Friday, June 27, 2008

Putin's New Evil Empire

Few things make the bien pensants more uneasy than talk of right and
wrong. They flinched when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet bloc,
rightly, the "evil empire". Sometimes that fastidiousness was simply
based on wilful ignorance. Reports of Stalin's terror, the Gulag,
persecution of dissidents or the bullying of the captive nations were
dismissed as tendentious or inaccurate. More often it was based on a
feeling that the West's own shortcomings were so appalling that we
were in no position to judge anyone else. Amid the ruins of communism
in Czechoslovakia in late 1989, I sat through an excruciating dinner
with my then foreign editor where I explained that the Czechs wanted
to become a "normal country". He couldn't share my enthusiasm. "What's
`normal' about Britain?", he asked scornfully — a country where
mounted police charged striking miners, where a quarter of the
population lived in poverty, and where you could be locked up for a
decade just for having an Irish surname.
Click here for full article by EDWARD LUCAS
From the new Standpoint magazine, which has
just launched. is the website.

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