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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/25/16

Presidential Crimes Then And Now

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For a politician, Richard Nixon was a very knowledgeable person. He travelled widely, visiting foreign leaders. Nixon was the most knowledgeable president about foreign policy we have ever had. He knew more than Obama, Bush I and II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, and Johnson combined.

The liberal-left created an image of Nixon as paranoid and secretive with a long enemies list, but Buchanan shows that Nixon was inclusive, a "big tent" politician with a wide range of advisors. There is no doubt that Nixon had enemies. Many of them continue to operate against him long after his death.

Indeed, it was Nixon's inclusiveness that made conservatives suspicious of him. To keep conservatives in his camp, Nixon used their rhetoric, and Nixon's rhetoric fueled Nixon-hatred among the liberal-left. The inclination to focus on words rather than deeds is another indication of the insubstantiality of American political comprehension.

Probably the US has never had a more liberal president than Nixon. Nixon went against conservatives and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by executive order. He supported the Clean Air Act of 1970. Nixon federalized Medicaid for poor families with dependent children and proposed a mandate that private employers provide health insurance to employees. He desegregated public schools and implemented the first federal affirmative action program.

Declaring that "there is no place on this planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation," Nixon engineered the opening to Communist China. He ended the Vietnam War and replaced the draft with the volunteer army. He established economic trade with the Soviet Union and negotiated with Soviet leader Brezhnev landmark arms control treaties -- SALT I and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972, which lasted for 30 years until the neoconized George W. Bush regime violated and terminated the treaty in 2002.

These are astonishing achievements for any president, especially a Republican one. But if you ask Americans what they know about Nixon, the response is Watergate and President Nixon's forced resignation.

In other words, here is more proof that all the American media does is to lie to us. The US media is no longer independent. It is a servile captive creature that turns lies into truths via endless repetitions.

I am convinced that Nixon's opening to China and Nixon's arms control treaties and de-escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union threatened the power and profit of the military/security complex. Watergate was an orchestration used to remove the threat that Nixon presented. If you read the Watergate reporting by Woodward and Bernstein in the Washington Post, there is no real information in it. In place of information, words are used to create an ominous presence and sinister atmosphere that is transferred to Nixon.

There was nothing in the Watergate scandal that justified Nixon's impeachment, but his liberal policies had alienated conservative Republicans. Conservatives never forgave Nixon for agreeing with Zhou Enlai that Taiwan was part of China. When the Washington Post, John Dean, and a missing segment of a tape got Nixon in trouble, conservatives did not come to his defense. The liberal-left was overjoyed that Nixon got his comeuppance for supporting the exposure and prosecution of Soviet spy Alger Hiss two decades previously.

I do not contend that the left-wing has no legitimate reasons for hostility against Nixon. Nixon wanted out of Vietnam, but "with honor" so that conservatives would not abandon him. Nixon did not want to become known as the President who forced the US military to accept defeat. He wanted to end the war, but if not with victory then with a stalemate like Korea. He or Kissinger gave the US military carte blanche to produce a situation that the US could exit "with honor." This resulted in the secret bombing in Laos and Cambodia. The shame of the bombings cancelled any exit with real honor.

The Reagan era is also misunderstood. Just as President Jimmy Carter was regarded as an outsider by the Democratic Washington Establishment, Ronald Reagan was an outsider to the Republican Establishment whose candidate was George H. W. Bush. Just as Carter's presidency was neutered by the Washington Establishment with the frame-up of Carter's Budget Director and Chief of Staff, Reagan was partially neutered before he assumed office, and the Establishment removed in succession two national security advisors who were loyal to Reagan.

Reagan's Priorities and the Establishment's Agenda

When Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination, he was told that although he had defeated the Establishment in the primaries, the voters would not be able to come to his defense in Washington. He must not make Goldwater's mistake and shun the Republican Establishment, but pick its presidential candidate for his vice president. Otherwise, the Republican Establishment would work to defeat him in the presidential election just as Rockefeller had undermined Goldwater.

As a former movie star, Nancy Reagan put great store on personal appearance. Reagan's California crew was a motley one. Lynn Nofziger, for example, sported a beard and a loosely knotted tie if a tie at all. He moved around his office in sock feet without shoes. When Nancy saw Bush's man, Jim Baker, she concluded that the properly attired Baker was the person that she wanted standing next to her husband when photos were made. Consequently, Reagan's first term had Bush's most capable operative as Chief of Staff of the White House.

To get Reagan's program implemented with the Republican Establishment occupying the chief of staff position was a hard fight.

I don't mean that Jim Baker was malevolent and wished to damage Reagan. For a member of the Republican Establishment, Jim Baker was very intelligent, and he is a hard person to dislike. The problem with Baker was two-fold. He was not part of the Reagan team and did not understand what we were about or why Reagan was elected. Americans wanted the stagflation that had destroyed Jimmy Carter's presidency ended, and they were tired of the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union and its ever present threat of nuclear Armageddon.

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)
 

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