Friday, August 15, 2008
The True Face of the Enemy is Revealed
It's not the communists, the Muslims, not even the radical ones. It's not even the "secular progressives". Communists, extremist Muslims, Born Again Christians and progressives can all live peacefully in the same apartment building in most any city in the U.S. . The real battle is, and always has been, the rule of force vs. the rule of law.
The motley crew described above could co-habitate in downtown Chicago because in the eyes of the court, they are equal. No one can initiate the use of force on another with impunity.
The re-emergence of Soviet-style Russia illustrates the face of the rule of Force. Putin is no longer President, but he's still The Man. He still controls the goons. The Politiboro has given him and Russian defense and intelligence agencies the license to kill. That is, they are authorized to kill anyone who is deemed a threat to the country (like nosey reporters, people investigating the death of said reporters and unworthy political candidates). Russia has not only overrun Georgia in a very well planned out "rope a dope", but has actually threatened Poland with a nuclear strike.
The Russians are certainly not extremist Jihadists, but the underlying principal is the same. Instill fear. Rule by force. I've always thought the leaders of the Jihad are more gangster than religion. In Russia, gangsters also rule. The economy is largely controlled by an organized crime organization known as the Russian Business Network.
Rule by force cannot coexist with rule of law. Rule by force requires that there be those who are above the law, who are the law. The time is coming when the world will have to choose one or the other. Most of the world will choose not to choose, giving the upper hand to Rule of Force by default. Fortunately, history has shown it's not always just a numbers game.
The question at hand is, do we accomodate the Russian's desire for more territory and more control in the name of some semblance of order and non-confrontation, or do we call them out? I'm not saying launch the missiles...yet. I mean actions like those taken by Poland, announcing that they will house a missile defense shield, forcing the Russians to put their intentions on display. Maybe demanding that Russia be booted from the G8 or we leave the G8. We should take deliberate actions with no pretense that this is all some kind of misunderstanding, but that we fully recognize the game they're playing and we will not allow it.
We need to make clear to the citizens of Russia who have put Putin and company on a pedestal and turned them into rock stars, exactly what the stakes are here.