Monday, January 3, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Attorney Jonathan Emord
January 3, 2011

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is one of the world’s most brutal and repressive dictators, similar in many respects to Adolph Hitler. He rules Russia with an iron fist, crushing opposition and depriving Russians of freedom whenever that freedom expresses itself in opposition to his policies. He employs his military, military intelligence, and secret services to terrorize and kill political opponents and to prop up his fascistic regime. He condones widespread corruption and graft.

In 2001, President George Bush revealed his own intellectual impoverishment when he proclaimed following a brief meeting with then President Vladimir Putin that he greatly admired the man because, as Bush put it, he had a “sense of his soul.” Never one quick to admit a mistake, Bush recently stated in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that Putin had “changed” from a good to a bad man since 2001. No, Mr. President, Putin has known and has liked evil since at least 1975 when—fresh out of the university—he joined the KGB and helped hunt down, abuse, and remove political dissidents within the Soviet Union. Putin and repression are best buddies. It is shameful that Bush embraced Putin despite (or perhaps ignorant of) Putin’s sordid past. He helped advance that dictators brutal and repressive regime by treating him as an ally.

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal may have given the best summary of Putin’s regime when he defined the man as a despot, identified Russia under Putin as a fascistic state, and equated Putin’s nationalization of the means of production as the equivalent of Adolph Hitler’s national socialism.

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