Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States
The Cold War
Did Russia cease to be our enemy in 1972, when Nixon went to Moscow and signed the SALT I treaty?
Did Russia cease to be our enemy in 1987, when Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to eradicate an entire class of intermediate range nuclear weapons?
Did Russia cease to be our enemy in 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved into 15-different non-Communist countries?
Did Russia ever stop being our enemy? If you ask one hundred different historians, you’ll get one hundred different answers. Oliver Stone has his own answer. And it’s worth checking out.
US history books tell the story of a menacing Soviet Union, bent on world domination, that was held in check by America’s freedom-loving fortitude. Oliver Stone weaves a very different tale.
In 1945, the Soviet Union was in no position to attempt world conquest. A generation of Russian young men had been slaughtered and its cities were in ruins.
Nevertheless, Winston Churchill warned ominously of an Iron Curtain that was descending upon the peoples Eastern Europe. In contrast, former Vice President Henry Wallace predicted an idyllic post-war future, with Capitalist and Communist countries competing peacefully to see who could produce more goods to improve the lives of their citizens.
Sadly, Oliver Stone laments, Churchill’s speech was taken as gospel and Wallace was labeled a naïve Communist-sympathizer.
The United States founded NATO in an effort to pin the Russians back behind a thick wall of non-Communist countries. (Ridiculously), we promised to declare war on the Soviet Union if it attacked any of our many allies.
Only after NATO was formed did the USSR truly drop the Iron Curtain, creating the Warsaw Pact in 1955.
Stopping Communism was never the main purpose of the Cold War, Oliver Stone argues. It was world domination that we were after and Russia – the big bad bogeyman – was standing in our way.
Stone is clearly right. Why else are warmongers like John McCain and Lindsay Graham still calling to extend NATO to Russian neighbors like Ukraine, Finland, and Moldova?
I repeat: Sen. John McCain would send your son to die for Moldova. These anti-Russia hardliners are absolutely loco.
We all know about the Korean War and the Vietnam War. But Oliver Stone tells the lesser-known story of the CIA and its covert actions around the globe.
Beginning in the late 1940s, the CIA began influencing foreign elections, ousting foreign leaders, fomenting chaos in foreign capitals, and basically doing whatever it could to get America-friendly puppets in power.
The CIA took covert action against Russian influence (real and perceived) in Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Greece, Turkey, Ghana, Chad, Congo, Iran, and Indonesia.
And what was our grand purpose behind interfering with the governments of so many foreign countries? Literally nobody knows.
That’s the problem with having a secretive foreign policy. It’s impossible for an endless string of Top Secret covert operations to have any kind of continuity or common purpose.
That is why I consider Edward Snowden and Bradly Manning great patriots, In fact, I consider pretty much anyone (be it Wikileaks or Russian hackers) who releases secret documents to be heroes who are doing us all a huge favor. For it is only when our government and our leaders are forced to operate with honesty and transparency that they will be able to act with sanity and decency and restraint.
Anything that leads us to rethink and reset our Russia policy is a good thing. Because the grand result of 70 years of Cold War is a complete mutual mistrust and fear. And with whom? A stable Christian nation that is super far away from our border and has never attacked a country in our hemisphere.
In the end, the question isn’t when Russia stopped being our enemy. It is whether Russia was ever truly our enemy at all.