(Page 2 of 2)
In the first few days of construction, tanks could have rolled over the barbed wire and reasserted international law, codified under the Four Powers Agreements, that England, France, and the U.S. were to have a say in all of Berlin, not just the West. But the U.S. government under JFK’s leadership made crystal clear that it “was not going to choose this time and place to pay any price, bear any burden.”
FOR A BOOK titled The Fall of the Berlin Wall, I expected more about, well, the actual physical fall of the Berlin Wall. The penultimate chapter “The Wall Came Tumbling Down” does give a rough sketch of how it happened. Riots and protests all over the Soviet satellite nations forced changes in the respective regimes, include a shuffling of the leadership deck, and the new leaders proved more liberal than their predecessors.
At a press conference on the night of November 9, 1989, East German party chief Günter Schabowski announced that freedom of movement had been reinstated. The Volk took to the streets in celebration. By midnight, hundreds of Germans were dancing atop the Brandenburg Gate. The next day “hundreds of Berliners, West and East, were there with real chisels and claw hammers and screwdrivers and sledgehammers to pry loose their own piece of the wall.” These being Germans, they made quick work of it.
The physical destruction of the wall is related in rapid fire fashion — less than three pages, all told — because it was almost anticlimactic, and because Buckley has bigger fish to harpoon. The inflexible ideology that built the wall and kept it in place began to tumble long before it did. Granted, the West gave Karl Marx’s legacy the decisive push, but it was already teetering and frail, straining under the weight of its own inhumanity.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?