Vladimir Putin is a guest on UK soil today as a participant in the G8 summit, in which case he should behave like a guest, respect and follow the local customs, and refrain from trying to use this tragedy to push his own political agenda.
“But what happened today demonstrates yet again that we are doing too little to unite our efforts in the most effective way in the battle against terrorism,” he said.
He also called for an end to double standards ? an appeal he has made before to his fellow world leaders, some of whom he has criticized for underestimating the terrorist ties of Chechen separatist rebels.
Putin expressed “not only hope but also certainty” that the international community will do everything it can to confront terrorism, but stressed there must not be “any double standards whatsoever in assessing bloody crimes similar to those carried out today in London.”
There are many things which could be said about what has happened in London today, but the above is not one of them. Let me be (given my own views and values) terribly politically incorrect: as Condoleeza Rice said, “we have to get it right every day, they only have to get it right once”. Maybe there were questions about whether or not the US was sufficiently prepared for ‘new style’ international terrorism before 09/11, certainly there are such questions about Spain and 03/11, but is anyone seriously suggesting that the UK police and security services haven’t been totally focused on trying to prevent this kind of tragedy. So, number one I resent the insinuation, and number two I resent any attempt to use this to drag the UK into the scandalous war Putin has been waging in Chechenia.
The dead are not only not yet cold, they are not even counted. Again chosing a voice I would not normally identify with, I can only re-iterate this point from Tim Worstall:
“May I just remind you of one of those little rules that we have in our civilised society? We bury the dead and console the bereaved before we start making asinine political points.”