View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Herb Keinon, the diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, and native Denverite, was back here on a US speaking tour, and I got a chance to see him address a small and mostly sympathetic crowd at the University of Denver. He spoke at some length, but in my notes, I have a number of places where I've note similarities between the PA and the old Soviet state.

  1. The appropriation of democratic language and symbols for non-democratic purposes. In particular, the forms of parliaments, prime ministers, and constitutions, while suppressing any actual dissent
  2. The suppression of internal dissent, allowing for a unified, if warped, message, as compared to the messy disagreement of democracies
  3. The Big Lie. This is, of course, common to all totalitarians, but was raised to an art form by the Soviets
  4. Smooth spokesmen. I remember when Gorbachev came in, how he changed the public face of the Soviet Union from Gromyko to Posner almost overnight. Didn't do them any good in the end, but didn't do them any harm in trying.

Not all of this should be a surprise, since Arafat is something of a holdover from Soviet days, learned a lot from his old patrons. Still, it's stuff that has been adopted by other, demonstrably non-Communist Arab leaders as well.

To what extent is it possible that the leftists are being comforted by familiar tactics and language, and thus fooled into sympathizing with these monsters?

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