History’s hinges

Roger Cohen, in the New York Times, wonders whether Tehran this year, or Tiananmen 20 years ago, could have worked out the way a dozen popular uprisings ended across Central Europe in that miraculous autumn of 1989 did: with the good guys winning. He draws no hard conclusions — he’s musing aloud, not browbeating his readers — but it’s a thoughtful and typically eloquent piece by the columnist who is, this year, consistently running rings around other U.S. foreign-policy writers.

Also more than worth your time: the best account I’ve read this week of how it all happened, 20 years ago, in capitals across Europe. From Der Spiegel, which is damned good at this sort of thing.