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Who do you think were some of the best world leaders in the past 50 years?

By jardinier ·
And PLEASE I am sick of hearing about US Democratic presidents versus US Republican presidents.

As most of the input to these discussions comes from the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, perhaps it would be best to list leaders from any country other than these four. However I will not make this a mandatory requirement if someone feels particularly strongly about a leader of any of these countries.

To get the ball rolling I will mention Nelson Mandela.

Here is a little blurb about him:

Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa and a legendary figure of the African National Congress, or ANC. From 1964 to 1990, Mandela was imprisoned for opposing South Africa's white minority government and its policy of racial separation, known as apartheid. Instead of disappearing from view, Mandela became a martyr and worldwide symbol of resistance to racism. In 1993 Mandela and the president who released him, F.W. de Klerk, shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Mandela was elected the country's president in 1994. He served until 1999, when he was succeeded by his deputy Thabo Mbeki.

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Ronald Reagan

by master3bs In reply to Who do you think were som ...

There has been no greater leader in the last 50 years.

He helped stimulate economic growth, curbed inflation, employment went up during his terms, and the US national defense grew. He cut taxes; and stuck by the need to cut taxes even when the defensive spending grew the deficit.

By the end of his presidency, the USA had the longest period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.

Three words come to mind about his foreign policy, "Peace through strength." Defense spending went up 35% in his presidency; but he also negotiated a treaty with Gorbachev, to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

He declared war on international terrorism; and followed suit against Libya.

Through his leadership, we won the Cold War that many thought would destroy the world. This was accomplished without a shot being fired.

I end with this quote; "I hope that when you're my age you'll be able to say, as I have been able to say: we lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology."

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I agree, Reagan has been the best in the last 50 years

by SWWBO In reply to Ronald Reagan

The question was who was the best 'world leader', so Ronald Reagan is the only person who comes to mind - the man broke the back of the Soviet Union - the map of the world changed.

Nelson Mandella was a great leader of his country, perhaps, but I would not put him in the ranks of world leaders.

Most all the UN leaders have ended up being crooks, so they are not world leaders, either.

Only one left is Reagan.

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Reagan and Churchill

by Montgomery Gator In reply to Ronald Reagan

I go along with your assessment of Ronald Reagan. However, Winston Churchill helped set up the resistance to Communist tyranny that Reagan brought to the end. It is Winston Churchill who coined the phrase "Iron Curtain", referring to the Soviet Empire's grip on Eastern Europe.

Winston Churchill was also the first world leader to oppose National Socialism, warning that Neville Chamberlain's "Peace in our Time" deal with Hitler would not work. Churchill was fighting National Socialist Germany under Hitler when France rolled over and played dead, and Stalin's Soviet Union was splitting up Poland with Hitler. I would say that Winston Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th Century, a true freedom fighter. Reagan was of the same mold as Churchill, and runs a close second to him.

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Churchill, not Reagan

by Absolutely In reply to Reagan and Churchill

The fact that the Iron Curtain fell during his watch looks a lot like coincidence. Spending more than produced eventually leads to bankruptcy, whether Ronald Reagan is in charge or not. Also, forgetting about a clandestine plan to exchange guns for money, blatantly illegally, was hard to believe.

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Reagan hastened the fall of Communism

by Montgomery Gator In reply to Churchill, not Reagan

The Soviet Empire would have collapsed eventually, but Reagan hastened the collapse by aggressively supporting those who opposed Communist tyranny. Reagan also built up our military, made us strong after the weak Carter years, forcing the USSR to also try to build up their military. However, the USSR economy could not sustain the build up, and that hastened its collape.

As far as the "clandestine plan", I thought it worked great, and saw nothing illegal about it. Just because you disagree with it does not make it illegal. The plan provided arms to the Contra freedom fighters who overthrew the Sandinista tyrants in Nicaragua and brought freedom to that country. Reagan had to do that, since Congress did not have the cojones to support the freedom fighters in Central America. There was nothing illegal about it, despite what the liberal Democrats might try to claim.

Ronald Reagan was the greatest president of the USA in the 20th Century, although he did borrow a few ideas from other presidents: supply-side tax cuts from JFK, aggressively oppose communism from Truman, communicate well with the American people from FDR, free-market capitalism and deregulation from Calvin Coolidge. However, he combined these concepts, along with his optimism and leadership ability, to become a truly great president.

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"Reagan had to do that"

by Absolutely In reply to Reagan hastened the fall ...

"...since Congress did not have the cojones to support the freedom fighters in Central America. There was nothing illegal about it, despite what the liberal Democrats might try to claim."

Nobody's opinion of who has cojones or who has none changes the facts that military support was not authorized by Congress, and that the support provided was made surreptitiously. If the action were legal, it would have been pursued in the proper channels.

"The Soviet Empire would have collapsed eventually, but Reagan hastened the collapse by aggressively supporting those who opposed Communist tyranny. Reagan also built up our military, made us strong after the weak Carter years, forcing the USSR to also try to build up their military. However, the USSR economy could not sustain the build up, and that hastened its collape."

Reagan also mis-judged the value of Islamic fundamentalists, and gave birth to the global terrorist threat that they now pose. He is stupider example of crapping in his descendants homes than even Nixon.

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Reagan still the greatest US President of 20th century

by Montgomery Gator In reply to "Reagan had to do that"

I guess we have to disagree about Ronald Reagan. However, I don't understand your dislike of him, since he stood for a lot of things I thought you stood for, like less regulation, lower taxes, and individualism. His support of the Contras was a stand for individualism against collectivism, since they were fighting against the Communist Sandinistas. I was all in favor with what the Reagan administration did with that, and consider Reagan and Oliver North to be American Heroes.

Again, just calling something illegal does not make it so. If it was, Reagan would have been impeached (but Congress, whose laws you say he supposedly violated, did not make any attempt to impeach Reagan), and Oliver North would have been convicted of criminal activity. But North was able to beat the trumped up charges against him, and is now a respected political commentator and news correspondent. The fact it was surreptitious did not make it illegal. It had to be surreptitious, since that is the nature of clandestine operations. The operation helped Nicaragua gain its freedom and become a democracy. We need people like Ronald Reagan and Oliver North.

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dislike of him would be an overstatement

by Absolutely In reply to Reagan still the greatest ...

(1) I was too young to understand all of what was on the news during Reagan's presidency, but too old to have ever studied it as "history". Yet. I may spend some time doing that in the next few years. My impression of him so far does not impress me much. Less regulation seems like common sense to me, not cause to treat a person as a mythical figure. This opinion is subject to change.

(2) France gave support to the United States during our revolution. I don't believe it was quite as secretive as the US aid to the Contras, and I'm suspicious of it, especially because of the DEA's involvement in the same country and the rest of that region in the time since then.

(3) Less regulation, lower taxes and individualism are the things that I think he got right, at least partially. Unfortunately, he forgot all about individualism and less regulation when the subject of Nixon's stupid DEA arose. Economic experts know that regulation cannot reduce drug consumption substantially at any price, and increased funding for the DEA is also one of Reagan's legacies. It's still a money pit here and a destabilizing effect on fragile economies and political situations all over the world.

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Well I should have had the foresight

by jardinier In reply to Who do you think were som ...

to realise that the American members of this website are so besotted with their own country that they don't give a rat's a*s about what is happening in the rest of the world.

And Americans wonder why the rest of the world thinks they are arrogant and insular?

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An answer from an arrogant and insular American

by maxwell edison In reply to Well I should have had th ...

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Since 1955, the best "world leader"?

Since the best leaders lead by example, I'll have to say Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

By the way, why do you give a rat's a*s about what Americans may or may not say or do in these threads?

And how do you reconcile the conflict between two opposing things you've suggested? On one hand, you should have had the foresight to realize that the American members of this Web site are so besotted with their own country....., but on the other hand, you've charged that Americans should mind their own business?

Which would you really prefer? Or is this a case of damned if we do and damned if we don't? Or perhaps we should just check with you, and do whatever you think we should bloody well do?

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