I came upon a comment in a New York Time Book Review article in which the reviewer, Leslie Gelb, excerpts a bit of Peter Beinart’s new book “The Icarus Syndrome” as follows:
He [Reagan] wound down the cold war by embracing cooperation over confrontation with Mikhail Gorbachev. “Soviet Communism collapsed,” Beinart writes, “not because Reagan made America more frightening, but because he made it less so.”
A dumb statement like that reminds me of the Obamagogue in the White House, the head Orwellian liar who attempts to deceive with a straight face. But we are here to laugh at such comments, and smash them, and say to the Beinart’s of the world: we will not let your delusions distort the historical record even one iota, and especially not the historical record of one of the greatest leaders in the last 1,000 years, Ronald Reagan.
So let’s quickly review one of the many actions Reagan took during his first term and ask ourselves if Reagan made America “less frightening”, as Brainfart, er, I mean Beinart, would have us believe: the 1984 deployment in Europe of American nuclear weapons via 464 single-warhead U.S. ground-launched cruise (GLCM) missiles and 108 Pershing II ballistic missiles aimed directly at the USSR.
Let’s not forget the scene at the time: Moscow since 1977 had unilaterally been deploying SS 20 Saber missiles with first-strike capability through Western Europe (NATO’s alliance). Each missile possessed a 3,000 mile range, three independently targeted re-entry vehicles, and a nine-minute launch-to-impact.
In response to this offensive, aggressive maneuver, almost the entire free world was quivering with fear and begging Reagan to sign onto a “Nuclear Freeze” in which both superpowers would cease deploying new missiles and instead start destroying them.
In the fall of 1983 alone, about five million people, mostly in Western Europe, took part in demonstrations against the deployment of “Euro Missiles” (Pershing II). Protests stretched as well to Japan and Australia. <Source> <sasoc emphasis>
Never mind that a “freeze” at that time would have cemented Soviet domination over Western Europe and guaranteed its nuclear annihilation in a war, and thus the diplomatic intimidation of such a threat; western governments and people, including many in Reagan’s own administration, counseled Reagan to “not provoke” the Soviet Union and instead to effectively bow to its superior military and negotiating position.
But in the face of five million protestors in the streets throughout Europe, and in the face of the dramatic break-off of negotiations by the Soviets in 1983 (causing Liberals the world over to urinate on themselves) Reagan pushed forward in 1984 on his deployment of American nuclear weapons on European soil in order to counter-balance the Soviet threat but also to show America’s resolve on carrying out something it said it would do.
There is much more the the story, all of it vintage Reagan saving planet Earth from nuclear annihilation and preserving the USA and its beacon of freedom the world over, but for now I’ll end this essay with the obvious conclusion that before Reagan made peace with the Soviets, he unequivocally, and comprehensively, built up America’s military capability, meeting strength with strength, and thus made the United States far more frightening to the Soviet Union.