As the Crimea annexation plays out, some hawks long for the days of Reagan. If only President Reagan was alive, he would tell Mr. Putin to “get out of Crimea or else,” they say, or George Bush would have threatened Putin with cowboy-speak, and Russia would back down in fear. Fat chance!
The hawks always see threats as the answer to world conflicts. It doesn’t matter whether the dispute affects us or not, they just want us to show ‘em who’s boss by flapping our jaws and flexing our military might. They see Reagan as the man of steel, savior of the free world, and the guy who single-handedly toppled the Soviet Union. Europeans, however, and those more in the know, credit the Helsinki Accords as being the main force for causing the Soviet demise. I would believe the Europeans, who live there.
The right wing loves to credit Reagan because it gives them a hero. They don’t talk about Reagan’s raising taxes more than any other president, cutting and running in Lebanon, selling arms to Iran and illegally funneling money to the Contras, or giving three million illegal immigrants amnesty when he said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here.”
He was the guy who spent billions on the military, and taught Dick Cheney the phrase “deficit spending is meaningless.” It was Reagan who started the hatred for the government. Reagan’s con-game experiment in trickle-down economics, giving more money to the wealthy, has been a dismal failure, and is still having disastrous effects on our infrastructure, middle class, and the lower income brackets today. Declaring war on unions, Reagan fired 16,000 air-traffic controllers in a labor dispute, and this was after their union supported him in the election. The right wing has an ongoing war on the unions today.
At this point in time, we need to rely on negotiation and our G7 partners in Europe to determine the course forward in dealing with the Ukraine situation. Our nation is war weary. We failed in the Vietnam War, fought a needless “war of choice” in Iraq launched under the false claim of weapons of mass destruction, and we’re finally winding down our forces in Afghanistan. We’ve wasted trillions of dollars on wars, and left hundreds of thousands dead and injured in our wake. It’s time we pay attention to what is needed and wanted here at home and stop being the world’s policeman.