June 20, 2005 by AK

Putin still got it

One reason why I still can’t get myself to thoroughly, unflinchingly despise President Putin is his quipping abilities, of which he reminds us at times. “It sank” was one of the best responses to a poisonous question I have heard, and I couldn’t help appreciating Putin’s offer to perform a radical circumcision on a Chechenophile journalist “so nothing would grow back — ever.” Now it turns out, having chatted with Tony Blair amidst Russian woods…

In an astonishing outburst, Mr Putin said: “We all know that African countries used to have a tradition of eating their own adversaries.

We don’t have such a tradition or process or culture and I believe the comparison between Africa and Russia is not quite just.”

Yes, it’s only The Sun but it quotes the UK Racial Equality chief’s comments, which means Putin did say something like that. Said chief, Trevor Phillips, complained: “What a preposterous thing to say. He is at best insensitive and at worst a downright racist.” And yet, Putin’s technically correct. There have been cases of cannibalism in Russia, as in times of hunger — natural or manmade — or during sieges. However, no tradition of literally devouring one’s enemies. As for Africa, I’m no expert on the continent, but can I say “Emperor Bocassa” in Putin’s defense?

So Putin managed to tell the truth. Sure thing he was insensitive and crude but who’s kind and sensitive to him and the nation he happens to represent?


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