September 08, 2004

Oh, Oh Dear, Someone's Venting

The author of this article stops just short of prescribing a group hug and grief counseling:

Tens of thousands of people massed near Red Square on Tuesday to mourn the slain children of Beslan, while President Vladimir V. Putin vented his anger at their killers and, in unusually strong terms, at critics who call for a moderate response.
Which critics are those, I wonder? Hey, anyone bother reading Friedman anymore? Can anyone tell me if dear Thomas has proposed a Chechnya peace plan complete with laborious metaphors involving a grocer and an obstetrician yet?
"Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?" he said, according to The Guardian. "You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?"
Remind me to tell you sometime about the Russian guy I hooked up with via a dating service once. It isn't intelligent or useful to take a handful of dates with one Russian guy and draw conclusions about the leader of the entire country, so I won't really do that here.

But let's just say there's something in the force of Putin's words that is not entirely alien to me.

How cute is it that the Guardian and the NYT are shocked by Putin's "fury?" They forget, maybe, that they're talking to a man who runs the media in his neck of the woods, a man who has the papers writing puff pieces about how ladies love cool P, for crying out loud. (Can you imagine anyone in the press stateside doing that with G-Dub? FOX News doesn't count.) My point is, this guy's had the luxury in recent years of not having to deal with a media cross-examination . . . particularly not such a stupid media cross-examination.

(By the way: Does anyone note any familiar themes in this fine piece of handwringing? Note the "yes, it was horrible, BUT . . . ." structure of the piece. We've seen that before, yes? Is there like one basic outline they all pass around for this sort of thing?)

There's been plenty of recent discussion around the blog world over whether Putin is truly an ally of the U.S. He's no beacon of light and bringer of freedom to his country, and how much we should trust him I do not know.

But he's right on the money about the terrorists, and I'll wager he's right on the money about how to handle them.

And I don't think rectifying "root causes" will be a central part of his plan.

Posted by Ilyka at September 8, 2004 06:46 AM in news