Nearly twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end–or at least, the beginning of the end–of the Cold War, it seems that some people are still having trouble processing the lessons of the epic struggle. Not surprisingly, perhaps, one of those people, Andrew O’Hehir, writes for Salon.
O’Hehir reviews Archie Brown’s The Rise and Fall of Communism, and draws conclusions that are belied by the actual history of the Cold War. He repeats the trope that Ronald Reagan’s contribution to ending the Cold War came in his second term, when he decided to engage the communist world, rather than call it an evil empire, as he did in the first. And consistent with the behavior of so many on the port side of politics who are determined to ensure that Reagan’s role in the downfall of communism is minimized, O’Hehir tells us that Reagan’s palliative contributions to the end of the Cold War were the result of the actions of his advisers, while Mikhail Gorbachev courageously acted virtually alone.