Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interesting statement from Russian President Medvedev

Russian President Medvedev has just made an unannounced visit to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee meeting in the North Ossetian city of Vladikavkaz.  He made a number of interesting, if very debatable comments.

a) President Medvedev began by saying that what is now taking place in the Arab world is a "scenario which was first attempted in Russia but which was defeated".

b) He described the situation in the Arab world as "extremely serious" and he said that major difficulties lie ahead.  According to him, there is a real risk of a "disintegration into small fragments of large, highly populated countries".

c) He said that very serious developments are likely including, quote, the accession to power by "fanatics".  That, according to Medvedev, would results in "fires for decades and a dissemination of extremism".  He repeated that this was the "scenario" which "they" (unnamed) were "preparing for" Russia and he added that now "they" (unnamed) would re-double the efforts to realize it in Russia.

d) Medvedev adamantly restated that "this scenario will not happen here" but he also added that "everything which happens there will have a direct impact on our situation".  He added that this is a long term issue which Russia will have to tackle for "many decades".

e) Medvedev then proceeded to declare that "it is quite obvious that nobody besides us can restore order in this situation".  The plan to respond to this situation would, according to Medvedev, include all the following components:
  1. A merciless destruction of any caught terrorists; according to Medvedev, "these degenerates show no mercy to women and children and we shall show them no mercy either".
  2. A systematic effort to prevent and preempt terrorist attacks before they occur.
  3. A multi-sectoral effort to revive and expand the economies of the Caucasus.
  4. A expansion of social programs.
  5. The creation of many workplaces
  6. The development of educational programs
  7. A maximal support for indigenous Islam
He added that "he who is willing to change should get a chance to do so but the one who seeks blood will drawn in his own blood; no other approaches are possible".

First, when I listened to him I though "there he goes again, parroting the Israeli-US line", but then I reconsidered.  I think that a lot was *not* said in this statement, but that we could try to make some educated guesses about what this statement was all about.  Here is my take on it:

First, it appears Medvedev is clearly supporting the Israeli-US position on the situation in the Arab world.  But then, what does he mean when he says that "they" attested to realize this "scenario" in Russia and that "they" will try again.

One interpretation is that the Arab revolutions are all directed by the CIA, MI6, Mossad, George Soros, the Bilderbergers, etc.  I really do not believe that this is what he means.  The other interpretation is that the aforementioned organizations will attempt to *use* the events in the Arab world to re-start wars in the Caucasus.  Now that is a FAR more likely explanation (just remember the recent DoS "tweets" in Farsi to try to re-ignite Iran and you will see what I mean).

If I am correct in my interpretation, then this is the very first time that I see an admission from Medvedev that what happened in the North Caucasus was indeed a massive destabilization plan organized and executed by Western interests via such Jewish oligarchs like Berezovsky and crackpot mass murders like Dudaev, Maskhadov & Co.  Yes, he does not name names, but the "they" he refers to is rather clear to any Russian.

The second element which I find interesting is Medvedev's prediction that "fanatic" elements might come to power.  I do not think that he refers to secular or Buddhist "fanatics", so the only conclusion is that he is referring to Wahabi extremists (they are often referred to as "fanatics" in Russia).  But why does he say that?  Tunisia is far from being a Wahabi-influenced country, the Egyptian revolution had a very strong secular component and the Egyption MB does not at all look like a "Wahabi" movement, in Bahrain a central force against the regime is Shia, while in Yemen is predominantly Shafi'i and Shia while the regime is totally dependent on Saudi Arabia.  I am frankly confused as to how Medvedev can come to the conclusion that Wahabis can come to power in these states.  Does he refer to Libya?!

Then, he speaks of the disintegration of a "large and highly populated" country/countries.  Since Yemen or Bahrain are neither large nor highly populated, is he hinting that Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya are going to fall apart? 

Medvedev is not Reagan.  He is an intelligent man and he gets the very best intelligence and analysis one can imagine.  So what is this all about?  Is he just trying to scare the Russian audience by hinting that the breakup of some yet undefined major and highly populated country would serve as trigger for a a similar development in the Caucasus or even Russia?  Or is there much more to this.  Remember the apparently equally strange declaration by Prime Minister Putin about the bombing in Domodedovo not being linked the Chechnia?  Clearly, both Medvedev and Putin are referring to some non Chechen "they" who is trying to destabilize Russia.  I wonder whom they are really referring to...

Lastly, I have to say that I am reassured to see that Medvedev seems to realize the need for the Federal government to carefully balance a merciless extermination of foreign-controlled Wahabi crazies with a simultaneous support for indigenous Islam in Russia.  I just hope that he means more than than just to build a huge mosque in Grozny and in Saint Petersburg, and that this program will include the promotion and financing the forms of Islam traditional to the Caucasus and the rest of Russia.

As I have already written in the past, I strongly believe that the real solution to the crisis in the Caucasus can only come from the Muslim world.  Sadly, I do realize that 99.99999% of Muslims are still stuck into a deceptive myth combining  a narrative about "Muslims always being the victims" with a blind "my umma - right or wrong" attitude.  Yet, I do also know that this is not true of a majority of Muslims living in Russia.  They all saw bloodbath which the Chechen "Islamic Peacekeeping Brigade" created in Dagestan during its aborted invasion in the hope of creating an "Islamic Caliphate" in the Caucasus.  Russian Muslims are also quite aware of the regular terrorist attacks which continue nowadays.  So while many of them will be very critical of the Kremlin and will be often disgusted and outraged by some of the gross human rights violations committed by Federal forces in Chechnia, I believe that they know that Wahabism is the main cause of all these horrors.  Bottom line:  the Kremlin needs to support Islam in Russia but without attempting to control or use it.  This is a difficult balance which I do not believe has been achieved yet.

Anyway, I think that these statement by Medvedev are intriguing and interesting and that while I might not agree with this take on the evens in the Arab world, it is well worth taking it into consideration.

The Saker