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An opinion from someone who thought Reagan a piece of crap

 
 
kev
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 08:23 am
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=336&row=0
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,901 • Replies: 46
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thehamster
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 09:20 am
Yeah sure that guy's pointing out some obvious things.
But tell me one leader of the world that hasn't blood on his hands due to wrong decisions made by himself or his cabinet...
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 09:26 am
It's always easier to comment about the great people in life. It's being a great person that's difficult.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 09:27 am
You're right hamster, but I do get rather tired of all the accolades.

Kev, glad that journalist had the guts to say what needed saying....and as Reagan would say:

Well.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 11:14 am
I never liked RayGun. My college boyfriend was accepted to medical school at USC then rejected when RayGun decided he didn't want any out of state students in CA.

Someone on another forum posted some of the more idiotic things RayGun said, like the line about trees killing people. gosh! an oak abortionist!
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 04:46 pm
And by his own admission we have the second coming now occupying the oval office. The American public it would seem are gluttons for punishment. Embarrassed
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 07:28 am
The one thing that bush and RayGun have in common is that neither were/are actually the president but a sort of front man for conservative interests. . . a marionette, if you will. Neither had/have the intellect to, oh, how about work the check out at a supermarket and yet both were selected by their party to fill in at the Oval Office.
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Jim
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 07:33 am
The US has been salivating over Lincoln now for 150 years. Yes, he saved the Union - at a cost of 500,000 lives.

Churchill/FDR/Stalin did eridicate Facism from the face of the Earth. What was the cost there? 30 million?

Reagan/Thatcher freed Eastern Europe and dismantled the Soviet Union. Not a shot fired.

Was Reagan great? You bet.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 07:44 am
Jim.
Any comment regarding his involvement in the Iran- Contra affair. And the fact that he was just a figure head during almost his entire second term.

I will admit however, that our present monkey is much worse.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:03 am
Jim wrote:
Reagan/Thatcher freed Eastern Europe and dismantled the Soviet Union. Not a shot fired.

Was Reagan great? You bet.


What is this bull about Reagan (and Thatcher, even!) "freeing Eastern Europe and dismantling the Soviet Union"!?

It's not you, Jim, nothing personal, it's just how many times have we heard this now the past week?

What utter disrespect for the thousands of dissidents, human rights activists, underground trade unionists, who fought the Communists at home in Poland, Hungary, name it - and the tens of thousands who stood up and defied their dictators in the first 1989 demonstrations, risking their lives, at a time when those were still well able to shoot back ...

What disrespect, too, for the brave (yes, brave) reform communists who dared leave or challenge the fold at a time when it could still well have landed them in internal exile or worse - the ones who were too early, and who are now nameless victims, and the ones who dared to just in time, like Gorbachev.

Yes, the ratcheting up of NATO military expenses played an important role. It weakened the economic basis of the Soviet empire ever further, making it ever harder for the sleepyheads of stagnation to cruise on with their dictatorship as if nothing had changed. But that in itself did not "free" Eastern Europe "without a shot being fired". It merely created the conditions that would edge a reasonably level-headed communist boss on, when one finally did appear on the scene, to venture into a bold reformist adventure of his own.

Remember, it could all have ended in a Tien-a-Mien Square. The 1991 coup could have succeeded, at least for a while. If the streets hadnt filled up with Russians, back then, if Yeltsin hadnt been up there defying the tanks -- or if in the GDR two years earlier defenceless demonstrators hadnt stood there in Leipzig, chanting "Keine Gewalt!" -- if one Central-European apparatchik hadnt forced another to withdraw the tanks and not mow 'em all down -- how many deaths would there have been? How much longer might this or that Communist state, or even the Eastern Bloc as a whole, not have tottered on?

"Not a shot fired"! People did give their lives, in the anonimity of underground resistance before Gorbachev told his cronies in Poland, Czechoslovakia and the GDR to back off, henceforth - and in the open battles of Tbilisi, 1989, Timisoara and Bucharest, 1989, Vilnius and Riga, 1991 and Moscow, 1991. Don't you forget it!

Reagan "dismantled the Soviet Union" ... <mutters> ... I mean, sure his bold, controversial foreign policy played an important role, he was actually proven right, there, though he ratcheted up the risks way high - but he "freed Eastern Europe"? What, single-handedly? How bloody narcissistic can a nation be!?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:04 am
Amen.
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Jim
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:05 am
Iran-Contra. Hmmmm. Let's see now. Wasn't that when the US worked behind the scenes, pulling a few strings here, making a few bribes there, to try to meet our goals without full scale invasions and thousands of casualties of our forces? Compared to the present mess in Iraq, it sounds pretty good to me.
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Jim
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:09 am
Nimh - please accept my apologies for belittling the efforts of the brave Eastern Europeans who struggled for their freedom for decades.

But would their efforts have continued to yield few results if it wasn't for Reagan? And yes, of course shots were fired and lives were lost. But compared against the lives lost in two world wars, Korea and VietNam (not to mention what would have been lost if the US and USSR had gone at it) I believe that comparatively few lives were lost.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:15 am
There was just a thread here about how unbearably close we were to the US and USSR going at it -- saved thanks to a clear-headed Russian, who went cuckoo from the enormity of it all afterwards.

Reagan (may have) helped change occur, but that certainly doesn't mean he DID it.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:18 am
This is just the tip or the iceberg. I will leave it up to you to if you want to to go further . More than enough information related to the affair available on the web.
Executive Summary

In October and November 1986, two secret U.S. Government operations were publicly exposed, potentially implicating Reagan Administration officials in illegal activities. These operations were the provision of assistance to the military activities of the Nicaraguan contra rebels during an October 1984 to October 1986 prohibition on such aid, and the sale of U.S. arms to Iran in contravention of stated U.S. policy and in possible violation of arms-export controls. In late November 1986, Reagan Administration officials announced that some of the proceeds from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran had been diverted to the contras.

As a result of the exposure of these operations, Attorney General Edwin Meese III sought the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute possible crimes arising from them.

The Special Division of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit appointed Lawrence E. Walsh as Independent Counsel on December 19, 1986, and charged him with investigating:

(1) the direct or indirect sale, shipment, or transfer since in or about 1984 down to the present, of military arms, materiel, or funds to the government of Iran, officials of that government, persons, organizations or entities connected with or purporting to represent that government, or persons located in Iran;

(2) the direct or indirect sale, shipment, or transfer of military arms, materiel or funds to any government, entity, or person acting, or purporting to act as an intermediary in any transaction referred to above;

(3) the financing or funding of any direct or indirect sale, shipment or transfer referred to above;

(4) the diversion of proceeds from any transaction described above to or for any person, organization, foreign government, or any faction or body of insurgents in any foreign country, including, but not limited to Nicaragua;

(5) the provision or coordination of support for persons or entities engaged as military insurgents in armed conflict with the government of Nicaragua since 1984.

This is the final report of that investigation.



Overall Conclusions

The investigations and prosecutions have shown that high-ranking Administration officials violated laws and executive orders in the Iran/contra matter.

Independent Counsel concluded that:

the sales of arms to Iran contravened United States Government policy and may have violated the Arms Export Control Act1


the provision and coordination of support to the contras violated the Boland Amendment ban on aid to military activities in Nicaragua;

the policies behind both the Iran and contra operations were fully reviewed and developed at the highest levels of the Reagan Administration;

although there was little evidence of National Security Council level knowledge of most of the actual contra-support operations, there was no evidence that any NSC member dissented from the underlying policykeeping the contras alive despite congressional limitations on contra support;

the Iran operations were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, and national security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter; of these officials, only Weinberger and Shultz dissented from the policy decision, and Weinberger eventually acquiesced by ordering the Department of Defense to provide the necessary arms; and

large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials.

following the revelation of these operations in October and November 1986, Reagan Administration officials deliberately deceived the Congress and the public about the level and extent of official knowledge of and support for these operations.

In addition, Independent Counsel concluded that the off-the-books nature of the Iran and contra operations gave line-level personnel the opportunity to commit money crimes.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:39 am
Jim wrote:
Nimh - please accept my apologies for belittling the efforts of the brave Eastern Europeans who struggled for their freedom for decades.


No problem. It wasnt necessarily you - you just happened to be that exact nth person posting that line that made me flip about it.

Jim wrote:
But would their efforts have continued to yield few results if it wasn't for Reagan?


Dunno. Their efforts would surely have continued to yield few results (and many tears) if there hadn't been a Gorbachev. Its thanks to Gorbachev that the petty dictators of Central Europe, except for Ceasescu, refrained from clamping down in 1989. But that, admittedly, just shifts the question: would there have been a Gorbachev (or would Gorbachev done what he did) if it hadnt been for the way in which Reagan had pushed the empire to its seams? Perhaps, perhaps not. The Soviet Union had enough prior problems of its own making - a reformist might have come along, realising something needed to change, in any case. But perhaps not, or perhaps years later.

See, I don't have any problem with the claim that Reagan's gamble of upping the arms race significantly contributed to (or sped up) the unfolding reform process in the Soviet Union. It's claiming that he done did it - that he "liberated Eastern Europe" - that I find close to ridiculous.

Jim wrote:
And yes, of course shots were fired and lives were lost. But compared against the lives lost in two world wars, Korea and VietNam (not to mention what would have been lost if the US and USSR had gone at it) I believe that comparatively few lives were lost.


Absolutely true. But as Soz points out, it was a hell of a gamble.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:47 am
Most people think the Soviet Union imploded in part because what was practiced there was not true communism and that RayGun had nothing to do with other than being the marionette in the WH at the time.

As for Iran-Contra, well, that reminds me of the most recent installment of the British drama starring Helen Mirren which is called something like Last Witness. A man who was a murderer in Kosovo and in England as well was given protection by the British government in order in exchange for squealing on other murderers. Wow! That's as ethical as Iran Contra.

I feel jim is someone who rationalizes anything the morlocks (righties) do. Don't bother to respond to him: the lights are on but nobody is home.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:52 am
plainoldme wrote:
Most people think the Soviet Union imploded in part because what was practiced there was not true communism


So, like, if the Soviet Union had practiced "true" communism, it would have happily lived on forever? And that's what "most people" think? Really?

Not aware of that.

plainoldme wrote:
I feel jim is someone who rationalizes anything the morlocks (righties) do. Don't bother to respond to him: the lights are on but nobody is home.


Your opinion above is not argued in any better (or 'deeper') a way than his was.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:58 am
I doubt that if true communism were practiced that the situation would have been different.

Thinking of what people were saying during the 1950s, I don't think many knew what was going on in the Soviet Union at all.

As for the depth of argument, I wasn't arguing but I see no point in responding to jim, a lost cause.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 09:00 am
I disagree with a lot of what Jim says, but take exception to the "lights are on but nobody's home" and "lost cause" stuff. He's civil and seems to be willing to amend positions, both things I value in debate.
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