Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Person of the Year 2007

It was (and still is) my intention to keep this blog purely wine-related. However this is something I feel very strongly about and so I felt compelled to blog about it.

Vladimir Putin was recently announced as the Time Magazine person of the year for 2007. Nothing wrong with that as he fits right in with a number of previous 'winners' including Osama Bin Ladin and Adolph Hitler. What really ground my gears, so to speak, was the reasons behind Time Magazines choice.

According to the magazine Putin was chosen because he has brought Russia much needed stability despite the costs of freedom. Apparently he has brought Russia back the brink of world power. The Time goes on to say that "if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin." And that is exactly what really gets me. Apparently the West has no problem with stability over human rights issues such as freedom of press, ideas, democracy etc. On the issue of Checnya Russia is allowed to do whatever it likes hiding behind the excuse that it is fighting terrorism and the West seems to have no problem with that. And just because Russia has oil?

Some time ago I read the book Putin's Russia and I was both amazed and horrified at the way things are handled in Russia. It would not surprise me if the average citizen would feel that they would have been better off under Communism than the current democracy. And while the Checnyans are not totally innocent, their fight is a legitimate one.

Anyway since 2007 is drawing to a close I would like to nominate my person of the year for 2007, Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya who was shot to death on the 7th of October 2006. I feel it is appropriate to remember her a little over a year after her death.

Politkovskaya, a fearless crusader for human rights who deserves far more recognition for her fight.

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