Monday, May 01, 2006

 

Reagan le Poseur

The author of Black Hawk Down was on Terry Gross (or was it Diane Rehm?) yesterday (or was it today? -- it's all a blur in post-doc land) talking about his new book on the hostage crisis in Iran about a quarter century ago ... and it got me thinking: is there anything good for which Reagan and his cronies took credit that wasn't actually thought up, if not implemented by someone else?

Winning the Cold War: happened because we followed the Truman admin's containment policy

Precipitating the End of the Cold War: alright, I'll give the conservative strategerists Afghanistan, but that was Carter and CO's idea -- 'cept they weren't dumb enough to actually arm and train the mujahedin to the extent that Reagan did ... we paid nicely for that on 9/11, didn't we?

Responding to the End of the Cold War: Reagan was peddling his "Evil Empire" schtick long after it was getting old. Everything the Reagan admin did in its second go around was actually from Mondale's plan -- listen to the 1984 presidential debates where you'll see Reagan spewing forth inflamatory rhetoric about the USSR (which sabre-rattling may have actually prolonged the Cold War and Soviet government rather than promoting their folding) while Mondale actually puts forward in great detail the plan of constructive engagement for which people give Reagan credit. And given how Reagan and CO botched Carter's idea of bogging the USSR down in a land war in Afghanistan, one suspects Mondale would have handled the transition out of the Cold War a bit more astutely than Reagan/Bush.

Rescuing the Iranian Hostages: unless the speculation about funny business by Reagan and CO (which would be, btw, highly treasonous -- are Reagan admin boosters admitting that administration was treasonous?) it was Carter and CO that successfully pulled off the negotiations.

So would someone please tell me why is St. Ronnie venerated so much?

*

Election results which were not merely bad but in which this country was placed in a handbasket and directed toward hell:

1876: the most qualified and popularly elected candidate, Samuel Tilden, was denied the presidency while the richers in the North and the South got to see the end of Reconstruction and the re-feudalization of the South as a resource colony for the North

1984: the American people overwhelmingly voted for an empty suit who said good sounding things over an emenantly qualified candidate, showing everyone that substance doesn't matter in US politics

2000/2004: I needn't say anything here ...

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