I wasn’t going to write about Petraeus and his report; there was nothing unexpected, and anybody ever reading my blog would know my position. But something I read in the SPIEGEL’s article The Show Must Go On pushed my buttons. In order to defend their hopelessly botched Iraq policies, a republican California congressman by the name of Duncan Hunter (running for president, no less) stated that “We brought down the Berlin Wall,” so we can’t give up in Iraq.
The wikipedia entry for Hunter shows him to be a steadfast war supporter, among a number of other typically conservative positions. He’s also a builder of walls and fences, responsible for the construction of 14 miles of security fencing between San Diego and Mexico. If he becomes president, a 754 mile double layer border fence will be built in less than 12 months, he promises.
That such a person should claim any responsibility for the fall of the Berlin Wall is quite absurd and disingenuous. After watching “The Lives of Others”, I remembered my one visit to East-Berlin; crossing Checkpoint Charlie, and all the hassle this entailed. It also released a flood of memories of the countless tragedies that happened at the Wall. “We” had little to do with the way it came down — first and foremost, it was the people who put their lives at risk, not only in East-Germany, but also in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc. If anybody deserves any credit, it would be Mikhail Gorbachev.
Oh, and about the dance that goes on: quite likely in Iran; according to the SPIEGEL, Petraeus mentioned the topic ten times. After all, what’s a general and soldier to do without a nice war somewhere?