Skip to comments.How 'amiable dunce' Reagan saved the world: Gipper's brilliant chess game with the Evil Empire
Posted on 02/07/2005 11:43:43 PM PST by JohnHuang2
Being a writer for the past quarter century, I am not usually at a loss for words.
But I'm having a hard time finding the words to convey just how magnificent a film "In the Face of Evil" really is.
There's a spiritual quality to this new movie documentary which chronicles Ronald Reagan's 40-year struggle and ultimate triumph against communism that defies description.
To understand the tremendous emotional impact of this film, ranked by the Liberty Film Festival as "Best Documentary film of 2004," remember that despite all the nice things said about Ronald Reagan during his funeral observances last June, America's establishment elite always despised him.
They awarded him meaningless and vacuous praise such as "the great communicator," but they had nothing but contempt for him.
As Peter Schweizer, author of "Reagan's War," the book on which "In the Face of Evil" is based, recalls:
Historian Edmund Morris, in his 874-page authorized biography, concludes that Reagan is simply incomprehensible, an airhead who has lived a charmed life. Diplomat Clark Clifford has called him an "amiable dunce," and Nicholas von Hoffman said it was "humiliating to think of this unlettered, self-assured bumpkin being our president." Tip O'Neill flat out said in public, "He knows less than any president I've every known." Anthony Lewis of the New York Times claimed he had only a "seven-minute attention span." Author Gail Sheehy declared he was "half asleep" while he was president.
That's how the "beautiful people" of Washington regarded, and still regard, this story's protagonist, Ronald Reagan.
Now let's look at the story's antagonist: communism, the utopian super-cancer that first seduced and then enslaved large parts of the world. An estimated 150 million people were killed during the last century because of this utopian fantasy enforced by guns, gulags and nuclear-armed ICBMs.
"In the Face of Evil" starts back in Reagan's Hollywood days when he was a young actor who "had it all," but who risked it all by standing up to the communist takeover of Hollywood. It follows his years as GE spokesman, California governor and as presidential candidate, documenting the evolution of Reagan's war against Communism.
Setting the stage for Reagan was Jimmy Carter, one of the weakest presidents in American history, more interested in being loved as a great peacemaker and winning Nobel prizes than in effectively confronting evil. His term as commander in chief greatly encouraged Soviet expansionist adventures around the globe, from Afghanistan to Central America.
When he was finally elected and to this day I consider it one of the greatest kindnesses God Almighty has done for this country in my lifetime that He allowed such a man to become president Ronald Reagan gracefully bore all the insults and mockery of Beltway critics and spearheaded a comprehensive plan to win the Cold War.
With great courage and moral clarity, and ignoring the advice of many "experts" even in his own administration, Reagan personally mapped out a four-part plan not just military, but economic, political and psychological to crush the Soviet Union once and for all. This will be news to most people, many of whom still think the "amiable dunce," the "cowboy actor" with the "million-dollar smile" just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and reaped undeserved credit for winning the Cold War.
I remember when I first realized Reagan was doing something extraordinary. It was on March 23, 1983. I happened to be in K-Mart's electronics section, in front of a whole bank of televisions, all tuned to the same channel. While I stood there, on came Ronald Reagan, who proceeded to deliver his historic speech announcing for the very first time his plan to build the Strategic Defense Initiative.
I couldn't believe my ears. Here was a president who, for the first time in my lifetime, talked about actually defending America protecting it from a Soviet nuclear first strike. At that moment, hope for America was reborn in me.
Reagan had kept Congress in the dark about SDI and gone directly to the American people and Congress never forgave him for that. SDI was immediately derided as "Star Wars" by Teddy Kennedy, and the rest of the establishment elite picked up that label, using it to this day to mock the idea of missile defenses.
And yet, it was SDI that broke the back of the Soviet empire. When Reagan and Gorbachev were on the world stage at the Reyjkavik summit, Gorbachev offered to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the earth within 10 years, if only Reagan would give up SDI. When Reagan said no, the media and the world's know-it-alls gasped at this stupid, warmonger cowboy actor who blew the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rid the world of nuclear weapons. "Reyjkavik Summit Ends in Failure" blared headlines the world over.
But Reagan, guided by the courage and moral clarity the rest lacked, knew exactly what he was doing.
Three years later, we turned on our TV sets to watch the evening news and saw something unimaginably wonderful. The Berlin Wall the hated symbol of totalitarian brutality Reagan had visited more than any other president came tumbling down. Not only the Berlin Wall, but the entire Soviet Union was tumbling down! Nation after nation was set free from the Evil Empire. The "Other Great Superpower" was imploding.
And who did Time magazine honor as its "Man of the Decade" in 1990? Ronald Reagan? No, it was Mikhail Gorbachev, who just a few years before had been dropping little bombs shaped like toys so as to cripple Afghan children in the Soviet Union's war of aggression against that country.
The real man of the decade was Ronald Wilson Reagan. And yet, even now, Reagan is denied the credit for winning World War III the Cold War.
"Today," notes Schweizer, "it is fashionable to explain that victory in the Cold War was a group effort, including every American president from Truman to Reagan. Former president Gerald Ford says the credit doesn't belong to any one leader but to the American people, as if who happened to be in charge really didn't matter. Others, such as former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, content that it was the ultimate team effort. 'There were the communists and there were us; the good buys and the bad guys ... it was fairly easy to understand.' If Reagan did anything, says [historian Robert] Dallek, it was simply to stand on the shoulders of every other Cold War president before him."
Pardon me, but what a bunch of inane and self-serving claptrap.
Schweizer's landmark book, based on secret documents obtained from archives in Russia, Germany, Poland, Hungary and the U.S. and especially from Reagan's KGB file finally reveals the truth, brought to life so spectacularly in "In the Face of Evil."
And what is that truth? That far from being a charmed actor-bumpkin just riding the wave of history, Reagan, following the same courageous anti-communist course he had followed steadfastly for decades, and possessing the wisdom to know how to combat evil and prevail, played a brilliant and necessary game of chess with the Evil Empire, and won.
That's right. Ronald Reagan was and oh, how the Washington insiders in politics and the press hate this simply brilliant:
"While others were distracted by short-term considerations, President Reagan single-mindedly pursued his vast strategic goals and he succeeded. Was there ever a better example of statesmanship in action?"
Lady Margaret Thatcher
"Ronald Reagan played an invaluable role in bringing about the fall of communism and ending the Cold War without resorting to military solutions. This is not something easily found in the world of politics."
Lech Walesa, former president of Poland
If you want to truly understand Ronald Reagan for the first time, you must see this film.
If you want to understand the 20th Century, and how communism was really defeated, you must see this film.
If you have children, and want them to understand what leadership is really all about, and what modern history is really all about, and what one of the greatest American presidents was really all about, you must see this film.
And if you want to understand exactly how we can and must defeat the current insane, utopian system which has declared war on America radical Islamism then you must see this film.
In his farewell address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan asked:
... Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? ... We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection ...
So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important: Why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant ... If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.
Let's not let this generation "forget what we did." Let's not allow an "eradication of the American memory" and the spirit it inspires. Please do yourself a huge favor and experience this movie for yourself, and share it with your family and loved ones.
I just ordered my DVD.
I just came across these and hope you don't mind if I add tham here:
Wise saying by Ronald Regan
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have >>looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."
"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."
(the Ten Commandments one really made me laugh)
It's funny today how the left, who hated Reagan more than they hated any human on earth, now pretends to look favorably on him, at least in comparison to Bush, who they now hate more than any human on earth.
Leftweenies. Still silly after all these years.
I did a movie review on this after seeing it at the Liberty Film Festival. It is a magnificent film. Ronald Reagan, with his advisors, had the vision to end the Evil Empire. They did it.
How true indeed! Absolutely providential!!!
Read and enjoy.
Great article. What set him apart was moral courage.
There we disagree. Carter wasn't ineffectual; he was evil. He engineered the shortages that resulted in the oil embargo, primarily by screwing the Shah of Iran and killing the domestic nuclear industry (with an EO banning nuclear fuel reprocessing that produced a structural waste problem). High oil prices then funded the Soviet military buildup.
Reagan deregulated oil prices and reduced regulations that had precluded access to drilling. When prices fell so did the Soviet Union's ability to fund its military machine, especially its blue water navy.
Reagan refused to accept Soviet expansionism during Carter's administration as irreversible, whether in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, or Grenada with both overt and covert action to roll back the encirclement Carter had engineered. I am sad to say that President Bush has not shown that kind of steel, especially in Venezuela.
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