Friday, June 30, 2006

Putin Orders Iraqi Hostage Killers Destroyed. Wait for the Outrage 

Although Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, may have a lot of shortcomings -- bad human rights record, economic difficulties, a last name I could pronounce in English either Pootin or Pyutin -- but as an American and an Israeli, I kind of have to respect his strong, deterrent, almost Wild West Cowboy-ish response to the murder of four Russians in Iraq:

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's special services to hunt down and "destroy" the killers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq, the Kremlin said.

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service -- the main successor to the Soviet KGB -- later said that everything would be done to ensure that the killers "do not escape from responsibility," the Interfax news agency reported.

"The president has ordered the special forces to take all necessary measures to find and destroy the criminals who killed Russian diplomats in Iraq," the Kremlin press service said in a brief statement.
We aren't yet at the point of hearing about insurgents' bodies turning up with their heads lying next to them in a sack, tattoed with some Russian profanity, but it looks like that is coming. I, naive as I am, actually believe such a thing might gently encourage other insurgents within Iraq to restrict any future freedom-fighting to the beheading of less volatile targets, like Iraqis and Brits and Americans, not Russians. While Putin's stand is a bit on the brutal side compared to the usual sternly worded letter calling for restraint and respect for human rights, I'll leave the hand-wringing and finger-wagging about this to the Russian Left.

Hold on. Where in the world is the Russian Left? How is it possible to read through an entire story in which innocent Islamic insurgents are threatened with extra-legal bodily violence, and there is not a peep of protest reported from moonbats, academics, diplomats or movie stars. It's as if, well, as if what Putin is doing was actually OKAY. This is worrisome. What will become of Russian society without knee jerk leftist sentiments to keep it from acting in its own interests?

Perhaps the American Left could be sent to Siberia, to open a training camp that will develop a new generation of Russian Leftist gadflies who will put a stop to such outrages (by outrage, I mean what Putin plans, not the killing of Russian diplomats). We would know the Russian Left has finally arrived if stories like this included some of the moral context we have become acccustomed to:
Only when we start to hear these kinds of promising developments will we begin to have hope that Russia can develop the sane kind of liberal democracy we've all grown to know and love.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: