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July 10, 2006

Double Standards in Russia and the New York Times

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The Russian government announced today that they had succeeded in killing Shamil Basayev, a Chechen rebel leader. Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Basayev's killing as "just retaliation." It was just last month that another Chechen leader, Abdul Khalim Saidullayev was eliminated by the Russian military. And a week and a half ago, President Vladimir Putin instructed his military to "destroy" the Iraqi terrorists responsible for the execution of four Russian hostages.

How hypocritical is the Russian government? Russia has consistently condemned Israel for its targeted killings of terrorist leaders. After Israel assassinated Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the leader of Hamas, in 2004, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko proclaimed that:

Russia has repeatedly stressed the unacceptability of extrajudicial settling of scores and "targeted killings."

Russia also voted for a failed UN Security Council resolution in 2004 to condemn Israel's assassination of terrorist leader Ahmed Yassin. The vote was to:

Condemn the most recent extrajudicial execution committed by Israel...and call for a complete cessation of extrajudicial executions.

Why do the Russians believe that it is OK for them to assassinate terrorist leaders, but unacceptable for Israel to do so?

This pernicious double standard pervades the discourse about Israel and is seen in the media as well. After the U.S. assassinated terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, the New York Times lauded that airstrike in an editorial (“Death of a Terrorist,” 6/9/06) as “good news for Washington, and even better news for Iraq.” But after Israel’s assassination of terrorist leader Ahmed Yassin in Gaza, the same Times harshly criticized the Israeli government and urged the U.S. to take a strong stand against it (“Death in Gaza,” 3/23/04).

Russia and the New York Times seem to be in perfect agreement when it comes to telling Israel how to defend itself.

Posted by at July 10, 2006 02:10 PM

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Comments

Why do the Russians believe that it is OK for them to assassinate terrorist leaders, but unacceptable for Israel to do so?

Hmmmmm.....could it be because Israelis are Jews? Naaaaaaaah!

Posted by: Myackie [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 10, 2006 06:49 PM

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