In his State of the Union address in 1992, George Bush Snr. remarked, ‘but the biggest thing that has happened in the world in my life, in our lives, is this: By the grace of God, America won the Cold War’ (Bush Snr, para. 7) This view is widely held by many people informed by the decline of the Soviet Republic and its eventual dissolution into constituent independent states. Furthermore, the view is strengthened by the ratification of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty by the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR) Whist this remark glosses over the issue, it could be understood to have been made in the context of an impending election. George Snr. was at the time trying to shore up support for his lagging administration that was battling a recession.
Mikhail Gorbachev in his Nobel address stated, ‘Never before has the idea that peace is indivisible been so true as it is now. Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences’ (Gorbachev, para. 7). This opines that the cold war would have ended in mutually assured destruction (MAD) and no country had won. It may be argued that the remarks were made in light of the Nobel Peace Prize, thus the need to be magnanimous. Gorbachev was an accommodating reformer having introduced the policies of glasnost and perestroika. This was further illustrated when he did not intervene when Poland elected a non-communist opposition government despite calls from some quarters.
I am of the opinion that Gorbachev’s statement is the closest to expressing the truth. It was in the interests of both nations to put an end to the Cold War. However, there is no single truth as every side has its own story.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bush Snr, George. STATE OF THE UNION; Transcript of President Bush’s Address on the State of the Union. 29 January 1992. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/29/us/state-union-transcript-president-bush-s-address-state-union.html?pagewanted=all. 10 December 2015.
Gorbachev, Mikhail. Nobel Lecture. 5 June 1991. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1990/gorbachev-lecture_en.html. 10 December 2015.