Iron and Velvet

Mixed signals for the Soviets

Since Ronald Reagan took office, his Administration's attitude toward the Soviet Union has read like a fever chart. At the outset, he branded the Soviets as a band of liars and cheats. But in January 1982, one month after martial law was declared in Poland, he dispatched then Secretary of State Alexander Haig to Geneva to meet with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko. After Haig left office, Reagan continued his anti-Soviet rhetoric, going so far as to denounce the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" in his "Darth Vader speech" last March. But even while lambasting...

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