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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 01:12 AM

3. I beg to differ with Dr. Roberts on two facts.

1. I returned to the US from Europe in 1985. While babysitting an children in the Fall of that year, I watched C-Span. That kind of programming was a new experience for me so I remember it very well.

One day, I watched an exchange between two members of Congress about free trade. The discussion was heated and unforgettable. The Democrat told the Republican that if we adopted the Reagan administration's ideas about free trade, we would turn into a country in which we just handed each other hamburgers. Prophetic.

I am paraphrasing the words of the Congressmembers, and I unfortunately do not remember the names of those involved in the exchange. I am, however certain that at that time the earliest legislation that prepared the way for our current catastrophic trade and employment crisis was discussed. I believe it was also passed -- and that it was the Republicans who pushed very hard against Democratic resistance to pass it and therewith establish the groundwork needed for the final onslaught in the 1990s.

The Republicans in the Reagan administration were very busy building the foundation upon which was erected the free trade edifice that is damaging not just our economy but that of the Western world at this time.

2. If the Reagan administration did not know that the Soviet Union was disintegrating, imploding long before 1988, it is because they were not paying attention. Austria was the central perch from which the action in Eastern Europe and thus in Russia could be observed.

Ronald Reagan did not seem to appreciate the historical and cultural role that Austria played in Europe. He named his secretary, yes, his personal secretary as the ambassadress to Austria. I'm sure she was a sweet and very competent secretary, a very nice lady. She assuredly spoke German since she was born in Austria. And of course, the Embassy probably had more highly qualified people to assess the political situation in the country.

But . . . . . didn't the Reagan administration notice the increasingly frequent stories of successful defections from Eastern Europe to the West? Stories appeared in local newspapers of heroes from the East, especially Czechoslovakia flying planes across the border from Czechoslovakia to Austria. Poland was exploding. There were so many indications of the breakdown of the Soviet control over the Soviet satellites that I cannot believe that it was not the topic of daily discussion in the Reagan administration.

When we returned to the US, we told our friends what we had seen and predicted that things would change drastically in the then USSR and Eastern Europe. People just stared at us. The press reported otherwise. Of course the official lies served to make the Reagan administration look positively heroic when the Berlin Wall fell.

In fact, the Carter administration and perhaps administrations earlier than that -- and maybe no administration deserved what credit should be given for the changes in Europe of the time. The Reagan administration was actually quite a Johnny-come-lately with regard to changes in Eastern Europe. If the press stories are to be believed, it was apparently not even really watching what was going on.

Good Heavens! Travel between Austria and Eastern Europe was already quite commonplace by 1981-1981. Elderly Viennese ladies were traveling to Budapest by train just to eat a spicy Hungarian mal They left in the morning and returned to Vienna in the evening. A lovely day's outing. No problem.

That such a highly placed member of the Reagan administration was not aware of what was happening is further proof of the incompetence of that administration.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
stockholmer Jan 2012 OP
izquierdista Jan 2012 #1
jakeXT Jan 2012 #2
LineNew Reply I beg to differ with Dr. Roberts on two facts.
JDPriestly Jan 2012 #3
freshwest Jan 2012 #4
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