Right-wing smears and Reagan puffery.
This blogger thinks he.she has the goods on Senator Hillary Clinton. The breathless headline reads, Hillary Bashes Bush While Banking Iranian Donations! and sites this release from one of those websites that is famous for being having less credibility then the National Enquirer:
Senator Clinton has accused President Bush of downplaying the threat from Iran while she has been accepting money from supporters of the Iranian regime.
Wealthy businessmen Hassan Nemazee and Faraj Aalaei are associated with the American Iranian Council, a pro-regime anti-sanctions group. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Namazee has contributed $4,000 to Clinton's reelection while Aalaei has given $1,000.
The press describes their lobby this way "the American-Iranian Council [AIC], a pro-regime lobbying group trying to get Congress and the Bush administration to lift the trade embargo on Iran." (Insight, 3/25/04)
Hillary Clinton is also raising money from Gati Kashani, another figure linked with the Mullahs.
On its website, the Iranian American PAC noted, "On Friday June 3rd, Iranian American friends of the Hillary Clinton Senate re-election campaign hosted a fundraising event in honor of Senator Clinton. The event took place at the home of Gita (pictured on the left) and Behzad Kashani in Los Altos Hills, California."
"Wealthy businessmen Hassan Nemazee" ? In the 2000 election cycle gave $2,000.00 to KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R) FOR SENATE COMMITTEE,
In the 2000 election cycle gave $1,000.00 to ROBB FOR THE SENATE (R)
Faraj Aalaei gave $1,000.00 in the 2003 to the Republican GOLI AMERI FOR CONGRESS 2004, in 2003 Aalaei gave $500.00 to the NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE,
"Gita (pictured on the left) and Behzad Kashani in Los Altos Hills, California." - Kashan in 2000 gave $1,000.00 to GORDON SMITH (R) FOR US SENATE 2002 INC
Well you get the idea. This blogger and the quasi-news web site are implying some kind of quid pro quo about the donations that Senator Clinton received. If merely attending a fund raiser was proof of votes for legislation or favoritism certainly Republicans have more to answer for then Democrats. In addition, when did politicians of any stripe start doing a tthourough background check on each and every contributor. It just doesn't past the smell test that Senator Clinton, or Hutchison for that matter would knowingly accept money from an organization that support the most radical elements within Iran. I would say come on guys you're getting a little lazy about the perpetual right-smear campaign, but they've always floated half baked propaganda like this. It makes their base happy, they've read some garbage that fits perfectly into what they want to believe, and the facts are just a nuisance.
The Reagan De-evolution, it seems that some right-wing bloggers are celebrating something that never was. As far as his legacy, look around, Republicans control all three branches and government is bigger, more intrusive, and more incompetent then its ever been. We have a budget deficit that is actually a record breaker. But back to the so-called Reagan leagcy...Reagan: Media Myth and Reality
Reagan's fervent support for right-wing governments in Central America was one of the defining foreign policies of his administration, and the fact that death squads associated with those governments murdered tens of thousands of civilians surely must be included in any reckoning of Reagan's successes and failures.
But a search of major U.S. newspapers in the Nexis news database turns up the phrase "death squad" only five times in connection with Reagan in the days following his death--twice in commentaries (Philadelphia Inquirer , 6/6/04; Chicago Tribune , 6/8/04) and twice in letters to the editor (San Francisco Chronicle , 6/8/04; L.A. Times , 6/8/04). Only one news article found in the search (L.A. Times , 6/6/04) considered the death squads an important enough part of Reagan's legacy to be worth mentioning. The three broadcast networks, CNN and Fox didn't mention death squads at all, according to Nexis. Nor were any references found in the transcripts of the broadcast networks to the fact that Reagan's policy of supporting Islamicist insurgents against the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan led to the rise of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Reagan Didn't End the Cold War
George F. Kennan agrees. The former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, and father of the theory of "containment" of the same country, asserts that "the suggestion that any United States administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish." He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. "Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union."
Though the arms-race spending undoubtedly damaged the fabric of the Soviet civilian economy and society even more than it did in the United States, this had been going on for 40 years by the time Mikhail Gorbachev came to power without the slightest hint of impending doom. Gorbachev's close adviser, Aleksandr Yakovlev, when asked whether the Reagan administration's higher military spending, combined with its "Evil Empire" rhetoric, forced the Soviet Union into a more conciliatory position, responded:
It played no role. None. I can tell you that with the fullest responsibility. Gorbachev and I were ready for changes in our policy regardless of whether the American president was Reagan, or Kennedy, or someone even more liberal. It was clear that our military spending was enormous and we had to reduce it.
Peter Robinson: No, no, no, this is off the cuff actually. He's answering a question about the end of the Cold War--the former president describes a celebration he had attended to mark the 10th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. I'm quoting him now, "Margaret Thatcher got up, she said is everybody clear on one thing, Reagan and I won the Cold War." The Yale audience convulses in laughter. Evidently that's automatically funny at Yale. Bush continues, " and I'm saying to myself, here's a lot of guys that were in prison, here's a lot of guys right here at this table, including Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel and it wasn't as simple as that one person ended the Cold War." In other words, you've got Havel, you got Lech Walesa placing pressure on the Soviets. You've got the Pope who visits Poland in 1979 and 3 million Poles turn out to greet him and that's s a year before Ronald Reagan even declares for the presidency. So what happened in Eastern Europe, Bart?
Barton Bernstein: Well, let me back up because I think Mike is saying something very important, that is, in the Soviet Union, the Gorbachev phenomenon or the Gorbachev implementation does loosen things and it has the unforeseen, but I think now we can understand, quality of propelling a movement toward implosion and demise. It would have been equally plausible for someone else to have been chosen I think in '84 or '85 who with a hard line might well have propelled things. I mean Mike and I would disagree and he, in all fairness is a Russian Soviet specialist and I'm not, I would say that the Soviet Union probably would have imploded within a handful of years under another kind of regime.
Imagine building a house for six months and you go out to lunch one day. When you get back, Reagan is nailing in one nail. Reagan puts down the hammer, looks around at a gathering crowd and procliams -look at the house I buildt-. Reagan might very well have had a pleasant, likeable personality, but look behind the curtain of his "legacy" and you see a guy that took credit for what others did, took credit for the lucky breaks of the historical tide, and just took or was given credit for things he had little to do with. I'm not sure that in their pursuit of a political saint to patronize, that the far right isn't just blowing up Regan's memory into a garish cartoon.