Berlusconi goes Down
Vladimir Putin’s best pal, Italian ruler Silvio Berlusconi, was indicted by prosecutors last week for buying sex from a child and for theft. He already faces numerous charges for official corruption. His immunity from prosecution has been lifted. He’s going down, and he’s going down fast.
To say the least, we are not surprised.
To say the least, Putin is guilty of at least as much public and private corruption as his bosom pal Berlusconi, ought to be facing at least as much attention from Russian prosecutors. Revelations about the personal palaces Putin is building for his golden years alone ought to be enough to justify this . That it isn’t happening is a testimony to the vast differences in civilization between Russia and Italy.
Instead of disciplining Vladimir Putin as Italy is doing, Russian are only giving this madman more power. As we report in our lead editorial, Putin is recklessly reviving th worst, most arbitrary and crazed acts of the USSR. He is banning foreign journalists, banning foreign holidays, banning foreign time itself. He is driving out the last vestiges of modern democratic civilization from his country, and his citizens are not lifting a finger to stop him.
Let’s be clear: Italy is a democratic country with a vibrant press corps and fully developed pluralism, which limits the power of the national ruler. But Russia, with absolutely no serious checks on Putin either in terms of divided power, opposition politics or journalism, is a black void, and the world really has no clear idea about the true scope of the corruption in which Putin is personally engaged. In all likelihood, the horrific acts Putin carries out on a daily basis make Berlusconi look like Mother Theresa.
But you can judge a man by his friends. Berlusconi is one of Putin’s very closest confidants, and he’s a shameless criminal who has abused his office in every way imaginable. Putin is the same. If the people of Russia do not take steps to rein him in, Putin will destroy Russia just as Brezhnev and his ilk destroyed the USSR.