- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2008

BERLIN (AP) — Before an enormous crowd, Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday summoned Europeans and Americans together to “defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it” as surely as they conquered communism a generation ago.

“The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand,” Obama said, speaking not far from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city.

“The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand,” he said.

Obama said he was speaking as a citizen, not as a president, but the evening was awash in politics. His remarks inevitably invited comparison to historic speeches in the same city by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and he borrowed rhetoric from his own appeals to campaign audiences in the likes of Berlin, N.H., when he addressed a crowd in one of the great cities of Europe.

“People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment. This is our time,” he said.

Obama’s speech was the centerpiece of a fast-paced tour through Europe designed to reassure skeptical voters back home about his ability to lead the country and take a frayed cross-Atlantic alliance in a new direction after eight years of the Bush administration.

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