Monday, November 9, 2009
Andrei Gromyko As Berlin Wall Butterfly
So, in chaos theory there is the butterfly that flaps its wings in Brazil, causing hurricanes in Texas. It is my view that the butterfly whose flapping wing led to the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago was none other than longtime Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko. In February 1985 he was the swing vote in a 4-3 outcome on the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for successor to Chernenko as General Secretary of the Party for Mikhail Gorbachev over hardline Moscow mayor, Viktor Grishin. Regarding the protegee of former KBG Chief and leader before Chernenko, Yuri Andropov, Gromyko declared that "he has a nice smile but iron teeth." Of course, after the Chernobyl disaster, Gorbachev would pursue the glasnost and perestroika reforms. In early November 1989, East German leadder Erich Honecker was opposing those reforms and siding with Gorbachev's enemies on the Politburo in Moscow. Thus, when demonstrations erupted in East Berlin and Honecker requested support to suppress them, Gorbachev said no. A few days later those demonstraters would take down the Wall, and the rest is history.