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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Monday July 07, 2008
04:18 PM

The Morality of the Cold War

[ #36866 ]

While working on my map of US military actions since WWII, I've been digging around quite a bit in murky areas of US history. The CIA Freedom of Information Act Web site has been invaluable for this research, though many documents are heavily redacted and some of them -- such as documents describing Augusto Pinochet -- appear to be written for particular audiences rather than as honest assessments. Though it's quite possible that they were written with the thought of "evidence" in the forefront of the author's mind.

In reading through many of those histories and trying to get a sense of their scope, I am horrified, time and time again, by US actions during the Cold War. Given this and that many know of my strong opposition the Bush administration and the current Iraq war, you might be surprised to note that I -- without pardoning their crimes -- have a tremendous amount of sympathy for many cold warriors. So many people have a tendency to sneer at history, but when questioned about it, know little. I've been reading quite a bit about the Cold War and its origins and frankly, nothing is as cut and dried as we would like to believe. As a result, I think I should get around to creating a Soviet analogue to the above Google Map with the intention of creating just a bit of context, though said maps could only be a starting point and could not even begin to do the situation justice.

The "US Map" is very much a work in progress and if you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please let me know (links welcome, though Wikipedia articles without decent sources are not preferred).

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  • Please keep the commentary, insights, and revelations coming.

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • The Soviet version of this map [] is turning out to be hard, if not impossible. For example, the Soviets might support Cubans to send troops in another country, but sometimes the Cubans would do it without even telling the Soviets. How does that get listed? Plus, the Soviets were/are far more secretive about their covert operations than the US and this makes it very hard to know all of the countries they were providing military assistance for. Very frustrating. As a result, superficially it looks like the

      • All of the African and Middle East 'advisors' are missing. :-) If you're interested I've got a book about all the KGB actions of that time. The complement of the CIA family jewels.
        • What's the book? I'd love to see it. I've just started the Soviet map and it's tough. First, there's not a lot of decent info out there. Plus, some of it is more difficult to evaluate. For example, when the Soviets flew in a bunch of Cubans to Angola to hold off the South Africans while the Angolan government dealt with UNITA, the Cubans remembered they were Cubans and not Soviets and went ahead and did their own thing. It's tough to say exactly how that should be represented.

          • The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West and The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World (Hardcover). Interesting stuff.
  • British empire actions, can you put pink google tacks? Spanish empire, Vikings, Mongols, Romans, Alexander of Macedonia.

    Cool maps!

    • Google has pink tacks? That would make things easier.

      That being said, I'm primarily focusing on Cold War issues between the US and USSR. I'm trying to understand their confrontation better so that I can understand how this relates to our current fumbling of the "war" on terror.