RONALD WILSON REAGAN & PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP:
THE GIPPER'S LEGACY FOR OUR TIME
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
What is more, the philosophy that guided Ronald Reagan throughout his life and whose practice made the 40th Presidency one of this country's greatest -- the proposition that the competent exercise of American power is essential to maintaining international peace and security -- remains a formula for guiding U.S. defense and foreign policy in our own time.
The history of strenuous opposition to Mr. Reagan's application of the philosophy of peace through strength for the purpose of ending the "Evil Empire" and liberating its oppressed subjects offers important perspective on the present controversy: George W. Bush's determination that, among other things, the liberation of Iraq was required to achieve success against yet another global threat -- the use of terrorism to advance political agendas.
One of the most important insights from the previous experience, however, is the importance of being clear about precisely who and what we are up against. Ronald Reagan appreciated that it was necessary -- but not sufficient -- for America's military strength to be rebuilt. He also understood the need to wage a "war of ideas" against the Soviet Union. Specifically, Mr. Reagan explicitly and repeatedly addressed the odiousness and illegitimacy of Soviet Communism, discrediting it in the world's eyes, demoralizing its proponents and emboldening those who longed to be free of that tyrannical ideology.
The need for a "war of ideas" has been much on the mind of the man charged with securing peace through strength through more obvious means, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. For months, he has been warning that the Islamist recruitment and training pipeline is capable of generating jihadist cannon-fodder faster than U.S. and allied forces can kill them. According to the Associated Press, in remarks to an international security conference in Singapore on June 6, Rumsfeld warned:
The Pentagon chief observed: "What you have is a civil war in [Islam] where a small minority are trying to hijack it."
Complicating matters further is the fact that Saudi Arabia -- ostensibly one of our most important allies in the war on terror -- is a significant part of the problem. A featured article in The New York Times, June 6, 2004, was entitled, "The Saudis fight terror, but not those who wage it." The article reports:
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
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The Middle East & the Arabs
The Middle East & the Problem of Iraq
The Problem of Rogue States:
Iraq as a Case History
War & Peace in the Real World
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * France
Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control