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    About Cold War and more

    So younger daughter came home today with and essay assignment about the Cold War. I thought I'd share the assignment with you just so you can see it and also to see what comments you might have:

    Directions: The following question requires you to construct a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents A-I and your knowledge of the period referred to in the question. High scores will be earned only by essays that both cite key pieces of evidence from the documents and draw on outside knowledge of the period.

    Question: What were the Cold War fears of the American people in the aftermath of the Second World War? How successfully did the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower address these fears?

    Use the documents and your knowledge of the years 1948-1961 to construct your response.

    Document A:
    Eisenhower News Conference
    , March 17, 1954

    There is too much hysteria. You know, the world is suffering from a multiplicity of fears. We fear the men in the Kremlin, we fear what they will do to our friends around them; we are fearing what unwise investigators will do to us here at home as they try to combat subversion or bribery or deceit within. We fear depression, we fear the loss of jobs. All of these, with their impact on the human mind makes us act almost hysterically, and you find hysterical reactions.


    Document B:

    Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, International Communism in Guatemala, June 30, 1954.

    If world communism captures any American State, however small, a new and perilous front is established which will increase the danger to the entire free world and require even greater sacrifices from the American people.

    This situation in Guatemala had become so dangerous that the American States could not ignore it. At Caracas last March the American States held their Tenth Inter-American Conference. They then adopted a momentous statement. They declared that "the domination or control of the political institutions of any American State by the international Communist movement" . . . would constitute a threat to the sovereignty and political independence of the American States, endangering the peace of America."


    Document C:
    Life Magazine, May 1955




    Document D:
    Saturday Evening Post, October 1956

    On last June twenty-ninth, with president Eisenhower’s signature, one of the most astounding pieces of legislation in history quietly became a law. Public Law 627 represents such a monumental conception of national public works that its accomplishment will literally dwarf any previous work of man … That new title – the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways – tells the story of the road network, which will receive the major portion of the brave new effort to get this country out of its national traffic jam. The Interstate System … is the 40,000-mile network of existing roads which comprise our trunkline highways; it connects 209 of the 237 cities having a population of 50,000 or more and serves the country’s principal industrial and defense areas.


    Document E:

    Source: U.S. News and World Report, December 1957




    Document F:





    Document G:

    Special Message to the Congress from President Eisenhower on Education, January 1958.

    Because of the national security interest in the quality and scope of our educational system in the years immediately ahead, however, the Federal Government must also undertake to play an emergency role. The Administration is therefore recommending certain emergency Federal action to encourage and assist greater effort in specific areas of national concern. These recommendations place principal emphasis on our national security requirements…

    If we are to maintain our position of leadership, we must see to it that today’s young people are prepared to contribute the maximum to our future progress. Because of the growing importance of science and technology, we must necessarily give special – but by no means exclusive – attention to education in science and engineering.




    Document I
    President John F. Kennedy, inaugural address, January 1961.

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

    Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge, but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

    We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain that they will never be employed. But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course – both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rigidly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war.



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    May I suggest another document - Cuban Missile Crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As many Americans probably know that USSR in 1962 put its nuclear middle-range missiles on Cuba and those missiles could have theoretically hit US. This crisis might have become World War III but luckily it haven't because USSR dismantle nuclear missiles on Cuba later in 1962
    As not so many Americans probably know that USA put more than 100 nuclear missiles in 1961 in Turkey and Italy and those missiles could have theoretically hit USSR. Cuban missiles were direct reaction on US missiles in Turkey and Italy even that USA had an ability to deliver nuclear warheads to USSR even before 1961, using submarines
    So, it is fair to say that US almost started World War III
    Also it is fair to say that Cold War hysteria in US has been created strictly by US government because until 1962 USSR had no way to deliver nuclear warheads to US thus all those talks about invasive communists had nothing to do with real things happening in the world that time

    USA and USSR were trying to show who's the boss during Korean War in 50s and Afghan War in 80s but I would say without much of a success
    Marcus likes this.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Doomer. Growing up during this era, I used to think both super powers were EQUALLY bad - that they had different pros and cons.
    But lately as I have learnt more about what went on politically, geographically and economically during the Cold War, it seems to me that the USA was actually the more aggressive, and that historical facts support this.

    It also offered a more initially appealing lifestyle, in what it said that it represented. But this was not consistently applied.
    The propaganda of the USA was also spectacularly more successful than the propaganda of the USSR.
    That is not saying that the USSR was always acting morally or respectfully towards their own citizens and sometimes citizens of other countries.

    But I think it is a real shame that the USA is regarded today as the morally righteous victor of the Cold War, and the USSR as the evil loser....!
    Things were nowhere near that simplistic!

    It's a pity if American and other school children, like Rockzmom's daughters, are not given the full picture.
    I can't help to wonder what Russian children are taught about this era?

    I noticed that young people in Sweden toay are convinced that the USSR was "evil...." While I grew up it was not like that, but presented differently - a much more nuanced view of both super powers - neither was glorified or blackpainted. But nowadays the Cold war is simplified as a struggle between good and evil, where good (represented by the US) won. I really object to that and I suspect that lots of people in Russia and ex Soviet countries don't agree with it either.

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    I noticed that young people in Sweden today are convinced that the USSR was "evil...."
    I was born in the USSR - and I consider it evil too...
    USSR collapse was one of the best things in XX century - People locked up in prison of nations were finally free (but sadly many did not know what to do wih their newly acquired freedom).
    Серп и молот - смерть и голод!

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    I think it was very difficult to say who had almost started the WWIII. The Cuban Missile Crisis is as controversial today as it was back then. Let us seat ourselves in a high office of the military headquarters and observe the situation from each side.

    From the SU side, the main danger had not been the missiles which were, at the time, of limited reliability and cargo capabilities, but mainly from the plane bombers. Their location was primarily in Europe, but there also were mobile units launched from the aircraft carriers. Very dangerous situation.

    From the US side, the danger was greatly mitigated by the distance. The plan bombers had to come all the way over the Arctic and, subsequently, Canada giving plenty of chances for the US's and Canadian plane fighters to massive and non-stop attacks. There were challenges of fuel limitations - the aircraft is very vulnerable during the aerial refueling because it needs to stay still becoming an easier prey for the fighters, which primary job is not really fighting with the enemy fighters, but actually not to let the bombers drop their bombs to their targets.

    So, at the time the US was much more capable of starting the nuclear WWIII, without much worry of nuclear retaliation from the USSR, but it hadn't.

    And here's why. The WWIII could only start with a very high degree of assurance that the nuclear weapons will not be used at all or will be used in a very limited quantities. Obviously, due to the ecological consequences. At the time, neither the US, nor the SU were capable of neutralizing the nuclear capabilities of each other, so the WWIII could not start. Then, both side's military minds worked hard to overcome the challenge, and both sides realized those approaches could work. The only reliable way to defend itself from those tactics was the diversification and the proliferation of the nuclear weapons. Until the point at which the maintenance had become so expensive for both sides that they agreed to the so-called mutual disarmament. Oh, how much joy had it caused! Wow! The superpowers are looking for the ways to make peace! All the peace movements... the dreams... What had happened in reality is that both superpowers had replaced the outdated warheads with the more modern equipment which could fit better with the more modern missiles and being less vulnerable. But, at the same time the strategy and tactics of the rest of the military had become tuned to destroying the nuclear capabilities of the enemy. By the late 70s and early 80s it had become apparent that the USSR is a way ahead in that game and can start the WWIII any time it wants and the US can do nothing except for total destruction. The only real thing which hold that war back was the leadership weakness - Brezhnev and his company were very old and were incapable of such energetic undertaking. As soon as Brezhnev died in 1982, newly elected leader Yuri Andropov (who was one of the three leaders which actually governed the country in the later years of Brezhnev's life) had decided that the time has come. It was now or never for many reasons. The gradual preparation of the country to war had begun. The US had gradually realized what had happened, but it was basically too late. But, they couldn't do just nothing. So, about a half-year later the US had launched the Strategic Defense Initiative, which allegedly could protect at least somehow against the state-of-the-art splitting warheads. Of course, it could take years until it would work, but the Soviet leadership had realized they don't have that much time either. So, the internal opposition to Andropov had realized the whole war-playing was for real. It wasn't about playing the who's the boss anymore, if the entire plan goes wrong, there could be total destruction. And they chickened. Not long afterwards (just a few months later), previously active Andropov suddenly got so sick that the last time he had acted as a Secretary General was about a half-year later after the SDI was announced. What a strange coincidence... Anyway, after the last of the Mohicans had died, a young leader named Gorbachev took over the leadership of the party. And the Cold War had effectively been finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nulle View Post
    I was born in the USSR - and I consider it evil too...
    USSR collapse was one of the best things in XX century - People locked up in prison of nations were finally free (but sadly many did not know what to do wih their newly acquired freedom).
    Your expressed your views on this forum multiple times, and I believe that most people aware now that your view of the USSR is very simplistic and negative (not to say biased).

    I was born in the USSR too, and I see it in much more favorable light. Sadly, the winners rewrite history (which is a natural order of things), and now most of its nicer aspects are forgotten or belittled.

    I'd like to know (if anyone here can tell) what the level of "nuclear war hysteria" among Soviet citizens was at the time (the 50s-60s). Were they as concerned as Americans? I can't remember hearing about anything as extreme as American "home-made" bomb shelters, and later, in the 80s the atmosphere was very much relaxed, despite occasional talk about WWIII or American nuclear threat. We studied what we should do during the nuclear strike at school, but no one took it very seriously. The possibility of actual nuclear war seemed very small.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Dommer, I keep forgetting you're not a native English speaker and then I see that you forget all your "the" and remember! You did a great job of not using USA and using US instead, that is what usually gives it away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    May I suggest another document - Cuban Missile Crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As many Americans probably know that the USSR in 1962 put its nuclear middle-range missiles on Cuba and those missiles could have theoretically hit the US. This crisis might have become World War III but luckily it haven't didn't because the USSR their dismantle nuclear missiles on Cuba later in 1962.
    As What not so many Americans probably know, is that in 1961, the USA put more than 100 nuclear missiles in 1961 in Turkey and Italy and those missiles could have theoretically hit the USSR. Cuban missiles were in direct reaction on to the US missiles in Turkey and Italy. Even prior to that, the USA had an ability to deliver nuclear warheads to the USSR even before 1961, using submarines.
    So, it is fair to say that the US almost started World War III.
    Also It is also fair to say that the Cold War hysteria in the US had been created strictly by the US government because until 1962 the USSR had no way to deliver nuclear warheads to the US thus all those talks about invasive communists had nothing to do with real things happening in the world at that time.

    The USA and USSR were trying to show who's the boss during the Korean War in the 50s and the Afghan War in the 80s but I would say without much of a success.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    I'd like to know (if anyone here can tell) what the level of "nuclear war hysteria" among Soviet citizens was at the time (the 50s-60s). Were they as concerned as Americans?
    I can't tell for sure as I did not witness that, but my impression of the 50s-60s in the USSR was the euphoria of the achievements and an image that the US cannot match the USSR. It was more like: "they won't even dare".

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    I can't remember hearing about anything as extreme as American "home-made" bomb shelters, and later, in the 80s the atmosphere was very much relaxed, despite occasional talk about WWIII or American nuclear threat. We studied what we should do during the nuclear strike at school, but no one took it very seriously. The possibility of actual nuclear war seemed very small.
    I agree. Also, I remember a joke about those classes was running - what should you do if you see a nuclear explosion? You should wrap yourself in a white bed sheet and start slowly crawl towards a cemetery. In general, people never beleived in the real possibility of the nuclear war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    Dommer, I keep forgetting you're not a native English speaker and then I see that you forget all your "the" and remember! You did a great job of not using USA and using US instead, that is what usually gives it away.
    Thanks for corrections

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Hey Chaika and Deborski... you out there? I believe the two of you would have some valuable insight and could add to this discussion!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    I agree. Also, I remember a joke about those classes was running - what should you do if you see a nuclear explosion? You should wrap yourself in a white bed sheet and start slowly crawl towards a cemetery. In general, people never beleived in the real possibility of the nuclear war.
    I've got couple army jokes for you
    Here is one
    Почему при ядерном взрыве нужно класть автомат под себя?
    Чтобы капли расплавленного металла не испортили форму
    Here is another one
    Почему при ядерном взрыве нужно ложиться ногами в сторону взрыва?
    Чтобы видеть куда полетят части твоего тела

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Very timely for this topic... got a message today that
    "the school conducted a practice Public Shelter Drill (used to be called Code Blue) and a practice Lockdown Drill (used to be called Code Red). In weeks ahead, the school will conduct practice Inclement Weather Drills."
    Sadly the Code Red has been used a few times for real with the schools my girls attend, both in elementary years and as recently as last week when a shooting happened near their school and the gunman was on the run.

    Code Red is a term used to describe an emergency/crisis at a School facility. Code Red alerts staff that imminent danger exists inside or outside the building and requires moving to an immediate lockdown mode. It requires all students to be accounted for and under supervision. During a Code Red no one, including parents, may enter the building. During a Code Red the telephone will not be answered.

    Code Blue is a term used to alert staff that an emergency/crisis exist at or near a School facility. It requires all students to be accounted for and under supervision.
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    I was growing up (70's-80's), waiting for nuclear strike every day, and often saw nightmares. They said, that our city is among primary targets, and will be attacked with not less than 10 bombs. I really don't understand, how any one could stay indifferent with the news that was in mass media those days.

    Cannot say much about 1950's, but I saw the articles on the Internet(might be fake), that the US had been elaborating plans to attack the USSR since very beginning, when it was safe (USSR had not the bomb yet).
    In my opinion, we were just lucky, that not everyone in our world only dreams to push the button, there is some room for common sense too.
    And Andropov was not absolutely mad, and Brezhnev even was not thinking about first strike, I think. But personally I was expecting first strike from the USA, because was sure that they are supreme Evil on the Earth (our propaganda was quite effective inside USSR, Hanna! Well it worked on me...)

    It would be nice, if all military bases disappear from the ground, in whole world, and all bombs be destroyed, but process goes in opposite direction I'm afraid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    I'd like to know (if anyone here can tell) what the level of "nuclear war hysteria" among Soviet citizens was at the time (the 50s-60s). Were they as concerned as Americans? I can't remember hearing about anything as extreme as American "home-made" bomb shelters, and later, in the 80s the atmosphere was very much relaxed, despite occasional talk about WWIII or American nuclear threat. We studied what we should do during the nuclear strike at school, but no one took it very seriously. The possibility of actual nuclear war seemed very small.
    Я помню только такие плакатики =)





    Сомневаюсь, что у нас была такая же как в США паранойя. И, имхо, была огромная разница в подходе к пропаганде: грубо говоря, наши учили ненавидеть американскую угнетающую верхушку, а американцы учили ненавидеть вообще русских. Поэтому, невозможно представить в Советской Армии плакат "Убей Джона!", а плакаты "Убей Ивана!" на американских базах были.

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    наши учили ненавидеть американскую угнетающую верхушку, а американцы учили ненавидеть вообще русских.
    Вот поэтому мы и проиграли Холодную войну. Не поэтому, конечно. Но пропаганду надо было вести типа нынешней. Сейчас негативное отношение к Америке гораздо сильнее, чем тогда.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    Also, I remember a joke about those classes was running - what should you do if you see a nuclear explosion? You should wrap yourself in a white bed sheet and start slowly crawl towards a cemetery.
    Yeah, and you know why "slow"? "So that you won't raise panic." xD

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    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa View Post
    Я помню только такие плакатики =)

    Сомневаюсь, что у нас была такая же как в США паранойя. И, имхо, была огромная разница в подходе к пропаганде: грубо говоря, наши учили ненавидеть американскую угнетающую верхушку, а американцы учили ненавидеть вообще русских. Поэтому, невозможно представить в Советской Армии плакат "Убей Джона!", а плакаты "Убей Ивана!" на американских базах были.
    Ага, нас учили, что простые американцы не против сбросить оковы капитализма, но вот правительство им не позволяет

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    I was growing up (70's-80's), waiting for nuclear strike every day, and often saw nightmares.
    I'm sorry to hear that. I guess moods could be different in cities that had big military bases and thus were considered to be among possible targets...

    I was growing approximately at the same time and I did not care about Americans at all - apart from the weird stage at 5 or 6 years old, when I forced my mom to pretend that she was Reagan a few times, and then tried to persuade her to dismantle nuclear weapon. *facepalm*.

    Me and my friends were much more concerned with Germans, who had a "history" of killing Soviet civilians indiscriminately in most unpleasant ways (like burning them alive). I remember planning the best place to hide if they decide to attack again. American threat seemed insignificant in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa View Post
    Я помню только такие плакатики =)

    [...]

    Сомневаюсь, что у нас была такая же как в США паранойя. И, имхо, была огромная разница в подходе к пропаганде: грубо говоря, наши учили ненавидеть американскую угнетающую верхушку, а американцы учили ненавидеть вообще русских. Поэтому, невозможно представить в Советской Армии плакат "Убей Джона!", а плакаты "Убей Ивана!" на американских базах были.
    I agree.

    The last picture is hilarious (in the light of the previous joke). Is it a gravestone?
    Actually that's the only tip I remember from these lessons: during a nuclear strike find a nearby ditch which is positioned along the direction of shock wave and lie down. For some reason it always caused laughing fits. )))
    Last edited by gRomoZeka; March 23rd, 2012 at 12:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Вот поэтому мы и проиграли Холодную войну. Не поэтому, конечно. Но пропаганду надо было вести типа нынешней. Сейчас негативное отношение к Америке гораздо сильнее, чем тогда.
    One who was born to hate everything will always come up with an excuse to even hate their own reflection in a mirror.

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    Okay, so tomorrow is the deadline for the assignment... this thread of course can go on and on, but any last input for the assignment today would be great. Thanks.


    BappaBa, thank you so much for posting those graphics. While I can't read them, I believe I get the basic understanding of them. Do you by any chance have a date from when they are from?



    maxmixi,
    where did you grow up that it effect you so much? I know living so close to Washington, D.C. everything was different for me as well. When I was young I was sitting in a tree and there was this BOOM and the tree shook. I thought a bomb went off in DC. It turned out that a house exploded in the next "town" over yet we felt it. There was nothing left of the house and thankfully no one was in the house at the time. I believe it was a gas build up. And when we had the earthquake here last year, as we NEVER have them here, the very first thought the girls and I had, was a bomb.

    It is interesting that when I was in elementary school they used to have the emergency sirens go off I think once a month to test them. They had it in the school yard. Now they don't do that any more. Does anyone else remember those or am I the only person old enough?

    My dad is old enough that when I asked him about all of this, he remembers the duck and cover under his desk from WW2, having to sit in lines on each side of the hallway, and his dad was actually an
    air raid warden.
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