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An Open Letter to the Heads of State and Government Of the European Union and NATO
Project for the New American Century ^ | October 6, 2004

Posted on 10/06/2004 2:18:34 PM PDT by RWR8189

As citizens of the Euro-Atlantic community of democracies, we wish to express our sympathy and solidarity with the people of the Russian Federation in their struggle against terrorism. The mass murderers who seized School No. 1 in Beslan committed a heinous act of terrorism for which there can be no rationale or excuse. While other mass murderers have killed children and unarmed civilians, the calculated targeting of so many innocent children at school is an unprecedented act of barbarism that violates the values and norms of our community and which all civilized nations must condemn.

At the same time, we are deeply concerned that these tragic events are being used to further undermine democracy in Russia. Russia's democratic institutions have always been weak and fragile. Since becoming President in January 2000, Vladimir Putin has made them even weaker. He has systematically undercut the freedom and independence of the press, destroyed the checks and balances in the Russian federal system, arbitrarily imprisoned both real and imagined political rivals, removed legitimate candidates from electoral ballots, harassed and arrested NGO leaders, and weakened Russia's political parties. In the wake of the horrific crime in Beslan, President Putin has announced plans to further centralize power and to push through measures that will take Russia a step closer to authoritarian regime.

We are also worried about the deteriorating conduct of Russia in its foreign relations. President Putin's foreign policy is increasingly marked by a threatening attitude towards Russia's neighbors and Europe's energy security, the return of rhetoric of militarism and empire, and by a refusal to comply with Russia's international treaty obligations. In all aspects of Russian political life, the instruments of state power appear to be being rebuilt and the dominance of the security services to grow. We believe that this conduct cannot be accepted as the foundation of a true partnership between Russia and the democracies of NATO and the European Union.

These moves are only the latest evidence that the present Russian leadership is breaking away from the core democratic values of the Euro-Atlantic community. All too often in the past, the West has remained silent and restrained its criticism in the belief that President Putin's steps in the wrong direction were temporary and the hope that Russia would soon return to a democratic and pro-Western path. Western leaders continue to embrace President Putin in the face of growing evidence that the country is moving in the wrong direction and that his strategy for fighting terrorism is producing less and less freedom. We firmly believe dictatorship will not and cannot be the answer to Russia's problems and the very real threats it faces.

The leaders of the West must recognize that our current strategy towards Russia is failing. Our policies have failed to contribute to the democratic Russia we wished for and the people of this great country deserve after all the suffering they have endured. It is time for us to rethink how and to what extent we engage with Putin's Russia and to put ourselves unambiguously on the side of democratic forces in Russia. At this critical time in history when the West is pushing for democratic change around the world, including in the broader Middle East, it is imperative that we do not look the other way in assessing Moscow's behaviour or create a double standard for democracy in the countries which lie to Europe's East. We must speak the truth about what is happening in Russia. We owe it to the victims of Beslan and the tens of thousands of Russian democrats who are still fighting to preserve democracy and human freedom in their country.

    Urban Ahlin    Madeleine K. Albright   Giuliano Amato   

Uzi Arad      Timothy Garton Ash    Anders Aslund

Ronald D. Asmus      Rafael L. Bardaji     Wladyslaw Bartoszewski

Arnold Beichman       Jeff Bergner          Joseph R. Biden     

Carl Bildt           Max Boot         Ellen Bork

Pascal Bruckner          Mark Brzezinski         Reinhard Buetikofer

Janusz Bugajski         Michael Butler          Martin Butora         

Daniele Capezzone        Per Carlsen        Gunilla Carlsson      

Ivo Daalder         Massimo D'Alema          Pavol Demes   

Larry Diamond          Peter Dimitrov           Thomas Donnelly

    Nicholas Eberstadt    Uffe Elleman-Jensen   Helga Flores Trejo

Francis Fukuyama      Jeffrey Gedmin    Bronislaw Geremek    

Carl Gershmann        Marc Ginsberg          Andre Glucksmann

Phil Gordon        Karl-Theodor von und zu Guttenberg

Istvan Gyarmati           Pierre Hassner       Vaclav Havel      

Richard C. Holbrooke      Toomas Ilves        Bruce Jackson  

Donald Kagan         Robert Kagan        Craig Kennedy     

Glenys Kinnock        Bernard Kouchner       Jerzy Kozminski

Ivan Krastev         William Kristol        Girts Valdis Kristovskis

Ludger Kuehnhardt       Mart Laar       

Vytautas Landsbergis        Stephen Larrabee

Mark Leonard    Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger  

Tod Lindberg        Tom Malinowski      

Will Marshall          Margarita Mathiopoulos 

Clifford May       John McCain         Michael McFaul

Matteo Mecacci        Mark Medish        Thomas O. Melia

Sarah E. Mendelson          Michael Mertes         Ilir Meta       

Adam Michnik          Richard Morningstar        Joshua Muravchik
Klaus Naumann          Dietmar Nietan         James O'Brien      

Janusz Onyszkiewicz       Cem Ozdemir         Can Paker      

Mark Palmer         Martin Peretz        Friedbert Pflueger   

Danielle Pletka       Florentino Portero        Samantha Ravich     

    Janusz Reiter     Alex Rondos        Jim Rosapepe 

Jacques Rupnik      Eberhard Sandschneider  

Randy Scheunemann         Christian Schmidt

Gary Schmitt       Simon Serfaty       Stephen Sestanovich

Radek Sikorski          Stefano Silvestri        
Martin Simecka     

Gary Smith          Abraham Sofaer         James Steinberg

Gary Titley           Ivan Vejvoda         Sasha Vondra 

Celeste Wallander       Ruth Wedgood       Richard Weitz  

Kenneth Weinstein          Jennifer Windsor         
R. James Woolsey 


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: albright; beslan; bork; ellenbork; eu; europe; johnmccain; kagan; kremlin; madelinealbright; mccain; nato; neocon; neocons; neoconservatism; neoconservative; neoconservatives; pnac; putin; russia

1 posted on 10/06/2004 2:18:35 PM PDT by RWR8189
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To: RWR8189

This is not 1914 or 1933 ... Albright & Co. would love to see european and americans parade though the streets announcing "breakfast in Moscou" ... this is 2004 - this time it's different

2 posted on 10/06/2004 2:31:46 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: Truth666

The who's who of bombing Christians and pandering to Islam. And with their pathetic records of the 90's they preach? This is like Carter lecturing Bush on failed presidencies...well Carter should know seeing what a mess he was and still is. Hypocrits.

3 posted on 10/06/2004 3:06:40 PM PDT by jb6 (Truth = Christ)
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To: Destro; A. Pole; FormerLib; Honorary Serb


4 posted on 10/07/2004 6:03:18 AM PDT by jb6 (Truth = Christ)
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To: jb6; MarMema; RussianConservative; A. Pole
PHOOEY on Mad Halfbright and the other "human rightsers", Serbophobes, Russophobes, Orthodox-haters, militant secularists, and pseudo-intellectual elitists of the so-called "international community" who have signed onto this HORRIBLE letter!!!!

What Putin is doing is kicking out the Soros and "human rightser" system from Russia, pure and simple!!!! NATO and Western Europe are MORTALLY SICK, and their disease is the cancer of "human rightserism"!!!! Putin is merely being a good surgeon and cutting the same cancer out of the body of Russia.

Our own America has this cancer, too, but it is relatively small and there is still time to cut it out without disrupting our traditional democratic insistutions (unless we make the mistake of electing Kerry/Soros). Let's do it!!!!

5 posted on 10/07/2004 7:07:57 AM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kerry is an empty suit, and Soros is his puppet-master!)
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