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 Other Views on Historic Events.

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PostSubject: Other Views on Historic Events.   Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:18 pm

I just found this commentary interesting. If you find any other types like this, feel free to post.

A hole in time

By Nikos Konstandaras

Some moments determine history and the way we see it: Constantine the Great’s vision of the cross, Constantinople’s fall, the storming of the Bastille and the Winter Palace, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s murder, the burning of the Reichstag, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the destruction of the Twin Towers. The images are crystal-clear in the collective memory, in schoolchildren’s books.

But the nearer we are to an event, the more complex its reality. The 20th-anniversary celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to German and European reunification, allows us to look a little deeper into the hole of time. There we see that the rupture in Berlin was the result of years of friction. The Soviet bloc was undermined primarily by the inability of its regimes to give their people the freedom and opportunity that they saw on the other side of the Wall. Nothing can withstand this pressure. The immediate cause of the Eastern bloc’s end, though, was the political and military pressure from Ronald Reagan’s United States in combination with the Soviets’ fatal misadventure in Afghanistan. Reagan’s eight-year term ended in January 1989, as the Soviets retreated from Afghanistan.

Along with the Wall crumbled the Soviet Union. The world was no longer divided by two superpowers and two ideologies. The United States and capitalism won. Tremendous forces were unleashed, with unpredictable consequences. Europe was rapidly reunited: Today its 27 members make up the world’s biggest economy but at the political level it does not know what it wants. Globalization created unprecedented economic opportunities but the lack of regulations brought down Wall Street giants and caused a global recession. Islamic extremism, which was born in the fight against the Soviets, now haunts the United States – which nurtured it when this was expedient. America must now share influence with China and Europe.

Yesterday’s celebrations in Berlin are like a party on a ship where the only thing we know is where we’ve been, not where we’re headed.
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PostSubject: Re: Other Views on Historic Events.   Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:15 am

Sometimes, a historic event can not be fully understood until you examine all succeeding events. So, did capitalism really win when the Berlin wall fell or was it because of a weakening government in Germany?

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