To the editor:
There is a tragedy in Russia: the Kremlin and the brutal dictator running it. Vladimir Putin is no friend of democracy.
Jon Rust's commentary, no matter how well-meaning, was indifferent to the suffering the Russian people have had to endure under a long list of communist leaders.
Putin promised democracy and reform if he was elected. However, he has not allowed Chechnya to have freedom of choice in political candidates, nor has he brought economic reform to Chechnya. This was a true test of democracy, and Putin showed himself to be a liar and cheat. The only reason he is pleading to the West under the pretext of fighting terrorists is to gain international sympathy for a war he has escalated and can't win.
All the rebels are doing is fighting for independence from oppression. If they had a army, they would fight a traditional war with Russia. Since they don't, they have to use whatever option they have, and the only one is to kill innocent people in an effort to secure independence.
Are we the father of this monster called terrorism? Did we consider the implications before we crawled in bed with Osama bin Laden to get the Russians out of Afghanistan?
God is going to repay America for every wrong deed done in the name of democracy, and no one has immunity.
TIMMY JONES, Florissant, Mo.