Skip to comments.Flashback: Reagan Flubs Reykjavik Summit
Posted on 07/16/2018 6:12:29 PM PDT by EdnaMode
To Ronald Reagan and his entourage, the summit meeting in Iceland looked like the perfect photo opportunity. Three weeks before the midterm elections, Reagan would be pictured shaking hands with the smiling Russian in his Fifties fedora. The president would be portrayed in the media as an earnest peacemaker, diligently searching for ways to end the nuclear-arms race.
This time, though, the photos turned out badly. When he emerged from his bargaining sessions with Mikhail Gorbachev, the president looked stung, like a small boy who had burned his fingers playing with a light socket. Reagan came home empty-handed from Iceland, and for once he was wearing the black hat the man who said no to a historic opportunity. Confronted by the chance to become a genuine peacemaker, the president retreated in confusion. His image-makers had been overwhelmed by reality.
The Russians are still klutzy at public relations, but this Gorbachev plays a shrewd game of poker and he won big at Reykjavik. The Soviet leader kept upping the ante, offering real concessions toward arms reductions, and the president, surprised and unprepared, played along. Lets eliminate all of the medium-range nukes in Europe, Gorbachev suggested. Okay. How about a test-ban treaty? Sure, we can work it out. Lets both agree to dismantle half of our long-range nuclear missiles over the next ten years. Done, said the president. Then the Gipper got so carried away, he tried to top Gorby. Lets eliminate all of our nukes, he proposed. Why not? asked the smiling Russian.
(Excerpt) Read more at rollingstone.com ...
Five years later, the Soviet Union was no more.
I guess Reagan committed treason as well.
Are you kidding me? Reagan told him to F off.
The Russkies got NOTHING out of that meeting, and Gorby got tossed out by Yeltsin soon after.
Yeltsin, after coming to america and taking an unscheduled detour out of town to a random supermarket, said “The Russian people would RIOT if they saw all this”
This is now recognized as the moment when Reagan truly triumphed because he put truly significant arms reductions on the table, way more that Gorbachev was ready to accept. But a year later we had a major arms reduction treaty. Because Reagan “failed” and Reykjavik.
Let me ammend that. Reagan put big offers on the table and Gorbachev accepted IF we walked away from so-called Star Wars. Reagan said no. But within a year we got more than was proposed. Because Reagan “failed”
That's what I remembered....we wouldn't give up Star Wars. The Ruskies wanted that off the table.
Yup. And Putin spoke of missile defense systems and SDI. We didnt cave then on these systems and we wont now.
The feller that wrote this must have been stoned and rolling.
Superb flashback. Worth reading the whole article.
Note that the author accidentally stumbles across Reagans real and ultimately successful plan to bankrupt communism, but naturally assumes that would be a bad thing
The real impact of Star Wars would not be eternal peace but a dizzying new competition in arms. Wasteful. Damaging to our economy and theirs.
Rolling Stoned, enough ‘snnnnnnnniffffff whooooaaaa goodstufff maaaan’ said
I had no idea there were two meetings. The one I recall had an entirely different result than this new one.
This is BS. Maybe Gorby did engage in all sorts of delightful proposals, but in the end, he wanted us to stop SDI, and Reagan refused. Thus ended the summit.
That’s not what happened. Gorby tried to jam Reagan into some massive concessions on nuclear weapons. Reagan said Nope and went home to dinner with Nancy, leaving Gorby’s shorts down around his ankles.
You're correct. I was there, working at SDIO. One of the proudest and most exciting periods of my life.
Who was it that once said, “History doesn’t repeat, but it sure does rhyme.”
Didn’t he tell Gorby to ‘tear down that wall’? And, it was done.
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