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Does "vindication" mean "the fact of proving that what US policymakers said or did was right after other people thought they were wrong:"?

Celebrants atop the falling Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Gorbachev saw Soviet communism's collapse as a new beginning, but many U.S. policymakers hailed it as the ultimate vindication.

Source: The Untold History of the United States p.471

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Celebrants atop the falling Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Gorbachev saw Soviet communism's collapse as a new beginning, but many U.S. policymakers hailed it as the ultimate vindication.

Your general interpretation is fine.

'Vindication' is defined similarly in the dictionary.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/vindication

The quoted passage does not give details on whether vindication refers to what had been said or done or U.S. policymakers. If we follow your sentence construction,

the fact of proving that what US policymakers said or did was right after other people thought they were wrong

then it refers to the former.

Other than giving a few suggestions, I have changed the pronoun near the end of the sentence to singular to maintain consistency; the pronoun has antecedent what US policymakers had said or done rather than US policymakers.

"the fact of proving that what US policymakers [had] said or done was right after other people [had] thought [it was] wrong"

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Yes, I think you captured the meaning very well.

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  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review
    – mdewey
    Apr 11, 2021 at 12:29
  • What? The question was, Does "vindication" mean X? My answer was, Yes. How is that not providing an answer?
    – JasonR
    Apr 12, 2021 at 13:07
  • The aim of the StackExchange network is to provide a body of curated questions and answers to provide a resource for other people. Compare your answer with the accepted one and you will see why I felt it was more of a commentary than a full answer. It had come up in the Low Quality Posts review queue which is where I reviewed it.
    – mdewey
    Apr 12, 2021 at 13:22

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