In the last several days there have been a number of explosions at subway stations in Russia. Reports suggest that the attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists. The death toll is in the range of sixty people. I express no opinion here one way or the other, but it has been interesting to note and compare the rhetoric and response of Russia to these attacks with that of America to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
On September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush said several things in response to the terrorist attacks, but in his prepared speech that evening he said:
"The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev just days ago said this of the perpetrators of the Moscow bombings:
"They are beasts… Whatever motives they were guided by, what they are doing is a crime by any law and any moral standard. I have no doubt that we will track them down and destroy them."
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said:
"I am confident that law enforcement agencies will do everything to find and punish the criminals. The terrorists will be destroyed."
Are ‘bring them to justice' and 'track them down and destroy them' the same thing? Perhaps they are simply 'different strokes for different folks', as the saying goes. One also wonders whether the 'solution' in Russia will be televised?
“There are a number of things a woman can tell about a man who is roughly twenty-nine years old,
sitting in the cab of a pickup truck at 3:37 in the afternoon on a weekday, facing the Pacific,
writing furiously on the back of pink invoice slips. Such a man may or may not be employed, but
regardless, there is mystery there. If this man is with a dog, then that’s good, because it means he’s capable of forming relationships. But if the dog is a male dog, that’s probably a bad sign, because it means the guy is likely a dog, too. A girl dog is much better, but if the guy is over thirty, any kind of dog is a bad sign regardless, because it means he’s stopped trusting humans altogether. In general, if nothing else, guys my age with dogs are going to be work.
Then there’s stubble: stubble indicates a possible drinker, but if he’s driving a van or a pickup
truck, he hasn’t hit bottom yet, so watch out, honey. A guy writing something on a clipboard
while facing the ocean at 3:37 P.M. may be writing poetry, or he may be writing a letter begging
someone for forgiveness. But if he’s writing real words, not just a job estimate or something
business-y, then more likely than not this guy has something emotional going on, which could
mean he has a soul.”—Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus!
“Please stop putting quotes from Nietzsche at the end of your emails. Five years ago you were laughing your guts out over American Pie 2. What — suddenly you’ve magically turned into Noam Chomsky?”—Douglas Coupland
This is a great example of why the EU parliament is such a good model for emerging democracies to emulate. Time, energy and resources can be spent debating and passing laws which ban the sale of misshapen fruit and veg, and item sure to be high on the priority list in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Look to the EU for leadership in these areas…