The Culmination of Reagan’s Foreign Policy: “Tear Down This Wall!”

From The Foundry, by Marion Smith, June 12, 2012 – Twenty-five years ago today, President Ronald Reagan stood in West Berlin on a temporarily erected platform. The gray buildings of Soviet-dominated East Berlin were visible through the Brandenburg Gate behind the podium.

Standing inches away from the tangible manifestation of the Iron Curtain, Reagan faced the crowd of West Berliners in front of him and the Western world beyond. But his real audience was behind him, behind the curtain: He spoke to the millions of people in Central and Eastern Europe held captive by the wall, and he spoke to the Kremlin, addressing Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev himself.

In his rhetorically masterful speech, Reagan made the economic case for freedom and the security case for Western resolve, but his main argument was a moral one. He stated flatly the problem of U.S.–Soviet relations: “Our differences,” Reagan said, “are about liberty.”

It was his spiritual case for freedom (“This wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom”) that carried Reagan’s appeal to theSoviet Union. Without that moral force, his stringent demand to tear down the wall would have sounded odd and hollow. Indeed, his demands of Gorbachev did sound odd and even downright dangerous to many U.S. foreign policy experts in the State Department and Reagan’s own White House. Several times prior to delivery, experts and staff had attempted to cut out or water down these now immortal lines:

There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. 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—Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

At these words, the crowd exploded into cheers. They were not idealizing the persona of Reagan. They longed for freedom. They aspired to the idea and model of liberty that Reagan’s America represented.

Winston Churchill had first recognized the Soviet’s menacing consolidation and control of territory following World War II and coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” to describe how Moscow had cutoff half of Europe from the West. With similar foresight, Reagan recognized the Iron Curtain’s impermanence.

In this, Reagan was squarely at odds with the best foreign policy minds to be had in America, but the experts were wrong. Two years later, the wall came down; the Soviet Union dissolved.

Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate is a testament to the truth that bold and hopeful words are worth very little without great actions behind them. In essence, Reagan’s explicit challenge to Gorbachev was the culmination of six years of Reagan’s foreign policy strategy, which was guided by his realization that America’s material and moral interests were at stake.

Reagan worked to bring all aspects of American statecraft to bear on the ultimate goal of defeating the ideology of communism and the menacing state apparatus that subjugated whole nations in its cause. In all of this, Reagan tapped into a noble tradition of U.S. foreign policy and sought to reestablish America’s proper role in the world.

Join Heritage as we commemorate the 25th Anniversary of President Reagan’s call for freedom at the Berlin Wall with a screening of his historic speech.

One response

  1. Senator_Blutarsky

    This was really just a ” P-R ” coup, well-planned in advance, since the Russkies were crumbling economically for years……somewhat akin to a buzzard landing on a dead corpse and claiming he killed it. Rons buddy Gorbacev already had his new headquarters set up in the Presidio so he could accelerate the conspiracy for world government along with his evil twin, GHWB

    “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

    I found this sadly humorous ” ultimate goal of defeating the ideology of communism and the menacing state apparatus that subjugated whole nations in its cause..”

    Old Gorby just brought it with him, and it got instituted HERE – police state, warrantless searches and seizures, massive surveillance grid on American citizens – sure sounds like communism to me .

    George Bush The Lesser even hired former East German Stasi chief Markus Wolf to run “Homeland Security” – from 2004 –

    Political analyst Al Martin, who has in the past proven accurate in getting ahead of the news curve, is reporting that Homeland Security have hired former Stasi head, the ‘Silver Fox’ Markus Wolf.

    Martin states,

    “Wolf is the man that effectively built the East German state intelligence operation’s internal directorate,” Martin continues. “He turned half the population into informants. That is his specialty, is taking a population, constructing the various state divisions, mechanisms of control, in order to organize informants within the population. That is his real specialty. And that is precisely, as Primakov has intimated, why Wolf is being brought in. The regime knows that once all of Patriot II is in law and they begin working on Patriot III, they will then begin to establish the internal mechanism to coordinate, as an official function of state, a system of informants. Wolf’s speciality was to turn East Germany into the greatest and most efficient informant state ever created.”

    On a radio appearance earlier today Martin stated that the admission that Wolf would be hired was made in a BBC radio interview given by the former head of the KGB, General Yevgeni Primakov.

    Martin had previously reported that Primakov had been hired as a consultant by the US Department of Homeland Security to implement CAPPS II and the national iD card system which he dubbed an ‘internal passport’.

    Sources close to Martin have told Alex Jones confidentially that the appointment of Wolf was also confirmed by a US Congressman.

    During his radio interview, Martin outlined the immediate agenda. The remaining portions of the 9/11 Commission intelligence reccomendations which include the introduction of a national ID card would be passed and subsequently ‘Patriot Act 3,’ which would include the formal establishment of a Stasi-like domestic spying organisation which would be similar in scope to the TIPS program.

    TIPS, which was supposedly nixed by Congress, would have recruited one in twenty-four Americans as domestic informants, a higher percentage than was used by the Stasi in East Germany.

    Government funding was cut but private funding continues and the same program was intriduced under a number of sub-divisions including AmeriCorps, SecureCorps and the Highway Watch program.

    After the passage of Patriot Act 3 Wolf and Primakov would be tapped for their expertise in further collapsing America into a surveillance grid police state. Primakov has openly stated that they are working on behalf of Bush and Cheney to complete the ‘Sovietization of America.

    “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”
    ~Edward R. Murrow

    Dont look now boys and girls, but the commies have won…………

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