The Reagan Legacy

Power Line points to more attempts to engage in historical revisionism of the Reagan legacy. The old line continues, that Reagan really didn’t win the Cold War, that it was mere coincidence, etc. The argument is repeated ad nauseam, but it’s never been true. Indeed, as Deacon points out:

As Oliver Kamm said, in the piece I posted yesterday, "while most issues of recent political history are ‘open questions’, the particular issue [of the effect of Reagan’s policies on Soviet behavior with respect to arms control and internal reform] is not. We have the testimony of Aleksandr Bessmertnykh and Eduard Shevardnadze, both Soviet Foreign Minister under Mikhail Gorbachev: they are adamant that Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative was crucial in convincing the Soviet Union that it had no alternative to concluding arms control agreements and undertaking internal reform. (Shevardnadze’s judgement is in his book The Future Belongs to Freedom; Bessmertnykh made his comment at a conference at Princeton University in Febuary 1993; both are cited in Andrew Busch, Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Freedom.)"

Granted, it’s true that Communism would have fallen eventually. However, it would have taken decades, and without Reagan’s tireless work to halt the spread of Communism in the Western Hemisphere the people of Nicaragua would have had to endure perhaps decades of tyranny. For all those who say that Reagan was wrong to help in the ouster of Noreiga, it is fitting that when given a free choice in a democratic election, the people of Nicaragua overwhelming voted not to allow the Marxists to gain power.

Reagan’s moral courage and his willingness to play hardball through programs like SDI brought the Iron Curtain down. As Will Collier points out the people of Eastern Europe won’t soon forget what Reagan did for them. It is quite clear from all the evidence that Reagan’s policies were instrumental in the fall of Communist tyranny across Europe.

One thought on “The Reagan Legacy

  1. Noriega was from Panama, not Nicaragua. I believe we invaded Panama in 89, so that one is not on Reagan. I am not sure we can say we liberated Nicaragua. The Sandanistas were in the beginning better than the fascist Somoza regime. The 1984 elections were free and fair according to most observers (despite the boycott by oppostion parties). The Contras were not much different from those terrorists who today attack Iraq. They mainly hit soft targets and their main goal was to totally disrupt Nicaraguan society. While it is true that the Sandanista regime became increasingly brutal, the only liberation the Contras would have offered would have been more Somoza type fascism. The Sandanistas deserved to fall, they, like all communists, could never be real democrats. But to spin the Contras some sort of freedom loving liberators just doesn’t match reality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.