While Reagan was calling The Soviet Union 'The Evil Empire', the liberal press (NYT) was predicting WWIII. Reagan would be the cause of course...he was too tough and not conscious of 'world opinion' when using this subversive 'cowboy talk'. Liberal publications thought for sure there would be nuclear war. The world hated Reagan, he was trying to impose 'our' values on the rest of the world, and he used religious connotations that offended secular Europe ('Evil Empire').
...BUT, when the Soviet Union crumbled (instead of what the NYT Op-Ed pages had predicted) --Reagan didn't get the credit. The spin started immediately and the same columnists that had been quaking in their boots over the impending WWIII with a world power like Russia began crediting the fall to Mikhail Gorbachev’s willingness to deal and (even better) the ‘fact’ that the SU was on the verge of crumbling anyway.
During the run up to the Iraq War, Reagan's press and George W. Bush's press could have been swapped and no one would have been the wiser. More calls from the NYT Op-Ed pages for temperance. More predictions of WWIII. More condemnations for the 'tough cowboy talk' and the flagrant disregard of world opinion. And more feathers ruffled over the use of the phrase 'Axis of Evil'.
...BUT, now look what is happening:
*Democratic elections in Afghanistan (10 million voter registrations/ 42% of that number women -source)
*Libya discloses its nuclear programs and vows to discontinue them (source)
*The Palestinians hold a Democratic election (first time since 1976) after the death of Yasser Arafat (source)
*Democratic elections take place in Iraq despite threats from insurgency (source)
*Egyptian President moves toward democratic elections -announces that he "he would seek constitutional changes to allow for direct, multiparty presidential elections later this year." (source)
*Ultra-Hawk Ariel Sharon will clear settlements that he sanctioned from Gaza (source)
*The people of Lebanon break 'no protesting' rules to call for a Syrian exit from their country and Syrian backed government resigns. (source)
impending deja vu
Liberals refuse(d) to give Reagan credit for the fall of the Soviet Union and I am predicting they will refuse the give Bush credit for the rise of Democracy in the Middle East. The same Middle East that the MSM claimed would never embrace Democracy...and how shameful we were to expect that Muslims wanted to be free --that crazy Western ideology *sarcasm font*...
What will the spin be this time? All these countries were on the verge of Democracy anyway? One thing that we can be sure of...Maureen Dowd will never write that maybe Bush was right --and maybe we need a leader that will stand strong and actually do what he says...and maybe there is something to that crazy right-wing mantra 'Peace through superior fire power' (or the threat of it at least)...
so, predict the spin....