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Sunday, September 05, 2004

World War IV: The Chechen Front
Putin's speech has been under reported. It is self seaching and in its own way as profound as President Bush's September 14th 2001 speech.
Above is the translated text from The New York Times. Here are a couple of excerpts.

It is a difficult and bitter task for me to speak. A horrible tragedy happened in our land. During these last few days, each one of us suffered immensely, having all that happened in the Russian city of Beslan run through our hearts. We were confronted not just by murderers, but those who used their weapons against defenseless children.

And another, incredibly introspective and poignant:

We all expected changes, changes for the better, but found ourselves absolutely unprepared for much that changed in our lives. The question is why. We live in conditions of a transitional economy and a political system that do not correspond to the development of society. We live in conditions of aggravated internal conflicts and ethnic conflicts that before were harshly suppressed by the governing ideology.

We stopped paying due attention to issues of defense and security. We allowed corruption to affect the judiciary and law enforcement systems. In addition to that, our country, which once had one of the mightiest systems of protecting its borders, suddenly found itself unprotected either from West or East.

And finally, this:

We cannot but see the evident: we are dealing not with separate acts of intimidation, not with individual forays of terrorists. We are dealing with the direct intervention of international terror against Russia, with total and full-scale war, which again and again is taking away the lives of our compatriots.

All the world's experience shows that such wars do not end quickly. In these conditions, we simply cannot, we should not, live as carelessly as before.

We must create a more effective security system, and demand from our law enforcement agencies actions adequate in level and scale to the new threats.

But what is more important is a mobilization of the nation before the general threat. Events in other countries prove that terrorists meet the most effective rebuff where they confront not only the power of the state but also an organized and united civil society

Profound words, from an old, yet also new Ally.

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