Sunday, June 22, 2008

From Russia with Love

Last week, Boston Brahmin had the opportunity to read a book because of a
transcontinental flight. And a fantastic thriller it was, too:

Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith, is a murder mystery set in Stalin's Soviet Union, around 1953. In the workers' paradise that is the USSR, there's no such thing as murder; the only criminals are those who are enemies of the state. The state is actually more horrible than a serial murderer.

But what's more horrible still is today's Russia--- Putin's Russia. See an Op-Ed in today's Washington Post by a courageous journalist, Julia Latynina. This article was translated from the Russian. It talks about the clear impunity of Putin's thugs:

The right to commit crime has become part of official privilege. If the victim doesn't raise a fuss, no one is punished. If the victim appeals to the public, he or she is harshly punished. The very fact of appealing to the public is perceived as a challenge to the regime.

(Link to Washington Post op-ed.)
The comparison with Stalin's Soviet state is chilling. Or, it should be, but it isn't.