Muggeridge would later write a novel about his experiences called Moscow in Winter. B-r-r-r-r! In it, he wrote that in the 1930s, western journalists were especially keen on the USSR because they could get free abortions there for their mistresses.
And besides, if you did write something critical, you might find the tenth story window of your flat open some cold, dark Moscow night.
The Washington Post published a story about our national security apparatus last year. Titled “Up All Night,” it was supposed to reassure Americans that their security was in safe and knowing hands. The July 4, 2010, front-page story informed us that PresidentI Obama’s national security adviser, four-star General James Jones (USMC), spoke regularly by cell phone with Sergei Prikhodko, the Russian national security adviser.
Even as a boy, Jones was not afraid of the dark. He was afraid of Russia. His parents would talk soberly about the iron curtain. The image "terrified me as a child. Millions of people in prison, behind a so-called curtain."
Now a presidential envoy, Jones finds himself on many nights dialing Moscow, capital of his boyhood bogeymen. If the cold war of Jones's youth seemed scary, "this world has me more concerned. The threats we face are asymmetric and more complex." So he calls, at all hours, old adversaries to connect against the new threat.
What naivety. Can Gen. Jones really think we have a community of interest with Putin’s Russia? Can the Obama administration really be so devoid of common sense not to see that Russia has not ceased its agitation against us nor has it ceased menacing its neighbors. Letting Hillary Clinton “reset” our relations with Russia after Putin’s summer 2008 invasion of the Republic of Georgia only serves to confirm American weakness in Russian eyes. Calling Russians at all hours is only a way to broadcast our insecurity and flaccidness. As to Russia helping out with UN sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, Iran will find little difficulty in evading those sanctions, by teaming with the Venezuela of Hugo Chavez, if necessary.
It was widely reported when, in 1991, Russian crowds singing freedom songs tore down the 30-foot statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky outside Moscow’s dreaded Lubyanka prison. “Iron Felix” graced the headquarters of the Soviet KGB, whose founder he truly was.
Many of us thought that was truly the end of Soviet tyranny. Writing in The Los Angeles Times, Kathryn Stoner-Weiss noted in 2002 that Vladimir Putin didn’t need that statue of Iron Felix after all. He was widely reported to have a smaller bust of the secret police terror chief—right on his desk. What else do we need to know?