not going to like this. You shouldn't speak ill
of the dead. But in this case, someone's got to.
Reagan was a conman. Reagan was a coward. Reagan
was a killer.
1987, I found myself stuck in a crappy little
town in Nicaragua named Chaguitillo. The people
were kind enough, though hungry, except for one
surly young man. His wife had just died of tuberculosis.
don't die of TB if they get some antibiotics.
But Ronald Reagan, big hearted guy that he was,
had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua
because he didn't like the government that the
people there had elected.
grinned and cracked jokes while the young woman's
lungs filled up and she stopped breathing. Reagan
flashed that B-movie grin while they buried the
mother of three.
when Hezbollah terrorists struck and murdered
hundreds of American marines in their sleep in
Lebanon, the TV warrior ran away like a whipped
dog ... then turned around and invaded Grenada.
That little Club Med war was a murderous PR stunt
so Ronnie could hold parades for gunning down
Cubans building an airport.
remember Nancy, a skull and crossbones prancing
around in designer dresses, some of the "gifts"
that flowed to the Reagans -- from hats to million-dollar
homes -- from cronies well compensated with government
loot. It used to be called bribery.
all the while, Grandpa grinned, the grandfather
who bleated on about "family values"
but didn't bother to see his own grandchildren.
New York Times today, in its canned obit, wrote
that Reagan projected, "faith in small town
America" and "old-time values."
"Values" my ass. It was union busting
and a declaration of war on the poor and anyone
who couldn't buy designer dresses. It was the
New Meanness, bringing starvation back to America
so that every millionaire could get another million.
town" values? From the movie star of the
Pacific Palisades, the Malibu mogul? I want to
all the while, in the White House basement, as
his brain boiled away, his last conscious act
was to condone a coup d'etat against our elected
Congress. Reagan's Defense Secretary Casper the
Ghost Weinberger with the crazed Colonel, Ollie
North, plotted to give guns to the Monster of
the Mideast, Ayatolla Khomeini.
boys called Jimmy Carter a weanie and a wuss although
Carter wouldn't give an inch to the Ayatolla.
Reagan, with that film-fantasy tough-guy con in
front of cameras, went begging like a coward cockroach
to Khomeini pleading on bended knee for the release
of our hostages.
North flew into Iran with a birthday cake for
the maniac mullah -- no kidding --in the shape
of a key. The key to Ronnie's heart.
the Reagan roaches mixed their cowardice with
crime: taking cash from the hostage-takers to
buy guns for the "contras" - the drug-runners
of Nicaragua posing as freedom fighters.
remember as a student in Berkeley the words screeching
out of the bullhorn, "The Governor of the
State of California, Ronald Reagan, hereby orders
this demonstration to disburse" ... and then
came the teargas and the truncheons. And all the
while, that fang-hiding grin from the Gipper.
Chaguitillo, all night long, the farmers stayed
awake to guard their kids from attack from Reagan's
Contra terrorists. The farmers weren't even Sandinistas,
those 'Commies' that our cracked-brained President
told us were 'only a 48-hour drive from Texas.'
What the hell would they want with Texas, anyway?
the farmers, and their families, were Ronnie's
the deserted darkness of Chaguitillo, a TV blared.
Weirdly, it was that third-rate gangster movie,
"Brother Rat." Starring Ronald Reagan.
my friends, you can rest easier tonight: the Rat
coward, conman. Ronald Reagan, good-bye and good
Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller,
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. www.GregPalast.com
Posted: June 8, 2004