‘Reagan is an appeaser’

When President Reagan was pursuing his historic arms-control agreements with the Soviets, some of the most right-wing elements in the Republican Party were comparing Reagan to Neville Chamberlain appeasing Adolf Hitler.

Now their ideological heirs on the right-wing fringe are opposing the START Treaty with a similar vengeance. When I wrote a column in this paper titled "Reagan yes, START yes" it sufficiently worried the Heritage Foundation that they wrote a reply, which I rebutted on this site.

The fact is, Reagan really did have to combat the most right-wing fringe in his day. The START Treaty really is supported by a long and comprehensive list of military commanders from the U.S. and throughout the democratic alliance.

START is supported by every chief of every branch of the military service, and by former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who served Republican and Democratic presidents.

START is supported by the commanders of NATO, the civilian leadership of NATO and commanders throughout the worldwide alliance of democratic nations.

START is supported by former secretaries of State and Defense who served Republican and Democratic presidents.

START is supported by leading nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism officials who served Republican and Democratic presidents.

START is supported by chief executives and heads of state of America's democratic allies around the world.

And now START is supported by a growing number of Republican senators who stand with American commanders, NATO leaders and our democratic allies.

Standing ovation for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Dick Lugar (Ind.), ranking Republican on the committee, and to the moderate Republicans joining Democrats supporting START.

Let’s remember that when the more right-wing fringe attacks START, their ideological ancestors from the right attacked Ronald Reagan, too.

They don't want advocates of START to remind you of this.

I just did.