«(...) The year was 1987, the year that Pres. Ronald Reagan, at the Brandenburg Gate, told Mr. Gorbachev to Tear Down This Wall. Reagan early and often promoted liberty, American exceptionalism, and human rights. All those who escaped Communism by hidden secret compartments in cars, or by tunnel, or by hot-air balloon, or in fantastic motorized water packs, and all those who died trying, had a friend in Ronald Reagan and the American people, including, previously, Pres. John F. Kennedy. From the Berlin airlift to spiritual uplift, great American leaders have always resolutely stood up for freedom. Until now. Mr. Obama came to Berlin in 2008, while campaigning, and has continued to preen for foreign approval by apologizing around the globe for the United States. But this year, the celebrations will take place without him. Berlin, 2009. Celebration of liberty and America’s heroic leaders. Mr. Obama, apparently this is not your place. President Reagan, meanwhile, will now have an exhibit dedicated to his leadership at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. »— Larry Greenfield is fellow in American studies at the Claremont Institute and executive director of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. ALLEN C. GUELZO
«(...) Mr. Obama invites the shrillest voices to conclude that, in his view of the world, the Cold War was nothing more than right-wing paranoia. The United States was much less the champion of freedom, the Soviet Union much less the ogre of oppression, and militant Communism much more harmless, than the Goldwaters and Strangeloves made them out to be. So, not enough was at stake in building and then destroying the wall to justify a presidential presence at the anniversary. (...)»— Allen C. Guelzo is Henry R. Luce professor of the Civil War era and director of the Civil War Era Studies Program at Gettysburg College. PAUL KENGOR
«(...) First, this is what we ought to expect from a president whose mentor was Frank Marshall Davis and who, in the 1980s, when President Reagan was seeking to breach the Berlin Wall, was being educated by — and chose to “hang with” — what he himself acknowledged were “Marxist professors.” Obama was raised, nurtured, and educated by what Whittaker Chambers — and Ronald Reagan quoting Chambers — dubbed the wrong side of history. By not going to Berlin, Obama is once again choosing the wrong side of history. Second, with all that said, I’m personally not disappointed by Obama. Barack Obama is who he is. I’m disappointed by the American public, which elected a leader who thinks this way. Ronald Reagan went to the Berlin Wall. He went there and demanded it be torn down. It was. And now, today, Ronald Reagan rolls over in his grave.»— Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His recent books include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. DANIEL PIPES
«(...) In one of the first interviews of his fledgling presidency, on Jan. 27, 2009, Obama informed the audience of an Arabic-language television channel that he hoped to restore “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.” How interesting that Obama praised 1989 as a time of exemplary U.S.-Muslim relations, and not the year of the Berlin Wall’s collapse. It was an undistinguished year for U.S.-Muslim relations, but it was before the U.S. government sought to democratize the region. It was when Washington still focused on getting along with kings, presidents, emirs, and other autocrats. Obama’s phrasing, Fouad Ajami points out, signals “a return to Realpolitik and business-as-usual” in relations with Muslims. The president’s decision to skip the celebrations in Berlin, thus, fits a larger pattern of nostalgia for the good old days before George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” and its inconvenient tensions with dictators.»— Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. DAVID SATTER
«President Obama’s decision to skip the ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has worrying implications for the war in Afghanistan. Although Obama may not be aware of it, Communism and political Islam are basically the same. One pretends to be a perfect science, the other religious. But each divided the world into the holy and the profane. Each believed itself in possession of absolute truth and, deifying itself, attempted to impose its deranged interpretation of reality on the world by force. The fall of Communism showed that fanatics are defeated by the collapse of their ideology. This lesson is critical to our success in Afghanistan. If we discredit fanatical Islam, we win. If it discredits us, we lose. It was therefore critically important for Obama to use the opportunity of the Berlin Wall commemoration to explain to the world and, in particular, the Muslim world, why we are fighting. The fact that he did not seize this opportunity indicates that he may not know. Clausewitz wrote that in war the first priority of a statesman or commander is to understand what kind of war he is fighting. Obama is involved in an ideological war. If he does not understand that, it will be his tragedy — and ours. »— David Satter is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. His latest book is Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. Qual muro?, Obama iguala Bush, O príncipe da paz? e O muro e o príncipe.