could soon be open for the ECJ to startnruling on free speech cases involving ordinarynEU citizens, or indeed involvingnEuro-sceptic newspapers,” ending in ansituation in which the court will be pittednagainst another court—namely, the onenthat enforces the European Conventionnon Human Rights.n—Alberto CarosanIGOR IVANOV, Russia’s foreign minister,nis usually calm, cool, and collected,nbut he looked ner’ous during his Marchn22 press conference. Ivanov, knownnamong Kremlin siloviky (members of thendefense/securit)’ apparatus) as somethingnof a wimp, adopted an uncustomaryfrownnand set about lambasting Washington’snrecent “unfriendly acts,” especiallynthe March 21 expulsion of six “diplomats”n(with 40 more ordered to leave innthe near future) and a likely meeting behveennU.S. State Department representativesnand “so-called foreign minister”nAkhmadov of Chechnya. Ivanov saidnthat Moscow would make an “aj^propriatenresponse” (Russian TV later reportednthat Moscow would expel U.S. embassynpersonnel) and warned that further “unfriendlynacts” could “push mankind”nback to “the era of tiie Cold War and confrontation.”nMoscow was already in a tizzy overnDefense Secretar)’ Donald Rumsfeld’s recentnsharp criticism of Russian arms salesn(apart from criticizing Russia’s role innarms “proliferation,” Rumsfeld remarkednriiat Moscow would sell “anything to anybody,”nimplying that Russia could be includednon Washington’s black list ofn”rogue states”) and the January 17 arrestnof Pavel Borodin, a high-ranking officialnof the Russia-Belarus Union. PresidentnBush’s commitment to a National MissilenDefense (NMD) is also very muchnon Moscow’s mind. Furthermore, Russiannelites are worried about the increasingntendency of Western states to denynthem travel visas.nRussia has undoubtedly mounted annextensive espionage effort against thenUnited States, as evidenced by their recruitmentnof “super agents” in both thenCIA and the FBI. The spy war betweennthe two countries has escalated latelyn(apart from the “super agents,” relationsnhave been strained by the Edmund Popencase and tiie revelation that the CIA dugna tunnel under the Russian embassy innWashington for electronic snooping),nthough everyone knows that spying is an8/CHRONICLESnfact of life for powerful nations.nRussia’s recent overtures to Iran,nwhich include “nuclear energy cooperation”nand the sale of “defensive weapons,”nhave set Washington’s blood tonboiling, as did Putin’s recent trip to NorthnKorea and Moscow’s lobbying for thenend of international sanctions againstnIraq. Of course, Washington is playing anhuge role in the international arms tradenand continues to interfere in Russian internalnaffairs, especially in Chechnya.nThe Bush administration, thus far, hasnnot lived up to the “isolationist” label thatnthe Democrats pinned on it, much to thendismay of Moscow.nBorodin is a charter member of thenYeltsin “family,” the cabal of Kremlin insidersnwho helped make Russia what it isntoday: a bureaucratic/mafia regime withnwhat may be the most degenerate “elite”nof any great power (c|uite a charge, consideringnthe moral attributes of Americannelites, who also played a role in developingnthe Russian oligarchy). Borodin isnwanted by the Swiss in connection witii anmoney-laundering scam involving kickbacksnpaid to the “family” by the Mabatexnfirm, which contracted with Borodin tonrefurbish the Kremlin. The scandal maynalso involve money-laundering throughnthe Bank of New York, which in turn, isnlikely connected to the disappearance ofnmillions in IMF “loans” to Russia. Undernan extradition treaty with Switzerland,nWashington was obligated to hold Borodinn(who may have been lured to thenUnited States, but thafs another stor)’).nWith these fun facts in mind, patrioticnAmericans and Russians should focus onntheir own concrete national interests beforenjumping on any anti-Russian or anti-nAmerican bandwagons. If the FBI hasnuncovered any evidence of spying bynRussian “diplomats,” then they shouldnkick them out. Moscow will undoubtedlynrespond. That’s the way the game isnplayed. (Whether all this gamesmanshipnhas actually done any good for eitherncountr)’ is another ciuestion.)nWashington has no business interferingnin the Chechen war. There is nonAmerican national interest at stake there.nYes, it is a nast}’ and brutal business, butnso is ever)’ other war. Furthermore, whonthe “good guys” are in this fight dependsnon your perspective. (If the Americansnthink Chechens are warm and cuddly,nthey should view videotapes of the “holynwarriors” decapitating captives.)nWashington’s blatant hypocrisy regardingnarms “proliferation” is obvious tonnnany thinking person. If the United Statesnwants to be a “partner for peace” withnRussia or any otiier state, then Washingtonnshould first remove the log from itsnown eye. The U.S. would have little tonworry about from “rogue states” if Washingtonnwould simply mind its own businessnfor a change. Iran, Iraq, and NorthnKorea are not a direct threat to the securih’nof tiie United States. The whole questionnof NMD can be worked out betweennMoscow and Washington. Aside fromndie question of whether NMD would actuallynbenefit anyone but U.S. defensencontractors, it is quite apparent that nonsystem will be enough to nullify Russia’snretaliatory capability. Russia should focusnon maintaining the missiles theynhave, a difficult task, given the state ofntheir economy.nBorodin richly desen’cs to be in jail. PatrioticnRussians would welcome such a development,nif only for the satisfaction ofnknowing that such deformed and basencreatures, who have robbed their countr)’nblind, sold Russian giris into white slaver)’,nand murdered with impunity cannot visitntheir Miami beach houses or French villas.n— Denis PetrovnOBITER DICTA: Our first poet thisnmonth is Timothy Murphy, who hailsnfrom Fargo, North Dakota. Set thenPloughshare Deep, his memoir in prosenand verse, was released last July by OhionUniversity Press. The Deed of Gift (StorynLine Press, 1998) collected the poems ofnthis farmer and venture capitalist.nOur second poet is Brendan Galvin ofnTruro, Massachusetts. Mr. Galvin is dienauthor of 12 collections of poetry, includingnThe Strength of a Named Thing andnSky and Island Light (Louisiana StatenUniversity Press). In 1998, his translationnof Sophocles’ Women of Trachis appearednin the Penn Greek Drama Series.nMr. Galvin has been av^’arded a GuggenheimnFellowship, the Sotheby and Levinsonnprizes, and the first O.B. Hardison,nJr., Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Librar)’.nOur art is provided by our art director,nH. Ward Sterett of Roseoe, Illinois. Mr.nSterett received his B.F.A. from the Universitynof Colorado and his M.F.A. fromnNorthern Illinois University, and attendednthe L’Abri Fellowship, where he studiednthe effect of Christianity on art. Hencurrentiy works as a sculptor, painter, andnprintmaker in Roseoe.n