Monday, June 26, 2006

Return of an Empire

In FrontPage Magazine, Jamie Glazov is moderator of a symposium on the subject of "When an Evil Empire Returns". Taking part are Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service, James Woolsey, director of the CIA from 1993-95 and a former Navy undersecretary and arms-control negotiator, Yuri Yarim-Agaev, a former leading Russian dissident and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, and Fox News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, the co-author with Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely of the book Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror.

From the debate:
James Woolsey: I would say... that one big problem with our own behavior in the nineties was that we ignored Russian history and assumed that once the Berlin Wall was down and good ol' Boris was in the Kremlin everything would be fine on the political side - and indeed that it was our over-fixation on the death of the communist ideology that led us astray.

Frank Fukayama wrote a fascinating book much more nuanced than the title he took from Hegel, but far too many people thought we in fact had reached something like "The End of History". In my judgment we failed to take some steps to help Russia that we could have (and took some of the wrong ones) because we assumed the politics would be fine and focused so heavily on economics that we ignored the necessity of such things as establishing an independent judiciary and encouraging some checks and balances. In the last analysis, however, we couldn't excise the totalitarian/security service tumor mainly because - unlike the situations in Japan and Germany after WW II - we never controlled the patient and he never gave consent to the operation.
(Via BabalĂș Blog)
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