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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Putin's Perception Problem
by Cordeiro
I was going to title this post "Pooty Call" but I thought better of it after a moment of reflection.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is having a rough few months of it. First he makes headlines when, during an address to the Russian Parliament, he stated:

First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.
Yeah, Vlad, in the west we call those tens of million of people "free". Most of the world sees the collapse of the USSR as one of the greatest events in the history of human freedom. I know the transition has been and will continue to be rough, but pining for the past won't help you much.

Then, on 60 Minutes Sunday, Putin bemoaned W's efforts to spread freedom and democracy around the world.

America's democracy isn't so great. Russian voters elect the president, but in America you elect electors, the Electoral College, and you had to have a court decide the outcome in 2000.
I think I've nailed down Vlad's problem. He believes everything he reads in the MSM. This is not surprising. For years KGB agents in the US did little more than rewrite stories from the MSM and transmit them back to Moscow as Intelligence Briefs. For those of you unfamiliar with Putin's past employer, he was a Colonel in the KGB>

But I digress.

Putin sees America through the left slanted perspective of the MSM. He, like many members of the MSM and liberal leftists, has a longing for the glory days of communism. Evidently all these people past the ash heap of history and failed to notice communism on the top heap.

Hopefully W took the time to look into Putin's soul and re-evaluate what he saw there. Then maybe he can explain how the President of the United States doesn't have the power to fire any news anchor, no matter how deserving of the curb Dan Rather was.

Here endeth the lesson.
4 Comment(s):
Do you really believe mostly left-leaning Americans support communism? Do you have any polls or other proof to support this?

I am surprised to see how much you rightfully attack Putin even after W has been so vehement in supporting him before this last visit. If we put this in it time warp back to 2001, W describes him as "an honest, straightforward man who loves his country". Does the fact he is an ex-KGB operative undermine that?

Putin has been back-sliding on democracy for quite some time, and the current US Administration has been very quite during these issues in the past, with Georgia's Election being the obvious exception.
As much as I hate to state the obvious, you need by read the writings of the left leaning Ivory Towered Academics to learn the truthfulness of my assertion. They're sure that, with just a few tweakings, Communism/Socialism or whatever you want to call it would lead to a Worker's Paradise and Global Utopia.

As for the relationship between W and Putin, I think I've made my point rather clear on this issue. In the world of the diplomacy you so vehemently support, you deal with the people sitting at the table. You'll note that right after attending the WWII commemoration in Red Square, W was given a hero's welcome in Georgia - something that no doubt irritated Putin to no end. They see Putin as the oppressor, and W as the liberator.

Freedom is a powerful thing. No amount of communist nostalgia can change that.
"As much as I hate to state the obvious, you need by read the writings of the left leaning Ivory Towered Academics to learn the truthfulness of my assertion."

You're right about that, but don't lump active progressives with sound policy decisions with the Ivory Tower bunch. The right has its share of crazy economists in their own tower as well.

As for the W and Putin relationship, I've haven't seen anything good come of it. At least secure some nuclear material or push economic sanctions on our imports of Russian oil if you're going to treat the guy with so much respect! It is no doubt that Bush prefers treating Putin with white gloves rather than holding his feet to the diplomatic fire.
Here's my two cents about Russia's VE-Day celebration and world leaders attending it.
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