Opinion Columns & Blogs

April 9, 2014

Pankaj Mishra: Don’t let the laptop generals wage war in Crimea

The Cold War credentialed a kind of “thinker” who cannot think without the help of violently opposed abstractions: good versus evil, freedom versus slavery, liberal democracy versus totalitarianism, and that sort of thing. Forced into premature retirement by the unexpected collapse of communism in 1989, this thinker re-emerged after Sept. 11, convinced there was another worthy enemy in the crosshairs: Islamic totalitarianism. Unchastened by a decade of expensive, counterproductive and widely despised wars, these laptop generals have been trying to reboot their dated software yet again as Russian President Vladimir Putin formalizes his annexation of Crimea.

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