"Gorbachev: Bush once told me that ‘blockheads and dummies’ were supporting the ‘extreme’ Reagan."
During a recent interview with The Nation editors Katrina vanden Heuvel and her husband Stephan Cohen, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev credited President Reagan for helping end the Cold War, but he argued that instituting democratic reforms in his country was the true catalyst. “Without perestroika, the cold war simply would not have ended,” he said. Gorbachev later described a private conversation he had with then Vice President Bush about Reagan:
By the way, in 1987, after my first visit to the United States, Vice President Bush accompanied me to the airport, and told me: “Reagan is a conservative. An extreme conservative. All the blockheads and dummies are for him, and when he says that something is necessary, they trust him. But if some Democrat had proposed what Reagan did, with you, they might not have trusted him.”
When asked what lessons he learned “that President Obama should heed in making his decisions about Afghanistan,” Gorbachev – who ended the Soviet Union’s 10 year war there in 1989 — replied, “One was that problems there could not be solved with the use of force. Such attempts inside someone else’s country end badly.”