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Subject: End of the Cold War

Written By: joeman on 03/23/09 at 10:13 am

I was very little when the Cold War ended in 1991, and all I know then was that the Russians or Soviets were evil(cartoony evil even) and America is all good.  I still have the older globe with USSR as a country.

So, to the question of those who remember the end of Cold War, what were your thoughts and feelings when it happened?  Was it a big relief that nuclear war was prevented and that America won?


Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: gmann on 03/24/09 at 4:33 pm



So, to the question of those who remember the end of Cold War, what were your thoughts and feelings when it happened?  Was it a big relief that nuclear war was prevented and that America won?



In retrospect, I see the end being rather anticlimatic...at least compared to the holocaust we had been led to believe might occur. I woke up one summer morning and found out that there had been a failed coup by the communist hardliners and Boris Yeltsin was coming into power. The threat of a nuclear attack, while real for many, never quite gripped me with fear the way some of the post-9/11 terrorist scenarios have in recent years. Missiles fired on the U.S.? It now seems quaint and predictable in comparison. For me, that's the biggest difference between 2009 and the Cold War era.
I remember there being a sense of optimism once it was all over. Many of us hoped that the ex-Soviets would embrace democracy and become a U.S. ally. While that did happen in many ways, the relationship between the two nations has been somewhat rocky under Putin's regime. Hopefully, that's changing for the better.


Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: joeman on 03/24/09 at 7:00 pm


In retrospect, I see the end being rather anticlimatic...at least compared to the holocaust we had been led to believe might occur. I woke up one summer morning and found out that there had been a failed coup by the communist hardliners and Boris Yeltsin was coming into power. The threat of a nuclear attack, while real for many, never quite gripped me with fear the way some of the post-9/11 terrorist scenarios have in recent years. Missiles fired on the U.S.? It now seems quaint and predictable in comparison. For me, that's the biggest difference between 2009 and the Cold War era.
I remember there being a sense of optimism once it was all over. Many of us hoped that the ex-Soviets would embrace democracy and become a U.S. ally. While that did happen in many ways, the relationship between the two nations has been somewhat rocky under Putin's regime. Hopefully, that's changing for the better.





Would you say 9/11 was more of a significant impact on your life than the Cold War?  And would people in the 80's-early 90's looked at things differently if the internet was around then?  I say, with online news sites and message boards, the internet did influence on what people where thinking 9/11 and including the Iraq War.

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: gmann on 03/24/09 at 10:04 pm


Would you say 9/11 was more of a significant impact on your life than the Cold War?  And would people in the 80's-early 90's looked at things differently if the internet was around then?  I say, with online news sites and message boards, the internet did influence on what people where thinking 9/11 and including the Iraq War.


I don't want to come across as flippant, but 9/11 was a bigger event for me because it happened. Simple as that. While I grew up knowing "the bad guys" were some folks in the U.S.S.R., they ultimately didn't invade our country and take over, a la "Amerika". They also didn't crash airliners into skyscrapers or government buildings, killing thousands of people. People older than myself, especially those with memories of the Cuban missile crisis, may have a slightly different take on the situation. After all, it's believed that period brought the U.S. as close to a nuclear war as it's ever been in its history.
Don't get me wrong; I can remember a time when a nuclear attack often turned up in surveys of Americans as a perceived threat to the U.S. I suppose the difference now is knowing that our enemies, unlike the Soviets, are interested in actions, not words, taking those actions in unpredictable ways and dealing the most damage. That's what's scary about terrorism.
As for the hypothetical about the Internet's impact on current events in the late 80's/early 90's? I'd say that if as many people were online then as are now or even ten years ago, they'd probably be approaching things in much the same manner. The era of instant communications has allowed an explosion of thoughts and opinions, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Being connected doesn't automatically make you smarter or better informed; it just gives a you a potentially bigger audience to show that you know or don't know what you're talking about in a given moment. Take me, for example! *L*





Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: Satish on 03/25/09 at 3:21 pm

When the Soviet Union fell in 1991,  I was 11 years old. I mostly felt happy for the people of the USSR, who didn't have to live under Soviet oppression, anymore. In the previous few years, we had seen people throughout eastern Europe being liberated from communism, in places like Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and in East Germany when the Berlin Wall fell. The collapse of the Soviet regime was just a continuation of that positive outlook. It felt good that we no longer had to live with the threat of conflict between the two sides, and I was feeling optimistic that the future would be an era of peace and friendship.

Looking back, I don't know if the end of the Cold War was all that positive a turn of events for people living in the Soviet bloc, though. In Russia, the ensuing years under the Yeltsin government were mostly a time of chaos and impoverishment, and the Balkans were gripped by a long and brutal ethnic conflict.  :-\\

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: Davester on 03/26/09 at 12:32 am

   Welcomed it.  I remember sitting at a cafe in France reading Time magazine and seeing words like Perestroika and Glasnost and having no clue what they meant.  Later, I sat mesmerized in front of the TV and watched the multitudes taking to the streets of Moscow and Gorbachev briefly disappearing.  I was sure he was going to be killed.  The the fall of the USSR played-out in front of me...

   Cold War digression - I think about Star Blazers, The Day After, Threads, V, and other stories that blazed across the heavens of my childhood; culturally, I came up thinking on a worldwide level; even the NBC sitcom Silver Spoons (Rick Schroeder, Erin Gray) had an episode in which Rick dreamed he was the President of the United States facing nuclear apocalypse.  Growing up during the declining years of the Cold War lent much to my "worldview" in the sense that it encompassed the globe.  When we were kids most of us had never left the county and thought of the future in terms of our hometown and smalltown-America values.  We did not at the time tend to think about Tibet or Israel or Ireland or Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran or Uganda, ad nauseam...



Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: 80sfan on 03/26/09 at 1:01 am

September 11 was a bigger event for me because I was only 2 in 1991!

But in 1991, my family moved to America. It was a great time to move to America, because it was the end of the Cold War, like you said, and the economy during the 90's was great! 1992-2000 was great economic years for America!

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: Davester on 03/26/09 at 2:43 am


September 11 was a bigger event for me because I was only 2 in 1991!

But in 1991, my family moved to America. It was a great time to move to America, because it was the end of the Cold War, like you said, and the economy during the 90's was great! 1992-2000 was great economic years for America!


  What country did you move from, friend..?

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: Samwise on 03/26/09 at 8:42 am


And would people in the 80's-early 90's looked at things differently if the internet was around then?  I say, with online news sites and message boards, the internet did influence on what people where thinking 9/11 and including the Iraq War.

That's a really interesting question! I recently read this article - Twilight of the Autocrats - and it talks a little about how the Internet has made it harder for authoritarian nations (like the formerly communist China and Russia) to maintain control over their citizens. Thanks to blogs, text messaging, and such, more "discontents" are finding each other and starting protests. And it's easier for journalists to get to the protests with their cameras, making it more difficult for the government to really crack down. It makes me wonder what possibilities there could have been for the Russian people if they'd been wired the way everyone is now... I might not go so far as to say they could have overthrown the Soviet Union, but maybe if there had been enough civil unrest, it could have collapsed earlier than it did.

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: 80sfan on 03/26/09 at 9:17 am


   What country did you move from, friend..?


From Vietnam.

Why not friend.  ; 8)

I heard the boom years ended in early 2000, when it got too big and exploded, is this true?

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: Davester on 03/27/09 at 3:55 am



Why not friend.  ; 8)



  *shrugs*

  No freedom fries..?

Subject: Re: End of the Cold War

Written By: WestVirginiaRebel on 03/27/09 at 4:12 am

As someone who grew up in the 80's, I think a lot of people were caught off guard with how quickly the Soviet Union collapsed. It wasn't so long beforehand that you had movies like Red Dawn ("Wolverines!")  :) War Games, and the Day After to give us apocalyptic chills. There was an expectation that the Cold War would last well into the 21st Century. It also took away one of the big foreign policy issues for the Republican Party as the Russians were suddenly no longer the bad guys. I think that was a big part of why Bill Clinton won in 1992. He was the first post-Cold War President.

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