The juxtaposition of Bush's denial of human rights abuses with a criticism of Putin in a single news story is too good to resist. On the one hand, we have the American president who has instituted a system by which anyone anywhere can be arrested, held, and even killed without a trial and without anyone finding out about it. On the other hand, we have the arrest of the former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. And which of these situations does Bush find offensive? Well of course, the arrest of a wealthy tycoon!
To understand this, we have to know something about class consciousness. For the wealthy elites, the ragtag bands of mercenaries and minor characters held in Guantanamo and similar sites around the world are viewed as members of another class and are therefore non-people. If some mistakes were made and someone who was actually an aid worker was picked up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, then so be it. It's all just a small price to pay for maintaining the current order.
But when a rich cat's arrested, we hear a wholly different tune. Suddenly, the U.S. president is moved to compassion for this single Soviet citizen who (perhaps) was wronged by a justice system motivated (gasp!) by political ends! How Shrubby-boy keeps a straight face through all these histrionics, I know not. Hell, we've got an entire foreign policy that's been hijacked by political ends (i.e., elite interests)! And we're supposed to worry about the fortunes of Russian tycoons. I say, let the Russian tycoons defend themselves. They've got their armies of mafia toughs and high-paid attorneys. I'd rather worry about kids with their arms blown off in the name of oil profits. For some reason, when I draw up my list of people to be concerned about, the top-ten list isn't occupied by Russian tycoons. But then I'm not of the same class as Shrub. And just as he sees me and my class as so much cannon fodder, I feel that he and his fellow oil men and Russian tycoons are quite expendable. If that's what it takes to make the world safe for democracy.