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Ronald Reagan dead at 93

Tony Alicea
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"Former president had Alzheimer's disease for 10 years"

IMHO One of the best Presidents we have ever had... (I'm an indpendent in case you hadn't noticed...)

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/05/reagan.health/index.html


Tony Alicea
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Mapraputa Is
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Why I am sad...


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Tony Alicea
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Good question, Map!

Wasn't Reagan the one who declared your country of origin "The Great Evil Empire"?

He was correct then, of course.

And wasn't he the one who said to your dictator du jour: "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" And got results?

I get goose bumps remembering those glorious days for America and the World.

And also when we bombed, in the summer of 1986, the terrorist dictator Kadaffy in his sleep. After that he ran away with his tail between his legs and never bothered us again. Now he is even trying to be "nice"! Amazing!
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wasn't Reagan the one who declared your country of origin "The Great Evil Empire"?

Hmmm...

He was correct then, of course.

Was not, Tony.

And wasn't he the one who said to your dictator du jour: "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" And got results?

I still feel sad.
Mark Fletcher
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Originally posted by Tony Alicea:
And also when we bombed, in the summer of 1986, the terrorist dictator Kadaffy in his sleep. After that he ran away with his tail between his legs and never bothered us again.


Really? And here was me thinking that it was Libyan agents that blew up an airliner of Americans over Lockerbie in 1991?


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
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Our news agency finaly got it. They even restricted from their normal dismissive tone.
[ June 05, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Paul McKenna
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"I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead"
- Ronald Reagan


R.I.P


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Don Stadler
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Agreed. Reagan was probably the second-greatest President of the 20th century and one of the top 5 overall. He ranks behind Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt.

The only rival this century (apart from FDR) would be Teddy Roosevelt. But on balance I don't believe TR accomplished as much or did as much to change the mood of the country as Reagan did.
Jason Menard
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He was certainly one of the greatest.
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:


Really? And here was me thinking that it was Libyan agents that blew up an airliner of Americans over Lockerbie in 1991?


He was referring to the Lybian missile attacks on southern Italy.


42
Helen Thomas
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Gorbachov came on the telly last night and said he attrbuted Perestroika's success to Reagan's support and was genuinely sad at his passing.

Read on Oxblog before the news of Reagan's death:



Definitely lived in a time in which their bad decisions could imperil our democracy:

Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Buchanan, Lincoln, A. Johnson, Grant, Wilson, Hoover, F.D. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, L.B. Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, G.W. Bush.

Probably lived in a time in which their bad decisions could imperil our democracy:

Monroe, J.Q. Adams, Van Buren, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Carter, Clinton, G.H.W. Bush.

Sort of lived in a time in which their bad decisions could imperial our democracy:

Hayes, Arthur, Cleveland (I), Harrison, Cleveland (II), Harding, Coolidge.

Did NOT live in a time in which their bad decisions could imperil our democracy:

W.H. Harrison, Garfield.

Now, I'm sure you will find some of these decisions controversial. But I can say with confidence that American democracy was safe in March and April of 1841 as well as from March through September of 1881. So here's my idea for a Kerry slogan: "Bush: Only safe for 10 months every 228 years." Who wouldn't respond to that?



A Johnson was probably your worst President to date.

Andrew Johnson was Abraham Lincoln's Vice-President. Let's see, did anything happen during Lincoln's presiency that "imperil[ed] our democracy?" Johnson was a Southern Democract, whom Lincoln picked in 1864 as part of a national unity ticket. Johnson was a strong states' rights advocate, and after Lincoln was assassinated, he infuriated the Republican Congress by quickly forgiving former Confederates and advocating a quick and lenient Reconstruction period. He argued that states should refuse to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, and he vetoed the Freedman's Bureau Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the Reconstruction Act of 1867. (The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, anyway, and Congress overrode Johnson's veto on all three Acts -- indeed, Johnson had more vetoes overridden than any other President in American history.) And, of course, the Reconstruction Republican House impeached him, although the Senate fell short of the necessary two-thirds supermajority by one vote.

In brief, Johnson was President immediately after the most awful crisis in the history of the Union. Slavery had just been abolished. And Johnson opposed pretty much all of the major legislation designed to help the newly freed slaves or to prevent the enactment of the Black Codes.
[ June 06, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

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Don Stadler
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What did that post have to do with Reagan's death, Helen? Apart from being a convenient occasion to give Bush another bash, that is?
Max Habibi
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Don,

I don't see any 'bush bashing', just an interesting story about Johnson. Let's relax a bit.

M
[ June 06, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]

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John Dunn
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Ronald Reagan's speech in Normandy, on D-day's 40 Anniversary:

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next.

It was the deep knowledge - and pray God we have not lost it - that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.


Wow, this could easily be applied today. Someday I believe future presidents will say the same about Iraq.


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Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Don Stadler:
What did that post have to do with Reagan's death, Helen? Apart from being a convenient occasion to give Bush another bash, that is?


Just putting Reagan's presidency in some perspective. Never realised he was that instrumental in bringing an end to the Cold War, for instance. The only images so far that have endured for me are the Spitting Images I'm afraid.
Time to set the record straight, I guess.

Also found interesting the comment that democracy in the US was safe for about nine months in the last 228 years of American history.
Warren Dew
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Don Stadler:

Agreed. Reagan was probably the second-greatest President of the 20th century and one of the top 5 overall. He ranks behind Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt.

I would even put him ahead of Lincoln and FDR, as Reagan managed to win the Cold War without hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Don Stadler:

I would even put him ahead of Lincoln and FDR, as Reagan managed to win the Cold War without hundreds of thousands of deaths.


American deaths ? Not sure how many deaths in Afghanistan, Tibet, Eastern Europe can be attributed to Reagan-Thatcher policies.
Thatcher was admired abroad and without her support Reagan might not have got as far as he did. She broke up the Trade Unions stronghold / stranglehold in Britain and that could have sounded a warning call to Communist countries right across Europe and the Soviet Union that it was time for change.

Or perhaps it was Reagan who advised Thatcher. A CND memner said it was an unfortunate coincidence that they both were in power at the same time.
Jeroen Wenting
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yes, without Reagan and Thatcher working together to bring an end to communist rule in Europe the communists would still be in power today and probably have expanded further west by now...
Italy and France were ripe for the picking, West Germany was a plum which was being tended lovingly.
The unions in Britain were successfully grinding that country to a hold in preparation of the "people's revolution".

Yes, a communist would think it an unfortunate coincidence that the two most potent adversaries to his ideals would be in a position to work against him at the same time.
Helen Thomas
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A CND member is not necessarily a communist.

CND stands for Council for Nuclear Disarmament. But without nuclear physics we may not have nuclear powered batteries weighing 5grams to power wireless communications and next to next generation cars that will run like we cannot imagine. It's just a pity that science must be tried on Volks first. It's going to make gigantic leaps in other fields too. Can we avoid more Chernobyls ?

How did the Cold War and Reaganomics help in Chernobyl ? Would CND have made the science more safe ?
Joe King
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
A CND member is not necessarily a communist.


Ah, but they criticised the Americans so they must be communist
[ June 07, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
A CND member is not necessarily a communist.

Maybe not, but strangely they don't object to communist countries (USSR, PRC) having nuclear weapons...
In fact, most parts of the "peace" movement seem to equate "peace" with unilateral disarmement and capitulation to communist countries.

It's just a pity that science must be tried on Volks first. It's going to make gigantic leaps in other fields too. Can we avoid more Chernobyls ?

Chernobyl is the eternal lure for the anti-nuclear lobby. It was caused by deliberate human action, as it was decided to disable all safety features and then deliberately overheat the reactor core to see what would happen.

Even then in a modern reactor design there would have been no meltdown...


How did the Cold War and Reaganomics help in Chernobyl ? Would CND have made the science more safe ?

No, it would have made it less safe.
There would still have been experimentation going on probably but without the knowledge gained in weapons research the safety mechanisms wouldn't have been there at all with the result of more accidents over time.

The cold war would have lasted much shorter without nuclear weapons as there would have been no deterrent for the USSR to stop their advance into western Europe.
WW2 would either have dragged on until all of Europe was under Soviet yoke or else WW3 would have started quickly after the USSR had a chance for a breather (and to let the US disarm).

Without the actions by president Reagan noone in the west would have known what was happening in Chernobyl (and probably neither would anyone in the USSR, the people in the area would have disappeared and everyone else none the wiser).
Helen Thomas
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Thanks Jeroen.

Still mystifies me how an actor and a Corner shop Grocer's daughter with a chemistry degree (the first British PM with a science degree) became so instrumental in the disarmament of sorts.
Max Habibi
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Chernobyl is the eternal lure for the anti-nuclear lobby. It was caused by deliberate human action, as it was decided to disable all safety features and then deliberately overheat the reactor core to see what would happen.

The noise to signal ratio on this thread is getting out of hand. Keep the rhetoric down, or I'll be forced to close it.

M
Steve Wink
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
[qb]Chernobyl is the eternal lure for the anti-nuclear lobby. It was caused by deliberate human action, as it was decided to disable all safety features and then deliberately overheat the reactor core to see what would happen.

The noise to signal ratio on this thread is getting out of hand. Keep the rhetoric down, or I'll be forced to close it.

M[/QB]


I don't normally agree with Joeren, but I think it is a matter of fact, not opinion, that the Chernobyl operators deliberately overrode safety features as a test or experiment.

Apparently the West found out via Sweden before via the Soviet Union - the Swedish power stations' radiation detectors went off, making them think it was their power station at first.
[ June 07, 2004: Message edited by: Steve Wink ]
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
The noise to signal ratio on this thread is getting out of hand. Keep the rhetoric down, or I'll be forced to close it.

M


Hold on a second here...

Can someone please point out the rhetoric that Max is referring to? I did not see any rhetoric in Jeroen's statement. He was merely illustrating the wrong assumptions about Chernobyl.
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Jeroen: Maybe not, but strangely they don't object to communist countries (USSR, PRC) having nuclear weapons...

[deliberately provocative stuff removed: Map, play nice-MH]
[ June 07, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
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Jeroen: Without the actions by president Reagan noone in the west would have known what was happening in Chernobyl (and probably neither would anyone in the USSR, the people in the area would have disappeared and everyone else none the wiser).

Chernobyl happened in 1986, when Gorbachev already started his reforms (including so-called "Glasnost"). In fact, the events were reported pretty openly. What does Reagan have to do with it, I have no slightest idea. Could you explain? It seems to me that you grant communists a free will only when they do something horrendous. Otherwise they are puppets in Reagan & Thatcher hands...
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Steve Wink:


I don't normally agree with Joeren, but I think it is a matter of fact, not opinion, that the Chernobyl operators deliberately overrode safety features as a test or experiment.


If this is so, I shouldn't have said anything: I was under the impression that it was an opinion being presented as fact(note: this is not a request for proof: I'll take it at face value).

M
[ June 07, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Chernobyl happened in 1986, when Gorbachev already started his reforms (including so-called "Glasnost"). In fact, the events were reported pretty openly. What does Reagan have to do with it, I have no slightest idea. Could you explain? It seems to me that you grant communists a free will only when they do something horrendous. Otherwise they are puppets in Reagan & Thatcher hands...


Actually it wasn't reported at all until some scientists in Sweden picked up the radiation. I believe it was two days between the time of the explosion and the time when the USSR publicly admitted the extent of the accident. I remember watching NightLine and a spokesman for the USSR said they couldn't call anyone because the accident happened over a weekend. Ted Koppel nearly fell out of his chair.

I think the overall point is that Gorbachev would never have been allowed to make changes in Soviet society without cold warriors in the west like Reagan. if you don't believe this to be true then you should take it up with Gorbachev since it was Gorbachev who said this.


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Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Jeroen: Without the actions by president Reagan noone in the west would have known what was happening in Chernobyl (and probably neither would anyone in the USSR, the people in the area would have disappeared and everyone else none the wiser).

Chernobyl happened in 1986, when Gorbachev already started his reforms (including so-called "Glasnost"). In fact, the events were reported pretty openly. What does Reagan have to do with it, I have no slightest idea. Could you explain? It seems to me that you grant communists a free will only when they do something horrendous. Otherwise they are puppets in Reagan & Thatcher hands...


Without the pressure put on the USSR by president Reagan and PM Thatcher Glasnost and Perestroyka would never have happened.
Of course they weren't DIRECTLY involved in whatever bit of openness the Soviet leadership showed (after being confronted with the facts by reports in the European and American press) but they did set the stage at which such would happen almost inevitably.
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:


If this is so, I shouldn't have said anything: I was under the impression that it was an opinion being presented as fact(note: this is not a request for proof: I'll take it at face value).

M

[ June 07, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]


No, the deliberate actions by the powerstation crew are well documented and the few survivors were tried and convicted of crimes against the state.
None of them survived long afterwards as all had severe radiation poisoning.

What happened is that someone had ordered some experiments to determine the extent of the readiness of the damage control crews and emergency response drills.
Safety systems were turned off the day before the meltdown, and on the faithful morning the reactor was put on peak power to simulate overheating (causing all kinds of alarms to go off).
The crew failed to return the reactor to control and the reaction ran away.

In modern reactors such would be impossible as they're passively safe and a runaway reaction will cause the reaction to dampen out for lack of moderator (thus causing a decrease in slow neutrons which means a decrease in the rate of fision).
Chernobyl is an old model reactor that has no passive safety features. If the pumps fail that provide coolant, the reactor can overheat.
Because the coolant is not the moderator (as in western and modern Soviet/Russian designs) but the moderator are blocks of graphite there is no reduction in the moderation at all, causing the reaction to not slow at all.
As the reaction keeps speeding up (remember that a nuclear reaction is a non-linear process unless control rods or other mechanisms like water remove slow neutrons) the temperature in the core rises.
By using a graphite core, which is highly flamable, risks mount as the temperature gets ever closer to the point at which the graphite blocks will self-combust.
Hot gasses build up in the reactor vessel until the pressure is too great and it explodes.
By the time that happened in Chernobyl the extremely hot reactor core and parts of the burning graphite were already eating into the bottom of the reactor vessel as well.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

Without the actions by president Reagan noone in the west would have known what was happening in Chernobyl (and probably neither would anyone in the USSR, the people in the area would have disappeared and everyone else none the wiser).

Well then let's go back to this assertion, which I think is ridiculous.

I think we can dismiss the notion that President Reagan did anything single-handedly to end the Cold War. He played a key role.

Like you can have a nuclear meltdown and no one the wiser. Let's not get cartoonish in the midst of all this praise-gathering.


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Warren Dew
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Thomas Paul:

I think the overall point is that Gorbachev would never have been allowed to make changes in Soviet society without cold warriors in the west like Reagan. if you don't believe this to be true then you should take it up with Gorbachev since it was Gorbachev who said this.

Er, Gorbachev said perestroika - reduction in tensions - would have been impossible without Reagan. Has he said the same about glasnost? I'd think the latter would have been possible unilaterally.
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By the way, could somebody explain why did the Soviet Union had to keep parity with the US? Haven't both sides achieved the ability to annihilate each other more than once (actually far more than once), and I would say once is enough? I don’t think North Korea is remotely on par with the US now, but I don't hear proposals to nuke it...

Here is an article that argues that the main reason for the economic collapse were inherent inefficiency and rigidity.

Reagan and the Russians
"The Cold War ended despite President Reagan's arms buildup, not because of it--or so former President Gorbachev told the authors"
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Tom: if you don't believe this to be true then you should take it up with Gorbachev since it was Gorbachev who said this.

I do have issues with Gorbachev as he isn't an epitome of sincerity, to put it mildly, even compared to his comrades. I wouldn't believe any single word of him until confirmed by three independed observers.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I don’t think North Korea is remotely on par with the US now, but I don't hear proposals to nuke it...


North Korea is not currently a direct nuclear threat to the US. That is, it does not yet have the capability to reach the US with its missiles AFAIK (outside of Alaska maybe). The USSR most certainly had that capability. The Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) were the backbone of the Soviet military. Their sole purpose was basically to deliver massive nuclear strikes against the West. North Korea is nowhere near the same level of threat. That being said, I would be quite surprised if the US does not have plans for a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the DPRK if it determines that they are planning on launching a nuclear strike at someone else.
Jason Menard
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It is pretty clear that Reagan's policies were key to the winning of the Cold War. The military buildup under Reagan, support for Afghanistan, and the SDI (the threat of SDI was key to many of our gains against the Soviets), START, INF, and foreign policy doctrine in general, were but a few of his accomplishments that helped lead to the eventual breakup of the Soviet Union. The fact that we were able to negotiate from such a position of strength under Reagan put quite a strain on the Soviets and forced them to make several key concessions, such as the aforementioned INF treaty. The cold war finally bore fruit and they weren't able to sustain the arms race. They collapsed under their own weight. While Gorbachev's policies of perastroika and Glasnost are most certainly an important part of the equation, he would have been unable to get to that point without the policies of Reagan and close US allies like Thatcher and Kohl.

And on a side note, his "tear down the wall" speech may have been the greatest given by a President during my lifetime.
[ June 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Helen Thomas
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Some think his Westminster speech to the British Parliament was his greatest speech.

It doesn't have the words "Tear the wall down" so I presume Jason refers to another speech.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
It doesn't have the words "Tear the wall down" so I presume Jason refers to another speech.


The speech I'm referring to was delivered at the Brandenburg Gate on 6/12/1987. Although the speech was given in West Berlin, it was audible on the other side of the Wall in East Berlin.

There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
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Jason: That being said, I would be quite surprised if the US does not have plans for a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the DPRK if it determines that they are planning on launching a nuclear strike at someone else.

Considering the current events, this sounds scaring.

The cold war finally bore fruit and they weren't able to sustain the arms race.

Did they really have too? They could just reduce military spending, that's all. Reduce ambitions and stay communistic. They could even continue the Afghan war -- there was no protests from inside to talk about. Statistics of casualties wasn't published, and then what 10,000 means for a country that lost 20 millions in the last war? Nobody even called Afghan war "war". No need to publish The Gulag Archipelago. What it means that the West could show evidences if 99,99% of population couldn't access this information? KGB handled the remained 0,01 pretty well - big experience. Etc, etc etc.
 
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