Putin Gets It

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin had some choice words for a reporter from the French newspaper Le Monde. When asked some pointed questions about Russia’s actions in Chechnya, Putin said that the reporter was welcome to go to Russia and covert to Islam – a statement that seemed to puzzle the reporters at the conference.

Putin also proved that he understands the threat of Islamic radicalism on the future of the Western world:

The Russian president, a former KGB spy operative, spoke at great length about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism and the war in Chechnya. He said Chechen Muslims want a Caliphate — or Muslim state "on Russia soil." Putin said that Islamic "radicals have much more ambitious goals. They talk about setting up a worldwide Caliphate and the need to kill Americans and their allies."

"They talk about the need to kill all … non-Muslims, or ‘crusaders,’ as they put it. If you are a Christian, you are in danger," Putin said.

"If you decided to abandon your faith and become an atheist, you also are to be liquidated according to their concept. You are in danger if you decide to become a Muslim. It is not going to save you anyway because they believe traditional Islam is hostile to their goals."

Putin’s an old pragmatist – his experience in the field as a KGB agent has taught him much about recognizing threats and dealing with them before they have a chance to strike. There are a number of American politicians who could desperately use such perspective.

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