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Makt har sin egen logikk. Med fusjonen Statoil/Hydro kan oljelandet Norge ha slått inn på en vei som gjør oss til partnere med de samme kreftene som drepte Anna Politkovskajas og Alexander Litvinenko.

Når man først velger maktens vei, vil hvert skritt logisk tvinge frem det neste. Det blir vanskelig å stanse feks av miljøhensyn i nord. Det blir også vanskelig å stanse av hensyn til drapet på en journalist. Det er slik medskyldighet og delaktighet, passiv og aktiv, oppstår: man mente det ikke, det bare skjedde.

Norsk politikk har lenge befunnet seg i denne sinnelagsetikken: vi tar avstand, fordømmer, og så er saken grei. Man kan like gjerne kalle det avlat. Det gjør ikke inntrykk på Putins folk.

Første bud er at man erkjenner hva Putin står for. Det har det skortet på. Selv da Anna Politkovskaja ble drept, nølte man. Man har definitivt nølt med å erkjenne den energipolitiske imperialismen, i forhold til Ukraina, Georgia, og de store feltene i øst, som er fratatt de utenlandske selskapene etter tur. Man har ikke villet se samarbeidsavtalen med Algerie, omringingen av Europa, forsøket på å komme i en utpresser-situasjon.

André Glucksmann kjente Anna Politkovskaja. Han har skrevet noen minneord. Han kaller henne et fantastisk menneske, som var ute etter å redde Russlands sjel og ære. Pushkins, Gogols og Dostojevskijs Russland. En åndstradisjon som overlevde Sovjetunionen såvidt, men som nå er truet av KGB-generaler med ufattelige naturressurser.

Anna Politkovskaya was a rare creature, with enough mental and physical courage to take your breath away. Like all heroic people, she was modest and possessed a dazzling sense of humor: Imagine an angelic face, luminous eyes distorted behind huge glasses, and a confident manner punctuated by great bursts of knowing laughter. She no longer kept track of her trips between Moscow and Grozny (more than 50), despite the intimidation, menace, and death threats that plagued her travels. She wanted to reveal the terror of the war in the Caucasus that she never stopped decrying. She got the Kremlin’s attention, but she remained gasping for breath–disgusted–before the obscene indifference of Western politicians. She did not choose a side other than the side of truth. Her horror of cruelty–whoever its perpetrators–was total and indivisible.

Her unwavering integrity won her the hearts of the Chechen people. She negotiated the surrender of the hostage-takers at the Nordost Theater, only to be crossed by the «special forces» who gunned down the unfortunate onlookers. In September 2004 she had once again offered to serve as an intermediary in the Beslan school-hostage crisis, when she drank poison in a cup of tea during the flight from Moscow to Rostov. She never recovered physically, but she put aside her fatigue and the poisoning’s ominous warning. Russian security officials, nostalgic for the good old days of the KGB, had an inextinguishable hatred for her. She was declared public enemy number one at the Duma. With a disarming smile, she let me know she knew what awaited her. And what was that? All kinds of foundations asked her to come work in the West, but she declined their invitations. She was anxious to «save the honor of Russia.» The martyred Chechnya was an open wound–the negation, purulent and contagious, of what had been for three centuries the greatness of Russian culture, of its poets and writers. As a Russian citizen, she felt herself responsible for the crimes committed in her name.

Anna følte at kreftene som var sluppet løs i Tsjetsjenia var så destruktive at de truer med å ødelegge Russland. Det er som kreft som sprer seg. Og hvorfor stanse i Russland? Putin kunne spille en stabiliserende og ordenskapende rolle i internasjonalt diplomati, men gjør det ikke. Igjen er det det samme destruktive spillet som under sovjetkommunismen, og på noen punkter er det verre.

She told me: It isn’t only about the endless suffering of the Chechens, but about us, the Russians, and you, the prosperous but blind Westerners. In the absence of faith or law, barbarity is a cancer whose tumors–corruption, arbitrariness, brutality–are overtaking Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the entire miserable Russian countryside. My country is not some African or Latin American dictatorship; it is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the second nuclear power, a huge arms dealer, a great producer of oil and gasoline. The higher-ups at the Kremlin have the power to cause extraordinary harm, and they exercise it without scruples or restraint. The crucifixion of the Chechens is only the first step, merely a peripheral example of their true capabilities. I have seen our few freedoms disappear; the autocracy–«vertical power»–snuffs out fledgling public opinions. And the country is delivered over to a thuggish and bureaucratic anarchy where conflicts of interest are settled with shots or, at best, with arbitrary imprisonments. Think about Khodorkovsky.

Anna’s strength, the secret of her unflinching courage, seemed to me to be that she never hid–neither from herself nor others–her extreme fragility. She was vulnerable, but she knew that the entire world was no less mortal than she–and it was certainly more cowardly. Everything could crumble–people and possessions, museums and nurseries. She thought, she wrote, she witnessed from the very edge. This Anna-Cassandra had detected in the Chechen war the chasm into which Russian society would fall. Censorship settled into the hearts of the people. The citizens returned to Russia’s long tradition of submission while the heads of state felt themselves free once again, uncontrolled from within and hardly monitored from without by the complacent international community. Anna was not only sensing the proximity of her own death; she was also predicting a limitless danger which would peg our survival to the whims of those politicians in Moscow–shady and incompetent–who identify all power and all problems.