Putin produced a copy of Amnesty International’s yearly report condemning the United States conduct in the war on terror. “I have a copy of Amnesty International’s report here, which includes a section on the United States,” he said. “The organization has concluded that the United States IS NOW THE PRINCIPLE VIOLATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS WORLDWIDE.”
He added, “We have a proverb in Russian, ‘Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.’”
Putin is fiercely nationalistic. He has helped to restore Russia’s self-confidence and rebuild the economy. He’s demonstrated a willingness to compromise with the Bush administration on every substantive issue, but he has been repeatedly rebuffed. The last thing he wants is a nuclear standoff with the United States. But he will do what he must to defend his people from the threat of foreign attack. The deployment of the missile defense system will require that Russia develop its own new weapons systems and change its thinking about trusting the United States. Friendship is not possible in the present climate.
As for “democracy”; Putin said it best himself:
“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am, absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone—the only one of my kind in the whole wide world. Just look at what’s happening in North America, it’s simply awful—torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without trial and investigation. Just look at what’s happening in Europe—harsh treatment of demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used first in one capital then in another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died.”
Well said, Vladimir...read more