Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Reagan Hypocrisy: The Right's Praise Of Regan's Foreign Policy Sound A Lot Like Obama's

I was reading the newest  issue of Policy Review - a conservative publication - and noticed something very interesting.  Colin Dueck wrote an article about conservative foreign policy, making some excellent points, but one statement stood out - Dueck wrote the following regarding President Reagan's foreign policy strategies:
The aggressiveness of this strategy, and its ultimate vindication, tends to obscure other features of Reagan's foreign policy approach that were no less important and essential to his overall success.  The United States did not embark on any large-scale or lasting military interventions under Reagan.  He used force in a way that was brief, small-scale, and popular domestically, and when these conditions did not obtain, he extricated the U.S. from the possibility of protracted military entanglements.  Regan was also teager to reassure Moscow, in private and in public, that he sought no open warfare.  He was deeply disturbed to learn that Soviet leaders suspected the U.S. of plotting preventive military strikes on the USSR, and went out of his way to assure them of the contrary.  When a genuinely new type of Soviet leader took over, and the possibility of a favorable arms control agreement finally presented itself, Reagan seized it, by signing the INF Treaty of 1988.
Does that sound familiar?

When I read the above paragraph, I immediately saw how Reagan compared to President Obama.  I also immediately saw the hypocrisy from the right, who both praise Regan and criticize Obama, but consider the above paragraph - like Reagan, Obama had sought to minimize "large-scale or lasting military interventions," attempted to enact wartime policies that were regarded highly by the public (until the GOP seized control of the narrative), and reassure foreign nations of America's intentions to promote democracy and avoid open warfare.  Obama had also promoted arms reductions and had signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev - an issue the GOP now oppose.

Conservatives have shown a double standard in their treatment of our presidents with the beatification of Ronald Reagan and the demonization of Barack Obama...

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