Skip to comments.Reaganís Lessons for Dealing with Russia
Posted on 04/16/2014 2:27:27 AM PDT by kingattax
President Reagan was holding a meeting in the Cabinet Room on March 25, 1985, when Press Secretary Larry Speakes came over to me, as communications director, with a concern.
The White House was about to issue a statement on the killing of Major Arthur Nicholson, a U.S. army officer serving in East Germany. Maj. Nicholson had been shot in cold blood by a Russian soldier. Speakes thought the presidents statement, This violence was unjustified, was weak. I agreed. We interrupted the president, who reread the statement, then said go ahead with it.
What lay behind this Reagan decision not to express his own and his nations disgust and anger at this atrocity? Since taking office, Reagan had sought to engage Soviet leaders in negotiations, but, as he told me, they keep dying on me. Two weeks earlier, on March 10, 1985, Konstantin Chernenko, the third Soviet premier in Reagans term, had died, and the youngest member of the Politburo, Mikhail Gorbachev, had been named to succeed him. Believing Gorbachev had no role in the murder of Maj. Nicholson, and seeking a summit with the new Soviet leader to ease Cold War tensions, Reagan decided not to express what must have been in his heart.
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Not ‘wet toilet paper’ but next TO it!
I never forgot his murder.