Ronald Reagan's legacy?

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Leonel JB

Ronald Reagan's legacy?

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:13 am

Guy, Justin or anyone, I need help with the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

" It's a sad day for the world "
Please, give me a break! The man was 93 years old, he had lived enough as far as I'm concerned.

" He toppled the Communist Soviet Union "
Well, the Soviet Union was " Socialist ". Communism is UTOPIC... Perhaps We were communist long time ago, when we lived in cave, hunting and eating together. That is the closest we've been to Communism.

The Soviet Union was about to crumble, for they didn't use their powerful, oppressive machine as the USA...

What has RR done for minorities lately?

I remember Grenada, Nicaragua etc etc. I really need help, folks.

Was he a good man/president?

This was a very sick man in the White House... Wow, it's giving me goosebumps. I think we have another lunatic in the White House. I am thinking second term like RR.

How about the eco
nomy?

I am not saying anything, cause, talking about someone whom I don't like.

Bref, I think that in USA, they should screen some voters. These are the ones who thought that RR was a good president, GB a smart guy???

Ronald Reagan?

The list goes on and on.

Again, I know that I will learn something from you guys. I would like to have compassion for the guy. Let me know about his legacy, I beg you.

It is the truth!

" ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG, THE BAD ALWAYS LAST "

Jesse Helms, R Reagan, the South Carolina senator etc.

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The Legacy of Ronald Reagan

Post by admin » Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:13 am


What is the legacy of Ronald Reagan? I hesitate to answer that question for the following reason: The man just died, after a long debilitating disease, which must have been a private hell for him and his family. Peace to his soul.

In addition, from where I stand, I don't have anything good to say about his presidency or his legacy. I do not wish to be totally one-sided, but try as I may, I only remember some mostly very bad things at this juncture:

- the dismantlement of the social net in favor of tax breaks for the rich (a policy continued by GWB's government at a level that RR could only dream about)

- a ludicrous Star Wars defense program which did not truly make sense to the scientific community but whose successful (unstated) purpose was to drive the Soviet Union into an accelerated decline. The Soviet Union was ripe for the picking, due to internal frac
tures and their disastrous war in Afghanistan, but it should be granted that Ronald Reagan did a powerful acting job with his Evil Empire speech that led inexorably to the bankrupting of the Soviet Union.

I am not shedding any tears whatsoever for the Soviet Union, but RR's "Evil Empire" paved way for GWB's "Axis of Evil" approach to foreign policy, that has bankrupted the United States of America financially and morally. At this stage of the game, it would appear that the spoils of the so-called war on terrorism have gone mostly to the Bin Ladens and to the Enrons and Halliburtons of the Elite Corporate Class (which is not losing any of its children in that war).

- Like you, I remember the assault on democracy in Grenada; the mining of the ports in Nicaragua, the illegal Iran-contra arms-trade and drug financing of the war against Daniel Ortega and his Sandinistas.

- I remember John Poindexter, John Negroponte, Olliver North, Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, Elliott Abrams, Jesse Helms, et
c. All cynical actors in the RR era, who continued their misdeeds or became powerful role models for the current administration.

In short, what I see as Ronald Reagan's (perhaps unintentional) legacy can be reduced to a first name, a last name, and a middle initial: George W. Bush.

That's not a legacy I would happily carry to my grave. Sometimes, it may be best not to have any recollection.

As I said before, peace to his soul! But no thanks for our current nightmare...

Noam Chomsky on Reagan's Legacy

Post by » Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:05 pm

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl? ... 07/1927239

Monday, June 7th, 2004
Noam Chomsky on Reagan's Legacy: Bush Has Resurrected "The Most Extremist, Arrogant, Violent and Dangerous Elements" of Reagan's White House

BY AMY GOODMAN

DEMOCRACY NOW - The network and newspaper coverage of the death of Ronald Reagan has brought forth a chorus of praise from Democrats and Republicans alike. Much of the reporting and commentary, under the guise of respecting the dead, has represented a dramatic rewriting of the history of the Reagan years in office.

Looking back at the Reagan presidency doesn't mean we actually have to look back. Many of the same people who populated his administration are in the George W. Bush administration as well: James Baker, Elliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell, John Poindexter, John Negroponte, just to name a few.

n
We asked leading dissident Noam Chomsky to reflect on the policies of Reagan's administration during his 8 years in power and Reagan's influence on the current Bush Administration.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, can you talk about this, the people that are now running the administration are some of the very people who ran the Reagan administration more than 20 years ago?

NOAM CHOMSKY: That's quite true. The Reagan administration is either the same people or their immediate mentors for the most part. I think one can say that the current administration is a selection of the more extremist and arrogant and violent and dangerous elements of the Reagan administration. So on things like - I mean, that is true on domestic and international policy they are, both in the Reagan years and now, they are committed to dismantling the components of the government that serve the general population -- social security, public schools and so on and so forth, but in a more extreme fashion now. Partly because
they think they have achieved a sort of higher stage from which to launch the attack, and internationally it's pretty obvious. In fact, many of the older Reaganites and Bush, number one people have been concerned, even appalled by the extremism of the current administration in the international domain. That's why there was unprecedented elite criticism of the national security strategy and the implementation in Iraq - narrow criticism, but significant. So, yes, they're there, in fact, you cannot -- some of the examples are remarkable, including the ones that you mentioned. And very timely they picked Negroponte, who of course has just been appointed, the new ambassador to Iraq where he will head the biggest diplomatic mission in the world. The pretense is that we need this huge diplomatic mission to transfer full sovereignty to Iraqis and that's so close to self-contradiction that you have to admire commentators who sort of pretend not to notice what it means, also to overlook, consciously, what his role
was in the Reagan administration. He also provided -- he was an ambassador in the Reagan years, ambassador to Honduras where he presided over the biggest C.I.A. station in the world, and the second largest embassy in Latin America, not because Honduras was of any particular significance to the U.S., but because he was responsible for supervising the bases from which the U.S. mercenary army was attacking in Nicaragua, and which ended up practically destroying it. By now, Nicaragua is lucky to survive a few generations. That was one part of the massive international terrorist campaign that the Reaganites carried out in the 1980's under the pretense they were fighting a war on terror. They declared a war on terror in 1981 with pretty much the same rhetoric that they used when they re-declared it in September 2001. It was a murderous terrorist war. It devastated Central America, had horrendous effects elsewhere in the world. In the case of Nicaragua, it was so extreme that they were condemned by the World Court,
by two supporting Security Council Resolutions that the U.S. had to veto, after which, of course, they rejected the court judgment and then escalated the war to the point where finally the effects were extraordinary. By the analysis of their own specialists, the per capita deaths in Nicaragua would be comparable to about 2.5 million in the United States, which as they have pointed out is greater than the total number of casualties in all U.S. wars, including the Civil War and all wars in the 20th century, and what's left of the society is a wreck. Since the U.S. took over again, it's gone even more downhill. Now the second poorest in the hemisphere after Haiti and not coincidentally, the second major target of U.S. intervention in the 20th century after Haiti, which is first. The recent health administration statistics show that about 60% of children under two are suffering from severe anemia caused by malnutrition and probable brain damage. Costa Rica, the United States is trying to - doing enough low-lev
el work so that they can send back some remittances to keep the families alive. It's a real victory. You can understand why Colin Powell and others are so proud of it. But Negroponte was charge of it in the first half the decade directly, and in the second half more indirectly in the State Department and National Security staff where he was Powell's adviser. And now he is -- he is supposed to undertake the same role and similar role in Iraq. He was called in Nicaragua "The Proconsul," and the "Wall Street Journal" was honest enough to run an article in which they headlined "Modern Proconsul" on which they mentioned his background in Nicaragua without going into it much and said, yes he will be the proconsul of Iraq. Now, that's a direct continuity, but there's a lot more than that. What you mentioned is correct. Elliot Abrams is an extreme case. I mean, he's now the head of the Middle East section of the National Security Council. He was -- as you know, he was sentenced for lying to Congress. He got a pr
esidential pardon, but he was one of the most -- he was in charge in the State Department of the Central American atrocities, and on the Middle East, he is way out at the extreme end of the spectrum. This does reflect the -- in a way the continuity of policies, but also the shift towards extremism within that continuity.

(...)

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Chomsky, I wouldn't want to end this discussion without talking about the Reagan years and Africa, particularly southern Africa.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the official policy was called "constructive engagement." I recall it during the 1980s, by then there was enormous pressure to end all support for the apartheid government. Congress passed legislation barring trade and aid. The Reagan administration found ways to evade the congressional legislation, and in fact trade with South Africa increased in the latter part of the decade. This is incidentally the period when Collin Powell moved to the position of national security adviser.

The U.S
. was strongly supporting the apartheid regime directly and then indirectly through allies. Israel was helping get around the embargo. Rather as in Central America where the clandestine terror made use of other states that served as -- that helped the administration get around congressional legislation. In the case of South Africa, just look at the rough figures. In Angola and Mozambique, the neighboring countries, in those countries alone, the South African depredations killed about million-and-a-half people and led to some $60 billion in damage during the period of constructive engagement with the u.s. support. It was a horror story.

Collective Amnesia or Collective Alzheimer's

Post by » Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:18 pm

Published on Monday, June 7, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

Collective Amnesia or Collective Alzheimer's: America 'Remembers' Ronald Reagan
by Paul Douglas Newman

To remember Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest Presidents of the twentieth century, to replace FDR on the dime with Reagan's profile as Republicans wish to do, we are being asked to forget too much.

We are asked to forget Lebanon, where Reagan decided to "cut and run" after hundreds of Marines perished when a suicide bomber invaded their compound.

We are asked to forget the arms for hostages deal.

We are asked to forget El Salvador, where the right wing ARENA, armed with Reagan money, Reagan weapons, and Reagan military training from the School of the America's at Fort Benning, Georgia slaughtered more than 80,000 civilians i
n the "War on Communism."

We are asked to forget the Iran-Contra Scandal, an event that he evidently "could not recall" in response to more than one hundred questions during the Congressional hearings.

We are asked to forget the groundwork laid for nuclear disarmament by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon.

We are asked to forget the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties I and II.

We are asked to forget the re-freezing of the Cold War following the Nixon thaw, when Reagan bellicosely denounced the Soviets as the "Evil Empire," and then joked on his weekly radio address that our missiles were ready to launch.

We are asked to forget the silly invasion of Grenada following the Lebanon disaster, and the reversal of goodwill gestures made to the Caribbean made by previous administrations, including the return of the Panama Canal.

We are asked to forget the Soviet Union's internal move to Perestroika, a groundswell that occurred over decades resulting in a genera
tion of new Communists by 1985 who were not manufactured by Reagan's bravado, but were products of the "Evil Empire."

We are asked to forget that Reagan presided over the worst recession since the Great Depression.

We are asked to forget the enormous cuts to social welfare programs and the Veterans Administration, moves that led to such an enormous rise in the homeless population, especially evident on the streets of Washington, D.C., that even comedians felt that they had to do something to stop the bleeding with "Comic Relief."

We are asked to forget the policies that enriched agri-business at the expense of small farmers, continuing the decline of the family farm to the point that recording artists were the only ones left to uphold the Populists' mantle with "Farm-Aid."

We are asked to forget that he slashed taxes for the wealthiest, raised taxes on the poor, and then bailed out the corrupt Savings and Loan industry at taxpayer expense.

We are asked to forget that
his SEC presided over such a corrupt and over-inflated stock market that the Dow saw the largest one-day crash in its history, greater than in 1929.

We are asked to forget that Reagan's economic policies effected a reversal in the trend toward greater distribution of wealth begun by Progressive Republican, Democratic, and Socialist politicians in the early twentieth centuries, and have led us to the greatest concentration of wealth today since the days of Andrew Carnegie and James Pierpont Morgan.

We are asked to forget the enormous and outrageous military contracts, for which American taxpayers paid hundreds of dollars for nuts, bolts, and toilet seats, and the nation saw defense-spending rise to astronomical heights.

We are asked to forget the Reagan Administration's opposition to the Civil Rights movement, their blocking of busing programs and cuts to Head Start meant to bring equality of opportunity to American education.

We are asked to forget that Reagan considered ketc
hup to be a vegetable in federal school lunch programs.

We are asked to forget "government cheese."

We are asked to forget jelly beans, splitting wood, bad b-movies, McCarthy-ite participation in Hollywood blacklisting.

We are asked to forget our history.

We are asked to forget, and forget, and forget.

And by the looks of the New York Times and Washington Post's memorials to the "Great Communicator," it appears that what historian Studs Terkel has referred to as "America's collective amnesia" is still acute.

Perhaps it is more serious than that.

Perhaps we have a national case of Alzheimer's Disease.

Perhaps our ability to remember relatively recent events has eroded, and our capacity for rational thought has diminished as well.

Perhaps we are becoming a danger to ourselves and others.

Perhaps we need admittance into a managed care facility for nations.

Perhaps we are "riding off into the sunset." How else do we explain
our descent into Bushism?: our quick repetition of past economic and foreign policy blunders, our re-visitation of failed policies to solve current problems, our persistent dementia that results in trying the same things and expecting different results? As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, only management of the symptoms and provision of comfort until death.

Hopefully Studs Terkel is right, and we've just suffered another blow to the head from which the American people will recover, and remember, and remember, and remember.
</b>
Paul Douglas Newman is Associate Professor of American History at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PA

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