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Monday, June 07, 2004

How they misjudged the Reagan I knew
Richard Perle on Ronald Reagan:
Even now, the irony that so non-intellectual a man should choose to engage the Soviet Union on the battlefield of ideas has eluded most commentators and historians.

Reagan's was not the rhetoric of detente. His policy did not call for co-operative programmes in science, agriculture, space and energy. He took pains not to reassure but to discredit the Kremlin leaders. They ruled brutally. They ruled without consent. They built a military machine at the expense of the material wellbeing of ordinary citizens. Their economy produced only weapons, while their ideology produced cynicism at home and instability abroad. If pushed, they would fall.

... the truth is that Ronald Reagan was singular in understanding, and acting to exploit, the depth of Soviet vulnerability.

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