Perhaps the biggest corporate media myth about President Ronald Reagan is that he killed the Soviet Union. No, he did not.
President Harry Truman destroyed the Soviet Union. As president, Truman initiated the Containment Policy, which had been proposed by George Kennan, US diplomat. This policy was for the US to do whatever it took to keep communism from spreading. Kennan felt that doing so would cause the Soviet Union to collapse upon itself within fifty years. It did and right on schedule.
That’s right. A Democratic president set out to kill the USSR and he did it. Here’s how.
In the ashes of World War II, with the establishment of the Containment Policy, President Truman helped to establish the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), pushed the development of the nuclear bomb, stopped the communist advance in South Korea, established the perpetual war economy, ordered the Berlin Airlift, ordered the Marshall Plan which saved Western Europe from a communist takeover, established the Truman policy which saved Greece and Turkey from communist takeovers. The list goes on and on and on.
What did President Reagan do to bring down the Soviet Union? He ordered the continuation of a military buildup that had begun under President Jimmy Carter. Supposedly, according to right-wingers, trying to keep up with the buildup bankrupted the USSR. Doesn’t anybody think Carter should get credit for that? Or perhaps Al Queda should get credit because members of that group believe they broke the USSR by resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. But the truth is that the Soviet Union was teetering thirty years earlier.
Soviet GNP peaked in 1968. The Containment Policy was working. And Truman’s policy polished off the Soviet Union a few decades later.
If you want to give President Reagan credit for something he deserved, then thank him for saving the Social Security Trust Fund. That’s credit he really does deserve.