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Reagan, Gorbachev and Iceland Reagan, Gorbachev and Iceland
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-10-13 10:49:22
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Reykjavik, October 12th, 1986: "After the break, the president of USA Ronald Reagan said he had been sorry to keep the General Secretary of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, waiting so long, but Gorbachev knew the trouble Americans had getting along even with each other."

The president continued by saying that he had spent this time trying very hard to meet the General Secretary's desire for a ten-year declaration. This had to be his final effort. The president then read the following text:

"The USSR and the United States undertake for ten years not to exercise their existing right of withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, which is of unlimited duration, and during that period strictly to observe all its provisions, while continuing research, development and testing which is permitted by the ABM Treaty. Within the first five years of the ten-year period (and thus through 1991), the strategic offensive arms of the two sides shall be reduced by 50 percent. During the following five years of that period, the remaining 50 percent of the two sides' offensive ballistic missiles shall be reduced. Thus by the end of 1996, all the offensive ballistic missiles of the USSR and the United States will have been totally eliminated."

That was part of the classified document that described what happened in Reykjavik twenty years ago. Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in the cold capital of Iceland to put an end to the long journey they had both been following for over two years. Who would have expected a former Hollywood actor, representative of the most conservative and anti-communist America, the man who first used many of the clichés George W. Bush is repeating nowadays about the empire of evil and the alliance of good and the man who marked the end of the USSR, would sign a treaty bringing a global feeling of hope for the first time.

Seventy years of not declaring war and thirty years of Cold War was looking like reaching the best possible end. The fear of another world war was fading with the two least likely men and that's what history will remember about them; they were the ones who brought back hope.

If you didn't live during the period of the Cold War you probably have no idea what I am talking about. During the 1950s and '60s, there were families around the world that grew up with one thought: How were they going to protect themselves from World War III? Every sunrise brought fear and the Berlin Wall was there to constantly remind everybody of this feeling.

"The president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, said we had proposed reducing all ballistic missiles on land and sea, but he was ready to include all the nuclear weapons we can. Gorbachev said we should use the whole triad. The president then said we should take out the word 'strategic', so all ballistic missiles would be eliminated. Gorbachev said we should include land-based, sea-based and bombers…"

Reading these lines today, only twenty years later, it all sounds so romantic. There is no other way to describe it, while people, American people, American soldiers suffer from the effects of nuclear enriched bombs and missiles the US army used in Yugoslavia and both Iraq wars.

Let's hope that after ten years George W. Bush's era will be just a bad memory, a small chapter in American history next to Richard Nixon's era, and hope will find its way back again. Let's hope that twenty years later Americans will remember how far Reagan took peace in a cold place in the North Atlantic; after all, George W. Bush's time should never be so strong that it results in amnesia.

Living in 2006, with Bush twisting every possible effort for international peace, this may all sound like a joke, but 1986 was the beginning of the end. 1996 was going to be the year when two big enemies will no longer have weapons of mass destruction. That was the idea…


   
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Sand2006-10-12 12:06:06
Bush evidently much admires God who demonstrated His huge and total incompetence by creating humanity.


R.E. Grossman2008-02-07 16:22:44
Reference required,"nuclear enriched bombs and missiles the US army used in Yugoslavia and both Iraq wars." This is the first time I heard that claim. Thanos Kalamidas must feel liberated by the ability to re-write history with out the need to separate fact from fiction.


Thanos2008-02-08 10:59:14
Perhaps this: http://www.isis-online.org/publications/yugoslavia/yugoslavia499.html
might help you!


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