Tag: Soviet Union

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“They say American’s don’t play fair.” -Harry S Truman This coming from the man who dropped the atom bomb. Along those lines though, I don’t see how playing “fair” would have helped us fighting Imperial Japan or in our struggles with the Soviet Union. Preview Open

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The Eastern Border – An Important Podcast

 
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Having grown up in the seventies and eighties, I distinctly remember the time when the Soviet Union was A Thing. I remember when nuclear arms were always to the front of our minds, and the policy of assured mutual destruction was supposedly the only thing that kept us from assured mutual destruction. It was such a reality that about a decade ago, when discussing history with a few people younger than me and some professors older than me, I was surprised to see what they understood about Soviet Communism and its place in history.

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Now we know what George Lucas thinks of a tyrannical totalitarian empire. I wonder what kind of movies Emperor Palpatine allowed? One of the reasons I retired is so I can make movies that aren’t popular. Because in the world we live in, in the system we’ve created for ourselves in terms of — it’s […]

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The Invasion of the Soviet Union Was the Key Turning Point of WW2

 

OperationBarbarossaMapOperation Barbarossa was the name given to Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 22, 1941. The battle aims of the German forces under the command of Adolf Hitler were the following: the complete annihilation of the Soviet Union’s armed forces, the collapse of communism, and primarily the conquest of lebensraum (living space) for the Third Reich and its people.

To achieve such aims the Germans created one of the largest and least well known coalitions in history, assembling an army of 4 million men (3 million being German) and hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks, planes, and horses. They came from Finland in the far north to Romania in the far south and invaded the USSR on a 2,000 mile frontier. At approximately 3:00 in the morning on Monday 74 years ago began what many historians believe was the decisive event of the Second World War. I would concur with such a view and here is why.

First, the decision by Hitler to attack the Soviet Union in 1941 opened up an Eastern Front in the war in Europe and thus created a two-front war. This was the mistake many German generals believed had cost Germany the First World War; the surviving generals’ assessment blamed the Nazis’ decisions here for Germany losing the Second.

The Day That Reagan Died

 

90265714_1It was June 5th, 2004. I had been in the Republic of Georgia for less than a month when I heard that Reagan had died. Reagan had meant a lot to me over the years, and I’d followed his political career since I was eight years old.  Growing up with the Reagan administration made the 40th president my childhood hero.

What I did not expect was how the Georgian people would react. As I was walking in the bazaar of a small provincial town, a man saw me, quickly crossed the dusty street, took my hand and said, “I am so sorry. Your great man died today. I am so sorry.”

I asked him, “Do you mean President Reagan?”

On Finishing The Gulag Archipelago

 

solzhenitsyn 1I’ve been threatening to write a longish post on Alexander Solzhenitsyn (I’ve been reading books by him and about him for a year).  And I still plan to do so.

But I could not help but share a couple of brief thoughts now. Last night, I finished Volume 3 of The Gulag Archipelago. It has been, at the same time, one of the most horrifying and edifying experiences of my life.

Horrifying in its seemingly endless recounting of venality, starvation, slave labor, cruelty, and death. (Estimates are dodgy, but it’s quite clear that between 5 million and 10 million men and women died in the Soviet slave labor camps: the Gulag Archipelago.)

Scenes From my Front Porch

 

The thing about living in a place with four seasons — bear with me, I spent about 80 percent of my life in California — is that the beginning of spring is inevitably frantic. As the trees bloom, all your rationales for putting off home improvements start to wilt. And so, at the Senik household, there’s been a parade of contractors, plumbers, handymen, and the like ascending the hill in recent days.

After awhile, they become virtually indistinguishable from one another. Each explains, with the thinly-veiled contempt of a teacher that should have retired years ago, highly technical concepts in impenetrable jargon that bounces off my skull like a bird flying into a window. Each next proceeds to request an amount of money that would imply they’ve taken one of my family members hostage. Each then dutifully gets paid because…well, I’m a writer. The odds are pretty good that my death will be premature, but I’ll be damned if it’s going to happen on my roof.

‘Viktor’ was different. Him I’ll remember.

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As many have pointed out since President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, he’s pretty free with riding the low horse of confession for the sins of others. He expressed sorrow for the sins of the Church committed hundreds of years ago and for the United States since its inception. He really has no […]

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In Gil Reich’s thread “Cheer Up! The Bright Side of the Middle East” (a welcome dose of optimism), he repeats a popular claim about Russia’s diminished role in world affairs since the end of the Cold War.  Russia and China support the Iran – Assad axis. But today’s Russia and China have neither the power nor […]

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