Monday, June 14, 2004

More Reagan

The Weekly Standard is a few days late, but certainly not a dollar short, with seven articles on President Reagan on-line today. One of the seven is Baroness Thatcher's eulogy from last Friday's funeral ceremony, which I didn't link to then only because I was in the midst of Reagan tributes and hadn't read it through yet. But, as we all know, the Iron Lady always gets the big picture:

With the lever of American patriotism, he lifted up the world. And so today the world--in Prague, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Sofia, in Bucharest, in Kiev, and in Moscow itself--the world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and echoes his prayer, "God Bless America."

The Monkette2B and I were in Prague and Budapest last year and we can attest that the Czechs and Magyars are happy that the Great Liberator served his country and the world.

Also, DO NOT MISS this interview with Anatoly Shcharansky, now known as Natan Sharansky -- the former Soviet dissident imprisoned in the Soviet gulags on false charges of spying for the US in 1978 and released thanks to US pressure in 1986 -- he is now a minister without portfolio in Israel. Here is an excerpt:

[On hearing, while imprisoned, of Reagan's election:] We had very mixed feelings at first. Remember, we accepted it as a given that Jimmy Carter was the world's great human rights advocate. Only later, after we saw what words without action can mean, did it occur to us that words were all he could offer. But to his credit, it was Jimmy Carter who insisted on keeping the issue in the international spotlight. Remember, prior to him, no one seemed willing to offer even words. All we knew about Reagan was that he was a poorly regarded actor, and after living for so long in an Orwellian world where play-acting was all we ever experienced from our own leaders, the very fact that Reagan was an actor, I will say, left us far more concerned than encouraged at first.

[Q.]Were there any particular Reagan moments that you can recall being sources of strength or encouragement to you and your colleagues?

I have to laugh. People who take freedom for granted, Ronald Reagan for granted, always ask such questions. Of course! It was the great brilliant moment when we learned that Ronald Reagan had proclaimed the Soviet Union an Evil Empire before the entire world. There was a long list of all the Western leaders who had lined up to condemn the evil Reagan for daring to call the great Soviet Union an evil empire right next to the front-page story about this dangerous, terrible man who wanted to take the world back to the dark days of the Cold War. This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell's Newspeak was dead. President Reagan had from that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union.

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