Imagine that Sarah Palin is on her way to a Tea Party rally in Washington DC, to be held a few blocks from the White House. She stops to autograph a copy of her new book Going Rogue for an adoring fan, and a swarm of FBI agents descends on her. They grab her, rip open her shirt, manhandle her, stuff her into a waiting sedan and whisk her away, denying her the chance to utter a single word at the rally. Her “crime”? Intending to attend and speak at the rally against Obama and his policies.
Though we have little admiration for the followers of Barack Obama, we’re willing to bet that not a single one of them would support such an action. To the contrary, we feel sure they’d condemn it. After all, such actions would be directly contrary to the fundamental principles of liberalism by which Obama is supposed to be governing the country. For sure, they’d flout the very fabric of the U.S. Constitution.
Yet, when exactly this same thing actually happened in Russia, to Boris Nemtsov last week, the adherents of Vladimir Putin did nothing but cheer.
That’s because Russia is a craven, cowardly, uncivilized little country populated by craven, cowardly, uncivilized people. These are people whose grandfathers and grandmothers looked the other way, at best, while Josef Stalin murdered millions of their neighbors. At worst, they joined right in. These are the people who continue to lionize and praise Stalin, the single greatest mass killer of Russians in word history, to this very day.
Encouragingly, the story of Nemtsov’s arrest was widely reported in the West, and even picked up by CNN. Even more encouraging, at least 2 million Russians read the Kremlin-critical report (translated into English by this blog) that caused his arrest, and a strong majority of those who did agreed with its conclusions.
Nemtsov, in other words, is winning — and Vladimir Putin is losing badly. Putin looks like what he is: A crude, ignorant ape who is desperately afraid of any kind of verbal criticism and who can respond to it only with barbaric brute force. He looks like what he is: A relic of the failed Soviet past, the past that brought Russia to her knees before the world. Putin is well on his way to repeating that sorry, sordid history all over again.
His ghastly actions only make Nemtsov stronger. This valiant, charismatic man could easily be making millions in business or on TV, but he has chosen instead to fight for his benighted country, to risk his comfort and indeed his life struggling to push it away from the neo-Soviet abyss.
We applaud Mr. Nemtsov and urge him to continue his indispensable work, which may be Russia’s very last hope. We condemn the criminal acts of Vladimir Putin’s KGB regime in confiscating Mr. Nemtsov’s writings and subjecting him to endless persecution and harassment. We call upon the leaders of the Western democracies to rush to Nemtsov’s defense.