BERLIN - Barack Obama enthralled a crowd of more than 200,000 people here yesterday as he appealed for a unified world to combat terrorism - which he likened to the communism that died in the rubble of the Berlin Wall.
"If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope," Obama told the massive crowd - the largest of his campaign - that filled the wide boulevard leading from Germany's Victory Column all the way to the Brandenburg Gate more than a mile away.
"The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope," he went on, referring repeatedly to the Berlin Airlift launched by the Allies 60 years ago when the Russians tried to isolate the city.
"But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers - dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean."
Obama, who said he was there as a citizen, not as a candidate, spoke in the same city where Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan gave historic speeches.
"People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time."
Yesterday's throng more than doubled Obama's record in America, where he once drew 75,000 people for a primary campaign rally in Portland, Ore.
The cheering multitudes waved both American and German flags.
People shimmied up light poles and hung from fencing to get a glimpse of the Democratic nominee who is on the verge of becoming a global icon.
The speech was picked up by media outlets around the world and at least portions of it ran live on both sides of the Atlantic. Even conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh interrupted his program to run bits of it.
In the speech, Obama boasted of his own global roots and called for a more cooperative fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.
"America cannot do this alone," he told the Germans.
"The Afghan people need our troops and your troops, our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now."
In addition to tackling terrorism, Obama called on a unified world to also fight hunger, disease, environmental pollution and drug use.
Asking if the crowd gathered in Berlin was ready to accept a call to action, he asked, "Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?
"Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe?" "Will we give meaning to the words 'never again' in Darfur?"
Republicans ridiculed Obama's global appeal and accused him of mixing his loyalties to the world and to America.
Poking fun of Obama, John McCain stopped to campaign at a Ger man pub in Ohio, saying he'd rather be there.
"While Barack Obama took a premature victory lap today in the heart of Berlin, proclaiming himself a 'citizen of the world,' John McCain continued to make his case to the American citizens who will decide this election," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.
Meanwhile, a new poll from Fox News found Obama's weeklong world tour has had little political impact back home. It showed 29 percent more likely to vote for him, 27 percent less likely and 41 percent unaffected.