Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Posters above have pointed out similarities between the behavior of Russian officials and Dick Cheney with his motorcades. While such similarities exist, and the presidential and vice-presidential motorcades as they are now executed in the US are completely out of place in a democracy, having spent some time in post-Soviet Russia, I can say that the democratic spirit, with its idea that everyone is equal under the law, is considerably less developed in Russia than in the US.

Should Americans be consoled by this? I don't think so. It is well known that Russia did not participate in the Enlightenment (Catherine the Great's correspondence with Voltaire notwithstanding). In contrast, the US, with its liberalism and ideas of natural rights, is generally considered to be an outgrowth of the Enlightenment, and America, in Baudrillard's words, to have been "born modern", in contrast to Russia's inability to this day to fully leave a medieval set of attitudes.

My point is: given that America was once considered the beacon of modernity, while Russia's backwardness compared to "the West" has always been a given, it's being so natural today to compare the state of lawlessness in America to that in Russia is a sad testament indeed to how low America has fallen.

If only European elites began to realize this.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Thu Feb 16th, 2006 at 02:08:21 AM EST

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