- The Washington Times - Friday, June 11, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Reagan was remarkable

MOSCOW — Reagan was a unique record-maker in U.S. history: When he took the oath of office in 1981 as the 40th president of the United States, he was 69 years old. There had never been an older president in the United States. There also had never been presidents who had been professional actors. Reagan lived longer than all other U.S. presidents — to age 93.

In the White House, Reagan was a “9-5 president,” because he could delegate his powers to subordinates. According to the estimate of one of his biographers, during the eight years he was president, Reagan spent one year at his ranch in California. …

The name Reagan found a firm place in the history of Russian-U.S. relations. Under him and Mikhail Gorbachev, the confrontation between the two superpowers grew into dialogue. This switch occurred in October 1986 at the summit in Reykjavik [Iceland], when both leaders issued loud calls for the destruction of strategic [nuclear] weapons. At the time, it’s true, they could only agree to “continue negotiations.” This was met with relief by Reagan’s aides — they were afraid that the president had strayed too far from the “script” they had written.

This Day


JOHANNESBURG — … The route to greater prosperity, Ronald Reagan insisted, was to cut taxes, reduce government spending and free business from the burden of regulation.

The money companies saved on taxes would be ploughed into new investment, and the economy would grow so fast as a result that the federal budget — helped by cuts in wasteful social programs — would remain in balance.

All the while, though, cash was being poured into defense as the Cold War stuttered into its final phase.

Despite his often-stated commitment to balanced budgets and small government, Reagan doubled the U.S. deficit from $74 billion to $155 billion during his eight years of rule.

If Reagan truly has a legacy, Bush Junior is its mascot.

The economic stimulus provided by tax cuts and massive spending is what created the Reagan boom, not rigorously applied supply side economics. The approach bequeathed structural imbalances that are still around, and George W. Bush is doing his best to deepen them as he looks for a boom of his own. …

Bush is fighting the “axis of evil,” where Reagan fought the “evil empire,” and he shares not only the outlines of Reagan’s policy approach, but his blithe confidence that everything will turn out for the best.

In the coming months we will see just how much power it has to move voters.

Daily Telegraph

George Tenet’s resignation

LONDON — … It would be a mistake for President Bush to assume George Tenet’s resignation as director of the Central Intelligence Agency will in itself correct past intelligence lapses, or disperse the political acrimony which is currently undermining confidence in the Bush administration’s ability to defeat the global terrorist threat.

It is important that the correct lessons be learnt from Mr. Tenet’s departure. … The lead-up to the war in Iraq exposed the danger of relying too heavily on surveillance systems at the expense of having human intelligence agents on the ground, as was the abiding principle during the Cold War.

The reasons for this were partly operational, but also political, for a general complacency set in during the 1990s after the Cold War was won. The CIA will be criticized in coming weeks for its lack of preparedness pre-September 11, but Gen. Colin Powell and other senior members of the administration deserve condemnation, too, for publicly blaming the intelligence services for failures that go far beyond simple shortcomings in the CIA’s performance. The buck stops not with the spymasters, but with the politicians.

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