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This raised a smile here, Adam. Who are the three perps and the bullfighter?
Thanks KT — I think it’s all linked (mega-captioned in fact) if you click on the Washington Times’ picture. Not Nancy, though, that’s Elizabeth Dole. Nancy I believe did attend the Republican debate at her husband’s library. At some point in the next year I am aiming to get into Reagan Archives, as I am in Los Angeles with some frequency and it would be a crime not to pay homage to the man’s documents, after all.
Neither the happy people worshipping their idol on picture one, nor those on picture two, can be called liberals, right? I’m not arguing that Reagan was the right man at the right time – he probably convinced Moscow that they were doomed, but he also de-industrialized America, and deregulated the financial markets with the known effects.
Both Western extreme conservatism and totalitarian ideologies have rather closed worldviews. The leaders may know some windows to the outside world, take a look outside once in a while, and even draw conclusions from what they see; their followers most probably won’t. Everything that goes right or wrong will be interpreted until it fits into their views again, about in the way evangelical Christians might explain good or bad weather: the Lord has blessed us with sunny weather / the Lord tests our patience, respectively.
But Reagan was a skilled communicator – at home and abroad, even in the Soviet Union. The sometimes rude way he expressed his suspicion of the Soviet leadership probably impressed Moscow. After all, it was their way of communicating, too.
One more thing – it seems to me that Reagan intuitively understood the nature of totalitarianism.
JR. I would rather focus on the criminal nature of many cabinent and other officials in the Reagan admims, which are given a pretty damming treatment by wiki. The CIA ran amok under Casey and was arguably involved in wholesale cocaine importation (pace Peter Dale Scott who crosses all the i’s and dots all the t’s) the subversion of democratically elected govts, the arming and training of right wing death squads in Central and South America, Iran Contra gate, etc. In fact, half his official associates were shysters, outright criminals, perjurers, military opportunists and/or other types of ignore-the- law scumbags.
In fact, I would be hard pressed if asked to choose between Nixon or Reagan. Strip him of his so-called great communication skills, give him Milhouse Nixon’s five o’clock shadow, and you couldn’t tell the difference between the two.
Oh, I forgot, his ham fisted interventions in Lebanon as oultined by Robert Fisk and his covert alliances with tent show shyster Evangelicals at home.
I suspect you are*** fixating on the US_Soviet face-off*** and are ignoring the damage he and his associates did to the democratic process within a USA which was just getting over the constitutional damage done by Nixon et al.
You have to ask yourself where did Castro and Chavez get their supply of political oxygen from. They were, and are, regional political blowbacks from the Reagan years.
Finally, his great military succes in Grenada where he effected the capure of 14 Cuban aid workers armed with shovels.
Written in haste thus lack of direct supporting references,
Your thoughts also Adam. Thanks.
That’s an interesting point about Nixon and Reagan being fairly similar; of course they are both Southern Californians at the end of the day, in spite of all the midwestern patina/origins.
Castro’s oxygen came or comes from a U.S. policy which has been carried out throughout the second half of the past century, and which is still in place, KT. The blockade on Cuba plays in the same immoral league as does China’s blockade of Taiwan – but that’s nothing to attribute to the Reagan administrations in particular. Chavez gets his oxygen from appealing to peoples’ mortification – the American policy on central America alone is certainly very helpful here, but Venezuela’s upper class may be even better oxygen for Chavez, than the Yankees.
Reagan doesn’t look like a very dedicated president to me, and not like one who was interested in administration at all. Much of his love for “small government” probably came from his lacking governing skills. But I don’t need to demonize either him, or Nixon. Besides, Reagan’s policies quite possibly helped to free my compatriots east of the Elbe from Soviet rule one generation earlier than it would have happened otherwise.
That this helped my country, rather than America, is a different story. But after all, I’m German, not American. My focus on Reagan’s cold-war skills is quite natural.
I think I’ve made it clear enough that Reagan, in my view, did more damage than good to America. But while he was a more sluggish administrator than other presidents, and government departments took more obscure ways than his predecessors, some criminal energy has always been there.
Those are some pretty kind words for Reagan, of course the Bush I. historians would argue that it was in fact the former Vice President who sped things along in 1989-90, Condi Rice included.
I think attributing American de-industrialization to Reagan (as I’m doing) isn’t exactly kind, Adam. In fact, I believe, Reagan’s terms in office spelled disaster for the American economy, and the incumbent president is trying to pick up the debris, and gets criticized by those who ruined it..
But I do attribute the outcome of the cold war mostly to Reagan. Bush I. – as far as I can see – helped to ensure a soft landing, in 1989/1990. So did Gorbachev.
I credit the Leipzig demonstrations to the Chinese students in Beijing, 1989! At least that’s what the exhibition in 2010 Alexanderplatz had me believing…
If you organize an exhibition in Leipzig or Berlin and see anything other than peoples’ power in play there (be it in Leipzig itself, , your exhibition will be DOOMED, Adam. And if you attribute something in it to Reagan there, you’ll be double-doomed.
If the Soviet tanks hadn’t stayed in their depots, there wouldn’t be a Heldenstadt Leipzig these days, our politicians (Germany-West) would be discussing business with Honecker’s heirs every day, and our press, on their feature pages, would discuss if the demonstrators hadn’t been misguided, in 1989.
aha! this makes sense. although Guttenberg, the plagiarizing former defense minister, did have nice things to say about Reagan (and on the front page of Berliner Zeitung, no less!) before the young hawk was debunked.
I also appreciate that point about the counterfactual histories that might have gone forward in the event of Soviet military grips
… be it in Leipzig itself, be it in Beijing…
Umm… I’d feel uncomfortable when my comments were somehow linked to Guttenberg, even if he hadn’t plagiarized. Few Germans you might ask will credit Reagan for anything, but in a way, that’s plagiarizing, too, in my view.
And many Germans do still like Guttenberg. I don’t, and his offense against academic integrity didn’t really surprise me.
Thanks for the link! I think he has mainly been forgotten in the States (Guttenberg, not Reagan!).
My post lacked a degree of precision – in relation to Cuba I admit – but contains longstanding views about Reagan and his sleaze in Central and South America. I will scan two great Reagan cartoons which I cut out decades ago and sent them to your site. And I guarantee they will raise a smile.
I also take your points and point of view.
A lot of Cubans would like to to the US embargo disappear: Their basketball teams could then compete in the MBA/US basketball conferences..
I look forward to your cartoons! There were so many great cartoonists working in the 1980s…
Looking forward to the cartoons, too, KT. You can embed them in the commenter thread, or send a link after posting them on your blog.
Many Thanks. Serious pc and scanner problems , so pls be patient.