Latest Acorn Scandal: Reagan Library Stenography

Better Read    HISTORIC WORDS—This  is  one  of  the  original  note  cards President Ronald Reagan used on June 12, 1987, when he told then-Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” during a speech in West Berlin. The cards will be on display through February in a Reagan Library exhibit that’s dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Thousand Oaks Acorn visits the Reagan Library, dipped in history. Thousand Oaks Acorn

From tiny acorns some mighty old chestnuts swell, as the Reagan Presidential Library finds a willing conduit for its Berlin Wall fantasies.

The Library is going all out to forever tie the Wall’s collapse to Reagan’s utterances, with the keen insights of  “exhibit specialist” Rob Zucca showing Acorn the way.

Apparently, the Wall was a commie trap! 

“They [The Reds] always said it was a security wall to keep the west out. Well, it was to keep their people in.”

“The Library’s claim is the chipping away—and eventual removal—of the barricade paved the way for the reunification of Germany and the advent of freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe.”

– neatly reversing the actual sequence of events, in which the Wall was more the last act of East Germany’s internal collapse, which was itself one of the last Stalinist regimes to go.

Reagan Library director of communications Melissa Giller riffs on Reagan quotes of the 60s, 70s, and today, plugging in “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction” along with the inevitable Thatcher reference.

“It was his lifelong mission to bring the end of communism and he was able to do it, as Margaret Thatcher said, ‘without ever firing a shot’”

But as we now know, Mags opposed German unification, plotting with wiley Frenchman Francois Mitterrand to block it.

But  Giller cannot be restrained:

…even today, there are places such as Iraq and Afghanistan where American soldiers are fighting for freedom and democracy.“They may not have a physical Berlin Wall,” she said, “but walls still exist.”


Reagan & Berlin: The Man Who Wasn’t There

Media Fight Among Selves Over Who Killed Communism, Reagan Apparently Not Present

Your Role In Its Downfall 

Yet another instance of European condescension towards Ronald Reagan, The Man Who Wasn’t There®.

A spat amongst former East Berlin correspondents over who triggered an East German official’s incoherent statement which opened the Berlin Wall has somehow completely ignored Reagan.

Riccardo Ehrman and Peter Brinkmann both questioned Politburo member Günter Schabowski the fateful night of November 9, 1989, as he stumbled through presenting half-way measures easing travel from East to West Berlin.  Reporters pressed the poorly briefed Schabowski over the announcement’s meaning, leading the German Democratic Republic’s unwitting funeral director to say that border controls would relax “Immediately. Without delay.”

Demoralized guards and popular pressure did the rest, and the Wall was breached.

But did either of these esteemed gentlemen put it in writing?


To mark his retrospective genius the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is getting all gussied up,  celebrating the Berlin events Reagan wasn’t President for.

US News & World Report
: The Blog breathlessly reports spirited new efforts in the  continuing campaign to link Reagan’s stirring 1987 call for Communism to die swiftly with actual events more than two years later. The Library is going all out: conference on past glories, Checkpoint Charlie memorabilia, and for the kids,

“…the library will display a replica where visitors can scrawl their messages of peace just as the East and West Germans did on the original.”

      No apparent mention of actual events at the time, like the heroic marchers in Leipzig who challenged East Germany’s leadership on the ground.

Reagan-Wall Tumbling claims have settled into a cliche resolutely polished for all occasions,   4W4REAGAN.JPG like the wall fragments incorporated into Reagan’s recently unveiled Capitol Hill statue.

But fact-based snubbing of the Great Communicator remains treasured tradition in some circles.  Who can forget James Mann’s cruel tallying of previous equally ineffectual Berlin occasions when Reagan waxed wistful about the Wall’s fall.

Korean DMZ, 1983

   And lest we forget, Reagan trained his steely gaze upon North Korea too, still standing at last report .



Reagan To Stand Tall

For Now                 Ronald Reagan & Margaret Thatcher (10147) by Thomas Becker

London Conservative activists have received local government planning permission to erect sixteen feet of Ronald Reagan statue outside America’s Grosvenor Square embassy, but the statue may become an orphan when a new embassy is built in South London.

Westminster Council overrode its own rule that monument subjects must be dead ten years, and the ten foot statue [with a Berlin Wall chunk placed demurely at its feet] is to be mounted on a six foot high plinth.

It might be considered a companion piece to the Eisenhower statue which already dresses up the Embassy’s impressive   barricade collection.

The Obama administration has yet to name an Ambassador to Britain, and in the meanwhile we are free to draw humorous inferences from anonymous embassy utterances, which make clear this is not their deal:

“This is not something that we have requested or actively tried to get brought about,” an embassy spokesman said yesterday. “We’re happy to have our presidents honoured but this statue was not a US Government initiative.”

Asked whether the mission would take the statue with it when it leaves Grosvenor Square for its new head-quarters in Nine Elms, south of the Thames, he replied: “It’s not our statue.”

If  Reagan is left behind he may soon be engulfed in a construction site: Westminster wants the sixties classic building gone.

















Reagan: Statue Limitations

Bridgehead Regained?
A ten-foot bronze Ronald Reagan statue somehow incorporating the Berlin Wall may overcome setbacks which would stop lesser metal, and be erected at America’s London embassy.

The proposed statue was rejected last year on the grounds Reagan had not been dead long enough,  and/or because it was “lacking gravitas.”  One account has the statue’s failings being structural:

The original sculpture depicts Reagan leaning on a pedestal, but [statue fabricator] Walker said this design was rejected for the British statue because the pose would be seen as weak in that part of the world.

 Alfred the Leaner  Statue of Alfred the Great, Winchester

How these obstacles can be bypassed is unclear, but Westminster reportedly will ponder the question again. This urge to create facts on the ground is endemic in the fabled Westminster Council, where the Tories came to grief in the nineties for selling off public housing as a means of driving out Labour voters.  One Conservative Council Member committed suicide during the “homes for votes” investigation, and another paid 12 million Pounds as punishment.

The statue scheme is another effort to shape the battlefield,  plunking Reagan in front of the US Embassy during its final days in Grovesnor Square, allowing the statue to then land at the new South London Embassy site as a package deal.

Sadly no representation of the proposed statue is available, but let’s take the leaping stallions at the College Station Bush Library’s Berlin Wall, and in our minds eye substitute a spry, youthful Ronald Reagan.  reagan-shirtless.jpg

Ronald Reagan: Where Can’t He Be Found?

Wall Eyed  Pope Benedict XVI criticised the concrete security wall

“In a world where more and more borders are being opened up – to trade, to travel, to movement of peoples, to cultural exchanges – it is tragic to see walls still being erected,”

In a development sure to irritate both Ronald Reagan’s traditional American fan base and Israel’s, Pope Benedict drew comparisons to Reagan’s immortal Berlin Wall speech during his visit to the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Pope called for Palestinian statehood, and denounced Israel’s “anti-Fascist protective rampart” in classically vague Papal pronouncements.  The Holy Father said walls “do not last forever” and “can be taken down.”

In Vatican terms, almost a declarative statement!

Perhaps Israel needs to work up a variation on another Reagan infrastructure declaration:

We bought it. We paid for it. It’s ours. And we’re gonna keep it