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June 11, 2004
Putin: I Scoff At Your Moral Outrage

Russian President Vladimir Putin dipped his toes into American politics yesterday after being asked about Russia's presence at the G-8 summit. Obviously, Putin has no qualms about swimming in deep waters, as he used the question to dive into Democratic objections to the Iraq War, revealing barely-submerged resentment over a previous Democratic administration's decision to go to war without UN approval:

Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into the U.S. political campaign on Thursday, saying the Democrats had "no moral right" to criticize President Bush over Iraq. The Kremlin leader, answering a reporter's question in Sea Island, Georgia, suggested that the Democrats were two-faced in criticizing Bush on Iraq since it had been the Clinton administration that authorized the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia by U.S. and NATO forces. ...

He went on: "I am deeply convinced that President Bush's political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq because they did exactly the same. It suffices to recall Yugoslavia. Now look at them. They don't like what President Bush is doing in Iraq."

Remind me again -- which party supposedly holds the high moral ground in working with the international community? Which executive acted "unilaterally" and "defied international law"? I don't think that Putin intends on endorsing Bush with this statement -- after all, he no more approved Bush's actions in Iraq than he did the bombing of Yugoslavia -- but he points out a tremendous hypocrisy among the opposition this year, especially from the Madeline Albright-William Cohen crowd.

The Democrats seem to have a real amnesia about Yugoslavia, and it's one they keep repressing, and for good reason. In Yugoslavia, we acted on behalf of France and Germany, who lacked the will and the firepower to do much about Milosevic. At the time, both countries had not one objection to the lack of UN approval for the military action -- in fact, because of Russia's certain veto, they actively recommended avoiding the UN. And for those who complain that Bush had no plan for the end of the war, I'd remind everyone that Iraq will have its sovereignty back in less than three weeks, while to this day no one involved in Kosovo can decide whether it should even be independent. Nine years after our Balkan adventure began, we're still there, and we still have no plan to get out of the area. By the Clinton standard, Iraq practically looks like Grenada.

Too bad that it takes a Russian politician to remind Americans of their own recent history.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 11, 2004 7:59 AM

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» Gorbachev and Putin: What They Said and Why it Matters from Irreconcilable Musings
An interesting dichotomy is revealed in the comments of former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and current Russian President Vladimir Putin. One is willing to call a spade a spade, while the other seeks to obfuscate what should otherwise be [Read More]

Tracked on June 11, 2004 3:03 PM

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