Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A Tale of Three Cities & the End of the Old New World Order

 From The Imaginative Conservative:

The year 1989 may well be seen by future historians as one of those rare pivotal years of this past millennium—like 1066, 1492, 1793, and 1914—that profoundly altered the direction of Western Civilization. It is, of course, still too early to say for certain that we as a society set ourselves on a dangerous collision course that year, but none should be surprised if it turns out that lost opportunities in 1989 (and subsequent years) will have dire consequences for the rest of this century. The events that unfolded in Beijing, Moscow, and Washington have all the elements of a jumbled Greek tragedy: good intentions, foolish misunderstandings, unspeakable violence, and that most crucial of all ingredients: overweening hubris.

In May of that same year, I was a mid-level American diplomat who had just gotten an assignment he had dreamed of for many years: Senior Watch Officer (SWO) in the State Department’s Operations Center, an office designed to detect, monitor, and report on crises around the world. Timing could not have been better. That year witnessed a stunning number of crises, but the two most influential were the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. How we interpreted and responded to these two crises have paved our path for the foreseeable future. We might have changed direction at various points along the way, but we never did, and we are now—as in any true tragedy—increasingly unable to make amends. (Read more.)


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