Rich Lowry has a good piece on Obama’s decision to skip ceremonies and celebrations commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall:
Obama famously made a speech in Berlin during last year’s campaign, but at an event devoted to celebrating himself as the apotheosis of world hopefulness. He said of 1989, “a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”
The line was typical Obama verbal soufflé, soaring but vulnerable to collapse upon the slightest jostling from logic or historical fact. The wall came down only after the free world resolutely stood against the Communist bloc. Rather than a warm-and-fuzzy exercise in global understanding, the Cold War was another iteration of the 20th century’s long war between totalitarianism and Western liberalism. The West prevailed on the back of American strength.
Lowry makes several great points, but the centerpiece for me is a point Lowry only touches upon: “But Obama doesn’t think in such antiquated, triumphalist terms.”
We have a President who, because the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany stands as a victory for the United States (and all of Europe), will not pay heed. Obama’s entire foreign policy is devoted towards bringing the United States down a notch or two. The apology tours are the tip of the iceberg of a philosophy of American un-exceptionalism.
John Kennedy stood in Berlin and proclaimed that we all are Berliners. Ronald Reagan stood in Berlin and proclaimed that the wall should be torn down. When Obama went to Berlin, as Lowry points out, Obama proclaimed himself leader of the world.
During the Cold War we needed a leader of the free world, not a leader of the world. We still do.
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