Saturday, July 21, 2007

Whose Reagan?

Inside Track: Whose Reagan?
by Sean R. Singer

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Ronald Reagan famously told Mikhail Gorbachev in Berlin on June 12, 1987.

Usually only the last sentence of this quote garners attention, its context lost on casual observers who interpret it as a crusader’s command. But when read in context, it is not a demand; it is a conditional statement. Reagan does not assume Gorbachev wants peace, prosperity and liberalization, but observes that if the general secretary chooses them, there remains only one course of action: Gorbachev—and not Reagan or the U.S. military—must tear down the wall, not out of compulsion, but of his own volition.

To continue reading:

This short article from the National Interest reminds us that Reagan was a "optimistic realist" in foreign affairs and " a reasonable and cautious man", who displayed "flexibility and pragmatism" These characteristics are absent in the current administration and those Republicans aspiring to succeed it. Unfortunately no Republican today is in the mold of Ronald Reagan or can lay claim to his mantle.

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  1. I don't think I have ever seen the entire quote. Thank you for sharing it.


  2. Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War.

    Reading your site today reminded me of that.

    And now, I want to get back to your page and read more!