Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

The REAL causes of the fall of the Berlin Wall


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Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. On that evening, on November 9th, the East German government permitted its citizens to cross the border with West Berlin freely, and they began doing so in huge numbers.

These days, the media around the world propagate the claim that it was the citizens of East and West Germany, as well as Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the West German government’s policy, that brought the Berlin Wall down, while Ronald Reagan had little or nothing to do with it. When the world media covers the anniversary and its celebrations this week, you will hardly find or hear any mention of Ronald Reagan in the media or in the city of Berlin itself.

But the truth is that it was Ronald Reagan and his tough policy of exerting maximum pressure on the Soviet Union, especially on European, economic and human rights issues, that brought the Berlin Wall down. Throughout the entire 1980s, the US exerted enormous economic, military, and moral pressure on the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes, and THAT is what brought the Berlin Wall and the entire Soviet empire down. Furthermore, the West German government (and other Western European governments) NEVER had ANY intention whatsoever of dismantling the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire – and had these European governments had their way, the Soviet empire would’ve still existed to this very day. This article will prove this with facts.

West German Subsidies For the Evil Empire

Throughout the Cold War, and especially since the early 1970s, Western European countries and companies were doing lucrative business with the Soviet Union… lucrative at least for Moscow and for European companies – similarly to how they do today. Western European governments were also loaning lots of money to the Soviet regime, as well as paying the East German government for releasing dissidents from jail.

And just like today, Western European countries were steadily increasing their oil and gas imports from the Soviet Union – and in 1980, they consented to the construction of a new gas pipeline that would increase Soviet gas exports to Europe (and Europe’s dependence on that supply source) still further.

Had that pipeline been built on time and on the proposed scale, the Soviet empire and the Berlin Wall would likely have not collapsed at all.

The story begins in late 1979, when the Kremlin informed the West German government and business leaders that it wished to build a new gas pipeline from the Yamal Peninsula to West Germany, with the goal of significantly increasing Soviet gas exports to Europe. The Ruhrgas AG was to be the direct recipient of the gas, Mannesman AG was to deliver the equipment to build and operate the pipeline, while the Deutsche Bank was destined to finance the construction. After the West German government’s initial okay, secret talks began at Deutsche Bank’s HQ in Dusseldorf. These were so secret that no interpreters were hired – one of Deutsche Bank’s high-ranking employees speaking Russian served as the translator.

The initial talks were successful and were continued in December 1979 by Deutsche Bank personnel in Moscow; with the support from the Soviet and West German governments, the talks were speedily advanced, with the West German business leaders knowing they’d be spending 10 billion West German marks – a huge sum of money – on building a pipeline that would immensely profit the Soviet Union.

With the Soviet and West German government’s support, an initial agreement was soon reached, and a Deutsche Bank branch was soon opened in Moscow to coordinate the project. When then West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt personally discussed the project with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev on the phone, the talks were greatly sped up.

On June 30th, 1980, Schmidt arrived in Moscow and, despite the Soviet regime’s aggressive designs and its aggression against Afghanistan (which he didn’t care about), he signed a long-term economic cooperation agreement with Moscow that paved the way for the pipeline’s construction. Two weeks later – on the day the Moscow Olympic Games began – Deutsche Bank and the Soviet government began official negotiations on its pipeline, and a final was struck in Leningrad in 1983. This was AFTER Helmut Kohl and his CDU party came to power in 1982 – because the Kohl government, like the Schmidt cabinet, ALSO supported the pipeline’s construction and continued subsidies to the Soviet regime.

Ronald Reagan Strikes Back

But even before the deal was finally signed, Ronald Reagan counterattacked. Knowing the Soviet Union’s deep economic problems and the fact that destroying the Soviet economy was key to bringing the Soviet empire down, he imposed a slew of sanctions against the USSR in December 1981 after Moscow’s puppet regime in Poland implemented martial law to preserve communism there and crack down on Lech Walesa’s Solidarity.

Among the sanctions imposed on the USSR was a ban on exporting any pipeline machinery as well as machines used to extract oil and gas. This was intended to strike at the USSR’s Achilles heel – its dependence on oil and gas revenue. Western European companies were building such machinery based on American export licenses, but President Reagan revoked these. His sanctions were toughened still in September 1983 after the Russians shot down a civilian Korean airliner (KAL Flight 007).

Furthermore, President Reagan pressured the West German government and business leaders to cancel the pipeline’s construction. He did not succeed completely in that regard, but under his pressure, the pipeline’s scope was reduced from two lines to just one, and the whole project was delayed by many years – so much so that it wasn’t completed until 1999, eight years after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

This huge delay and reduction in scope of the project proved fatal to the Soviet Union. Making matters even worse for them, President Reagan deregulated the oil industry in the US and convinced Saudi Arabia to dramatically increase oil production. This brought about the oil glut of the late 1980s: in November 1985, a barrel of oil cost $30 (in 1985 dollars); by April 1986, it cost only $12. Moscow lost $10 bn (again, in 1985’s terms) in just five months as a result.

It was all downhill for the USSR from then on. That very month, in April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear powerplant exploded, causing damage costing hundreds of billions of dollars. The war in Afghanistan dragged on – partially because of the Reagan Administration’s covert support for the Afghan mujahedeen fighting the Soviets.

And the Reagan Administration also dramatically toughened the arms race with the USSR by greatly increasing US defense spending and investing it in new, cutting-edge weapon platforms such as the B-2 stealth bomber (first flown in 1989, introduced in 1993), the MX Peacekeeper rail-mobile ICBM that could carry 10 nuclear warheads, nuclear-armed cruise missiles launched from air, naval, and ground platforms (including the BGM-109A Tomahawk A, scrapped unilaterally by Barack Obama), the Pershing intermediate range missiles that countered Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe, the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines (carrying 24 missiles each, more than any Soviet submarine could), the Trident missiles deployed on these submarines, the tank-killing Apache helicopter capable of obliterating the massed Soviet tank armies in Europe; the Aegis class of surface combatants; and many more.

Most importantly, the Reagan Administration initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, dubbed the Star Wars, against which the Soviet Union wasn’t capable of mounting any effective response due to its technological backwardness. In the 1980s, the US, and especially its military, was quickly being computerized – computers became an integral part of everything and made life and military operations easier. The Soviet Union, by contrast, was as short on computers as on human rights. Even the Soviet Chief of the General Staff, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, admitted that the USSR was being overtaken by the US because of the revolution ushered in by computers.

Gorbachev tried his best to negotiate the SDI away, but Ronald Reagan held firm.

Moral Pressure Added to Economic and Military Pressure

Fully confident of its massive economic and military strength rebuilt by President Reagan, the US exerted increasing moral pressure on the USSR. That pressure culminated in the late 1980s.

President Reagan’s goal was nothing short of dismantling the Iron Curtain and the Soviet empire. As he said himself, his goal in the Cold War was to ensure that “we win, they lose.”  His Administration’s goal was to change the Soviet regime, and that goal was enshrined in Reagan’s National Security Decision Directive 75, signed by him in 1983. More importantly, that goal was actively sought (and ultimately achieved).

Like nobody else in the world, President Reagan exerted enormous pressure on the Soviet Union throughout his presidency. Only he had the courage to utter these memorable words in Berlin on June 12th, 1987:

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev — Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Not only that, but he confidently predicted, “Yes, this wall will fall.” He didn’t just say he demanded that it be dismantled – he predicted that it WOULD BE. And it was. For, as President Reagan said:

As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.

This rhetoric was opposed by many in his administration (including Howard Baker and Colin Powell) and by all Western European governments except Margaret Thatcher’s. President Reagan’s advisors repeatedly attempted to delete those words from the speech, but Reagan personally overruled them.

Yes, to deliver these remarks, President Reagan had to face down many people even in his own administration.

Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev: False Heroes Who Tried To Preserve the Soviet Empire

And of course, Western European governments, especially that of West Germany led by Helmut Kohl, still tried to save the Soviet Union with  subsidies, low-interest loans, and debt write-offs. In 1988 alone, West Germany lent the USSR 3 billion Deutschmarks. All told, from 1985 to 1991, Western European governments lent the USSR the equivalent of 15 billion dollars.

Fortunately, that proved to be woefully inadequate for the USSR to survive, thanks to Ronald Reagan’s skillful use of the economic lever. The ongoing war in Afghanistan and the costs of maintaining a global Communist empire and a huge state bureaucracy added to the USSR’s economic woes.

Nor did Gorbachev try, or even intend, to dismantle the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire. On the contrary, he wanted to preserve and strengthen that empire. That was the goal of his reforms – perestroika and glasnost. His reforms were intended to STRENGTHEN the Soviet Union and the Communist system without touching their very nature. He believed that through half-measures such as less interference in state-owned enterprises’ affairs, he could revive and strengthen the Soviet economy.

This was no different from Tsar Alexander II’s and Tsar Nikolai II’s half-hearted “reforms” in the 1860s and 1900s, respectively: to change something so that nothing would really change.

Gorbachev’s reforms failed to strengthen the USSR – just like those Tsars’ pseudo-reforms failed completely – because you can’t save a rotten, totally failing, broken system by reforming it timidly and too late. If a system is completely broke and failing, the only right thing to do is to scrap it completely and start anew – which Gorbachev was completely unwilling to do.

Nor did Gorbachev want to dismantle the Soviet empire and free captive nations, despite his promise to give Eastern European nations the right of self-determination. He did not use force to stave off the Soviet empire’s demise – because he wasn’t able to. By 1989, the Soviet Union’s economic problems were so deep, the USSR – freshly booted out of Afghanistan by sandal-shod mujahedeen – was in no position to intervene militarily in East Germany, Poland, or Hungary. The fiscal costs alone would’ve been prohibitive, and those countries’ populations would’ve certainly resisted.

Gorbachev is not a hero; he’s just a flake who couldn’t keep the Soviet empire from collapsing. And today, he supports the murderous, criminal, illegal neo-Soviet dictator of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who is trying to restore the Soviet empire. This proves what an immoral person Gorbachev is.

Ronald Reagan Is The Real Hero

The real architect of the Berlin Wall’s and the USSR’s collapse was Ronald Reagan. As Professor Robert Kaufman rightly observed in 2011:

It is hard to see (…) how Gorbachev and a policy of conciliation deserve more credit for ending the Cold War in America’s favor than Reagan and his policy of vigilance. The restoration of American power under Ronald Reagan gave the Soviet Union little choice but to take the risk of choosing a reformer such as Gorbachev, who recognized that the Soviet Union could no longer compete against a rejuvenated, self-confident United States unless it liberalized at home and pursued a more conciliatory policy abroad.

Nor was Gorbachev a genuine democrat. He aimed only to reform Communism, not to abolish it. His regime began to implode under the cumulative effect of decades of U.S. containment, Reagan’s confrontational policies intensifying American pressure at a critical moment, and the mortal contradictions inherent in the Soviet system. Whereas Gorbachev did not intend the breathtaking collapse of Communism that his domestic reforms unwittingly unleashed, Ronald Reagan expected and dedicated his political life to achieving this outcome.

When the free world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall today, don’t forget to honor the real architect of that event – President Ronald Reagan.

POSTSCRIPT:

Below: a video of the key part of Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech.

And below is a video of Sam Donaldson interviewing Ronald Reagan on the night the Berlin Wall began to be dismantled and giving President Reagan a lot of credit for the outcome:

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Rand Is The One Distorting Reagan’s Foreign Policy


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Ronald Reagan was such a successful President – especially in the foreign policy realm – that virtually all Republicans today want to project themselves as the next Reagan and claim that their foreign policy is the same as Reagan’s in order to woo national security oriented voters.

One such politician is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Because his principal rival for the 2016 Republican nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has distinguished himself from Paul by adopting Reagan’s foreign policy principles while exposing Paul as the neo-isolationist that he is, the Kentucky Senator is desperate to defend himself.

Therefore, he has recently launched an attack on unnamed “Republicans” (presumably Cruz) on the Breitbart website, falsely accusing them of “warping” Reagan’s foreign policy.

But in fact, it is Rand Paul, NOT Ted Cruz or other Republicans, who is warping and distorting the Gipper’s foreign policy. Let me demonstrate how.

Rand Advocates Deep Defense Cuts

Rand advocates deep, crippling cuts in America’s defenses, including and beyond sequestration; withdrawing US troops from strategically important bases around the world which are needed for power projection; isolationism masquerading as noninterventionism; and opposes even the most modest sanctions on Iran, claiming they would lead to war (a false claim that the anti-defense Left, including the Ploughshares Fund, also makes). Indeed, Rand has said that “not only should the sequester be maintained”, but that government spending, including defense spending, should be cut even further – as if the sequester’s and pre-sequester Obama defense cuts were not deep enough.

As a reminder, in his first two years, Obama killed over 50 crucial weapon programs, including the F-22 Raptor fighter (the only aircraft capable of defeating the newest Russian and Chinese fighters), the Zumwalt class destroyer, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Multiple Kill Vehicle for kinetic missile defense interceptors, and much more. In 2011, Obama cut another $178 bn from the defense budget under the guise of efficiencies.And in August 2011, Obama demanded and obtained another $1 trillion in defense cuts over the FY2012-FY2012 decade, including a $550 bn sequester that will take defense spending to $493 bn (less than 3% of America’s GDP) next year and keep in there until the mid-2020s!

Yet, Rand Paul thinks these defense cuts are not sufficient and demands even deeper, more crippling, defense cuts. This completely belies his claim that

“I believe, as he did, that our National Defense should be second to none, that defense of the country is the primary Constitutional role of the Federal Government.”

If the cuts required by the sequester (let alone the deeper cuts Rand demands) are implemented, the US military will be gutted. It will be a paper tiger, not a military force “second to none.”

Reagan would NEVER advocate such idiotic policies, and indeed throughout his entire presidency implemented the very OPPOSITE of the policies Rand advocates. OTOH, Ted Cruz – unlike Rand Paul – does support a Reaganite foreign policy: rebuilding America’s defenses, standing up to dictators like Putin where it matters, but avoiding being drawn into irrelevant or murky jihadist viper pits like Syria.

But it gets even worse. In the Breitbart article cited above, Rand not only distorts the Gipper’s foreign policy, he shows he completely doesn’t understand what that policy was and how it worked, and demonstrates – there, as well as in his recent (Feb. 25th) Washington Post op-ed – that he does NOT support a Reaganite “Peace Through Strength” foreign policy.

He claims that:

“Reagan also believed in diplomacy and demonstrated a reasoned approach to our nuclear negotiations with the Soviets. Reagan’s shrewd diplomacy would eventually lessen the nuclear arsenals of both countries.”

Leaving aside the undisputable fact that cutting America’s nuclear deterrent has proven to be a foolish mistake, it was Reagan’s toughness, not diplomacy, that won the Cold War. In fact, it was his toughness that brought the Soviet Union back to the arms reduction barganining table in the first place.

The Soviets returned to the negotiating table because they knew the US could keep up the arms race for long, while their own economy was flagging (and in 1991, it collapsed, as did the USSR itself) and couldn’t really sustain the arms race any longer, especially with the costs of the Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the late 1980s’ oil glut added. (Reagan convinced Saudi Arabia to dramatically increase its oil output to cut global oil prices and thus undermine Moscow’s oil-dependent economy).

I’ll repeat it again: it was Reagan’s TOUGHNESS, his harsh policies towards the USSR, that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table and eventually won the Cold War. Not diplomacy, not detente, not nice words, not his friendship with Gorbachev.

Reagan never sheathed the sword – the sword was always hanging over the Soviets’ heads. And that’s PRECISELY why Gorbachev agreed to make concessions.

Rand further claims that:

“Many forget today that Reagan’s decision to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev was harshly criticized by the Republican hawks of his time, some of whom would even call Reagan an appeaser.”

But, as demonstrated above, it was Reagan’s TOUGH POLICIES, not diplomacy or nicety, that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table. And Gorbachev initially wasn’t in a mood to make concessions. It was not until he understood the US was in a far stronger negotiating position, and when Reagan revealed the documents Col. Ryszard Kuklinski (a Warsaw Pact defector) handed over to the CIA, that Gorbachev began to make concessions.

(At the first Reagan-Gorbachev meeting, in 1985, the Soviet leader was initially as stubborn as his predecessors, not willing to make policy concessions. Then, Reagan’s Defense Secretary, Cap Weinberger, took his ace out of his sleeve: he gave the maps [stolen by Colonel Kuklinski] of secret Soviet bunkers, built for nuclear war, to Reagan, who gave them to Gorbachev, who in turn gave them to Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, the Soviet Chief of the General Staff, who accompanied Gorby. Akhromeyev was very scared upon seeing the documents, and explained their importance to the civilian Gorbachev. From then on, the Soviets were more willing to make concessions.)

Rand also believes firmly in a soft, appeasement-like policy towards Russia – ignoring the fact that it was such policy that led to the current  Crimean crisis in the first place. He falsely claims in his WaPo op-ed that America’s relationship with Russia should be “respectful” and that:

“There is a time for diplomacy and the strategic use of soft power, such as now with Russia. Diplomacy requires resolve but also thoughtfulness and intelligence.”

No. Diplomacy has had its time – and has dismally failed, as usual. Now is the time for FIRMNESS and MANLINESS. Now is the time to impose the harshest sanctions on Russia that are possible and to dramatically increase oil and gas production in the US (ANWR, NPRA, OCS, shale formations, authorizing the Keystone Pipeline) and to export these fuels to Europe to dramatically reduce its dependence on Russia for hydrocarbons. This would strike Russia where it would really hurt Moscow – and accomplish America’s goals without a single soldier and without firing a shot.

As for a “respectful” relationship with Russia – tell that to Vladimir Putin. Lecture him about “respectful” relationships, Mr Paul, not your fellow Republicans. Putin’s Russia has, in recent years:

  1. Invaded two sovereign countries on false pretexts, and in reality because they started aligning themselves with the West.
  2. Threatened a nuclear attack on the US or its allies at least 15 times.
  3. Repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers into US and allied airspace (and even into the airspace of neutral Sweden) on many occassions, even once on July 4th,
  4. Provided diplomatic protection to Iran, North Korea, and Syria, nuclear fuel and reactors to Iran, weapons to Iran and Syria, and sold tons of advanced weapons to China – weapons which will be used to kill American troops.
  5. Murdered journalists and other dissidents (e.g. Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko), and jailed many others, opposing the Putin regime.
  6. Conducted a huge military buildup that continues to this day and is slated to continue for long but which long ago has exceeded Russia’s legitimate defense needs.
  7. Repeatedly violated the INF treaty by testing and deploying missiles banned by the treaty.

And the US is supposed to have a “respectful” relationship with such a hostile regime, Senator Paul? Are you on drugs? Who is your foreign policy advisor, Pat Buchanan?

In short, Rand has shown, once again, that he is NO Reaganite, that he is virtually indistinguishable from his father on policy matters, and that he clearly does not believe in a “peace through strength” policy. Furthermore, he’s distorting the Gipper’s foreign policy record. Conservatives must not allow him to fool them; he would continue and even double on Obama’s failed twin policies of unilateral disarmament and appeasement of America’s adversaries. Just like Obama, Paul advocates appeasement towards the world’s most dangerous regimes, from Russia, to Iran, to Syria. No real conservative would ever vote for him.

Why the Senate must reject the Law of the Sea Treaty


The Senate is now debating a treaty that should’ve been consigned to the dustbin of history forever 30 years ago, when President Reagan refused to sign it.

I’m talking, of course, about the disastrous Law of the Sea Treaty.

The biggest problem with it is that it would cost America sovereignty, which is priceless. Under the treaty, the US would be subject to binding rulings from unconstitutional international courts and agencies on maritime matters. If any foreign country objected to any maritime practices, or any territorial claims, by the US, it could engage in lawfare against the US by filing a complain with an international arbitrage court (filled with anti-American judges), and then, as a treaty party, the US would have to accept whatever ruling that court issues. In other words, LOST’s enforcement mechanisms are stacked from the beginning against the US. More on how the treaty would strip the US of its sovereignty here.

Similarly, the International Seabed Authority would gain arbitrage and regulatory authority over America’s territorial waters, EEZ, and seabed, and decisions would be made in by that agency, where the US would be easily outvoted 35:1.

An equally big problem with the treaty is that it would cost the US Treasury tens of billions of dollars every year, because a part of the royalties the Treasury would collect from the exploitation of undersea resources (e.g. offshore oil drilling) would have to be given, for no benefit at all, to the International Seabed Authority, based in Kingston, Jamaica. This money would then be given to mostly anti-American Third World countries. The US Treasury would lose at least $70 bn in the first fiscal year alone. Furthermore, the US would have to transfer sensitive technologies to these countries.

As Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)’s website rightly says:

the $70 billion in U.S. funds could be used to add $3 billion to eliminate the delayed construction of the SSBN(X), the Ohio-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Replacement Program and ensure the U.S. can maintain its continuous at-sea deterrence capability; add $12.1 billion to maintain DoD procurement at Fiscal Year 2012 levels allowing our military to continue to modernize its fleet of ships, aircraft and ground vehicles; buy additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and completely eliminate the Navy’s strike fighter gap of 240 aircraft at a cost of $31 billion; avoid a three year carrier gap by accelerating the construction of the next Ford-class carrier as begin construction of the next Ford-class carrier at an approximate cost of $11 billion; and add an additional 6 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships at a total cost of $12 billion.

As the CPAS rightly says:

“During its negotiation, LOST became a vehicle for advancing an agenda promoted by the Soviet Union and so-called “non-aligned movement” during the 1970s, known as the New International Economic Order (NIEO). The NIEO was a classic “united front” effort aimed at undermining the economic and military power of the industrialized West – particularly the United States – in the name of a centrally planned, global redistribution of wealth to the benefit of developing nations.”

Furthermore, LOST is seen by proponents of one world government – a supranational one – as a key step towards creating it, by subjecting 70% of the world’s surface – seas and oceans – to an unaccountable world government.

Moreover, LOST is a backdoor for the Kyoto Protocol, which the Senate has rightly refused to ratify, and is arguably even more radical than Kyoto. For example, its Article #212 requires parties to “adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from or through the atmosphere….”, which would be hugely expensive for businesses and therefore consumers. Furthermore, LOST’s Precautionary Principle, which forbids any action that might harm the environment, would prohibit military activities such as SLBM launches (even for tests). And unaccountable supranational tribunals, stacked against the US, would be the ones defining what is detrimental to the environment. As with any other issue, the US would have to accept binding rulings from tribunals rigged against it. These, as well as non-environment-related, provisions would impose onerous regulations on US businesses and government entities, and would also open them to unlimited alien litigation, which would be decided by international tribunals, NOT American courts. As Thilo Bode, then International Executive Director of Greenpeace, said in 2000:

“Global warming is likely to have a big impact at sea…Solving the environmental problems facing the oceans…is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind…No single action or region can do this alone: it will require comprehensive international cooperation as required by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

LOST would give radical environmental NGOs and unfriendly foreign governments, such as those in Europe, both grounds and avenues through which to bring lawsuits against the US – and as a party to LOST, the US would have to obey whatever rulings unaccountable courts and agencies (rigged against the US) issue.

Despite the treaty proponents’ false claims, the problems with the treaty have NOT been fixed, and they can never be fixed absent radical changes to the treaty, namely, abolition of the royalty confiscating provisions, of the International Seabed Authority (where the US can easily be outvoted 35:1), and of international courts’ jurisdiction over maritime matters.

These are the provisions of the treaty Ronald Reagan objected to, and because he opposed them in the 1980s (and also objected to LOST on principle), he would’ve certainly opposed them today. More on these facts here.

That being the case, and in light of his clear statements and diary notes on the subject, and the fact that the provisions that he objected to are STILL in the treaty, it is clear, despite the RINO State Secretaries’ and George “Read My Lips” H.W. Bush’s false claims, Ronald Reagan would’ve never approved of the treaty. It is, in fact, deeply insulting to his memory that these RINOs suggest this. They should apologize and withdraw that claim.

Speaking of them, they have no credibility to speak on foreign affairs in general. Henry Kissinger is the author of the failed “detente” policy of the 1970s, which amounted to appeasement of the Soviet Union while that country was engaged in the largest peacetime military buildup since before WW2 and the US was unilaterally disarming itself. Unverifiable treaties such as SALT-I, SALT-II, and the ABM treaty, which rohibited the US from developing or deploying missile defense systems, were his brainchildren.

George Shultz, as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, tried to undermine his policies every step of the way. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War in spite of, not because of, George Shultz. He won because he ignored the advice of Shultz and other soft RINOs at the State Department.

Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as members of the Bush Admin, were advocates of the failed appeasement policies towards Putinist Russia and Communist China and, most prominently, the failed policy of “democratizing the world”, which they convinced President Bush to adopt as his own and implement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under these policies, the US did not withdraw its troops from these countries after delivering a smackdown to the Taleban and Saddam Hussein, but stayed on and pursued amorphous nation-building crusades in both of these countries, crusades that cost hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American troops. And let’s not forget that in 2008, Powell endorsed Obama over McCain and that Condoleezza Rice has said earlier this year that she thinks Hillary Clinton is a good Secretary of State.

These five RINO former Secretaries of State also advocated the disastrous New START treaty, which is cutting the US nuclear arsenal down to inadequate levels while allowing Russia to grow its own arsenal (because it’s under treaty limits) and thus amounts to unilateral nuclear disarmament by the US.

So as you consider the arguments over the LOST treaty, ladies and gentlemen, and ponder whom to believe, consider this:

Those five former Secretaries of State are all disgraced former officials, and they have all advocated policies that turned out to be abysmal failures. They have been proven dead wrong, again and again, on many important issues ranging from detente, to Afghanistan and Iraq, to the New START treaty. Some of them, including Shultz, tried to undermine Ronald Reagan’s policies every step of the way.

We conservatives were right about opposing detente, SALT Treaties, the ABM treaty, the New START, and the “democratizing the world” policy.

Now, we conservatives are again at loggerheads with these five former Secretaries of State. It is possible we are right. It is also theoretically possible they are right. You, ladies and gentlemen, have to decide for yourselves whom to believe.

Will you believe those of us who were right to sound the alarm bells about deeply-flawed treaties (SALT-I, SALT-II, ABMT, New START), and about other flawed policies authored by these people, many times before?

Or will you believe those who have been proven dead wrong, again and again, on so many important foreign policy issues?

The choice is up to you.

Rebuttal of Jack Hunter’s newest anti-defense lies and whitewashing of Ron Paul


In its opinion sections, the Daily Caller continues to publish whatever garbage leftist columnists send to it, including a recent utter garbage, written of course by the utterly-discredited leftist libertarian Jack Hunter, who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Firstly, it is ridiculous for him to lecture anyone on the true meaning of “conservatism” and the definition of who a conservative is, because he doesn’t understand these definitions himself and is NOT a conservative. Secondly, no, Ron Paul, as we shall see, is DEFINITELY not a conservative (let alone the most conservative presidential candidate), and calling him one is false and insulting to every REAL conservative, including myself.

Thirdly, despite Hunter’s claims that:

„Paul’s Pentagon cuts, which aren’t much different from what Sen. Tom Coburn has suggested, are necessary to streamline our military and tackle our debt problem.”

His cuts are very much different from what Sen. Tom Coburn has suggested (in terms of specifics – Paul provides no specific proposals in his budget plan, while Coburn does – the fact that Coburn’s proposals would be utterly disastrous is a different matter), and NO, they are NOT necessary to “streamline” the military and tackle the debt problem. It is unclear what Hunter means by “streamlinling the military”; if by that he means reforming it, he’s wrong, because 1) budget cuts are NOT necessary to reform the military and would actually impede the task; and 2) Paul has proposed NO specific reforms of the US military and the DOD, just a huge budgetary cut.
Hunter then used Tom Coburn as a shield for Paul:

“Coburn has allies besides Paul in this fight, or as National Review’s Jamie Fly writes:

FreedomWorks, a Washington-based group that purports to speak for the Tea Party movement, issued its own “Tea Party Budget” containing the recommendations of its debt commission. They suggested enacting defense-spending reforms previously proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn that would result in almost $1 trillion in savings over ten years.”

Coburn is an utterly discredited anti-defense libertarian, so if I were Hunter, I would not even mention his name. I’ve actually read and analyzed his proposals, and have written about them extensively (for example here and here). They would be utterly disastrous if implemented. He proposes to cut the USAF’s ICBM fleet by 200 missiles, from 500 to 300; cut the ballistic missile submarine fleet from 14 to 11; cut the carrier fleet and the number of carrier wings; cease the production of combat-proven (in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya) V-22 aircraft; unilateral cuts in the already-too-small nuclear stockpile; cancel the F-35’s B and C variants just as they are getting back on track; cancel the PTSS anti-ballistic-missile satellite EW program; delay the next-gen bomber program until the mid-2020s (when it will be too late); cancel the production of amphibious assault vehicles; implement many more damaging cuts; and do all of that for purely budgetary reasons, not because of any military factors, in isolation from any military issues. The cuts to the ICBM and SSBN fleets alone would dramatically reduce and weaken America’s nuclear deterrent and possibly even encourage a Russian nuclear first strike on the US.

Yet, as damaging as Coburn’s (and Paul’s) defense cuts would be, they would utterly fail to balance the budget. $1 trillion in defense cuts over a decade is $100 bn per year – just 1/15th of the annual budget deficit. This would mean unilateral disarmament in exchange for a tiny reduction of the budget deficit.
Hunter then lied further that:

“There’s a reason that Paul is the only presidential candidate who has been able to offer $1 trillion in cuts. He is the only candidate willing to address the black hole that is Pentagon spending. After entitlements, “defense” spending is the largest part of our budget. Still, Paul allows for a military budget four times the size of China’s and larger than President Bush’s 2005 military budget.
This is what Morris calls “dismantling the military.””

Firstly, the claim that “Pentagon spending” is a “black hole” is both false and insulting. It is a blatant lie, just like most of what Hunter writes. The DOD’s budget is NOT a black hole – it is always passed by Congress as a specific, limited amount of money – limited both in terms of the topline and in terms of what it can be spent on. It is not a “black hole”, but rather the #1 Constitutional DUTY of the federal government, as stated by the Constitution in its Preamble and the fourth section of its fourth Article:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

The Constitution actually PRIORITIZES national defense and elevates it above all other issues. Of the 17 enumerated prerogatives of the Congress stated in Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution, 9 (i.e. more than half) deal with military matters.

Hunter even denies that the Pentagon budget is defense spending, calling it “defense” spending with a quotation mark. His claim that after entitlements, military spending is the largest part of the federal budget is technically true, but only because entitlements by themselves consume a full 58% part of the federal budget – leaving little money for everything else, including the military, which must content itself with a mere 19% share. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the Federal Government devotes just 19% of its budget to its #1 Constitutional duty. And as the military budget is whacked further and entitlements continue to grow on autopilot, these proportions will get even worse for the DOD and even better for entitlements.

The military budget is a tiny portion of federal spending – just 19% of the total, 4.51% of GDP (lower than it was throughout the entire Cold War except FY1948), and just $2,100 per capita, less than it was throughout the entire Cold War, including the Reagan years. Calling it a “black hole” is a blatant lie. Cutting defense spending is NOT necessary to balance the budget, as both the Heritage Foundation and the Republican Study Committee have shown.

Paul’s budget plan would allow for only a $501 bn defense budget, less than 3.5% of GDP and the lowest proportion since before WW2 (excluding the late Clinton years). Moreover, it allows for NO funding of the DOE whatsoever, not even for its defense-related programs, which presumes that they would be moved to the DOD. Their budget for the current FY is $17 bn under the FY2012 NDAA, so that would leave only $484 bn as a core defense budget, not $501 bn. This would be barely $3 bn higher than Bush’s FY2005 core defense budget (which was $481.08 bn adjusted for inflation to today’s dollars) and MUCH SMALLER than his TOTAL FY2005 military budget, which included GWOT spending (which was $87 bn in nominal dollars in FY2005 and whichPaul would end completely and immediately if it depended on him). Last but not least, under Paul’s plan, defense budgets would not, after FY2013, even keep up with inflation, which means they would be cut in real terms STILL further.

Moreover, whatever total figure the defense budget was in FY2005 – seven fiscal years ago – is totally irrelevant as to what it should be today. The defense budget must be determined SOLELY on the basis of the the threat environment of today and the one expected for tomorrow, not according to some past budgetary figure. But Hunter, as a guy totally ignorant about defense and budgetary issues, doesn’t understand that.

The claim that it would be four times larger than the PLA’s budget is also utterly false. China’s military budget for FY2011 was $185 bn; to be four times larger, Paul’s defense budget would have to be 4x$185 bn, i.e. $740 bn, which is not going to happen (and $740 bn is not needed, ca. $550 bn should be enough). But equally importantly, in China, things are 3-4 times cheaper than they are in the US, meaning that if PPP differences are accounted for, China already has a larger defense budget than the US.

Furthermore, let’s not forget that Paul is the chief GOP defender of the sequestration’s mechanism and its defense cuts totalling $1.065 TRILLION, which, if implemented, WILL gut the military.

Cutting defense spending significantly to balance the budget would be a foolish mistake. It would be penny-wise and pound-foolish. It would save little money in the short-term and zero in the long term, because eventually, America’s military weakness would encourage aggression and launch America into another war that would be costly in terms of both money and blood. America’s current military spending, at 4.51% of GDP, is a small and worthy investment in preventing war.

As George Washington rightly said, “timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it.” He was also right to warn of “the uncertainty of procuring a warlike apparatus at the moment of public danger.” It’s much better to prepare for war and to prevent it rather than arming yourself post factum, when war has already begun.

Last but not least, if Paul is going to implement Tom Coburn’s defense cuts proposals, or anything similar, that IS going to gut the military for the same reasons I listed in my critiques of Coburn’s proposals, while failing to reform the DOD. So Dick Morris was right – Ron Paul DOES want to dismantle the military – as does veteran pacifist Barack Obama (who is, like Paul, an ardent supporter of the sequestration mechanism). That is a fact.
Then, Hunter invoked Russell Kirk: “But since we’re discussing conservatism, let’s take a look at what Russell Kirk had to say about this subject.” He quoted Kirk’s objections to Operation Desert Storm.

Kirk had reasons for his concerns. But with regard to Desert Storm, they were unfounded. That operation was limited in scope and objectives. Its only goal was to kick Saddam Hussein’s military out of Kuwait and cripple it. Once these goals were achieved, President Bush the Elder brought US troops back home. He didn’t say “Oh, let’s go further, take Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein, because the opportunity has presented itself!”

Conducting Desert Storm was the RIGHT thing to do. There was no way that the US could’ve tolerated Saddam’s drive to dominate the entire Middle East and his threat to Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest reservoir of oil. It had NOTHING to do with 9/11, which was perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, which was hostile to Saddam Hussein.
But don’t waste your breath telling that to Hunter, who bombastically (and falsely) claims that

“For basically every position Morris calls “liberal” or “radically left-wing” you can find some of the most prominent and respected names in American conservatism agreeing with Paul.”

Which is a lie, because there are many issues (e.g. defense, foreign policy, abortion, traditional marriage, etc.) on which there isn’t a single prominent, respected conservative who agrees Ron Paul. This is ESPECIALLY visible on the issue of defense, which is understandable that in order to be a conservative you MUST support a strong defense and generous funding for it. Providing generous, adequate funding for a strong defense, not constraining it with disarmament treaties, making sure that the military is adequately trained, housed, AND equipped with the most modern and most lethal weapons America can produce – this is an INTEGRAL, IRREMOVABLE part of conservative philosophy (as opposed to libertarianism) and is the biggest difference that distinguishes us conservatives from libertarians (including Ron Paul).

“Morris’s mistake is definitional. What Morris calls “conservatism” is simply the current conventional Republicanism. One does not necessarily equal the other. Ask Barry Goldwater. Ask Ronald Reagan. Ask Ron Paul.”

Ron Paul is not an authority on anything, let alone on the definition of conservatism, because he’s not a conservative. As for Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan – both of them fervently supported a strong defense and a hawkish foreign policy; Goldwater’s policy might’ve even been a little too hawkish (in 1964, he said he would drop a nuclear bomb on Northern Vietnam). Both of them would’ve strongly opposed, and campaign against, Ron Paul if they were alive today (sadly, they’re not).

Moreover, defense spending and the war in Iraq are hardly the only aspects of foreign policy on which Paul is completely at odds with conservatism and conservatives – he’s completely at odds with us conservatism on the entire FP spectrum.

So whom does Hunter quote as an authority on conservatism and its history? None other than the extremely-leftist, anti-defense, anti-Republican, Soros-supported J Street propagandist Peter Beinart of the liberal TDB:

“Here’s where Morris and Gingrich really show their ignorance. Writes The Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart (…)”

Not that I care about what Beinart says, but I’ll refute just one of his Coolidge quotes, namely that “The people have had all the war, all the taxation, and all the military service they want.”

In fact, the public does not support defense cuts: according to multiple polls conducted last year, 57% of Americans oppose any such cuts, and 82% opposed any defense cuts by the Super Committee and the sequester. Military service is voluntary in the United States, yet more people join the military’s ranks than the DOD can accept.

Hunter then lied, trying to whitewash his boss, that:

„Much has been made about the fact that Paul criticized Reagan in 1988 and bolted to run third party out of disgust with the Republican Party. Yet, Paul’s beef was not that he was against the Reagan Revolution, only that it had failed to live up to its promise in terms of shrinking government. Paul was one of only four congressmen to endorse Reagan in 1976. So Paul was one of Reagan’s earliest supporters — and later his criticism was that Reagan wasn’t “Reagan” enough.”

That is utter garbage. That is NOT what Ron Paul was saying at the time. What Paul REALLY criticized and bashed Reagan for were, almost exclusively, his defense buildup and his staunchly anti-Communist global foreign policy. THAT is what Paul bashed Reagan for. THAT is what most of Paul’s farewell letter to the GOP in 1987 was about. Paul, of course, repeated the “defense is a big government project” lie in his letter a few times, and Hunter repeats it like a robot to this day. But it doesn’t change the fact that Hunter’s claim was a lie. Paul couldn’t care less about the size and scope of government; all he cared about was gutting America’s defense.

As for the false claim that the Reagan Revolution “had failed to live up to its promise of shrinking government”, it’s also a lie. Ronald Reagan cut the EPA’s budget by 22% in his first year and reduced spending as a share of GDP, while massively cutting taxes, abolishing wage and price controls, deregulating the oil and railroad industries, abolishing the ban on nuclear fuel recycling, eliminating tons of needless regulations, laying off thousands of bureaucrats in the DOD and further thousands in other agencies, reforming welfare programs, etc. Of course, he did not achieve everything he had hoped for, e.g. abolishing the Education Department and the DOE, which he always advocated. But there is a limit to what a President can achieve without the Congress on his side. Throughout his entire tenure, Reagan was fought fiercely by a House (and from 1987, a Senate) dominated by liberal Democrats such as Tip O’Neill. Reagan was merely a President, not a dictator.

Nonetheless, Ron Paul, together with his buddies Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell, slandered Ronald Reagan in the worst possible terms. Leaving aside Paul’s slanderous 1987 letter and his infamous 1988 interview with the Dallas Morning News, Rothbard and Rockwell, with Paul’s tacit approval, called Reagan a “warmonger” and called on the Congress to impeach him and remove him from office. When Reagan left office – but with all honors and with a high popularity rating – Rothbard called him a cretin and claimed that his tenure was “eight dreary, miserable, mind-numbing years”. This was the same Rothbard who was Paul’s intellectual father.

„To this day, Paul remains to the right of Reagan on government size and scope — hardly a “left-wing” position.”

No, he does not and he never was. Ron Paul is to the left of Reagan on these issues. He supports massive pork projects and defends them. He supports transferring tons of money out of the defense budget and into entitlement programs to appease the entitlement class. He also believes that states have the right to impose Big Government and any violations of individual liberties on their citizens – even those perpetrated by the California state government. He’s PERFECTLY FINE with Big Government – as long as it is imposed by states and not the federal government. To those who object, he says “leave your state”. In that regard, he’s indistinguishable from other Big Government Republicans like Mitt Romney.

Hunter then shamefully used Ronald Reagan, whom his boss and his buddies regularly slandered throughout the 1980s and later, as cover for his lunatic boss:

“But where Paul did admire Reagan in the mid-to-late ’80s is where Newt Gingrich and other Republican hawks most certainly did not. When Paul says today that we should always exhaust all diplomatic efforts before going to war — with Iran, for example — Paul’s Republican critics call him “weak” or an “appeaser.” They said the same about Reagan. When Reagan met with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, Gingrich called it “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Chamberlain in 1938 at Munich.””

Firstly, Ron Paul never admired Ronald Reagan, especially not during the mid-to-late 1980s, when he constantly spat on him together with his buddies Rothbard and Rockwell. Secondly, Ron Paul is not saying „exhaust all diplomatic efforts before going to war” – he’s saying „no wars ever, not even if America is attacked, because America is always to blade for all of the world’s problems”, as evidenced by his opposition to going to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and his criticism of the US entering WW2. All of his rivals, on the other hand, are saying „exhaust all non-war options, but IF these efforts fail, we MUST be ready to go to war with Iran IF NEED BE.” As George Washington said, „to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of keeping the peace.”

Thirdly, it is absolutely ridiculous to compare the rational, and, by Soviet standards, liberal Gorbachyov (Hunter can’t even get his name right) to the irrational mullahs ruling Iran, led by Ali Khamenei, and their irrational puppet speaker Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Gorbachyov was willing to make significant concessions and to liberalize the Soviet society. More recently, he has called for free elections and for Putin’s immediate resignation. He did not try to use force to keep Warsaw Pact states subjugated; he agreed to a peaceful dissolution of the Pact. OTOH, the irrational Iranian mullahs are suicidal and fanatical. They have repeatedly stated their desire to attack Israel and the US. They are co-responsible for 9/11 and are the bigest sponsors of Islamic terrorism in the world. If Reagan were President today, he wouldn’t have tried to reason with them. He would’ve dealt with them the same way he dealt with Colonel Qaddafi:

“Despite our repeated warnings, Qaddafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror. He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong. I warned that there should be no place on Earth where terrorists can rest and train and practice their deadly skills. I meant it. I said that we would act with others, if possible, and alone if necessary to ensure that terrorists have no sanctuary anywhere. Tonight, we have.”

Wasn’t it the Libyan intervention that caused Rothbard and Rockwell to call Reagan a “warmonger” and call for his impeachment?

In any case, Hunter’s pathetic attempt to use Ronald Reagan as a cover for his boss and claim that Paul was a “Reagan admirer” is false and insulting. As are his lectures about the meaning of conservatism and the claim that Paul is a conservative and the most conservative Presidential candidate in the last 50 years – an honor that belongs undisputably to Reagan. Yet, Hunter not only falsely claimed that Reagan was merely “arguably the second most conservative candidate”, he claimed that Ron Paul advocates “strict constitutionalism:

“It could be reasonably argued that Reagan was the second-most conservative person to run for president in the last 50 years after Paul, whose strict constitutionalism no doubt continues to create controversy.”

That is also a blatant lie. Ron Paul is no adherent to constitutionalism. If he was, he would’ve accepted the ENTIRE Constitution as it is, instead of cherry-picking parts of the Constitution that he likes and rejecting those that he doesn’t like, such as the Constitutional authorizations of, and REQUIREMENTS FOR, a strong defense – which Ron Paul ardently opposes – and the Fourteenth Amendment, which incorporated the Bill of Rights against the states, thus protecting individual liberties. Paul ardently opposes both, which means he’s no constitutionalist and no adherer to the Constitution.
Ron Paul is not a conservative. Not by a long-shot. As Dick Morris has said, he’s an ultra-left wing politician who merely happens to agree with conservatives on a few issues.

But even a blind pig will find an earful of corn once in a while.

If you support defense cuts – let alone those massive defense cuts that Paul and Coburn advocate – you are not a conservative. Not by a long shot.

If you support a foreign policy of isolationism or appeasement, you are not a conservative.

If you believe that Big Government and abortion on demand are okay, as long as they’re imposed by state governments, you are most certainly not a conservative.

Mr Hunter, your lectures about conservatism could not be further from the truth.

Ron Paul is the most conservative presidential candidate

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=7046

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

Yet another laughable screed by Jack Hunter


Anti-defense liberal Jack Hunter has written yet another laughable screed at the DailyCaller.

This post is yet another laughable screed designed to cover up the fact that Ron Paul is weak on foreign policy and defense issues. This one, however, is deeply offensive to me, because in this one, the Offical Ron Paul Blogger claims Reagan’s mantle for Ron Paul and claims that Paul’s foreign policy of appeasement, isolationism, and unilateral disarmament is thoroughly Reaganesque (his screed is titled “Ron Paul’s Reaganesque foreign policy). Nothing could be further from the truth.

Don’t take my word from it. Read Ron Paul’s own resignation letter to Reagan and the GOP from 1987, in which he denounced Reagan’s foreign and defense policies in the strongest possible terms, saying that Reagan’s FP was “unconstitutional” and denouncing his defense spending as well as “spending on… warfare”. That same year, Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell denounced Reagan as a “warmonger” and called on the Congress to impeach him and remove him from office. And, throughout the 1980s, Ron Paul OPPOSED Reagan’s defense spending hikes, funding for the Nicaraguan contras, funding for other freedom fighters worldwide (e.g. the Solidarity trade union in Poland), and any interventions anywhere, including the interventions in Lebanon, Grenada, and Libya, as well as the shootdowns of Libyan aircraft in the Gulf of Sidra in 1981 and 1989. Lew Rockwell has recently said that “Ron Paul is not a Reaganite; he is much better than that” and denounced the B-1 bomber (which Ron Paul opposed) as a “killing machine”.

Today, Ron Paul supports MASSIVE defense cuts, to the tune of at least $1 trillion over a decade (including the elimination of the entire USAF bomber fleet), withdrawal of all American troops from all foreign countries (including staunch allies like Japan and South Korea, to whose defense Reagan was pledged), total isolationism (no interventions anywhere, not even if it’s necessary, and yes, Paulbots, sometimes it is necessary), and dumping all of America’s allies, as well as appeasing America’s enemies. He also opposed the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

So Ron Paul’s foreign policy is not only not Reaganesque, it’s the total OPPOSITE of the foreign policy that Ronald Reagan supported.

Now, what was Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, actually?

For starters, I welcome the admission by Hunter and J Street propagandist Beinart that Ronald Reagan was not really a promiscous interventionist at all. That’s some progress. Beinart’s recitation of Reagan’s scant record of military interventions is 100% true.

But both Hunter and Beinart have omitted the biggest difference between Reagan’s foreign policy and Paul’s: Reagan supported (and actively fought for – before, during, and after his 8 years as President) strong defense as a means of both protecting America and preventing wars. Ron Paul opposed it at the time and opposes it now, as does Lew Rockwell. Throughout Reagan’s 8 years as President, Ron Paul fought against his defense policies. But how can one be surprised when Paul’s self-admitted biggest intellectual influence, Murray Rothbard, claimed that

“The United States was solely at fault for the Cold War and Russia was the aggrieved party.”?

As the Roman proverb goes, si vis pacem, pare bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war. Or, as George Washington said, “To be ready for war is one of the most effective means of keeping the peace.” Reagan invoked Washington’s words during the 1980s. Throughout that decade, even though liberals (and Ron Paul) were fighting tooth and nail every day against his defense budgets and defense policies, Reagan held firm and frequently spoke in defense of a strong defense and In Defense of Defense Spending, which is the title of my book on the subject. The Congress, including Ron Paul, repeatedly called on Reagan to cut defense spending as a means of balancing the budget, but he continually refused. At least twice, he delivered nationally-televised speeches to the public about why his defense budgets were necessary and why it would have been foolish to cut them. He explained, in simple terms that everyone could understand, why robust funding was necessary to rebuild the US military and counter America’s enemies. He countered anti-defense propaganda. He and his administration’s officials did, with words and deeds, more for the cause of a strong defense than anyone else during the last 50 years.

Indeed, Reagan has set the bar very high, and I’m badly disappointed that there is no Reagan now to fight for the cause of a strong defense and against defense cuts. Maybe Sarah Palin will do that, if she jumps into the race. Her foreign policy opinions are actually closest to Reagan’s, compared to all other candidates.

And what about the INF Treaty?

Throughout the 1980s, the US demanded the removal of Soviet IRBMs from the European continent and the signing of a verifiable INF Treaty. However, since 1983, the Soviet Union was placing an unreasonable condition: cancelling the SDI. The 1985 and 1986 American-Soviet summits ended with nothing because Reagan refused to give up the SDI. Liberals blamed him. However, Reagan held firm, and eventually the INF Treaty was signed (in 1987) WITHOUT a cancellation or even a slow-down of the SDI. In other words, Reagan won, and Gorbachev lost. The Soviet Union got NOTHING. The Treaty only ordered the elimination of all American and Soviet IRBMs. It did not say anything about the SDI. And as a result of that treaty, the USSR had to dismantle twice as many missiles as the US.

Compare that record to that of Obama, who sold missile defense to Russia in 2010 in return for a New START treaty unfavorable to the US.

Yes, a few conservatives denounced Reagan as an appeaser, but I don’t think anyone makes these ridiculous claims now.

True, he would’ve probably opposed the Iraqi and Libyan wars as well. Two of his most important Cold War era allies, William Buckley and General William Odom, opposed the Iraqi war. But the Iraqi and Libyan wars are hardly the only disagreements Ron Paul has with mainstream Republicans on the issue of foreign policy.

So, in short, Ron Paul’s foreign policy is the OPPOSITE of Reagan’s. Ronald Reagan never supported, and would have never supported if he were alive today, a policy of defense cuts, withdrawal from the world, isolationism, and appeasement. Reagan supported a strong defense, defending America’s loyal allies, standing up to America’s enemies, both Communist and Islamist, and intervening military abroad when (albeit ONLY when) necessary.

Defense: What would Reagan do?


Today is Reagan’s 100th birthday.

An often-asked question is “What would Reagan do?”

As America is struggling with $1.4 trillion annual budget deficits (and the deficit planned by Obama for FY2011 will raise the debt-to-GDP ratio to 100% if federal spending is not significantly reduced), the Congress and the nation are pondering what to do about defense spending – whether to reduce it or not. Many people, however, don’t ask whether to reduce defense spending, but how deeply to reduce it.

And what would Reagan do? Would he call for reductions of defense spending if he was alive today?

Because he’s no longer alive, it isn’t possible to say for 100% sure what he would do or say. But it is possible to say what he would probably do, on the basis of what he actually did or said while he was President.

When Ronald Reagan assumed office, the budget deficit was also big – it amounted to 6% of GDP! Nonetheless, Ronald Reagan chose NOT to reduce defense spending, as some people (e.g. William Kaufmann) called on him to do. He chose to increase it while shrinking domestic federal spending (e.g. by closing the Education Department and the DOE). He increased defense spending by 35%, from ca. $400 bn in FY1981 to ca. $554 bn in FY1985, and from 4.7% of GDP in FY1981 to 6.2% of GDP in FY1986. In fact, even during FY1981, Reagan and his Defense Secretary, the Honorable Caspar Weinberger, asked for and obtained a “supplemental” to the defense budget, because the defense budget devised by the Carter Administration was inadequate.

Dr Kim Holmes, Vice President of the Heritage Foundation, wrote in the WaTimes:

“On national defense, the lessons are clear. Reagan came to office after years of neglect of our armed forces and launched a military buildup that we live off to this day. He let the threats, not the bottom line, determine defense spending. He revived the B-1 bomber program that President Carter canceled and initiated many other defense programs. He famously told his military planners, “Defense is not a budget issue. You spend what you need.”And by the time he left office, he boosted defense spending 35 percent.

If not for Reagan‘s military buildup, we would not have had the advanced weaponry and excellent fighting force that won the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars with historically low U.S. casualties.”

Please note that, folks. Reagan said, “Defense is not a budget issue. You spend what you need.” That is because America’s defense budget should be based on the real needs of the military, not on artificial budgetary restrictions imposed by the OMB. Of course, the military should not get more money than it really needs, but during Reagan’s time, it did not, and nowadays, it doesn’t, either. The FY2011 defense budget ($525 bn) is actually inadequate.

Reagan was willing to spend whatever was necessary on defense, but not a cent more.

His budget recommendations were based on what his Joint Chiefs told him, NOT on what pacifist politicians like Barney Frank claimed was the real requirement. Reagan accepted the expert advice of his Joint Chiefs of Staff and his Secretary of Defense, although he did think independently.

Would Reagan endorse the defense cuts imposed by the Obama Administration and its mediocre Defense Secretary Robert Gates (who has never seen war)?

The answer is no. During the 1970s, Reagan saw crucial weapon programs cut or closed. When he became president, he reestablished them and started some new ones (e.g. the SDI). If he were alive today, he would’ve opposed the closures of the F-22, C-17, MKV, KEI, CSARX, NLOS, and European missile defense programs, and the cuts of the Airborne Laser, F-35, Ground Based Interceptor, and carrier replacement programs. He would’ve opposed Gates’ delays of the Next Generation Bomber program (de facto dictated by the OMB) and the ludicrous 2010 NPR and BMDR. He would’ve protested against the large force structure reductions conducted by the Bush and Obama Administrtions.

And what about the New START treaty? Would Reagan have signed it as it is now, or would he have rejected it?

Reagan called for a world without nuclear weapons, but in such a world, the US was to be protected by a vast missile defense network which would’ve negated the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal (not to mention the Chinese arsenal). This was the very goal of the SDI. The New START treaty not only calls for reductions of America’s nuclear arsenal and its arsenal of delivery systems down to inadequate levels, it also greatly restricts America’s missile defense. Moreover, even before the treaty was signed, Obama unilaterally gave up many missile defense programs, including the ABL, MKV, KEI, GBI and European missile defense programs (the latter was surrendered as a part of the price of Moscow’s signature of the treaty). Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave.

Reagan’s arms reduction treaty negotiators, including his chief negotiator General Ed Rowny, and many other former diplomats and Reagan Administration officials, including Ed Meese and Frank Gaffney, protested against this disastrous treaty.

So, what would Reagan do? He would’ve opposed reductions of defense spending. He would’ve opposed the Obama-dictated closures of crucial weapon programs. He would’ve opposed the New START treaty.

As the US celebrates Reagan’s 100th birthday, it is necessary to learn lessons from him and follow his guidance when determining America’s defense policies.

The opponents of a strong defense haven’t surrendered


The 100th birthday of the late Ronald Reagan – America’s Defender-in-Chief – will be tomorrow, and the opponents of a strong defense haven’t surrendered yet. Quite the contrary, their anti-defense rages have worsened.

Take the libertarian Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. Apparently, he hasn’t noticed that 81.5% of all federal spending is civilian spending (and 56% of the entire federal budget is composed of entitlements), so he’s advocating deep defense cuts, and recently, in a letter to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he urged them to advocate deep defense budget cuts while threatening to vote against any legislation that does not reduce defense spending. Moreover, the senator from Oklahoma, who can’t even shave his face properly, falsely claimed in that letter that if the federal budget is to be balanced, “the defense budget must be reduced”, and advertised the hatchet job produced by the utterly discredited Deficit Reduction Commission (of which he was a member), saying that this was the conclusion reached by “leaders from across the political spectrum”.

The defense budget does not have to be reduced, and should not be reduced. As for the hatchet job produced by the DRC – about which I’ve already written a post on this blog – it was a biased, dishonest, politically motivated report that singled out ONLY THE DOD for deep budget reductions, while allowing civilian federal agencies to skate with only minor budget cuts.

It called for a $100 bn per year reduction of defense spending, i.e. a reduction of the defense budget by almost 20%, massive cuts of equipment (modernization) spending, and cuts or closures of many crucial weapon programs, including the V-22 Osprey program (a proven rotorcraft type absolutely necessary to replace CH-46s and C-2s, to which it is vastly superior), the JLTV program, the Joint Tactical Radio program, and the F-35 program (the Marine variant would be cancelled, the orders for the Air Force and Navy variants would be reduced by half). Its recommendations would mean doom for the military. And that’s exactly what the commission wanted. Its recommendations were designed to severely weaken the military. Why? Because the vast majority of its members are strident pacifists, i.e. people IDEOLOGICALLY opposed to a strong defense. They oppose a strong defense for ideological reasons. Their recommendations were ideologically motivated.

The NTU and the PIRG have called for similar, but deeper, defense reductions, including all of the above cuts as well as the closure of the entire F-35 program (rather than a reduction of orders for F-35s) and a huge, $148.5 bn 6-year reduction of funds for DOD spare parts, which would practically mean that the DOD would not have any money to buy spare parts, which would mean that its aircraft, ships and ground vehicles would not be able to fly. In the NTU-PIRG report, similarly, the DOD was to bear the brunt of federal spending cuts, while other agencies would see their budgets shrink only by a smidgen.

Rep. Andrews lied at about 24:30 that the military budget has tripled since FY2001. It hasn’t. It hasn’t even doubled since then. In FY2001, the defense budget was (according to the Air Force Magazine and Clinton’s own defense budget request) $291.1 bn in 2000 dollars (the budget was requested, approved by the Congress, and signed into law in 2000), i.e. $368.62 bn in 2010 dollars. The FY2010 military budget was ca. $672.76 bn (a $542.76 bn base budget plus a $130 bn GWOT/OCO budget). To double since FY2001, annual defense spending would have to grow to $736 bn. To triple since FY2001, it would have to grow to over $1 trillion! It hasn’t. In FY2010 it was $672.76 bn and this FY, under the ConRes, it’s $685 bn (a $525 bn base budget plus a $160 bn GWOT supplemental). The base defense budget hasn’t even doubled (let alone tripled) in nominal terms (i.e. in dollars not adjusted for inflation).

Hey, Congressman Andrews, do the math!

Rep. Randy Forbes lied that the annual military budget is over $700 bn. It isn’t. The biggest military budget America has ever had is the current one ($685 bn). America has never had a $700 bn military budget. Not this fiscal year. Not ever.

http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/hearings?ContentRecord_id=3b791d27-87d0-4603-ac3a-68bebbbe0a66&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=13e47ffa-0753-47a7-ad5e-1ba7592015c9

Other opponents claim that the USMC doesn’t need to be an amphibious service and doesn’t need amphibious vehicles at all. This is false, because the USMC has been conducting amphibious assaults ever since it was established in the 1790s. Please read this:

http://marines.dodlive.mil/2011/01/09/despite-budget-cuts-marines-remain-amphibious/ 

Rep. Johnson claimed that the DOD will have to be a part of “reducing the budget deficit”. No, it will not have to be, although, if history is any guide, Congress will likely use the Pentagon as a piggy bank to reduce the deficit created by bloated DOMESTIC spending.

If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would’ve vehemently opposed proposals to reduce the defense budget (which is already smaller, in real and percentage-of-GDP terms alike, smaller than when he was President). As reported by Dr Kim Holmes, a Heritage Foundation expert, Reagan said to his generals, “Defense is not a budget issue. You spend what you need.”

Reducing the defense budget is neither necessary to balance the federal budget nor militarily advisable. Such a policy would weaken the military while not balancing the budget nor even significantly reducing it. Congress, please note that.