June 25, 2007

Sympathy for the Communists

It's hard to be surprised by near treasonous behavior anymore, but I was startled by the following, which I'd read in O'Sullivan's book and meant to write about. Fortunately this Crisis article saves me the trouble:
Near the end of his story, O’Sullivan gives us an amazing little interlude. In February of 1986, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) visited the Soviet Union to meet with Gorbachev for the first time. The thrust of his mission to Moscow was to work with Gorbachev to derail Reagan and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). As O’Sullivan puts it, “Kennedy and the Soviets saw eye-to-eye on several important matters.” Together, they would outmaneuver Reagan, especially if Gorbachev would take Kennedy’s advice and put “more pressure, and firmer pressure, on Reagan.”

Aside from a possible treason charge, Kennedy also had little or no grasp of the weak hand that the Soviet leadership was forced to play at this point in the game. Instead, the senator blithely and blindly assumed that the USSR was a superpower equal to the United States in economic and military strength. Apparently, Kennedy also assumed that it was his charge to give Gorbachev advice as to how to deal with their mutual rival, President Reagan.

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