From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER156

As President-elect George Bush sits down to lunch with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in early December 1988 to discuss the modalities of Detente II, we wonder what the prospects are for any similar sort of US rapprochement with the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It took 16 years, from 1917 to 1933, for the United States to come to diplomatic terms with the Bolshevik Revolution, and the half-century since then has been marked by periods of deep hostility, none more pronounced than the first half of the Reagan-Bush administration.

Containment, Counterrevolution and Credibility

by Irene Gendzier
published in MER160

Gabriel Kolko, Confronting the Third World: United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1980 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1988).

Gabriel Kolko has been a master guide of modern US history for countless students seeking to go beyond official versions and conformist interpretations. From The Triumph of Conservatism (1963) to Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United States and the Modern Historical Experience (1986), Kolko’s methodic investigation of US domestic and international politics and foreign policy in the twentieth century has changed our understanding of the foundations of capitalism and the meaning of containment and counterrevolution.

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Turkey and US Strategy in the Age of Glasnost

by Ömer Karasapan
published in MER160

On May 20, 1989, a top-of-the-line Soviet MiG-29 fighter evaded pursuing Soviet interceptors and landed at Trabzon airport in northern Turkey. An apparent intelligence bonanza had literally landed in NATO’s lap. Though a regular exhibit at Western air shows and sold to India, Iraq, Yugoslavia and other countries, the MiG-29 had never been closely inspected by the US. Within 36 hours, however, the plane and its weaponry were on their way back to the Soviet Union, despite a personal entreaty from Adm. William Crowe, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to General Necip Torumtay, his Turkish counterpart.

Consequences of Perestroika

by Mohamed Sid-Ahmed
published in MER164

Arab progressives tend to view the changes initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika as harmful to the cause of Arab national liberation. One leading pan-Arab statesman privately described the rapprochement between East and West as portending the disintegration of the Communist bloc and the total hegemony of the United States. In his opinion, far from favoring global peace and stability, this situation threatens new global conflagration and cataclysms in the Third World.

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Halliday, From Kabul to Managua

by Rajan Menon
published in MER166

Fred Halliday, From Kabul to Managua: Soviet-American Relations in the 1980s (Pantheon, 1989).

To give an account, in a mere 163 pages, of Soviet-American competition in the Third World is no mean feat. After all, this rivalry has lasted nearly half a century and its form has varied considerably. Moreover, there are now 120 independent states in the Third World, and there have been over 100 diverse conflicts. There is, to say the least, much to account for. Yet this is precisely what Fred Halliday has done, with lucidity and thoroughness. At times, Halliday’s conclusions are even provocative and unpredictable.

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Fawcett, Iran and the Cold War

by Moyara de Moraes Ruehsen
published in MER183

Louise L’Estrange Fawcett, Iran and the Cold War: The Azerbaijani Crisis of 1946 (Cambridge, 1992).

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