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Good grief, now that you mention it...  Are you American?  I was pretty young during the first cold war, and a teenager when it ended.  But I remember a lot of talk about Georgia, and how they'd stubbornly held onto their Christian faith during the Soviet Union.  It was all icons and churches.  This must have been about the time they gained their freedom.  Religious freedom was not some secondary concern after elections and free enterprise, in our condemnation of the USSR.  It was front and center.  I actually vividly remember watching the tv in those days and learning about the deep Christain faith of the Georgian people. The US was very pro-Georgia even then.  They were a posterchild even then.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 04:25:22 PM EST
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I wonder how much of the warmth towards Georgia is the result of Shevardnadze who helped bring down the USSR, and was of a more neo-liberal mindset than Gorbachev?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 05:06:26 PM EST
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Perhaps it's my Catholic upbringing, but I recall hearing as a kid in the 1980s much more about Poland and how they had turned to their faith and their pope to battle back the great godless heathens. Folks in my parish were especially fond of arguing that Fatima was all about the Virgin Mary warning the world against the Soviet menace, and how she would redeem the long-suffering Poles. Oh, and that Reagan was awesome. I was rather surprised to learn he wasn't a Catholic given the way the parishoners talked about him.

Still, that doesn't negate your point about Georgia and just deepens poemless' broader point that much of this country's silly fear of Russia is rooted in our damnable Christian militaristic mission.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 08:11:13 PM EST
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To my knowledge, my most recent immigrant ancestors were the parents of my maternal great, great grandmother, America McInnes, who came over from Northern Ireland, Scots -Irish stock.  America was their first born here.  My paternal great, great grandmother was Cherokee and came over the Trail of Tears, but stopped in Arkansas.  My father used to joke that they didn't have enough sense to go on to Oklahoma, where the oil was.  English, Welch and Dutch round out the family tree.

I was born in Houston, Texas during WW II and grew up in Whizbang, Oklahoma in the 50s.  Neither budr or myself are exactly typical Okies.  But we are far from the only ones of similar persuasions to come out of that fair state.  I returned to the Ozarks of my grandparents upon my retirement.  I find enough people here of persuasions similar to mine to feel at home.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 05:24:22 PM EST
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Sheesh.  This is a European blog - I don't know here people are from.  Perhaps the coverage was different outside the US.  I've been repeatedly yelled at over the past few days for not qualifying media observations as American.  That's all.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 05:28:36 PM EST
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Sorry to disappoint. There are a lot of us here. I have not found an American blog nearly so congenial to my sensibilities or with a comparable, consistently high level of discourse and civility as I find on ET.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 06:58:13 PM EST
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Why are you speaking like this?  Sorry to dissapoint?  Who said anything about dissappointing?  I wanted to know if you remembered seeing the same things on tv in America.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:49:41 AM EST
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I wasn't offended by your response and perhaps I was a little too flip in mine. Perhaps I should have given more weight to the last sentences.  

What I recall from the 50s was traveling at night by car and listening to Billie James Hargis on the radio railing on about GODLESS COMMUNISM and the need for a Christian Crusade Against Godless Communism.  I found him annoying at age 16, even though we listened mostly to laugh.

By the time I got to OSU and was taking Russian language and Russian History the official atheism  was the thing I liked best about the Soviet Union and would gladly have seen some of these fundamentalist clowns thrown down the well head first.  At least I wouldn't have had to listen to them rant any more.  Each semester we were asked to fill in a religious preference.  By my final year I was listing "League of the Militant Godless," Trotsky's old organization.

I enjoy your posts, even if we seem to mis-communicate in the comments.  Please bear with me.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 21st, 2008 at 01:19:04 PM EST
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To me it's clear that Poemless was just asking you whether you were an older american who would be able to remember the media coverage around the breakup of the USSR more clearly than her.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 21st, 2008 at 11:35:48 AM EST
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A lot of that "brave Georgian Christians triumph" line was US post-Soviet trumphalist gloating and seriously misrepresented the history of Georgia, especially by minimizing or ignoring the Russian contributions.

In the decades leading up to the incorporation of Georgia into the Russian Empire, (formally begun in 1801,) the local potentates had been actively seeking protection from the Tsar against the Turks.  Much of the modern Georgian identity was forged after it was incorporated into the Russian Empire.  Small detail.

It was not all sweetness and light.  The Monarchy that ruled over parts of the area inhabited by Georgian people was destroyed, and, in the process, the Georgian Orthodox Church lost its autocephalus status and Russia set up local organizations along the Russian line.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 11:10:13 PM EST
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Amsterdam has this photo from Georgia on his front page

Don't bother about it having been taken in 2003.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Aug 21st, 2008 at 05:12:17 PM EST
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