Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama and the Berlin Wall

Senator Obama has given his Berlin speech, and plenty of people will find things wrong with it. But something really stuck in my craw. Sadly, it's become a common device of leftists to equate the Berlin Wall with other walls with entirely different purposes; such as the Israeli security barrier and the proposed barriers along US land borders to protect against infiltration.

Here are excerpts of the speech that express the idea (emphasis mine):

When you, the German people, tore down that wall - a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope - walls came tumbling down around the world. . . . Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.
The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
We know they have fallen before. . . . Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; . . .
So history reminds us that walls can be torn down.

Senator, you're probably too young to remember why the Berlin Wall was erected. I was only a few months old at the time, so I had to learn it from my elders:
The people of the Glorious Workers' Paradise of the Orwellian "Deutsche Demokratische Republik" (which was neither democratic, nor a republic) were "voting with their feet" by leaving in droves. The Communist leadership knew that they had to do something, so they built the Wall, not to "divide" the German people, but to turn the country into a giant prison camp, and keep the inmates incarcerated. They not only put up a wall, but also cleared out buildings to give "border guards" a clear shot at anyone who dared to scale it, as well as orders to do so.
This is the huge difference between the Berlin Wall and other walls: The Israeli and US walls are to keep out people who want to do harm; the Berlin Wall kept in people who just wanted to be free.
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1 comment:

  1. Monster,

    I read this when you posted it and want to congradulate you for original thought. I read many news, blogs and comments on the topic of Obama's Berlin wall speach and nobody else caught - or at least focused on - the difference between walls that imprison and those that defend.

    +1 Monster


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