La Vie en Rouge

The sins of South Africa are once again heavy on the American conscience. The flaws and contradictions built into her multiracial social organization are subjected to the most minute scrutiny and the imperfections in her "human rights" record are held up as justification for revolutionary forces that would cheerfully slaughter the European population of Africa's only state with a thriving economy and with something like a democratic constitution. The usual cast of characters is headed up again by Congressman Steve Solarz—the man who assured us that Robert Mugabe would bring freedom to Zimbabwe. Solarz’s obsession with South Africa leaves him little time to speak out on Mugabe's forthcoming declaration of a one-party state. He and his friends also are curiously reticent about the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, although they filled the halls of Congress with denunciations of their comparatively benevolent predecessor, Mr. Somoza, who was almost as evil and bloodthirsty—to hear them tell it—as the late Shah of Iran or President Marcos of the Philippines. As for the record of the Soviet Union, North Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea, these gentlemen make a strenuous effort to avoid the charge of Red-baiting applied so regularly by The Nation to anyone who criticizes a communist regime anywhere in the world. (The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is a possible exception, but they were, after all opposed by the Soviet-backed...

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