Deacon, what a fine maiden blog. It pains me to say that I ardently bought and sold almost every one of the myths Lind explodes in the book. I’m not sure there is anything I can do about it now except to say I was wrong, and that I hope to have learned something over the years not only from my own errors but from studying the great men (and Margaret Thatcher) whose statesmenship delivered us from the perils of the past century.
One of the few myths I did not buy was America’s alleged responsibiity for the Cambodian genocide. I do remember reading the New York Times Sunday Week in Review headline over the story (I believe by Sydney Schanberg, who later made Dith Pran famous) recounting the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in 1975. The gist of the headline was “For most, a better life.” I knew at the time that that was wrong too, although I don’t recall the Times ever confessing error on the subject. It was unfortunately a rather a large error. (My recollection is that the Times did run significant page-one stories on the Cambodian genocide based on powerful refugee accounts beginning, I believe, in late 1975. I remember the feelings of outrage and powerlessness I felt when reading them, and the anger I felt in hearing sophisticates such as Francene Fitzgerald deprecate the accounts as unreliable because they came from refugees.)
The mention of George Romney’s remark about his having been brainwashed reminds me of the joke Mort Sahl made of it afterwards. He said that Romney didn’t need brainwashing; in his case a light rinse would do. I guess the same was true of me.
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