Return of the Rodina
Putin's list is chilling, the tone grave, and the measures he announces graver still. But beneath his words and within his tone we hear a word unspoken. We hear history begin to echo as Russia is stirred and what we hear is the call "Rodina" -- "Motherland."
The last century heard that call when Nazi Germany became insane enough to invade what was then the Soviet Union. Rodina rose and the end of that story was the destruction of Berlin and the beginning of the Cold War.
"Rodina" -- the massing of Russians behind the nearly holy cause of protecting and defending "the motherland," is not a term any Russian would use today. It carries too many memories of Stalin and the Soviets. But the emotion behind it remains. And the echo of what the United States discovered about terrorism three years ago and what Russia has concluded yesterday is distinct. What it portends is even clearer. The Alliance is back.
The old Alliance of World War II's drive to destroy fascism is rising along with Rodina. The United States, Britain and its coalition. Now Russia. Others will come in their time and as they discover the terrible truth about this enemy on their own soil.
Well, the Muslims always wanted a holy war, now they've got one. Welcome to the party, pal.