20 years ago today

the Berlin Wall came down. It was an amazingly euphoric moment in time celebrating the end of Stasi driven tyranny of the East German Government over its people.

I remember Lech Walesa and Solidarity in Poland and just what an amazing year 1989 was for the world. Most of all, I remember a man in leadership who knew evil when he saw it. Who had the determination and conviction that western liberal democracy was the best system in which the most people could be the most prosperous. Who was willing to take the fight to the enemy in order to defeat them. Who called for the wall to come down two years before it did:

and oh when it did. I sat in the living room of the very old very small mobile home that I had shared with my lovely wife of less than a year and I cried like a baby. I still tear up when I see this footage. simply an awesome moment of triumph of good over evil. a reward for sustained perseverance over forty years.

Such an unalloyed net gain of goodness for the people of Eastern Europe.

BUT. Such triumphs apparently have a short shelf life. Two data points (many more could be mentioned) suffice to show the ephemeral nature of the gains made.

Number 1 and most importantly, Barack Obama won’t go to Germany to celebrate the victory with the people most directly impacted. He seems somehow ashamed of the fact that we won the Cold War. His speech in Berlin during the campaign was strangely silent on the unique American role in the triumph and long on his own uniqueness. If the leader of the country which was instrumental in the victory won’t celebrate it as a victory, then there is a serious problem.

Number 2 some people in former East Germany would rather live in the oppressive regime that was defeated 20 years ago rather than live in freedom. These people would rather live in squalor but security with a pittance from the government rather than be unleashed to achieve for themselves with the attendant risk of failure. here is the list of benefits lost in East Germany:

Since the demise of the GDR, many have come to recognise and regret that the genuine “social achievements” they enjoyed were dismantled: social and gender equality, full employment and lack of existential fears, as well as subsidised rents, public transport, culture and sports facilities

This movie might be a good reminder of what evil reigned in Eastern Germany.

HT to Hot Air for the shameless theft of video

UPDATE:

via Veronique de Rugy another video on the evils of communism:

UPDATE II:

Pete Wehner on the fall of one wall and the death of a soul killing state. Here is his conclusion, but go read the whole thing.

Twenty years ago the Wall came tumbling down. A sadistic, soul-killing police state came to an end. And the United States — in confronting Soviet Communism, in supporting the forces of liberty across the globe, and in refusing to grow weary in doing good — added another remarkable and estimable chapter to its record of achievement. That, I think, is in large part the meaning of this anniversary.

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