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If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.
What if the Soviet intervention was a blessing in disguise? It saved the myth that if the Soviets were not to intervene, there would have been some flowering authentic democratic socialism and so on. I'm a little bit more of a pessimist there. I think that the Soviets - it's a very sad lesson - by their intervention, saved the myth.
Even the Soviet Union, with its huge nuclear arsenal, was a threat that could be deterred by the prospect of retaliation. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred. They can only be annihilated - preemptively and unilaterally, if necessary.
My own kids were with me in Berlin when Germany was reunited, and they were with me in Moscow when the Soviet Union collapsed. We talked about these things at the dinner table, at their schools, with their friends.
Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union.
The Berlin Wall wasn't the only barrier to fall after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Traditional barriers to the flow of money, trade, people and ideas also fell.
In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.
Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.
Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.
Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.
Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.
Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.
In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.
When I was in the White House, I was confronted with the challenge of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and I had 30,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy the entire earth and I had to maintain the peace.
NATO was constructed on the - with the reason, whether one believes it or not, that it was going to defend Western Europe from Russian assault. Once the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union was beginning to collapse, that reason was gone. So, first question: why does NATO exist?
Even during the years of the Cold War, the intense confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, we always avoided any direct clash between our civilians and, most certainly, between our military.
It doesn't work the same way everywhere. The Americans are the most gullible, because they don't like to deny co-workers' requests. People in the former Soviet bloc countries are less trusting, perhaps because of their previous experiences with their countries' secret services.
I have a Ph.D. in philosophy and sports science. At 14, I went through this really tough Soviet training system. A lot of my roommates got psychologically broken or physically injured. Either you came through, or you were out. I made my Ph.D. work in the field of young athletes aged 14-19 because at this age any human is changing.
It seems that the most important thing about Reagan was his anti-Communism and his reputation as a hawk who saw the Soviet Union as an 'evil empire.'
NATO was built to counteract the Soviet Union in its day and time. At this point there is no threat coming from the Soviet Union, because there is no Soviet Union anymore. And where there was the Soviet Union once, there is now a number of countries, among them the new and democratic Russia.
From the days of biplanes and silk scarves, the aviator has been the archetype of masculine glamour. Aviators have personified national ideals, from French elan to Soviet party discipline. They've inspired lust and admiration. They've turned sunglasses and short, utilitarian leather jackets into fashion statements.
It is difficult to violently suppress people in the long run, as the example of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries has shown.
Putin himself is a character out of fiction, an uber-macho former Soviet thug running a massive, expansionist kleptocracy. The man stages photographs riding horses barechested and hunting tigers. His enemies find themselves on the wrong end of radioactive poisoning.
On the day I became Soviet leader, in March 1985, I had a special meeting with the leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries and told them: 'You are independent, and we are independent. You are responsible for your policies, we are responsible for ours. We will not intervene in your affairs, I promise you.'
If the Soviet Union let another political party come into existence, they would still be a one-party state, because everybody would join the other party.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
John F. Kennedy
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