Sunday, October 30, 2005


Mr. Sunshine declares Brent Scowcroft an enemy of decency for his criticism of the Iraq War.
Even today Scowcroft says, "I didn't think that calling the Soviet Union the 'evil empire' got anybody anywhere." Tell that to Natan Sharansky and other Soviet dissidents for whom that declaration of moral -- beyond geopolitical -- purpose was electrifying, and helped galvanize the dissident movements that ultimately brought down the Soviet empire.

It was not brought down by diplomacy and arms control, the preferred realist means for dealing with the Soviet Union. It was brought down by indigenous revolutionaries, encouraged and supported by Ronald Reagan, a president unabashedly dedicated not to detente with evil, but its destruction -- i.e., regime change.

While I suppose it's significant that as doctrinaire a Reagan-humper as Krauthammer would actually admit that the Evil Empire did not collapse at a mighty wave of Reagan's steely phallu--err, missiles, you simply can't separate dissident movements from the diplomacy and peace movements of the time, which conservatives, then as now, constantly sniped at. Diplomatic efforts like the 1975 Helsinki Agreement, and the networks created by American and Western European democratic and anti-nuclear activists in its wake, are acknowledged as having provided integral support to the dissident movements which Krauthammer credits. Of course, it's essential that conservatives ignore this in order to continue arguing that what the Middle East really needs is a good beating.

And how perversely perfect of Charles to pick as his standard bearer of freedom Natan Sharansky, a man who, having escaped Soviet oppression, has remade himself into an abject apologist for Israel's oppression of Palestinians.

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