Nor, sad to say, was the craven response of the Obama administration to Putin’s latest outrage.
It did not even mention the attack on Kashin until two days after it had occurred, and then relegated it to the bowels of the State Department to be interred in a daily press briefing. Not a single word was said about the involvement of the Young Guard in calling for violence against Kashin, so of course the group’s connection to Vladimir Putin was not mentioned either.
Obama himself said nothing. Obama’s chief Russia advisor, Michael McFaul, said nothing.
Senior Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen immediately took Obama to task for once again betraying basic American values and the hopes of those who struggle against Putin’s domination. She demanded:
It is time for President Obama to wake up and recognize the brutal nature of the regime he is dealing with in Moscow and to rethink his “reset” policy with Russia.
But there is no hint that Obama or the treacherous McFaul will do so. That’s why it was so heartening to see the newly empowered Republicans move boldly to block Obama’s appalling nuclear arms treaty with Putin, a treaty that neatly undermines American power while giving Putin the ability to tell his people he has the imprimatur of the White House in carrying out his crackdown.
Make no mistake: people’s lives are on the line, people who are fighting to preserve American values in Russia.
Seeing no response from Obama, Putin will conclude this attack was a success, and he will continue the pattern of using violence to repress journalists and political leaders who dare to challenge him. Just days ago, Putin’s Gestapo raided a bank owned by Alexander Lebedev, publisher of Novaya Gazeta, the nation’s leading opposition voice in print. Pundits are already speculating whether Lebedev is the next Mikhail Khodorkovsky, shortly bound for a Siberian prison cell for daring to challenge the Kremlin’s authority.
The more immediate question is: Who is the next Oleg Kashin? We already know, of course, the identity of the next Neville Chamberlain.