9:26 PM

And The Wall Came Tumbling Down....

Posted by Skye |

Twenty years ago today, one of our nations finest Presidents spoke to the assembled crowds at the Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin, Germany and challenged Gorbachev to 'tear down this Wall'. Bold words at the height of a cold war between the US and Russia. Today this speech is widely regarded as the tipping point that ushered in a 'revolution' of freedom in Germany and Eastern Europe.

June 12, 1987:

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Back in the day, the headlines of most major newspapers told a different story, as Steven Bird recounts in his latest TownHall article:

“A Potemkin President: Reagan is losing the air of authority,...the presidency was ceasing to function”....“19 months of a surreal Presidency to go. If it lasts.” - New York Times

“Keep Germany Divided: The Dirty Little Secret Is That It Means a Europe at Peace” the opinion column goes on to declare “It’s just that, considered as a unified nation, in a world parched for peace, the Germans are not quite ready for self-government,” Washington Post - June 14, 1982. (they say the same thing today about Iraqis)

“After a lackluster European trip, Ronald Reagan turns his attention this week to arms control and deficit battling to revive his presidency,” The Chicago Tribune - June 14, 1987

“Even though Americans predominated in the front rows of the audience, many of Reagan’s most provocative lines received only scattered applause.”And: “But the crowd, estimated by officials at 20,000, was about half the number that had been anticipated.” The Washington Post - June 13, 1987

“Back to the wall; Reagan rallies with a strong speech,” “For all his eloquence, the aging President was repeatedly upstaged by the youthful and suavely dynamic image of the man who was not there: Mikhail Gorbachev.” Time Magazine - June 22, 1987

“The overall impression was of a lame-duck President who knows all too well that his dream of carving out a shining place in history is eroding into bittersweet memories.” US News and World Report

No matter how things change some things remain constant as the MSM misrepresenting current events. The media was wrong, so very wrong in their assessment of Reagan's challenge to Gorbachev. One has to wonder how badly mistaken is the MSM outlook on the future of Iraq.

November 11& 12, 1989:

A Personal Account of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The final slab was moved away. A stream of East Germans began to pour through. People applauded and slapped their backs. A woman handed me a giant bottle of wine, which I opened and she and I began to pour cups of wine and hand them to the East Germans. Journalists and TV reporters struggled to hold their cameras. A foreign news agency's van with TV cameras on top was in a crowd of people; it rocked and the cameramen pleaded with the crowd. Packed in with thousands, I stood at the break in the wall. Above me, a German stood atop the wall, at the end, balanced, waving his arms and shouting reports to the crowd. With all of the East Germans coming into West Berlin, we thought it was only fair that we should go to East Berlin. A counterflow started. Looking around, I saw an indescribable joy in people's faces. It was the end of the government telling people what not to do, it was the end of the Wall, the war, the East, the West. If East Germans were going west, then we should go east, so we poured into East Berlin. Around me, people spoke German, French, Polish, Russian, every language. A woman handed her camera to someone who was standing atop rubble so that he could take her picture. I passed a group of American reporters; they didn't speak anything and couldn't understand what was going on, pushing their microphones into people's faces, asking "Do you speak English?" Near me, a knot of people cheered as the mayors of East Berlin and West Berlin met and shook hands. I stood with several East German guards, their rifles slung over their shoulders. I asked them if they had bullets in those things. They grinned and said no. From some houses, someone had set up loudspeakers and played Beethoven's ninth symphony: Alle Menschen werden Bruder. All people become brothers. On top of every building were thousands of people. Berlin was out of control. There was no more government, neither in East nor in West. The police and the army were helpless. The soldiers themselves were overwhelmed by the event. They were part of the crowd.
Their uniforms meant nothing.

The Wall was down.

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