November 9, 2009

"Tear down this wall."



53 comments:

AllenS said...

Obama: "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

Ann Althouse said...

Why can't I just eat my jelly doughnut?

***

Okay, now everyone, no more talk about the jelly doughnut

traditionalguy said...

Anyone who dares to understand the fatal blow to the USSR caused by that use of words by Reagan needs to read Sharansky's book " The Case For Democracy". Unfortunately an exact reversal of Reagan's winning strategy is now the only tactic used by Sweet Old Barack.

garage mahal said...

He told them to tear it down, and gosh darn they did it!

Pogo said...

Progressives the world over have learned that a regulatory wall is far easier to erect and justify.

It's difficult to photograph a wall of rules and constraints on liberty, even though the coercion is identical.

They learned from the errors of the East Germans very very well.

Pogo said...

Huxley's dystopia beats Orwell's hands down.

SMGalbraith said...

Well, the real forces that tore down the wall, that broke up the Soviet Empire were the men and women who lived behind that wall and stood up for human dignity and freedom. The power of the powerless as Vaclav Havel called it.

They deserve almost all of the credit.

But as Sharansky and Bonner and Havel said, as we in the West were watching the Soviets to ascertain what they were thinking, millions of eyes on the other side were watching us too, trying to see what we were thinking and doing.

If we were to tell them - as some did - that there really wasn't much difference between their system and ours, that political liberty mean nothing without economic security, the willingness to risk their lives to remove that system would have been dealt a huge blow.

So, we honor JFK and Reagan and the others who told them, "No, liberty and freedom are the right of every human and you must have it."

A nice lesson for President Obama to learn since he believes that if nations "unclench their fists" at us, then can still use their fists agaist their own people. This ignores, of course, the fact that regimes that kill and lie to their own people aren't worried about killing and lying to other peoples.

Thanks JFK and Dutch.

Windbag said...

Amazing what you can get when you ask for it nicely.

The Crack Emcee said...

Wait - you mean it didn't just "fall"?

Somebody needs to have a talk with the president,...

SMGalbraith said...

No, JFK and Reagan said the wall was evil and the people living behnd it tore it down.

But if you tell them it's not evil, that East and West are just two ways of arranging society, don't be surprised if the people don't rise up and tear it down.

AllenS said...

Just to make everyone happy, here's one of my all time favorite quotes--

Bush: "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

They just don't make presidents like they used to.

Fred4Pres said...

Those German Jelly doughnuts are good.

Here is a little nugget on another news item of the day:

Major Nidal Hasan was a hero and he did the right thing. At least according to his Islamic cleric.

And the DoD and U.S. intelligence officials knew Hasan was reaching out to radical Islam. And did nothing. So we are now pretending the Berlin Wall was not that important and going back to a September 10, 2001 mentality. What could go wrong?

Can I have some shots of bourbon with my doughnut?

The Crack Emcee said...

Between talk like "They just don't make presidents like they used to" and jelly doughnuts, man, I have got this shit covered.

Covered in what, I will not say.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

The profound tragedy of today's Democrat Party is that JFK could most certainly never be nominated. Neither could Truman or LBJ.

Obama's absence from today's commemoration is intentional, and speaks volumes. It is his gestures that matter: giving the finger to Hillary; returning the statue of Churchill; cancelling the missile system on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland; and so on.

AllenS said...

Crack--

I'd visit your blog more often, but, I gotta tell ya, that dark background makes it hard for me to read.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

The Crack Emcee said...

Fred4Prez,

Tell me how this is different from what I've been saying about the reaction to all these outrageous beliefs. I've said they result in trouble for others - including death - but are completely, and repeatedly, ignored by this new brand of PC cowards.

The only difference I see is y'all want to claim some outrageous beliefs are O.K. and/or better than others when we know - or should know, by the year 2010, y'all - adhering to beliefs is nothing more than a sign of madness (to one degree or another).

It's all part of the whole, people.

The Crack Emcee said...

AllenS,

Yea, I've heard that - it doesn't show italics very well, either.

I might start another one - in white, with a cheerier disposition - soon. I'll let you know if I go there.

hawkeyedjb said...

Pres. Kennedy: Ich bin ein Berliner!

Pres. Reagan: Tear down this wall!

Pres. Obama: Wow! Now that's a shovel-ready stimulus project!

AllenS said...

Could you just lighten the background? I have no idea how the set up works, but I'd hate to have you start all over again.

SMGalbraith said...

"Tear down this wall."

"Ich bin ein Berliner."

"Wall, heck I was 4 years old when that thing went up."

jayne_cobb said...

As much as I love this day I still get depressed when I see just how many people would embrace communism all over again.

Nothing pisses me off quicker than hearing someone utter that famous line "but it was never tried correctly".

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

There is no right way to do a wrong thing.

AlphaLiberal said...

The conservatives love to pretend that, without Ronald Reagan, the Soviet system would have still be alive and thriving today.

I disagree and don't share the conservatives' faith in the vitality of the Soviet system.

Reagan made a speech. That did not bring the wall down. The German people deserve a little credit. Gorbachev deserves some credit.

Pogo said...

"Gorbachev deserves some credit."

Bullshit. That's like saying Hitler deserved some credit for the defeat of Germany in WW2.

MrBuddwing said...

It's one of those "what-ifs" of history I occasionally ponder: What if President Carter had been reelected in 1980? What he had been succeeded by his vice president, Walter Mondale, in Jan. 1985? Would the Berlin Wall still have fallen on Nov. 9, 1989?

I guess we'll never know.

Robert Cook said...

Actually, to the extent any political figure deserves credit, it is Gorbachev. Reagan had nothing to do with it, the fantasies of his idolators being merely that. It largely had to do with the complete financial and political exhaustion of the crumbling Soviet empire, never as strong or fearsome a force as our propagandists had us believe, (and which they may have believed themselves).

We're heading that way now.

Cedarford said...

vbspurs said...on another thread
(OT), but I did want to say that I find it hugely disappointing (but so readily believable given this man's ideology) that the US President will not be present at the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall today (9 Nov). Medvedev, Gordon Brown, even Lech Walesa will be there. I'm sure many others will too, celebrating when Europe finally was healed by the schism of communism.

But the President of the United States, whose two predecesors Kennedy and Reagan had the most iconic moments speaking in front of said wall, of any foreign leader, chose to give this event a pass.


There is just so much time alloted to a President to do symbolic shit and play "Consoler-in-CHief" of the Therapy Nation to a select few of the 2.4 million annual death bereaved familes in America, before neglect of his other Constitutional duties. (As Bush did saying he had far too many symbolic ceremonies and mournathons and Commander-in-Chief meetings to bother much with all that financial, immigration, job loss to China, healthcare crisis "sidestuff".)

Like it or not, Obama was elected because many thought healthcare was an urgent problem. I disagree with that priority and with the whole Obama policy he and liberal Dems want, but Obama forewent the symbolic shit of being in Germany for a "special, special anniversary" to work Saturday ensuring the House past his bill and on Sunday and today trying to push the public and the Senate on what he and a good chunk of the US want.

Perhaps if nothing else was happening, the President could do more symbolic visits to the wounded "Heroes" of Ft Hood and console the "bereaved noble Victim Families" there, and even burn a few days on funerals for those killed in 4 corners of the country in a "Head Man brings Healing and Ka-Lowz-Ure" to the suffering.

But at least this guy is finally learning, perhaps, that the job of President and fulfilling his Constitutional duties is far more serious than Bush took it or Obama himself did in his first year spent mainly talking about what a wonderful guy he is. It involves more than ceremonies, photo ops showing his Empathy by hugging some media-deemed-essential to hug Victim, and giving empty oration 4,000 miles into Europe on a podium packed with other people making speeches about the portentious moment of "20 years gone since a Big Thing Happened!!"

traditionalguy said...

Alpha Liberal...The USSRs leaders knew that they were running an evil empire since Stalin died in 1953. But that was like riding a tiger that could turn on them. Reagan's charm and Reagan's SDI convinced them that 1) the jig was up, and 2) that the USA would let them off the hook for the Evil done by their empire if they went along with him and came in from the cold. Nothing but Reagan caused this peaceful end to the USSR's cold war with us without a hot world war III. Quit rewriting history all the time. You can still be a Liberal without seeking destruction of the reputation of conservatives. Come in from the cold yourself.

Pastafarian said...

Pogo said: "Bullshit. That's like saying Hitler deserved some credit for the defeat of Germany in WW2."

Well, Hitler actually does deserve some credit for Germany's defeat. He chased most of the great physicists from Germany with his antisemitism -- otherwise, Germany might have developed the fission bomb before the Allies. He was a military incompetent, and the Russians actually passed on an opportunity to assassinate him once, because they didn't want him to be replaced with someone more competent.

But I don't think that's the sort of credit that AlphaLib was trying to give Gorby.

And Robert Cook, do you suppose that one of the reasons that the USSR's economy collapsed was the fact that they overtaxed their resources trying to keep up with the US military, because Reagan scared the crap out of them?

Nah, I'm sure that you'd agree that it's just the inevitable collapse of any socialist system. That's how that ardent conservative AlphaLiberal sees it, honest. Free government-run health care, anyone?

Father Martin Fox said...

Re: Liberal revisionism...

I can recall when liberals were appalled at Reagan's approach, from before he was elected, and said that his approach would not weaken the Soviet Union and they especially scoffed at his talk of the Soviet Empire collapsing, when they didn't simply ignore it. They completely ridiculed the notion that the West could "win" the Cold War and saw no way that could happen.

But Reagan did--he talked about it happening, years before it happened. Anyone who cares can go back and read his speeches in the early 80s about it all ending up on the ash-heap of history.

But why give the man credit for (a) seeing something coming, (b) pursuing policies he said would help make it happen, (c) and having the enemy say afterward that said policies did make things difficult for them.

To credit him--and not the liberals--when it actually happened as he--but not the liberals--foresaw? Crazy!

vbspurs said...

President Obama has the time to go to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago as a venue for the Olympics, but not to go to Berlin to celebrate the freeing of millions of people after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the seminal event in post-war history, right up there with Hiroshima and 9/11.

(Anyone want to bet he wouldn't go to Hiroshima with cap in hand, on bended knee apologising for America's actions?)

I guess the ghosts of presidents past proved too much for his ego.

After all, Ich bin ein Berliner and Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall are a tough act for anyone to follow.

But don't worry. He'll be there if they ever put it back up.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

wv: badess!!

Robert Cook said...

"...Robert Cook, do you suppose that one of the reasons that the USSR's economy collapsed was the fact that they overtaxed their resources trying to keep up with the US military, because Reagan scared the crap out of them?

Nah, I'm sure that you'd agree that it's just the inevitable collapse of any socialist system. That's how that ardent conservative AlphaLiberal sees it, honest. Free government-run health care, anyone?"


It probably is so that Russia's economic collapse was helped along by their attempt to keep up with our own ruinously profligate military spending.

As to the "inevitable collapse of any socialist system," I don't know that it is so inevitable...as with our own financial boom and bust cycles historically, the particular features of a given system and the ways in which collapses are handled will lead to various possible outcomes. It does not follow that merely offering tax-payer funded healthcare for all either makes a society "socialist" or that it will result in economic collapse. In our own case, we're borrowing from abroad to squander tens of billions of dollars annually on our wars abroad. That's money straight down the toilet, and it's money we have to pay back to our creditors.

As I said before, we're heading for a collapse similar to the Soviet Republic's. One crucial thing we must do is withdraw all our forces from abroad, shutter our overseas military bases, and slash our military budget to the bone. That won't happen, of course, so our course is set.

fivewheels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fivewheels said...

The left has never faced up to the fact that it spent the 2nd half of the 20th century being completely wrong in every single way about the Cold War. It still refuses to let go of its delusions, as we see in this and the other Berlin Wall thread.

I'm not naturally conservative by temperament, and not socially conservative in any way, but I'm a proud and lucky American today as a result of my family's flight from communism, and this is the only tie I have to the "right". But it is an overwhelming, life-changing issue, not an academic one. It is still 80 percent of why the Democratic party is anathema to me.

Until the left can show it's outgrown its dorm-room marxism, it will continue to be wholly unacceptable to me. Obama has shown that this time is still a long way off.

Pogo said...

"As to the "inevitable collapse of any socialist system," I don't know that it is so inevitable."

You may not know it, but Hayek and Von Mises did.

Boom and bust are not equivalent to collapse and 100 million dead.

vbspurs said...

In our own case, we're borrowing from abroad to squander tens of billions of dollars annually on our wars abroad. That's money straight down the toilet, and it's money we have to pay back to our creditors.

Except in our case, we have a capitalist system within a democracy. They had socialism within a totalitarian system. Our bedrock was and is far more solid.

former law student said...

President Obama has the time to go to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago as a venue for the Olympics, but not to go to Berlin to celebrate the freeing of millions of people after the fall of the Berlin Wall

In the first case, Obama's presence could have accomplished a goal. In the second case, all Obama's presence would have accomplished is just another photo op. Besides, as has been pointed out, Obama already went to Berlin last year. Is a visit on an even decade anniversary really that significant?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

After all, Ich bin ein Berliner and Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall are a tough act for anyone to follow.

But don't worry. He'll be there if they ever put it back up.


He probably couldn't go, had to clip his toenails floss his teeth, because there was no way that he could figure out how to make it all about HIM. If it doesn't revolve around the Big O, then he has no interest in it.

Robert Cook said...

"...we have a capitalist system within a democracy. They had socialism within a totalitarian system. Our bedrock was and is far more solid."

Keep dreaming.

Freder Frederson said...

Reagan's charm and Reagan's SDI

Yeah, that SDI sure was scary. Twenty-five years and tens of billions of dollars later all we have to show for it is a few interceptors is the Alaskan tundra that probably don't even work.

And Robert Cook, do you suppose that one of the reasons that the USSR's economy collapsed was the fact that they overtaxed their resources trying to keep up with the US military, because Reagan scared the crap out of them?

Except this persistent myth just doesn't stand up to an examination of the facts. The debacle in Afghanistan certainly taxed the Soviet military, but after the mid-80's, military spending in the USSR dropped along with the commitment to Afghanistan.

AST said...

When I hear Obama's open hand-closed fist line, I think of diplomacy by Rock-Paper-Scissors.

wv: hulat? She lat.

chickenlittle said...

But at least this guy is finally learning, perhaps, that the job of President and fulfilling his Constitutional duties is far more serious than Bush took it or Obama himself did in his first year spent mainly talking about what a wonderful guy he is.

I'm not seeing the evidence for the change you're seeing in Obama after a year on the job.
Tell me what I'm missing here.

AJ Lynch said...

Here is a transcript of President Obama's speech:

I, me, I , me , since I became president, before I was president, me,me , me, I, I, I, ......

AJ Lynch said...

Cookie! Where ya been?

Jason said...

Cook...

You want to cut military spending while we are fighting two wars, but cutting the much larger entitlement budget doesn't even occur to you?

That's why you old leftists have become such laughing stocks.

F15C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd in rare (or maybe not so rare) form today:

"Like it or not, Obama was elected because many thought healthcare was an urgent problem."

Earth to Fudd: BO was elected because people thought the economy was going off a cliff. The only people worked up about healthcare were his lefist faction of the Dems.

"There is just so much time alloted to a President to do symbolic shit ..." etc. etc. This is a guy who went to Copenhagen to try and snag a multibillion-dollar pork barrel for his Chitown homies. Not to mention all the time spent on family photo ops, playing golf etc. ad nauseam. Even when he's *not* being compulsively antisemitic, C-fudd accomplishes absolutely nothing except to prove what a nitwit and ignoramus he is.

vbspurs said...

You've got to be joking if you think a bizarre international "campaign stop" when he wasn't even president of the US would count as a visit to memorialise the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

What next? He already checked out Carla Bruni's ass so that counts as D-Day rememberances?

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Hi DBQ!!

He probably couldn't go, had to clip his toenails floss his teeth, because there was no way that he could figure out how to make it all about HIM. If it doesn't revolve around the Big O, then he has no interest in it.

He's Clinton without the ability to be brought to heel by polls.

In other words, just another tinpot ideologue, but one with the ability do very real damage to the greatest capitalist economy the world has ever seen.

Cheers,
Victoria

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"You want to cut military spending while we are fighting two wars, but cutting the much larger entitlement budget doesn't even occur to you?"

We need to STOP FIGHTING the two wars we started without cause, and we need to realize our half-century long spending orgy on our military budget is a cancer on our economy and is killing our nation.

A single payer national health service, if done properly, can save money over our current healthcare expenditures nationally. If we're going to spend our treasure, even if there's no immediate obvious return--as contrasted with our military spending, which has no actual return, immediate or otherwise--I'd rather it be to provide healthcare to all Americans, which would save lives and ease medical and financial suffering, than to imprison, torture and murder people around the world or to further fatten the swollen slavering jackals in the military-industrial complex whose wealth is stolen from you and me in the furtherance of mass murder.

A house riven by poor health and financial ruin will surely fall, no matter how seemingly well fortified its battlements.