop by my apartment for a glass of wine and a chat. She, an Austrian woman in her sixties, and I were the only ones on the island who shared a cultural background of theater, literature, art and classical music.

Unhappy with the social isolation on Roi-Namur, sometimes she would recite reasons she should be glad to be there. Once she said, "No drive-by shootings!"

I said, "You're kidding."

"No. In Rochester, people brought guns and knives to the school I went to. There were gang wars."

"I thought you said you were grateful for what America had done for you."

"Oh, yes. We had plenty to eat, a warm place to live, and most of all, freedom. You could say whatever you wanted to, your vote was actually counted, your envious neighbor was not going to denounce you to the secret police...and eventually my mother got me enrolled in a high school for the arts. She wanted me to be an engineer...but it wasn't for me, not then."

Larisa's mother passed away while we lived on Roi-Namur. She learned of it in the morning and told me, but said little more until evening. Finally she turned to me and said, "I'm an orphan. I'm alone in the world."

I said, "No, you're not."

Since then we have been family. But on her own she has earned a masters degree and is financially independent.

Now when we travel people usually see us as father and daughter rather than as a romantic couple--reasonably so, since I am just two months short of being 40 years older than she is. My age shows more than it did nine years ago. And it is an honor to sometimes fill the role of the father she never had.

I trust her judgment and value her opinions. That's why I bring up her name at times.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 19:37:22
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

All this discussion has caused me to think of something that never occurred to me before.

Why did America so willingly support absolutist and often oppressive dictators, during the Cold War? Castelo Branco in Brazil, Pinochet in Chile, the Gorilas in Argentina--we even had hopes for Tito in Yugoslavia until he proved to be independent from us as well as Stalin? So many...

We were used to it. It was the maxim, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." It helped to save our butts in WW II as the Soviet Union took by far the greatest losses of life and property in the joint effort with the West to defeat the Germans.

We didn't like Stalin and we didn't trust him, but he was our ally against the Nazis. The USA felt itself to be in mortal danger in WW II. It was not at all clear at the beginning of the war who the winners would be. So pragmatism dictated an alliance with the Devil.

During the depths of the Great Depression, large numbers of the intelligentsia and the labor movement were members of the Communist Party USA. It was clear to them that capitalism had failed definitively, and it was time for something else. But the Communist Party was under the rule of the Comintern, which was in turn under Stalin's thumb. When Stalin's enormous crimes began to be known in the West, people resigned from the Communist Party USA in droves. Throughout the Depression a large number of people remained loyal to the ideology of capitalism. Certainly my extended family, small and medium size farmers, ranchers, and military people remained firmly capitalist in ideology. Despite despising Stalin for his actions, the U.S. public, as well as the government had no compunctions against taking him as an ally against our common enemy.

At the end of WW II, some in the U.S. saw the Soviet Union as weak, its industry destroyed, its military decimated. General Patton notoriously urged the Truman government and his superior Eisenhower to attack the Soviet Union and finish it off while the chance was there. But the USA was sick of war, and whatever the ideological incentive might have been, the USA was not going to kick its former ally while it was down.

The Soviet Union recovered rapidly, given the near total devastation the country had suffered from the Germans. It became the only nuclear power besides the USA, then the only other thermonuclear power, while announcing and embarking upon a program of expanding influence. The Communists took power in China in 1949, and whatever the Chinese Communists may have thought, we saw them as allies of the Soviet Union. This reawakened the existential fear the USA suffered during the early years of WW II.

If it required teaming up with undesirables to contain or defeat the Soviet Union and China, the population of the U.S. was ready to do it--to the extent that the U.S. population took any interest in what went on outside its borders. After all, we swallowed our distaste for "Uncle Joe"--as Stalin was called during WW II in the USA.

And if it happened to align with certain private interests in the USA--copper mining in Chile, for example--so what? We had to do whatever was necessary to thwart our mortal adversary.

Was the Soviet Union a mortal adversary? It certainly was by the time I got involved. They and we each had the power to destroy civilization. I didn't pay much attention to how we got there. I doubt that the Soviet Strategic Missile Forces or PVO Strany, the air defense command, spent much time on it either. On both sides of the Iron Curtain we were all vitally concerned with keeping WW III from breaking out, and the only way we could think of to do it was to scare the other guy half to death. We kept busy at it.

Fortunately we both succeeded. Unfortunately each of us caused a lot of collateral damage while we struggled to defend ourselves.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 20:24:31
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Just the worse if all the Cold War risks had been in vain, and if things now turned towards new escalation mode for needless constant offence against Russia as well as for allowing out of all an megalomaniac Erdogan of irrtional nature to be turn on the NATO scale. (How insane is that!)

If there had been civil reason for the West to be dismissive against Russia it should have been because of the appropriation of states estate through mafia already 25 years ago. A complete absence of it and even covering up distinctively showed where integrity is at with the allegedly democrat and philanthrop public of exploitative societies.

I was turned off to say the least to see the sabotage against populations of the fading Eastern Block prevented from finding their own way to new and hopefully authentic societal shores / instead all the grabbings and mafia support to path corrupt structures western leaders prefer to see and benefit of, but .. what I really wasn´t expecting to witness was a new banal era of Cold War.

This now has been let happening so absolutely needlessly.
-


I feel with Larisa´s vita. Live has been hard and trist on her with losing her parents so early.
Good to understand that she has a patron and adviser at her side. :O)

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 23:01:00
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Why did America so willingly support absolutist and often oppressive dictators, during the Cold War?


You alluded to it by noting that the dictatorships we supported were anti-communist, but I think I would flesh it out a little more. We supported the right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, for example, but in other regions as well such as in Indonesia and the Philippines, for essentially two interrelated reasons. First, they were for the most part (there were a few exceptions) our allies against communism and a bulwark against leftist regimes in general.

Second, and this is important, they did not represent the threat to the United States and its worldwide interests that the leftist regimes and their communist supporters did. Consequently, we supported them against the possibility that leftist and communist movements within and without those countries might bring a hostile regime to power. This was what much of the Cold War was about, and it was a direct result of the policy of "containment" that was established by the imminent diplomat and historian George F. Kennan when he was a State Department Foreign Service Officer. It was first enunciated in 1947, and then brought into effect with our NATO, and other, allies.

I would make an important distinction between the right-wing dictatorships we supported and the communist bloc. I served in U.S. Embassies in both Sofia, Bulgaria during the communist dictatorship of Todor Zhivkov and Santiago, Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. I observed them up close and worked the issues from the inside in both, and I can assure you that there was a world of difference between the two.

I would sum up the differences with a simple observation. In Chile, anyone could get a passport and travel as long as you kept your political nose clean and were not considered a threat to the regime. In Bulgaria, no one could get a passport and travel unless you were either a part of the "nomenklatura" or were vetted and had a sufficiently valid reason to leave the country.

While Chile was authoritarian, Bulgaria was much closer to being totalitarian. I do not praise right-wing dictatorships we supported, but there were distinctions to be made between right-wing dictatorships and communist dictatorships that, relatively speaking, provided greater freedom and a higher standard of living in the former than in the latter.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 2 2015 0:27:28
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

Such a viewing reminds me of the methodology applied in our German school history books until the Eighties or so. It would downplay the Third Reich war crimes, reducing the crime on the SS and declaring Wehrmacht soldiers as decently operating hosts. And it would display benefits of the Nazi era by mentioning family support and the building of highways. A picture that would showcase Nazi politics as better than those of the SU.

Likewise your perspective on right wing dictatures by engaging the howsoever lame, still classic argument of travelling restrictions in the Eastern Block and further allegedly higher living standard in the rightwing dictatures (which often times only related to urban areas and specially to the surrounding of nomenclature).

Studiously avoiding economical backgrounds of regimes that hardly even pretend to be aiming for the people, and other than appropriating for the benefitting caste not engaged in providing education, social / medical services, housing and public transport either for free or cheap.
Neither the difference between regimes that are being isolated from world trade (and fiercely fleeced through blackmailing conditions in product and raw material niches officially or unofficially accepted for trade) and the economizing conditions of right-wing regimes on the other hand that are being pampered on all levels.
Factual and fair reflection (in the way that I must respect and attest Richard for vast of his overviewing) is something else, Bill.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 2 2015 12:27:55
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

Richard,

Given your interest in the Cold War and the Soviet-American rivalry that drove it, I would like to recommend a recently published book I think you will find interesting. It is entitled "The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991," by the imminent historian and Russian scholar Robert Service. Service has written much on Russian history and the history of communism, including three excellent biographies of Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky.

The great thing in writing about Soviet and East European history since the collapse of communism is there is so much more information available from the archives of these formerly closed societies. Service's work on the end of the Cold War is no exception. It is a big book but well worth the time spent reading it.

Service credits the U.S. and its allies for standing up to Soviet moves to expand its empire, but he really credits four major players for the successful end of the Cold War: Reagan's "Zero Option," Gorbachev's realistic approach (recognizing the USSR was hollowed out and an economic basket case), George Schultz's pragmatic vision that an opportunity was at hand, and Shevardnaze's like vision in line with Schultz's. Service is never reductive. He credits the interaction of all four as being critical.

The main element within the Soviet Union that was key to a more realistic approach to dealing with the West was the rise of Gorbachev, who was the first realistic leader to sit in the Kremlin in a long time. Think of the decrepit leadership of Brezhnev, then Andropov, and finally Chernenko. Gorbachev recognized the disastrous state of the Soviet economy, and he wasn't locked into the sclerotic thinking of the previous gerontocracy.

But the reason the Soviet Union had descended to its hollowed out, sclerotic condition was the careful application by the United States and its allies over 40 years of the policy of "containment." The policy of "containment" was George F. Kennan's idea, first laid out in a 1947 article in the journal "Foreign Affairs," and then implemented when Kennan became head of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff.

The key phrase in Kennan's article that would define U.S. policy for two generations suggested that containment would be made to work "by the adroit and vigilant application of counter-force at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points, corresponding to the shifts and maneuvers of Soviet policy." That is a pretty good description of how the U.S. and its allies implemented "containment" over four decades. and Kennan was correct. The policy worked and led to the demise of the Soviet Union, and to the fall of communism as a worldwide force and threat.

If I could recommend two other books I think you might find interesting: The first is a biography of George F. Kennan entitled, "George F. Kennan: An American Life," by John Lewis Gaddis, who is a diplomatic historian. The second is entitled, "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe: 1944-1956," by Anne Applebaum, another historian of the USSR and Eastern Europe. It details how Stalin completely eviscerated all former institutions in Eastern Europe and created a completely institutionalized Soviet bloc of satellites. She particularly homes in on East Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Both books are great reads and in line with what I perceive to be your interests.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 2 2015 23:13:19
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Isn´t the world great with all those pondering idealists at presidential work?

Makes you wonder how all the underhandedness and atrocity has come about. Sneaked in from space maybe?

Does Robert Service mention the banal item of how Gorbatchov was promissed a seat as industrial mogul if he dropped the SU?
If not, it´s just another fictious alignment not worth the paper written on.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 2 2015 23:31:25
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ruphus

Does Robert Service mention the banal item of how Gorbatchov was promissed a seat as industrial mogul if he dropped the SU?

Ruphus


Where can we read more about this?

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2015 6:22:31
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

In the SPIEGEL archives.

There you can also find
# how the American persuaders let the expenses of the Gorbatchov warm-up be paid by Kohl who sent a huge number of train wagons filled with pork so that Gorbatchov could reinforce his celebrity as patron of the people.

# reports about US threads and drain to US privatiers with the building up of the following mafia structure.

# a similar methodology across the whole of Eastern Block "freeing". Throughout arranged as sabotage of round tables / of people´s actual opportunity to decide / for direct transition into corrupt structures.

Whilst eastern Germany been transformed under West-German patronage, at that time symbolized by "laying a banana on the wall". Also fully reported in the SPIEGEL. Starting with the strategies of undermining the round table, suspending civil rights activists and visionaries and installing own delegates.
Ironically, and like with most of comparable cases pushing out of all henchmen of the former regime (who now drive around in Porsches, own finest of real estate and are company owners).
Continued by the clearing of the country through sarcastically called "Treuhandgesellschaft" (Trustee Company) privatising all major values por nada or symbolic amounts (and for the few actually paid prices arranged return through subsidies).
Then leaving the carcass to the tax payers who are still compensating for the coup.

Same sketches for vast of the Eastern Block´s rest, this time through the EU. Also recorded by the SPIEGEL.

First EU privatiers would be buying off filet pieces for next to nothing, next pushing through the integration of the countries into the EU, then decreeing subsidies for `support of the newcomers´with which they modernized and enlarged their own properties.

This is how came that all these countries were integrated into the EU even though so obviously against the statute / not qualified by the EU´s own standards for economical precondition of applicants.


I´m sure Bill can recommend us investigative books about these hardly unknown procedures. hehehe

Historians who write about autonomously reigning and pragmatically reasoning heads in international affairs are no researchers, neither interested into inglorious reality. Willingly leaving out profane truth of powerful men behind the scenes and unfamous profiteering schedules.
This way to even make an ambitioned thinker and strategist of a Reagan, who actually needed an extensive course about common sense and manners before installation as president (also recorded in the SPIEGEL of that time), not just mixing up capitol names of visting countries yet for Alzheimer ... is just ridiculous.

He was the perfect example for setting up of puppets, in that case expected as perfect for his actor skills. Aside naturally from being rewarded for a career as denouncer during the McCarthy era.
-

Regarding personal experience in the post SU collapse, I can tell you how a man in the know sent a consultant to an US embassy abroad, offering to reveal where the mafia had displaced to and hidden the SU national gold deposits.

The American side would not reply, but the man was killed shortly afterwards in Moscow.
You do the math.
... about this so holy world of ours.

Cheers,

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2015 14:40:20
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Sorry 'The Mirror' the magazine is not a reliable source. It's like saying New York Times Magazine is the last word in history and its not. Magazines are products of the editors that preen and compile them, they are usually highly biased towards right or left and not really fine examples of complete historical study. Magazines, unlike true history research, are aimed at a target audience, and while some things may be true in magazine articles much of the writing of "expose' style journalism in magazines is only part of a much larger narrative.

There's an old saying in history writing: You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own made up facts. If you are going to challenge retired professionals who are specialists in the subject it will take much more substantial study and real documents to engage them at the same level of knowledge.

A challenge based on a magazine article to a person who devoted 40 to 50 years in the field is frankly laughable, and not worth the time taking reading the challenge.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2015 1:59:03
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Laughable is your knowledge on the SPIEGEL, Stephen, which used to be world-wide respected like no other publishing instance for a reason.

Secondly, what do you think were an investigative editorial like that would had gone to if its facts hadn´t been doublechecked by legal department? Exactly to where German officials tried to bring it to: Closure of the editorial.
(Whose owner, TYI, was a conservative himself who employed personal 50 /50 distributed between progressive and conservative camps. The best journalistic staff ever covened, the highest working morale acknowledged internationally, a dense net of agency abroad and researching skills second to none.)

On the other hand, what threats would you expect for authors who illuminate officials as integer engaged personalities? Would they have to be counting with breaking into their office, with confiscation of material and nicking of the chief like the SPIEGEL has seen, or rather with publicity and honoration?
Apparently you don´t know the answer.

Thirdly, howsoever many years of knowledge and data won´t do much for the truth when there is layout to keep contents in correspondence to official labels.

Your own knowledge about Eastern Block clearage whereabouts aside, which if only marginally given could help understanding what happened.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2015 11:44:10
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1751
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

A quick distraction into the international arms trade before I get back to practising bulerias for the challenge. Tony Benn in 1992.
https://www.facebook.com/cloakedtruth/videos/501139246726445/

_____________________________

Ay compañerita de mi alma
tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2015 23:49:05
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Dudnote

Tony Benn was a cabinet member in the Labour government of 1974-79, first as Secretary of State for Industry, then for Energy.

It was in 1975 that I first began to work for the British government, under a contract with the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, which of course came under the Ministry of Defense. They were developing a new reentry system for the British Poseidon submarine-launched nuclear missiles. Britain bought both the missiles and the submarines from the USA. The UK developed and built their own warheads, including the nuclear weapons. I was involved in developing the technology to defeat the Soviet missile defense radars.

In Britain the coal mining industry was nationalized in 1947, and remained so for 50 years. In early 1974 the Conservative Party was still in power. Worldwide inflation was a severe problem, and the Government limited the working hours and pay raises of government workers. Coal stocks began to decline. In consequence the Government limited electricity consumption, and the coal miners went on strike for higher wages. The public reaction to this led to the Conservatives losing their majority in Parliament.

Inflation remained a problem throughout the succeeding Labour government, who again limited wage increases in the public sector. The winter of 1979 was one of the coldest on record. When the coal miners went on strike, some of my Labour friends remarked, "There goes the Labour government." Their prediction was correct. The Conservative Party won the 1979 election, and Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister.

About that time, one of my Labour friends asked me, "Why do you Americans bother with elections at all? Both parties are just the same..." The engineers and managers I worked with in the UK ranged from Conservative aristocrats to "hard left" Labourites. All worked together harmoniously.

Benn was Energy minister in 1979, and caught much of the flack over the coal strike.

Benn remained in Parliament until the inheritance of a peerage forced him out. (His full name was Anthony Wedgwood Benn.) Eventually a law was passed allowing him to renounce the peerage and return to Parliament.

Benn moved steadily further left as time went on, and was a respected member of "Old Labour," the left wing of the party, even during the centrist maneuver of "New Labour" under Tony Blair.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2015 2:35:39
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

Thanks for the book recommendations, Bill. I have read Appelbaum. I just ordered Service's The End of the Cold War.

I look forward with interest to reading about the offer to Gorbachev of the position of "industrial mogul."

Since industry in the West was almost entirely privately owned at the time, it will be interesting to learn how they would have found it advantageous to have someone like Gorbachev as an executive, since he was on record as firmly opposed to free markets, insisting that any reform efforts in the Soviet Union should adhere to the principle of the centrally planned economy.

A reputable historian like Service will have had the leisure to follow up the lead presented by the crack journalists of Der Spiegel.

The U.S. government has not the power to suppress scholarly publications, even if such a publication strongly disagrees with the positions of whichever Administration happens to be in power. The press in the USA, whatever its faults may be, strongly supports freedom of speech and writing, as do the courts.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2015 21:13:53
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Maybe, but what suppressing of scholarly publications in the USA is concerned you may consider what was done to Wilhelm Reich´s publications.

Sorry for apparently not having expressed myself correctly. The industrial mogul was fancied to be occuring post SU in Russia.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2015 21:36:32
 
Estevan

Posts: 1843
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

...the forces of enlightenment, timely intelligence, internal security, and good military strategy will eventually prevail over medieval ignorance and a seventh century vision.


"Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other."

Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It

_____________________________

Me da igual. La música es música.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 4:30:15
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

This groove break is brought to you by Moron Toque Inc.



_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 11:40:50
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Estevan

quote:

"Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other."


Good piece, Estevan. And its not only Saudi Arabia. It's Pakistan as well. The U.S. and the West deal with both, realizing that both are a big part of the problem, but hoping that they can be part of the solution. It's a double-bind! In my opinion, however, the problem is much larger than just two countries and can be traced to certain elements inherent in Islam itself. It is folly to try and whitewash things by claiming that all of this is due to "a few bad apples." When there are this many bad apples, it is time to ask if there is something wrong in the orchard.

None of this will change without Islam undergoing the equivalent of the Eighteenth Century Western Enlightenment, with its relegation of religion to the church, and rational thought and inquiry dominant in the public square. Of course, most Muslims will say that to separate religion from the public square is impossible because it would no longer be Islam. But much the same thing was said by those who felt threatened by the Enlightenment. People and cultures can change, but it takes a bold and courageous few to begin the process. And some will no doubt suffer the consequences of their actions. But without it, I see little hope for Islam's acceptance of, and integration into, the modern world.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 12:59:45
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3689
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Indeed.

However, the authors who compiled that guidance 60 years after the death of their idol, void of historical and coherent clues to support the doctrine, sealed the case by

# simply forbidding any thinking and questioning outside the claims.

# different from the Abrahamic mold their construct was borrowed and altered from, simply adding to theirs that it had been written by the almighty himself.

So, as much as on principle gaps of knowledge, wisdom and consistency of the doctrine simultaneously making such a claim absurd, nobody is allowed pointing to it, as it would be instantly equaled to blasphemy.

I think the powers were very differently distributed in western history when the church faced duty to reforming. And as long as education in the Orient stays as is, superiority of illiteracy will prevail.


Nothing in the world justifies partnering of democratic countries with systems of fundamental injustice and cruelty, extreme nepotism and corruption.
Only capitalist policies, not democratic ones, can suit such alliance.

Having said that, the German head of the Social Democrats today and finally for once requested the Saudis to stop spreading their Wahabism and mosques, which is the major feed to the IS´s recruiting.

`Totally accidentally´on the very same day a survey was published that claims that the members of the Social Democrat Party would prefer another person for next chancellor candidature.

Ain´t things all just coincidentally. |O|

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 14:24:22
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Thanks for the book recommendations, Bill. I have read Appelbaum. I just ordered Service's The End of the Cold War.


You are very welcome, Richard. I'm sure you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 17:59:31
 
Estevan

Posts: 1843
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Benn moved steadily further left as time went on, and was a respected member of "Old Labour," the left wing of the party, even during the centrist maneuver of "New Labour" under Tony Blair.

Chanced upon this, from 2001:

"I hope MI5 still listens to my calls. It's my last remaining link with the Establishment."
- Tony Benn, who announced his retirement as a Labour MP in March.

_____________________________

Me da igual. La música es música.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 20:37:39
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1503
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

The U.S. government has not the power to suppress scholarly publications, even if such a publication strongly disagrees with the positions of whichever Administration happens to be in power.


Gee, I guess my memory must be playing me up. Remind me again what happened to Burdick & Lederer’s follow-up to The Ugly American?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 21:13:59
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Paul Magnussen

quote:

Gee, I guess my memory must be playing me up. Remind me again what happened to Burdick & Lederer’s follow-up to The Ugly American?


The term "ugly American," taken from the book's title became a catch-phrase to describe boorish American behavior overseas. Yet, in the book, the ugly American referred to the physical features of the hero, a retired engineer who avoided Embassy parties and worked with the local people to install agricultural water pumps in the fictional Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan. It is ironic that the term was completely misappropriated in the popular realm, given its original meaning in the book.

Burdick and Lederer's subsequent books, "A Nation of Sheep" and "Our Own Worst Enemy" were best-sellers as well. All three created Heartburn at the State Department and other U.S. Government entities because they presented our diplomats and other officials overseas as clueless, lacking local language ability, and more interested in cocktail parties than looking out for the U.S. national interest and creating strong bonds with countries in Southeast Asia and other areas of the developing world. They highlighted intelligence failures as well.

I don't recall that anything happened to their follow-up books. Are you suggesting that there was a U.S. Government attempt to ban them? While the U.S. Government was not pleased and, of course, countered the accusations in the books, I am not aware of any attempt at censorship. All three were popular with the public.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 22:38:06
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1503
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

Are you suggesting that there was a U.S. Government attempt to ban them?


Yes: if I remember correctly, I read that the CIA bought up the entire first run of their next book and destroyed it, and made it clear to the publishers that any attempt at a reprint would be received with extreme disfavour.

But I don’t immediately recall the reference, this was some time ago; it may have been one of the Project Censored books. I’ll have a quick look and see what I can find.

In the meantime:

http://www.salon.com/2011/08/31/censored_by_cia/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2015 23:42:33
Page:   <<   <   1 2 3 [4] 5    >   >>
All Forums >>Discussions >>Off Topic >> Page: <<   <   1 2 3 [4] 5    >   >>
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.125 secs.