Blogger Conference Call: Author John O'Sullivan on Reagan & War
One Jerusalem held another important blogger conference call with John O’Sullivan author of the critical new book: The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister – Three Who Changed the World.
From a review on the book:
They were three “middle managers” no one imagined could reach the top.
Ronald Reagan was too old to be president and too conservative anyway. Margaret Thatcher was not only too conservative she was a woman, and not on anyone’s short list to lead Britain’s Conservative Party. And the idea of a Polish pope that was truly absurd, especially when the cardinal in question was a strong anti-Communist and defender of orthodoxy when many in the Church and throughout the world believed the future belonged to de’tente with the Soviets and social liberalism in the West.
Not only did Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Karol Wojtyla (the future John Paul II) rise to the top, but all three of them also survived assassination attempts, collaborated in the miraculous peaceful liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet Communism, and reinvigorated their respective countries and the West.
The call started off with an obvious question for O’Sullivan…
“What would Reagan do today?”
Thatcher backed both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
She feels that since there are troops in the field then she will back them since they are in battle.
John Paul was against military action which was mostly expected of the religious leader.
Reagan would have supported Afghanistan. He withdrew after the bombing of the marine barracks in Lebanon. They withdrew because they did not understand what was being accomplished by having the troops there in the first place. Of course, this emboldened the terrorists… Reagan was cautious. Reagan would have long ago seriously insisted fighting the mullahs in Iran by now. The military action would not be a popular one.
Allen at One Jerusalem: John what are the chances of us getting such a leader in the near future?
O’Sullivan: People like Reagan, Thatcher evolve around the world around them. Reagan and Thatcher came to power in the 70’s. They were strong principled in a dire world situation of the 70’s.
Democracies are slow to react by nature. Most people in the West are not sufficiently alarmed. 9-11 is in the back of people’s minds today. It may have to take more dreadful things to happen before people take the threat of Islamic radicalism seriously.
This will help Giuliani in the coming election.
Question: What are the differences in the parties today?
O’Sullivan: They are not as different as I would like to see. There is a political section in the country that wants to join the democrats in ending the war early.
But now that we are there we cannot be forced out. If we are forced out and the situation deteriorates, it would be horrible. Most democrats don’t see this. When it comes to seeing American power as key, Republicans are behind this. Dems don’t seem to understand that you cannot have diplomacy without arms! This is key.
Both Giuliani and McCain are key figures on strong defense. Most people see that McCain is supporting of the surge. Giuliani is gaining ground as strong and hawkish and can make things work like he did after 9-11.
McCain may seem unpopular today but this is due to immigration and other issues and not to his war stance.
Question: John? What about Mitt Romney?
O’Sullivan: I sat next to Mitt Romney where he spoke. I liked his interesting speech and accepted why he changed his mind on abortion. His principle problem is that he is not getting traction. Romney may project more of a corporate image and this may not be playing out well with the public.
A streak of populism is necessary at this time. Since Giuliani and McCain are tied to immigration this is an area where Romney can take advantage.
O’Sullivan: We can already see something important going on with Pope Benedict. JP II improved relations with the Jews. I am told by people that at the end of his life he did not get the respect from the Muslim world that he felt he had worked for. He felt the Muslim leaders were frightened. They knew they were under threat if they made inroads with the Christian World. Benedict says we must have dialogue with Muslim World. He said that we now know as Christians that we can not spread religion by force. However, in the Muslim world this was not taken well. The response was to kill an Egyptian nun. The Muslim nature of God is to see God as powerful and sometimes cruel.
Benedict said that the West like the Muslim world to catch up with the Christian and Jewish world. 38 Muslim leaders did write to him. They realized Benedict was bringing Christianity and Islam together. This has to be matched by the same type of actions in the political world.
Reagan, Thatcher and Pope spoke the truth easily. Reagan called communism evil. This had great impact on Marxist world. We have not yet done that today.
The Western World reacted horribly to Reagan’s speech. They also did not like his Westminster Speech when he said that communism will end up “in the dustbin of history.” The reporters could not see policy emanating from his speeches, therefore they downplayed them. At the time people in the West could not quite grasp what it meant. They condemned the speech. We now see that that speech was very important. Of course, in the gulags this had tremendous impact.
Reagan reversed and gave hope to the slaves… so worried the masters!
One Jerusalem has the audio posted from this very important call.