Now, I understand the words of my title won't resonate with everyone. Even among my own generation and those before me. If it doesn't, that's fine
and we all lived the 80's 90's and first decade of this century from slightly different perspectives.
For those who never saw or heard this man in life, I'm sorry. I truly am. He was, in my view, the last good and decent President we had in this
nation. President Ronald Reagan was not perfect and he didn't fully live up to the ideals I do believe he meant to and tried for. His Presidency had
rough times and it had scandal. Every one of them has, going back to the turn of the 19th Century.
For all that though, I was pulling a different video when I noticed this one and played it. ATS, I'll admit here without a trace of shame..I had
moist eyes by the end of his Oval Office address here. Not for what he says, specifically, but for the whole mindset and atmosphere which was America
in the latter half of the 1980's. My eyes were a bit moist for the sense of deep deep loss at what I knew as a child and teen...and no teen of this
nation will likely ever know again. Peace... Freedom without footnote..and a sense of well being and limitless future.
The feelings of doom, failure and downright crappiness had largely passed from the aftermath and years following the fall of Saigon and loss of
Vietnam at the end of so much lost there. The economy was doing very well and no one had reason to doubt it would keep growing.....which history
shows, it did for at least a bit longer. It took the man Ronald Reagan took as a Vice President and former CIA Director to really turn the corner to a
You may read my above commentary or you may not. Either way, I said it for me and for my feelings to find expression more than trying to make a point
to anyone. I sure would encourage everyone to at least check out the video though. See what a Presidential Address looked like when nothing specific
was being peddled, sold and trying to make citizens feel bad, guilty or scared wasn't the point.
Check out what America once sounded like and an idea of just how very much we've lost. When you see people of my generation and older...looking a bid
sad and forlorn for no immediate reason? Think back to this video for what isn't any longer ...and it may help understand where the profound sadness
sometimes comes from you'll see cross the face of an older American.
I haven't gone looking for scandals, was there more than Iran-Contra? But two little bits stick in my memory from his Secret Service detail and his
co-workers. One, that he would never enter the Oval Office without coat and tie (and pants, thank you Bill for those images), and that he was at the
top of presidents for concern about the members of his security team, treating them with respect and dignity, unlike Lyndon, Michelle, Hillary, and
Trying to figure out who is responsible for our present troubles can be fun, but it is also certainly controversial. Names like Col. House, FDR,
Dewey (the educator), can all be considered likelier candidates than Reagan, in my opinion.
But, with that aside, can we agree that the message in this video is valuable, true, and necessary?
He would have had a REAL hard time arming the Taliban when the Taliban didn't exist until years after he left office. That is a real big pet peeve of
mine....that whole overlapping the Mujaheddin, Taliban and Al Qaeda as if they existed in the same time periods...when they didn't. Al Qaeda and the
Taliban didn't exist until the 1990's.
If people have a huge issue with the Mujaheddin being supported then, another thread sometime, we can talk about what parts of the exceptionally
brutal campaign the Soviets waged against the Afghans Reagan was supposed to just happily watch happen.
Iran Contra was the main one. Not the only one... Mining the harbor in Nicaragua and the Civil War in El Salvador (That was a huge one), among other
Central American issues come in there as well. Of course the drug war was at it's violent peak and levels it wouldn't reach again for the outright
urban war aspect of the late 1980's.
Reagan was also a distracted man and many suggest, not fully engaged in everything that was happening. Nancy and others close to him said he was never
the same after being shot, as one major turning point for him. More than one book about his years suggest his # 2, Bush, did more to run things with
and without Reagan's entire agreement than anything else.
Given the nature, background and personal details of the two men? I tend to think in the historic tally of things? The stories about Bush running
quite a bit out the back door are fairly accurate. I think taking him as the Vice was probably Reagan's greatest blunder for his own Presidency as
well as the nation in the long term future. Just my take on that.
Well, keep in mind that I am more of an isolationist. I don't think we should have been in Afghanistan the first time, and possibly not the second
No, the Taliban didn't exist then. But when they did exist, it was US arms that they used. It likely wasn't even his policies, as America seems to
really enjoy fighting proxy wars as an extension of our intelligence apparatus. Which would likely be all GHW Bush.
Had Reagan not selected Bush as VP, he likely would not have won. GHW Bush manufactured the whole thing.
Afghanistan is a real tough one for me to look at in context to the 1980's. In hindsight? The WORLD would have been far far better off if the US and
Pakistani ISI had stayed clear out of it and left the Soviets do whatever they were going to do. The Afghan resistance would have insured they had no
energy left to take it beyond and into Iran as some feared was the ultimate plan at the time.
The thing is, it isn't hindsight they had and the circumstances then? Well, if it were happening today somewhere, almost everyone on this site would
be DEMANDING intervention, whatever it took. I don't fault what they did, when taking into account the reality they saw at that time. No one could
have known what it would all become after the Soviets left.
2 major examples of what I mean though. The Soviets didn't get wimpy like we have and back UP from the fight as they were getting hit harder and
harder. They fought INTO the ambush, so to speak and turned harder and meaner. Much meaner. If you read the history of the time, poisoning wells by
chemical weapons wasn't at all unique or unheard of to have happen. Also, the attitude wasn't 'spare the children' but 'little ones grow into big
ones, so kill it before it grows' when the Soviets would go after a village or encampment.
The way they went after villages was the other part and no one in the world would stand for it today. People were in a fury and sick over the gun
camera footage of the Apache in Iraq (as was I)? Imagine it being lower, fairly stationary in a tight orbit or hover and simply killing everything
moving, in every direction....and then blowing apart the buildings to insure nothing inside was left alive. All the while, in a chopper with so much
armor, they could sustain fire from 12mm A.A. guns. They weren't bullet proof...but a 30-06 could do terminal damage to an AH-60 Apache where the
Hind Gunships have been called "Flying Battleships" and for good reason.
^^^^ The reasons for the intervention, in my opinion, were fully justified. I just wish they could have guessed what the future held by that action.
They'd never have done what they did...but who could have?
..and you're absolutely right in suggesting it's happened from our side too. Another war...another Era...but I'm going to take a WILD guess here. A
Vietnamese villager figuring how to make a rice crop work or what to do about a sick kid then suddenly getting a napalm monsoon to end their troubles
probably wouldn't have cared much about the difference from an Afghan villager being blown to ribbons by the guns of a Hind. War is hell...and it's
why we ought to fight only when there is NO other choice, not simply no other 'good' choice and then fight 100% total to win it as quickly as
If it isn't worth 100% war to win, it isn't worth 10% war to fight at all.
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