Friday, September 10, 2004

Letter to the Editor.

Needless to say, after Iraq we really don't have any right to tell any other country what to do about their human rights abuses...
[See my other letters to the Editor here...]

To the Star News in Wilmington N.C.

Russia's abuses spawn terror


In response to the Sept. 3 editorial "A horror we should heed":

Judging by the tragic history of the conflict between Russia and Chechnya launched in 1995 by Vladimir Putin, supposedly in retaliation for apartment bombings in Russia which were never proved to be the work of Chechens, there was little chance the school hostage-taking crisis in North Ossetia could have gone any other way than "horribly wrong."

The severe human rights abuses perpetrated by the Russian security forces against the people of Chechnya, which have resulted in more than 260,000 of them being displaced and 170,000 more forced to seek refuge in Ingushetia, according to Human Rights Watch, to say nothing of the thousands killed by indiscriminate shelling and summary executions of suspected "terrorists," makes it hardly surprising this vicious war of aggression wouldn't eventually snap back on the Russian civilian population.

What is surprising is the total lack of any condemnation of Russian atrocities by either the United States government or the European Union member states. The silence has been deafening.

The misleading notion put forward by this administration that Russia is our partner in the "war on terror," is either a massively uninformed misreading of the situation or a cynical attempt to keep President Putin sweet and keep the Russian crude flowing.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Vlad the impaler's pointless war.

I am horrified and repulsed by the brutal, pointless massacre perpetrated on the innocent civilians at the Beslan elementary school in North Ossetia. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever in taking children hostage to further a military objective or to make a political statement. Even in war there are rules. This was not a strike for Chechen independence; it was simply mass murder.

Unfortunately, the Russian government’s response is likely to be more atrocities and violence aimed at innocent Chechens and a return to Soviet era paranoia and repression. Just as western submarines were said to have caused the tragic sinking of the Kursk, so now western influences are implicated in an effort, in president Vladimir Putin’s words to "tear off a big chunk of our country," for apparently the United States, the real viilan in this case, sees Russia as a “threat (which) has to be eliminated.” A very convenient external bogyman for consolidating power with "necessary" draconian security measures.

Putin’s ten year quest to crush Chechnya’s independence has proven to be a futile effort that has bled the Russian military white and sown the seeds of generational hatred against the Russian people among the Chechen population.

At the same time Putin’s nasty little war is morally debasing Russian society. The lessons of corruption, criminality and viciousness learned in the killing fields of the North Caucuses are coming back to haunt the villages and cities of the Mother Land.

The adamant, unreasoning, refusal on Putin’s part to ever negotiate with any Chechen leader has served only to push the moderates aside, leading to the radicalization of the independence movement and opening the door for global terrorists to use the conflict as a tool for recruiting around the world while at the same time presenting the terrible specter of Russia’s notoriously loose nukes getting into the hands of Al-Qaeda and like minded organizations bent on ever more deadlier attacks.

The leaders of Russia must begin to face the hard realities of this aweful conflict and drastically change course or the Chechen war will only continue to grind on, its downward trajectory causing more suffering and death for the innocents who get in the way for decades to come.
hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories