Reagan – Warmonger and Reactionary Who Waged War on the Poor

0 129

It is only fitting that the current British government unveils a new statue of Ronald Reagan, while a war rages in Libya, a country the US illegally bombed back in the 1980s, while Reagan was president and Margaret Thatcher the UK’s premier. Of course, US bombers took off from UK bases which Mrs Thatcher had considered entirely appropriate.

Ronald_reaganIn those days, the Reagan administration backed or fomented many civil and other wars around the world – via the “sons of Reagan” murderous Contras in Nicaragua against the democratic government of Nicaragua, built up the Osama bin Laden-led forces of Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan, militarily intervened in Grenada, sold arms to Iran, backed Saddam’s war of aggression against Iran in which around a million people were killed. Claims by human rights organisations – backed by evidence – that Iraq used chemical weapons during the war on the West’s (and their repressive friends in the Gulf) biggest ‘enemy’ were rejected as inadequate by the British and American authorities. The world lives even today with the fruits of Reagan’s achievements.

Reagan’s greatest achievement was in pulling the US out of the national hand-wringing that arose from the war of aggression in Vietnam, where ca 2 million Vietnamese lost their lives, alongside around 55,000 US servicemen, mostly conscripts, and the coruption at the heart of America’s politics exposed by the Watergate scandal. Reagan taught America that it was “morning again” and time to walk tall and to not worry too much about the costs of America’s past aggressions, but instead to celebrate her achievements. President Carter had begun the process but Reagan completed it. Eliding history is a core principle for imperial powers.

At home, Reagan did his level best to reverse the gains of the civil rights movement, cutting the largest welfare bureaucracies that employed minority workers the most, and radically increasing racialised social polarisation. For white workers, Reagan was no better, despite electoral backing from that grouping. Reagan famously declared that he did not care what the US produced – potato chips or microchips, so deindustrialising America was no problem for the millionaires who backed and gained most from the ‘ no taxation with full representation’ Reagan Revolution. America’s rotting cities are a testament to the Reagan revolution.

President Barack Obama declared an interest in learning lessons from Reagan.

In the 1980s, we talked of the ‘Reagan Revolution’, a metaphor for reversing the legacies – what was left of them – of the New Deal, inaugurated by Reagan’s original inspiration, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Resurrecting Reagan today is to empower and encourage the most reactionary elements of US imperial power and their supporters in this country. It is to declare that might is right and wars of aggression will continue. It is to confirm America’s self-serving right to continue its imperial mission.

But there was another, alternative 1980s too: one in which there was mass opposition to US militarism and its Thatcherite backers, and a slogan was advanced across Europe when Reagan visited 10 Downing Street and the other capitals of Europe: “Yankee Assassin Go Home!”

There may not be a statue to mark that resistance, but it remains a powerful legacy nevertheless.

First Published in USBlog.

About the author / 


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • 25th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. IV – October-November-December 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-13….. World News by Ebru Birinci 15-20….. The Jungle Grows Back How can We Redefine the Future World Order in the Tension of Power and Ideas? by Marco Marsili 22-29….. Interview With Professor Katharyne Mitchell by Ozgur Tufekci & Rahman…

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…