The former Soviet leader visited Washington, DC to pay his respects to Ronald Reagan, which was a pretty classy move.
But if he had warm, appreciative words for Reagan, Gorbachev brusquely dismissed the suggestion that Reagan had intimidated either him or the Soviet Union, or forced them to make concessions. Was it accurate to say that Reagan won the Cold War? “That’s not serious,” Gorbachev said, using the same words several times. “I think we all lost the Cold War, particularly the Soviet Union. We each lost $10 trillion,” he said, referring to the money Russians and Americans spent on an arms race that lasted more than four decades. “We only won when the Cold War ended.”
So that means that nobody won the first Gulf War. Nobody won World War 2. Nobody won World War 1. (Okay, I’ll give you that one.) Nobody won the American Civil War. Nobody won the American Revolution.
Gorbachev goes on to claim that it was his flair and political savvy (my words) that brought the Cold War to an end. I’ve long held that the Cold War was really the Third World War, or at least it became the Third World War when Reagan came to office and put the spurs to the Military-Industrial Complex. So, if Gorbachev will admit defeat in World War 3, I’ll give him a stalemate in the Cold War. Otherwise? BAH!
I’d say we need to change all the history books to include the lesson that no one beat the Soviet Empire, but I’m afraid that this sort of thinking is already in most school books.