tv Lectures in History U.S. Soviet Relations Under President Reagan CSPAN March 3, 2019 12:00pm-1:20pm EST
announcer: our city's tour staff recently traveled to pasadena, california to learn about its rich history. learn more about pasadena and other stops on our tour at tour.n.org/cities >> next, on lectures in history, george washington university professor chris tudda teaches a class about foreign relations between the united states and the soviet union during president reagan's administration. he begins with the iran contra affair and then examines changes with soviet leadership. the class is about 75 minutes. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] prof. tudda: all right, this morning, we are going to finish up our discussion of iran-contra.
which, as we discussed on monday, is the, for lack of a better word, is the disaster that occurred from the whole lebanese intervention. keep in mind, in the early 1980's, 1982, 1983, when reagan decides because of all of the problems that are occurring in lebanon, as a reminder, why did the united states join the french and the italians in sending peacekeepers, marines, to lebanon? what is happening? in that country, in the early 1980's? >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: american hostages have been taken. these are civilians for the most part. until 1984, when the chief of the cia station, william
buckley, the other buckley, is kidnapped. but literally, these men are taken off of the street. basically, there are what we now know are hezbollah or other militants, terrorists, whatever word you want to use, in lebanon who are basically kidnapping guys off the streets. and most of these guys are employees of either the university -- the american university in beirut. one guy is a priest. there were also attempted assassinations. and so, there is a hostage issue. and seven hostages are taken and held by these groups. by the way, i forgot to mention, that there were also french and german hostages who were also taken by the same groups. so, this is a problem for the u.s. what else is happening?
that leads us to send in the peacekeepers? we did not really do it in response to the hostages but the hostages are being taken. what else is going on? it is a crisis. >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: the plo had been kicked out of jordan. they are now in lebanon. the plo has been using lebanon, in particular southern lebanon, to launch terrorist attacks into northern israel which led to what? what else happened in 1982? israel invades lebanon and this time they stay. they had briefly invaded in 1978 but had pulled out, i'm not sure how long they were there, a couple of weeks, maybe a month. this time they are there. who else is in lebanon?
syria -- which had intervened and sent in troops in 1975 or 1976. they had basically been occupying lebanon. what are the other dynamic is fueling these interventions? there is another thing to complicate things. iran is supporting hezbollah. in whatever forms, whether it is first money and then sending in iranian revolutionary guards, they are in the beqaa valley and in other places, and doing some kind of coordination between hezbollah and the syrians. there is another complication. lebanon is a very difficult place. what else is happening?
just to add another dimension of difficulty. the civil war. the tenuous balance between christian lebanese and muslim lebanese has been altered by all of these different dynamics. they are in a civil war and have been since 1975, 1976. the u.s. sends peacekeepers. 1983, two different attacks on the u.s. -- the embassy bombing which also decimates the cia guys, that is in the recommended book that i put on the list. "the good spy", that guy, robert ames was killed in that devastating attack which also killed about 30 french diplomats. and then the one in october of
1983 which attacked the green beret barracks. it forced reagan to confront whether or not we should stay there. and in that big argument between schulz and weinberger, weinberger wins. influenced, as we talked about, by colin powell. the weinberger doctrine is really the powell doctrine. the idea, if you're not going to be in this place to win or you do not have an exit strategy, quagmire could come. and so he says, we cannot do this mr. president, and reagan sides with weinberger. but, the hostages remain even though our troops pulled out. what is cooked up in late 1984, but really 1985, 1986, is what becomes known as iran contra. which is selling weapons in this
particular case, the tow antitank missiles to iran which they will use, how? why would they want these sophisticated weapons? they are in the middle of what becomes an eight-year war with iraq. iraq is being funded or supplied by the soviets. the u.s., macfarland, poindexter, ultimately oliver north, the staff member, we believe that if we cultivate what we think are the moderates within iran, they will get the hostages back for us and it is ok if we sell weapons to them because well, we can make sure that there is no clear winner in the iran-iraq war. whatever.
meanwhile, we know that we also have some kind of relationship with the iraqis. for the reasons that we discussed on monday. balance of power. revenge. whatever it may be. but then, this is the contract -- contra part. this is bad enough. what does this violate? the top part. >> congress passed [indiscernible] prof. tudda: that is the second part. hold off on that for just a second. the arms embargo and? the united states does not negotiate with terrorists. so, we are violating one iran thing, the embargo that we placed on them, that carter had placed on them and reagan continues during the hostage crisis but the key thing here is that our policy is to not negotiate with terrorists.
and certainly, terrorist supporters. and we are certainly not in supposed to be selling weapons to them. that is controversial to say the you least. the second part is where we get into her comment which is about the constitution. because we are going to divert the profits from these weapons, the weapons sales, to these guys. who are these guys again? >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: the anti-marxist rebels, to say the least. not exactly democratic. mckinley, you are smiling. who are some of them? >> kind of a random mix of
people. not a well coordinated group. [indiscernible] prof. tudda: you have capitalists funding them. you have former somoza national guardsmen, not exactly democratic with a small d. reagan considers them freedom fighters because they are anti-marxists. but they are not exactly thomas jefferson and james madison. the problem with this is that the house had passed an amendment, 1982, the boland amendment, which reagan had signed. which said, which prevented the united states government, the executive branch, whatever words you want to use, from overthrowing the sandinista government.
so, this news breaks --did anyone catch how it broke? how it came out? >> in a magazine in lebanon. prof. tudda: of all places, a random act of journalism in lebanon. and then it comes into the u.s. papers. in november of 1986. right around the time of the midterm elections. reagan, six years of his term, odds are that the democrats will take over. they do. this explodes onto the national scene. because, if the house passes something, you're not supposed to go around it, right? so, you have two controversial parts.
dealing with terrorists and then diverting the money for something we are not really supposed to be doing. now, what is the loophole? the loophole that in reality prevents any serious, serious real talk or move toward impeachment? >> the amendment -- they could argue that they are technically not trying to overthrow the government. prof. tudda: the conservative response -- reagan, by the way does come out and take responsibility for it but kind of claims he did not really know what was happening. which, i don't know -- i mean, the jury is out on this. i am not going to pretend that that is really possible. -- plausible. who knows? we will see when the documents comes out. we do know that reagan was personally affected by the hostages and wanted to do anything he could to get them out. and from the crist reading, he argues that there were elements,
the national security council, the state department, in the government who wanted to pursue some kind of, whatever word you want to use, rapprochement with iran or open up some kind of channels with iran for whatever reason there might be. that is the most generous defense you can make. but what is really happening is that they are not thinking about -- i would argue, they are not really thinking through this whole issue. do we get the hostages back? no. so, after all of this, we talked about this on monday, the attempt to find moderates within iran. they are relative moderates.
they are not interested in being friends with the u.s. they are not interested in westernizing. they are not interested in a real rapprochement. somehow, educated guys, macfarland was no dummy. poindexter had a phd. these are not theoretically dumb people. and yet, they, for whatever reason, machiavellian? if we can get the hostages back, the american people will not care how we did it. for whatever reason, this does not work. at all. in fact, the hostages do not end up getting returned until bush's presidency. and then this is where you have this fight between the executive
and legislative ranches. the pro-reaganite's, the defenders of reagan, to this day, it has now been 32 years, many of them still explain it away as a political disagreement. the goal is to defeat the sandinistas. that is a worthy goal. this was a dumb amendment by a bunch of political liberals who did not know what they were doing. that is what they say, some of them, to this day. what is their response? why did they, the congress, say senate have hearings right after i graduated from college in may or june of 1987?
that is when we learned to oliver north was. why did they have hearings? what is at stake here? >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: is that what you were going to say? >> i was going to say basically the same thing. prof. tudda: there were constitutional issues involved here. leaving aside whether you think it is a good thing or a bad thing to support the contras, the house of representatives voted on it and voted on it overwhelmingly. what they were doing was defying the house. and remember, the house controls the purse strings. they are the ones that set the budgets. yes. >> didn't the amendment pass 400-zero? prof. tudda: overwhelming. >> was there any pushback? prof. tudda: as far as i know, they either agreed with it or
went along. you are right. i forgot the number. i did not want to throw out a number. but it was overwhelming. so, this was the house of representatives' sentiment codified in an amendment to a defense bill or appropriations, whatever it was. the point was that the executive is not supposed to do that. at this point, this is where you begin to see retrospectively, or retroactively, whatever word is correct, some critics of reagan saying -- oh, this is where he may have been getting alzheimer's or feeling the effects of alzheimer's which he eventually got in the early to mid 1990's. i do not see any evidence of that at all. i just think they were deluded
into thinking they could achieve their goals. and the problem is, this is where you have the argument between rogue elements within the government. this was debated. schulz said it was a crazy idea. weinberger said it was a crazy idea. so, it is not like it came out of left field and no one thought about it and oliver north just went out on his own. and macfarland goes over the famous story where they bring over a cake as a present to iran. this was in the white house. so, what it shows is, it is the lowest moment for the reagan administration by any stretch. because, remember, the hostages do not get returned.
so, after all of this, pr disaster, foreign-policy disaster, those seven guys are still there. >> why would the reagan administration go through with selling some of the arms without having the hostages? prof. tudda: i have no idea. if i had been doing this, i would've said -- before i give you a single missile, i want two or three of them as a show of good faith. you watch these cop shows where they have hostages being taken. send out the women and children. or send out the guy that you've shot in the robbery attempt. >> is there any argument that iran did not have as much control over hezbollah as they thought they did? prof. tudda: probably. and the pushback from that is to say, we know you are coordinating something. remember though, in crist's
book, he talks about how they cannot prove conclusively that the iranians were behind the attack on the barracks. everyone believes and knows in their hearts, but if they are going to go and attack either the iranian installations in the beqaa valley or iran proper, they will need proof. and they cannot find it. so, remember, after the 1983 barracks attack, the french are angry. they respond but we do not attack with them. and crist argues that the french were so angry and upset about that that three years later in 1986 when we bombed libya for supporting terrorism, the french would not let us fly over their country. the airplanes left from bases in england and we had to go around.
we will see if that is true or not. i don't know if the documents will show that. >> it seems very specific regarding the contras fighting the sandinistas. did the funds go anywhere else? prof. tudda: not that i know of. >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: the argument from some of the people who said we should give iran weapons -- we do not want iraq to win the war or iran. we want a balance. we do not want one country to control the persian gulf. >> how does that happen? prof. tudda: this is where you are getting into the whole rationality of mutually assured destruction, balance of power stuff. how does it happen? it sounds good in theory.
were they reading textbooks? >> we had clear -- prof. tudda: we have to make sure that the iraqis do not win because that will help the soviets. like i said, it is like you are putting pieces on a chessboard and trying to figure out which move, which move, which countermove etc. balances the two countries. what we don't want -- we will see this in the next week when we talk about the first gulf war, we do not want one country to control the gulf because the saudi's do not have a big enough army to defend themselves. and we are not, at this time, willing to send american troops to defend saudi arabia. so, when iran falls apart, the twin pillar strategy goes right down the toilet.
and now, the real fear is that iraq will dominate the region. does that make sense? it is confusing because again, it is like you are trying to figure out who wins or who does not win and it is a delicate balance. that is why, jumping ahead 15 years when we decide in 2003 to overthrow saddam hussein, it is such a big deal. because we had not gone that far or been willing to go that far to break that balance. or that balance that we perceived should exist. any questions? there is a lot more that we can do on this but keep this in mind -- it is not only a foreign-policy disaster. it is a domestic crisis, constitutional crisis. it is a disaster because it puts
reagan in an unfamiliar spot as a guy that seems willing to give into the bad guys. whereas, what he had been doing for six years, five or six years, and even in his previous career, he was the tough guy against the soviet union, against whomever. and now, it looks like we are kissing up to these guys who only six or seven years before had had 52 of our hostages. like i said, this is a low point of his administration. and it looks as if, if you combine that with what we discussed on monday, with reykjavik. when reagan and gorbachev walk out of reykjavik and it looks like a disaster. it looks as if there is not much to salvage from this administration. he is a lame duck with two years left and nothing much happened.
what ends up happening is the subject of much of the day. -- much of today. because, within three years, the berlin wall is going to fall. within five years, the soviet union is going to dissolve. nobody, except reagan and the guys in the white house and schulz in the state department, expected this. they did not expect this to happen right away. but remember, what made reagan's policy different from both carter, nixon, and ford? the republicans and democrats? >> he thought we could win. prof. tudda: he thought we could defeat the soviets without resulting in a nuclear war.
in other words, the u.s. could defeat the soviet union because of a combination, and again, this is where we get into the theories that we talked about. a combination of our strengths, u.s.', washington's, spirit of capitalism, free trade, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, etc. the stuff you asked me about in your email -- the reagan program, which was different from his fellow republicans and carter, is to not accept detente. at least, that is what he said. but, there is also a combination of american strength and soviet weakness. and that is where gorbachev comes in.
remember, on monday, and it is in the reading, as well. we talked about the landscape that reagan walks into when it comes to the soviet union. the phrase he said allegedly or anecdotally, "they keep dying on me." three soviet premiers in his first term. the key is not just the fact that they are all very old and very sick but they are dyed in the wool, not just neo-stalinists, not just hard-core communists, but they are also tied or dedicated to mutually assured destruction. none of them are really willing, we are talking -- the start talks have begun. but there is no real push from
the top to sign a treaty. gorbachev, however, is different. in what ways is he different? james? >> to start off, he is substantially younger. prof. tudda: 25-30 years younger than the other guys in the abous younger than the other guys in the why is that significant? if you know anything about soviet history, 20th century -- >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: he was a child during world war ii as opposed to who? brezhnev who was in the army. he was a soldier. brezhnev and his cohort, these
guys were in the 80's, lived through world war ii as an adult. gorbachev was younger. he was born i think 1932 or 1933. he is like 53 or 52 when he takes over. in this late 1984 timeframe or 1985. the first thing is his youth. what else this thing pushes him? -- distinguishes him? if you put these two together, who inspired him as a leader in soviet history? if you want to reform the soviet union, who would you like as a leader? >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: i should have said soviets.
if you looked at russian history in general, catherine the great. but what about the 20th century? >> lenin? prof. tudda: no. which generation -- under which guy does he become an adult? >> stalin? prof. tudda: no. >> khrushchev. prof. tudda: why is that so important? he is a khrushchev-ite. you guys came close. you know some of the names. what is khrushchev known for? >> [indiscernible] prof. tudda: he was a reformer. this does not mean that he was a democrat. this is very important to remember. democrat with a small d again.
khrushchev was a bad guy. to survive stalin, you had to have known what was happening. you had to have been either lucky enough not to be executed or sent to the gulags or connected -- whatever it may be. but, he had denounced stalin. we talked about this last semester. in 1956. has anyone ever heard of the destalinization speech? what is it? the secret speech. things were in the post death there was a power , struggle. khrushchev gave a speech to the politburo that these did at -- lasted at least a couple of hours where he denounced every single thing that stalin stood
for. prof. tudda: it was not even the politburo but a bigger group of people. a couple hundred people. one of these long-winded -- the communists would talk for hours and hours. castro was famous for four hour speeches. no one in this country, clinton -- clinton did not even speak that long. khrushchev and these guys that came after stalin, it is almost like they were -- we survived. we do not want to go back to what he did. what had stalin done that appalled true reformer, communist type guys like khrushchev and then subsequently, gorbachev? this will not be on the final but it is important in context. what had he been doing? the famines he had caused in the 1930's that killed millions of people. what else?
>> the purges. prof. tudda: the purges of the late 1930's where he basically, remember when we talked about the cultural revolution in china? this was a different type of power struggle where stalin is trying to get rid of his enemies. this is where you see for the first time, 1937, 1938, what they called show trials. guys would literally be brought up and had to confess their sins. that they had somehow deviated from marxism and leninism. as espoused by either lenin or stalin. and then they would either take them out and shoot them or send them to the gulags where a lot of them died. the number of what became known, if you combine the two, became known as the great terror of stalin was probably around 20 million people. before world war ii. interestingly enough, a lot of
the guys that he either killed or sent to the gulags were generals. the most skilled members of the military. guys he thought could possibly overthrow him. they were in the gulags when the nazis invaded. suddenly he is like, oh. most historians think he had a break down or a panic attack then said i need to get these guys back. let's hope most of them are still alive. khrushchev comes in in 1956 and says, this is horrible, we cannot do this again. there was another component that also resonates with gorbachev that he criticizes stalin for. it often gets lost in the very -- does anyone know? it often gets lost in the very real condemnation of the terror. he also criticized what he called stalin's cult of personality. you have heard this?
what does this mean? you were nodding. >> a lot of his power was in the persona. rather than the idea of communism as a system. prof. tudda: think of other dictators who build massive monuments to themselves. and basically say -- and this is throughout history -- saddam hussein, various north korean leaders, when you have statues everywhere. photos everywhere. massive banners all around cities. kissinger talked about it and wrote about it in documents and his memoirs of when they first went to beijing. they saw all of these massive posters with slogans from mao.
the same was true of stalin. and khrushchev said, communism is bigger than that, it is bigger than one guy who has strayed from the past. so, khrushchev, temporarily, institutes -- he lets go, we read about how the trip to the white house that was canceled. he was released under khrushchev's amnesty. and remember, he had been thrown into the gulags. what had he done? what was his crime? >> he was a pow. prof. tudda: that was all he had done, he had been captured by the germans. he had not tried to overthrow stalin or burn a collective farm. that was his only crime. this is where you hear the story that came out of the soviet union and other places like not see germany, "thought crimes."
how many of you guys have read "1984? i just saw the movie. it is a really good adaptation from the book. the whole idea of "thought crimes" and a police state. remember, the kgb and its predecessors are the ones that enforce soviet totalitarianism. you cannot do it -- nazi germany, you had the gestapo and the ss. khrushchev wants to change that. temporarily, it works. he also allows the other members of the warsaw pact to liberalize a little which kind of backfires on him when the hungarians revolt. and then he turns round and crushes it. gorbachev was a khrushchev-ite and was so disappointed about the hungarian intervention.
and then, you read more about gorbachev, and you find out about 1968. i point to you because you brought it up. what the prague intervention. a really dispirited gorbachev. everything we know is that gorbachev and his fellow reformers went underground. they kept quiet and moved up in the bureaucracy. so, by the time 1984 happens, and the end of 1984, what does he do before he is named general secretary? he does something that jumps out at us -- >> a premier died and he led the politburo or the discussions -- prof. tudda: chernenko is dying and he is taking more of a
de facto role and soviet experts say, we think he is going to be the new guy. that is the first thing. what is the more public thing? second he makes a famous trip to london in 1984. december. right before christmas. and this is where a very famous -- one of her very famous phrases. i think we can do business with this guy. what does gorbachev tell her? she is no naive mcfarlane, poindexter guide. -- poindexter guide. she is the kind of person who is very much a hard and tough person who is not snowed by the idea of moderation. what would mean this person -- not only can she say that but get on a plane and go to washington to tell reagan, take
this guy seriously. what is he saying? >> gorbachev wants to reduce military spending to let the soviet economy thrive. prof. tudda: that is the first thing. i mentioned this on monday and last week also -- when gorbachev starts to realize that all of these massive military sales the soviet union has been making for 20 years, no one has paid the bills or very few especially the rich, the oil-rich countries like libya and iraq. with all of their oil money, they are not even paying their bills. we talk about deficits in this country, the soviet economy is in horrible shape. everything that the united states went through and the english went through in the 1970's is nothing compared to what is going on in the soviet union. and we have already talked about
--what is the reality of soviet life in the 1960's, the 1970's, and now the 1980's when he takes over? >> massive food shortages. prof. tudda: food shortages. i cannot remember who asked me but someone asked about the grain sales. last week or the week before. reagan, in 1981 and 1982, one of the things that carter did was embargo grain sales to punish them for their invasion of afghanistan. reagan decides ultimately to lift that embargo. they cannot feed themselves. --lin when he instituted, when the famines were created, they were basically political attacks in ukraine. that is why the ukrainians cannot stand the russians, when -- one reason of many reasons.
one of the reasons is the ukrainians, for the most part, were the biggest victims of the famine because that is their bread basket. kansas, nebraska, where we produce all of the greens. buy this stuff from the u.s., canada, argentina and other countries. that have large farming economic sectors. so, gorbachev said we have to figure out how to feed our people. what else is the reality of the workers paradise? >> rampant alcoholism. >> i know it sounds funny. big things he believes is in order to reform and fix communism we, the soviet union, have to deal with our massive alcoholism problem. has anyone ever heard stories of the average citizen or the average worker by the time of the 1970's and 1980's, and booze?
thomas? >> i heard in some factories they had to delay on monday and on certain days of the week they had to start work later to allow people to work off their hangovers. prof. tudda: they were anecdotal at first but then it was a reality. there were some numbers, 35% of the population was alcoholic. -- i think 35% of the population was alcoholic. something outrageous like that. it was a lot of people. and gorbachev said -- wait a minute, we have societal problems. you have too much defense spending. alcoholism. food shortages which create what? what are the ancillary affects of food shortages? who feeds the people?
the black market. and who is running the black market, interestingly enough or benefits from it as well? the elites. chechen organized crime and other organized crime gangs. they are the ones who have been figuring out a way to get around all of the regulations -- remember the quote is we talked -- the quotas we talked about? no one is rewarded if you produce more food so the black marketeers are the guys that figure out a way to bring oranges from sochi, or the baltics, that area of the baltics. drawing a blank on the name. the black sea. up to moscow and to leningrad and other places. and so, you have a dysfunctional
economy. reagan believes this is a dysfunctional economy. reagan believes that one of the reasons he is so critical of detente is he believes the soviet union is vastly overhyped in its power. that does not mean that he does not recognize or believe that they still are spending too much money on weapons. this is where you get into the theory that some have argued that reagan deliberately wants to outspend soviets into bankruptcy. we know that he wants -- i think some of the phrases are advocate and exacerbate, stresses and strains within the soviet economy, within the eastern european economy. i am not sure the exact words but it is in a number of documents. so, gorbachev, once he takes
power in march of 1985, what does reagan do? he sends bush and schulz to chernenko's funeral to meet with gorbachev. the vice president and the secretary of state. and they have very productive meetings after the funeral is over. but bush warns him, it is a great quote, it is in my book. he says this gucci comrade, do not get snowed by his appearance. what do i mean by that? why else did he make a sensation in london? you are laughing. do you remember why he said that or what gorbachev had done? >> he is young and has charisma. his wife is stylish. prof. tudda: he wears three-piece suits tailored in london.
in other words, does -- i should have put up photos but has anyone seen a photo of brezhnev or any of his predecessors? what do these guys look like? >> not great. >> not that great. even when they were young. brezhnev, the crazy eyebrows. the way these guys dressed or acted. khrushchev was nuts in a lot of ways. flamboyant to say the least. gorbachev looks and acts like a westerner and bush says, he is interested in talking to us. when thatcher -- we stepped back a second. thatcher had gone to washington before christmas. she said to him, interested in opening up markets. he is interested in reforming communism. let's not forget he is trying to
fix it and strengthen it. bush reminds reagan do not be snowed by this gucci comrade. he may look stylish and western, but he is a communist. because the temptation, as we have seen before with other countries, is to assume that a new guy wants to democratize with a small d. and that is not what he wants to do. he might want to liberalize a little, we will see that when we get to glasnost later, but right now, what does this word mean --perestroika? >> restructuring. prof. tudda: what does that mean? >> to increase the efficiency of already established soviet economic systems. prof. tudda: ok, good. what else? >> he wants to promote entrepreneurship.
and innovation within the industries. prof. tudda: in other words, adopt some capitalistic forums. -- forms. mentioned earlier, is this lennon and i said no this was khrushchev. hes anyone know how ideologically would justify perestroika? little trivia from the 1920's -- before lenin died, does anyone know what he did? after the civil war ended. this will not be on the final. what does this stand for? nep>? -- it is called the new economic policy. what does that mean? >> basically, the whole theory
was that we cannot go straight to communism yet. russia is still an agrarian-based economy. prof. tudda: you temporarily adopt capitalism in order to create ultimately socialism/communism. james? --the 80 logical structure ideological structure that the chinese communist party is based on. prof. tudda: absolutely. when we get to clinton, we will talk about that. how we think what they are doing is democratizing but what they are really doing is what lenin argued for. ideologically, gorbachev can say, let us innovate, let us allow small farmers do not have to join a commune and pool their resources.
it is october now. if you are the guy that grows all of the pumpkins, in order to encourage you to grow more pumpkins, because we have to have pumpkin spiced vodka, you know how it is around here. everything is pumped and spice. it is disgusting. but for argument's sake, let us say there is a market for pumpkin spiced vodka. let us encourage this guy on his farm to do that because if he can sell these bottles of vodka to west germany, finland, wherever, what can he make? he can grow the soviet economy. prof. tudda: what is in it for him? >> profits. prof. tudda: profits, capitalism. ultimately though, these profits can then strengthen the
soviet-communist state. and so he had opposition to this. he can say lenin did it. it is always marxism or leninism. in the soviet union. it is the same in china. these are the two guys, lenin and marx, who set up the ideology. i am not doing anything radical, he could say, i am just doing what lenin would do. and i am also going to cut defense spending. that is where the danger is. what is going to happen is he is going to have the same type of opposition that khrushchev had and that eventually, in 1964, brezhnev overthrew -- they removed khrushchev. gorbachev knows this is not going to be easy. he knows it will be controversial.
now, we, the united states, what does reagan want to do? reduce nukes and ultimately eliminate them. there is a meeting of the minds, at least on the surface, where gorbachev needs reagan and reagan needs gorbachev. because, remember, the three guys who reagan theoretically could have met with, had they all been healthy, did not believe in reducing nuclear weapons. they accepted salt, the parody of equality. -- parity of equality. thousands of nukes on one side and thousands of nukes on the other. that keeps the peace. reagan said -- remember, reagan does not believe in mad. that makes him different from -- i mean, carter had talked a little bit about it but because the soviets were so opposed, he abandoned it. reagan believes in arms reductions.
we talked on monday about the whole issue of sdi and reykjavik. how that initially makes reykjavik a disaster. but, remember, this is 1986. reykjavik, about a year later, because gorbachev gave up his demands that the u.s. abandoned sdi. and now, of course, just a reminder, we do not know exactly why, was he convinced that the u.s. was going to outspend him? and that he said, i'm going to give up? or, did it fit in already with his ideas of perestroika. and there is an argument to be made for both.
in we will see whether or not the reagan documents show a conscious strategy for this. it is one thing to say we want to defeat the soviets. it is another to say, we are going to do this by outspending them into bankruptcy. that could have been just another thing that we thought of or that reagan thought of or his advisors thought of as a means to defeat them. the reaganites definitely believe this is all a big strategy. most of them do. whether it is or not, we will see. so, this is the first breakthrough. keep in mind, if reykjavik occurs right around the time of iran-contra, within a year, this is signed. and it is a huge deal. to your second question, reagan's economic policies, his ideas of freedom, definitely resonate. we will talk more about that when we talk about moscow.
one of your other questions, peter was did anyone oppose , reagan? and the answer is yes. the democrats could not stand reagan. but when it came to this kind of stuff, they did not have much of an argument, because they wanted, the liberals especially, wanted to reduce weapons. the liberals had to be convinced that salt ii was enough because they criticized it for not going for enough. who opposed arms reduction, nuclear arms reductions? >> i do not know about oppose but bush was very wary. prof. tudda: he was vice -- a was very wary, his vice president but he keeps his , criticism quiet. no one knows. it comes out afterwards. who was publicly opposed? you are kind of on the right track.
if you say bush was wary of it, what other decision-makers that we have discussed this semester, would be opposed? not weinberger. eventually. he is wary at first. >> nixon and kissinger types? >> nixon, kissinger, and -- >> what about powell? prof. tudda: powell at this point is moving up. by 1988, he will be national security advisor. i do not know what his position is. i found an extra copy of his memoirs and it might be in there. >> what about rumsfeld the echo -- rumsfeld? >> bush was wary, we find out later. nixon. kissinger. and schofield. -- scowcroft.
the detente guys, nixon and kissinger cowrite an op-ed condemning start and the imf. why? these are his fellow republicans. mad?ey believe in prof. tudda: yes, they believe that nuclear arms reductions are inherently destabilizing. whereas reagan thought that mad was destabilizing. and this has been an argument. by the way, this goes back to the 1950's -- the idea of what is rational? is it rational to be able to blow each other up so much that neither side will start a nuclear war? or is it irrational that you are
building up so many weapons, spending so much money, with the idea that the whole world could be blown up, is that irrational? so, here we are now, 30 years or so after the debates began under ike where you have the republicans arguing publicly that reagan is wrong. has anyone ever heard of charles krauthammer? have you ever read any of his stuff? he just died recently. at the time, and had been until he died last year, was a columnist at the post. before that, he had been one of henry jackson's -- he had been a democrat. he was a speechwriter. george well, he is still alive. very critical of inf and stark. interestingly enough, conservative. krauthammer said he was wrong
and reagan was right. there was public opposition among conservatives and republicans, moderates, whatever you want to call it, to this. the senate, by now, controlled by the democrats, ratifies a treaty. and what happened -- what is going to happen to the treaty? this week, last week. it looks like we might be withdrawing from it 31 years later. reagan, by december of 87, this is the washington summit, has reclaimed a lot of that credibility, popularity he lost from iran contra. the hearings occurred in the summer of 1987. here we are six months later, major arms control initiative. in this case, reduction.
remember, despite our initial -- everyone thinking of richard nixon and watergate, remember how popular the salt treaty was. in 1972. the moscow summit, the china summit, were very popular among the american people. he ultimately gets reelected, overwhelmingly. reagan is reclaiming that status. six months later, in may of 88, he goes to moscow for the moscow summit. this is where he does a couple of really famous things. it is in the book. first thing, he is walking through red square with gorbachev. does anyone know what i'm talking about? what did he say? student: is that where he said the buildup of arms wasn't the
cause of the distrust but the distrust was the cause of the buildup? prof. tudda: that is important to keep in mind. right. a journalist is walking along with him in red square and asks him if this is the evil empire you condemned so heartily five years ago? he said that was a different time and place. i'm not sure if it was that they -- that day or the day after, he goes to moscow's state gorbachev'sthis is alma mater. this is where he makes an even more important long-term than the tear down the wall speech. this is where he endorses this and this. what is this?
student: wasn't it more like the freedom of [indiscernible] prof. tudda: yeah. this is openness in russia. kind of. it translates most into openness in english, kind of. this is where he's talking about small, low level, incremental liberalization. this occurs after perestroika and around the time of 88 and 87. that is continuing but this is where he is saying, you know what else we can do? we can open up things. remember, khrushchev had opened up some things.
what is he calling for that reagan loves? student: the commercial interaction between the united states and the soviet union. prof. tudda: yes. this is glasnost and perestroika. comes to economics, international trade. this will be a theme of gorbachev's. the u.s. has markets for their goods, whether they are good or bad. they have markets that our businessmen and women can cultivate and exploit. what else does it mean? that's a big one. student: the openness for where they stopped disallowing political dissent? prof. tudda: right. you can now have open criticism of the communist party, and of him. we take that for granted, right?
right? this week we have seen it. whoever the president is. whoever the secretary of state is. if they say something -- nobody gets thrown in jail if you are on a tv show and you call president obama a liar. or you call president trump an anti-semite. it may be bad form in both instances, but you are not tossed in jail. now, he says that kind of criticism is allowed. the underground publishing presses, the places that published dr. zhivago and other novels that were mildly critical of the soviet union is now allowed. what else does it mean? that's the second big thing.
there's a third thing he is pushing. student: something analogous to a parliament. prof. tudda: yeah. there is political pluralism. in other words, if you want to create another party, let's say you want to have a democratic and republican party in the soviet union, you won't get sent to siberia. it is slow, it is painful because who else is watching besides us? we love it. reagan endorses glasnost. and praises not only the entire idea of free markets, but depending on your interpretation, there were some people who say this was reagan's call for globalization. there's a lot of talk in this speech about the importance of freedom of expression by using new technologies like the microchip.
i can't remember who i said this to, but schulz was the first secretary of state to ever have a personal computer. i know that sounds ridiculous hearing it now. i didn't have one. schulz was a big believer in technology. he is still alive. he loves the internet. these kind of breakthroughs, they believe, can break down communism and other forms of dictatorship. through freedom of expression. especially if you want free trade. who else is listening? student: eastern europeans. prof. tudda: yeah, guess what, ok, i'm hungarian. hmm. openness, freedom of expression. can't we do it, too? and gorbachev begins to say yes.
by 87 and 88, this is spreading to those two big countries, poland and czechoslovakia. you see the rebirth and reemergence of solidarity. a great book i just read that i thought about using for this course that i may use next year, talks a lot about this and about how reagan was trying, with some success, but not a lot of success, to get the pols deliver -- to liberalize. by the time gorbachev comes in, gorbachev is willing to let the polls and hug arians experiment. hungarians exp eriment.
there is another group watching this. not the eastern europeans that could be a problem for gorbachev. who are those people? not the eastern europeans. anyone non-russian. say the georgians, ukrainians, baltics, lithuanians, estonians, alone alone all of those muslim majority southern republics. the gamble he is making here is that the soviet union can be reformed and that communism can be strengthened. the problem is, once someone gets a taste of this kind of freedom, what do they usually want? student: more of the same. prof. tudda: more of the same, and then independence. while american and soviet relations are improving, by late the problem is, once someone
88 and early 89 when bush comes in, what is happening is that the soviet union and eastern europe are starting to -- the rains are being loosened -- reins are being loosened. one thing i wanted to mention, but the governors island meeting in december of 88, the for that, that, gorbachev had come to the u.n. and addressed the assembly. arguably, one of the most important speeches, i would argue, that gorbachev ever made, other than we are giving up in 1991. anyone know what he said at that speech? an important concession. maybe the only thing more important is when he gave up sdi.
he said that we, the soviet union, unilaterally -- remember, the inf treaty is a mutual with -- withdraw. the sf 20's from eastern europe gone. we, the soviet union, will unilaterally withdraw half a million troops from the warsaw pact countries. by the way, the united states, you need to take your troops out of germany or wherever else they were in europe. what does that mean? or signify? i put that on the final. student: it signifies the former warsaw pact countries have power to self determine. prof. tudda: or they will soon likely have more power to determine their own fate, absolutely. what else does it signify? that is one thing. hui am the hug arians or --
ngarians or pols, i'm like, finally. student: [indiscernible] prof. tudda: keep in mind that one reason why it was hard for the hungarians and czechs to challenge soviet supremacy is that they have had troops there. they are the backup to their own secret police. if you lose half a million soviet troops, it will make it a lot harder for their secret police organizations to knock around their people. absolutely. what else? student: any interactions going forward from the u.s. or western europe, with eastern european countries, will not be as controlled as much of the union interacting. prof. tudda: yeah. there will be a new political, small p, relationship going forward between the west and east.
absolutely. the last thing i would say is that it fits in with perestroika because think of how much money it costs to house, feed, close, etc., half a million troops. it was a big stumbling block to eisenhower and truman before him, but eisenhower in the 50's, when he had to decide whether we should send 100,000 or a couple hundred thousand troops to germany because it cost a ton of money. if you want to cut defense spending and reform communism, one way you do it is to cut the amount of money you spend on the troops overseas. nixon wanted to bring back some of our guys because he felt we were spending too much. let them take care of their own defense. if you're reagan, you're like, this is awesome and amazing.
bush had just been elected, and this is the end of today's class. we will pick up the rest of this, finish it up on monday. because what's going to happen is that bush pulls back. you are the one who mentioned his reservations? yes. what do you mean by that? you are absolutely right. bush has reservations. student: you talk in your book that after bush is elected and inaugurated, there was this pause period where they have to reassess u.s. posture toward the soviet union and arms reduction. prof. tudda: yeah. remember, bush's instincts are to take things slow and not overreact, which i don't think is a bad thing. to not get ahead of your selves. -- your selves. his concern is that, remember, go back to the comment about
a gucci comrade, let's not forget who these people are. bush never believes, until later, it takes about a year for bush to believe that gorbachev is a serious reformer. of communism. he doesn't say, hey, this guy is going to change and everything will be of miraculous, the world -- the soviet union, we will be close friends, the threat is gone, the world will be a miraculous place. he is an instinctive mad guy. he's a nixon guy, kissinger, detente kind of guy. his initial instincts are, let's reassess. what are the good things here? what are the bad things? can we change those bad things? he institutes what has now become the pause, where they
literally, for arguments sake, stop this reagan-gorbachev era. when he takes office in january, he basically orders a review of everything and says let's stop and think about all of this before we move forward. interestingly enough, it only lasts about four months. some historians, some people, i think gorbachev, a lot of them overreacted. gorbachev was worried, thinking all that i have accomplished is gone. as it turned out, it would only last until may. on monday, we will pick up on this. we will talk about bush's commencement addresses he makes and the speeches he makes that announce his new policy, which
is reagan's policy. i will see you guys then. thank you for coming. again. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] listen to lectures in history on the go by streaming our podcast anywhere, anytime. you are watching american history tv, only on c-span3. this weekend on reel america, apollo nine, three to make ready to make ready. we look back 50 years ago to march 3, 1969 when a apollo nine blasted off for a 10 day mission to test systems that would be essential for the july 1969 apollo 11 moon landing. here is a preview. christmas, 1968. when man first cut the silver cord of earth's gravity to orbit the moon.
♪ saturn five had provided the power to take him there. the command and service modules had sustained him. but man cannot begin his mastery of the moon until he can land on its inhospitable surface and take off again. needs the third basic piece of hardware, the lunar module. the lunar module is a new concept designed exclusively for use in the vacuum of space. a two-man taxi used as a shuttle between the lunar surface and the orbit -- orbiting command model. use the lunar module as an operational lunar spacecraft, it must be tested in space. first and earth orbit. this was the primary purpose of apollo nine, the third manned apollo mission.
mcdivitt, dave scott, rusty schweikert. three men to qualify this new machine. to make ready for the moon. >> watch the entire film on apollo nine on reel america. this sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern. you are watching american history tv. tonight on c-span's q&a, u.s. army veteran eileen rivers on her book "beyond the call." beyondomen who went their regular duties. to help women in afghanistan. and further the mission. one experience she shared with me was there was a time when she felt like there were men who were trying to break her and tester and see if women could hack it. they had this really heavy gear,
they have their weapon, and they were carrying it on this road march. she pulled her women aside and said, no matter what happens, don't you dare start crying and you better keep up. like, i have ahe pulled her won feeling they will try to test us. that is exactly what happened. her women cap. step for step. announcer: eileen rivers tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. like, i have a feeling theyeach week, americans takes viewers into archives, museums, and historic sites around the country. smithsoniant the national portrait gallery and washington, d.c. to two or their one-room exhibit examining the pivotal events and personalities of the year 1968. our guide it through the collection of 30 images is portrait gallery historian james barber. james: