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quincy
13-09-2004, 10:58
BOSTON The pictures of the Russian children being carried out of the school in Beslan, their naked bodies splattered with blood, filled me with sorrow and anger. No excuse exists for the slaughtering of innocent civilians. No excuse exists for taking children hostage, blowing up planes or suicide bombings. Those responsible for such carnage have forfeited their right to be called human beings.
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What made those scenes from Beslan so anguishing for me was that I had seen them all before. As a wartime surgeon in Chechnya I had treated the broken bodies of children - the young girl whose parents were blown up by a bomb before her eyes, the little boy whose hair turned white overnight, small bodies pierced by hundreds of pieces of shrapnel. And everywhere blood.
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I do not claim to understand the mentality of a terrorist willing to sacrifice children. However, as a Chechen and a doctor with firsthand experience of the war, I can offer some context into what turns ordinary people into extremists willing to commit such atrocities.
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We have been fighting Russia on and off for 400 years. Our nation is small, a third the size of Belgium, with a prewar population of one million. In the recent 10-year war with Russia, 250,000 people died, fully a quarter of the population. Of those deaths, an estimated 42,000 were children. And our children are still dying, from gunfire, from mines, from an unexplained illness resulting from the contaminated environment caused by the war.
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History has taught us to fear Russia. The belief of most Chechens that the Kremlin would like to eliminate them is fueled by the deportations. In the 19th century the czarist government exiled us to Turkey, Jordan and Syria. In 1944, Stalin herded our whole population into cattle cars and shipped us to Siberia. A third of us perished on the journey or in the harsh conditions of exile.
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We had hoped that with the breakup of the Soviet Union we might at long last attain independence from Russia. We are Muslims. We speak a different language. We have different traditions. However, our dream of self-rule evaporated when Boris Yeltsin invaded our country with a force of 300,000 Russian soldiers on Dec. 11, 2003.
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For the past 10 years Chechnya has been occupied by a foreign invader. Occupation breeds violence, which invites lawlessness on both sides. The abuses of civilians by Russian soldiers have been documented by various human rights organizations - Physicians for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Russian human rights organization Memorial. Young Russian soldiers are also dying unnecessarily.
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Ordinary Chechens share my sorrow at the terrible carnage at the school in Beslan. But they are also fearful, knowing that they will be blamed. They are bracing themselves for reprisals. The Kremlin spin doctors have done a good job of casting us as international terrorists masterminded by Muslim extremists from the Middle East. Sadly, most people believe the propaganda, even though we do not know the ethnic composition of the hostage takers in Beslan. It does not matter. The school siege resulting in the deaths of hundreds of children was a heinous crime whoever was responsible.
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I fear for the future of Chechnya - and of Russia, too - as President Vladimir Putin vows to place his country on a wartime footing against terrorism. Violence begets violence. If there is no peaceful resolution to the Russian-Chechen conflict, terrorism is likely to increase. More young women will strap on suicide belts, women who are not the puppets of Middle East extremists but mothers, daughters and wives driven mad by loss. Increasingly Chechnya will become a cause for extremists who have declared war on the Western way of life.
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The tragedy at the school in southern Russia should be an opportunity for both sides to start negotiations. I would like to see President George W. Bush take a role in bringing peace to this conflict instead of accepting President Putin's version of the story that Chechens are bandits controlled by Osama bin Laden. Without a commitment by the international community, more innocent children will die on both sides of the conflict.
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quincy
13-09-2004, 11:21
Missed out from the end..the author
IHT September 13 2004]

Khassan Baiev, author of "The Oath," a memoir of his wartime experiences in Chechnya, is head of the International Children of Chechnya, a nonprofit group. This comment first appeared in The Boston Globe


....................................

"The tragedy at the school in southern Russia should be an opportunity for both sides to start negotiations"

This man claims to be a doctor and a charity worker and sees the mass murder of children and infants as an "opportunity"! Or does he mean that he fully supports this crime against humanity because it might force Putin to enter into talks with those gangsters (aka "rebels") as his friends in the media keep telling us that Putin should?

250,000 dead? soon it will become 2,500,000! The London Economist, not a friend of Russia, says at most the dead, which include thousands of Russian civilians and soldiers, might be 70,000. Who started this war, and were conditions in Chechnya so intolerable to have justified Chechen terrorist attacks back in 1993?

Actually we have most of the time been exposed to pro-terrorist trash, and hardly given a chance to hear the Russian point of view. Disinformation at its best!

pro-Osama "charity workers" have been forced to close down their activities. Pro-Chechen warlord "charity workers" are given platforms in 'respectable' journals and their 'arguments' given credibility

Maine Surfer
13-09-2004, 11:31
Well, I have nothing to say. It's just driving me insane. Losing respect to American media by the minute. It's Boson Globe now. Who's next?

Maine Surfer
13-09-2004, 11:35
the latest from the globe


http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2004/09/12/for_centuries_ethnic_strife_has_been_moscows_bane/

quincy
13-09-2004, 11:56
We have never been told that Russia pulled out of Chechnya in 1996 and the warlords used that opportunity to invade neighboring Daghestan. A warlord interviewed on British TV last week threatened to foment rebelions 'across Russia'. Very benign, these 'rebels' and their 'charity workers'!

letters@iht.com
[if you feel like saying you don't agree with the propaganda]

Shaun
13-09-2004, 15:10
yes, isn't it lucky that in russia, nothing can be published that you lot dont agree with, and anyone who even tries to alert people to alternative points of view (Raf Shakirov - Izvestia, Anna Politkovskaya, etc) is sacked, or even poisoned!

quincy
13-09-2004, 16:14
The Moscow Times is more objective than most newspapers that I have seen. The propaganda campaign in the western media portraying genocidal criminals as reasonable folk and their apologists as people engaged in charity is as close as you could get to Soviet (or Nazi) propaganda

Shaun
13-09-2004, 17:44
quincy
that assertion suggests you have very little understanding either of the current press situation or soxiet propaganda and is an absolutely ridiculous statement.

quincy
14-09-2004, 01:25
"For the past 10 years Chechnya has been occupied by a foreign invader. Occupation breeds violence, which invites lawlessness on both sides."

Chechnya has been a part of Russia for 150 years. Unlike the US, Australia, New Zealand the Russians gave their ethnic minorities their own republics. Why do they disrupt elections in Chechnya if they are confident of victory? But none of their friends in the Western media will ask such a question

"In the recent 10-year war with Russia, 250,000 people died, fully a quarter of the population. Of those deaths, an estimated 42,000 were children"

A researcher at the London School of Oriental and African studies estimates the total dead to be 30,000. We shouldn't be playing with numbers, but who started the terrorist campaign, and to repeat, what were (and are) the exact motives? Russia was going through one of its most democratic phases in 1993 when the terrorists started to kidnap and murder.

"In the 19th century the czarist government exiled us to Turkey, Jordan and Syria."

There was no Syria, no Jordan in the 19th century only Ottoman Turkey. But, hey, who cares about accuracy if you are a "charity worker" making terrorist propaganda. The Boston Globe should see through these falsehoods, but obviously gave its approval

"The Kremlin spin doctors have done a good job of casting us as international terrorists masterminded by Muslim extremists from the Middle East. "

Exact opposite. The Kremlin is useless at PR. The Chechen warlords have sympathizers among the Western media, probably the best PR you can have in the world, and we have seen them in action by making mass murderers look like victims


"In 1944, Stalin herded our whole population into cattle cars and shipped us to Siberia. A third of us perished on the journey or in the harsh conditions of exile."

There appear to have been some grounds that Chechens were collaborating with Nazis. In any case after the war they were allowed back. 20% or Russians perished in the war too. Why do they demand special treatment? Armenians were sent to the desert to perish and none of the surviviors allowed to return. Today's Turkey's leaders are proud of what they did. The EU is today is so impressed that it wants Turkey in the EU. Where are the autonomous Armenian, Kurdish, Assyrian republics in Turkey? Or must Russian children be massacred because Russia generously gave the Chechens autonomous republic status unlike other countries that have done no such thing to their own minorities?

uninformed
14-09-2004, 07:21
Originally posted by Shaun
yes, isn't it lucky that in russia, nothing can be published that you lot dont agree with, and anyone who even tries to alert people to alternative points of view (Raf Shakirov - Izvestia, Anna Politkovskaya, etc) is sacked, or even poisoned! Russians can hardly complain about treatment of Russian in the western press. Read the Russian press - if you can. Phobias about the US and NATO, treatment of "Russians" (funny, I thought they were Lithuanians) in Lithuanian, etc. Plus, 100 years of media control and a constant barrage of propaganda it would be difficult to find a Quincy (I mean Russian) who would recognize the truth if it was printed. The Russian government lied continually during the seige and continues to do so.

Polia Ivanova
14-09-2004, 08:29
I think we all who have Soviet Union experience could define propaganda as somebody selling you 10% fruit drink as 100% pure juice. In Soviet times we were told that all people on the West were either unemployment or drug users. There are unemployed there are drugs users but there is more to western people that just this.

Because I read both Western and Russian coverage of the Chechen conflict I would say Russian coverage is about 75% but the western is about 50%.

Last Thursday I was enjoying the last warm day in the park near my office. All benches were occupied so I shared the one with a chap. After usual weather chat routine he asked me usual where I was from, we started discussing the Russians affairs and couldn’t pass what was going on in Beslan. I complained that nobody was writing the full story, there are bits that missed by Russians and even bigger bits that are omitted by western newspapers. I asked him whether he remembers beheading of three Britons and one New Zealander back in 1998 when Chechnya was practically independent. He couldn’t recall it. So, all this time the British newspapers were revising Chechen story during and after Beslan tragedy this bit was not supposed to be reminded. Why? 300 peoples died in Moscow when blocks of apartments were blown up I would think many children died too but no mentioning about it either. The fact that many Chechens are killed not by Russian Army but by Chechen separatists who kills those cooperating with “occupants” – not even a hint of it. 250,000 killed is too round figure to be trustworthy either.

I think Quincy is more protected from being duped by propaganda because Soviet generation had their eyes blindfolded by it and once we realised how deceiving it was we learnt not to trust the newspapers and think for ourselves. The western people didn’t have this experience so they are more likely to eat everything BBC and CNN feeds them without asking the question – is there more to it than you are telling me?

Helix
14-09-2004, 08:42
Originally posted by uninformed
The Russian government lied continually during the seige and continues to do so.

They lied about number of hostages, western press lies about f*ing killers aka “rebels” and all that crap. Politkovskaya hushes up atrocities by “freedom fighters”. Lie is everywhere.
By the way do you remember Elena Masuk ? She also defended those chehen “freedom fighters” but they kidnapped her , gratefully raped her and videotaped that process. I think games with criminals are too dangerous.

ingsoc
14-09-2004, 08:45
Quincy...you are obviously educated and intelligent and make some very good points..I cant say that I agree with all or many of them....but I respect your opinion......I must say that any movement..whether it be seperatist...freedom fighters or otherwise loose all and any credibility in my opinion when they DELIBERATELY target innocent children .....making them a target like some type of opening season for duck hunting.....i REALIZE that the US and its Allies have not and are not "virgins" when it comes to committing some fairly horrific things..ie..the deliberate and systematic firebombing of Dresden during March of 45 ..a city of no military value or stratigic importanct.....but that must be counterbalanced with the systematice killing and extermination of millions of Jews...gypsies....political enemies of the state..Russian Pows...etc etc which the Germans were committing...genocide....in the furtherance of their insane ideas.I guess my point here is when you start shooting/masscaring children for the pure sport of it......in my opinion the cause you use to justify it no longer is of any legitimacy....some may agree..many will not.....simply my point of view....after a long absence from the forum