Of all the stories that could potentially be generated from the millions of secret documents recently released by Wikileaks, this one seems to be getting the most attention today. In 1975, in a memo to Washington and the Kissinger-led U.S. State Department, the then-U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Walter Stoessel Jr., suggested that various top musical acts should be entreated to tour in the Soviet Union, apparently with the ultimate goal of weakening the communist system. Names he mentioned included Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Don McLean, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Carly Simon and Carole King. One’s initial reaction has to be that it seems a curious group to be approached to undermine communism in the U.S.S.R., as some would have argued that (at least) one or two on that list were promoting the same thing at home in the U.S.A.. Continue reading Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Don McLean, Joni Mitchell: Anti-Communist Agents?
From an article written in 1986 by P.J. O’Rourke:
Usually, a plane ride gives me some distance on questions of dogma, the way a martini or a lungful of hashish does. We don’t call it “high” for nothing; that was slang three centuries before the Wright brothers. Whatever those microbes down there think is no concern of mine — unless I fly into the Soviet Block. Something’s wrong when harebrained ideas can be spotted from Olympian heights. On the outskirts of Warsaw, the whole countryside is scarred with the gravel pits and gray dust plumes of cement factories. Commies love concrete. Continue reading Commies love concrete