Flashback to more principled times…

The National Review’s Reagasmic Circle Jerk is in full swing. Ronnie loved freedom and democracy you know. This Michael Novak column from 1999 lists “the spreading of democracy” as the fourth pillar of Reagan’s legacy. To be sure no one makes foolish assumptions, he helpfully added:

That is a far more difficult and complicated job then it may seem.

You don’t say! It was this NRO “flashback” column from 1981 that caught our eye however:

The Reagan revolution rolls forward, picking up momentum. [..] A more balanced policy toward southern Africa.

What did a more balanced policy mean? Thanks for asking:

…nuclear cooperation was a focal point of U.S.-South African relations during the Reagan Administration […] the Reagan Administration increased nuclear-related assistance to Pretoria by approving exports of nuclear material, computers and high technology items to South Africa. The Administration also re-negotiated with Pretoria for the resumption of uranium imports, prohibited when Congress passed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act in 1978.

U.S. policy toward South Africa since 1962 has been shaped largely by strategic and economic concerns, including the preservation of access to South Africa’s immense mineral resources and the protection of markets and investments. […]

Throughout his tenure, President Reagan studiously avoided criticizing the South African government, repeatedly praising the Botha Administration for making substantial reforms despite the overwhelming evidence of the continued and extensive exploitation and oppression of the black majority in South Africa. He has directly and openly embraced the Botha Administration as “an ally and friend,” demonstrating what critics saw as a callous indifference to world-wide demands for human rights and basic freedoms for the blacks. […]

Early in 1981, the newly-elected Reagan Administration introduced its policy of “constructive engagement.” As outlined by its chief architect, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker, this policy comprised two ideas: first, that change in South Africa had to be controlled and second, that the region had to be made “stable” before initiating controlled change. [Emphasis added]

There’s nothing like being friends with totalitarian regimes and helping out with their nuclear program, is there?


Comments: 7


Let me get this in while i can. Didn’t Reagan support both the Taliban and Saddam? So isn’t it strange for W’s campaign site to becaome a tribute to Ronnie?


Only if you think logical consistency is an issue.


Actually it is a circle of jerks.


“Didn’t Reagan support both the Taliban and Saddam?”

AHA! You see? there IS a connection between Iraq and the Taliban!


This Reagan hagiography in the US has even extended to “public” radio and “public” television. They must really be hard up for cash if they have to appeal to the “respect”–such as it is–of the wacko right. It’s truly disgusting.

Let’s get something–uh–straight. Reagan died years ago. I guess it took a long time for his body to find out.


The media still can’t stop having sex with Ronnie. He’s just too sexy. He’s da man! Necrophilia it may be, but it sells.


This is one of the ugliest aspects of the Reagan doublespeak. ‘Controlled change’ meant: no change necessary, really. We like the white people just fine.

People of color, gays, Africans, Latin Americans, and everyone who died in the brutal Iran/Iraq war in the 1980s (where the U.S. was arming BOTH sides) are generally not joining in the celebrations of the Gipper.


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