Drunken Mongol Hordes


Interesting interview with Vladimir Putin, including everything from a call for Iran to submit to IAEA inspections to a know-you-are-but-what-am-I rebuttal to claims that he is sharply curtailing civil liberties:

Repeatedly, Mr. Putin used American analogies to drive home his points. Why, he asked, was his wide use of the Russian security services any different from the creation of the Department of Homeland Security? Why should terrorism in Chechnya provoke any lesser response here than America's if the same problems arose in Texas? Why should his former role as a K.G.B. agent prompt concern when the first President Bush was once head of the C.I.A.?

Later, he has this to say about the international force in Iraq:

Mr. Putin ruled out, for now, sending Russian troops to help there and said that although a variety of international military contingents provided political support for America in Iraq, they were not much use in other respects because they "abuse alcohol," "begin to sell weapons" and only thought about "fleeing as soon as possible."

He declined to say which countries' soldiers he had in mind, but described the troops as "motley" rather than multinational. Several dozen nations have contributed to the America-led force in Iraq ? including Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, Portugal and Mongolia ? usually with small contingents.