17 August 2005
CNN.com is no longer hosting the article that I am responding to, but a copy of it is archived on the Middle East Information Center website.
I wrote this on 17 August 2005 ... my birthday, incidently.
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This is my rant about one of the things I feel strongly enough about to post a long winded complaint over.
This is in response to an article was put out by CNN.com on 16 August 2005. I only read the first paragraph and had to stop out of frustration. This is the paragraph:
"The blast was the latest violence in Grozny, which remains a shattered city some six years after Russian troops invaded the province seeking to end a separatist insurgency."
"Separatist insurgency" is what they call the situation in Chechnya. That labeling is what so aggravated me. It's so easy to call the Chechen people insurgents when the entire population of the republic has been branded as terrorists, adults and children alike. The article correctly points out that Russia invaded Chechnya to put down this "insurgency." What it fails to mention is that Russia has been abusing Chechnya for over 200 years, and the recent wars there are all Russia's fault. Russia has continuously mistreated the Chechen people. Imperial abuse under Tsar Peter I (The Great) who was hoping to expand the Russian Empire began the Russo-Chechen strife. Under Imam Shamil the Chechens began instituting guerrilla to maintain their homeland in 1817. In 1944 Stalin deported almost the entire Chechen population to Siberia to die and they remained there until Khrushchev allowed them to return home in 1956.
In 1991 the Soviet Union broke apart. The republics that made up the USSR declared independence and became their own free-reigning nations. Chechnya attempted to do the same and was quickly silenced by Moscow. In short, this "separatist insurgency" is nothing short of Chechnya trying to gain independence and freedom from Russia. Two wars have been fought in Chechnya since 1993, their sole intent to keep the Chechens from exercising basic human rights and becoming independent. It's in Russia's best interests to keep Chechnya in check because the republic just happens to be on land that is rich in oil, and provides trade routes into the Middle East.
Chechen independence cannot happen because the entire republic has been branded as terrorists engaged in illegal activities. Activities they've only adopted to protect their homeland from Russian military forces who have been specially selected to enforce Russian dominance through whatever means necessary, and the top command looks the other way. So many atrocities have been committed by Russian troops against the Chechens. Anybody who complains about the war in Iraq should really take a look at Chechnya. Iraq is nothing compared to the small Russian republic. Unfortunately nothing is likely to change, in part due to the recent opinions on "terrorism," whether they are well-founded or not. Also, President Bush is best buddies with Russian President Putin, so the "official" American stance towards Chechnya is not one of support. As such, most Americans are liable to tag Chechens as terrorists. This is even evident in "Team America," where a "Chechnyan" terrorist goes to Kim Jong Il to acquire a WMD.
This is what the people who write these articles about Chechnya often fail to do. They fail to actually explain why the conflict is going on and who is actually the victim. Everything comes down to a matter of freedom. Chechnya is a War of Independence. Haven't we done that before? Didn't we engage in attacks on the British troops who were dispatched to the the American colonies in order to end "separatist insurgency?" It's all one's point of view.
Now, I did finally go back and finish the article. I noticed that it never actually made a guess at who planted the car bomb. The finger pointing is likely to go towards the Chechen people, but from what I've read about the Russo-Chechen conflict, Russian troops are equally likely to have set it up. Such is the situation in Chechnya: utter chaos and disaster. It's the ultimate war of attrition, and neither side will ever stop until the other is to weak to continue the fight.