Media Blog

The real reason Obama can’t go to the Berlin Wall commemoration

Many of us find it odd, if not downright depressing, that Barack Obama can go to Oslo for the Nobel ceremony and to Copenhagen for the Olympic bid (i.e. trips undertaken for mainly personal reasons), but as leader of the free world he somehow can’t find time to travel to Berlin to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

After all, the fall of the Wall is the most significant event for the cause of freedom in the last 60 years, and Kofi Annan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and other world leaders will all be there.

Michael Barone theorizes that his big election campaign speech in Berlin may be haunting Obama: “Is Obama too embarrassed to give people an opportunity to compare Obama’s actions to his summer 2008 rhetoric?” he wonders.
But Ed Morrisey has a simpler explanation: Berlin won’t be about Obama, he says. “It’s not that Obama doesn’t think that the fall of the wall is a good thing, but that it has nothing to do with him, and is therefore irrelevant.”

For more on whether Obama actually believes in human rights, and about his decision not to go to Berlin (and not to meet the Dalai Lama, and not to support democracy activists in Egypt and Iran) please see here.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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