I’m not a fan of the US Republican Party, but I was a fan of US President, Ronald Reagan. Sure, he had his idiosyncrasies when it came to social reform and domestic policy in American, but his stance on the Soviet Union was unwavering, and in the end, his administration oversaw the increase in economic spending in the form of an open arms race with the Soviet Union, as well as a covert proxy war funded and fought via the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. The results being the economic crippling of the Soviet Union, eventually leading to its ultimate collapse.
His words spoken two decades ago are every bit as valid and relevant today as they were then. His dubbing of the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” could be as much describing today’s Russia ruled by an increasing megalomaniacal menace, Vladimir Putin, as it was then to describe Gorbachev’s politburo back in the 1980’s. The difference that set’s Gorbachev and Putin apart is that Gorbachev was actually trying to rebuild the Soviet Union for the better, whereas Putin aims to cling on the power come hell or high-water, lest he be dragged off his perch and prosecuted by the proletariat for the various crimes he has committed against them in his 16 years in power.
Reagan rightly pointed out of the Soviet’s that “they lie, they cheat, you can’t trust them”. It’s a lesson forgotten by today’s Western “leaders”. Only two weeks ago, a wet behind the ears Federica Mogherini announced a plan to lift sanctions against Russia and rebuild economic ties with the dictator, whilst our neighbours in Ukraine continue to fight and die as their country struggles against the occupation from it’s aggressive Russian neighbours. It seems that despite Europe’s leaders being taught the lessons of history, such as Hitler’s bare-faced lies to Neville Chamberlain or of the duplicitous Stalin carving up the map of Europe in Yalta, they still prefer to live in a world where they believe that today’s world leaders wouldn’t dare dream of thinking or acting in a similar fashion.
But one has to only look at Putin’s track record to know that he is capable of anything and has in fact already shown that to be the case. His crack down on freedoms of speech, his near monopolistic stranglehold on the press, and the increasing, almost monotheistic “Power Vertical” he so lovingly refers too in his speeches, all point to a man who has become drunk on power. And his continued wars in Chechnya, Transnistria, Dagestan, Georgia and now Ukraine all demonstrate that he will stop at nothing to maintain his position at the top at home, and project his power abroad.
In Reagan’s own words back then, “detente” with the Soviet Union was a “one way street” and that the Soviet Union repeatedly acknowledged and declared that their intention was to “further their [communist] cause. Meaning that they reserve the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that”. This pretty much sums up today’s Russia and Putin’s current foreign and domestic policies. But if you don’t believe me, then why not listen to the words of “Ronnie” and decide for yourself.