Putin And Sharon: Bred-In-The-Bone Patriots



Vladimir Putin and Ariel Sharon should have made more of their recent meeting. It was Sharon’s chance to get Putin on his side. Unlike George Bush the internationalist, Putin and Sharon are fierce nationalists who care first and foremost about their respective countries. Both, paradoxically, are under pressure from the U.S. for their treatment of terrorists —the two leaders are expected to make concessions to murderers who kill their civilians, while Bush and the international community make no such allowances for al-Qaida. The Murder Inc. of the Middle East (Hamas) and that of Russia (Chechen terrorists) have pan-Islamic aspirations and ties to al-Qaida. That the Left sympathizes with violent societies like Chechnya and the Palestinian Authority (their July-17 election is predicted to be a shoo-in for Hamas) is to be expected. From the Right one expects better, although it’s certainly a pleasant surprise to read an article in a libertarian publication which, for a change, rejects the root-causes rubbish: “[A] high-violence society does not get that way because of any particular cause or condition,” writes James L. Payne in The Prospects for Democracy in High-Violence Societies. “It is better understood as a society mired in the past, a society that has failed to make the transition away from primitive, counterproductive modes of interaction.”
In any case, a better understanding between Russia and Israel might take the pressure off Sharon to keep making concessions to “Hamastan,” and, perhaps, inject a new dynamic into the current imbalance of power in the world.