The Big Lie. That is what the Soviet Union based their government on. “Big Lies,” provocation and the occasional atrocity. This was true until “glasnost” a new openness and a new economy called “perestroika,” initiated by Gorbachev, brought the eventual end to the Soviet Union.
History will show that the Helsinki Accords, signed by the Soviets in 1975 and the new leaders of the Soviet Union (Gorbachev was one of them) brought into power in 1985, changed the Soviet Union forever.
Many eastern bloc dissidents used the language of the Helsinki Accords to justify their criticisms of the communist government. It helped to forge hundreds of democratically motivated civic groups that were supported with millions of dollars by George Soros and others.
Now the Republicans want to turn Reagan into some mythological deity using the “Big Lie” as told by the Republicans like Jon Kyl, that Reagan single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union, when the truth lies closer to this one truth, Reagan happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was not some wizard with geopolitical knowledge of the future, but instead was a player astute enough to recognize the changes that Gorbachev was bringing to the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries, and Reagan made sure the Soviets knew they would not be making a mistake by making the changes the Gorbachev revolution would bring.
Rate the amount of shared responsibility to bringing the end to the Soviet Union, it might look like this; 1) Détente. 2) The Helsinki Accords. 3) Gorbachev. 4) Soviet dissidents. 5) Reagan.
I don’t agree with Jon Kyl that either Reagan’s speech, calling the Soviet Union an evil empire had any meaningful effect in the way the Soviets treated human rights any more than I would believe that Obama could have changed the outcome of the protests in Iran by casting Iran’s leaders of that country as leaders of an evil empire.
Jon Kyl is wrong again. Obama was right to stay out of a fight that would have meant the massacre of thousands of protesters if they would have thought for a minute that America was going to come to their aid.
Jon Kyl should stick to his goal of killing any meaningful health care reform that would hurt his constituents, the health insurance companies, and leave writing history to those who write history books.