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terça-feira, 12 de junho de 2012

Reagan em Berlim: "Derrube este muro, Mr Gorbachev"

Um dia realmente histórico este 12 de Junho de 1987.
Dois anos depois, não Gorbachev, mas o povo de Berlim oriental começou a derrubada do muro.
Mas é verdade que nada teria ocorrido se a URSS tivesse continuado no mesmo caminho da repressão.
O que ocorreu foi que Gorbachev não fez nada, e disse aos comunistas alemães para não fazerem nada.
Este foi o seu histórico papel: o de não fazer nada.
Mas isso não teria talvez ocorrido sem a provocação de Reagan...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Raze Berlin Wall, Reagan Urges Soviet

Special to the New York Times

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WEST BERLIN, June 12 -- President Reagan sought today to undercut Europe's perception of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as a leader of peace, bluntly challenging the Soviet leader to tear down the Berlin wall.
Speaking 100 yards from the wall that was thrown up in 1961 to thwart an exodus to the West, Mr. Reagan made the wall a metaphor for ideological and economic differences separating East and West.
''There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace,'' the President said.
''Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace - if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe - if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. ''Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. ''Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.''
Mr. Reagan made the remarks with the Brandenburg Gate in East Berlin in the background. An East Berlin security post was in view.
The Berlin police estimated that 20,000 people had turned out to hear the President, but some observers thought the crowd was smaller than that.
The Soviet press agency Tass said that Mr. Reagan, by calling for destruction of the wall, had given an ''openly provocative, war-mongering speech'' reminiscent of the cold war.
Reagan Peers Into East Berlin
Before the speech, Mr. Reagan peered across the wall from a balcony of the old Reichstag building into East Berlin, where a patrol boat and a gray brick sentry post were visible. Later, when asked how he felt, he said, ''I think it's an ugly scar.''
Asked how he regarded a perception among some people in Europe that Mr. Gorbachev was more committed to peace, Mr. Reagan said, ''They just have to learn, don't they?''
Administration officials had portrayed the speech as a major policy statement. But the main new initiative was a call to the Soviet Union to assist in helping Berlin become an aviation hub of Central Europe by agreeing to make commercial air service more convenient.
Some Reagan advisers wanted an address with less polemics but lost to those who favored use of the opportunity to raise East-West differences and questions about Mr. Gorbachev's commitment to ending the nuclear arms race and his internal liberalization policies.
''In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom,'' Mr. Reagan said. ''Yet, in this age of redoubled economic growth of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice. It must make fundamental changes or it will become obsolete.''
Shield of Bulletproof Glass
Speaking with two panes of bulletproof glass shielding him from East Berlin, Mr. Reagan stressed a theme of freedom and peaceful reunification of Berlin.
That was a point made by President Kennedy in his ''Ich bin ein Berliner'' speech two years after the wall was built.
''Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men,'' Mr. Reagan said. ''Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.''
Using this speech to portray Moscow as the villain in the arms race, Mr. Reagan said 10 years ago it had challenged the Western alliance with a ''grave new threat'' by deploying SS-20 nuclear missiles that could strike West European capitals. But, Mr. Reagan said, the alliance remained strong and had deployed Pershing 2 and cruise missiles, so the prospects for eliminating such nuclear weapons is ''within the reach of possibility.''
''While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur,'' he said.
Mr. Reagan, whose speech was broadcast to West European countries, said it was unclear whether Mr. Gorbachev's campaign of liberalization represented ''profound changes'' or ''token changes.''
The wall has been an attractive symbol to American Presidents, including Mr. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter.
Taking note of that pattern, Mr. Reagan said, ''We come to Berlin, we American presidents, because it is our duty to speak in this place of freedom.''
The trip, in which Mr. Reagan also took part in a ceremony celebrating Berlin's 750th anniversary, provided the President with a lift at the end of the economic summit meeting in Venice of the seven major industrialized democracies.
At the end of a second event in Berlin, at Tempelhof Airport, miniature parachutes rained down as symbols of the 1948-49 airlift that kept the city alive during a Soviet land blockade.
Greeted by Kohl
Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany greeted the President and then flew aboard Air Force One to Bonn to receive him there.
Speaking before the President, Mr. Kohl said that the countries of the Soviet bloc's Warsaw Pact ''must abandon their conventional superiority and their aggressive military doctrine.''
Suggesting Berlin as a start for cooperation between East and West, Mr. Reagan urged international meetings, summer exchanges of youngsters from West Berlin and East Berlin, culture exchanges and sports events, including Olympic Games jointly in the two countries.
Several times, Mr. Reagan addressed addressed the Germans in their language. In one case, Mr. Reagan made a special appeal to East Berliners by saying, ''Es gibt nur ein Berlin,'' or ''There is only one Berlin.''
He began his remarks by quoting from a popular old song: ''I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: 'Ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin,' or 'I still have a suitcase in Berlin.' ''

Uma análise contemporânea:


Reagan at the Wall

Providence, R.I.
Brian Stauffer, photograph from Associated Press
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ON June 12, 1987, the cold war entered a terminal phase, in ways that few could have anticipated, and in fact, almost no one did — with the exception of a president down on his legendary luck.
If in 1984 Ronald Reagan had proclaimed that it was “morning again in America,” three years later the evening was coming fast for a presidency that had spent most of its energy. The Iran-contra scandal had damaged him, and in March 1987 only 42 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing. Reagan’s diary reveals a president losing focus, with entries registering more enthusiasm for old videos than the crushing business of state. On May 23, 1987, a good day: “Ran a movie about Big Foot & to my surprise I was in it — a shot of me & Bonzo on a TV set.”
But the aging actor still had a trick or two up his sleeve. For months, a trip had been planned to Berlin, a city famous for its stages. John F. Kennedy had given one of the greatest speeches of his presidency there in 1963; it would be a challenge for Reagan to duplicate the excitement of that visit. Like him, the cold war seemed to be losing steam. But Reagan’s loyal aides pitched the idea of a major speech at the Brandenburg Gate, and the writers began to crank out drafts. A single line kept calling attention to itself: an appeal to tear down the Berlin Wall, which ran alongside the gate.
In a way, it was a no-brainer. No one had ever liked the wall, since its construction in 1961. But to express that antipathy in 1987, as tensions were winding down, was impolitic. An encouraging new leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, was bravely campaigning for perestroika (restructuring), glasnost (opening) and a third word we don’t remember as well, uskorenie (acceleration). Things were trending in the right direction in United States-Soviet relations. Most of Reagan’s foreign policy advisers opposed adding incendiary language.
There were other complications as well. The Brandenburg Gate offered an impressive backdrop, but it was so close to East Berlin that the Secret Service feared the president could be exposed to Communist snipers. Yet building a protective barrier would erect a wall around him at the same time that he was calling for the wall to be torn down. Worse, it would deny TV audiences a chance to see the wall. An ingenious solution was found — a glass partition that gave a clear view of the wall, and the gate.
But to those attuned to nuance, the gate posed its own problems.
It was not much of a gate, and for most of its history, it was illegal for anyone who was not a member of the Prussian royal family to walk through its central passage. A huge ceremonial structure, it borrowed features from the Acropolis, in tribute to the long fascination ancient Greece exerted upon the German imagination (a fascination that in no way extends to the current German-Greek relationship). For many Germans, however, its ghosts did not conjure Aegean democracy or Beethoven, but helmet-tipped Prussians and goose-stepping Nazis. The Reagan team might have been sensitive on that point, after the controversy caused by his visit to a Nazi cemetery on his previous trip to Germany.
One of Reagan’s gifts, however, was not to care about the wisps of history, or the contrary advice of his advisers. He insisted that the line be included, and so, midway through the speech, the president said, “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The lines were delivered crisply. It is unusual for a president to use the second-person imperative — it’s one of the reasons we remember J.F.K.’s invocation to “ask not.” Near the end, Reagan spotted a bit of graffiti spray-painted on the wall, and read it aloud: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.”
Shortly after, he flew back to Washington. His diary entry for June 12 does not overwhelm with its acuity (“I was surprised that we traveled in bright sunshine for about 8 of the 8 1/2 hour flight. It didn’t get dark until a little less than an hour out and yet it was after 3 A.M. back where we left”). But something had changed in the atmosphere. A gate had opened. And two years later, it was exactly as he predicted. The wall fell — not because Mr. Gorbachev tore it down, but because he did nothing at all.
To this day, Reagan attracts fierce partisans, eager to claim he “won” the cold war, and this speech is often cited in that argument. The claim feels forced, given that the U.S.S.R. outlasted his presidency by two years. But on this day, Reagan’s inner actor proved shrewder than most who would have counseled realpolitik. His theatrical turn on Berlin’s greatest stage stated a great moral truth, the way the best theater does, and proved the accuracy of Mr. Gorbachev’s third concept, uskorenie — acceleration.
Mr. Gorbachev deserves some of the credit, and in fact, the vast majority of young Germans in 1989 felt gratitude to him, not to Ronald Reagan. No one deserves more credit than the young graffiti-painters who protested against the wall for 28 years, and finally liberated themselves. But surely some recognition should go to a president who had the good sense to ignore the advice he was given, and read the writing on the wall.
Ted Widmer, who was a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, is the director of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University and the author of “Ark of the Liberties: America and the World.”

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