Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Having an off day...

Eve Fairbanks has been very good when she is on target. That said, everyone has moments where they are off. Her post at the Plank concerning Russian President Vladimir Putin is one of them. Here, she's harsh, but she has forgotten the bigger picture. When one looks at the big picture, the whole anti-Russia kick is one that just does not make sense.

There is a big threat we are presently facing. This is state-sponsored terrorism motivated by an extreme form of Islam that is arguably comparable to Christian Identity in terms of its extremism/hatred. And we need folks to help us out. Perhaps the biggest help is Russia, which has a very good intelligence community - and which also has to deal with terrorism motivated by extremist Islam. We have a common foe.

Furthermore, the nature of this foe is such that we need to deal with it quickly before things get to the ugly stage. Not ugly as in tough fights like we have seen in Fallujah, but ugly in the sense of ICBMs taking out cities in response to a WMD attack (for a good explanation, see the comments by Robert A Hahn at Redstate on this thread). It has long been American policy than an attack with WMD will draw a response in kind. When your adversary view those who die in a war as martyrs, deterrence won't work.

The thing about that which really makes it suck is that many of those killed in the likely retaliation will have had nothing to do with the attack in and of itself. Many of these state sponsors of terrorism are dictatorships, either secular or religious in nature.

Look, is Putin an angel? No. I don't think anyone could have been in KGB and not done something that squeamish people will flinch at. But there are also those who make a big deal out of nothing. That Tor-M1 purchase? False hope for Iran (I wrote that Strategypage piece). Five, maybe seven batteries, tops. So Putin is - for all intents and purposes - ripping off our enemies.

And we'll need Russia even more, no matter what happens with Europe. Western Europe has drifted away from us for a while. And no matter if you believe Mark Steyn or Ralph Peters as to what will happen, either way, we will need Russia to counterbalance a more hostile Western Europe (or at least Spain, France, and Germany). That is why Putin gets a pass. We need the Russians.

It's not a disgrace. It's just doing what we have to do to keep the country secure.

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