Monday, October 10, 2005

"No, nothing ... can be recalled.", the President said.

I was reminded this weekend that the conventional liberal wisdom of President Reagan is that he "acted" his way through the presidency. And the positive results of his conservative agenda either don't exist, or, if they do exist, they can't be attributed to him.

An easy proof of this is found in the accusation that Reagan believed (and said) that nuclear missiles could be "recalled" once launched. As a young (younger, anyway) Reagan fan, I read this slur in the L.A. Times in the early 1980's, and forever since have kept a respectable distance from that rag.

The quote attributed to Reagan goes like this:
"Those that are carried in bombers, those that are carried in ships of one kind or another, or submersibles, ... They can be recalled if there has been a miscalculation."

I find that if you can't even find the intellectual honesty to print a complete sentence when "quoting" some one, well you're not worth listening to. Except for amusement.

The truth about Reagan can be found in his results, his actions, his speeches, his writings, and even if you're a liberal, if you strain your muddled brain really really hard, you might be able to find, and quickly discard, the truth in Reagan's off-the-cuff spoken words:

(Question) Mr. President, in your arms proposal, you focus on a central intercontinental missile system to the two sides. If the Soviets were to come back and say they wanted to talk about bombers, about cruise missiles, about other weapon systems, would you be willing to include those, or are those excluded?

(The President) No, nothing is excluded. But one of the reasons for going at the ballistic missile -- that is the one that is the most destabilizing. That one's the one that is the most frightening to most people. And let me just give you a little reasoning on that -- of my own on that score.

That is the missile sitting there in its silo in which there could be the possibility of miscalculation. That is the one that people know that once that button is pushed, there is no defense; there is no recall. And it's a matter of minutes, and the missiles reach the other country.

Those that are carried in bombers, those that are carried in ships of one kind or another, or submersibles, you are dealing there with a conventional type of weapon or instrument, and those instruments can be intercepted. They can be recalled if there has been a miscalculation. And so they don't have the same, I think, psychological effect that the presence of those other ones that, once launched, that's it; they're on their way, and there's no preventing, no stopping them.



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