Monday, July 7, 2003

Bush and Putin seem to have the same problem.

They've both declared their prospective wars over, but evidence overwhelmingly points to the contrary.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the war in Chechnya is over. Chechens voted in a March election, he notes, approving an autonomy plan that keeps the tiny breakaway republic in the Russian Federation. He has scheduled local elections for October and has transferred military operations from the security service to the police.

But the suicide bombings at a Moscow rock festival over the weekend tell a different story. Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing 13 other people. The attacks are the latest in a series of such bombings, many involving women, that have killed dozens of innocent people.

Meanwhile, Russian soldiers perish in daily incidents all over Chechnya. Some 100 to 150 Chechens disappear each month. Many are seized by Russian security forces and never heard from again.

Again, not good. Not good at all. And it sounds a lot like this.

Quagmires? Not in Iraq, at least not yet. I'll give that a few more skeptical months. In Chechnya, oh hell yeah.

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