Richard Perle har en artikkel i Sunday Telegraph som nettopp tar for seg Ronald Reagans historiske rolle når det gjaldt å få slutt på den kalde krigen. Det går en linje fra Ronald Reagan til Mikhail Gorbatsjov. At Gorbatsjov erkjente at systemet ikke fungerte og var dødsdømt, skyldtes til dels Reagans politikk.

Men vestlig liberal elite har problemer med å svelge at den ikke-intellektuelle eks-skuespilleren kunne oppnå resultater.

Det finnes klare paralleller mellom Reagan og Bush jr. De har begge en ukonvensjonell tilnærming til sikkerhetspolitikken. Men på den økonomiske er de like: Reagan hadde trickle down-politikken, og Bush gir både skattelette til de velstående og rike, og lar de føderale budsjettene og underskuddene vokse. Det er ikke sunn poliitkk.

Bush har sikkert studert Reagan, ikke bare valgkampene, men også hans politikk.

What made Reagan different from his predecessors was his contrarian optimism about Communist tyranny. To the consternation of conventionally-wise foreign ministries around the world, Reagan saw and proclaimed that the «evil empire» was headed for the «ash heap of history». It was not principally the European missile deployment that alarmed Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernyko and eventually Gorbachev. Nor was it the rebuilding of American forces nor even the SDI – although the Soviets, actively working on their own version of SDI, feared that US missile defences might neutralise Moscow’s nuclear missile force. Indeed it was those offensive Soviet missiles, a daunting technological accomplishment, that blinded much of the world to the Soviet Union’s economic and social failure.

Rather, what caused the Kremlin dictators to dread an actor turned politician was Reagan’s determination to put a lighted match to what he saw was the desiccated ideology of the Soviet Union’s «scientific socialism». In foreign ministries around the world, in academic and other «politically correct» elite circles in London, Paris and Bonn, the American president had launched a destabilising philosophical war against the vast Soviet Empire. Even now, the irony that so non-intellectual a man should choose to engage the Soviet Union on the battlefield of ideas has eluded most commentators and historians.

How they misjudged the Reagan I knew
By Richard Perle
(Filed: 06/06/2004)