Grandmaster Garry Kasparov has become a spokesman for civil society and one of Vladimir Putin's most visible critics.  In Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, he documents the emergence of the latest prison-house of nations.  I'll keep Book Review No. 8 short.  The title presents his thesis, the text provides the details.

One observation might be worth study for extension to other parts of the world.  That is, Yugoslavia began to come apart after Josip Broz Tito died, with ethnic cleansing and other echoes of World War II surfacing (perhaps the first major cracks in the Pax Americana?)

Nobody, either in the Atlantic Alliance, or the Warsaw Pact, actively sought regime change in Yugoslavia.  The strongman dies, and no successor is able to keep the country together.  The generalization to other parts of the world -- would Iraq or Libya or Syria be better off without external encouragement of regime change? -- is left as an exercise.

There's a part of the Yugoslavia story that Grandmaster Kasparov does not take on that's also relevant for understanding international relations.  The Atlantic Alliance's intervention, during the waning days of the Clinton Administration, supposedly to protect Moslems from the Orthodox, did not secure much goodwill with the jihadis plotting in Afghanistan.  It destroyed any goodwill that might have been developing between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia.  Tchaikovsky's Marche Slav, after all, honors a Russian alliance with Serbia, and whose side did Russia take in 1914.  Is it any accident, dear reader, that a Russian nationalist would ascend to the Russian presidency in 1999?

(Cross-posted to Fifty Book Challenge.)

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