Did A Canadian, not Reagan, cause the 'Wall to Fall'?


tay
+1
#1
Catalyst for Russian perestroika - "the walk that changed the world"




During his last term as Minister of Agriculture, Whelan became good friends with Aleksandr Yakovlev, then the USSR's Ambassador to Canada, as both men were ardent agriculturalists. The relationship became so close that Pierre Trudeau called him in to give assurance that he had not divulged any national secrets, as Whelan was a member of the Cabinet defence committee.


When Mikhail Gorbachev, then Soviet Minister of Agriculture, came to Canada in 1983, Yakovlev connected Gorbachev with Whelan, who arranged a three-week tour across Canada for both Soviet officials, accompanied fully by Whelan. In 2013, Jean Chrétien recalled Gorbachev experiencing Canada up close, when the tour came to Windsor:






He came to Windsor and introduced him to the life of a Canadian,” Chretien said. “He was amazed at the food processing in Canada, to have all the food available so quickly. Later on, they were driving and he was marvelling to see two cars in front of every house.”
The group stopped in front of one blue-collar home.“Gorbachev said, ‘Do you know them?’ And Gene said, ‘I don’t know them, but they know me,’” Chretien recalled. “So they knocked on the door and went into the house. Gorbachev was very impressed by that.”[



At the end of that tour, the Whelans hosted a farewell reception for Gorbachev at their Amherstburg home on the evening of 19 May 1983, but Whelan himself was delayed in arriving. In what has since been called "the walk that changed the world", Yakovlev and Gorbachev took a walk in a nearby orchard, strolled among saplings and then past fields of corn, soy and wheat, had an earnest discussion, and resolved that the old ways in the USSR had to end.


According to Yakovlev's own words, this was where perestroika was born, with 80% of its features covered in that brief time in Whelan's back yard.


In an interview years later, Yakovlev recalled:




At first we kind of sniffed around each other and our conversations didn't touch on serious issues. And then, verily, history plays tricks on one, we had a lot of time together as guests of then Liberal Minister of Agriculture Eugene Whelan in Canada who, himself, was too late for the reception because he was stuck with some striking farmers somewhere.

So we took a long walk on that Minister's farm and, as it often happens, both of us suddenly were just kind of flooded and let go. I somehow, for some reason, threw caution to the wind and started telling him about what I considered to be utter stupidities in the area of foreign affairs, especially about those SS-20 missiles that were being stationed in Europe and a lot of other things. And he did the same thing.

We were completely frank. He frankly talked about the problems in the internal situation in Russia. He was saying that under these conditions, the conditions of dictatorship and absence of freedom, the country would simply perish. So it was at that time, during our three-hour conversation, almost as if our heads were knocked together, that we poured it all out and during that three-hour conversation we actually came to agreement on all our main points






Eugene Whelan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



 
Walter
#2
Right.
 
petros
+2
#3
Wall? Reagan? Quite funny. I almost sprayed coffee.
 
tay
+3
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Right.





Well that's a first. It's not often you agree with the facts...........Good for you........
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+2
#5
Soviet incompetence likely played a bigger role. With or without the west that thing was coming down sooner or later.
 
petros
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDBView Post

Soviet incompetence likely played a bigger role. With or without the west that thing was coming down sooner or later.

It was coal miners in Ukraine who went on strike and crippled industry. It was Unions that did it.
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It was coal miners in Ukraine who went on strike and crippled industry. It was Unions that did it.

And lucky for them the authorities were too weak to do anything about it. If Stalin had been around it would have been a bloodbath.
 
petros
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDBView Post

And lucky for them the authorities were too weak to do anything about it. If Stalin had been around it would have been a bloodbath.

Soldiers weren't getting paid either. They had no intentions of following orders.
 
EagleSmack
#9
This guy helped a bit as well...



As to the OPs claim.... not.
 
petros
#10
He was just one of hundreds of who pushed for Unions and was discovered by fluke by media then made an icon in the West.
 
coldstream
-1
#11
I'm so sick of hearing that Reagan caused the collapse of Communism by bankrupting America with an inane military buildup.

Communism imploded of it owns volition, it was a moral, social and economic failure. All the dynamics of the fall were internal.. and that doddering fool Reagan had nothing to do with it.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstreamView Post

I'm so sick of hearing that Reagan caused the collapse of Communism by bankrupting America with an inane military buildup.

Never heard that angle.

Quote:

Communism imploded of it owns volition, it was a moral, social and economic failure. All the dynamics of the fall were internal.. and that doddering fool Reagan had nothing to do with it.

He had a lot to do with it. It did not implode on its own. I know it hurts but hey... it is what it is.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

He was just one of hundreds of who pushed for Unions and was discovered by fluke by media then made an icon in the West.

Yup... that happens.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+3
#13
If we are talking about the Berlin wall falling neither Canada or the US had much influence on it. According to my wife , who is from Germany and lived there when the wall fell it was mostly incompetence on the part of East German security. They had been told that there was to be an easing of restrictions on travel but didn't know the date. Need to know info. Apparently the guards didn't. SO when a bunch of people stormed the gates the guards thought it was visiting day. By the time they figured out what was really happening it was too late to turn back. Besides which a good number of the guards were tired of not getting paid and the poor food when the other side had so much.
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Soldiers weren't getting paid either. They had no intentions of following orders.

ha. That was never an issue for Stalin. He wiped out the officer core during peace time and had the army fire on its own soldiers if they took one step back.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Besides which a good number of the guards were tired of not getting paid and the poor food when the other side had so much.

Yeah staring at that for decades likely did make them want to get more. Makes me wonder about the North Korean guards on the 38th parallel. Unlike the average citizen in the country these guards can see right over at how the other side does things.
 
EagleSmack
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

If we are talking about the Berlin wall falling neither Canada or the US had much influence on it. According to my wife , who is from Germany and lived there when the wall fell it was mostly incompetence on the part of East German security. They had been told that there was to be an easing of restrictions on travel but didn't know the date. Need to know info. Apparently the guards didn't. SO when a bunch of people stormed the gates the guards thought it was visiting day. By the time they figured out what was really happening it was too late to turn back. Besides which a good number of the guards were tired of not getting paid and the poor food when the other side had so much.

There were events leading up to that one day. A miscommunication on November 9, 1989 wasn't the reason for the fall... just the end result.
 
coldstream
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Never heard that angle.



He had a lot to do with it. It did not implode on its own. I know it hurts but hey... it is what it is.



.

That's all i heard for years after the Soviet Union collapsed.. that the response to the massive American military buildup.. bankrupted Communism. It a re-writing of history by Republican operatives and those foolish enough to think a witless, sentimental buffoon like Reagan was capable of any kind of farsighted and integrated strategic thought. The ONLY dynamic that did the USSR in was the moral failure of Communism to deliver on its promises or produce a just and prosperous society. Reagan had NOTHING to do with its collapse.

It was Reagan with his mindless petty libertarian ideology who wrecked the U.S. economy on the back of the disastrous Free Trade and Free Market policies (monetarism, de-regulation, privatization), which he initiated and which still rule the U.S economy today. Reagan rightly deserves the blame for the collapse of American prosperity.. the vast polarization of weath.. the death of manufacturing.. but only as a co-conspirator. of the Global Trading and Financial Oligarchies that have bought every U.S. President for the last 45 years.
Last edited by coldstream; Feb 13th, 2014 at 03:03 PM..
 
EagleSmack
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstreamView Post

That's all i heard for years after the Soviet Union collapsed.. .

Of course it is all you heard because it was the truth. And that pi**d you and the revisionist off. It is the liberal left's attempt at revisionism... it is how they work.

And they failed because here you are still.

 
petros
#18
This is how the USSR collapsed: Gorbachev Warns 200,000 Strikers - Chicago Tribune

Ever heard of the strikes in Donbass region of Ukraine that crippled industry?
 
EagleSmack
+2
#19
Perestroika!
 
petros
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Perestroika!

Unions ended the Soviet Union. PERIOD
 
EagleSmack
+2
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Unions ended the Soviet Union. PERIOD

We'll have to disagree then.

It was not one thing... it was many. Including the Arms Race. PERIOD.
 
petros
+1
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

We'll have to disagree then.

It was not one thing... it was many. Including the Arms Race. PERIOD.

No coal or steel = no arms.
 
EagleSmack
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

No coal or steel = no arms.

That article is from the summer of 1989... the 80's arms race and Perestroika was well under way and the Fall was a mere months away.
 
petros
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

That article is from the summer of 1989... the 80's arms race and Perestroika was well under way and the Fall was a mere months away.

The 80's arms race was a bluff. The Soviets didn't have anywhere near the arms we thought they did.
 
EagleSmack
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

The 80's arms race was a bluff. The Soviets didn't have anywhere near the arms we thought they did.

The quality and serviceability of them was a question. But the Soviet Army was massive and capable. They had plenty. I'd never underestimate the Soviets or today's Russians. They are a hearty people and capable of enduring quite a bit of hardship. But you have to admit they did answer the call to the arms race and it was a big part of the fall. As I said there were a number of reasons and the arms race was one of them.
 
petros
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

The quality and serviceability of them was a question. But the Soviet Army was massive and capable. They had plenty. I'd never underestimate the Soviets or today's Russians. They are a hearty people and capable of enduring quite a bit of hardship. But you have to admit they did answer the call to the arms race and it was a big part of the fall. As I said there were a number of reasons and the arms race was one of them.

It was indeed. They were cleaver about moving stuff around to make it look like they had more.

One thing is certain. They kicked our asses in the space race. Moon or no moon.
 
Dexter Sinister
No Party Affiliation
+2
#27
No single person or event brought the Berlin Wall down, though I think a case could be made that it was mostly the old USSR collapsing under the weight of its internal difficulties and contradictions. I've never thought Reagan should get any credit for it at all, I think his constant sabre-rattling probably prolonged the Cold War by several years by lending credibility to the paranoia of the old Soviet establishment.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

The 80's arms race was a bluff. The Soviets didn't have anywhere near the arms we thought they did.

It is debatable that they even had the arms they thought.
 

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