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NOVEMBER 9, 1991 Section: D

COMMENTARY Edition: 2 Page: D1 Byline: By Arnold Beichman THE WASHINGTON TIMES Illustration: Photo, Germans scale the Berlin Wall.

Nov. 9, 1989, a day to remember; Nov. 9, World Freedom Day. This is why: As I watched the dedication of the Ronald Reagan library last Monday on a windswept mountain top in California's Simi Valley, I wondered why we weren't celebrating at the same moment one of the most astounding bloodless victories over tyranny in world history. Yet we were not celebrating that victory, one which has changed all our lives to a degree that cannot yet be fully comprehended.

Why was this day not dedicated to the statesmanship of Ronald Reagan I asked myself? And I answered:

Because the man responsible for that victory over communist totalitarianism is still the target of the left-liberal media monopoly and the academic social science profession. It is this camarilla that decides about presidents: Who are villains and who are heroes, who are the great presidents and who are the failed presidents. As far as the left-liberal media monopoly and American social scientists are concerned, Ronald Reagan is the great failure. Since such a thesis flies in the fact of historical fact, the camarilla has fallen back on an old technique - ignore the Reagan presidency by pretending it never happened. Air-brush him out of history.

Such, for a while, was the fate of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a two-term president. He, too, was regarded as a kind of amiable military klutz who had stumbled into big jobs - president of Columbia University and later president of the United States. Only recently has the academy begun to alter its opinions about Eisenhower as a statesman whose eight years in office were marked by a remarkable stability on the one hand and with Little Rock on the other, the beginning of a redressing of historic black grievances, a process which has yet to run its course.

However great may have been the achievements of his predecessors, Ronald Reagan's was certainly one of the greatest. It will be difficult to deny the chronology and the causality: The fall of communism, the end of the Cold

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War, came on Mr. Reagan's watch. For three years, he spoke the truth about communism and its challenge to the free world.

The fall of communism and the end of the Cold War didn't come under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford or Carter. It happened under Mr. Reagan - not overnight but by a campaign of steady resistance that included Angola, Grenada, SDI, Central America, Libya. It was a campaign that included an arms program that had amplitude and, consequently, credibility.

That is why I think the time has come for President Bush and the Congress to celebrate the end of the Cold War as we celebrate other historic days in American and even world history. Which day should we select as the day of celebration?

In one of his speeches Mr. Reagan pleaded with President Mikhail Gorbachev by name to tear down the Berlin Wall. That wall symbolized the Cold War as nothing else did. Suddenly, unexpectedly, on Nov. 9, 1989 the wall came down. The day the wall came down is the day that should be declared an international holiday.

On Nov. 9, 1989 a hated symbol of 70 years of communist tyranny came to a squalid end. The fear of nuclear war between the two superpowers was over. World peace seemed more assured than ever before in modern history.

Nov. 9 from this day forward should be a day for world observance. In years to come we will realize that the man whose policies made that victory possible was Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Bush and Congress ought to consider legislation making Nov. 9 a national holiday. The United Nations and the European Community ought to consider declaring Nov. 9 an international holiday. Not since V-E Day or V-J Day has there been as significant a day as Nov. 9, 1989.

Let us remember that this victory came without bloodshed, without marching armies, without loss of life, without nuclear fallout. Unprecedented in modern times, victor and vanquished together have acclaimed the end of the Cold War. Everybody won. Celebrating Nov. 9 each year would be a warning to future tyrants that tyranny, whether military as in Burma or ideological as in China and Cuba, has no future.

Nov. 9 - World Freedom Day.

Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

All content Copyright 2006 The Washington Times LLC and may not be republished without permission.


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