I said recently that we're at the end of one era and at the
beginning of another. And I noted that in regard to the Soviet Union, our
policy is to move beyond containment.
For 40 years, the seeds of democracy in Eastern Europe lay dormant,
buried under the frozen tundra of the Cold War. And for 40 years the
world has waited for the Cold War to end. And decade after decade,
time after time, the flowering human spirit withered from the chill
of conflict and oppression. And again the world waited. But the passion
for freedom cannot be denied forever. The world has waited long enough.
The time is right. Let Europe be whole and free.
In the East, brave men and women are showing us the way. Look at
Poland, where solidarity and the Catholic Church have won legal status.
The forces of freedom are putting the Soviet status quo on the defensive.
In the West, we have succeeded because we have been faithful to our
values and our vision. And on the other side of the rusting Iron Curtain,
their vision has failed. The Cold War began with the division of Europe.
It can only end when Europe is whole.
And today, it is this very concept of a divided Europe that is under
siege. And that is why our hopes run high, because the division of
Europe is under siege, not by armies, but by the spread of ideas that
began here, right here. It was a son of Mainz, Johannes Gutenburg,
who liberated the mind of man through the power of the printed word.
And that same liberating power is unleashed today in a hundred new
The Voice of America, Deutche Welle, allow us to enlighten millions
deep within Eastern Europe and throughout the world. Television satellites
allow us to bear witness from the shipyards of Gdansk to Tiananmen
Square. But the momentum for freedom does not just come from the printed
word or the television screen. It comes from a single powerful idea
This one idea is sweeping across Eurasia. This one idea is why the
Communist world, from Budapest to Beijing, is in ferment. And of course,
for the leaders of the East it is not just freedom for freedom's sake.
But whatever their motivation, they are unleashing a force they will
find difficult to control, the hunger for liberty of oppressed peoples
who have tasted freedom.
The nations of Eastern Europe are rediscovering the glories of their
national heritage, so let the colors and hues of national culture return
to these gray societies of the East. Let Europe forego a peace of tension
for a peace of trust, one in which the peoples of the East and West
can rejoice, a continent that is diverse, yet whole. Together we shall
answer the call. The world has waited long enough.