COMMENT POSTED TO A BOOK REVIEW BY MARTIN PENGELLY IN THE GUARDIAN
"… a man whose motives might genuinely be described as good who ended up working against his own country"
I've always thought that was true of all the famous Cambridge spies.
I do think there were a number of thoughtful men who did not want the United States to completely dominate the planet.
It is easy to forget that in the late 1940s and into the 1950s, America's military was literally keen to obliterate as much of Russia with nuclear weapons as possible.
That horrible attitude continued into the 1960s when the Pentagon presented just such a plan, a massive first strike, to John Kennedy, who said he left the room sick to his stomach.
You did not have to delude yourself about Stalin - although, undoubtedly some did - to want to prevent complete American domination.
If we think dictators are undesirable for a single country, how much more so for the whole world?
And Lord Acton's profound words about absolute power remain as true today as when first set down.
This matter remains a critical issue to this day, as we can see from events in Eastern Europe and in Syria.
We have, thank God, a multi-polar world emerging so that a single bully will not be able to direct everyone, but it will still take a little time.
It is essentially that fact, a change underway in the world's power balance, that today makes the American establishment so ragingly angry at Russia and China.
Stalin's "humint" was the best anyone ever had.
But he was so paranoid he didn't trust a good deal of it.
A little like the ancient Greek's tale of Cassandra.