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.It was an historic moment. Within two years the East German state was toppling, and by November 1989 the wall was down -- blasted through by forces too strong to be kept imprisoned for so long.
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
That wall and the division that it symbolised and made possible set up an unlikely laboratory experiment. One one side the semi-free west; on the other the totalitarians who once declared, "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you." They didn't. PJ O'Rourke celebrated the day they didn't, and we did.
We won, and let's not anybody forget it. We, the people, the free and equal citizens of democracies, we living exemplars of the rights of man tore a new asshole in international communism. Their wall is breached. Their gut-string is busted. The rot of their body-politic fills the nostrils of the Earth with a glorious stink. ... The privileges of liberty and the sanctity of of the individual went out and whipped butt.Reagan's fortitude and this speech played a large part in that victory. The speech in full can be seen here. The words themselves were delivered to the people of West Berlin, and intended to be heard -- and were -- over the wall.
The voices of appeasement who wished the speech were not delivered get their say here.
NB: LEST WE FORGET. Is there a more fitting reminder of the oppressive nature of communism than the Berlin Wall itself?
And is there anything more lemming-like than today's young anti-globalisation protestors? Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got when it's yours ...