The Eighties

         The campaign starts at the end of 1983. In Bond time frame, this is after 1983's "Octopussy" (in June) and the unofficial "Never Say Never Again" (in October), but before 1985's "A View to a Kill" (the final and forgettable Roger Moore Bond film). I am taking as my premise the end of "Never Say Never Again" -- James Bond has just now finally and truly retired after over two decades of service (since the Dr. No mission in 1962). The new M revealed in that movie is an upper-class sort who originally had looked down on the double-oh branch. However, the latest nuclear trouble has convinced him that it is worth a shot.

         The campaign begins in December 1983. Reagan is winding up his first term, though not yet facing off with Mondale. The Dirty Harry movie "Sudden Impact" is big in the theaters. In October, the army staged a bloody coup in Grenada which is still being resisted by the U.S. -- plus there is fighting in Beirut where Marine barracks were blown up on October 23. In England, PM Margaret Thatcher is in her fifth year (since 1979). The IRA bombed Harrods on December 17, with alarming signs of support among the Irish populace.

Political Timeline

1978 -- Communist power was established in Afghanistan on 27 April 1978 through a bloody military coup. Communist Party boss Nur Muhammed Tariki becomes president, signs treaty of "friendship and cooperation" with USSR; mass arrests and torture of opponents.
1979 -- Year ends with massive Soviet military invasion to put down Mujahedeen and prop up Karmal regime. The invasion will last until 1988, with the Soviets fighting a constant guerilla war against Islamic Mujahedeen guerillas.
1981 -- U.S. Congress grants Pakistan a 6-year exemption from the Symington Amendment, which prohibits aid to any non-nuclear country engaged in illegal procurement of equipment for a nuclear weapons program. Pakistan accepts a $3.2 billion, six-year aid package from the US that includes the sale of F-16 planes.
1982 -- In April, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands. By June, the British regained control -- with around 750 Argentinians and 250 British killed in the conflict.
1983 -- On September 25, 134 IRA prisoners escape from the Maze prison.
1983 -- On October 13, the Grenadian Army, controlled by former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, seized power in a bloody coup. On October 25, 1983, President Reagan reported a landing on Grenada by Marines and Army airborne troops to protect lives and assist in the restoration of law and order and at the request of five members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
1983 -- On October 23, American foreign policy and pride suffered a terrible shock when a Muslim suicide bomber destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 240 U.S. Marines.
1984 -- On February 9, Yuri Andropov dies; Chernenko becomes General Secretary of the U.S.S.R. In July, Soviets boycott the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
1984 -- On March 15, Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, narrowly survived a Loyalist assassination attempt. He was saved by a British soldier.
1984 -- In July, the Saudis begin paying $1 million/month secretly to aid the Nicaraguan Contras. The money is deposited into Cayman Islands account owned by Contra leader Adolfo Calero.
1984 -- On November 4, Ronald Reagan defeats Walter Mondale in a landslide as the President of the United States.
1984 -- Dr. A. Q. Khan (known as the father of Pakistan's uranium enrichment program) announces that the Kahuta plant has succeeded in enriching uranium (although not to weapons-grade); other developments lead to increasing evidence of Pakistan's nuclear program.
1984 -- On June 5, Saudi Arabian jet fighter planes, aided by intelligence from a U.S. AWACS electronic surveillance aircraft and fueled by a U.S. KC-10 tanker, shot down two Iranian fighter planes over an area of the Persian Gulf proclaimed as a protected zone for shipping.
1985 -- On March 11, Chernenko dies; Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of the U.S.S.R.
1985 -- On October 10, U.S. Navy pilots intercepted an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Sicily. The airliner was carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro who had killed an American citizen during the hijacking.
On March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported to Congress that, on March 24 and 25, U.S. forces, while engaged in freedom of navigation exercises around the Gulf of Sidra, had been attacked by Libyan missiles and the United States had responded with missiles.
On April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in Libya.
1986 -- Bolivia. U.S. Army personnel and aircraft assisted Bolivia in anti-drug operations.
1987-88 -- Persian Gulf. After the Iran-Iraq War resulted in several military incidents in the Persian Gulf, the United States increased U.S. Navy forces operating in the Persian Gulf and adopted a policy of reflagging and escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Gulf. President Reagan reported that U.S. ships had been fired upon or struck mines or taken other military action on September 23, October 10, and October 20, 1987 and April 19, July 4, and July 14, 1988. The United States gradually reduced its forces after a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq on August 20, 1988.

Popular Films (by sales)


 $399,804,539    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
 $177,200,000    Tootsie
 $129,795,549    An Officer and a Gentleman
 $122,823,200    Rocky III
  $78,900,000    Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
  $76,600,000    Poltergeist
  $75,900,000    48 Hrs.
  $69,701,637    The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  $57,059,003    Annie
  $54,000,000    The Verdict


 $309,125,409    Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) -- May 25
 $108,400,000    Terms of Endearment (1983) -- November 23
  $94,900,000    Flashdance (1983) -- April 15
  $90,400,000    Trading Places (1983)  -- June 8
  $79,568,000    WarGames (1983) -- June 3
  $67,900,000    Octopussy (1983) -- June 10
  $67,600,000    Sudden Impact (1983) -- December 9
  $64,800,000    Mr. Mom (1983) -- July 22
  $63,800,000    Staying Alive (1983) -- March 15
  $63,500,000    Risky Business (1983) -- August 5
  $55,500,000    Never Say Never Again (1983) -- October 7


 $238,600,000    Ghost Busters (1984) -- June 8
 $234,760,500    Beverly Hills Cop (1984) -- December 5
 $179,870,271    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) -- May 23
 $148,170,000    Gremlins (1984) -- June 8
  $90,800,000    The Karate Kid (1984) -- June 22
  $81,200,000    Police Academy (1984) -- March 16
  $80,000,000    Footloose (1984) -- February 17
  $76,400,000    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) -- June 1
  $74,900,000    Romancing the Stone (1984) -- March 30
  $68,392,977    Purple Rain (1984) -- July 27

Popular Music (by Billboard)

  1. Every Breath You Take - the Police
  2. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
  3. Flashdance... What A Feeling - Irene Cara
  4. Say Say Say - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
  5. All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Ritchie
  6. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
  7. Down Under - Men At Work
  8. Beat It - Michael Jackson
  9. Islands In The Stream - Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
  10. Baby, Come To Me - Patti Austin and James Ingram
  11. Maniac - Michael Sembello
  12. Let's Dance - David Bowie
  13. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics
  14. Tell Her About It - Billy Joel
  15. Africa - Toto

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Thu Apr 22 12:18:46 2004