After a friend reported that he couldn't find a copy of the notorious image from 1960 of Soviet headman Nikita Khruschev banging his shoe on his desk while speechifying at the United Nations, I decided to have a look at what else he found.
History is indeed being rewritten. People are debating as to whether the image ever existed. Some are trying to prove that the incident never took place.
Having been around in 1960, I recall seeing "film at 11" (or whenever TV network news came on) of Mr K doing his thing with that brogan of his.
But when you search for an image of the Big Commie, what you get are the warm and fuzzy shots, like this one...
I mean, he's right there with his buddyroo Dr Castro who, along with Che Guevara, is one of the heroes of a certain subspecies of American loons.
I may be old, but the mind still works, and I remember the shoe incident as clearly as I remember JFK being showered with undeserved praise after he caved in to the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
I also remember hearing about -- even in school -- Khruschev's famous comment to the West from 1956, which even google is forced to translate as "We will bury you!" That statement, too, is being sanitized and "explained" by a new generation that doesn't understand how divided and tense the world was in those days.
Funny thing. The world is in a similar state of crisis now, only with three combatants -- militant Islam, the USA and the non-Soviet Russians -- but instead of actually taking real, serious steps to protect ourselves against the worst, we have a president who thinks Mr K's spiritual heir, Vladimir Putin, is a "good guy." I'm just waiting for him to say "Pootie, you're doin' a heckuva job."
I'm not really a retread Cold War militarist, believe me. I do, however, believe in being ready to protect ourselves against enemies. And both militant Islamists and the current Russian leadership are enemies.
But in our own current politically correct and highly partisan government, we have no one capable of leading. It's more important to "talk" to the rabid dogs on the planet, more important to be "reasonable" and not safe, to be statesmanlike in the face of genuine threats. As too often happens, we assume our enemies think like we do and play by the same rules we do.
And of course those in power are the first to want to sanitize history to fit their own agendas.
Khruschev did say "Мы вас похороним!" and he did pound his shoe in anger at the UN. Even if, as some suggest, the latter act was premeditated, it remains an iconic example of the man's (and his regime's) crudity and temperament.
Putin is slicker. He snookered Bush and, so far as I can tell, all our elected so-called leaders. But the Teflon Red is just as eager to bury us, and just as capable of crude and murderous actions.
As some philosophical type didn't say (but should have): those who attempt to rewrite history are doomed to repeat it.
53 minutes ago