"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wSaturday, March 02, 2002

NOW THEY GET IT: The cover story of the current Weekly Standard is a milestone, of sorts. Agressively hawkish right wingers have finally decided that Vlad Putin is somebody they can "work with," as the saying goes.

It's about bloody time. Not long ago, they were worrying how to check Russia's supposed emerging power. The more conspiratorial among them, like J.R. Nyquist, who, alas, I used to edit, were even worried that Russia was going to break out its nukes and use those babies. National Review's Rich Lowry damned the Senate Dems as "Putin Democrats."

I rarely write on foreign policy (as my friends will no doubt attest, I sure talk it about it enough though) but this is one instance where I am glad to have been on the record as saying that Vlad's our guy (here and here).

Two incidents tipped me off: 1) He proclaimed loudly before the election that he had been secretly baptized back in the Bad Old Days and that that still meant something to him; and 2) he visited a synagogue to light a Hanukah candle. Anywhere else, such actions would have been commonplace but in Russia they signaled a radical break from the past: from the secularism of Communism and from religious intolerance.

Our man indeed.

posted by Jeremy at 4:52 AM