It worked for Nixon
It worked for Regan
According to Reuters, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program, proposing a major shift in U.S. policy toward the isolated nation.
In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, Trump also called for a renegotiation of the Paris climate accord, said he disapproved of Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in eastern Ukraine, and said he would seek to dismantle most of the U.S. Dodd-Frank financial regulations if he is elected president.
The presumptive Republican nominee declined to share details of his plans to deal with North Korea, but said he was open to talking to its leader.
Precedent firmly established
Obama & Castro
- President Obama is in bilateral talks with Cuban leader Raul Castro, following an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Havana this morning.
The president’s full day of events in Cuba marks the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the island nation since Coolidge arrived by boat 88 years ago.
Cuba was blockaded by another Democrat, John Kennedy, more than 50 years before Obama's visit.
While Cuba had been "gifted" with Soviet missiles, the country never fought against the U.S. The famous "Battle of San Juan Hill (or Heights" was fought as part of the Spanish-American War in 1898 and against Spanish regulars, not Cubans.
Nixon & Mao
Before even being elected president, Nixon had talked of the need for better relations with the PRC, with which the U.S. did not maintain diplomatic relations as it recognized the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan as the government of China. Early in his first term, Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger began sending subtle overtures hinting at warmer relations to the PRC government. After a series of these overtures by both countries, Kissinger flew on secret diplomatic missions to Beijing, where he met with Premier Zhou. On July 15, 1971, the President announced that he would visit the PRC the following year. (2)
“There is no place on this small planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation.” Richard Nixon, after his election in 1968, pushed for better relations with China despite historical tensions and hostilities. In 1971, National Security Advisor and future Secretary of State Henry Kissinger took two trips to China – the first made in secret – to consult with Premier Zhou Enlai. After more than two decades of icy relations, Nixon embarked on a trip to China starting on February 22, 1972. Not only did this visit strengthen Chinese-American relations, but it also served to encourage progress with the USSR. (3)
- 1. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nixon-arrives-in-china-for-talks
Nixon also managed to reduce tensions with the Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev, yet he is only remembered for remaining loyal to a small group of people who, on their own initiative, broke into DNC headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington.
Regan & the "Evil Empire"
President Regan had a long history with Soviet leaders
According to the Shmoop site,
- Many of Reagan's greatest admirers today celebrate his strong anti-Soviet stance, arguing that Reagan's firmness in waging the Cold War led directly to the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. Reagan's aggressive policy toward the Soviets, they say, ended up winning the Cold War for the United States. Reagan's detractors, by contrast, argue that he was recklessly and unnecessarily militant, and that only the good fortune of sane leadership in Moscow saved us all from nuclear apocalypse.
Both groups are mostly wrong.
In fact, Reagan's diplomatic legacy was more complicated than either his admirers or critics are likely to admit. Reagan did lead the United States to victory in the Cold War. But his greatest successes came during his second term, when he abandoned his earlier steadfastness to take a much more flexible stance in his relations with reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan found victory when he found the courage to compromise. By acting as Gorbachev's partner as much as his enemy, Reagan helped the Soviet leader to dismantle the erstwhile "Evil Empire" peacefully, from within.
In the Jack F. Matlock Jr. book, Reagan and Gorbachev: Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended, Matlock /writes:
- Asked at a press conference in Moscow in 1988, his last year in office, about the role he played in the great drama of the late 20th century, he described himself essentially as a supporting actor. "Mr. Gorbachev," he said, "deserves most of the credit, as the leader of this country."
This quotation was much cited at the time as an example of Reagan's graciousness, tact and self-deprecation. But Matlock's book bears out his former boss's judgment. The 40th president of the United States emerges here not as a geopolitical visionary who jettisoned the supposedly accommodationist policies of containment and detente, but as an archpragmatist and operational optimist who adjusted his own attitudes and conduct in order to encourage a new kind of Kremlin leader.
During his first term, Reagan denounced the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union as an "evil empire." The name-calling riled many Soviets (and more than a few Sovietologists) but did little diplomatic harm, since relations between Washington and Moscow were already in a rut. The Kremlin had become a geriatric ward, with Red Square doubling as the world's largest funeral parlor.
Opinion on a small island
In researching the above I stumbled upon several sites concerned with Islam in the UK.
Book reviewer Peter Preston, reviewing David E. Hoffman's The Deadly Hand writes that
- So many of us got so much wrong through the years of fear. Polite opinion in Britain (my own included) quavered and cringed when Ronald Reagan became president of the United States. We saw a bemused ex-actor peddling conservative bromides. We saw a man who wasn't clever enough, or experienced enough, to stack Pershing 2s against Moscow's Pioneers. We prophesied doom. And yet – for very good reasons – Reagan, like Gorbachev, is a hero in Hoffman's eyes.
The English seem to worry equally about Trump. Their prime minister, David Cameron, calls Trump's proposed Muslim travel ban "stupid," and the former leader of Scotland labeling the mogul "three times a loser."
Nigel Farage, head of the UK's Independent Party, claims that "ghettos" in parts of the UK are being run according to Shiria law as authorities "turn a blind eye" because of their "moral cowardice".
He contends that “big ghettos” have sprung up in Britain and Europe where child sex abuse, female genital mutilation, extremism and Shiria law were allowed to flourish.
"Why would Great Britain, France, Belgium or any other country, the Netherlands, why would they allow people to come to the country, not assimilate, separate, take their land ostensibly and risk even being at war with them when shiria, if you're coming from a country that you grew up under shiria, those values directly contradict the values of Western countries, why would anybody allow that?" Hannity asked.
According to hate preacher Anjem Choudary told the UK's Daily Mail "We want to run the area as a Shiria-controlled zone and really to put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.’
Choudary has claimed responsibility for the poster campaign, saying he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and ‘put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.’