So Bush has the endorsement of a foreign leader: Putin Takes Bush's Side Against Democrats on Iraq
A foriegn leader that may not be agressively antidemocratic, but is not comfortable with the give and take in a indicitive of a real democracy.
Mr. Putin, for Democracy's Sake, Tear Down This Wall of Censorship
This is one more development in a disturbing trend under President Vladimir V. Putin: the reversion to Soviet-style authoritarianism. You can see it not just in the unrelenting expansion of state power over the media but also in the tightening of Kremlin control over regional legislatures and the courts and the Kremlin's growing intolerance of civil-society groups that try to keep the government in check.
This leads to the question of why, at this week's summit of the heads of the leading industrialized democracies — which is one way to define the Group of 8 — there was no discussion of the many ways in which Russia falls short of being democratic. Even if it meant embarrassing a partner in the war on terrorism, Russia should have been censured for repeatedly violating the principles of an open society.
In America it is now common place for some political gropus to accuse others of being less then patriotic, of having greater sympathies with foreigeners then with American interests. To me it has become so common pklace it has become like a constant buzz in the background, that I have learned to for the most part tune out. Imagine outlawing the Sierra Club, the Christian Coalition, the National Manufacturers Association, or the AFL-CIO. In Russia they have groups like this and are called NGO's-Nongovermental groups and Putin has not declared war on them, but has declared open hostilities, accusing some of these groups of lack of patriotism, "obtaining funding from influential foreign or domestic foundations" or of "servicing dubious group and commercial interests."
Putin's Definition Of Democracy?
So what are the organizations he claims are somehow ineffective and beholden to others? There can be no doubt he was referring to NGOs that seek not merely to provide social and humanitarian assistance but also to protect the rights and interests of certain population groups and to work for democracy and human rights.
...The implication appears to be that if the truly independent NGOs cannot be controlled, then they will be outlawed. And the first step -- as always in this type of campaign -- is to cast aspersions on their patriotism, to suggest that they are not working for the good of Russia and ordinary Russian citizens but are "deviating from Russia's historical path," as Putin put it in the speech. An atmosphere of mistrust is opening many benign and independent NGOs to attack either from officials of the tax inspectorate or from thugs and criminals (such as those who ransacked the offices of a human rights group in Kazan the day after the speech).
At this point Putin has proved he has strong authoritarian tendencies. Well maybe Putin is a good cheer leader for Bush; birds of a feather and all.