Pavel Constantin, «Politicalcartoons.com»
Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, João Paulo II são muitos dos nomes a quem muitos atribuem a queda do Muro. Christian Caryl na Foreign Policy, dedica-se a desmontar os mitos da queda deste muro. Nenhum destes nomes terá tanta importância, ou mesmo alguma, no que se passou. Boa parte deles não pretendia sequer desestabilizar a região e tudo faria para isso. Para Caryl, embora os historiadores continuem a procurar o “responsável”, o muro cai pela vontade das ruas de Berlim, Praga e Bucareste:
[…] Neither did the fact that Eastern European communists owed all their debt to Western bankers prove a great liability, as some have alleged. That might have been the case if the United States and its allies had been willing to exert financial leverage to specific policy ends. In fact, the story of 1989 is very much one of Western political caution. From Helmut Kohl to Margaret Thatcher to George H.W. Bush, Western leaders were reluctant to do anything that could be interpreted as “destabilizing” the region.
In reality it was the crowds on the streets in Berlin, Prague, and Bucharest that fused inchoate anger at the regimes into an immediate and urgent challenge to the apparatchiks’ power and legitimacy.
The sudden surge in popular discontent, coupled with such other factors as the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev and his refusal to use Soviet troops to suppress protests; the moribund economies of the Warsaw Pact states; the gradual loss of belief in Marxist ideology among populations and functionaries alike; and a much greater flow of information about the West to the countries of the East all contributed to the events of 1989. Yet in their quest for a simple explanation, historians continue to look for The One.
Peray, «The Nation»
Chen Jian e Jeffrey A. Engel vão um pouco mais atrás. Nesse mesmo ano de 1989, em Maio, Deng Xiaoping encontra-se com Mikhail Gorbachev. Nenhum dos dois líderes imaginava que os acontecimentos em Tiananmen teriam, segundo Jian e Engel, eco em Berlim.