by Daniel Pipes*
Western diplomats and journalists fell for Stalin’s show trials but eventually learned not to accept developments in the Soviet Union at face value. In the Soviet Union’s later years, a crowd assaulting a foreign embassy would have been assumed to have state approval.
Other autocrats engage in similar tricks and illusions. Indeed, it’s often best to bring the U.S.S.R. to mind while trying to understand tyrannies. Specifically, that was the case concerning the Sep. 9 mob attack against the Israeli embassy in Cairo.