The Cold War and the New World Order (1) It would not be an exaggeration to say that Gold War served as metaphysical foundation, upon which international relations were based, from the time of Churchills famous Fulton speech in 1946, to 1991, when Soviet Union has painlessly ceased to exist. One month prior to committing suicide in his bunker, Hitler had prophesied: With the defeat of the Reich and pending the emergence of the Asiatic, the African and, perhaps, the South American nationalisms, there will remain in the world only two Great Powers capable of confronting each other – the United States and Soviet Russia. The laws of both history and geography will compel these two Powers to a trial of strength, either military or in the fields of economics and ideology (Radio Islam 2007).
The ideological confrontation between U.S. and Soviet Union used to put world on the brink of nuclear annihilations many times, throughout the second part of twentieth century. In fact, citizens of both countries were slowly accepting the idea that it is was only the matter of time, before two superpowers would clash militarily, which caused a so-called nuclear fatalism, on their part. However, not many people understand what were the true reasons for USSR and USA to become a sworn enemies, within a matter of few years, after they achieved victory in WW2, while acting as best allies. During the course of this paper, we will analyze different aspects of Cold War, as geopolitical and cultural phenomenon, and will study how it laid the ground for the consequential process of Globalization.
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In order for us to understand, why international tensions, associated with the rise of Communism, were gaining momentum, throughout twentieth century, we will need to go back to the time when Russia was turned into geopolitical tool of Marxism. Marxists never hesitated to openly proclaim their true goals: The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: Formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat in the whole world. (ANU 2006).
Since the time when Soviet Union was founded in 1922, to the time when it collapsed, its symbol used to be hammer and the sickle over the globe. Soviet Constitution openly stated that USSR only temporarily consists of 15 republics and that it is only the matter of time, before all the countries in the world will become part of workers paradise. Nowadays, we often associate Napoleon and Hitler with their ambitions for world domination. However, neither of them has ever admitted publicly that conquering the whole world was their true goal. Stalin and other Soviet leaders did it on numerous occasions.
Thus, we can say that Cold War had objective properties. It was not a result of American right-wing politicians trying to instigate political paranoia, among citizens, as it often being viewed now. People in free countries did not want to accept the idea that working 12 hours a day, without holidays, without being paid and without the right to move to another town, while constantly experiencing hunger, represents the idea of happiness. They did not want to be turned into slaves, the way it happened in USSR. In first part of this paper, we are going to analyze cultural and political aspects of Gold War, while relating them to historical timeframe. The second part of the paper is going to focus on how the era of Cold War yielded the way to the era of Globalization and on how these two historical periods relate to each other.
(2) Since the end of WW2, it started to become clear to U.S. and Britain that Soviet Union was not going to allow East European countries to choose in favor of political system with the mean of popular vote. Communists had a well-developed strategy of installing puppet governments in foreign countries, which they began practicing, even before WW2. In 1939, for example, when Soviet Union attacked Finland, Stalin had a group of Finish communists at his disposal in Moscow, which he referred to as Government of Peoples Republic of Finland. According to his initial plans, these traitors would help him to legitimatize the occupation of Finland, because they were going to officially invite Red Army into their country to free Finlands workers of capitalist exploitation. However, Red Army failed at conquering Finland, which is why Government of Peoples Republic of Finland was disbanded, with its members being sent to GULAG. It was the same situation, after Red Army had liberated Eastern Europe.
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Stalin was simply refusing to recognize the legitimacy of democratically elected governments that remained in exile, during the time when their countries were occupied by Germany. Back then, he did not think that it was necessary to conceal his plans to rid East European countries of even a declarative independence. For example, one of Stalins military commanders, marshal Rokosovsky was elected as a head of Polish government in 1946, although he did not even speak Polish and was fully subjected to Stalin in every respect. Western leaders were beginning to realize that Stalin only respects the language of military force, when it comes to solving international disputes. According to Stalins biographer Mereshkov, after being told that Pope enjoys great political influence in the world, Stalin asked how many tank divisions were in Popes possession. Thus, Britains Prime Minister Winston Churchill had good reasons to suggest, during his Fulton speech, that the spread of Communism is incompatible with the spirit of democracy and therefore, cannot be tolerated: The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy (History Guide 2004).
It was slowly beginning to dawn on Western leaders that democratic countries will have to create a system of defense by signing a treaty of mutual protection.
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The creation of North Atlantic Treaty Organization was announced on April 4, 1949. This organization was effectively protecting Western European countries from the threat of Communist occupation, up until now, when it began to slowly transform its essence into the military tool of Globalization. In order to make an impression that the puppet governments of East European countries were independent of any foreign influence, the creation of Communist military alliance – Warsaw Pact, was announced on May 14, 1955. The reason why it did not happen earlier was that there was no need in it, on the part of Soviet leaders. For example, it was much easier for Stalin to simply give direct orders to Rokosovsky, as one of Soviet generals, then to participate in negotiations with him, as the head of independent Polish government. Therefore, claims that NATO, as military alliance, had an aggressive essence, during the time of Cold War, simply because it was created earlier than Warsaw Pact, must be brushed aside as naive.
According to Yalta conference, Germany was to be divided on occupation zones, among France, Britain, U.S. and Soviet Union. The same was to be done with Berlin, as capital of Germany. Thus, East Berlin became the capital of German Democratic Republic, while West Berlin continued to enjoy semi-independent status. This laid the ground for building a Berlin Wall in 1961, to prevent East Germans from comparing their living standards to living standards associated with capitalist West Germany. It is important to understand that the reasons why Communism sustained a complete defeat, as political ideology, is not because it was based on absurdist principles, from very beginning, but because it simply could not coexist peacefully with other socio-political systems. After the end of WW2, it became only the matter of time, before Communist ideas would lose their appeal.
In 1956, Hungarians tried to shake off Communist yoke with the mean of armed uprising, which was ruthlessly suppressed by Soviet Army. This showed the whole world the oppressive essence of Communist domination. It is estimated that 2,500 Hungarians died, during the course of street fighting against hordes of liberators form the East. In 1957, Soviets managed to launch a first artificial satellite into the Earths orbit. This prompted many American politicians to suggest that America is well behind Soviet Union, within the context of technological development. This sentiment was strengthened even further, after Yuri Gagarin became first Soviet cosmonaut.
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While Soviets were celebrating the progress of their space exploration program, Americans were considering the practical implications of USSRs ability to launch objects into the space. This meant that Soviet Union possessed intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could be used to as delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads. In 1962, Cubas leader Fidel Castro asked Soviet Union for economic and military assistance, because he rightfully believed that U.S. was not going to tolerate his regime for much longer. As result, 42 Soviet rockets R-12, equipped with nuclear warheads, were being secretly transported to Cuba. Nevertheless, CIA was able to discover the presence of Soviet rockets in Cuba, at the early stage of their deployment, which gave John Kennedy good reasons to declare Cuba a subject of blockade. The majority of political observers agree with the fact that world has never been closer to the prospects of nuclear obliteration then during the time of Caribbean crisis.
Once again, Americans were being reassured about the aggressive nature of Communism. We can say that it was a Caribbean crisis, which convinced most of Americans that attack is the best defense, when it comes to dealing with Commies. In sixties, Khrushchev and Brezhnev were striving to increase the range of Soviet geopolitical influence, by subsidizing what they referred to as national-liberation movements in the world, which were associated with African, Latin American and Asian countries gaining independence from their colonial masters. Very often, all it was needed, on the part of some tribal leader, to start receiving millions of dollars, as economic aid from USSR, is to declare that his government chooses in favor of socialism. In 1974, the President of Central-African Republic, Jean-Bedel Bokassa came with official visit to Moscow. He spent two weeks in Soviet Union; however, at the time he was leaving, KGB has noticed that one member of his entourage was missing.
Later Bokassa admitted that he had simply eaten him. Yet, it did not prevent him from being considered as friend of Soviet Union for two years, before he declared himself an Emperor. In 1968, Brezhnev had no choice but to send armored divisions again, to bring Czechoslovakia on the path of true socialism. However, Soviet troops were not the same, after they came back from their liberation mission. The living standards in socialist Czechoslovakia were ten times higher than in Soviet Union; therefore, it did not make any sense for Soviet soldiers and officers to be sent there in the first place. They began doubting the validity of Soviet official doctrine, which is why most of them were being sent to serve in Siberia, upon their return.
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One of the fatal mistakes, on the part of Soviet leaders, was the fact that they associated democracy with weakness. They did not expect America to be willing to defend its geopolitical interests throughout the world in very active manner, because, in their eyes, U.S. citizens were subjected to spiritual corruption. Yet, the objective reality proved them wrong. In 1951, UN troops, under Americas leadership, were able to stop the spread of Communism in Korea, despite the fact that were facing impossible odds. After the end of Korean War, Soviets adjusted their expansionist policies, because this war proved that reliance on military force alone could not be truly effective, when it comes to ridding world of capitalists. Communists realized that they would have to weaken the bastion of international capitalism from within. The left-wing politicians in America and West European countries began to receive substantial amounts of money from KGB to promote peace and tolerance. This coincided with emergence of Liberalism, as political theory, in contemporary sense of this word. Citizens were being encouraged to think of Communism as such that contain ideas beneficial to humankind.
It its turn, this was meant to deprive them of their immunity against spiritual poison. During the time of Vietnam War, it became a statement of good taste, on the part of progressive Americans, to badmouth our troops that were fighting against Vietnamese Communists. The mounting political pressure was meant to result in withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, which did happen in 1975. However, it was too early for Soviet leaders to celebrate their victory, because USSR was losing technological race. By 1980, Soviet progress in the field in military technology became fully dependent on the effectiveness of Soviet espionage. In fact, it was often more profitable for the Western defense contractors to sell their technological.
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