Saturday, December 25, 2004

Chess champ warns of Putin dictatorship Inside Cover Story:
"'Perhaps Western leaders agree with last week's New York Times editorial that made the stunning assertion that 'a fascist Russia is a much better thing than a Communist Russia,' [Garry] Kasparov wrote [in the WSJ]. 'I hope I am allowed to order something not on that menu.'"

It may be too late to do much about the consolidation of dictatorship in Russia. We have gone a long way to alienate Putin by our stands on the Ukranian election and the re-nationalization of the Russian oil industry. While the former was the only principled position to take, the latter was not worth making more enemies in the Kremlin. It is Russia's unhappy fate to be torn between seeing itself as the bringer on Western culture to the East and being seen by Europe as an eastern dagger pointed at Europe's heart.

While we must take Kasparov's warning seriously for our own safety as well as the interests of the Russian people, it is not likely that there is much we can do to alter the course of events in a favorable direction.


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