Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Will the Muslim world ever show enough courage to deal with the Chechen insurgents?

"Emir Dokku Abu Usman"
According to the BBC, the self-styled "Emir of the Caucasus Emirate" and former "President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria" Doku Umarov (aka "Emir Dokku Abu Usman") has declared in reference to the bombing of the Domodedovo airport in Moscow that ""This special operation was carried out on my orders and, God willing, special operations like it will continue to be carried out".  Fair enough - if he wants to claim credit for it, let him have it regardless of whether he and his crazed thugs are really behind it.

I wrote "if" because I simply do not believe that Putin strange statement that this blast was not linked to Chechnia was a mistake or a lie.  Putin is not Reagan, and he is fully aware of what he says.  I have no explanation for the apparent contradictions here, but that does not really matter.

What matters is that the Chechen insurgency's position on terrorism is what the French call "persist and sign" (persiste et signe) which refers to the stubborn insistence to pursuing a course of action which is clearly risky if not outright wrong.

The Chechen insurgency began in terror and barbarity, it continued in terror and barbarity, and it still proudly clings to terror and barbarity.  This, of course, will remain a problem for Russia, but most of all, it will remain a absolute disaster for the Chechen people who, if they ever want to actually achieve anything, need to "clean house" themselves because the Russians will never be able to do that for them.  But the Chechen society will apparently will not do so.

This is my big beef with the Chechens.  Not their desire for independence.  Actually, as claims for a historical right for independence go, the Chechen one was, in comparison to many others made in the former USSR, one of the most historically credible ones: unlike other peoples in the Caucasus, the Chechens have always resisted the Russian Empire, and while all the big cities in the Chechen plains were built by Russian Cossacks (including Grozny), the mountainous regions of Chechnia have always belonged to the Chechen nation.  Simply put - the Russian presence in Chechnia has no other explanation then Russian imperialism and the Chechen desire for independence can only be considered as natural and just.

No, the reason why I feel no sympathy at all for the Chechens is that from day one of their independence movement, they managed to be lead by truly evil thugs, cynical and bloodthirsty gang leaders with no sense of even basic human decency, truly the most vile and abject kind of human garbage ever produced by the Soviet society.  All the Chechen leaders, and I do mean *all* of them, were truly monsters and yet the Chechen society naively thought that it could be lead by such people and not reap the consequences.  Not only that, but for several years a very large part of the Chechen population actually enjoyed the orgy of lawlessness and violence that overtook Chechnia.  Initially the victims were mostly ethnic Russians (and especially the Cossacks which the Chechens always feared and hated).  But soon enough the lawlessness turned all of Chechnia into what can only be called a "black hole".  Eventually, of course, the Chechens reaped what they had themselves sown.

I know for a fact of  many times when Russian military commanders, when confronted by Chechen crowds complaining about the destruction of their villages by the Russian military, replied: "Look, I am from Siberia and I miss my home.  I hate this place and I would leave as soon as possible if I did not have to clean up the mess that you created.  Where were you when many thousands people were kidnapped, murdered, tortured on video and in public squares, raped, when slaves were sold on open markets in central Grozny, when hundereds of innocents were held in zindans and when bandits were running your republic?  It is because of you - the so-called 'innocent Chechens' - that I am here and that my men will have to eliminate all the thugs and murderers which you allowed to prosper and flourish in your society.  If you could not clean your own mess, then shut up and don't complain if we do it now!".

And you know what? I fully agree with that.

Yes, a lot of innocent Chechens died, and a lot of innocent Chechens lost their dwellings.  But at the core - it's their own fault.  Call it karma if you want, or call it historical justice, but a society is responsible for the consequences of letting crazed murders rule it.  This is fundamentally true of the Germans before and during WWII, and it is true for the Chechens today.

And yes, when finally in 2000 the Russian re-took Chechnia, and this time for real, they did come with deep sense of rage and repulsion for their Chechen enemies.  But what did the Chechens expect - to be softly arrested by Geneva Conventions reading Swiss cops?  More then anything else, the Russians were deeply disgusted by the Chechens and they mostly felt little or no pity for them.

Judging by the latest statement of the "Emir of the Caucasus Emirate" the Chechen insurgents have not learned a thing.  They seem to seriously believe that they can beat back the Russian kuffar with terror attacks.  They have already attacked maternity hospitals, movie theaters, aircraft, music concerts, trains, parades and now an airport.  And I predict that they will continue to do so in the future and no amount of counter-terrorist measures will be able to stop them.  But all they will achieve is an even stronger resolve on the Russian side to crush them down to the very last one if needed.  This is not about independence, not about politics and not about oil or geography.  This is about "exterminating the louse" (гниду уничтожить) as the Russian expressions goes, it's about not letting the SOBs get away with murder, literally.

As far as the current official leader of Chechnia goes, Ramzan Kadyrov, most Russians have little love for the guy.  He is a former insurgent himself whose father changed sides when he felt the wind turn.  And he is also very much a typical Chechen thug.  But as the Russians see it, let the Chechens clean as much of their own hell-hole as they can.  Russia will send them money, and will keep an eye on them.  And if the Chechens cannot take care of business - then the most battle hardened, best trained and, now, best equipped Russian military units will be back, really fast, to take care of any situation getting out of control.

I personally believe that the vast majority of Russians would be quite happy to let Chechnia go to hell, provided all the Chechens currently residing in Russia are also kicked out and a huge and impenetrable wall is built around the Russian-Chechen border so that none of these guy could never ever come back.  But Russians also know that this is a fantasy which will never happen.  So the next "least bad" solution is to let the Chechens sort out their own mess as much as possible and, if they cannot, to have an iron fist ready to strike as fast and hard as needed.

This is one of those situation where neither victory nor peace is possible.  Of course, Doku Umarov will sooner or later be killed by the FSB or the GRU (like all his predecessors and all of the original insurgency leaders).  But there are enough wannabe "Emirs of the Caucasus Emirate" left in Chechnia to have him replaced really fast.  And they will be killed too.  One after the another, for as long as it takes.  This is, of course, a bad solution, but that is the only possible strategy and tactic for Russia - the Chechens leave Russia absolutely no other choice, regardless of who is in power in the Kremlin.

Let me conclude here by saying that Russia too has a big responsibility for what happened in Chechnia.  It was Eltsin and his "democrats" who armed Dudaev and his militias to the teeth, it was Eltsin and his "democrats" who send billions of Rubles to Chechnia and it was Eltin and his democrats who sent untrained recruits to die in Grozny and who stopped the Russian military not once, but twice when it was about to crush the insurgency.  The entire clique of Jewish bankers and Russian 'democrats' who ran Russia for almost a decade played a key role in letting Chechnia become a black hole.  And the Russian society, just like the Chechen one, is morally responsible for letting itself be ruled by such immoral and incompetent oligarchs.  And the Russian society has, I believe, also paid a terrible price for its own passivity and lack of backbone.  But the Russians, at least, did clean up their own mess, and with the exception of a few die-hard pro-Western "democrats", nobody in Russia has anything but disgust and hatred for the rulers of the "democratic" regime in power between 1991-2000.  In fact, in the latest elections not a single "democratic" party got the minimum amount of votes to even be represented by even one Deputy in the Duma.

But what do the Chechens think about Dudaev, Maskhadov, Iandarbiev, Basaev, Raduev, Baraev, Udugov, Khattab and the rest of them?  Just take a look at their "official" website Kavkaz Center.  They are all honored there as "martyrs for God", as shahids (!), who died in a just and noble cause.  And the folks at Kavkaz Center are sadly not alone, a great part of the Muslim world still remains absolutely unable to think outside a reflexive, knee-jerk  "my country - wrong or right" paradigm, just transposed to religion ("my umma - right or wrong").  Add to this the narrative that Muslims are always the persecuted victims and you will have the elements of a collective blindness which will only serve to make things worse.

Ever since some Brits were decapitated by Chechen crazies, the West has toned down its criticism of Russia, at least somewhat.  Besides, NATO now needs Russia if it wants to resupply its troops in Afghanistan.  As for the Muslim countries, most of them probably start realizing - at least in private - that the Chechen insurgents are at least as bad as the worst al-Qaeda types who are more than willing to kill any Muslim who happens to disagree with them.  But as long as bloodthirsty buffoons like Doku Umarov are not completely denounced, condemned and rejected by the international Muslim umma, the situation in Chechnia will remain unchanged, unsolved and untenable.

The solution to this conflict can only come from the Muslim world.  Sadly, I do not believe that it is capable of taking on such a role.  At the very least then, I hope that it will then follow the less-than-heroic stance of the West and at least abstain from criticizing Russia which has no other option than to deal with this issue in the only manner it can.

The Saker