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Old 08-30-2019, 02:57 PM
 
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I do remember the Reagan flap in 1984 when he thought the mics were turned off on his press conference and as a joke said "My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

Now THAT obviously generated controversy.
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
The USSR had always been an evil empire based on the worst dictators and people one could imagine, even bringing us towards nuclear war. So in 1983 when he gave the speech, why was there any controversy at all? It's akin to saying Nazis are bad guys yet anyone would disagree?
I don't remember there being controversy over Reagan's position on the Soviet Union. His view was maybe a little extreme, but I think most Americans felt the same way.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Gorbachev did not take office until 2 years after this speech, Yuri Andropov was leader at that time, whom replaced Brezhnev in 1982. The invasion of Afghanistan, and what to do about it, was still a concern at that time. What happened just 6 months after Reagan gave this speech? Korean airliner flight 007 was shot down by the Russians, Sept 1st 1983. 269 passengers were killed. No small wonder Reagan repeated the evil empire references later that year, they played right into his hands.

Russia has retained much of the bad reputation they had, with the mafia system and use of hit men, whom take care of any serious domestic opposition to the leadership, and probably travel the world waiting for orders to rub out modern day "defectors" in other countries. They used to use the Bulgarians for that stuff, now they do it themselves. They still shoot down passenger airliners too, under the guise of "Russian rebels" in the Ukraine, when they killed 283 people from downed Malaysian airlines flight 17. Not to mention the invasion of Crimea shortly before that, and their recent work developing nuclear warheads capable of penetrating our defense network, which can only mean they would like to have a first strike capability. Their spy and espionage work is still top notch. Think I would put them in the same category as Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and China, more dangerous than some, less dangerous than others, but still dangerous and unpredictable. South Africa before and after, yeah, they have an evil reputation which carries on, no matter who runs the place, lol.

I don't think the new Russia is quite on the same scale of evil as the old regime, however, they no longer wall people in and shoot you if try to escape, they allow freedom of travel to western countries. The people are relatively happy with Putin and the economy can now support the population. The old system had everyone under heel, working long hours with little to show for it, food shortages, overcrowded small apartments with 15 people living in them. That kind of suppression is evil, and North Korea is IMO, the most evil of them all, for that reason. They may not be as dangerous as Russia or China, but very evil.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:25 AM
 
20,564 posts, read 11,466,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I do remember the Reagan flap in 1984 when he thought the mics were turned off on his press conference and as a joke said "My fellow Americans, Iím pleased to tell you today that Iíve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

Now THAT obviously generated controversy.
That happened.

We were kind of amazed by Soviets' extreme reaction to it, until we learned earlier that they believed Reagan was serious.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:53 AM
 
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The only Americans upset with the speech were those Americans who favored or supported Communist forms of government. Some of those were within the journalist community who were perfectly willing to cover up or gloss over some of the most horrible things done by communist governments but perfectly willing to highlight any and all failings of the US government. They were a form of government that had to desultory in building walls with armed guards to prevent their subjects from escaping to freedom. The Soviet Union mass sham trials and manufactured famine causing the deaths of millions are among the things covered up by the American press until after the fall of the Soviet Union.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:31 AM
 
20,564 posts, read 11,466,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
Gorbachev did not take office until 2 years after this speech, Yuri Andropov was leader at that time, whom replaced Brezhnev in 1982. The invasion of Afghanistan, and what to do about it, was still a concern at that time. What happened just 6 months after Reagan gave this speech? Korean airliner flight 007 was shot down by the Russians, Sept 1st 1983. 269 passengers were killed. No small wonder Reagan repeated the evil empire references later that year, they played right into his hands.

Russia has retained much of the bad reputation they had, with the mafia system and use of hit men, whom take care of any serious domestic opposition to the leadership, and probably travel the world waiting for orders to rub out modern day "defectors" in other countries. They used to use the Bulgarians for that stuff, now they do it themselves. They still shoot down passenger airliners too, under the guise of "Russian rebels" in the Ukraine, when they killed 283 people from downed Malaysian airlines flight 17. Not to mention the invasion of Crimea shortly before that, and their recent work developing nuclear warheads capable of penetrating our defense network, which can only mean they would like to have a first strike capability. Their spy and espionage work is still top notch. Think I would put them in the same category as Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and China, more dangerous than some, less dangerous than others, but still dangerous and unpredictable. South Africa before and after, yeah, they have an evil reputation which carries on, no matter who runs the place, lol.

I don't think the new Russia is quite on the same scale of evil as the old regime, however, they no longer wall people in and shoot you if try to escape, they allow freedom of travel to western countries. The people are relatively happy with Putin and the economy can now support the population. The old system had everyone under heel, working long hours with little to show for it, food shortages, overcrowded small apartments with 15 people living in them. That kind of suppression is evil, and North Korea is IMO, the most evil of them all, for that reason. They may not be as dangerous as Russia or China, but very evil.
I'm thinking that Andropov brought Gorbachev from the sticks into Center specifically because he knew he needed a "young thinker" to make the necessary compromises with the West to assure the survival of the USSR. Yes, there had to be Brezhnev and Chernenko doddering in for a few years before Gorbachev could secure power, but it was Andropov who pulled in Gorbachev from outside the inner circle.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Yes he did what? The "reality" is well documented.
This is the exact text of his speech:
"Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world .... So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil."

I think that this was the whole controversy, right there.

Once "good and evil" are brought into conversation (or speech in this case) with one party claiming that it's the "only one that knows god," ( and most likely is talking on his behalf,) whereas the other party is "evil," - that's where the controversy begins.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:06 PM
 
9,796 posts, read 6,471,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
The USSR had always been an evil empire based on the worst dictators and people one could imagine, even bringing us towards nuclear war. So in 1983 when he gave the speech, why was there any controversy at all? It's akin to saying Nazis are bad guys yet anyone would disagree?



There was absolutely nothing controversial about the Evil Empire speech by President Reagan!!!!!!
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Old 08-31-2019, 04:01 PM
 
3,549 posts, read 5,040,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Soviet Russia was not an evil empire, it was an inept empire. They stood behind a doctrine of equalizing everyone, of the state providing all of the people's needs, of protecting the people from the sharp hustlers who would amass private fortunes at their expense, and that the capitalist nations would eventually destroy themselves in the greedy pursuits.

It was a doctrine which in theory was a hell of a lot closer to reflecting the teachings of Jesus than capitalism could ever hope to be. The problem was the theory doesn't work, not that the theorists were evil.
OMG, are you serious? Have you never heard of the millions arrested without trial and killed in Stalin's Gulags?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag

Have you never heard of the millions killed in the great famine due to the failure of collectivizing Soviet farms?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

https://en.wikipedia.org/Soviet-famine-of-1932-33

The Cambodian civil war, a holocaust which wiped out most of the educated Cambodian population?
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:33 PM
 
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I think pretty much every nation that has ever existed that could be deemed an "empire" has been evil or had evil moments, so Reagan's speech could apply to so much of history.
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