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Friday, December 14, 2007

Chess Wiz for President? Not in Russia

I first became acquainted with chess master Garry Kasparov when he was interviewed by Bill Maher in 2007. Though I recognized him by name, I had no knowledge of him other than his chess wizardry prior to that interview.

Watch the short interview here:

video from YouTube user KLbrezhnev

From that interview and the others I have seen and read since, I have discovered a man who is not only obviously highly intelligent, but a man who is brimming with common sense and candor. He has an amazing sense of humor, as well. Mr Kasparov has many fine leadership qualities, and I believe would create, as president of Russia, a better alliance between the USA and Russia.

However, Mr. Kasparov has also been a very vocal critic of current Russian President Vladimir Putin which has resulted in hardships for him and his family. Though Russian official deny harassment of Mr. Kasparov and his family, there is an unmistakable trail of persecution coinciding with his outspokenness, and increasing with the announcement of his intent to run for president. Due to the harassment which has caused him, like many others, to be unable to meet the requirements of official candidacy, he has withdrawn his bid for president. More about this may be viewed online in this Washington Post article by Peter Finn.

It is a true shame that politics has become not a simple matter of opposing viewpoints and beliefs representing different groups of people, but a means of harassing anyone who would dare to go against the grain.

More about Garry Kasparov may be seen in the following video clips:

WSN TV Interview

With Charlie Rose

On 60 Minutes, Part 1

On 60 Minutes, Part 2

So, what is YOUR take on Putin, Kasparov, and Russian politics?

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