The recordings from the White House Situation Room include Reagan trying to convince an intractable Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to hold off the pullout of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 1983 until Lebanese forces can replace them; the president discussing the release of Western hostages in the Middle East with Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, and a talk with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, the father of Syria’s current dictator and the original “Butcher of Damascus”— whom he kept waiting for over 13 minutes while he finished up a horseback ride at his California ranch.
we have learned to realize that even the most sophisticated society can still fall prey to an invasion of monsters. It is not public exposure that helps these perverters of human dignity. Rather, it is apathy. Laughter and derision might momentarily embarrass them but in the long run prove no deterrents whatsoever
The letter from which this quote is taken and the entire affair that it applies to is fascinating on many levels.
Many thanks to Letters of Note for highlighting this and in general for adding so much to my daily reading. It’s a tremendous site.