How a Pope Helped Mussolini Rise to Power
March 08, 2014
But then tried to stop him, before it was too late.
Many Libyans I’ve met in the past few months have told me that before their revolution, they felt no pride in telling outsiders where they came from. They understood that the rest of the world knew only one thing about their country—that it was ruled, depending one’s perspective, by a madman, a monster, or a clown. The foreign media were fascinated by Qaddafi’s image—his clothes, his female bodyguards, his tirades before the U.N.
The pictures of Muammar Qaddafi’s death have made me reflect, as they must have made many people reflect, on the equally gruesome images of Saddam’s death. Did Qaddafi himself think about Saddam, in those last minutes of his life? My question is speculative, but I do not think it is unreasonable. We do know whom Saddam was thinking about—if not at the moment of his execution, then certainly at his trial in Baghdad, when he came face to face with his impending fate.
The Light in the East
September 20, 1980
During the last week in August in 1980 a new kind of light appeared in Poland, illuminating the world scene in an unexpected way. An eerie sentence swam into my mind, the one that Winston Churchill wrote about 1914 when the pall of the parochial Irish crisis hung over the warm summer evening of the British Empire; and when the parishes of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded into the mists and squalls of Ireland, "and a strange light began immediately, but by perceptible gradations, to fall and grow upon the map of Europe." That strange light, in 1914, was the glimmering advent of World War I.
The Myth of "Hungry" Nations
January 08, 1936
Lately we have heard a great deal about the conflict between "hungry" and "sated" nations. The phrase has been used to describe Mussolini's attack on Ethiopia, Japan's advance into Manchuria and North China, and Hitler's proposed penetration of east Europe. A ''hungry" nation means one without colonies producing raw materials, and this lack is supposed to drive it to eventual war. The image of a world separated into "hungry" and "sated" nations has been a favorite of Mussolini, Hitler and the Japanese blood brotherhoods.