Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!
Flash Message 130409 – Written by Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
Rest in Peace, Dear Friend of Freedom!
Yesterday, the cause of freedom lost one of its greatest champions of my lifetime, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She was a great friend of one of my lifetime heroes, Ronald Reagan, and indeed of all who love liberty.
The Cold War ended “without firing a shot” as she memorably said; and in my opinion, the Berlin Wall was torn down as a direct result of the leadership of Ronald Reagan and his unswerving partner, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, during the period it was my privilege to serve in the Reagan and Bush-41 administrations. We owe both of them a great debt.
Over the years, I have bragged that Lady Thatcher also shared credit with SDI for that result, as she most memorably stated on August 3, 1990 (the day after Iraq invaded Kuwait) when I was privileged to host her to review our programs at the National Test Facility in Colorado Springs. She said for all to hear:
“I firmly believe that it was the determination to embark upon that SDI program and to continue with it that eventually convinced the Soviet Union that they could never, never, never achieve their aim by military might because they would never succeed.”
The remainder of her comments that day is also worth repeating:
I believe that led, too, to an assessment of the poverty of their own system and to require them to admit that it produced neither prosperity nor human dignity and therefore led to the reassessment and the enormous change in East-West relations that we are seeing now.
But Ladies and Gentlemen, there is always and will always be evil in human nature and we never know where the next threat may come from. Indeed in the last two days we have had vivid evidence of that. So we must always keep our defenses sure and we must always keep our technology well ahead.
I therefore remain firmly behind this program. I am very pleased and proud that we have a few people from our country associated with it.
I should like to congratulate all of you who are involved in it and all of you who in particular have given us such vivid demonstrations and such clear demonstrations of precisely what each of you is doing. It is remarkable how far it has come since 1983 when it was first initiated.
Of course it has acquired a new kind of vocabulary of its own. What is it—the direct energy technology, the sensor technology, the interceptor technology, as well as brilliant pebbles?
May I say that as a politician who has to answer questions in our House of Commons twice a week, I feel a great [shared] feeling with some of the vocabulary because I feel that every Tuesday and Thursday I use directed energy to intercept questions which I had already sensed and which have given me enough warning to fire the button to fire the brilliant pebbles to defeat the questions.
Thank you very much for what you are doing. I hope that with your work and the resolve of politicians and peoples of countries which believe in freedom that we shall be able to have a very long period of peace so long as we are always ready, so long as we are always sure and so long, as Winston Churchill put it, as your country and mine stand together the world will always be free.
Would that she were still with us to help avoid the regression of Russia’s leadership, and I fear ours, in repeating the errors of a time when Mutual Assured Destruction served as a theological basis for the mantra of “strategic stability” that Reagan hated—and so do I.
As he memorably asked, 30 years ago on March 23, 1983, “Wouldn’t it be better to save lives rather than avenge them?” The programs that President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher supported have made it possible to build more effective defenses than we have—and we should get on with it as quickly as possible.
I and my predecessor SDI Directors often visited with Lady Thatcher whenever we were in London or when she visited the United States. Her support was genuine . . . she was the real deal, a Patriot and friend. We will miss her but her spirit lives on.