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6.06.2004

A brief retrospective on Reagan 

Here's a long article from the Washington Post.

On the minus side of the ledger, Reagan helped rack up astronomical deficits, oversaw dubious military campaigns in Honduras and Nicaragua, sold arms to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, and showed almost zero concern for the less affluent members of society.

On the plus side, he essentially won the Cold War. As the Post put it:


Administration critics contended that Reagan had contributed to the crisis with anti-Soviet rhetoric and by conducting a massive U.S. arms buildup that he had promised during his 1980 campaign. On June 18, 1980, Reagan told The Washington Post that it "would be of great benefit to the United States if we started a buildup" because the Soviets were too weak economically to compete in an expanded arms race and would come to the bargaining table instead. He predicted the demise of the Soviet Union, most notably in a speech to British members of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on June 8, 1982, in which he said the Soviets faced "a great revolutionary crisis" and would wind up on "the ash heap of history." In another historic speech, on June 12, 1987, in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall, Reagan urged: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"


Basically, Reagan bid up the Cold War pot and forced the Soviets to fold.

I think Reagan comes out in the black here.

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