Putin's Coup: Learning from Bush and 9/11

Revolutionary Worker #1253, October 3, 2004, posted at http://rwor.org

Within days after the massacre in Belsan, Russian President Putin announced a series of sweeping policy changes. He announced that governors would be appointed by the president and no longer elected by popular votes. On the ground in Chechnya, the Russian army and their allied forces launched a new wave of death-squad and military terror against the people of Chechnya. And Putin's government announced that, from now on, Russia's armed forces would be acting aggressively on the world stage--attacking whenever and wherever they chose.

And all of this was justified (of course) in the name of a "global war on terrorism."

In short, Putin has "pulled a George Bush"!

He is exploiting the public shock and horror following an attack to carry out a sweeping agenda that he had long wanted to pursue, just as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell did after September 11.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia now saw itself on a par, globally, with the U.S., "Russia will strike terrorists where it considers it necessary and the USA will strike them where it considers it necessary."

Seeing this from their own imperialist interests, the U.S. government was not pleased with any of these announcements.

Bush (whose government has rounded people up after 9/11, and held them without charges or trial) lectured Putin with stunning hypocrisy: ``As governments fight the enemies of democracy, they must uphold the principles of democracy.''

The same White House that announced the "Bush Doctrine" of pre-emptive war thinks Russia's government should not assert the same imperialist right to attack people anywhere without warning. Apparently, the U.S. thinks such a doctrine is reserved for the "world's only superpower."

September 11, 2001 was an excuse for the U.S. to declare itself the self-righteous ruler and punisher of the whole world. It was the moment when the U.S. government announced unprecedented changes and police powers in their "homeland" and launched a series of attacks and invasions around the world. But those rules of the U.S. don't believe (not for a second!) that other powers have a right to imitate them--even if they claim to be allies in the same so-called "global war on terrorism."