This is a good map and I think the description in the wikipedia article, Iron Curtain, is informative, but keeping in mind it is written from a US perspective. I think what it says is accurate. But what it doesn’t say is equally important. It doesn’t say two things:
- It doesn’t say WHY the Soviet Union wanted to cut itself off from direct contact with the west. The reason was perceived hostility, which, since 1991 is proven again to be correct perception, with constant regime change color revolutions driven by CIA regime change operatives, which result in expansion of US military infrastructure, which is hostile to Russia, right up to Russia’s borders. Hell, we even installed Nazis in power in 2014 by coup in Ukraine and tried to claim Crimea and Sevastopol for The US Navy. Russia, in 1945, required a security buffer from a hostile west, having just been invaded (again) by Germany at a cost of 27 million Russian lives. Russia did by far the most fighting and killing and dying in WWII. 3 out of 4 German soldiers killed were killed by Russians (some calculations put this figure at 95%). For every American who died fighting Germans, Russia lost 50. 50 to 1. The great majority of German divisions were in the east destroying Russia. Sadly, current events through 2017 still show extreme western hostility to Russia, to such an extent that Gorbachev’s faith — in the idea of vacating Russia’s Eastern European security zone after 44 years, sending all Russian troops home to Russia 27 years ago — is put in doubt. Maybe they shouldn’t have done it. We’re getting ready to invade again, evidently.
- And, it doesn’t say why the US (“the west”) wanted contact with the east cut off. That part of the story is that the US wanted a boundary to limit the influence of Russia in Europe. West of that boundary, no Russian influence allowed. The main reason for the wall that divided the whole continent from northern Germany south to the Adriatic Sea was because a hostile west wanted to limit Russian influence and stop it at that wall, which it did, and now we’ve put that wall on wheels and rolled it right up to Russia’s border.
Adding up everything I’ve ever read, and looking at our anti-Russia hostility today (2017), I’m convinced now by arguments I’ve read in the past that put the blame for the iron curtain and the Cold War entirely on the United States. Here’s the thing; the US could have chosen a path after 1945 of working together with Russia to normalize relations, make the west no longer a threat to invade Russia (again), and along those lines we could have normalized relations across all countries in Europe, East and West, including Russia. We could have had normal political, economic, and cultural relations. If we had done this, then the Soviet Union may have let go of its security zone decades earlier than it did, after 44 years in 1989. But the US didn’t choose this kind of path and instead chose militarized confrontation, threats, and demonization that continues today.
Ultimately it comes down to this:
- We need war, big military budgets, constant big threats, big military spending and war industry growth from actual hot wars. So demonization of powerful countries suits that perfectly, and,
- The US is totally hostile to the system that Russia set up throughout Eastern Europe, which consisted of: strong labor unions, real retirement security, free public education through university, low rates of unemployment, and free public healthcare for life.
This is totalitarianism, according to us. But we could have normalized instead of demonized. If we thought there should be more capitalists and rich people in Eastern Europe, and huge inequality as we are so good at delivering to Europe now, we could have gotten that anyway through cooperation (Russia is capitalist itself today). With hostility we got what we got. What are we going to get this time? It’s not looking good.
There’s also this item:
The whole “escaping communism” thing is overhyped. I mean, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe have been part of the EU and NATO for decades now. And the volume of European migration from east to west remains very high. What are they escaping from now?
Which brings us to Paul Craig Roberts: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/25/looting-machine-called-capitalism/