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Yes, a certain measure which depends on how close to some sort of ideal democracy the state is.

But to say that criticising the leader of the state is the same as criticising the people of the state is naive. Blair wasn't reelected because the British public approved of his stance in Iraq, he was reelected because there was no viable alternative on offer. When I call Blair an arrogant liar I'm not anti-British, I'm anti-Blair. When someone criticises Putin he's not anti-Russian, he's anti-Putin. He may feel it was a mistake for the Russian people to appoint Putin, but that's another matter entirely. That doesn't make him anti-Russian. I'm not arguing whether the author quoted above is pro- or anti-Russian by the way, just the more general point.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 12:21:29 PM EST
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