THE WASHINGTON POST AND DOUBLE STANDARDS. In the midst of apologizing for Pinochet, The Washington Post drops this bombshell while apologizing for Pinochet-apologist Jeane Kirkpatrick:

The contrast between Cuba and Chile more than 30 years after Mr. Pinochet's coup is a reminder of a famous essay written by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the provocative and energetic scholar and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who died Thursday. In "Dictatorships and Double Standards," a work that caught the eye of President Ronald Reagan, Ms. Kirkpatrick argued that right-wing dictators such as Mr. Pinochet were ultimately less malign than communist rulers, in part because their regimes were more likely to pave the way for liberal democracies. She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.

Wow, what might be a counterexample to this. Oh, I don't know -- maybe all of formerly-communist-and-now-NATO'd-up Eastern Europe? What should be obvious to the Post is the fact that Kirkpatrick presented a particularly venal reorientation of policy away from the emphasis on human rights that the Post edit page usually hectors the left for allegedly not supporting.

--Spencer Ackerman