Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reagan & the Irish media

Due to my travels, I didn't see what the newspapers had to say about President Reagan until today. The Irish Times had a more generous editorial {sub. reqd.} than I anticipated.
Mr Bush's most important achievement - managing the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-91 - dealt in good part with the consequences of Mr Reagan's own effective anti-communist approach.
Yet, the Irish Times seems unable to recognize the importance of the various elements that made up the "effective anti-communist approach".
It is one thing to acknowledge Mr Reagan's political and historical achievements, quite another to endorse all his policy positions. Alongside his firm opposition to Soviet power there was a dangerous ratcheting up of military tension in Europe, subversion of change in Central America . . . At home Mr Reagan rhetorically opposed the big spending state, but left a legacy of huge budget deficits from bloated military spending.
Those are the very tactics that made up the "effective" approach. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

The Irish News {sub. reqd.} had the strangest observation:
While the reputations of both former leaders [Thatcher & Reagan] have not prospered since their retirements, Mr Reagan will probably be best remembered for the courageous way he returned to his duties after suffering serious injuries in an assassination attempt in 1981.
No credit for ending of the Cold War or America's economic rejuvenation. And, whatever about the Irish News's views, it's pretty clear that Reagan's reputation is much higher now than it was in 1989 when he left office.