Today, November 9, 2009 is the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of an era of German history that was plagued with repression and tremendous tragedy.
Dinesh Dsouza importantly reminds us in a recent National Review Online article:
“The West’s victory in the Cold War was not one that would have occurred if the policies of liberal Democrats had been in place. For this reason, the fall of the Berlin Wall is a reminder that liberalism was proven wrong in perhaps the greatest foreign-policy challenge since World War II.”
The policies proposed by the liberals in and out of government called for tolerance, which is to say, a policy of equal existence with the communists. Reagan on the other hand, recognized that the U.S.S.R. was an “evil empire.”
Reagan was largely responsible for today’s celebratory anniversary. Obviously, Reagan had some crucial allies: Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa. Gorbachev too played an important role, although it was largely a role that he didn’t intend to play, one that was scripted for him by Reagan.
Reagan proved correct not only in his moral condemnation of communism but also in his analysis of the Soviet threat and the policies he devised to counter it. Even some who were previously skeptical of Reagan were forced to admit that his policies had been thoroughly vindicated. The arch ideological enemy of the Reagan Doctrine, Henry Kissinger and his policy of détente, observed that while it was Bush who presided over the final disintegration of the Soviet Empire, “it was Ronald Reagan’s presidency which marked the turning point.”
The Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu wrote in his seminal work, The Art of War, “to subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” Margaret Thatcher echoed this maxim years later when she proclaimed; “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without even firing a shot.”
Moreover, today is not only a celebration of the end of a repressive era in German history, but a reminder of the failures and evils of Communism, and the triumph of democracy and freedom.
The George Washington University Young America’s Foundation, welcomes students and staff to celebrate this momentous occasion today as we tear down our own mock “Berlin Wall,” in Kogan Plaza at 3pm.
Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor-at-Large of GW YAF.