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  Nr. 4203 de luni, 7 aprilie 2008 
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EDITORIAL
Putin, the modern tyrant, and his admirers
The NATO summit in Bucharest will remain famous for the Romanian analysts' wrong or even aberrant perceptions. I would have expected anything to happen, except for a cult for the personality of the skilled Moscow tyrant called Vladimir Putin. But we can understand Russia's fate, if we can fancy General Iulian Vlad or, even worse, an ex political police officer like Ilie Merce headed post-communist Romania. The ex officers of the Securitate (Communist Secret Service in Romania) are unsanctioned for their abuses and they can even continue to see to their business. But they are at least pointed to. As for Russia, it is overtly led by ex KGB officers. We are complaining about the way elections are held in Romania, but we forget that ever since 1996 election brings a different government. In Russia it is always the same group who wins, the one in power ever since 1991, a group who hasn't parted with the past radically. The gretest complaint about the freedom of the Romanian press has ended up with libel and offence no longer categorized as crimes, whereas the somehow independent journalists in Russia are assassinated one after the other. But Vladimir Putin came to Bucharest, he mocked Western democracies, still journalists and analysts have been elated with admiration and cheered him! Something is rotten in Romania!
The idea to compare Vladimir Putin to George W. Bush in order to highlight the superiority of the former is ridiculous. There are enough Americans taking W. for the worst President in the last century, if not in America's whole history. Even so, take a look at the US elections and the Russian ones! Vladimir Putin chose his successor in Moscow and now he will probably go back to a PM seat. In Washington D.C., Bush junior hasn't interefered in the electoral competition at all, therefore suspense and incertitude on the future US President are still considerable. When Boris Eltin chose Vladimir Putin to be his successor, the future of a country headed by the ex chief of the KGB's successor, a KGB member himself, became clear. The illusions about Russia's democratization have faded away ever since.
Behind the visible admiration for vladimir Putin there is hidden the growing anti-Americanism in Romania. Romania wanted to join NATO and get strategic advantages, but it dislikes the obligation to share risks such as the missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Moreover, although the strategic partnership with the US was a means for Romania to exit the great zone for a long time, after September 11, 2001 Romania got to be displeased with its involvement in the Iraqi war.
Such state of discontent with the Americans and the anxiety about Vladimir Putin seem to be working on a change of attitude, on another August 23. Bush junior will soon cease to be a President. The anti-American fighters from several parts of the world have explained their resentments, outlining their disagreement with the Bush Administration. But let's wait and see how they will explain them when America gets a new President, a democrat or a republican one.
Let's see if, after the political trick Vladimir Putin used to keep power, Romanians will continue to admire the skilled KGB member whose hidden fortune is estimated to be larger than the fortune of the world's greatest capitalists. We are in the habit of boasting about our moral tandards, but we dump them every time petty economy interests are involved. I can bet the Romanians will participate in the China Olympics, no matter the number of victims effecting from the terror practised by the Beijing government. Journalists may as well continue to die in Russia, for the admiration for tyrant Putin won't diminish. What should there happen for the scales to fall off some people's eyes?
Dan PAVEL 
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