The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Friday, December 30, 2016

Reagan and the Cold War

Speaking of people who've been hanging around for longer than they should, let's hear out Paul Craig Roberts. The claim here is that Ronald Reagan didn't want to defeat the Soviet Union; he just wanted to end the Cold War.

Vox Day promotes this: It's kind of hard to argue with an eyewitness in the bureaucratic inner circle. I'm up for that challenge.

The problem I have with Roberts' columns isn't even that he relies so heavily on rhetoric, sneering at "neoconservatives" and the like. (Disclosure: I used to be one myself. From that standpoint, here.) It's that when you strip all that away, what's left is a confused morass devoid of an argument. Also, the man's a liar.

Roberts' base text is a Sputnik piece where Henry Kissinger is looking to develop ties with Russia. Kissinger believes that China is working to achieve hegemony in the South China Sea and thereby to extract rents on Pacific shipping. Plugging that dam is a priority, a normal person would think, not just for America but for all southwest Asia, just on the "God bless and keep the Tsar far from us" principle. One might try consulting also India, Africa, and the Near East with which superpower they should rather deal.

A normal person might further see Kissinger's overture as a pro-Russian tilt in American foreign-policy: the West wants something (the South China Sea), the Russians don't care about it, so let's find out what the Russians do want. Here is what Sputnik reports which Roberts does not, on what has been set upon the Russians' table:

Some of the steps include recognizing Russia’s dominance in former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as closing the eyes on Crimea and lifting sanctions from Russia in exchange for its pullout from eastern Ukraine, where it allegedly has troops.

Roberts somehow turns Kissinger's negotiation into an "erosion" of "Russia's sovereignty". The Sputnik article is talking about the exact opposite of this: in no place is Russia's recognised border challenged, and in fact in one place - Crimea - Kissinger permits the border to extend. (Novorussia might have been accepted as well except that even pro-Putin analysts know it as a trashcanistan.) I'll tell you whose sovereignty is being eroded: Ukraine's and Georgia's. As you can see Roberts can only get there from here by withholding evidence.

Moving back from modern Kissinger to classical Reagan, the great man is cited as holding these additional thoughts (and proving them right): did not believe the CIA’s claim that the Soviet Union could prevail in an arms race and the Soviet economy was in too much difficulty to compete in an arms race. So in what Roberts allows to slip through his stonewall, we see a President very much interested in an arms race. Reagan competed in this race by promoting the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense. Whether this was hype or not (Roberts claims hype), Reagan still competed in it. He did this whilst also knowing that the Soviets would compete back, which would end in the Soviet Union in a political crisis.

So we are back to what - again - Roberts won't tell us about what Reagan said: we win and they lose.

Forget anything Paul Craig Roberts says; his only interest is in spreading poison through America to weaken her position in the world. He is a snake. If you believe his articles, you're a dupe; if you claim to be intelligent and you promote them anyway, you're a snake too. For pro-Russian analysis, we are better off with the Saker.


posted by Zimri on 06:30 | link | 0 comments

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