CrackdownIssue: Spring 1991
America is at war, and its citizens are understandably fixated upon events in the Persian Gulf. But that should not blind us to a development of even greater magnitude currently taking place: namely, the Soviet regime's concerted attempt to roll back the liberalizations of the 1980s. We appear to be witnessing the beginning of an ambitious rolling coup, which threatens to spread from the Baltic to the remaining twelve Soviet republics. The Gorbachev "center" seems to have launched a kind of slow-motion civil war against the constituent republics and such pro-democracy elected bodies as the Moscow City Council. In the economic sphere, the Soviet leadership has taken a decisive step away from market reform back toward Brezhnev-era central planning.