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Cast a Giant Shadow - is the Reagan legacy a hindrance or a help to the GOP today?

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  • #31
    Reagan would cringe

    Originally posted by Provokatsiya View Post

    It disgusts me that Wolfowitz is advising Jeb Bush. They should have been PURGED.
    Quite so.
    A the neocons were a smugly and pathologically dishonest, incredibly stupid bunch of idiots who threw away the US hegemony handed to the Bush II administration in a few years after 9/11.
    Reagan was beyond coherent thought by then but would have been totally against what these fools undertook in Iraq.

    For Pete's Sake Bin Laden should have been made the priority period!
    The whole civilised world would have stayed on board until he was nailed.
    Instead you ended up by the end of Bush presidency with more anti-Americanism in many parts of the world than before 9/11.
    Incredible!

    Obama has essentially been the president tasked with managing US decline.
    Note I said manage it's decline not preside over it.
    He did not create the current situation.

    Regards lodestar

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
      Sort of similar to what Che is to leftists.
      Rarely and usually only with coffee house communists and artists but not among mainstream Democrats seeking a nostalgic and content free comparison with a political forefather. Kennedy is usually the Dem choice.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by lodestar View Post
        Quite so.
        A the neocons were a smugly and pathologically dishonest, incredibly stupid bunch of idiots who threw away the US hegemony handed to the Bush II administration in a few years after 9/11.
        Either you are being intellectually dishonest or you don't have an understanding of history regarding US hegemony.

        While the left has gone out of it's way to blame President Bush II for all of it's shortcomings, history paints a different picture.

        The 'hegemony' ended when the wall came down. The aftermath of Desert Storm ended the Cold War hegemony that the US had.

        Setting up a no fly zone over Iraq cost an estimate of one billion dollars a year to run. This included the actual bases, flights, and multiple deployments of US troops to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and other countries all to support the no fly zone.

        The no fly zone didn't stop Sadam from supporting terrorist attacks against it's neighbors.

        Signing an "Agreed Framework" with North Korea in October 1994...that lead to their eventual nuclear bomb....

        Originally posted by lodestar View Post
        For Pete's Sake Bin Laden should have been made the priority period!
        Bin Laden should have been made the priority:

        - On 29 December 1992 when they attacked the Gold Mohur hotel where US troops were staying.

        - On 26 February 1993 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was attacked.

        - In June 1996 when the Khobar Towers was bombed.

        - In August 1998 when two American Embassies were attacked.

        - In August 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked.

        Originally posted by lodestar View Post
        Instead you ended up by the end of Bush presidency with more anti-Americanism in many parts of the world than before 9/11.
        Where do you get the "more anti-Americanism" from?


        Originally posted by lodestar View Post
        Obama has essentially been the president tasked with managing US decline.
        Note I said manage it's decline not preside over it.
        He did not create the current situation.
        The US decline has been accelerated with President Obama. The world placed him on a pedestal....gave him the Nobel Peace Prize...worshipped him while he alienated allies and allowed enemies to take advantage of his foreign policy weakness.

        Drawing a red line and doing nothing when it was crossed.

        Telling Russia to wait until after the elections.

        Withdrawing missile defense from Central/Eastern Europe.

        Pulling out of a stable Iraq.

        Limiting the 'surge' in Afghanistan.

        The above are just a few of the international missteps that President Obama is responsible for.
        "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by lodestar View Post


          Obama has essentially been the president tasked with managing US decline.
          Note I said manage it's decline not preside over it.
          He did not create the current situation.

          Regards lodestar
          Not so. Obama was not in any way "tasked" with the decline of America - he volunteered. And he has facilitated and accelerated it at every opportunity.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Nichols View Post
            Either you are being intellectually dishonest or you don't have an understanding of history regarding US hegemony.

            While the left has gone out of it's way to blame President Bush II for all of it's shortcomings, history paints a different picture.

            The 'hegemony' ended when the wall came down. The aftermath of Desert Storm ended the Cold War hegemony that the US had.

            Setting up a no fly zone over Iraq cost an estimate of one billion dollars a year to run. This included the actual bases, flights, and multiple deployments of US troops to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and other countries all to support the no fly zone.

            The no fly zone didn't stop Sadam from supporting terrorist attacks against it's neighbors.

            Signing an "Agreed Framework" with North Korea in October 1994...that lead to their eventual nuclear bomb....



            Bin Laden should have been made the priority:

            - On 29 December 1992 when they attacked the Gold Mohur hotel where US troops were staying.

            - On 26 February 1993 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was attacked.

            - In June 1996 when the Khobar Towers was bombed.

            - In August 1998 when two American Embassies were attacked.

            - In August 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked.



            Where do you get the "more anti-Americanism" from?




            The US decline has been accelerated with President Obama. The world placed him on a pedestal....gave him the Nobel Peace Prize...worshipped him while he alienated allies and allowed enemies to take advantage of his foreign policy weakness.

            Drawing a red line and doing nothing when it was crossed.

            Telling Russia to wait until after the elections.

            Withdrawing missile defense from Central/Eastern Europe.

            Pulling out of a stable Iraq.

            Limiting the 'surge' in Afghanistan.

            The above are just a few of the international missteps that President Obama is responsible for.
            Excellent and well said.

            Some of the self-proclaimed "experts" here are expert only in the depth of their ignorance, or bias, or both.
            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

            Comment


            • #36
              US keeping its powder dry as per lodestar's advice

              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              Not so. Obama was not in any way "tasked" with the decline of America - he volunteered. And he has facilitated and accelerated it at every opportunity.
              He has to date managed to keep the US out of a new 'boots on the ground' quagmire in the Middle East and elsewhere.

              The 'send in the Marines' knee-jerkers (McCain and the like) need to be resisted.
              There is absolutely no popular groundswell amongst the American people for US (re)intervention with major forces in the Middle East.
              Once you go in you start taking losses and the body bags start to be unloaded.

              America has, for now at least had enough of that, thanks very much.


              I'm sure the Joint Chiefs of Staff is thanking their lucky stars they've got a C in C who knows WHEN NOT TO FIGHT. The last thing they want is another open-ended friggi'n buzz-saw to walk into.

              It's high time someone else in the West did the heavy lifting if it is decided it must be done.
              Or else simply hand major ground ops over to the Soviets (sorry, sorry Russians) like the West did in WWII, the last tine it abrogated responsibility for serious ground fighting.

              As this thread is about Reagan, it needs to be remembered he was one of the few US post- WWII presidents who did not 'start', 'own' or 'inherit' a war.

              Truman had Korea

              Ike inherited Korea and started mission creep (or whatever) Vietnam

              JFK inherited and had Vietnam

              LBJ inherited and had VN

              Dick inherited and had VN and Cambodia

              Ford inherited and had (had had enough by then I imagine!) VN

              Carter had bad luck

              Bush Snr had Gulf War I

              Clinton had the Balkans

              Bush Jnr had really, really bad advice

              Obama inherited Iraq and Afghanistan

              Reagan had? What?: a dabble in Lebanon which he thankfully did not escalate

              and Grenada where a mere 7600 U.S. Marines, Paratroopers, Rangers et al despite massive odds overcame some 600 Cuban construction workers (sorry couldn't resist, I'm sure it was pretty hairy if you were there - and a Cuban!)

              Regards lodestar

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                Except the GOP isn't the TEA Party. Yes, TEA Party candidates run as Republicans generally to get elected but then Socialists and other hard Leftists run as Democrats for the same reason. But, the GOP is still more Centrist than Right Wing and that makes the party as a whole open to compromise. The Democrats oppose compromise as a whole as does the Right of the GOP now, like the TEA Party.

                I for one would rather have no compromise with the Left than see the Center cave into them. The Left has nothing but a solid history of train wrecks in economics, social order, government, freedom, and virtually every other positive value you want to mention. Leftists invariably end up at dictatorships, confiscation of personal wealth, political cronyism, incompetence, malfeasance, and a whole plethora of other destructive values.
                Same is true of the extreme right although you may have to look outside the U.S. for the most appropriate examples.
                We hunt the hunters

                Comment


                • #38
                  By some of the posters reasoning here, Reagan should have invaded Beirut full force.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BKnight3 View Post
                    By some of the posters reasoning here, Reagan should have invaded Beirut full force.
                    That is just it.
                    The icon Reagan seems to have little to do with an the actual politician. He came at a good time, presented well, but in reality he got into messes, covered up, compromised and didn't always do what he said or promised just like every other politician must.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by lynelhutz View Post
                      That is just it.
                      The icon Reagan seems to have little to do with an the actual politician. He came at a good time, presented well, but in reality he got into messes, covered up, compromised and didn't always do what he said or promised just like every other politician must.
                      Too many forget.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                        He has to date managed to keep the US out of a new 'boots on the ground' quagmire in the Middle East and elsewhere.

                        The 'send in the Marines' knee-jerkers (McCain and the like) need to be resisted.
                        There is absolutely no popular groundswell amongst the American people for US (re)intervention with major forces in the Middle East.
                        Once you go in you start taking losses and the body bags start to be unloaded.

                        America has, for now at least had enough of that, thanks very much.


                        I'm sure the Joint Chiefs of Staff is thanking their lucky stars they've got a C in C who knows WHEN NOT TO FIGHT. The last thing they want is another open-ended friggi'n buzz-saw to walk into.

                        It's high time someone else in the West did the heavy lifting if it is decided it must be done.
                        Or else simply hand major ground ops over to the Soviets (sorry, sorry Russians) like the West did in WWII, the last tine it abrogated responsibility for serious ground fighting.

                        As this thread is about Reagan, it needs to be remembered he was one of the few US post- WWII presidents who did not 'start', 'own' or 'inherit' a war.
                        Truman had Korea
                        Due to a mistake in drawing lines that defined "Spheres of Influence" that encouraged Russia / the Soviets to take advantage of that political statement.

                        Ike inherited Korea and started mission creep (or whatever) Vietnam
                        But, Korea was pretty much over and done with and in Vietnam Eisenhower sent a mere handful of advisors along with military aid. Vietnam wasn't a major problem for his administration.

                        JFK inherited and had Vietnam
                        Like Eisenhower JFK had just advisors and small numbers of special forces (less than 20,000) in Vietnam and was sending military aid.

                        LBJ inherited and had VN
                        LBJ unilaterally decided to widen the conflict and get troops directly involved. This turned quickly into a quagmire.

                        http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/vietnam/vwatl.htm

                        Troop levels went from 16,000 or so to nearly 200,000 after LBJ took office.

                        Dick inherited and had VN and Cambodia
                        And, Nixon pursued a strategy of ending US involvement that eventually involved mining North Vietnamese harbors and ending Russian military aid. That forced N. Vietnam to the table and got the US out of that war.

                        Ford inherited and had (had had enough by then I imagine!) VN
                        Ford was a chair warmer.

                        Carter had bad luck
                        You spelled "idiot" wrong.

                        Bush Snr had Gulf War I
                        And made a very successful use of US military power in a conventional war.

                        Clinton had the Balkans
                        We're still there with "Peacekeepers." There was no reason for the US to get involved there at all other than Europe having so emasculated their own military power they had no choice but to whine to the US for help.

                        Bush Jnr had really, really bad advice
                        Well, we could still be enforcing "No fly" zones in Iraq, and bin Laden could still be running Al Qaeda from Afghanistan...

                        Obama inherited Iraq and Afghanistan
                        And botched both up by a combination of ignorance and ineptitude backed by lethargy.

                        Reagan had? What?: a dabble in Lebanon which he thankfully did not escalate

                        and Grenada where a mere 7600 U.S. Marines, Paratroopers, Rangers et al despite massive odds overcame some 600 Cuban construction workers (sorry couldn't resist, I'm sure it was pretty hairy if you were there - and a Cuban!)

                        Regards lodestar
                        Nicaragua, Granada... Both ended successfully. As for Grenada... I bet the British wish they could have pulled the Falklands off like that... Overwhelming force is a good thing in war. It should never be "fair and equal" when you can make it unfair and unequal.

                        Lebanon was a mistake because that was like getting involved in Syria today would be if once we were there it was only to be targets in secure camps. That's the major problem in Afghanistan too. We're afraid to take casualties and open a can of whupass on our enemies. Instead, we want to arrest and try them. That's insane.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                          Ike inherited Korea and started mission creep (or whatever) Vietnam
                          You should probably read up on history, President Eisenhower didn't start "mission creep (or whatever)" regarding Vietnam.



                          Formal French ratification of Vietnamese independence was announced on 2 February 1950; on the same date, President Truman approved U.S. recognition for Bao Dai. French requests for aid in Indochina followed within a few weeks. On May 8, 1950, the Secretary of State announced that:



                          "The United States Government convinced that neither national independence nor democratic evolution exist in any area dominated by Soviet imperialism, considers the situation to be such as to warrant its according economic aid and military equipment to the Associated States of Indochina and to France in order to assist them in restoring stability and permitting these states to pursue their peaceful and democratic development."

                          The U.S. thereafter was deeply involved in the developing war. But it cannot be said that the extension of aid was a volte-face of U.S. policy precipitated solely by the events of 1950. It appears rather as the denouement of a cohesive progression of U.S. policy decisions stemming from the 1945 determination that France should decide the political future of Vietnamese nationalism. Neither the modest O.S.S. aid to the Viet Minh in 1945, nor the U.S. refusal to abet French recourse to arms the same year, signaled U.S. backing of Ho Chi Minh. To the contrary, the U.S. was wary of Ho, apprehensive lest Paris' imperialism be succeeded by control from Moscow. Uncertainty characterized the U.S. attitude toward Ho through 1948, but the U.S. incessantly pressured France to accomodate "genuine" Vietnamese nationalism and independence. In early 1950, both the apparent fruition of the Bao Dai solution, and the patent alignment of the DRV with the USSR and Communist China, impelled the U.S. to more direct intervention in Vietnam. (Tab 3)

                          https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Unite...940%E2%80%9350
                          "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                            But, Korea was pretty much over and done with and in Vietnam Eisenhower sent a mere handful of advisors along with military aid. Vietnam wasn't a major problem for his administration.
                            Give Ike credit where it is due-the Soviets forced the Chinese to accept the agreement when he came into office, and Rhee knew that it was the best deal he would get. We also got lucky in the fact that the Chinese didn't really have a choice-the PLA was on the verge of starving-but I'm not sure the Soviets would have done what they did without Eisenhower around. He ended that war decisively in a fashion that no successor sans Bush I has.

                            Eisenhower gave South Vietnam the same standard aid that your typical third world anticommunist dictatorship got after Dien Bien Phu fell and the French were defeated.

                            Like Eisenhower JFK had just advisors and small numbers of special forces (less than 20,000) in Vietnam and was sending military aid.
                            I'm of the opinion that JFK wouldn't have avoided Vietnam-that's a fait accompli after Diem took a bullet, and that took place a few weeks before JFK took one to the noggin-but he might have handled it more competently than Johnson. Whether that would have made a difference or not, I honestly don't know. Kennedy would have on one hand be a lot better at handling the generation gap than LBJ was, as well as the media. But on the other hand, racial tensions would undeniably be worse, given that nobody not named Lyndon Johnson was getting the CR and VR Acts through.

                            nd get troops directly involved. This turned quickly into a quagmire.

                            http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/vietnam/vwatl.htm

                            Troop levels went from 16,000 or so to nearly 200,000 after LBJ took office.


                            And, Nixon pursued a strategy of ending US involvement that eventually involved mining North Vietnamese harbors and ending Russian military aid. That forced N. Vietnam to the table and got the US out of that war.
                            They eventually reached 550,000 around 1968-over three times as many as Iraq at its peak. How anyone could possibly imagine that the war could be ended instantly in 1969, I have no idea.

                            I try to take the middle route between partisan and often emotionally laden criticism seen on the left and the "stab-in-the-back" as seen on the right when assessing in Nixon in Vietnam. Nixon made a lot of crucial errors-namely continuing the attrition strategy in 1969 while overestimating his bargaining positions and not being more open with people, thus defeating the strategy in the long run. Vietnam also led to Watergate, with all the nastiness that entails. But I will concede that he inherited a nightmare that he pretty quickly saw was a lost cause, got a lot more room in the end to maneuver than Johnson left him, managed to avoid a right wing backlash at home, and it's a little rich that Democrats labelled him a criminal for cleaning up their mess.

                            Ford was a chair warmer.
                            Kissinger tried his best, but the sharks on both the Left and the Right turned to him as a dessert after Nixon was exiled. He hadn't a hope of navigating US politics on his own. With his German accent, reputation for wilineess, and a newfound desire for morality in US politics, he stood no chance against Jackson, Carter, and Reagan. Ford was actually forced to replace much of the old Nixon era people in 1975 in the Halloween Massacre with future neocons.

                            You spelled "idiot" wrong.
                            I don't think any of our Presidents were idiots in the conventional sense of the term. Some were intellectually brighter than others, but no retards.

                            Carter wasn't stupid, he was a freaking nuclear engineer! Herbert Hoover wasn't stupid either though-he was a self-taught engineer who saved tons of staving children in WWI and was generally known as a Miracle Worker Whiz Kid by 1928. Didn't make him a good President. Carter is the Democrat late 70s version of that.

                            And made a very successful use of US military power in a conventional war.
                            I will make no secret of the fact that I consider GHWB and his administration-Baker, Snowcroft-to be criminally underrated, at least on the foreign policy front. We would not be in the mess with ISIS if his successor just paid attention to his thinking in 1991. Nobody was better at organizing coalitions for international purposes and effectively terming goals, accomplishing them, and moving out. Wouldn't have wanted anyone else to handle the fall of the Soviet Union.

                            And not only that, he actually managed to combine being an effective POTUS with being a good man. The Secret Service, his staff, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, everybody loved him for a reason.

                            We're still there with "Peacekeepers." There was no reason for the US to get involved there at all other than Europe having so emasculated their own military power they had no choice but to whine to the US for help.
                            Bosnia is the prime example of why I cannot consider Clinton to be one of our best foreign policy Presidents, along with Desert Fox. Idealistic nonsense that harmed our relations with Russia in the long run-we didn't know the slightest thing about Bosnia, and the press didn't make an effort to understand. Much better than Obama and Bush II, but not Bush I either.

                            Well, we could still be enforcing "No fly" zones in Iraq, and bin Laden could still be running Al Qaeda from Afghanistan...
                            Invading Afghanistan needed to be done.

                            Invading Iraq pretty much broke the vase of American dominance in the world. Bush II will be remembered for that-history will not be kind to his administration, nor should it be.

                            And botched both up by a combination of ignorance and ineptitude backed by lethargy.
                            Like Nixon, I take into account that Obama inherited a bad situation and understandably wanted to get out. But it is true that his Syrian/Iraqi policy has been awful-da'esh wouldn't have happened without Iraqi Freedom, but it also wouldn't have happened without doing a 180 on the Sunni fighters and leaving them under the mercies of a Shi'a government.

                            Nicaragua, Granada... Both ended successfully. As for Grenada... I bet the British wish they could have pulled the Falklands off like that... Overwhelming force is a good thing in war. It should never be "fair and equal" when you can make it unfair and unequal.
                            How the hell did Nicaragua end successfully? Iran-Contra is not my definition of a success.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Nicaragua ended successfully with the demise of the Sandinista government and a very overt expansionist policy. Had they been able to entrench they would have overrun their neighbors within a decade.

                              The Sandinista were building an enormous military for a Central American country that would have been easily capable of dominating any of their neighbors in short conventional wars. All that was required was a weak US President / Congress unwilling to step in and stop them.

                              Iran-Contra was done because of the obstinance of a Democrat Congress much like occurred after the US left Vietnam and then failed to honor treaty agreements to supply military aid if the South was invaded. It was the same thing in Nicaragua. Congress didn't see the expansionist Sandinistas as a threat but rather as simply a Leftist government they had sympathy for.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                                Nicaragua ended successfully with the demise of the Sandinista government and a very overt expansionist policy. Had they been able to entrench they would have overrun their neighbors within a decade.

                                The Sandinista were building an enormous military for a Central American country that would have been easily capable of dominating any of their neighbors in short conventional wars. All that was required was a weak US President / Congress unwilling to step in and stop them.

                                Iran-Contra was done because of the obstinance of a Democrat Congress much like occurred after the US left Vietnam and then failed to honor treaty agreements to supply military aid if the South was invaded. It was the same thing in Nicaragua. Congress didn't see the expansionist Sandinistas as a threat but rather as simply a Leftist government they had sympathy for.
                                Breaking the law and defying congress - good as long as you're opposing liberals!

                                Comment

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