The truth about Berlin 0

 Jeff Jacoby writes in The Boston Globe on Obama’s ‘Sermon to the Germans ‘:

It would take nearly a year and more than 277,000 flights. But in the end it was the Soviets who backed down. On May 12, 1949, the blockade ended – a triumph of American prowess and perseverance, and a momentous vindication for Truman.

But not once in his Berlin speech did Obama acknowledge Truman’s fortitude, or even mention his name. Nor did he mention the US Air Force, or the 31 American pilots who died during the airlift.

Indeed, Obama seemed to go out of his way not to say plainly that what saved Berlin in that dark time was America’s military might. Save for a solitary reference to "the first American plane," he never described one of the greatest American operations of the postwar period as an American operation at all. He spoke only of "the airlift," "the planes," "those pilots." Perhaps their American identity wasn’t something he cared to stress amid all his "people of the world" salutations and talk of "global citizenship."

"People of the world," Obama declaimed, "look at Berlin, where 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." But the world didn’t stand as one during the Cold War; it was riven by an Iron Curtain. For more than four decades, America and the West confronted an implacable enemy on the other side of that divide. What finally defeated that enemy and ended the Cold War was not harmony and goodwill, but American strength and resolve.

 

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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