Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, How We Misremember the Cold War

The Cold War was the organizing principle of American foreign policy, and had a strong influence on domestic policy as well, for almost half a century.  Today, less than two decades after its end, the Cold War is poorly remembered.  The equivalence which some have suggested between the threat of Jihadist terror and that represented by the USSR, and the almost ubiquitous comparisons between Saddam Hussein and Stalin from those trying to drum up support for the Iraq war are just some examples of this.  These comparisons are not so much wildly inaccurate, Jihadist terror represents a real threat to the U.S., and Hussein was much worse than your garden variety dictator, but they betray an intellectual laziness and failure to understand the true nature, and, for quite a long time, power of the Soviet regime.