Thomas Sowell

How did the useful idiots see all this? In addition to saying that it was all the fault of the United States, because of American hostility to Castro, they said that the Cuban people had a right to live under whatever form of government they wanted, whether or not Americans liked or disliked that kind of government. Eleanor Clift of Newsweek even said that she was not going to criticize the Cubans' "lifestyle."

It never seemed to occur to these apologists that the Cuban people were not allowed to choose anything. They did what they were told, if they wanted to live. The fact that tens of thousands of them tried to flee the island at the risk of their lives, whether from drowning at sea or being shot by the Castro regime, never made a dent in the rosy vision of the Cuban dictatorship held by many in the media, in politics and among the intelligentsia.

With minor variations, this same pattern reappeared with the later emergence of other Castro-like movements and regimes in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Grenada. Mona Charen's book spells it all out with quotes from the useful idiots themselves.

Some of their gushing praises of brutal dictators simply have to be seen to be believed. Nor was this infatuation with Stalinist oppression limited to the Western Hemisphere. Some gushed over the mass murdering Mao regime in China and even the consummate bizarre evil in North Korea.

The collapse of the Soviet bloc has now made it clear that these useful idiots were not pro-Communist. They were and still are anti-American. They have contempt for the values of the American people and the principles on which this country was founded and built.

They are ready to give a sympathetic hearing to our enemies around the world, whether those enemies are Communists or Islamic fundamentalists or whatever. Mona Charen's Useful Idiots spells it all out, citing chapter and verse.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate