tv Ronald Reagans Tear Down This Wall Speech CSPAN October 31, 2021 6:49am-8:01am EDT
if that's any part of the three.6 trillion-dollar exercise get past. in which case you will have it to through five-year expanded run his incredible amount of data generated. but to take a hard look at that policy of income support. >> thank you for writing the book and being friends of the foundation of the librarian thank you for being here tonight. [applause]
>> welcome to uncommon knowledge. and then to host with the ronald reagan institute with the speechwriter in general mcmaster has ordered me to tell the story of the speech. with the first page of the speaking copy. and first for some historical background after a portion of berlin itself with the british and french control even with
east berlin and all of the surrounding east germany and with a communist regime it's important to grasp that west berlin is completely surrounded and you can see it is a little.insight east germany. again, after the war, thousands of these germans flee the communist music regime east germany to the democratic west. how do they do this? very often they do it just by stepping across the street and then they could get on the train to cross the german territory to the west. so by 1960, one fifth of the entire population of east germany just that. they fled.
so to stop the enormous exodus these germans proposed a physical barrier and moscow agreed and in the middle of the night august 13, 1961, the east germans strong barbed wire all the way around west berlin to cut it off. eventually the east germans would replace that with blocks and after that the cinderblocks would be replaced with slabs of concrete 13 feet high. more than a quarter of a century later it remained in place encircling west berlin. it shows where the wall was cut off and sense reagan mentioned it in the speech you have to the brandenburg gate was 18th century monument that once served as a ceremonial entrance to berlin
and then the berlin wall cuts it off. so that brings me to the speech itself the spring of 1987 i am a speechwriter in the reagan white house i'm told the president will speak in front of the berlin wall, he will have an audience between ten and 40000 people and he will speak for about half an hour and given the setting the subject will be foreign-policy. that is all the guidance i got. i flew to west berlin with the security people who work out security with the westerman's members of the oppressed office and check the camera angles and i went to gather materials. first stop is where the president would speak and it's very difficult to convey how momentous the place felt. just a few feet away is the
water had damaging the second world war i climbed and observation platform to look over the wall into east berlin behind the westerman modern city and on the other side of the wall color listeners, more soldiers and pedestrians, on one side life, the other side twilight. next i went to the office of the american drinking diplomat of what present reagan should not say it east west relations should not say no bashing don't mention all there used to it by now and then i was given a ride in u.s. army helicopter over the wall and from the air it looked even worse from the ground because you can see the guard runs dog towers a killing zone or no
man's land. then that evening i broke away from the american party to go to a residential suburb from west berlin were at dinner party was put on for me. dieter worked at the world bank in washington and we talked about this and told him that the american diplomat for all the news to the berlin wall. that turned out to be incorrect me is stopped talking about it but if you asked it's very clear they hated that wall every day even our hostess made the comment if gorbachev flares serious about his talk he could come to berlin and prove it by getting rid of the wall. so i put that in my notebook immediately because i knew of ronald reagan was there he went have responded to the
decency of that remark so now back in washington a draft of the speech it went to the president one weekend when he was at camp david there is something in the story there because almost always the speech we go out to staffing before it went to the president because the speech writers could persuade the president to see the speech before it went out to staffing. the following monday the picture shows this monday —- this meeting they met at the oval office with the president and the president singled out after tearing down the wall or something he particularly wanted to say. not means to come down a lot on a want to say so then the speech went out to staffing for the three weeks until the president delivered at the national security council and
state department opposed it and try to stop it in part by submitting an alternative draft after not another meeting the phrase tear down the wall. comment was asked out in the memorandum to : powell the number two on national security council at that time you will see the call the speech mediocre and a missed opportunity. in attending an economic summit before going to west berlin, getting on air force one there was yet another alternative draft and in west berlin on the way to the wall i heard this from the deputy chief of staff that was in with the president ronald reagan explained he would deliver the speech as written and then he said the boys estate will call me for this
but it's the right thing to do and that is the story of the speech ronald reagan delivered on june 12th. >> there is one sign the soviets would make that would be on mistake about to events dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. general secretary 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. [cheers and applause]
mr. gorbachev, mr. gorbachev, tr down this wall. [cheers and applause] >> the fly and ceo of radio free europe and liberty serving during the bush administration on the national security council the office of secretary of defense holding degrees from american university and georgetown. and with university of texas at austin during the bush administration he served as the state department and the national security council and from stanford and the undergraduate hr mcmaster serving at the white house national security advisor to president trump and in the united states army where he rose to general and working on
dereliction of duty last year he published battleground the fight to defend the free world fellow at the hoover institution holding an undergraduate degree from the united states military academy and doctorate from the university of north carolina at chapel hill. jamie and hr, thank you for >> jamie fly, let's set the scene. on his first trip to germany and i'm quoting your estate essay for the reagan institute, on his first trip reagan visited the site where 16 years earlier 18-year-old peter fechter was shot and bled to death in no man's land . a former california governor of his delegation traveled to east berlin and was disturbed
by what they saw of life under east german communism . jamie, between 1978 when walraven first visited the wall and 1987 when we spoke in front of the wall, what had changed? to use the soviets or, how did the correlation of nurses shifted? >> thanks for having me to the reagan institute and peter, great to be with you because i was when reading will as generalmcmasters essays in addition to mine we all cited us sources and i think you've done an amazing job keeping the story of the development of the speech alive . and i thank you for that because i think future generations will be able to understand ndthe context and history better. when i was writing the essay and looking at that period was struck me was how much the german public and suffered during that period.
as decades passed and germans especially west berliners moved well beyond the initial establishment of the wall which happened almost overnight in some neighborhoods and i'm speaking from berlin so i'll say occasionally you're in berlin it happened very suddenly. families, friends were prepared for it. some were thrust into a situation where it was difficult for them to interact quickly and for others it was longer . some people took their lives into their own hands and took to flee to trying the west and my understanding of german history as time went on people became more and more depressed and pessimistic about the potential for change so by 1987 you also bhad excessive german governments which in some of their policies had given an indication that perhaps they doubted that change would be quick and had pursued various types of engagement with both east germany and the soviet union
often to the consternation of us administrations. so i think reagan's arrival came at key moments where germans especially west germans needed a shot in the arm . they needed that encouragement. change was still possible, that hope should be maintained for some sort of different future for germany. so the stars aligned in that respect with the timing of reagan's visit. >> you quote john kornblum, the state department official who in berlin, this is an article you wrote much later. by 1987, holes in germany and europe laid not with ronald reagan with mikhail gorbachev . i 1987 it was clear the soviet union is stagnating and by 1987 the united states is resurgent and everyone in
the world can see that including the germans and yet europeans yosee gorbachev's as the more hopeful figure a. let me go to hr mcmaster. how could that have been ? >> i think it has everything to do with confidence in our democratic form of governance, confidence in who we are as a people and confidence in a transatlantic relationship and confidence among the free states of europe at the time and what i hope to do with my essay is make an analogy to that. exactly to the point you're making implicitly is we can regain our confidence in who we are as a people and our democratic form of government and we can do it with effective leadership and some clarity that that speech provided and the leadership that ronald reagan provided. >> well, i'm quoting you come now to the fight .
the comments from the state department and staff on early speech drafts give a flavor of them thinking. i put a couple slides earlier with a much more extensive overview of their comments on speech drafts. quoting the state department, this won't fly with the germans. not sentimental people. seems silly as edited. this must come out. west germans do not want to see neast germans insulted . we, needs concrete ideas, not sentimental thoughts . too much emphasis on good guys versus bad guys. the state department and nsc did not like that speech. will inboden, i quote little bits and pieces. these are highly intelligent, very experienced people but what were they thinking? >> i think they were
reflecting a lot of the conventional wisdom and expert opinion of the day . i don't use that derisively but this is where i think it brings out reagan's what's called a strategic genius. that he was willing, most of the conventional foreign policy wisdom of the day including every radius american president cyduring the cold war viewed the cold war primarily as a great power contest between the powerful united states and powerful union and they saw their role as managing that. don't let the soviets expand but we need to assume the soviet union will be there almost in perpetuity . those are permanent features on the landscape and as you know there are laws and how you channeled much of this vision and ideas and speech. the record that. he saw war primarily as a battle of haideas that happened to have two powerful countries embodying this so because he saw the cold war in terms of ideas, read them against tyranny, democracy
against dictatorship, he also thought of the cold war in terms of how does it hurt or affect individual people and he was aware of the sentiments of many of the people living behind the iron curtain. the east germans tracked by the wall there. a lot of the sentiments you picked up at that dinner party so reagan was willing to go against a lot of the expert opinion of foreign policy establishment that wanted to see the cold war in terms of these power blocs to say we can push this harder and we can stand up for our ideas that freedom is better than tyranny and the people behind the iron curtain and even in some ways channeled their voices and i think it was because he had entirely different strategic vision and theory of the case that he was willing to back off his plucky speechwriters like you and say no, this is not some thing, were not worried
about ieoffending germans, does the to the heart of the german people and the soviet people. >> does anybody feel the urge, hr, you ran thenational security council let me put it this way . there was an event a couple of years ago to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall and as jamie noted , it's not too much prompting to tell the story of thespeech . i know a very sophisticated scholar of diplomacy who says that speech worked out. does not prove that it was the right decision to give it . george schultz among others thought the speech might put gorbachev in atight spot in the politburo .you try to htwork with the americans and the president comes along and challenges you, what do you think you're doing? i'm looking to you to stick up for the nsc in its objections to this speech something years ago.
jim, you're right in the middle of the lens where as far as i can tell germans have forgottenthe speech . i'm giving you guys a chance, come in and stick stick up to these guys . >> the nsc process is important because you want to give the president a broad range of views of thenational security advisor job , your job is you are the only person in the united states government in the foreign policy national security arena have the president as his or her only client. your job is to give the president essay it's important that you spend time with the president on as you did peter on these important speeches and you know, i had a great relationship with the other speechwriters in the white house and we worked together on a number of speeches very early and then i was sure that those
speeches got to the president earlier so he could get his imprints on it. if you look at president fronts warsaw speech for example there are echoes of the berlin speech in that speech. so it's leand messy, important aspect of the job is to help the president craft speeches that allow him to first of all decide on what his foreign policy agenda is importantly in our democracy to make it public. because it's important the american people support really these initiatives often times what presidents don't realize enough especially if there's more domestic focus like president trump was for example residents underestimate the degree to which those overseas having on every word of the president's speech. this is what you got so right is that speech spoke to an
international audience in a powerful and profound way. >> by the way, i want to be clear of one thing. i wrote it and that is true as far as it goes but that is 100 percent ronald reagan. i wouldn't write it for anybody else and i can tell you that because i work for george hwbush and would never have written it for him . reagan alone would have insisted on delivering this speech. george bush, vice president bush and every foreign policy speech the first question he me when i would draft a speech is as the state approved of this? that was his first question. listen to this story all three of you but jamie next. we'll stay with ronald reagan for amoment .
this story was told to me by dick allen who was ronald reagan's first national security advisor. the year is 1977. reagan is now a former governor. he has lost the presidential nomination to gerald for and so far there's no one who's going to run for president but paying close attention to world affairs and dick allen reese them on foreign affairs so reagan says would you like to hear my story of the cold war and dick allen says of course governor and ronald reagan puts this down in writing and i'm quoting from rick. this is reagan speaking. some people think i'm simplistic but there's a difference between being simple and being simplistic. my theory about the cold war is that we win and they lose. how do you ... how do you operationalize that?
here's richard nixon and henry kissinger and jimmy carter i think it was the same year jimmy carter gave his speech warning against an inordinate fear of communism and reagan turns itupside out . it feels risky. now that i'm older it feels a little riskyto me . >> i'm a big fan of the approach obviously given where i stand today at greater liberty. i think the moral clarity of reagan is incredibly essential here. authoritarians ultimately are incredibly fearful. there fearful of their own citizens. and when they realize that democracies are resilient and united and up to the task, that strikes fear into the heart of every authoritarian leader and i think that's
ultimately what reagan understood and why the speech was so powerful. that's in terms of what the president says in a setting like this, that's one thing in terms of presenting the moralclarity , the vision. then you can debate the tactics and diplomacy and negotiations which obviously reagan engaged in extensively but one comment on the interagency process , i had only a bit role in the george w. bush administration but i worked with senator marco rubio. what i found in all of the policy job site held in washington was that far too many people in the government and national security apparatus lose sight of ultimately who they work for and why whether it's the president or a senator they are in that position. they were the ones elected and it is ultimately their voice.
most of those people were ti elected for the right reasons . the public but their confidence in them for a certain reason and a lot of the process that's necessary but ultimately many staffers i think strive to box in their principles. to move their principles through something like this speech writing process and forget fundamentally where their bosses vision is. their bosses instinct and i had many personal experiences even in my short time at the nsc and working in the senate where we would ldebate for hours over email or days about a speech and you would put it in front of your boss and they would quickly resolve all the issues because it wasn't even a question for them and what i've read of your account the speech was one of those experiences. >> all i can say is whereyou guys when i needed you 34 n years ago ? a little more scene setting. autumn of 1999.
two years after reagan delivers his speech in the east german city of leipzig churches began holding prayer services followed by small peaceful demonstrations. i'm compressing a complicated story but these demonstrations grow and spread across the country of east germany. by november the demonstration is more than 100,000 has marched in east berlin itself . this brings us to 9 november nine 1989 when the politburo is meeting in emergency session and decide to change rules concerning border crossings and one member of the politburo goes out to brief the press and gets it wrong. some small technical change their considering that will take place sometime but he gets it wrong and the reporter says wait a minute, you mean all border patrols have ended immediately and the politburo member thinks
for a moment and says yes. this is on radio and television. within minutes, literally just a few minutes east germans begin streaming to the border checkpoints and the berlin wall. east german guards have no ideawhat's going on . they had not received orders and there's a tense moment as crowds grow, car horns are honking and the guards realize they have two choices . use force or open the gates. and they open the gates and the berlin wall has ceased to function. again, reagan speaks on june 12, 1987 and the wall calls, ceases to function. on november 9, 1989. were those two events connected in any way, will? >> absolutely peter. we can trace almost a direct cause and effect.
i don't want to take this too far. obviously the people of germany deserve tremendous credit for their own agency and rising up and tearing down the wall and courts there's this fascinating historical accident of each communication and mid-level communist bureaucrats and a couple of guards up front how those circumstances even come about that the german people feel like they can rise up and demand their own freedom when if you look at the history of the cold war chronic in 1968, budapest in 1956 previous times when east germans would try to claim their freedom from their soviet overlords the soviet tanks role in so i think what i would draw is resident president reagan gave voice to hope and created the circumstances and pressures and change that correlation of courses so that the german people could take advantage of that opportunity when history presented itself.
one other thing on that if i would, you asked jamie earlier this does get to the role of gorbachev and expertise. one reason why the wall was able to come down peacefully was because of what gorbachev did do. he drepudiated that doctrine and i want to go back to one of the most important parts of tear down this wall is what reagan says right before it. mister gorbachev, tear down this wall. why did he direct that towards gorbachev rather than an abstract era that he hoped the wall would come down? it's because when that speech was being written which member of the united states government viewedgorbachev best ? which had spent more time with gorbachev than any american? ronald reagan. that's why reagan knew from his countless hours with
gorbachev at the summit, directed the summit or the exchanges of letters he had a keen sentence of this guy gorbachev that i can push them further, i can put that demand in to tear down that wall and it wasn't going to cause a complete rupture in the entire relationship . it wasn't going to cause the cold war to turn hot so reagan had a sense from so much time with gorbachev, more than all the criminologists or cia of the balance of pushing the sky but also stretching handout. in gorbachev role, it was facilitated by reagan knowing him well and striking that right balance of pressure and outreach that helps create the circumstances for the german people to claim their own freedom. >> i don't know how to do this is a call but i'd like to lean forward and kiss you right on the four head i've worried about this for 44 years .
of course you're right, reagan knew gorbachev could take it so let me tell you about meeting mikhail gorbachev. this is a long time ago, must be 15 years ago now but one of the things he did, the former leader of the great communist power was become a catalyst. when he came to the united states and did talk. mike reagan, mike and i are friends and mike arranged for me to go backstage and meet gorbachev and i could see gorbachev's translator telling them i had written that speech and gorbachev laugh and he said, and he explains through his translator this was just a piece of theater. the new ronald reagan and ronald reagan ecouldn't resist a good life and it made no difference tothem in moscow at all .
jamie, hr, stick up for gorby. misty speech didn't make a bit of difference. >> it doesn't matter if it made a difference to him, it made a difference to east germans in particular. i was serving as a captain in the united states cavalry on the border of east germany and west germany in november 1989. and on that day near colbert germany the town where martin luther translated the bible intogerman , the birthplace of hans morgan, is where our soldiers, cavalry troopers went from one moment she stare down east german border guards to the next moment seeing the gates thrown open and then tens and then thousands and then tens of thousands of east germans pouring across that border bearing bouquets of water and bottles of wine. i saw a direct correlation
not to the speech but to the result that president reagan demonstrated by effecting a renaissance in our military in the 1980s. and demonstrating our resolve to as you said in his words when you cited thatearly interview that we win and they lose . i felt a direct correlation and got to witness it firsthand in kohlberg west germany. >> i'm going to try one more time to find somebody who will stay with me. i'm way over doing this. you know correctly, you say the speech at the time was largely ignored and i remember a little bit ignored because it did get covered but it was just treated as the way the press would treat any statement by the president. nothing special and then the wall fell and the speech all
of a sudden sounded, this is a strange way of putting it, sounded retrospectively prophetic. but at the time it was just a speech . jamie? >> i think some of gorbachev's views may have been shaped and i think i mentioned this in my essay. i can't remember thesource . it was you had written or elsewhere but i think the us briefed the soviets in advance to warn them about the line and so that could have just been some of the bureaucratic way that the reagan administration gave a heads up initially i think through the soviet ambassador in berlin or elsewhere. ultimately i agree with general mcmaster. i think it made things much more difficult for gorbachev if he had wanted to intervene
whether it was in germany and berlin in 1989 or in poland or in czechoslovakia or in hungary, that was the fundamental tipping point when it became clear that the citizens of those countries have had enough and were going to rise up and were going to be too much for the communist client government to prevent and they all needed ultimately soviet intervention if they were to survive. that is what the playbook had been for decades previously whether it was 1956. >> it was always the red army and if gorbachev kept the red army in the barracks they were done e. >> i think that is ultimately even the strengthening of the public perception in germany, in berlin, in the east as we know that it was listened to in the east as well.
that is what made it difficult for gorbachev. i think it limited his options. he didn't even have much of an option that that point. you can look at the other diplomacy that the administration engaged in with gorbachev and their efforts to actually reach out to him i guess later in the george hw bush administration . to try to find ways to support him which probably played a role but ultimately i think gorbachev had his hands tied when the key moment came. >> lessons for today. china in a moment, the divided administration in the moment right now i'll say it with jamie because he's seated in berlinas we speak . this has been something of a disappointment really. i'm quoting you jamie, i united germany is the largest economy in europe and the continents natural leader yet
despite significant progress in his willingness to play a leading role many german policymakers continue to resist the responsibility that comeswith such power . ". so we have that celebration of reunification in 1994, is that the form of reunification and there's that moment of playing the final chorus from beethoven's ninth symphony in front of the brandenburg gate as fireworks explode andthere's a thrilling moment . europe is democratic and free and it's going to be prosperous and now we come to a continent that seems well jamie, you tell us what's happened here. >> the german part of the story is complex . : that relates to germany being tortured by its pre-cold warhistory . uncertain of its footing, unwilling to be provocative
in its policy thinking. there's also a factor to be honest if you look back at the speech about the divisions that still exist in germansociety . i'm talking to you from east berlin where i've been in recent months but i was in westmoreland a bfew months ago at dinner next to new people from west berlin and talking to them about where we live it's another world to them and it's a part of berlin they don't venture into referred to as the soviet zone. that lives on o, even now. and these are people who would have been around the time of 89 children so not even people who spent a significant part of their lives living during that divided past. german politics remain divided in the way that east germans vote and the success of some of the far right
parties for instance. so a lot of that divided legacy lives on and i think the fundamental question when it comes to german leadership in the world, german foreign policy is whether the next generation and we could see this after the september elections next year is more willing to step up, move beyond the world war ii legacy , move beyond some of the divisions of the cold war era and assume that leadership mantle which to be honest given that i also spent a lot of time in progress and other parts of europe the rest of europe is looking to them to play, to leadership role not just economically to take a stance for value and pursue a foreign policy whether it's these are the russia or china that matches the significance and history of there is
decades and the benefits they've achieved from german unification. that's a big open question that stillexists in german society. >> hr, i'll come to china and you in a moment but will , how do we evaluate the american effort in europe during the cold war? 4 and a half decades it begins with truman and runs right through george hw bush and of course the cold war is horrible. there's vietnam, there's corey up but europe is always what reallymatters . europe is at the center of it . and we have this long expensive bipartisan effort, bipartisan struggle and we win a. and now 34 years later, europe and the united states are drifting apart. we have they have a president
over there now talking about coming together on climate change. forgive me. i don't want to become partisan. so the soviet union would have fallen anyway and we waste a lot of time and money and the europeans are european, they just clung to us for those decades because we were protecting them against the soviets and it was all just disappointing. will? >> i share a lot of concerns and jamie is along the lines of trying to stand up for transatlantic values and maintain the atlantic alliance and it goes beyond leader to leader relations but it's about the shared values and commitments with korean and american people and one of the research for that is the history of working together first to defeat nazi tyranny and defeat soviet tyranny but each generation in some way needs to relearn those lessons.
you did talk about american policy in europe and a few quick things i want to highlight, this is so important about military buildup and expansion looking on the us to demobilize behind our shores, there was a piece of dividend we had but once we see the emerging threats of soviet communism they have to re-mobilize so building up that military which helps prevent further soviet aggression and this is the key of reagan's genius, strengthenhis diplomacy . that's what peace through strength is about is building the world's most apotent military so that you don't have to go into a hot war and you can use that to point your adversaries to diplomatic solutions because the military solution is not there. the other key weapon and this
gets to the point about shared values is the united states leading theway in creating the atlantic alliance . our systems went back to washington and they said let's not have those, don't build drag youinto european wars . and for truman and eisenhower to then reverse that and say no, we do need to enter into this nato, they knew that was going to be an asymmetric strength for the united states against their soviet adversaries and something certainly the western n european governments wanted as well. that's why i think kim deferred to nato as the world's most special treaty alliance because it enabled reagan's vision of we win they lose to be accomplished peacefully. the stakes are somewhat different now, it's certainly
of course china which is not just an asian-pacific threat but becoming more of a european threat as well and i think we're drawing on that shared history for americans and europeans that we do a lot better together than apart. >> hr. this is a competition of wills. this competition between our free and open societies and closed authoritarian systems and where talking about a speech that went with clarity towards that competition and that's what we need today. i'm encouraged by the fact that the biden administration as he knowledged this is an ideological competition but we have to back that up . it's a de facto reduction in the defense budget for example because of this mantra you hear from some people that are policies become too militarized. we need to use more diplomacy. what we need is olintegration of all instruments of national power and efforts of
like-minded partners to prevail in this step type of competition andof course we do need more diplomacy but diplomacy has to be more than a better atmosphere at cocktail parties in berlin or paris . our allies have to step up and germany has been a weak link in connection with the negotiation of the comprehensive agreement on investment which thankfully is dying in the european parliament but also in connection with the competition with putin's kremlin and the kremlin's state campaign of political subversion aimed at europe. i would say that campaign is effective in germany and i like jamie to comment on how russia is contributing to a weakening of resolve in germany but an example of the us maybe not being as tough on our allies is backing off on the north stream to pipeline which will give russia coercive power over germany's economy.
>> your in the white house. the national security advisor . your top job in the institution that brings together military and diplomatic initiatives presents them to the chief executive of the unitedstates . at the moment, when the whole country partly because of donald trump and partly because of president xi jinping the country is realizing china is not going to be our friend. we need something new here. hr mcmaster. the berlin wall was an inexact analogy for the great firewall of china. the combination of laws and technology designed to isolate the realm of the chinese communist party from outside influences. all kinds of things are different. china is bigger than the russians than the soviet
union ever was. it has cash. all we ever bought from all the russians is wheat. the chinese as you well know my colleagues in northern california at the nhoover institution the chinese are invested in silicon valley up and down the peninsula so a lot of things are different. but your arguing that there's something natural to the relationship with china that's not that different from the relationship with the struggle, the conflict of the soviet union, is that correct ? >> you can see this in jamie and wills super essays. this is an ideological competition but it's also competition that requires a high degree of clarity so the phrase that comes to mind is like if i can paraphrase from reagan's speech is chairman g, tear down that firewall. we should do our best to get around it and this is what jamie does for us everyday. it's to try to reach a press peoples who are not permitted
to access a wide range of sources of information. so that they have an opportunity to think differently. and as well i think senator jamie early said authoritarians are kind of touchy. they're kind of sensitive. and you see this with the chinese economist party. i think there's a tremendous opportunity for us to use the kind of clarity in the berlin speech to compete much more effectively on what the chinese economist party and i think the best means of doing so is to bypass the great firewall. >> let me quote you one more time jamie. everybody should read all three essays and am holding back slightly on recording will . because he was so effusive about the speech and i thinki can handle that part myself . jamie, reagan said our differences are not as i'm putting you they're not about weapons but about liberty . this is a reminder about what
differentiates the soviet union from the last. these are all principles. that has been neglected by recent us administrations. us negotiators have been quick to conclude it's small fields be it with russia or iran and obama administration or attempts to do so under the trump administration hr are you listening. with north korea,". your overall point if i take this correctly is that recent administrations have placed too much emphasis on diplomatic cooperation and too little on clarity and forthrightness of principle. have i got that right? >> i think clearly especially when you have nuclear weapons involved, there is a need to negotiateeven with authoritarians . we can't hope and aspire to
quick regime change and all of the countries that premise. but there was something obviously to the way that reagan didn'teven as he was sitting down and speaking to gorbachev or other soviet leaders . he had no problem publicly talking about what was at stake and the cruelty and hollowness of what that regime represented and that i think has been missing in many re-recent us administrations and is a huge is challenge in europe going back to what mcmaster was saying. and this is on the mentally part of the problem in europe and germany. it tries to deal with a russia that is heading in incredibly dangerous directions. cracking down on dissent at home and you see what the kremlin has done for the nepali organization the last few days trying to put my or organization out which has had a bureau there for 30 years ever since they invited by president yeltsin to freeze our bank account and then a russia that is headed in that direction is highly
likely to lash out at his neighbors, building upforces on the border . and try china is a similar story. there is very real interest in most parts of europe in speaking openly and frankly about what is at stake with either of those two hours from a moral perspective and you still here especially in germany but also in brussels and many other european capitals a lotof well , we know they have a lot of problems on the other hand we have to do business with them . we need their investments. certain segments of our economy are incredibly reliance on engagement with them . coand a lot of the european mindset has not moved beyond that and in a similar dynamic as we talked about in germany circa1987 . that's how you got it from the west german government at the time.
the fundamental question from the us is how does the us which i think over both the trump administration and biden administration when it comes to china as framed the conflict correctly as highlighted the situation correctly from a moral perspective and economic perspective, a defense perspective, how do you bring allies along feel they have a luxury perhaps of remaining neutral in the competition. that's the fundamental challenge and be seen darkly different approaches from the trumpet ministration. >> the three of you have convinced me that it works pretty well underreagan . moral clarity, strength, simplicity and so forth. but if it worked so well under reagan, why have, i'm going to grant jamie's arguments that we haven't seen quite that kind of moral clarity.
there's a question i'm going to hit you with in a moment. i'll hit will with it. donald trump god bless him he gave half a dozen in my opinion really wonderful speeches including in warsaw. which hr mentioned. and then walked away from the lectern and never mentionthem or behave as if he given those , didn't seem to be integrated . why does it seem to be reagan's example still lives. the three of you prove that. why is it sohard to follow . >> it is a puzzle but again a lot of old habits die hard. at this point and second point is you do need to be careful as we look back at reagan and the reagan administrations successes from the hindsight bias of of course it worked out and it's so simple. at the time there was a guaranty it was going to work out. reagan had a lot of criticism
because in those times some very risky things. less challenging and of course does soviet threat was somewhat different and certainly the russia threat that we face today. harder in some ways especially on the weaker side but easier on i will say easier easier on the economic side. if you take away vis-c-vis china especially from reagan, our one is remember that our adversaries not the country or people of china, the chinese communist party. and the people of china are essential allies for us. and they haven't lived under a multiparty system but they don't like living in an orwellian surveillance state. they don't like being told how many babies they can or can't have. they don't like not being able to choose their own
leaders. the soviets didn't like that either and reagan spoke to that and his strategy was to drive a wedge between the kremlin and the soviet people . to tell them you're on your side, where allies. we need to recapture that with china and speak a lot more directly to the chinese people. and again amy's organizations are doing good work there but we want to come back toreagan and gorbachev and negotiations . we can end up speaking with moral clarity at the same time he was saying mister gorbachev tear down this wall reagan and scholz are working behind the scenes to what became the intermediate nuclear stream and it's still a historically unprecedented treaty that bans an entire frightening class of nuclear weapons. sometimes foreignpolicy experts and alphabet" , sometimes we hit these things harder.
we say you need to do diplomacy or get tough for you can do subtle nuance diplomacy or you can speak in simple jingoistic terms like tear down this wall. baloney. you can do both of those things together . most effectively when you do themtogether . that's why again going back to reagan's speech we when they lose we want to win not with a hot war that destroys us, if you wanted to win, you could do that with that diplomacy as long as it was backed up by military strength. moral clarity. >> lastly, last question know uewhat it means for today before i moved to kind of summary here. hr mcmaster quote, reagan's speech provides a reminder that selfless self-respect, self-respect is foundational to the competition with the chinese communist party.". my first comment on that is
you're a big shot sophisticated thinker. and yet you're like reagan and that you keep coming back to the simple point all right, but how do we achieve self-respect as a nation at a time when we're so polarized, when half the country thinks your former boss should be in jail and the other half thinks joe biden stole the election and one part of the country watching msnbc and keeping it on all day and the other partputting on fox news all day .and things were rougher politically during the reagan years and is now remembered but not like this. so self-respect hr. >> this is why i think the reagan institute is such an important organization . all of us were working the stage.
i think that we have to take a concerted effort to rebuild our confidence. confidence in who we are as a people and confidence in our democratic institutions and principles and processes. and i think we can do that. i think that what we have to do is demand more from political leaders who are too often compromising principles to score partisan political points that we can't wait for them either. we have to do our part to recognize the great promise of america. to celebrate the fact that we have to say in how we are governed. as well said, i don't think the chinese people or any keeper people are culturally disposed towards not having a say in how their government. we ought to celebrate that we have speed must freedom of speech and freedom of expression and we need to encourage institutions to
reform themselves . i would say the fourth estate is one of those that has some work to do. but ultimately i think the number one priority for us are the education. education is particularly about our history. that's why i was excited to participate in this discussion with you and jamie and will because i think when you learn the history of the reagan years you see the contrast between the carter malaise speech and real crisis of confidence in the 1970s. remember stagflation, remember a lost war in vietnam, remember the embargo and our confidence was shaking like it's shaken today but it doesn't have to remain permanent just like the wall.just like that east-west german border is not a permanent condition. we can change it and what we have to do is educate ourselves about the great promise of our republic and recognized as the founders did this republic required constant nurturing so let's start nurturing our republic and regaining our confidence.
>> two final questions and i'll go around and give each of you a shot at this . we're coming up on and in fact we are at an hour so i'll ask you to be brief. here's the first question. two quotations. james hoagland at the washington post and this is writing and after reagan delivered the berlin address. history is likely to record the challenge to tear down the wall as ameaningless taught . ". here's quotation number two. this comes from you joachim who at the time was a lutheran pastor and democracy advocate inside east germany who later went on to be president of the reunified germany. reagan spoke the right words at the right time and in the right place.
". will, who's right? i thought it was going to be a closer call at this point. >> reagan had the strategic imagination to imagine a world without the berlin wall even without the sovietunion . >> jamie. >> certainly the president counts. >> and hr are you going to be unanimous? >> let's also emphasize words and deeds. we've talked about the military strength and broad range of diplomatic efforts. we talked about the tear down the wall speech as well as sustained efforts to eliminate a class of nuclear weapons. i think it's the integration of policy and a broad range of efforts with those powerful words. >> you see what i have todeal with at the hoover institution ?
it says yes robinson words matter but every once in a while you need to call in the tax . >> last question. all three of you are or have been teachers. hr is teaching this term or i guessthe term just ended . will is smacked added the middle of one of the nation's great universities. janie is educating tens of millions of people with radio free europe and radio liberty but you also have been a teacher. imagine a high school or college kid today and that is to say imagine someone born a dozen years or more after ronald reagan delivered the speech. give me a sentence, two sentences that explain to such a young american why we are still talking about that speech 34 years later and
what one thing if they can remember one thing about it or one thing they need to remember. jamie, let's go with you first. >> it's a tall order but i'll say i think the message i would have is it changed the lives of millions because i think, i do think it was that powerful and the basic simple moral clarity played a key role in helping in the cold war but it's incredibly difficult to explain that to people who did not live through that period . i was a kid so i watched it on tv and it had a powerful role in shaping my career from afar. i would suggest that we need to bring able to berlin. i think you can learn even despite the challenges i described here today people need to see and walk through the brandenburg gate. walk past where the speechwas given and talk to berliners . some are still alive who
lived through that and see it firsthand. that's the most powerful way to learn about how important speech was. >> hr. >> it's two things i think that young people should learn from the speech and from the cold war is that the art and his arc of history does not guarantee the primacy of our freedom when society has closed off authoritarian systems. we have to compete effectively and the art of history doesn't always been towards justice. we have to grab it and bend it ourselves and for us to compete effectivelyrequires confidence . i think history should teach us that america is a force for good in the world. we're not sflawless but i think we need to reject the orthodoxy of the new left as well as the orthodoxy of the so-called realist school which is really an ideological movement behind a new sentiment towards isolationism. so i think that that's what students ought to take away
is that we have to compete and we ought to be confident in america's role in the world. >>. >> two things briefly. we need to teach this history to remind our students about the holocaust but the truly awful wicked barbarous things that human are capable of doing to each other and you look at the repression of soviet communism on the entire world. we should not forget that. second, i want to quote my friends from the speech. who we haven'tmentioned yet today . as long as this gate is closed, as long as this wall is committed to stand it is not the german question alone that remains open but the question of freedom are all mankind. and chinese communist tyranny today for putin tyranny we're reminded that the question of freedom of all mankind is not a historical question alone,
it's a challenge for our students and young people today . >> jamie fly of radio free europe and radio liberty, thank you. general hr mcmaster, my power at the institute andauthor of battleground ,thank you . and will inboden at the university of texas and author of the forthcoming book the title of which is about to name. >> the peacemaker, ronald reagan and the white house. >> i like that and the publishing date is? >> time december or january. >> jamie fly, will inboden and hr mcmaster, thank you for uncommonknowledge, the hooverinstitute, fox nation and the ronald reagan institute . i am peter robinson . >>.
>> when frenchman marquis de lafayette was 19 he came to america and was probably made a major general by george washington. the year was 1777 and the american revolutionary war wasunderway . political history podcast or an author mike duncan has written 471 pages of the story of lafayette called heroes of two worlds. included in his book of the famous frenchman is an account of his return to the united states where he would celebrated in each of the 24 states. that year was 1824 and lafayette was 67. >> history podcast or mike
duncan on this weekend's episode of book notes plus. listen to book notes plus on our new c-span now at . >> on in-depth conversation with ross gallant on republican politics and conservatism in america . his recently released book the places talks about his five year struggle. his other titles include the decadence, privilege and bad religion.join in the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments and texts and tweets sunday, november 7 live at noon eastern on in-depth. on the c-span2.
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wire editor and schapiro says the progressive left is pursuing authoritarian agenda in america . you can find a full schedule airing in your program guide. starting out cnn's anderson cooper and catherine howell provide a history of the vanderbilts , once one of the wealthiest families in the country and cooper's ancestors on his mother's side. >> tonight cnn anchor best-selling author anderson cooper chronicles the rise and fall of the legendary american dynasty, his mother's family the vanderbilts. we are joined by catherine howell, a new york times best-selling author of historical fiction and an academic who brings routine research skills and narrative flair to the story of an extraordinary family and now without further review i'd like to welcome our guests to the virtual