As cosmic coincidences go, the deaths of Václav Havel and Kim Jong Il in the same week the US pulled the last of its troops out of Iraq are hard to ignore. Havel made the exposure of tyranny the great task of his life. Kim was tyranny personified. And the war in Iraq was the bruising leap over the wall of global indifference behind which all tyrannies subsist.
The power of indifference is something I first understood from Havel himself after interviewing him, over a beer, in the gardens of Prague’s Czernin Palace. I asked him about his views on the war in Iraq. He had once supported it, but now he was more tentative. The rationale, he said, had not been “well-articulated.”
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Bret Stephens is a WSJ columnist
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