. . . Monday September 13, 2004

The Unity of One

Faced with recent terrorist acts, Vladimir Putin is looking to make major changes to the structure of Russian government. As he explains, unity is the key:

“Those who inspire, organize and carry out terrorist acts are striving to disintegrate the country. They strive for the break up of the state, for the ruin of Russia. I am sure that the unity of the country is the main prerequisite for victory over terror.”

Unfortunately, Putin sees taking much more power for himself as the shortest route towards unity. He is pushing a proposal that if adopted would mean the governors and/or presidents in 89 Russian regions would no longer be elected by the public but would instead be assigned to their duties by parliaments (only at the recommendation of Putin).

All of the other important issues aside, one has to ask whether or not this continued effort to give more power to his own office will actually have any impact on terrorism. It is also worth asking if Putin is simply using this moment of uncertainty, fear and anger to push an agenda that has really always been part of his longterm plan (only now he can accuse those who demand their rights and freedoms of being soft on terror and unpatriotic).

It’s difficult for the public to press politicians to avoid taking their countries backwards even at times of great stress. Especially when you have a leader bent on doing just that any which way he can.

Concentration is important!