From the east side of the Brandenburg Gate, President Obama gave an extraordinary speech today sketching out his plans for a new global order in which traditional national security interests will be replaced by a collective approach to everything from global warming to nuclear weapon capability.
The irony, of course, is that President Obama was free to stand on the formerly-Soviet side of the Brandenburg Gate and opine about global peace with justice because of the strength of the very nuclear arsenal he now proposes to dismantle. While the President claimed today that at the end of the Cold War, “Openness won. Tolerance won. And freedom won here in Berlin,” the reality is that the United States of America won. The Berlin wall did not come down simply because the German people dreamed of freedom. The Berlin came wall down because an American President distilled his policy towards the Soviet Union into a simple formula: “We win, they lose.”
If history be our guide, although the notion of “peace with justice” that the President mentioned ten times in his speech may sound appealing, we will be far better served by President Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength,” which cannot be achieved by appeasement or yet another round of nuclear cuts by the Obama administration.