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Monday, February 7, 2011

Ronald Reagan Revisited

The last few days seem to have been devoted to making Ronald Reagan a saint. As I listen and read all this stuff, all I can say is the writers and talkers were never actually there. And I was.
Both as Governor and President, Reagan was mostly a mediocre leader.

First of all, everyone agrees that he was basically a nice man, and I agree.

But when he was governor of California he tried to destroy the California University system over a snit.

He supported Joe McCarthy and that is not a credit

In the Iran-Contra affair, he probably broke the law big time.

But there is one thing, and only one thing, that Ronald Reagan should rightly be remembered for doing, and that is ending the Cold War without a single U.S. casualty, and that was a very, very good thing. It took nuclear war off the table.

And he did it in a typical Reagan fashion. Tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were at an all time high, and this team had planned a meeting to deal with the problem at 4:00PM. When the time came, Reagan told James Baker, his number one guy", "You fellas go ahead and work this out. I am going to take a nap". And they did. And he did.

The CIA had been presenting reports about the incredible strength of the Soviet Armed Forces (which actually turned out to be flat wrong) so the small advisory group decided that it must be a huge drain on the Soviet economy. Then they decided that they would push over the Soviet economy by bankrupting it. Hence, the beginning of the Star Wars project which worked beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

So the trade off was money vs. human life. I will gladly take that trade any day.

However, it did cost a helluva a lot of money! Take a look at our national debt year by year.

And speaking of the CIA, I think there is a huge problem there.

1) They completely blew the analysis of the armed forces of the Soviet Union and we could have just as easily gone to war on bad data.

2) They completely blew the lead-in to 9/11 in spite of the fact that Richard Clarke, Clinton's go to guy, was shouting about it years before.

3) They completely blew the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we did go to war.

The budget for intelligence is GIGANTIC, in the multiple billions! Nobody knows just how much because that number is a major, major secret. Probably no more than a dozen people know what that number is actually. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is an issue for the American people. Who calls the CIA, et al, to task?

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