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Jul 25, 2012

Reagen, Star Wars, the Soviet Union and Iran

Star Wars
I seem to remember that a large part of how Ronald Reagan brought the Soviets to the knees in the '80s was via the Star Wars program. An arms race was created in which the United States and the Soviet union competed to see who could spend more money than the other on weaponry, satellites, and the like. Eventually, the US was able to out-buy the Soviets, and essentially bankrupted the Soviets into collapse.

It seems like something similar is happening with Iran. While one can never be completely sure what is true and accurate regarding news coming out of an oppressive regime, the other day there was a news item about how in Iran they are censoring ads on television - the specific situation was an ad for wholesome food and among the items it had a chicken waiting to be cooked. They said the chicken had to be removed because the image of the chicken would cause great anger. Why? Because poverty has gotten so bad, because of the sanctions, that many people cannot even afford to have chicken in their meals. true or not, I do not know, but that was the news item.

So on the one hand there is horrible poverty due to the effectiveness of the sanctions. On the other hand we have regular reports of how the government is pouring more and more money into their nuclear project. Such as today the news is reporting that Iran is now adding another 1000 centrifuges for enriching uranium.

So, people dont even have money for chicken, and its so prevalent that they have to ban such images from the television, but they have money for their nuclear project. And they continue to pour money into it despite other needs being perhaps more pressing and urgent. Perhaps Iran is on the road to an economic collapse, similar to that of the Soviet Union, which can lead to the end of the regime..

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  1. There are two differences.
    1) The USSR was already struggling with the huge expenses of the Afghan campaign.
    2) At a crucial time, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR and made a critical mistake. Realizing the huge amount of poverty and misery amongst his people and that this was a powder keg, he made one small change: he made it legal for people to complain. Didn't really change anything else but this one small difference snowballed into his and the USSR's downfall. Had he kept the status quo, the USSR would have survived for much longer because of the Red Army's ability to repress people.
    In the absence of a Gorbachev in Iran, nothing will change there.

  2. ANON:

    a history professor of mine once commented that gorbachev was truly deserving of the nobel peace prize precisely because he still had the military might to turn back the clock, yet he didn't and gave up instead.

  3. It was not just money. This was battle of Talent. There was a whole sub layer of events concerning Star Wars. Fist of all it is important to understand that Star Wars was being developed by the USSR and the USA long before either announced it. In fact after the Russians already had a head start with sputnik they leaped ahead with star wars right in the beginning of the 1960's. at that point they had more technology and even more of the mathematics necessary for such a program. America got wind of this and gave subcontracts to private firms like TRW and Hycon to develop a USA Star Wars. These corporations went t to my Dad and hired him to build a laser communication system between satellites so that the Russians could not monitor our communications.(the trouble with radio waves is that they spread. That means the Russian can eavesdrop. Lasers lack that drawback.) By the time Reagan announced it. we had caught up with the Russians and had gone beyond them.


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