Skip to comments.TIME: The Speech That Brought Down a Wall (Reagan's 'Tear Down This Wall')
Posted on 06/12/2007 7:59:30 PM PDT by Mr. Brightside
The Speech That Brought Down a Wall
Monday, Jun. 11, 2007 By ROMESH RATNESAR
The four most famous words of Ronald Reagan's Presidency almost were never uttered.
Twenty years ago, on the morning of June 12, 1987, Reagan arrived in Berlin, on the occasion of the city's 750th birthday. He was scheduled to speak on the Western side of the Brandenburg Gate, for years the city's symbolic dividing line.
His speechwriters had drafted an address intended as much for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom Reagan was forging a close relationship, as for the 20,000 people who gathered to hear him speak.
In the speech, Reagan would call on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, but that language was opposed strongly by Reagan's National Security Council and the State Department, who feared it would be used by hard-liners in the Kremlin to discredit Gorbachev.
When the President's entourage arrived in Berlin, Reagan's team was still arguing over the final wording. State and NSC submitted yet another draft of the speech.
But in the limousine ride to the Wall, Reagan told his deputy chief of staff, Kenneth Duberstein, that he intended to issue the fateful challenge to Gorbachev. "It's the right thing to do," he said.
George Shultz went on. "I guess the point I'm making here is that ideas matter a lot, the underlying ideas that stand behind policies. When you don't have ideas, your policies are flip-flopping all over the place. When you do have ideas, you have more consistency. And when you have the right ideas then you can get somewhere." Reagan had the right ideas.
(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...
Let's go into 2008 and win one for the gipper.
“Time” must be setting up some democrat for a copy-cat speech very soon.
TIME is 20 years late. 20 years ago they blasted Reagan.
Sir, you are gone, but sure as shootin’ not forgotten.
NPR had a piece today by somebody from National Review which was very nice, very positive about Reagan at the wall. I couldn’t believe NPR carried it.
Neither know nor care much about Time’s masthead or editorial roster, but don’t imagine “Romesh Ratnesar” is a first-stringer, and can’t imagine a Time first-stringer writing something like this.
Then may I suggest you follow Reagan’s rule and not speak ill of fellow Freepers and treat them respectfully. Ronald Regan was a great example. He’s the reason why I am a GOPer.
God bless Ronald Reagan. I truly miss him.
They showed a part of this speech on Hannity & Colmes last night. Before Reagan said “tear down this wall...” he said “open this gate...” to Gorby. The crowd went crazy. Reagan wisely let the crowd settle down. He waited for the noise to die down before saying “tear down this wall.” It tells us of the great timing that Reagan had when delivering this speech and a great lesson can be learned for modern day politician and cable talking heads who are too in love with the sound of their voice.
Today is the day we celebrate and remember Ronald Reagan’s famous speech and statement - “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
But, let remember, it only took about 10 years for America to go into the toilet as a U.S. President said - “Monica, take down these pants.”
It looks like someone is last gasping.
What a great moment for Freedom and for men dedicated to it.
Robinson has also written a pretty good memoir:
“Shultz says that he believes that “President Bush is trying to establish a sense of direction, but he’s having a hard time doing it, and one reason is the fact we’re so bogged down in Iraq.”
There also needs to be a little credit for President Bush Sr. whom was actually President when the wall came down.
Excellent photo montage!
Yes, it is a great montage martin!
Thanks for pinging nit!
I watched this speech on CNN when I was 16. I knew right then that I had to get over there soon if I was ever going to be able to see the evil of the Soviet Empire for myself. I crossed over alone through Check Point Charlie the next year and saw for myself that everything about communism was a lie and that it was all but dead. Reagan truly was a prophet.
Even less time will pass before the Bush haters of the Left and Right must acknowledge that Bush’s advocacy of Global Democracy was necessary and brilliant.
Its worth mentioning Colin Powell was also against Reagan making that famous request of Gorby and company.
When the wall fell, President Bush had been in office just a tad longer than W. had been in office when 9/11 happened. That is, I don't think Bush deserves very much credit regarding responsibility at all.