Reagan who? Gorbachev’s death gives the Media a new chance to slight Reagan

Reagan who? Gorbachev’s death gives the Media a new chance to slight Reagan

Who ended the Cold War?

It’s a marginally controversial topic because politics but it really shouldn’t be. While plenty of brave and consequential people played a role in taking down communism, no one compares to the Gipper. Not even close. He was the Luke Skywalker of the decades-long conflict between East and West. Sure, Han Solo took out the Death Star shield after Bothan spies gave their lives to steal the plans (a nerdy but accurate analogy)! But Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” program and ‘Reagan Doctrine’ drove the Soviet economy into the ground and weakened the Evil Empire’s grip on its foreign spheres of influence.

You’re not going to hear much about it from the Left-wing Media today, Save Jerseyans, who upon the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev at age 91 are going to default to a 30-year old lie that the admittedly courageous final leader of the Soviet Union did it all by himself.

Here’s just a small sample of the headlines this afternoon:

YAHOO FINANCE: Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War, dies aged 91

CNN: Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet president who took down the Iron Curtain, dies

REUTERS: Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War, dies aged 91, Russian media reports

The CNN article mentions Reagan only twice; in this excerpt, the liberal cable news network suggests the Cold War’s demise began with a Gorbachev overture:

“In 1986, face to face with American President Ronald Reagan at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, Gorbachev made a stunning proposal: eliminate all long-range missiles held by the United States and the Soviet Union. It was the beginning of the end of the Cold War.”

The truth?

Gorbachev wasn’t a born again Milton Friedman fanboy. His early reforms were aimed at keeping the Soviet Bloc intact, but he evolved when his efforts ran into reality.

As Paul Lettow explained in his NRO review of Ken Adelman’s Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War, it was Reagan who set the tone of the meeting – and the relationship – which succeeded in lighting a fire under Gorbachev:

“…after Reykjavik, Gorbachev saw much less hope of restraining the U.S.–Soviet competition through near-term agreements, and more urgency for making more-thorough changes in Soviet foreign and domestic policy. Adelman also observes that while Reagan was relentless in pushing the Soviets and seeking advantage over them, he was nimble in working with Gorbachev when he perceived, much earlier than most, that Gorbachev could be the critical source of change he had sought for so long.”

So sure, Gorbachev deserves praise for ultimately choosing peace over conflict. No one should or could take that away from him.  The Left’s transparent attempt to minimize Reagan’s central role in winning the 20th century for the Free World is nevertheless nothing short of criminal.