Spare Us The Gorbasms
Take a look at this snort worthy excerpt from an Associated Press piece on Gorbachev:
“Mikhail Gorbachev’s magnetic brown eyes shine as brightly as ever, and he speaks with the same passion about the collapse of the Soviet Union as he prepares to mark his 75th birthday on Thursday.
The man who ended the Cold War and launched democratic reforms that broke the repressive Soviet regime continues to enjoy the limelight, globe-trotting on behalf of his political foundation and environmental group and taking part in charity projects.
At a meeting with foreign reporters this week, Gorbachev blamed the United States for losing a chance to build a safer and more stable world following the Soviet demise.
“Ending the Cold War was given as a gift” to the United States, but it only strengthened its arrogance and unilateralism, he said. “The winner’s complex is worse than an inferiority complex, because it’s harder to cure.”
“The man who ended the Cold War?” Please. Let’s clear up a few things, shall we?
Gorbachev was a commie dictator who was outsmarted at every turn by Ronald Reagan. In an effort to respond to Reagan’s maneuvering, keep the evil empire together, and to maintain the Commie stranglehold on power, Gorbachev instituted some economic and political reforms. Unfortunately for Gorbachev and fortunately for the rest of the world, things rapidly careened out of control. The people refused to be satisified with the little taste of freedom they’d gotten and the Commie hardliners whom Gorbachev surrounded himself with thought he was going too far and endangering their hold on power (They were right). This led to a failed coup, after which Gorbachev was a spent political force.
So, is Gorbachev a great figure in history? Not in the least. In fact, his only redeeming action was not sending in the tanks when the Evil Empire started coming apart at the seams. Otherwise, there’s nothing that makes him more deserving of praise than the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos, or any other two bit dictator who was toppled from power.
So why is Gorbachev being given credit for ending the Cold War? Because if liberals actually admitted that Reagan (along with Thatcher, the Pope, and a few other sidekicks) was responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union, it would also mean that they’d have simultaneously admitted they were wrong.
You see, despite what some liberals would like to have you believe, the Cold War was not a bipartisan affair during the eighties. To the contrary, the left fought tooth and nail every effort Reagan made to weaken the Soviet Union. They mocked Reagan, they claimed he was more dangerous than the Soviet Union, and they scoffed at the whole idea of “winning” the Cold War.
In short, the left treated Ronald Reagan the same way then as they treat George Bush today and incidentally, when history proves them just as wrong this time as it did with the Soviet Union, expect the left to try to rewrite history again to cover up how completely and utterly useless they were during the war on terror.
So, hey, AP, how about sparing us these “Gorbasms.” Gorbachev doesn’t deserve the praise.
Hat tip to The Corner for the AP Gorbachev story.
*** Additional Info ***: Here’s a little more on Gorby and how liberals behaved back in the eighties from my interview with Peter Schweizer:
John Hawkins: A related question to that one — The other theme that we hear from people on the left today is, “Well, We were all Cold Warriors back then” and “All of us were with Reagan.” How much help did Reagan actually get from the American left in fighting the Soviet Union?
Peter Schweizer: He got none. I mean, you can certainly find your occasional sort of Anti-Communist liberal, Henry Jackson, Scoop Jackson, Senator from Washington state, a liberal democrat that’s strong on defense, but those are really the exceptions to the rule.
It’s hard to find a single example of a liberal democrat supporting Reagan strategy, the strategy of cutting off access to western technology and credits, the Reagan strategy of the massive defense build-up, or the rolling back communism overseas. It’s really impossible to my mind to find any liberal democrat that supported all of those programs, all of which were critical to the success in the Cold War. You can find somebody that maybe supported the war in Afghanistan or maybe somebody who supported strong defense, but it’s really hard to find somebody that supported all of them across the board.
In fact, certain people like Carter and other officials, Tip O’Neil and others, often complained to the Soviets how dangerous they thought Reagan was. So it’s really revisionist history and I think is a perfect example of what the Irish meant when they said that, “Success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.” You know you have the success of winning the Cold War and now everybody claims to be part of making that happen.
John Hawkins: Would it be fair to say that Gorbachev was a Communist who wanted to save the Soviet Union but failed?
Peter Schweizer: Yes, I think that’s how Gorbachev would describe himself. Gorbachev was never a closet liberal in that he wanted to see the communist system changed to become sort of a social democracy, you know, a western style democracy. He was always a true believer in Marxism, Leninism; he always believed that the population of the Soviet Empire really did want socialism and he was stunned when he opened up the system and allowed people to actually voice their opinions. I think what Gorbachev had was a naive faith and belief in the system but he also had an enormous respect for Reagan and he knew that Reagan’s convictions were real, that Reagan did want to see communism wiped from the face of the earth, and Gorbachev did believe that the only way that they could compete against Reagan was by trying to radically change the system.
John Hawkins: One thing I’ve wondered about & I’d like to get your opinion on: When Gorbachev started to see the rebellions, when he started to see Poland going south, and he could see the writing on the wall that things were going to break up, why didn’t Gorbachev send in the tanks?
Peter Schweizer: I think for a couple of reasons. First of all, his main objective in Glasnost and Perestroika — this was really his account — was to get badly needed capital from the West. The oil and natural gas industries which had been cut off from western technology were not generating nearly the money they were before. They needed investment from the West. They were defaulting on bank loans. They needed western technology, computer technology, etc. to modernize their economy. So that was always his number one objective and he knew that by invading Poland or by invading any of the other countries that were starting to pull away, that would be completely gone, that he would set back his cause 20 years if he did something like that.
The second reason, I think, is that he honestly believed that even if these countries became more independent, they would be natural allies, that they were sort of faithful to the cause of communism even if they were a little bit bitter about Russian dominance. So I think that naivete’ played a role again.