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Reagan: “We can have peace this second, if we surrender.”

April 7, 2009

This is the text of Ronald Reagan’s great speech.

“Let’s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace–and you can have it in the next second–surrender.

Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face–that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand–the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for “peace at any price” or “better Red than dead,” or as one commentator put it, he would rather “live on his knees than die on his feet.” And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin–just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it’s a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits–not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. “

This rings so true today in light of our weak response to the North Korean missile launch, the Islamic extremists and Iranian nuclear advancements. We indeed have a rendezvous with destiny. Will President Obama show strength? Or will we surrender to the terrorists of the world?

I repeat from Reagan: This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits–not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2009 9:42 pm

    I love these old Reagan videos and wish those in office today could see things as black and white as they really are.

  2. April 8, 2009 5:36 am

    It’s hard to watch/read that and then turn around watch the current POTUS overseas badmouthing the country. Reagan would never have done that…I’m not sure of any former POTUS who would have done it. Carter maybe?

  3. April 8, 2009 6:16 pm

    A truely great speach from a great man. We need a leader with ideals like that again.

  4. April 8, 2009 1:30 pm

    I believe that these are his ideas and these ideas provide foundation for his most famous ‘Evil Empire’ speech.

  5. April 8, 2009 4:35 pm

    I believe we are in deep trouble. With the Liberals in charge we are going to lose every gain we have fought for in our war against Islamic Extremists. We will surrender in Iraq, throwing that country into unsalvageable turmoil and making meaningless everything our soldiers bled for to accomplish. Afghanistan is another story, I agree with President Obama, we need more troops there to finish the job, but the Libs want us out of Iraq because they cannot stomach what it takes to complete the job, so how long do you think they will leave the troops in Afghanistan? They will be calling to pull out our troops within a month of reinforcing the ones we already have on ground.

    Now look at President Obama and his visit to Turkey. He embraced the Islamic Extremist Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and professed support for what the AKP (Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party) anti-American Government.

    Look at the Congressional Black Caucus visit with Castro. The Black Caucus said of Casto: “The Ultimate Survior” (cockroach comes to mind) and “Like listening to an old friend” (learn to pick better friends comes to mind). After the meeting, Castro said that the delegation had expressed to him that a segment of American society “continues to be racist”. The delegation categorically denied this of course, but the fact that he was visited by “the Congressional BLACK Caucus” is fundamentally racist in the first place.

    Like I said, Deep Trouble,

  6. thad permalink
    November 21, 2010 2:55 pm

    yes everything is black and white, you’ve figured out the world congrats…

    • November 23, 2010 11:51 am

      It wasn’t me that figured things out, it was Ronald Reagan. And yes, he was filmed in black and white, lol.

      I suppose you are in favor of surrendering for peace. While I am not. I’d rather fight to defend what our fathers, brothers and sisters have fought for and are still fighting for.

      Peace begins with strength.

  7. April 30, 2012 7:27 pm

    In this day in Age We Must Fight For Our Own We Let To Many Lib’s Into Office. Sorry but the truth of the matter is we can’t live like a “Free Bird” until We “Fight Like A Man”

  8. Marc permalink
    May 27, 2012 11:46 pm

    Powerful speech. We need speech writers and presenters like this again.

    • Robin Lindsey permalink
      October 28, 2013 8:11 am


  9. November 22, 2012 7:53 pm

    Reblogged this on The New Sons of Liberty and commented:
    Simply amazing.

  10. June 5, 2013 5:38 pm

    Thank god for Gorbachev the man who surrendered to save the world

  11. Frank permalink
    July 16, 2013 7:28 pm

    This man, Ronald Regan, our President, was a true Patriot and so loved this country. I could not be prouder than to say that he was MY president. I voted for him, and I love the man.

  12. Curraheevet permalink
    December 29, 2014 11:36 pm

    A-fucking-men! I am fortunate enough to have been born early enough to remember what it was like to have a strong and moral leader. I just hope I am young enough to do what needs doing when the tree of liberty once again needs to be nourished by the blood of patriots and tyrants.


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