Monday, June 06, 2005

What really mattered: Ronald Reagan and the Cold War

President Reagan died on June 5, 2004, one year and one day ago. Mark Steyn wrote a nice obituary of the 40th President, which is available (for now) on Steyn's website at the link above. Read it all.

These two comments stand out for me. First, his description of the immorality of detente:

[The 1970s] was the era of “détente”, a word barely remembered now, which is just as well, as it reflects poorly on us: the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the free world had decided that the unfree world was not a prison ruled by a murderous ideology that had to be defeated but merely an alternative lifestyle that had to be accommodated. Under cover of “détente”, the Soviets gobbled up more and more real estate across the planet, from Ethiopia to Grenada.

And this priceless summation of Reagan's Legacy:

Ronald Reagan saw Soviet Communism for what it was: a great evil. Millions of Europeans across half a continent from Poland to Bulgaria, Slovenia to Latvia live in freedom today because he acknowledged that simple truth when the rest of the political class was tying itself in knots trying to pretend otherwise. That’s what counts. He brought down the “evil empire”, and all the rest is footnotes.

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