Yesterday evening, I was in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, attending a rally commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. As a person of Estonian heritage, the emotions this anniversary elicited were mixed.
(Incidentally, representatives of all three federal parties were there and spoke. David Miller was nowhere to be found even though the event was held in front of his city hall.)
On the positive side, the fall of the Berlin Wall, which symbolized the fall of Communism and the regaining of independence by my homeland, was without question the single most positive political event that has impacted my life. As Reason magazine noted, the defeat of communism was the most liberating moment in all history.
the negative side, the freedom and independence of all the new Eastern European
republics has never been in more danger than now. One the one side, you have a
ruthless KGB thug occupying the Kremlin. As the Economist reported, the Russians
recently completed huge military maneuvers in White Russia, whose only obvious
purpose was to practice reinvading and recapturing Eastern Europe.
On the negative side, the freedom and independence of all the new Eastern European republics has never been in more danger than now. One the one side, you have a ruthless KGB thug occupying the Kremlin. As the Economist reported, the Russians recently completed huge military maneuvers in White Russia, whose only obvious purpose was to practice reinvading and recapturing Eastern Europe.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the White House is occupied by a man who seems to possess deep leftist sympathies and who, in 9 months of office, has already compiled a lengthy record of ignoring the aspirations of freedom loving people around the world – in Iran, where he has determinedly ignored the Iranian people and their still ongoing Green Revolution; in Honduras, where he has sided with a Chavez-like thug over the forces of constitutional order; and most relevantly, in Eastern Europe, where he unilaterally pulled the missile shield out of Poland and the Czech Republic (without even giving them the courtesy of advance notice), opposes the entrance of the Ukraine and Georgia into NATO; and now has turned down an invitation to attend a ceremony in Berlin commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the Kremlin, such symbolism is noted.
What to do?
First, hope and pray that in 3 years, Barack Obama will be replaced by a responsible adult who actually believes that freedom is a good thing.
Two, the countries of Eastern Europe have to realize that the Lord helps only those who help themselves. NATO is developing a rapid reaction force. The Eastern European wing of NATO has to establish a rapid reaction force of its own, composed of only Eastern European armies, a force that has only one purpose - to defend the sovereignty of Eastern European countries. Their first act should be to hold exercises of their own, to counter the ones that Putin just held. The guiding principle of Eastern European countries in these perilous times should be the saying by Benjamin Franklin, “We hang separately, or hang together.”
AS AN ASIDE: Washington University in St. Louis shut down a rally commemorating Berlin Wall anniversary because it was "too offensive".