"Short-circuiting the long-established principles of patient negotiation leads to war, not peace." - Jimmy Carter
On this 93rd birthday of the Anti-Christ, Gipper-worshipping dittoheads across the blogosphere are squawking like lovesick parrots about how "Reagan won the cold war". But history will reveal the real truth - the man who actually won the cold war was none other than the 39th president of the United States, James Earl Carter.
Carter strongly suspected that the Soviet Union might be a bully. From his grade school years, Carter also knew that the best way to deal with a bully is to make yourself very small and hope they don't notice you. Failing that, offer them your lunch money. Whatever you do, do NOT confront them - it will only make them angrier. Meekly submitting to a wedgie is better than getting a bloody nose. And perhaps in time, the bully will realize you're no threat and let you pal around with him. Carter applied this policy of détente to his dealings with the Soviet Union.
The French word for "I'm your bitch", détente with the Soviets was the dreamchild of Henry Kissinger and Tricky Dick Nixon. But it was future nobel laureate, Jimmy Carter, who perfected it to an artform. When the Soviets began rattling their nuclear sabres in the 70's, Carter cut national defense in order to make us seem less threatening. When the Soviets appeared unmoved by his overtures of peace, Carter offered them an olive branch in the form of the Panama Canal, Nicaragua, Taiwan, Ethiopia, Korea, Yemen, Angola, Kampuchea, and Afghanistan. He was in the process of handing them all of Eastern Europe when he was cruelly tossed out of office by the Moral Majority.
However, Carter's refusal to confront the USSR set the wheels in motion for its eventual collapse. Lured into a false sense of superiority, the Soviets overextended themselves, spreading their influence across the globe in much the same way the Roman Empire did. If allowed to continue on such a course, the Soviet Union would quietly fade away in just a few hundred years. All Reagan did was speed up the process by forcing the "evil empire" into an arms race.
By standing up to the Soviets and forcing them in to an arms race, Reagan brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. If it weren't for Sting's visionary Russians single soothing the tensions between the two world powers, I would very likely be typing this blog from a fallout shelter today. We owe him, and Jimmy Carter, a deep debt of gratitude.