Monday, October 06, 2003

SHOUT-OUT TO BUSH HATERS: Do you hate President Bush so much that you'll vote for any Democrat to get him out of office? Are you a real Bush hater? If not, Fred Hiatt fives you a very good reason to become one:

The description [see below] of Putin's Russia was so outlandishly fictional, so at odds with the KGB-inspired screw-tightening that has been the hallmark of Putin's regime, that the only possible conclusion was that Bush just doesn't care. Aides said Bush delivered a different message in private. But his public message seemed to be: Stand by my side and proclaim yourself an ally in the war on terror, and all else may be forgiven. You can shut down your media, rig elections, send troops rampaging through Chechnya, and Bush will stay mum.

[...]

Putin pockets his Camp David and Crawford visits and his accolades from his friend George, and then stiffs the United States on Iraq, stiffs the United States on Iran and won't even talk about Chechnya. China hosts a six-nation conference on North Korea, heralded by the administration as a sign of great cooperation, and then attacks the United States as the intransigent party.

[...]

Muslims everywhere know that Putin has been engaged since 1999 in a ruthless campaign against the Muslim population of Chechnya. They know that just yesterday he rigged an election in that rebellious province by forcing every credible candidate but his own to withdraw. When he praises Putin's vision of "democracy and freedom and rule of law in Russia," how can Bush expect anyone to believe that he is any more serious about his own commitment to democracy and freedom in Afghanistan or Iraq?
Hiatt was referring to Putin's visit to Camp David last Saturday, where Bush praised and hailed Russia's anti-democratic and brutal human rights violations:
I respect President Putin's vision for Russia: a country at peace within its borders, with its neighbors, and with the world, a country in which democracy and freedom and rule of law thrive.
And no, he wasn't being sarcastic.

And if you think that Chechnya's recent election (in which—surprise!—Putin-puppet Ahmad Kadyrov "won") wasn't an outright sham and a farce, than I really would like to give you a backhand across the head.

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