Belgian Streets Named after US Presidents

When Ronald Reagan died in June 2004, I wrote:

It's remarkable how European streets, squares and tunnels are named after Democratic presidents (the Kennedy tunnel in Antwerp, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt in Brussels, the Clinton Park in Roeselare), but how reluctant local governments are to pay the same honor to Republican presidents. When, if ever, will there be a Ronald Reagan Square in Belgium?

Yesterday I realized that I had all the necessary tools and information to prepare a small showcase. I have a list of all the street names in Belgium, I can semi-automatically filter those streets which are named after US presidents, I can distinguish between Democrats and Republicans, and I can display everything in a table:

The high scores of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt are due to the US role in ending both World Wars. Eisenhower's score will probably be due to his role as a general and not so much to his role as president. Still, it's puzzling why not a single street or square has been named after Ronald Reagan, whose role in ending the Cold War was significant.

I can also display everything on a map of Belgium, using Google's geocoding service and maps API and GmapEZ.

The blue markers are streets named after Democratic presidents, the red ones are named after Republican presidents. You can zoom in or out by clicking the plus and minus signs, you can drag the map with the mouse, and when you hover the mouse over a marker, you will see the street and town names.

Obama is toast

Obama will not win the General Election.   The majority in this country will not accept that racist, bitter, disingenious fraud.


Neither will Hillary Clinton win the General Election, as half the country loathes here.


Looks like McCain is going to win..     It wasn't so long ago , like in January, when I thought Obama would coast right into office.. but then his wife started giving her crazy speeches and he started to reveal his racist, anti-semitic, elitist true self

@Vincep1974 re; Obama

Just wait for the umbrage from the left when Obama loses. It won't be pretty.

But then, maybe they'll turn to guns and God out of their "bitterness"... NOT!

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

Soviet heros

I would be curious to compare these to the Soviet "heros" of whom there are many streets named after especially in the French speaking/3rd world parts of europe.

Not my dream

@ Atheling

Obama is not my "dream".  I have no white guilt-complex, am not a racist (unlike Obama's 'pastor', friend(s) and wife), and have achieved immunity from naive-left relativistic tendencies emanating from elite 'Eastern' law schools.  But you knew that, I suppose.

In 2000 I was for McCain against Bush. In 2004 I was for Lieberman against Kerry (in the primaries), but for Bush against Kerry (in the election). In 2008 I was for Romney against McCain, but will be for McCain against Obamania in November. And we all know that McCain is not perfect...but compared with Hillary or Obama.....


I should have said "Not in your nightmares".

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

The cold war has not "ended"

@ pvdh

I think that the cold war has not ended - although for a while it looked like it might have - but it certainly has changed in nature.  The attempt at democratising Russia has failed, and while Russia is today considerably weaker (relatively speaking to other great powers) than the former Soviet Union was in its time, the current boom in commodity prices has given rise to new Russian illusions of nationalistic 'grandeur'. Obviously this is a big theme that cannot be summarised in a few paragraphs. 

To respond more directly to your 'question', I would say that you underestimate the impact (on the USSR) of having a consistent opponent (what Reagan was) as opposed to the more typical western politician (making short-term electoral calculations).  The maintenance of dictatorship of the party requires signs of 'success'.  That explains why wealth creaton is the new 'legitimiser' for the Chinese Politbureau today and nationalism its 'new' (old) ideology.  For the soviets, signs of international succes were abundant during the 1970's and helped maintain the party in power.  It is the presence of a steadfast opponent, like Reagan, that pricked that balloon.  In many small places like Grenada, Panama etc...but also on bigger fronts like 'star wars' and cruise missiles in Europa.  You mentioned the "shaming display of inability to win" in Afghanistan, but that inability (of the USSR) was a direct result of American actions.  If there had been no steadfast Reagan, the Russians would have done what was 'necessary' to win in Afghanistan.  It was not only a matter of supplying stinger missiles Afghans, but it was also a matter of communicating 'red lines' to the Soviet Leadership. Do you really think that it was moral constraints that restrained the Politbureau (which presided over a patently immoral system), or that it was military inability?  

I am not inclined to elaborate on the intimidation of soft European leaders.  It would require significant effort and research into that part of the past.  Let's just say that it did not make life easier, for the 'steadfast' Reagan, to have allies like the ('social-democrat) Danish foreign minster who said that his country's defense policy consisted in maintaining a direct (red) line to the Kremlin (so they could declare "surrender" if the Soviet army would decide to move in the "Fulda Gap").  That is no way to communicate with totalitarian leaders.  Luckily, today the Danes have much better leaders than then.   But, sadly, the Belgians do not.

P.S. The kapitein has a tendency to believe in "CIA-documents", i.e. in documents originating in one of Washington's most disfunctional (and politicised) bureaucracies.  And his statement that 'peace' was achieved by "not going to war" is a meaningless tautology.  The relevant question is why did they "not go to war" in central Europe, even though they did in numerous places around the world?   The answer is because the Russians believed in Reagan's determination and 'red lines'.   



@ Armor

1) I did NOT claim that the soviet union "fell apart" because of a higher US defense budget.  I said that the latter's increase helped to convince the Politbureau that the system had to be changed.

2) It is simply not fair nor sensible to make comparisons across different time periods like you do.  You ignore what my generation's life would have been like (after invasion by Stalin's armies). And, you want to compare that with what life would be like for future generations in 'multi-cultural' Europe?  And, what about the population replacement taking place in Russia in recent decades?   Let's keep our apples and oranges separate, please.

4)  I am pretty sure that you did not know, but you like to think NOW (after the fact) that you did.  And, yes, I know that everything eventually changes, and that in the long run we are all dead (Keynes). But you do make interesting speculations about the future.  I agree that they are not implausable.

5) You make some good points under point 5, but they do not address my statement that you cited.  I agree that there are valid reasons to fear that "the USA is changing".  Yet, I also think that the US was much more "leftist" 30 years ago, than it is today, and it is certainly much more "stable" than then. And there are signs that grassroots democracy may be gradually changing the ongoing indoctrination from the educational system.  Let's not forget that - at least in free societies - youth tends to rebel against established orthodoxies.  The same thing may be happening against the established 'liberal' (read naive-left) orthodoxy.  It is Jimmy Carter who made Ronald Reagan possible.  Who knows who Obama will make possible, if it comes to that?    

Obama? Not in your dreams...

I doubt if Obama will be elected.

When the election race began early, I rolled my eyes and thought, "Why so soon?". But now I'm glad. This timeframe has given Obama plenty of time to show his true colors as a radical, racist, bigot, liar, and poseur.

Even if he defeats Hillary for the nomination, I do not think he will beat John McCain. Indeed, the latest Gallup poll shows McCain ahead of both Hillary and Obama, though by a slender margin, and the race hasn't even begun in earnest. The next 7 months will give Americans plenty of time and evidence to see Obama for what he is. He suffers from John Kerry Foot In Mouth Disease, and believe me, the upstart junior Senator from Illinois will be sent back to the windy city where he can listen to the hate-filled diatribe from that former Muslim cleric in a pseudo Christian Church of Hate Whitey.

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

On Ending the Cold War

Even during the Ford administration, it became clear the the Soviet economy was stagnating and due to collapse under its own weight. Moreover, despite Soviet emphasis on numerical warhead parity with the United States during the 1980s, the latter always was superior at least in terms of technology e.g. guidance systems, etc. Indeed, the Soviet economy peaked during the 1930s and 1940s, enough to defeat Germany but no more. By contrast, the British economy was sustained at high levels for longer, which had allowed it to dominate Spain and France, among others.


Furthermore, newly de-classified CIA documents indicate that Reagan's attempts to test Soviet early warning and air defense systems caused panic in a paranoid Moscow and nearly a nuclear exchange. In fact, when the KGB and GRU set about to discover the reasons behind the probings (which incidentally highlighted partial and deteriorating radar coverage), Reagan interpreted this as preparations for war!


Like Tony Blair, Reagan took glory for achievements that were not his. Yes, I realize the comparison will anger many. However, this is the man who cut taxes and social programs, only to increase government spending by borrowing and then apply it all to the military. If more intelligent and cooler heads had prevailed in Washington, perhaps certain parts of America and parts of Russia wouldn't look so similar.


And F.Y.I., war planners estimated that the approx. 12,000 soldiers and police in West Berlin could have held off ten times their number of Soviet troops, even with small arms (incl. AT) in 1989. As the Soviets and NATO (in the Fulda Gap at least) would have resorted to tactical nuclear weapons, peace was achieved not by military build-up...but strangely enough by not going to war.

ending the cold war

Thank you for your point of view kapitein. Compared to the rubbish (and I explicitly do not mean the comments of Marcfrans) one can often read on this forum, it’s a beacon of intelligence and rational. I tend to think that you are right in your assertion, but let’s not jump to conclusions to quickly. I look forward to the answer of Marcfrans

Reagan and Russia # 2

@ Armor

Mon Dieu! What a load of cr... are you unloading again.  Let's take some of them, one at a time.

1)  If you think that "outspending in an arms race" would be easy in a democracy (where politicians face 'demands' from all sorts of constituents on a continual basis), you do not understand democracy.

2) What makes you think that a soviet invasion (in the past) would have prevented the current "population replacement"?  You should know that the Russian demographics today are worse than Europe's, and certainly worse than America's, including in terms of "population replacement".

3) In any case, the comparison you made is invalid.  The matter of keeping Stalin's armies out of Western Europe belongs to a different time period than the current cultural decline reflected in "population replacement". They have nothing to do with each other.

4) NO, we did not know "that the soviet union would fall apart at some time".  That is easy for you (or anybody else) to say today, AFTER the fact.  On the contrary, the collapse was pretty much unforeseen, and occurred over a very short time (of only a couple of years).  In the Jimmy Carter days, the Soviet Union was still very much seen around the world as the 'wave of the future', and European governments at the time were increasingly 'accomodating' themselves to that perception.  Reagan had a very hard time to 'hold the line'.  Maybe you are too young to know all this, but I can well remember what the 1970's were really like (including the political - not military - defeat about Vietnam, and the rising tide of illiberal 'socialism' around the world).

5) What makes you think that "dictatorship" cannot be "eternal"?  All human beings die, of course, so specific individual dictators die too.  But dictatorship does NOT necessarily die.  There are many parts of the world which have NEVER known anything other than "dictatorship", including Russia, China, and most of the muslim world.  Your claim suggests either a lack of imagination and/or lack of historical factual knowledge, or perhaps both.

6) If you dare to merely "hope" that Reagan was "not completely stupid", then you only reveal how little you know about the real person that was Ronald Reagan.  That does not say anything about your natural intelligence, but it does say a lot about the lack of quality-education you received in France, and perhaps even more about the stupifying effect the media orthodoxy has had on otherwise normally-intelligent people.   

@Marcfrans - USA & USSR

" 1) If you think that "outspending in an arms race" would be easy in a democracy"

The USSR did not fall apart because the USA had a bigger military budget.

" 2) What makes you think that a soviet invasion (in the past) would have prevented the current "population replacement"?"

The fact there has been no mass immigration to Eastern Europe.

" 4) NO, we did not know "that the soviet union would fall apart at some time".

Yes we did. But we didn't know it would happen before 2050.

In the same way, we know the extreme left-wing ideology will probably fade out in the near future. And several states in Europe and North America will probably separate into several smaller states along racial lines.

" 5) What makes you think that "dictatorship" cannot be "eternal"?"

European leftists used to say that the USA and the USSR were two different ways to manage one's country, as if one was not obviously better than the other, and as if the end of the USSR was not in the cards. The Soviet Union was largely a top down structure. It was easy to imagine how it could fall apart. If something can happen, it probably will happen one day. But the USA was a decentralized country organized from the bottom up and based on local democracy. So, it was hard to imagine how it could fall apart before the USSR did. The USSR was based on lies and the suppression of the truth, which made it unstable, as most people yearn for the truth. Besides, Russian people knew that their country was a failure. On the other hand, I don't think the USA was based on lies.

However, the USA has been changing and is no longer a stable country, especially with the displacement of the whites. Leftism has taken over many institutions and is now brainwashing people from the top down. The commentor Flanders Fields has written several posts about top down indoctrination which is replacing the former American grassroots democracy. Here, for example.

@ KA

Reagan and Casey had several conversations about this subject with pope John Paul. He was probably their prime source. Don't forget the "army" of priests behind the iron curtain. People underestimate this fact all the time. Andropov didn't underestimate it and wanted him killed.

Gorbaczev was not so great

Gorbaczev was not so great as some of you think, read books of Vladimir Bukovsky. 

 Memories of Walesa is a waste of time. Klaus on other hand is  worth reading. 


 Either human rights or freedom. Logical mistake.



"Gorbaczev was not so great"

But those czars sure rocked, didn't they?

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

Reagan and Russia

I think it is absurd to say that Reagan won the cold war. He only managed to outspend the Soviet Union in the arms race. However, the United States did prevent Russia from invading Western Europe. The American democracy was morally superior to the Russian communist dictatorship and to a number of European politicians and phony intellectuals who used to say that the Soviet Union was a useful counterweight to the USA. But even so, I think American democracy has been unravelling since the 1950's or maybe earlier. It is difficult to say, as it is very progressive. But the immigration disaster is proof that the USA no longer works as a democracy. In Western Europe, a Soviet invasion would have been preferable to the current population replacement.

We knew that the Soviet Union would fall apart at some time, as a dictatorship is not eternal. I think it fell apart for psychological reasons, and because they were aware that life was better in the USA and Western Europe.

Reagan used to be described as an idiot who used to fall asleep during political meetings. I hope he was not completely stupid. The good thing about him, apart from his likable personality, was his self-confidence. He trusted his own common sense enough to make real changes in the policy of the White House. Margaret Thatcher was the same way in England. (I wish they would also have had the courage to put a stop to immigration). By contrast, today's politicians are unable to do anything other than follow the policy dictated to them by the media. As if they had no choice.


"I think American democracy has been unravelling since the 1950's or maybe earlier. It is difficult to say, as it is very progressive. But the immigration disaster is proof that the USA no longer works as a democracy. In Western Europe, a Soviet invasion would have been preferable to the current population replacement."

Are you projecting? Excuse me, but the most recent articles here seem to indicate that it's the EU democracy that is unravelling. But of course, Dumb Empty Suit of Armor has to prove that he is the village idiot.

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

@ Atheling

Atheling said: " the most recent articles here seem to indicate that it's the EU democracy that is unravelling"

- I'm not saying that Western Europe is overall more democratic than the USA.

- The EU is emerging as an undemocratic force but we cannot say that it is becoming less democratic than it used to be, as it did not exist as a political force of its own in the past.

- We cannot say that French democracy no longer works, since it has never worked in the past.

- I think that the USA and several European countries used to be democracies, but they are now in the process of having their indigenous population brainwashed... and replaced. They no longer qualify as democracies.

Let's compare the USA with western Europe :
It is true that you are at less risk to pay a fine or go to jail for your anti-immigration opinion if you are an American. But you may still lose your job over a small remark, especially if you work in the media or in academe. And I think the brainwashing is worse in many US colleges than in European colleges. In fact, we have the same problems everywhere in the Western world.

Ending the cold war # 2

@ pvdh

Indeed, the cold war was not "won" by a speech.  Politicians give speeches all the time, but only some of them are believable.  Whether they are, or not, depends on the broader context. In Reagan's case they were believable for a variety of reasons. Just to mention two of them. (A) First, Reagan was preceded by Jimmy Carter, the worst postwar (WW2) US president, whose weak foreign policy had led to over 16 countries 'falling' into the Soviet orbit, which was still rising in the 1970's.  The communists knew that the election of Reagan was a reflection of the US public's frustrations with that reality and would lead to a different foreign policy.  The ayathollas knew it too. On the same day that Reagan took his oath they released the American embassy personnel, kept hostage for over a year, in full breach of genuine 'international law' (as opposed to the imagined one in much leftist media commentary).  In short, the enemies of freedom believed that under Reagan there would be genuine consequences, as opposed to meaningless 'words' under Carter.  If you want 'peace', the enemies of peace must know that you are willing to act, as opposed to talk. (B) Second, Reagan's record was well known. The soviet leaders knew that his anti-communism was 'real', that he believed it, and that it was not just a typical western politician seeking short term political gains or popularity. 

You asked for specific "acts" from Reagan?  Well, lets' mention only two, but two that were very difficult to implement in a democratic polity.  (A) First, Reagan raised US defense spending by several percentage points to over 6 percent of GDP, particularly in high tech areas (the benefits of which became only clearly visable a decade later in the First Gulf war of 1991, with 'stealth aircraft' etc...).  Gorbachiev in his memoirs recalls that these and similar actions convinced him (and others on the Politbureau) that a dramatic escalation of military competition could not be won UNLESS they changed their economic system (the Chinese Politbureau has learned that lesson too!).  (B) Second, Reagan proceeded with the installation of 'rockets' in Europe, despite the overwhelming opposition on European 'streets' by the appeasing European left.  This convinced Gorbachiev and his palls that intimidation of soft European leaders would no longer work (at least for a while, today islamist intimidation is working anew). 

As to American 'actions' (mainly steadfastness) to enable Eastern Europe's freedom, you better start reading the memoirs of people like Lech Walensa and Vaclav Havel, Klaus, opposed to the fashionable historical revisionism in the current naive-left western media.

Twenty-five years after Reagan's 'impossible' star wars dream, his 'Strategic Defense Iniative' is becoming a practical reality.  For you and your childeren, it might in the end become important and relevant enough to make the difference between freedom and slavery.   

@marcfrans reagan and the USSR.

I must admit that I don’t know that much about the Reagan presidency. I was rather young at that time, and I despised him, like everybody did then in western-Europe. By now I’ve been able to see the sometimes incredible bias of the European media, which makes me rather suspicious about my judgment so many years ago.
Nevertheless, looking at the evidence of Reagan’s share in the fall of the wall, you must admit that it’s rather circumstantial.
(A) the economical situation was long beyond the stage of “escalation of military competition”. It was about feeding the population. The food production within the USSR dropped dramatically. They had to import large quantities. Remember that Poland accused them from steeling large quantities. Military they were stuck in this very expensive Afghanistan adventure, with no light at the end of the tunnel, and an often shaming display of there military incapacity to win. I don’t think they needed an other round of military escalation to underscore the bankruptcy of the political system. (B) Could you elaborate a bit around this “intimidation of soft European leaders.” I can’t figure out in what way this intimidation plaid a role in the maintenance of the system.

I believe that, but...

...I still don't see why everybody thinks Kennedy was so great.  I can see F. Roosevelt, but Kennedy's presidency was, at best, nondescript.  Other than the Bay of Pigs - which was a failure even by his own admission - and the Cuban Missile Crisis, nothing really defined his presidency.

Dang, I miss Ronald Reagan....

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Hello Peter,

Thought I'd start the ball rolling re: President Reagan. This is from his speech delivered at the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987.

"We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

As a footnote, he overruled the State Department's requests to not deliver this famous challenge.

@B. English

You're not really suggesting that a speech of Ronald Reagan made any difference? You must be kidding. Do you really believe that Gorbachev was waiting for good advises from his American counterpart to install Glasnost? What tear down the wall was a strange mixture of economical problems; a succeeded insurgence of Polish shipyard workers; Gorbachev’s believe in soft socialism that loosened the grip on the central European satellite states; and a mistake of an east-German minister on the radio. To all this things the Americans had little or no contribution. It was an accomplishment of the east-European people themselves. But it is true, of course that in eastern Europe, one sees Reagan as an important factor. (In Poland, that role is more reserved for the Pope.) I keep on wondering why. If somebody could show me an actual deed of Reagan, I would understand.


"The pen is mightier than the sword". Ever hear of that?

That speech galvanized those under communist oppression and shamed their oppressors in front of the world.

The fact that you don't understand that demonstrates how shallow you are. You see, people are more than animals. They have spirit. Just as Winston Churchill's speeches fortified the British people and the rest of the free world during WWII, so did Ronald Reagan's (Ronaldus Magnus, as we like to call him) staunch belief in human rights and freedom affect those who had ears to hear. President Reagan represented the free world, whose faith and belief in human rights and dignity supported those in the eastern bloc to overthrow the shackles of communism. He, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher were all factors in this equation.

But of course, I doubt if you will understand it. Coming from a leftist, marxist perspective, you only understand materialism.

Your loss.

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

ending the cold war

Could somebody explain me in what way Reagan contributed to the end of the cold war, or where I can find some information about that. It is often mentioned, but I can't find specific acts of him that did the job.


What really enraged EU

What really enraged EU leftists is that Ronald Reagan was not John Wayne.

The notion that a second rate actor (which Reagan was) could lead an America embodied by a first rate actor (which John Wayne was and I'll gladly debate anyone on this point) and defeat to the point of humiliation the "evil empire" that was the USSR has got to stick in their craw.

Now the Left has Islam to play with and no John Wayne or Ronald Reagan in sight. I can only imagine their joy.

Good Observation

I think there is some street named after JFK in just about every town in Holland.  The role of Reagan ending the cold war is far more important I think but then maybe that is the reason.  Castro is still popular in europe and Kennedy helped keep him in power for so long.


This doesn't surprise me..  The EUtopians are resentful of men like Reagan. They're upset the wrong side won the Cold War.