Just a little somethin to get you through a bad day . . . S.L.
Ronald Reagan is probably the best President this country has ever had. When Reagan took office the inflation rate for the previous year averaged 13.5% and three years later he'd brought it down to 3.2%. Under Reagan, the top marginal individual income tax rate fell from 70.1% to 28.4%, which freed up cash to be spent on goods and services - the essence of "Reaganomics". The policies President Reagan put in place led to an unprecedented wave of prosperity that lasted twenty-five years - a quarter century - and would still be ongoing except for liberal policies that forced the financial industry to engage in the creative measures that caused the credit and mortgage crisis that led to the current recession.
The theme of the Carter Administrations' policy against the Communists was 'detente' - which basically admitted we could not win against global Communism and therefore we would have to learn how to "get along". This policy saw Communist regimes being established in Angola, Afghanistan, Grenada, Nicaragua, Yemen, and Soviet client states established in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya. Ronald Reagan established the theme of his Cold War policy by simply stating: "We win, they lose." And he proceeded to deliver on that.
America's image overseas was of a weakened, defeated nation in the wake of the Vietnam debacle, where we cut and run and failed to support our South Vietnamese allies with funds and air power despite our written promises that we would do so. When radical Islamic student revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran, President Carter balked and did nothing and three days later an emboldened Ayatollah Khomeini to endorse the revolutionaries and their cause. This was the low point of America's image overseas. It speaks for Reagan's reputation that the Iranians were so eager and willing to resolve the crisis upon news of his election.
Along with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain and Pope John Paul II, Reagan was part of a powerful triumvirate that established the set of events that led directly to the downfall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union - without a shot being fired. I am especially grateful for that last part. I never thought I would see that wall come down without a bloodbath.
Now we are witnessing the successor of the old Soviet Union take pages from the old Communist playbook making moves on Ukraine. First they send in their intelligence personnel and saboteurs - KGB, GRU and Spetznaz - to destabilize society and agitate crowds, and identify targets for the eventual takeover - government offices, television and radio stations, newspapers, hospitals, logistical points and schools and universities - which will be taken down when conventional forces invade in the name of liberation, and peacekeeping. They did it in Hungary in 57, Czechoslovakia in 68, Afghanistan in 79, and we just saw them do it again in Crimea and they are not done yet.
Ronald Reagan said: "Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong." It is telling that the Russians made their move within a week of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announcing deep cuts in the defense budget, plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and to eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets.
The Russians see how the current Administration vacillates and does nothing. Obama and his sock puppet John Kerry strike fear into the hearts of no-one. The Russians saw weakness and amateurism on display over Syria and they knew they could get away with Crimea. Their troops are massed on the eastern border of Ukraine and it is time for the Spring Offensive. If Ronald Reagan was in office right now, NATO troops would be massed on the western border of Ukraine and arms, ammunition and advisors would be pouring into that country like there was no tomorrow.
We should do that - after all, we signed a piece of paper saying we would defend Ukraine when we talked them into disarming.
Wherever you are, Mr. Reagan, the Free World misses you now . . .