by John Hawkins | June 8, 2004 12:02 am
Today, ironically, many people will tell that the fall of the Soviet Union was a forgone conclusion and that Reagan was just lucky to be around when it happened.
But in actuality, Reagan totally broke with the policies of the predecessors & his every move was opposed every step of the way by the American left & sometimes by even his compatriots on the right.
Here are a few quotes from Ann Coulter’s book “Treason” that’ll give you a little more perspective on how unrealistic many people thought Reagan’s belief that he could bring down the evil empire actually was…
“(In 1976), (Henry) Kissenger proclaimed, “We cannot prevent the growth of Soviet power.” — P. 159
“Again in 1982, (US deputy secretary of state under Clinton) (Strobe) Talbott wearily proclaimed that it was “wishful thinking to predict that International Communism some day will either self-destruct or so exhaust itself in internecine conflict that other nations will no longer be threatened.” — P. 169
“A widely cited 1983 study conducted by thirty-five Soviet experts from Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, and other elite institutions predicted, “The Soviet Union is going to remain a stable state, with a very stable, conservative, immobile government…We don’t see any collapse or weakening of the Soviet system.” — P. 169
“The Soviet Union was certainly not behaving like a power in decline when Reagan entered the Oval Office. Soviet hegemony had been advancing steadily advancing for sixty years. More than a billion people lived under Communism. The USSR had nuclear weapons pointed at U.S. soil and outnumber the United States in conventional arms by ratio of about 3:1.” — P. 170
“The Soviets’relentless expansionism and prodigious military buildup, Nixon wrote (in his 1979 book “The Real War”), would force Americans to face “two cold realities for the first time in modern history” in the coming decade: “The first is that, if war were to come, we might lose. The second is that we might be defeated without war.” — P. 170
“Congressional Democrats repeatedly opposed funding anti-Communist rebels, they opposed Reagan’s military build-up, they opposed building a shield to protect America from incoming missiles, they opposed putting missiles in Europe. As a rule, Democrats opposed anything opposed by (the) Soviet Union.” — Ann Coulter, P. 171
“(In 1980), The (New York) Times sneered at Reagan’s “bluster, bravado, & refusal to recognize that America is no longer, if it ever was, king of the world”. — P. 180
“When an advance copy of Reagan’s “Berlin Wall” (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”) speech was circulated, it was vehemently opposed by “virtually the entire foreign policy apparatus of the U.S. government,” according to the draft’s author, speechwriter Peter Robinson.” — P. 184
I think this quote from Coulter sums it up pretty well…
“Reagan took an approach to the Cold War dramatically different from any other US President. To wit, he thought we should win. This was a fresh concept. At the time, it was widely ridiculed as a dangerous alteration of US policy. Only after it worked was Reagan’s dangerous foreign policy recast as merely a continuation of the policies of his predecessors.” — P. 158
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