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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Yearning for Freedom? How “Our” Enemies are Really Viewed by Their People

This essay was originally published in Christian Democracy Magazine.

It seems that foreign leaders who are presented to us as “our” enemies are often better described as the enemies of our ruling elite (I will refer to them as EREs for short), who invite us to share their enmity.  The practice normally involves depicting such leaders as dictatorial and overwhelmingly hated by their own people.  While these portrayals are by no means wholly false – for instance, few would argue that Kim Jong-Un is not a dictator - I use the Iranian and Ukrainian cases in suggesting that EREs are often more popular than we typically imagine, in some cases more so than our own leaders.