View Full Version : US neo-cons: "Russia to blame for school massacre"

16-09-2004, 00:03
US neo-cons: Kremlin is ‘morally’ to blame for the school massacre
By Neil Mackay

WHY would a group of leading American neo-conservatives, dedicated to fighting Islamic terror, have climbed into bed with Chechen rebels linked to al-Qaeda? The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which includes Pentagon supremo Richard Perle, says the conflict between Russia and Chechnya is about Chechen nationalism, not terrorism.
The ACPC savaged Russia for the atrocities its forces have committed in the Caucusus, said President Vladimir Putin was “ridiculous”, claimed Russia was more “morally” to blame for the bloodshed than Chechen separatists and played down links between al-Qaeda and the “Chechen resistance”.

The ACPC’s support for the Chechen cause seems bizarre, as many of its members are among the most outspoken US policymakers who have made it clear that Islamist terror must be wiped out. But the organisation has tried to broker peace talks between Russia and Chechen separatists.

The ACPC includes many leaders of the neo-conservative think-tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocates American domination of the world.

ACPC members who are also in the pro-Israeli PNAC include Elliott Abrams, head of Middle East affairs at the National Security Council; Elliot Cohen of the Pentagon’s Defence Policy Board; Frank Gaffney, president of the conservative Centre for Security Policy; Robert Kagan and William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, the house journal of Washington neo-cons, and former CIA director James Woolsey. Former Reagan defence secretary Caspar Weinberger is also in the ACPC.

ACPC executive director Glen Howard said the continuation of the “brutalising tactics” of Russian forces would only lead to “the resistance employing more brutal tactics” like the assault on School Number One in Beslan. He claimed one of the so-called “Black Widows” decided to become a suicide bomber after being forced to watch Russian troops “boil her three-year-old child alive”.

“This is a very brutal war,” he said. “There have been knocks in the night, people have disappeared. It’s an endless cycle of violence in which everyone has lost their sanity. It is not surprising the Chechens have resorted to the same level of violence.”

Howard said Putin comparing Osama bin Laden to the leaders of the Chechen resistance was “ridiculous”. Moscow has put a $10 million bounty on the heads of two Chechen leaders – the extremist and al-Qaeda connected commander Shamil Basayev, and the more moderate, one-time democratically elected Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov.

Basayev, according to the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, directed the hostage-taking raid in Beslan. As a young Islamist extremist Basayev was trained in Jihadist tactics by fundamentalists in Afghanistan. Many Chechens have fought in Afghanistan and many fundamentalist Arabs have fought in Chechnya.

The nurturing of Chechen fighters against Russia recalls America’s support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan – an act that went on to spawn al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

“What would have happened if Bosnia had been ignored five years ago by the rest of the world in the way Chechnya has been ignored?” asked Howard. “They might have taken to taking over schools as well.

“Everyone is ignoring the nationalist aspirations of the Chechens. This is not about terrorism but about ethnic nationalism.” Howard said Russia was more “morally culpable” than Chechen fighters because of the atrocities its forces have committed.

Howard said hardliners like Richard Perle were backing Chechnya as they “understood what it feels like to be under the Russian yolk”. Some critics believe the support for the Chechens may be a cold war hangover or part of a policy to keep Russia weak through bloodletting in the Caucuses.

“The al-Qaeda link [to the Chechen conflict] is overstated,” said Howard. “Russia plays that up to show that it is part of the war on terror. There are some Arabs there but only a handful – this is a 400-year national struggle between the Russians and the Chechens.”

According to Howard, due to the vast energy resources in the Caucusus, the West, which is heavily dependent on foreign energy, has strategic interests in the area to which it cannot afford to turn a blind eye.

Howard said Russia should be told by the West to talk to Chechen leaders to bring about peace. He claimed there was also a “moral case” to invoke sanctions against Russia for its activities in Chechnya, but added that any such attempt would be “totally unrealistic”.


16-09-2004, 13:33
You realize, I hope, that you are citing Garry Kasparov (of Russian heritage) from a BRITISH newspaper.

16-09-2004, 13:38
Perhaps you are also unfamiliar with the concept of "opposing viewpoints" since they are not allowed by the Kremlin.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Children of Beslan
September 7, 2004; Page A20

It's hard to fathom now -- with the images of Russian children in body bags scorched into our memories -- but when the history of the war on terror is written, last week may go down as a turning point.

The official death toll at School No. 1 in Beslan stood yesterday at 335, more than one-tenth the number who died in the terrorist attacks on America three years ago this week. One hundred fifty-six were children -- boys and girls taken hostage when they arrived for their first day of the new school year. Before their slaughter, by rigged explosives or sniper fire, their captors denied them so much as a sip of water.

The depravity of this is hard to believe, but believe it we must. For it is the new reality of this current age in which innocents are specifically targeted by Muslim terrorists in the name of some Islamic cause. In Russia, the murderers were Chechens, aided by Arabs believed to be allied with al Qaeda. And so the children of Beslan join the ranks of other victims of Islamic terror -- in a Moscow theater, a Bali nightclub, a Karachi church, and the Twin Towers of New York.

In the face of such horror, who can offer up any shred of justification? Yet that is precisely what has happened in the wake of every terrorist event the world has seen in recent years. By such lights, terrorism is viewed as a political act, intended to draw sympathetic attention to a cause -- in this case the brutal Russian occupation of Chechnya.

Post-9/11, there were those who "explained" the attacks by blaming U.S. policy in the Mideast as behind the "desperation" of the hijackers. After the Madrid bombings, half the Spanish electorate effectively blamed their nation's participation in the war in Iraq by voting out the government that supported the U.S. In the wake of every suicide bombing in Israel, that country's policy on Palestinians is deemed responsible in many quarters, especially in Europe. Post-Beslan, who is prepared to blame the children?

On the eve of last week's Republican convention, President Bush told a television interviewer that the war on terror is not winnable. Pundits were quick to pounce on what seemed like a political slip, but Mr. Bush's meaning ought to have been clear. What he meant was that the war on terror was not winnable in a conventional sense. It would not conclude with Osama bin Laden ordering all Islamists to stand down the way the Emperor of Japan asked his countrymen to do at the end of World War II.

As should be obvious by now, the war on terror cannot be won only by disrupting terrorist networks and shoring up homeland defenses. It is also a war of ideas, and as such can be won only if the widespread ideological support for terrorism found in the Muslim world and some quarters of the West can be transformed into widespread condemnation.

There are historical models for this kind of transformational thinking. In the century that just ended, fascism and National Socialism, ideologies fashionable among some Western intellectuals during the 1930s, were stamped out by the Second World War. Communism lost ground during 50 years of the Cold War that ended with the collapse of the Soviet Empire. All of these ideologies have been proven bankrupt, even in the parts of the world where totalitarianism still reigns.

In making the case that the world needs to think differently about terrorism, Mr. Bush and other members of his Administration sometimes cite the example of the British in the 19th Century as changing the way the world thought about the slave trade. By the end of the century, slavery may still have existed in parts of the globe, but no one was making the moral case for it.

Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, explained the Administration's effort to de-legitimize terrorism in a speech last spring at the University of Chicago. "The world should view terrorism as it views the slave trade, piracy on the high seas and genocide," he said, "as activities that no respectable person condones, much less supports."

That ideological struggle over the uses of terror is slowly being won in most of the world, but it remains at the center of the civil war within Islam itself -- between extremists and conventional believers who are sometimes called moderates. That struggle cannot be won unless the vast majority of Muslims who condemn terrorism speak out publicly against such clerics as London-based Omar Bakri Mohammed, who told London's Sunday Telegraph that he would support hostage-taking at a British school if carried out by terrorists with a just cause.

Whatever Russian President Vladimir Putin's mistakes in Chechnya (see David Satter's related commentary), they don't justify the deliberate targeting of innocents. Nearly all nationalist movements -- from the American revolutionaries to the Irish Republican Army -- have had enough restraint to avoid the systematic murder of children. But there is something dysfunctional within the soul of modern Islam and its supporters that deems such depravity acceptable. Perhaps after Beslan more of the world, and especially much more of the Islamic world, will begin acknowledging this as the deadly poison it is.

16-09-2004, 13:52
Richard Perle is off his rocker, plain and simple. He was never quite all there to begin with, but lately his statements have been completely devoid of any connection to reality.

I guess he is still fighting the Cold War, like those isolated Japanese soldiers on some island somewhere who were still fighting WW2 40 years later because they had not heard the news that the war was over!

16-09-2004, 15:20
This seems to me much like the Kuwait girl testimony in the congress way back in 1991...

16-09-2004, 23:46
Okay, maybe it's sophomoric analysis, but one has to look at the lineage of the neo-cons. They trace their current incarnation back to the liberal hawks of the 60's and 70's. These liberal hawks were in turn Trotskyites a generation before that.

Their hatred of the Soviet Union is well known, and they're understandably leery about the new "Weimar Russia" under Putin.

17-09-2004, 00:14
Originally posted by Czechmate
This seems to me much like the Kuwait girl testimony in the congress way back in 1991...

Yep..manipulating public opinion is fundamental before you start firing missiles

17-09-2004, 07:24
Originally posted by quincy
Yep..manipulating public opinion is fundamental before you start firing missiles And the Soviets were masters of it. The Kremlin isn't doing too badly, either, but the public does grow sick of the deception. And you grow tiresome with your constant rantings on a single topic.

Ned Kelly
17-09-2004, 08:13
Wife goes nuts
(from the Sydney Morning Herald)

A Romanian man had his testicles ripped off by his wife because she believed he was having an affair.

Luckily for Aurica Marinescu, 50, surgeons were able to reattach them during a 10-hour operation.

"I wouldn't have said she was a strong woman, but she was furious - and she seemed to have superhuman strength in her anger," Marinescu said.

"The pain was incredible."