I really could care less about the US elections. Because whoever wins, it is likely to be the same old same old.
But after the other night, I am 120% incensed at Bush.
I was watching BBC World, keeping a close eye on what had been happening in Beslan. There was a commercial break, and I switched it over to CNN, and there was Bush, giving his speak at the rally in New York. And I caught the speech at precisely the right time. He was talking about having a positive plan for making a safer world.
I wonder if Bush had any clue of what was unfolding in Russia at that time?
If he has been, and is, serious about building a safer world, why did Bush (or direct representatives of his government):
1) invite Ilyas Akhmadov, a Chechen terrorist, to the US on an official visit in March 2001 where he was given an audience at the US State Department?
2) continue to give military aid to the Georgian government of Shevardnadze, even thought Shevardnadze allowed Chechen terrorists to maintain an office in Tbilisi?
3) threaten Russia (the US State Department called it 'urging them'), when Russia said they would send their own troops into the Pankisi Gorge, because of the total lack of co-operation from Shevardnadze in ridding the area of terrorist bases and training camps? The US was worried that this would harm Georgian sovereignty, and would seriously weaken Shevardnadze's hold on power in the country (don't want to harm the puppet). Sidenote: To this day, the Pankisi is still suspected of harbouring Chechens. The official line is that the terrorists have been kicked out, and that all training camps have been demolished; however, people (mainly journos) who travelled to the area were warned about venturing into the Gorge area by local Georgian military officials who cited that the area is still unsafe. Flies in the face of the line out of Tbilisi.
4) continually tell Russia to seek a dialogue with Chechen terrorists, which when it was done, was met by various Chechen factions with bombings of various public places in various Russian cities and towns? The US insists that the Russians should be seeking dialogue with Maskhadov, as he is, in the words of the US State Department, 'respected', although there is tape evidence that Maskhadov either knew of the hostage drama at the Nord-Ost theatre in Moscow in advance, or approved the actions personally.
5) ignore repeated requests by RF government to declare Chechen groups as terrorist groups, and to seize US assets of these groups? It wasn't until August 2003, that Basayev (behind recent attacks) was listed as a terrorist.
6) in August 2004, give a Chechen terrorist political asylum in the US?
The list can go on and on.
Whilst Vladimir Vladimirovich has questions which he needs to answer, so does Bush. I would like to ask him
How in hell can you seriously say that you have tried to make the world safer, when whilst you spoke these words at your rally, 300+ people were killed in an atrocious way by the exact people you say you want to protect the world from? Are you aware that actions by yourself, or by your own representatives, have created an environment within that region, whereby Russia has not been able to effectively protect their own population from the type of people you want to save the world from? Mr Bush, you said "You are with us, or against us", can you explain this to me? Does it mean that you have to be with 'us' only when the terrorism is directed at your country, whilst you chose not to be with others, but rather go against them, when fighting terrorism within their borders?
I lost all respect on the 'war on terror' within days of him making those comments, when the US State Department continued the same line with the Russians in regards to Chechnya.
I doubt it would be any different under Kerry. But Bush's comments the other night defied belief.