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“Tear Down This Wall!”

June 9, 2010 by  

It was 23 years ago this week that President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in the divided city of Berlin and urged Mikhail Gorbachev, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to "tear down this wall!"

At the time, several members of the President’s staff opposed the remark. Chief of Staff Howard Baker said it sounded "extreme." National Security Advisor Colin Powell agreed, declaring it was "unpresidential." Reagan ended the debate by saying, "I think we’ll leave it in."

About 45,000 people attending the speech heard the American leader declare: "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!"

While many commentators in the East and the West derided our "cowboy" President for his anti-communist rhetoric, just 29 months later the wall began to fall. And the rest, as they say, is history.

—Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • Jim H.

    The part his “adviser’s” wanted to edit is the part of the speech the endured. Maybe advisers are whats part of whats wrong with our politics. I don’t know why some people use the word “cowboy” like it’s a bad thing. I would choose “cowboy’ over “community organizer” any day.

  • s c

    Any philosophy that defends the Berlin Wall (or ‘leaders’ like Stalin or Hitler) could find fault with any idea that promotes freedom. Somehow, some of the subhumans who criticized Reagan’s words are in temporary control of Washington.
    Thanks to the twisted joke that we know as public education, Americans are supposed to wink at the Berlin Wall mentality, and not be offended by those who hate freedom.
    They, too, will pass (not unlike a bad bowel movement).

  • jopa

    The wall came down due to Communism not Ronald Reagan.

    • Jim H.

      jopa, Please elaborate. How did Communism tear down its own wall, without any outside influence?

    • libertytrain

      Wow – I hope you didn’t learn that in school or we are all in trouble.

      • s c

        Libertytrain, judging from jopa’s wobbling comments, I’d say he went to school in California or New York, though he did say at one time he ‘grew up’ in the midwest.
        I have to conclude that jopa drinks progressivism’s Kruel Ade, he injects it, he snorts it, he rubs it into his skin, he takes a bath in it, he puts it on his cereal, he stuffs it into his ears and though I can’t prove it, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t use it in a suppository form.
        How people can get that way never ceases to amaze me, but then America is only now starting to pay for an education system that is inherently INFERIOR. Guess who’s been in charge of funneling trillions into it for years?


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