Friday, June 19, 2009

Compare and Contrast: 
John F. Kennedy: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more."

Ronald Reagan: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Barack Obama:"“It’s not productive, given the history of the US-Iranian relationship, to be seen as meddling,”

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Not his finest speech ever, was it?
Take a look at the Berlin Wall timeline at Berlin Wall On-line, the last five entries in particular. This is why the president must offer stronger support to the Iranian opposition.

I distinctly remember paying close attention as events began developing in late summer of 1989 while I was stationed in Germany. At that time I asked my father, who was stationed in Germany when the wall went up in 1961, what he thought about the developments leaning towards freedom (The Hungary border opening mentioned below among them). He predicted East Germany would open it's border and 'fall' in a year. I thought he was nuts and that it would still take another decade. To both our surprise the Berlin Wall began falling only weeks later, and only two years after Reagan's appearance at the Brandenberg gate, towards the end of his second term, at which he infamously challenged Soviet Premier Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!" In December of 1989 I had one of the best experiences of my life as friends and I chipped our own chunks of concrete and rebar out of that Wall. Germany was reunited less than a year after that.

What I learned from that personal experience with history is that Freedom gains momentum at it's own pace, and that its acceleration tends to outstrip the ability of dictatorial governments to keep up. I'm not saying Iran will fall any time soon. However, the likelihood that President Obama sees Democratic reforms in Iran during his tenure would be much more likely if he was to take a stand for freedom now, at the begining of his own term, rather than take a tightrope-walking position that may stifle Freedom's proponents.

And soo, you would support Iranian "reformist"?

Know any?
I'm torn by this. On one hand, I think we should support democracy openly; OTOH, we should stand back and not feck it up.

If it falls, though - will W get the credit he deserves?
Is Letterman still doing Great Moments In Presidential Speeches?
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