It Was Twenty Years Ago Tomorrow…

…that Ronald Reagan, standing at the Brandenburg Gate, issued his famous challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!” The line was written by our friend Peter Robinson, who will speak tomorrow at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. Peter recalls that the State Department, the National Security Council and the President’s chief of staff all thought the line was too provocative and wanted it removed from the speech. That conflict was emblematic; the truth was that the foreign policy establishment thought Reagan’s whole policy of trying to win the Cold War was too provocative.
In the Wall Street Journal, John Fund couples the anniversary of Reagan’s speech with the opening, in Washington, of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, which will be dedicated tomorrow. Fund notes that the dedication will be a bipartisan affair, with a Democratic Congressman, Tom Lantos, giving the keynote speech.
This is a bit of revisionist history of the sort that the Communists themselves excelled in. America’s effort to resist Communist imperialism was indeed bipartisan for the first 25 years following World War II. But after the 1960s, the Republicans were on their own, much as they are today in the war against Islamic terrorism. In the later years of the Cold War, it was not unusual for the Democrats to actively side with the Communists, as in Latin America through the Boland Amendment and in Western Europe through the nuclear freeze movement. No doubt that history will be politely overlooked by the participants in tomorrow’s dedication ceremony.
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