Bush administration: The Bush administration differed Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said that only a political settlement could end the crisis between Russia and the breakaway region of Chechnya. The administration also left open the possibility of US meetings with Chechens who are not linked to terrorists.
No, no, no and in case you missed it NO! We should not negotiate with terrorists and we should not expect others to negotiate with terrorists. The so-called “Chechen separatists” were mostly al Qaida linked Arabs. Frankly, we should be encouraging the Russians to do more rather than limiting their response to an internal one. And if this is tit-for-tat over Iraq, it’s just plain wrong. Defending themselves against terrorists is right for the Russians and no matter what the past has been the right thing for us is to support them.
Of course with one of the guys who told Ronald Reagan to take “Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall” out of his speech running the State Department, what can we expect. If 9/11 taught us anything it shouldn’t have been to have better intelligence or better immigration controls, it should have been to get the damn pansies out of the State Department.