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Tags: reagan

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022) RIP

the late former soviet leader mikhail gorbachev

Moscow, Russia - Feb. 29, 1992: Former soviet president Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev at anniversary party of Nezavisimaya gazeta newspaper. (Konstantin Gushcha/Dreamstime.com)

Craig Shirley By Friday, 02 September 2022 01:18 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The last of the towering figures — save Lech Walesa, the dock worker and former president of Poland  has passed.

Long live Mikhail Gorbachev. But let us not let the accolades for this old collectivist get out of hand.

First, he did not end the Cold War. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War.

Reagan said one of his three big goals was to destroy the Soviet Union along with restoring the badly deteriorating American morale and the restoration of the U.S. economy.

At all, he succeeded wildly.

Reagan tamed out of control interest rates, while creating millions of jobs.

Reagan knew that a happy people are a productive people and thus could give him the tools he needed to not only revive a horribly sagging U.S. economy, but defeat communism as well.

When he came to power, Gorbachev had no intention of presiding over the dissolution of the Soviet Union which is why he tried to implement Glasnost and Perestroika to paper over his myriad problems.

But no Russian dictator going back to Lenin had ever willing given up power or territory. Gorbachev was still sending in troops into the Baltics during his dictatorship.

He was an old style dictator, with gulags to boot, who was forced to change because the times changed.

Plus Gorbachev found himself under enormous pressure applied by Reagan, who actually discarded the previous U.S. policies of containment, which later evolved into détente.

Reagan washed the slate clean and began his own policy of confrontation with the Soviets.

He increased the U.S. military budget, he initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or  "Star Wars") which really terrified the Russian bear. 

Reagan also sold shoddy oil pipeline cleaning equipment to the French, knowing they would lie and turn around and secretly resell it to the Russians. He made deals with the Saudis, knowing it wouldultimatley cut the cost of oil, a Russian exporting staple.

He used every means at his disposal to bring down the Soviets.

They had been failing as an empire for years, often derided as a "third world country with nuclear weapons."

During that time, tensions were at an all-time high.

Diplomatic license plates for the Russian embassy in Washington were changed to begin with the initials "FC." The running joke at the time was they stood for "F****ing Commie!"

Reagan was the straw who globally stirred the realpolitik drink.

He was the agent of change. He needed Gorbachev to be a yes man and go along with the dissolution of his own country, but Gorbachev never knew what hit him.

The Soviets always hated Reagan according to the "Sword and the Shield," a definitive book on the Cold War — by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin.

They in fact funded two propaganda agencies to spread disinformation about Reagan.

Fake News. Sound familiar? Maybe something todays left media would repeatedly engage in without blinking an eye.

In the end, Mikhail Gorbachev just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

Craig Shirley is a Ronald Reagan biographer and presidential historian having written six books on Reagan. He has also written The New York Times bestseller, "December, 1941" and just published the companion book, "April, 1945" to wide acclaim. He is also the author of the book "Mary Ball Washington," which won the People’s Choice Award from the Library of Virginia. His book on the 1980 campaign entitled "Rendezvous with Destiny" was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the five best campaign books of all time. Read Craig Shirley's Reports — More Here.

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CraigShirley
Long live Mikhail Gorbachev. But let us not let the accolades for this old collectivist get out of hand. First, he did not end the Cold War. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War.
reagan
592
2022-18-02
Friday, 02 September 2022 01:18 PM
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