Thursday, June 08, 2006

Boring Belarus

Edward Lucas has an Economist piece about the inadequacy of the outside world's response to the totalitarian crackdown in Belarus. Looking back to the days of the Cold War, he notes:
...defending Václav Havel, Andrei Sakharov and other heroes of the dissident movement was tied, albeit loosely, to our own self-interest. There was tiredness and timidity on our side, but outweighed by fear and greed (as well as idealism and bravery).

But Belarus poses no threat to us. On the contrary, being nice to Russia, Belarus's patron, is very profitable business. Which is why I fear that Olga and her brave friends face a long walk to freedom. When it ends with victory, as it will, I think we will feel pretty embarrassed about how little we helped.
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