Monday, July 23, 2012

Defending Ronald Reagan to the Hard Left

"Reagan and his administration are not above criticism, but Reagan most certainly is not to blame for the financial crisis or for the neoconservative wars for American hegemony," Paul Craig Roberts reminds his fellow CounterPunchers — The Left, Reagan and Cockburn. An excerpt:
    The Reagan administration’s interventions in Grenada and Nicaragua were not, as is sometimes claimed, precursors to Clinton’s war on Serbia and the Bush and Obama wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, with more waiting in the wings. Reagan saw his interventions in the context of the Monroe Doctrine, not as an opening bid for world hegemony.

    The purpose of Reagan’s interventions was to convince the Soviets that there would be no more territorial gains for communism. The interventions were part of Reagan’s strategy of bringing the Soviets to the table to negotiate the end of the cold war. Reagan believed that getting the Soviets to negotiate would be more difficult if they were still making territorial gains or gains that the Soviets might perceive in that way. Possibly, Reagan’s advisers were wrong to put a Marxist interpretation on political events in Grenada and Nicaragua, but that is the way Reagan understood them.

    When Reagan understood what the Israelis had lured him into in Lebanon, he pulled out. Reagan opposed war as an instrument of American hegemony. It is the neoconservatives who use war to achieve hegemony. Reagan was not a neoconservative.

    The left-wing is more interested to blame Reagan for the financial crisis than to understand the crisis. The left-wing accuses Reagan of deregulating the financial system and of setting up a “Plunge Protection Team” to rig financial markets.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Great article -- "Reagan was not a neoconservative." That line should be repeated as often as possible, just on general principle.

As for Reagan getting blamed for the financial mess we are in, it was the Democrats in Congress who refused to cut spending, and it was Carter and Clinton who set up the housing scheme via federal regulations. Can't set that at Reagan's feet.

July 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger Brandt Hardin said...

Reagan has a legacy so distorted by the Conservative idolization of him that we may never have a clear picture of the real man behind the television set beyond the elaborate myth now concocted around him. Did he really rid the world of commie scum? Did destroy or save our economy? Check out my portrait of The Gipper and help me figure it out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-100th-gipper.html with some Cold War Hollywood!

July 31, 2012 at 7:41 PM  

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