Recently, President Obama protested to Vladimir Putin that Russia had been violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe treaty (INF) for the last six years by testing precisely the kind of missile that the treaty prohibits. That protest, as reported by the New York Times, is a textbook lesson in how a government earns the contempt of others.
In 1935, the Bolsheviks thought up a great way to make friends and influence people. They created a Popular Front and invited anyone who was left-of-center to join. Capitalism was faltering at the time, as was liberal democracy in Continental countries. Quite a few Americans and Europeans responded to the Pop Front outreach by welcoming Soviet Russia into the family of nations, honoring it as the lead power opposing fascism, and even hoping their own troubled societies would move toward the Soviet model.
Both the London Times and the Washington Post carried at the week-end (Jan. 12 & 13) reports that Lenin’s embalmed corpse might later this year finally be buried, after having lain on public display in a mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square for the past eighty years, since the Soviet leader’s death in 1924.
Both newspapers linked their respective reports to the recent closure of the mausoleum to the public, pending major structural repair, as well as to remarks in defence of the continued display of Lenin’s remains there, made last month by President Vladimir Putin at his first meeting with campaign supporters since his inauguration in October.