Columnist: “The axis of evil is reborn” • Fred Johnson
Ronald Reagan did not mince words. After decades of trying to negotiate Arms limitation treaties with the Soviet Union with no success, Reagan in 1982 referred to communism as "the focus of evil in the modern world." This quickly became known as his "Evil Empire Speech."
In 1987 Ronald Reagan made history again while speaking at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin His dramatic words were "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."
Hastily constructed in 1961 to halt the flow of people from east to west, the Berlin Wall symbolized the Cold War and the visions between the Western democracies and the communist Eastern Bloc. Just two years after Reagan’s “tear down this wall speech,” the Berlin Wall was being torn down, almost by hand, by people seeking freedom and justice after years of brutal suppression. The “Evil Empire” collapsed trying to keep up with Reagan’s missile defense programs.
President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address in 2002, labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the axis of evil. Shortly afterwards Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton added Libya, Syria, and Cuba to be grouped with the already mentioned rogue states.
Under the Obama administration the “Axis of Evil” was abolished as he sought to appease the Middle Eastern countries with apology speeches. The Axis of Evil became the “Arab Spring” fought for by the Muslim Brotherhood. Tom Donilon, Mr. Obama’s National Security Advisor, called it a “new beginning.”
Now the Arab Spring appears to have become winter as 21 countries are rioting against the U.S., sacking our embassies, murdering Ambassadors and staff and dragging their naked bodies through the streets. Our government seems to be reluctant to call this evil and even blames Americans for inciting the riots. The White House claims that a few disgruntled people rioted over an anti-Islam film. However, Libyan President, Mohammed el-Megarif, disagrees. “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous,” he says. “Instead, the killing was a military-style attack.” He also says that the US was warned of a possible attack on the embassy 48 hours before and did nothing.
CBS News agrees that the attack was military-style. Their news team was one of the first to enter the safe house after the attack and they report that, “Everywhere you look on this rooftop, there's evidence of what must have been a ferocious fight. There's damage from automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, and even mortars. The precise mortar strikes on the house suggest those who launched them knew exactly where to aim.”
It is time for our administration to take a cue from Ronald Reagan and George Bush and call the Arab Spring what it really is. Either term; Evil Empire or Axis of Evil would fit nicely.
Printed in the September 20, 2012 edition