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A long-time confidant of late geopolitical author Malachi Martin and early organizer of the U.S. pro-life movement, Father Charles Fiore, is highly skeptical of recent claims that President George W. Bush has read the soul of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The revelation that Bush and Putin have “bonded” because they “looked into each other’s souls” was reported Nov. 4 on the Drudge Report and was based upon excerpts from a soon to be released book by the best-selling author Peggy Noonan, “When Character Was King.”

According to the news report, Bush and Putin also discussed the cross the Russian leader wears. The discussion of the loss and subsequent recovery of the cross after a 1996 fire at Putin’s country home led Bush to confide to Noonan that Putin “seemed he was saying there was a higher power.”

“All of us have certain instincts,” Father Charles Fiore stated, “and all of us have certain intuitions. If we keep our eyes and our ears open, we’re able to come to certain conclusions which are either very close to the truth, if not right on the truth.”

Fiore warned, however, that actions must be taken carefully into account.

“Watch what [Putin] does,” Fiore cautioned, and then pointedly remarked, “I don’t particularly want the man [Bush] who’s leading the free world to look upon himself as some kind of intuitive genius.”

Cautioning that there are those who seek “to find out what a man wants and play to that strength or weakness,” Fiore warned against overconfidence on Bush’s part. “I just don’t see George Bush’s track record as [including soul searching] as one of his talents,” Fiore observed.

Satirically recounting an axiom of another Republican President, Fiore said, “Let me invoke the great searcher of souls, Richard Milhous Nixon: ‘Pay no attention to what I say – watch how I shuffle the cards.’”

Fiore described as “tenuous” any link between Putin’s wearing of a cross and any true evidence of Christian belief.

Bush’s claim that he read Putin’s soul was initially made after their first summit meeting on June 16 in the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia. Putin’s revelation that he wears a cross was made in his autobiography, “First Person,” published in English in 2000.

Whatever may be Putin’s concept of a “higher power,” his government supports regimes suspected of political murder and terrorism.

Although the Russian government has downplayed the connection since Sept. 11, the Putin government is continuing a policy of supporting the merger of the Russian Federation with Belarus – a neo-communist throwback led by its president, Alexander Lukashenko, an ardent admirer of Josef Stalin and the old Soviet Union. Lukashenko presently serves as the head of a union between the two states.

Various international organizations denounce Lukashenko for political repression, and some individuals accuse him of politically inspired murder.

The most recent evidence of Putin’s continuing interest in Lukashenko and his long-suffering nation came as recently as September. At that time Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that the Union of Russia and Belarus inaugurated “Radio Unity,” the official voice of the Union of Russia and Belarus, which is directed at the territories of the former Soviet Union.

Russia’s continuing firm support for the merger with Belarus is demonstrated in its increase in annual contributions to the Union State budget.

Putin’s government also maintains close links with virtually every regime identified with terrorist activities, including Iraq, which recently has been identified as operating a training base for terrorists, including Osama bin Laden’s network.

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