the war having served its purpose byrnboosting Acting President VladimirrnPutin’s popularity.rnAs of this writing, Putin’s poll numbersrnremain high, and he will likely win thernearly election scheduled for March 26rn(although Chechen President AsianrnMaskhadov has reportedly called on hisrn”field commanders” to redouble their effortsrnin order to hurt Putin’s campaign;rnsome reports claim the Chechens willrnhang on in Grozny until after F’ebruaryrn23, the date Stalin deported the entirernChechen nation during World War II,rnthen melt into the hills to fight a guerrillarncampaign). Putin’s endorsement securedrnvictory for the Kremlin-backedrnUnity movement in December’s parliamentaryrnelecHons. Unity garnered overrn23 percent of the vote, finishing just behindrnthe pathetic “opposition” Communistsrn(CPRF), now totally intimidated byrnPutin’s support in the “power ministries.”rnThe Kremlin has the votes to block anyrnmoves by either the CPRF or the anti-rnKremlin Fatherland-All Russia faction,rnheaded by Yevgeni Primakov.rnThe West has given its halfhearted endorsementrnto the election results, callingrnUnity’s performance a victory for “reform”rn(whatever that might be), but thernreal story is the West’s bizarre belief thatrnthe campaign in Chechnya, the increasinglyrnanti-Western rhetoric of Putin, andrnthe general mood of belligerence in thernLand of the Firebird are merely the productsrnof a few xenophobic “elements” inrnthe military and security organs or, alternativelv,rnthat the Kremlin manufacturedrnRussia’s surlv nationalistic mood to boostrnPutin prior to Yeltsin’s New Year’s Evernresignation. Meanwhile, the Council ofrnEurope and the European Union arernthreatening sanctions against Russia overrnthe Chechnya operation as professionalrnRussophobes call for a renewal of thernCold War. Strobe Talbott and companyrnare as clueless as ever, finding the sharpeningrnworldwide resistance to globalismrnas incomprehensible as the modest aspirationsrnof people who did not attend Harvardrnor Yale.rnThe truth is that something like thernpresent Russian distrust of the Westrnwould have come about regardless ofrnwho was at the helm in the Kremlin, thatrnPutin had long been associated with thern”Westernizers” in Yeltsin’s entourage,rnthat both “democrats” and “patriots”rnhave come to distrust—if not hate—thernWest equally, and that most Russiansrnnow appear to beliee that the West isrnmerely looking for an excuse to continuernthe dismemberment of the Russian state.rnThe 21st centur)’ will likely be a tale ofrnthe West’s continuing clash with thosernwho do not see the surrender of theirrnidentity as a fair price for joining thernClub of Smug and Soulless States.rn— Denis PetrovrnEPICYCLES:rn• The Battle of Richmond Continues:rnLynn Hopewell, our correspondent fromrnVirginia who has been reporting on therncontroversy surrounding a picture ofrnRobert E. Lee (see “Letter From Virginia:rnThe Battle of Richmond,” February,rnand Cultural Revolutions, March),rnhas provided the following update: “OnrnJanuary 18, a Virginia holiday honoringrnLee, Stonewall Jackson, and MartinrnLuther King, Jr., the banner honoringrnLee was firebombed. The police have nornBOOK OF NEXT MONTHrnOur book for next month is the Libraryrnof America edition of the works of ZorarnNeale Hurston. A courageous blackrndramatist, anthropologist, and socialrncommentator, Hurston wroternhonestly about the faults of bothrnblacks and whites. Too proud tornaccept the condescension of whiternliberals, she preferred working as arnmaid for white women rather thanrnlooking for a handout.rnsuspects. The Sons of Confederate Veteransrnhas called the act a ‘hate crime.’rnFBI agent John Donahue, who investigatesrnhate crimes for the bureau’s Richmondrnoffice, says that ‘Southerners’ arernnot regarded as a protected class underrnfederal hate-crime laws. The sponsors ofrnthe gallery of historic banners have notrndecided whether to replace the picture ofrnLee.rn”Earlier in the month, vandals paintedrn’Kill the white devil’ and drew a pentagramrnon the historic statue of Lee onrnRichmond’s famous Monument Avenue.rnThe Capital Police are investigatingrnthis incident as a hate crime becausern’the language is designed to institute hatredrnfrom one ethnic group to another.'”rnOBITER DICTA: Our longtime publicationsrndirector, Guy C. RefFett, has leftrnThe Rockford Institute to pursue thernAmerican Dream: starting his own business.rnWe wish him all the best in his newrnendeavor.rnMr. Reffett’s former duties have beenrnassumed by our managing editor, ScottrnP. Richert, who, with this issue, has beenrnelevated to the position of executive editor.rnIn addition to his editorial duties,rnMr. Richert will now oversee the businessrnaspects of Chronicles, includingrnprinting, circulation, and advertising. Hernwill be assisted in these duties by our talentedrnand indispensable circulationrnmanager, Cindy Link.rnChronicles is hiring an assistant editor.rnExperience with Microsoft Word andrndesktop publishing on the Macintosh is arnplus. For consideration, please send a resume,rnwriting samples, and salary requirementsrnto: Chronicles, 928 N. MainrnStreet, Rockford, IL 61103.rnPaul Lake, who teaches English andrncreative writing at Arkansas Tech, hasrncontributed two poems to this issue. Hisrnsecond collection of poetry, WalkingrnBackward, was recently released by StoryrnLine Press. Mr. Lake’s poems have appearedrnin the Formalist, the Hudson Review,rnthe Sewanee Review, and the ParisrnReview, among others.rnOur art this month is provided by ourrnart director, H. Ward Sterett of Roscoe,rnIllinois. Mr. Sterett received his B.F.A.rnfrom the University of Colorado and hisrnM.F.A. from Northern Illinois University,rnand attended the L’Abri Fellowship,rnwhere he studied the effect of Christianityrnon art. He currently works as a sculptor,rnpainter, and printmaker in Roscoe.rn8/CHRONICLESrnrnrn