This Monday November 9, 2009 represents the twenty year anniversary of the first time the Berlin Wall was opened in Germany. On that glorious day, it marked a significant step in the destruction of the Soviet Union and the end to the long and brutal cold war. America emerged as the lone super power in the world and surged ahead proving to the world that democracy and individual freedom had triumphed over tyranny and socialism. It was a wonderful time to be an American and an even more wonderful time to be alive. The heavy hand of government and the terrors of the Soviet Union would influence the world for the last time.
Germany became divided at the end of World War II, because the Allies could not agree as to which government should be installed after the fall of the third Reich. After much deliberation, it was decided that East Germany would belong to the Soviets and West Germany would belong to the American, British, and the French. After countless people had fled from East to West the Soviets had trouble controlling the border. Many were put in prisons and others were shot dead on the spot by Soviet border police. In 1961 it was decided by the Soviets that a more cost effective solution was necessary to stop frantic East German citizens from seeking freedom on the other side. Shooting some and putting others in prisons was very costly and thus the wall was built by the Soviets to help police the border between East and West Germany. The wall stood for many years until it was opened for the first time in 1989, and a united Germany was born.
On Monday the Germans have a huge celebration on hand to commemorate this giant accomplishment of freedom. Many will be on hand to celebrate this wonderful event including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the last Soviet chairman, Mikhail Gorbachev. Barack Obama was invited to take part in the event, but as reported by White House press secretary, his schedule does not allow him to take part in these festivities. Upon hearing this news, I was speechless. How in the world can a sitting President of the United States and leader of the free world possibly skip an event as big as this one? Aside from winning World War II, one would be hard pressed to cite a larger example of freedom’s success in modern times than the fall of this wall and the end of the Soviet Union.
Many have tried, but nobody can deny America’s assistance with bringing down the Soviet Union. America engaged in several wars and struggles to prevent other countries from falling under Soviet rule. America would help in countless ways monetarily by sending money and aid to help other countries to stand tall in defense against the red army. The end of World War II left two world super powers who’s economic philosophy were polar opposites of one another. Each would watch each other like a hawk in a brilliant “chess like” game played throughout the decades as each tried to undermine each other. Each country would stare each other down knowing a simple blink of an eye or the first sign of weakness would open an opportunity for the other. All the while, the possibility of another world war with nuclear consequences could be in the near future. The rest of the world would watch this showdown cautiously as one country gaining power over the other would affect future decisions their governments would make. It was Stalin who once said, “for the final victory of socialism, for the organization of Socialist production, the efforts of one country, particularly of a peasant country like Russia, are insufficient.” (3) The Soviets believed socialism needed to expand to other nations to truly be successful, but during the cold war, America was there every step of the way to slow and prevent the Soviet “domino effect” in other countries. Some of America’s decisions to prevent the spread of communism this day are viewed by some as controversial, but nonetheless proved effective in keeping Communism at bay all over the globe. Finally the arms race in the 1980’s lead by compassionate, yet firm Ronald Reagan furthered the demise and helped to bankrupt the once great world threat. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of this madness.
I have not heard what Barack Obama will be doing that day instead, but nothing excuses him taking a pass on this event. He found time to fly in the last minute to make a push for the Olympics a few months ago. He flew several times to campaign for his Democratic colleagues running for Governor. He made several overseas trips and has already met with Russia. Obama is only days away from a trip to Asia, I find it remarkable he can’t pencil in some time to stop by one of our best allies for an event as big as this one. He has apologized to the rest of the world endlessly for American mistakes made throughout history, but rarely cites examples of American success. This is Barack Obama’s opportunity to set everything else aside and enjoy the success of world freedom and America’s involvement in helping establish it as such. Unfortunately, the President has someplace else he would rather be that day and is dispatching Hillary Clinton in his place. I am not sure what the President was thinking on this one, but I am extremely disappointed he refuses to show up in person to represent America and share in one of freedom’s greatest accomplishments.
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