CommunityPam's House Blend

An excellent article in the WP by Robert Kagan highlights how Bush has totally ignored the recent power-grab by Putin in Russia. This is not the expansion of democracy Shrub has been touting. Read this and imagine the Right’s reaction to Clinton if he had been silent on this.

“Vladimir Putin, the aspiring dictator of Russia, has forced President Bush to reveal how committed he really is to the cause of democracy around the world.

Putin’s decision on Monday to end the system of direct popular election of Russia’s governors, and to have the Russian parliament elected on the basis of slates chosen by national party leaders he mostly controls, is an unambiguous step toward tyranny in Russia. It cannot be justified as part of the war on terrorism. Putin has had these plans ready for months. He is cynically using the horrific terrorist attack in Beslan as his excuse.

Nor is there any complexity or fuzziness about the significance of Putin’s actions. Putin is imposing dictatorship the old-fashioned way, in the manner of a Ferdinand Marcos, an Anastasio Somoza or a Park Chung Hee. He claims that he needs to strengthen the state to face its enemies. So did they. Russia does need to fight terrorism. But eliminating elections and quashing Putin’s political opponents has nothing to do with that fight.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding