Peace means protecting freedoms

Not the absence of war!

Happened to catch on C-Span a 1987 speech in Berlin from our greatest President of the last 60 years, Ronald Reagan. 

No, it wasn’t his “Tear Down This Wall” speech. The occasion was the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city. Two years later, the Berlin Wall would come tumbling down. At the conclusion of Reagan’s speech that day, tiny parachutes bearing candy for the children dropped from the ceiling.

The tiny parachutes recalled a touching detail of the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 that kept freedom alive well behind tyranny’s Iron Curtain. America dropped food and candy on the besieged city where only four years earlier the Allies dropped bombs to stop Adolf Hitler. What other country does that?

We’re reading a book called The Peacemaker. We’re up to 1982 in a chapter called “The Summer of Freedom.” After meeting with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican and riding horseback with Queen Elizabeth 2, the Republican President spoke to the world at the Palace of Westminster. Echoing Winston Churchill, Reagan said:

“From Stettin on the Baltic to Vana on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than 30 years to establish their legitimacy. But none has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.” He praised Poland as “being magnificently unreconciled to oppression. .. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens.”

Wanted: moral leadership

The winners of the Nobel Peace Prize this weekend in Oslo sounded more like Ronald Reagan than Jane Fonda. “People of Ukraine want peace more than anyone else in the world,” said the woman who accepted the peace prize for the Center for Civil Liberties of Ukraine. “But peace cannot be reached by a country under attack laying down its arms. This would not be peace, but occupation.” Oleksandra Matviychuk also said this:

“Stop pretending deferred military threats are political compromises. The democratic world has grown accustomed to making concessions to dictatorships. Fighting for peace does not mean yielding to pressure of the aggressor. It means protecting people from its cruelty.”

— “Nobel winners decry Russian aggression.” New York Times

Who is ‘naïve’?

Peacemaker author William Inboden comments, “At the time, Reagan’s imprecation seemed radical, even delusional. … NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed the speech as ‘naïve. A New York Times editorial complained that Reagan failed … to tie Russians to a plausible range of policy choices. … In Bonn, some 300,000 demonstrators greeted Reagan with a massive protest.”

The average Madisonian, it seems, is stuck in a Jimmy Carter time warp. A panglossian letter to Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal foolishly quotes Blame America Firster Howard Zinn. (“Communist, corrupt teacher, fraudulent historian, and an anti-American agitator,” jn this judgment.) The blissed-out scrivener goes on to whine, “War is everywhere, supplied by an arms industry that gleefully makes more bombs that maim and kill.” As if, they make ’em so we got to use ’em. Go tell that to Volodymyr Zelensky.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Oppression, my useful idiot, also is a form of war. Moral equivalency, dear snowflake, exonerates the oppressor.

How does Obama get a Nobel Peace Prize but not Reagan?


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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8 Responses to Peace means protecting freedoms

  1. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    “ ‘But peace cannot be reached by a country under attack laying down its arms. This would not be peace, but occupation.’ ”

    Along those same lines:

    “If The Arabs Put Down Their Weapons Today, There Would Be No More ‎Violence. If The Jews Put ‎Down Their Weapons ‎Today, There Would Be No ‎More Israel”–attributed to former Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Abba Evan

    The Gotch

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    Speaking of Tear Down That Wall, FUN FACT:

    The last English broadcast (10/02/1990) for Radio Berlin International (the international broadcasting arm for the German Democratic Republic’s [GDR] Rundfunk der DDR [Radio of the GDR]) before the reunification of Germany?

    “Take care and good luck”, followed by The Doors’ THE END

    Talk about making make an exit!

    The Gotch

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    While I agree that Ukraine had no (moral) choice but to fight once invaded, it’s worth remembering that this whole costly–in lives and mostly U.S. treasure–fiasco could have been avoided by NATO’s agreeing not to accept Ukraine as a member. Some might view that as appeasement but others, myself included, view it as a lost opportunity to save thousands of lives and to avoid a major blow to the world economy. Ukraine would have added nothing to NATO except an opportunity to poke the Russian bear, a prospect apparently irresistible to Western leaders.


  4. Michael Leger says:

    Interesting article, but the Ukrainian analysis is extremely simplistic. I’ve posted here before on some of the history of the country. I suggest reading up on the people of the Donbas and Crimea. It will provide some desperately needed perspective.

    And agreeing with Gary L, simply saying Ukraine will never be a part of NATO would likely have averted the current disaster. But since the military/industrial complex has a lot of munitions they need to unload, and their neocon mouthpieces have an axe to grind, the US will fight Russia until the last Ukrainian.

    Zelensky is a clown. Literally.


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