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What Is Putin Doing?

Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:56 pm

I don't understand why Putin is taking such a low profile after the horrors of last week. His nation just underwent perhaps the most viscious terrorist attacks in history (an attack on kids, for Christ's sake - that's as bad or worse than 9/11), and he has not rallied the people together. Nearly half of the terrorists were Arabs as well, pointing a solid finger towards Al Qaeda or other similar groups. Maybe he's embarassed about previous mishandling of Chechnya, or that he did not do enough to go after international terrorism when he had the chance, but this is a time when many past mistakes can be forgiven, if he would simply get up off his butt and LEAD!

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=5&u=/nm/20040906/ts_nm/russia_school_dc

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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:46 am

He's probably doing more than you know. Remember, western media, yes, even in Canada, tend to focus on western issues. (Is Russia considered a westernized country yet?). Anyway, the day that it happened, I turned on the news, CNN, and they were talking about a woman who had too many dogs in her house and was arrested for animal cruelty. They did mention the story several times, but no where near the intensive attention 9/11 got all over the world. I also checked the BBC and they talked about it, but changed stories quite frequently.

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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:47 am

Whoops, you're in Switzerland, not Canada! Duh....sorry.

UAL
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:49 am

How he conducts himself as a statesman will be important, no doubt, but I'm more concerned with what he will do rather than say in the upcoming weeks and months.

The Russians have a tough road ahead.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:18 am

Maybe he's embarassed about previous mishandling of Chechnya, or that he did not do enough to go after international terrorism when he had the chance

With all due respect, what are you talking about? Chechnya has not been mishandled -- it has dragged on for reasons beyond the control of Putin. And Putin has done a lot about leading the 'war' on international terrorism, because if you remember, Russia has been official fighting that war since 1999, all the while the international community was telling him that what he was doing was wrong, and expressly worked against Russia. The rest of the world didn't join the fight on international terrorism until the 4th quarter of 2001, a full 2 years, and hundreds of Russian deaths, later. Do you understand the justifiable cynicism for comments such as yours above?

The media, particularly the western media, made a huge deal that Putin didn't straight away travel to Beslan after the situation evolved into a tragedy. With reports of there being 3 different groups being involved, and reports that some of those involved still being on the loose, it is not a good thing to send the leader of a country into an area which has not been totally secured. Then you had the locals saying that Putin came and left under darkness, and not announcing his visit. Whilst understanding where they are coming from, due to the reason above, it is not a good thing to announce to the terrorists that he will be coming. Then you have the media wondering why there was no official announcement from the Kremlin the night it happened. I also understand why he didn't do this. At that stage, the facts were still not completely clear. He needed time to gather these facts from the responsible ministries, and also to travel to the site to inspect the scene for himself. It is better to wait 12 hours and go to the public with an accurate picture of what happened, then rush with no facts and then look like an arse later.

But now the time has come. Putin is being forced to face certain realities. But most importantly, those countries which have in the past worked against Russia, will now be forced to acknowledge that Putin, for the last 5 years, has been doing the right thing. They will be forced to work with Russia, and forget about their own interests which has often helped terrorists within Chechnya. This was the entire point behind Russia seeking official condemnation of Beslan from the UN Security Council. If you have read his speech to the Russian people, you will also have noticed that not once did he mention Chechnya. He did make, however, numerous references to the international terrorism. This will cover not only Chechnya, but also Ingushetia (where there is also a small terrorist movement working in conjunction with the Chechen counterparts). From here on in, we will soon see which countries are serious about this 'war'. The only good thing to come out of this entire tragedy, is that it was televised live around the world, forcing people everywhere to witness what has been occurring since 1999 -- you would struggle to find any reference in the mainstream western media of the Russians foiling a similar event in a school last year (or maybe 2002), except this school was in Chechnya itself.

Domestically, he cannot waiver from the current path. He has made this quite clear in his speech, and those who previously would have wanted a pullout from Chechnya, will now be firmly within his camp. A large proportion of the Russian people could really care less about Chechnya and whether they stay in the Federation or not, however, they do not want to live every day wondering if when they ride to work on the metro, it will be blown up, or will they be blown up by going to a theatre or concert, etc, etc. He does need to do something about the corruption within various government ministries. I would be expecting announcements in the coming days of heads rolling.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:40 am

I think Russia's declared intent to take on terrorism lends more credibility to the argument some have put forth - that we're actively engaged in World War III, and it's not the NATO vs. Warsaw Pact exchange of thermonuclear weapons we thought it would be.

It's present day society vs. the Dark Ages.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/09/04/russia.putin/index.html

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the hostage massacre in Beslan an attack on the entire country and made a surprising admission of weakness in the face of terrorism.

Speaking to his nation in a televised address Saturday, the Kremlin leader said the Soviet Union's collapse had left the country unable to react to attacks and warned: "Weak people are beaten."

In his 10-minute address, which followed an early morning visit to Beslan, Putin called the massacre "an attack on our country" and urged Russians to join together to fight terrorism.

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Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:17 am

EA CO AS: It's present day society vs. the Dark Ages.

Indeed. And I hope the dark ages will lose power in the November elections.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:40 am

Indeed. And I hope the dark ages will lose power in the November elections.

Klaus, are you completely incapable of spewing anything other than "I dislike George W. Bush," or things referring to your dislike of him?

If you have something to offer to this discussion, great - jump in. Otherwise shut the hell up and stop hijacking threads with your childish posts.
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Klaus
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Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:20 am

EA CO AS: Klaus, are you completely incapable of spewing anything other than "I dislike George W. Bush," or things referring to your dislike of him?

Sorry to disappoint you.  Nuts

But celebrating the Bush administration as a bulwark of "present day society" is difficult to take seriously. I´ve not seen a US administration in my lifetime that was as close to reintroducing medieval witch hunts as this one apparently is.

The problem we´re facing is fanaticism - the incapability and unwillingness to even consider the possibility that one´s own views on anything might be flawed or incomplete and the determination to force one´s view through with military violence if "necessary".

That is the problem. And its close similarity with problem-"solving" strategies from medieval times does indeed justify the label "dark ages".

This kind of fanaticism is not just coming from the terrorists in Beslan, New York and elsewhere; It is also a rather precise description of the official policy in Washington and to some degree in Moscow. (Remember the press conference where Bush was unable (or unwilling) to admit to any mistake he had made in the face of overwhelming evidence?)


Terrorism can never be defeated by out-gunning, out-bombing or out-hating the terrorists. That will only turn more sympathizers into actual terrorists who might still be able to be reasoned with otherwise. And you simply can´t scare a terrorist who is ready to die for his "cause". Bush´s and Putin´s threatening rethoric is simply laughable when it´s about terrorism.

There have been a few cases where terrorism has been defeated in the past. And the essential difference was never in firepower or fanaticism. It was always in finding the decisive weakness of the terrorists - their supporters and sympathizers - and demonstrating to them that the terrorists had neither the means nor the moral justification to actually achieve anything.


Police and sometimes even military means are an important part of fighting terrorism; But as has been said again and again: They are not sufficient to defeat it. You need intelligence (in both meanings of the word), allies, smart communication and a consistent strategy.


I´ve not seen any different russian strategy in Chechnya than bombing the hell out of the place - civilians or no civilians - and I have no doubt that it has turned Chechnya into a fantastically fertile recruitment base for the chechen extremists, since any moderates have never been recognized by Moscow and the people have never had a realistic alternative.

It may provide a convenient pretext to introduce martial law in the near future, but it won´t make anybody safer.

On the other side of the world, Bush´s rethoric may give some americans a warm and fuzzy feeling, but he´s got nothing to show for it. It will only work as long as nobody´s actually looking beyond the curtain of pseudo-patriotic platitudes, but so far too few americans seem to want to know. "Wollt Ihr den totalen Krieg?" has been a wildly successful slogan once before. Just not in real life...  Pissed


"More bombs! More guns! More violence!" has not worked in Palestine, it doesn´t work in Iraq and it doesn´t work in Chechnya.

Surprising? Not really.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:34 am

Terrorism can never be defeated by out-gunning, out-bombing or out-hating the terrorists

You're right...we simply need to "understand" them and be tolerant, right?  Insane

Bush´s and Putin´s threatening rethoric is simply laughable when it´s about terrorism.

Do you actually expect heads of state whose citizenry has been terrorized to explain why these things occurred instead of assuring the public they're taking the steps to keep them from taking place again?

the essential difference... ...was always in finding the decisive weakness of the terrorists - their supporters and sympathizers - and demonstrating to them that the terrorists had neither the means nor the moral justification to actually achieve anything.

So how do you convey this message to a group of supporters and sympathizers whose common link is religion - but a religion that lacks a central authority or single spiritual leader through which that message can even be conveyed in the first place?

Until such a solution is found, the only thing the United States, Russia, and all other nations can do is attempt to kill as many of these zealots as possible in hopes of protecting as many of their citizens as possible.
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Klaus
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Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:11 am

EA CO AS: You're right...we simply need to "understand" them and be tolerant, right?

Read my post!

Klaus: Police and sometimes even military means are an important part of fighting terrorism; But as has been said again and again: They are not sufficient to defeat it. You need intelligence (in both meanings of the word), allies, smart communication and a consistent strategy.

[...] finding the decisive weakness of the terrorists - their supporters and sympathizers - and demonstrating to them that the terrorists had neither the means nor the moral justification to actually achieve anything.


Emotionally, everybody who´s scared to death wants simple answers, retaliation, a quick fix - but all these things are simply not to be had in the real world. Promising them is simply dishonest. It is difficult, it takes time and it is always complicated. But in this case, the complicated solution is the only one that actually works - even if it´s a somewhat harder sell than the allegedly simple solutions that just won´t work.


EA CO AS: Do you actually expect heads of state whose citizenry has been terrorized to explain why these things occurred instead of assuring the public they're taking the steps to keep them from taking place again?

Not really. I acknowledge the propriety of most of Bush´s speeches immediately after 9-11 and of Putin´s recent one quoted in the other thread.

But: There needs to be a point where consolation of the population needs to be put aside and the real fight against the attackers needs to be started. And if at that point a responsible leader cannot step beyond the simplifications and tackle the actual problem with the intelligence and the complexity that is necessary, well, then I must say he fails his population badly. There´s a reason why political leaders are at least supposed to be intelligent and wise, even if they may fall short of that ideal to varying degrees (as everybody else would). Getting the best you have up there is still imperative in a crisis. Sound and effective policy are far more important than flashy delivery and endless repetition of the same hollow propaganda.


EA CO AS: So how do you convey this message to a group of supporters and sympathizers whose common link is religion - but a religion that lacks a central authority or single spiritual leader through which that message can even be conveyed in the first place?

You don´t need to hijack the Pope to get a message across to the catholics, don´t you think?  Wink/being sarcastic

I share your concern about the blatant lack of moral leadership by most muslim clerics; But actions speak louder than words. Afghanistan is widely recognized as a justified campaign; There is much too little support for a peaceful development, but there are indications some of it may still take root. Even in Iraq, the support will not be entirely in vain.

The problem is that the attack on Iraq is perceived as an illegal invasion by almost everybody. Only in the USA a relevant number of people have modified the justification for the invasion post facto from Iraq "being a threat" (before) to Iraq "needing to be freed of Saddam" (after). Most people are not impressed and remember quite well what the official original reasons were supposed to be.

When you are perceived as corrupt (see above) and morally compromised (Abu Ghraib), you simply can´t reach the people.

Reaching potential sympathizers of terrorists is not really that difficult: "Simply" act in a way that they can see you´re recognizing their valid grievances and interests. There are even a few largely independent and widely viewed arab satellite news networks, so the infrastructure is there. Too bad they don´t have much positive to report at this time.


EA CO AS: Until such a solution is found, the only thing the United States, Russia, and all other nations can do is attempt to kill as many of these zealots as possible in hopes of protecting as many of their citizens as possible.

That is simply a shortsighted, stupid and ultimately counterproductive strategy. Others have much more experience with the fight against terrorism (and even with its extermination in some cases). Listening to them once in a while may help prevent the kind of death toll that´s been racked up again by several american servicemen and -women today (why is nobody counting the iraqi deaths, by the way?).  Sad
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:31 am

In résumé, Far West behaviour do not work against terrorism, what is needed is a delicate balance between diplomacy and firmness.
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:34 am

You don´t need to hijack the Pope to get a message across to the catholics, don´t you think?

Definitely not, but I think you can acknowledge that there's a world of difference between Catholicism and Islam in that there is an organized, official source of doctrine and ideology for the Catholic faith, whereas Islam not only lacks this, but has potentially hundreds or even thousands of mullahs and imams out there claiming to have spiritual authority to create doctrine at will - many directly contradicting one another!

Just imagine for a moment that all Catholic bishops and priests individually were able to hand down their own interpretations of the Bible as official church doctrine. It would be chaos!

Much in the same way that terrorism is so difficult because there is no one nation to target, the same can be said for radical forms of Islam because there is no one spiritual leader to focus on to facilitate change.
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Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:58 am

EA CO AS: Definitely not, but I think you can acknowledge that there's a world of difference between Catholicism and Islam in that there is an organized, official source of doctrine and ideology for the Catholic faith, whereas Islam not only lacks this, but has potentially hundreds or even thousands of mullahs and imams out there claiming to have spiritual authority to create doctrine at will - many directly contradicting one another!

Sure. But as much as you don´t need to go through the one pope you don´t need to go through thousands of mullahs and imams in order to get your point across. Muslims still watch TV, and the new channels are quite popular. Offering them convincing policy could really make a positive impact just as much as Abu Ghraib has made a devastating one.


EA CO AS: Much in the same way that terrorism is so difficult because there is no one nation to target, the same can be said for radical forms of Islam because there is no one spiritual leader to focus on to facilitate change.

You don´t turn radicals and their supporters around by having their crazed radical leaders reverse course (although that would be nice); You turn them around by offering them a viable alternative to radicalism.

And if reasonable communication in both directions is seen as effective, most people don´t voluntarily choose the radical alternative. All these things are "only" matters of degree - there is no "perfect solution", only a long and arduous process of building defenses at the same time as bridges to the reasonable people with progressive improvements in the situation, the occasional backlash notwithstanding.

Radicals need two things:

An enemy: You need to demolish their propaganda image - prove to their supporters they are wrong (the radicals themselves will usually not be too impressed). Build a moral case that can convince your target audience - not just the voters at home!

A support base: You need to erode their support base by convincing them that radicalism will not improve their situation and won´t give them satisfaction nor a (moral) victory. If there is nobody to hide, feed or supply them any more, the radicals will have little choice but to retreat.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:03 am

The rest of the world didn't join the fight on international terrorism until the 4th quarter of 2001

Ahem, I must contradict you and say that Israel's been fighting the war on terrorism up until even before its creation. Jews had to fight back attacks on her civilians before 1948 (i.e. Arab Riots of 1936-1939). There were the Fedayeen attacks constantly killing civilians on buses and restaurants up until the Suez campaign of 1956 (which destroyed them). There was the shelling of Israeli cities and farms from the Golan Heights in Syria. There was indiscriminate shelling and bombing of Israeli cities by Arab armies in 1967 and 1973. There was the Olympics Massacre, the Entebbe hijackings, and the growth and expansion of PLO massacres and terrorism in the seventies with the emergence of Yasser Arafat. There was the PLO attacks and infiltrations from northern Lebanon into the Galilee for years in the late seventies and early eighties. There was and is Hizbullah attacks into Northern Israel. And finally, there were two terrible rounds of violence (intefadahs) in the last two decades, one which Israel is currently squashing effectively (if you ask me).

So if you ask me, Israel has been side by side with Russia since 1999 fighting the war on terrorism.
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:08 am

The USA was one of the few remaining countries basically unaware of the terrorist threat up to 9-11... Most others were far less surprised, even if still shocked much the same...  Sad
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:13 pm

According to the german ARD Tagesschau just a few minutes ago, Putin has conceded that russian troops committed human rights violations in Chechyna and that there was widespread corruption; He also acknowldged the need to get more involved with the chechen civilian population.

This is coming very, very late. But maybe there´s still hope to turn the situation around again... Let´s hope for the best!
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:32 pm

You don´t need to hijack the Pope to get a message across to the catholics, don´t you think?

Definitely not, but I think you can acknowledge that there's a world of difference between Catholicism and Islam in that there is an organized, official source of doctrine and ideology for the Catholic faith, whereas Islam not only lacks this, but has potentially hundreds or even thousands of mullahs and imams out there claiming to have spiritual authority to create doctrine at will - many directly contradicting one another!
Just imagine for a moment that all Catholic bishops and priests individually were able to hand down their own interpretations of the Bible as official church doctrine. It would be chaos!


You may be right, but keep in mind that many, many people who consider themselves Catholic do not always follow everything the Pope says. The Vatican's ban on artificial birth control is the most obvious example. In addition, certain Protestant denominations such as the Southern Baptists seem to function quite well and avoid chaos even though each congregation is fully autonomous in doctrinal matters.
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:37 pm

It sounds like the Russian government and Vladimir Putin are using Janet Reno as a special hostage situation consultant. Seriously, what an awful situation the Russians have continually put themselves in. What? Does the anti-terror manual cover killing as many hostages as possible yourself before going after the terrorists? Yes, the terrorists need to be killed or captured, but at the price they are doing it makes the terrorists look like the real winners in these situations--not only in hostage death tolls but politically as well. I'm not saying negotiating with terrorists is a real great strategy, but I think at the same time there has to be a medium between that and a couple hundred dead school children.
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:05 am

Jcs17, I suggest you too get a clue. If it wasn't for the terrorists setting off explosives (surely killing many people instantly), the situation would not have degenerated as it did. No-one expected it, and there was only one outcome. And unfortunately, that was a loss of life. Nice way to put the blame on the Russians. what an awful situation the Russians have continually put themselves in. I think not.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:32 am

Also, Putin is getting fed up with the constant criticism in recent days from the 'west', in particular from Europe and NATO, who keep saying to talk to the terrorists from Chechnya. He has obviously had enough, and has been quoted of telling reporters:

No-one has a moral right to tell us to talk to child killers..........Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?...........You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?

Talk about a
 
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Russophile

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:37 am

Russophile, you lose some of your right to feel indignant when your troops behave like marauding hordes instead of like a regular army. Same effect as with Abu Ghraib in Iraq, only it´s happening in Chechnya for years already.

Things aren´t that simple.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:40 am

According to the german ARD Tagesschau just a few minutes ago, Putin has conceded that russian troops committed human rights violations in Chechyna and that there was widespread corruption;

The only solution is to allow full democracy and right of secession for the Chechnyans.

Perhaps the West can help by imposing economic sanctions on Russia until Putin agrees.

Long live Chechnyan freedom.
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Yyz717

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:45 am

You´re asking for it, don´t you...?  Wink/being sarcastic
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:50 am

According to the german ARD Tagesschau just a few minutes ago, Putin has conceded that russian troops committed human rights violations in Chechyna and that there was widespread corruption;

You mean to say that the 'west' only just learnt of this? Putin admitted some years ago that some Russian troops have participated in abuses outside of what their orders state. And he has also stated that some years ago that those responsible for the abuses will be held responsible and made to answer for their crimes. There have already charges laid and troops sent to jail for their abuses.

The abuses are most certainly not authorised by the military hierarchy in Moscow.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:51 am

Jcs17, I suggest you too get a clue. If it wasn't for the terrorists setting off explosives (surely killing many people instantly), the situation would not have degenerated as it did. No-one expected it, and there was only one outcome. And unfortunately, that was a loss of life. Nice way to put the blame on the Russians. what an awful situation the Russians have continually put themselves in. I think not.

Actually, no one knows yet for sure what happened in terms of the order of events. There are some reports that do suggest that a bomb was set off because special forces might have been entering the compound. Look at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco for example, no one knew exactly what happened for months. Then again, for someone like you, where any kind of statement from the Russian government is taken as something from the mouth of God it doesn't surprise me that you believe the Vladimir Putin version of events.

Its people like you, who cannot get over Russia's 'glorious' past and still long for the days when Russia was a superpower that have allowed terrorism to flourish in Russia. It was the 'renegade' Afghani's in the 80s and its the 'renegade' Chechens in the 21st century that allowed Russia to exert its 'military might.' Its people like you who long for the days of Russian conquering and colonizing that allow events like this to happen by beleiving, falsely I might add, that the only way that Russia will become a superpower again in by crushing a small province. The problem with most Russians is that they still believe that they are a superpower, a force to be reckoned with, when in reality their country is in shambles--and tumbling into oblivion.

The only way that Russia can become a 'superpower' again is by focusing their attentions on working towards a more liberalized market economy, improving human rights, and increasing democratization efforts. Russia won't become a superpower through fighting unwinnable wars in Chechnya and having to deal with the resulting terror attacks. So next time there is a terror attack in Russia, give yourself a pat on the back, its your mindset that has enabled terror to flourish in Russia.

I know what your next argument is going to be: 'But America invaded Iraq and therefore enabled those terrorists!' The two situations are entirely different. Hyper-nationalistic interests was not the goal in the American liberation of Iraq.
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Russophile

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:58 am

Russophile: You mean to say that the 'west' only just learnt of this?

That he mentioned it now after the Beslan attack? Yes, indeed. The usual rethoric before was strongly dominated by the "more force" approach as far as I could tell, without giving moderates any chances.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:06 am

The problem with most Russians is that they still believe that they are a superpower, a force to be reckoned with, when in reality their country is in shambles--and tumbling into oblivion.

The only way that Russia can become a 'superpower' again is by focusing their attentions on working towards a more liberalized market economy, improving human rights, and increasing democratization efforts. Russia won't become a superpower through fighting unwinnable wars in Chechnya and having to deal with the resulting terror attacks. So next time there is a terror attack in Russia, give yourself a pat on the back, its your mindset that has enabled terror to flourish in Russia.


jcs17 is absolutely correct here. What will make things worse for Russia in decades to come is that ALL of its neighbours hate it, from Ukraines to Estonians to Chechnyans to Armenians. As these people get stronger, they will begin to turn the screws on Russia whether economically or militarily. Russia is beginning to get a taste of its own medicine.

Russia is the cause or author of this fighting in Chechnya, which the Chechnyans freedom fighters have now correctly brought to Russia proper.

Russia can solve the problem by offering Chechnya independence. Today. Otherwise, the fighting continues.




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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:11 am

Actually, no one knows yet for sure what happened in terms of the order of events. There are some reports that do suggest that a bomb was set off because special forces might have been entering the compound.

The first part is not true. The second part is true.

Negotiations were occurring, and it was agreed that the Russians/Ossetian representatives would be allowed to approach the school, and remove bodies which had been there for more than 24 hours. The Russians/Ossetians would have sent in special forces/troops, because they would also be able to use this opportunity to assess the situation up close. When the MChS workers (probably crack troops in MChS uniform) approached the school to remove the bodies, the terrorists set off explosives (either on purpose or accidentally). With the Russians approaching the building to remove the bodies, and the explosions, hostages believed it was a rescue attempt. The hostages tried to escape, and the terrorists opened fire on them. The Russians, providing cover for those fleeing, opened fire on the terrorists.

Then again, for someone like you, where any kind of statement from the Russian government is taken as something from the mouth of God it doesn't surprise me that you believe the Vladimir Putin version of events.

Not from the Russian government. But rather from independent news sources in Beslan, and first hand accounts from hostages who were actually inside at the time and tried to escape.

The rest of your post couldn't be further from the truth.

But Jcs17, are you in the same vein at Yyz717? Do you support what these terrorists did, and are doing?
 
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yyz717
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:16 am

Do you support what these terrorists did, and are doing?

I support the right of people to be free. At any cost if need be. The Chechnyans deserve the right to self-determination.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Klaus
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Yyz717

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:19 am

Yyz717: Russia can solve the problem by offering Chechnya independence. Today. Otherwise, the fighting continues.

It doesn´t work that way, either. That would only install the warlords du jour as de-facto dictators. Stability must be restored, infrastructure must be rebuilt. In some ways it´s a similar situation as in post-war Iraq...
 
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yyz717
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:21 am

It doesn´t work that way, either. That would only install the warlords du jour as de-facto dictators.

Chechnya is better off being run by its own warlords than by warlords in Moscow.

Let's boycott Russia until they allow Chechnya freedom.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Klaus
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:30 am

Except for the warlords themselves, I doubt you´ll find many takers with that theory...  Insane
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:33 am

Chechnya is better off being run by its own warlords than by warlords in Moscow.

This is 100% undeniable proof that Yyz717 has absolutely NO idea on the situation, and the recent history of Chechnya.

From 1991-1994 and 1996-1999 the Chechen population was not better by being run by its own warlords. Chechens kidnapping Chechens. Chechens murdering Chechens. This is not the type of crime which went against the rule of law, but rather this barbarism WAS the rule of law.

Also, the people of Russia proper, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Ossetia (north and south), were not better off by Chechnya being run by its own warlords.

Your "support of people to be free" line is tired, old and rather boresome, because the way in which you write it, you have no idea of what you want.

I, too, support the right of people to be free.

And this is where we differ.

I do not support the right of people, who have all but been given their independence (on 2 occasions), to launch a campaign of outright terrorism on not only on people in surrounding nations, but also on their own people.

This goes for Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, you name it.

[Edited 2004-09-07 18:34:30]
 
jcs17
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:33 am

But Jcs17, are you in the same vein at Yyz717? Do you support what these terrorists did, and are doing?

No. I don't support terrorism. I don't support it in Iraq, America, Russia, or Chechnya...or anywhere. I don't think that the Chechens are right by resorting to terrorist activity against Russia, but at the same time, Russia is not in the right. Russia and Russians need to realize that their actions are spawning these terrorist atrocities.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
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yyz717
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:40 am

Also, the people of Russia proper, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Ossetia (north and south), were not better off by Chechnya being run by its own warlords.

Your "support of people to be free" line is tired, old and rather boresome, because the way in which you write it, you have no idea of what you want.


This is nothing more than a landgrab by Russia. Russia is terrified that if it allows Chechnya independence, every other region of Russia with a non-Russuan majority will also want independence.

Russia is not interested in peace or democracy. Russia is only interested in preserving its own borders AT ALL COSTS. For this reason, it is now facing an uprising by Chechnyans.

This is the situation in a nutshell.


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
OV735
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:14 am

Russophile: "Putin admitted some years ago that some Russian troops have participated in abuses outside of what their orders state."

Knowing how characteristic lying and muddling is for the Soviet/Russian government, I find this a very nice wording for a genocide.

You keep talking about the invasion in 1999, following the bombimgs of those apartment buildings in Moscow and other Russian cities. What about the invasion in 1994 and the mass murders of civilians that were conducted by the Russian army?

Might that have triggered a wave of terrorism on behalf of the more radical Chechen separatist organisations? I would say it could have, and that it did.
__________

Mr Putin is doing nothing out of the ordinary here, gentlemen. It is the same kind of silence and denial there has been in several cases by the Soviet government, the Katyn massacre, the KAL flight 007 'mishap', the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Chernobyl disaster being just a few examples.

EDIT: Fixed a typo.

[Edited 2004-09-07 19:19:58]
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:51 am

I don't think that the Chechens are right by resorting to terrorist activity against Russia, but at the same time, Russia is not in the right.

If you knew the history of Chechnya post-1991, you would say that Russia has been right at every step (with some bumps along the way)

Russia and Russians need to realize that their actions are spawning these terrorist atrocities.

Funny that you claim this, yet you say that the US isn't doing the same thing in Iraq  Insane

Of course the 2 situations are different. You say it is some nationalist tripe on Russia's behalf. I say the difference lies in the fact that it was the Chechens who attacked first, unlike in Iraq.

This is nothing more than a landgrab by Russia. Russia is terrified that if it allows Chechnya independence, every other region of Russia with a non-Russuan majority will also want independence.

Really? Do you know the one thing at the top of the list that EVERY Russian wants (and this includes Chechens)?

It isn't independence. It is stability.

The Chechens have proved on 2 occasions now that they can't promote a stabile society when left to their own devices, and furthermore, they tried to promote this instability to other regions in the Caucasus.

That is Russia's biggest fear. The creation of a region made up of mini-states which are not stable, and even more threatening, states who's inhabitants hate each other.

That would only lead to multiple wars -- Chechnya vs Ingushetia, Ingushetia vs Ossetia, Ossetia vs Chechnya, Chechnya vs Dagestan, Dagestan vs Ingushetia.

Just what this world needs!

Russia is not interested in peace or democracy. Russia is only interested in preserving its own borders AT ALL COSTS. For this reason, it is now facing an uprising by Chechnyans.

Again, all Russians first and foremost want stability. With stability you can not have peace, you can not have democracy, you can not have freedom. It is for this very reason, that the Russians met the Tatars not with guns, but with pens, when Tatarstan declared their independence around the same time as Chechnya. And I don't recall the Tatars ever committing terrorists acts which would have made military intervention necessary. Chechnya on the other hand.

 
777236ER
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:54 am

Russia went into Chechnya in 1999 with almost the same force that the US used in Iraq in 2003, and look at the result. It's clear to see that force doesn't work against terrorism! It didn't work in Chechnya, nor Northern Ireland, nor Iraq. Iraq appears to be a bigger problem to the world than before!

Anyone can become a terrorist - the only way to prevent terrorism is to cause a change of attitude. That can't be done by bombing people.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
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yyz717
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:10 am

Again, all Russians first and foremost want stability. With stability you can not have peace, you can not have democracy, you can not have freedom.

Russia wants "stability" according to ITS rules. This is not stability -- it's dictatorship and anarchy.

Well the days of Russia being able to bully its neighbours are long over. Russia's minorities are now willing to fight for their version of "stability" after decades of being raped and pillaged by Russia.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
BarfBag
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:51 pm

Counter-insurgency is a manpower-intensive activity, and it puts immense psychological stresses on the armed forces - more so in the case of poorly trained conscripts like those who went to Chechnya. A year of the US occupation forces in Iraq has shown how even the best trained forces are strained to the point of Abu Ghraibing things up. Happens everywhere. Everyone knows it, even if its left unsaid. The Brits did it in India and Ireland, the Russians in Chechnya. The Canadians would probably be seen as guilty too if you got the moose/bison/walrus population to talk.

I find the opposition to Russia imposing its 'standards' misleading. The US is doing the same in Iraq, and the justification for it happens to be allegedly its own safety from terrorism, the possession of WMDs, deposing a tyrant or bringing democracy to the Middle East, depending on the alignment of the stars or the direction of the prevailing winds. The Russians have pretty much similar reasons to offer for holding on to Chechnya. I completely agree that Russia ought to bring the Chechnyan province to heel to preempt further deteriortion of the situation in the Caucasus. A strong Russia would only be a good thing for the non-western world. The western world, unfortunately, still prefers not to want to see Russia rise again; too much of a hassle, particularly all those nukes.

Putin's response to both the Beslan crisis and the gutter journalism in several western papers blaming the Russians has been, IMHO, excellent. After 9/11 it ought to have been realized that these hostages were in very great danger, particularly in view of the lack of a clear set of demands from these animals. The objective, as I see he, was to commit wholesale massacre and get Russia riled up. Putin, thankfully, is an intelligent and strongwilled man, unlike the spineless drunk that preceded him. The Russo-Israeli deal to fight terrorism is a great initiative, and I hope India joins in.
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:16 pm

Of course there’s no parallel between Russia and America in this aspect. The situations are completely different – just not in the way some posters are claiming. To start with, Chechen insurgents are a real (rather than phantom) threat to Russian security and stability. In addition, Chechnya and Ossetia are within the borders of the Russian Federation; Iraq's millions of miles away from America, both physically and metaphorically.

That said, different peoples have different ways of dealing when faced with a similar situation. That doesn’t make one’s way better or the other’s worse. For all you know, both methods could be bad.

To cherry-pick from Yyz’s wonderful post, “Russia is only interested in preserving its own borders” whereas Iraq has about as much to do with American security as the Pope has to do with bungee-jumping.


The Canadians would probably be seen as guilty too if you got the moose/bison/walrus population to talk.

LoL Barfbag!


...safety from terrorism, the possession of WMDs, deposing a tyrant or bringing democracy to the Middle East, depending on the alignment of the stars or the direction of the prevailing winds

Yep. It's called "shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
 
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:39 am

Russia wants "stability" according to ITS rules. This is not stability -- it's dictatorship and anarchy.

Yet another post which shows you have no clue. Yyz717, I suggest you stop posting on this subject, because at every stage you have been shown that you are wrong.

Contrary to what you believe and try to portray, Russia is more than willing to talk and to negotiate.

On 30 August 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic passed a Declaration of State Sovereignty. The aim of this was to elevate Tatarstan from an autonomous republic within the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic to a constituent republic of the USSR -- basically putting Tatarstan on par with Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, etc. The fall of the USSR in 1991 put a halt to this 'dream' of the Tatar.

In 1992, the Tatars held a referendum in which the people were asked if they wanted Tatarstan to be a sovereign state, bound by international law, and establishing relations with foreign states (including Russia) on the basis of treaties. A majority of 60-70% of Tatars voted in favour, thereby giving Tatarstan quasi-legal independence. Negotiations with Moscow were already underway when the referendum took place, as Moscow did not recognise the 1990 Declaration. Political and trade/economic agreements were signed between Kazan and Moscow, which led to an official bilateral treaty being signed by both parties in 1994. Care to tell me where Tatarstan is today? They are now all but independent -- responsible for all economic and political issues (including foreign relations) within the republic, with other areas such as defence being the responsibility of Russia. Show me a state in Australia or the US, or a province in Canada, which has the legal right to negotiate and conduct policy with foreign states, without coming under the ultimate control of the Federal government. In 2000, the people of Tatarstan were asked whether they were happy with the way that the political status of their Republic has progressed, and whether they would prefer complete independence or the status quo (remaining for all intents and purposes as part of the RF), and an overwhelming majority (80%+) of Tatars answered yes they were happy, and that they want to remain part of the Russian Federation.

Tatarstan is a highly developed industrialised region, with a GDP (in 1991) larger than Lithuania and Estonia put together, and had more than enough resources to wage a bloody war against Moscow. All Moscow wanted was the opportunity to put their case forward, in a peaceful way, as to why Tatarstan should remain part of the Russian Federation. And as time has progressed, the people see themselves at not only Tatars (very important) but also as Russians.

All of this was done without a shot being fired, without political instability (coups, etc), and without Tatars resorting to terrorism.

Chechnya on the other hand.

Dudayev seized power in 1991 in a coup (the government of the time being forced to step down), he declared independence (like Tatarstan) but also instituted an extreme constitution (more threatening than anything else), and when in 1992 the sizeable opposition attempted to call for a referendum to oust Dudayev due to corruption and his inability to bargain for Chechens, he disbanded the parliament and instituted his form of martial law, etc. Because Dudayev was for all intents and purposes, a complete failure, he did absolutely nothing to curb the lawlessness which would later grow so great, it was a major factor for the 1994 war. So much for your bastion of Chechen peace and democracry Yyz717. But, we all know, that somehow, by some miracle, the failure of the Chechens to negotiate peacefully from the outset and to uphold democracy (i.e. disbanding parliament), will be the fault of the big bad ugly Soviets...err.....Russians.

Also, Yyz717, you mentioned in one of your recent attacks of the Russians, that the Soviets....err....Russians, committed horrendous abuses against the Armenians. If you knew your history, that it was the Turks that killed almost 1.5 million Armenians, and that it was the Armenians who voluntarily joined the USSR. Even though, during the early years of the USSR, the Armenians (as did all Soviets) lose some personal freedoms for the good of the state, Armenian society flourished like it had not seen in several decades, most importantly, the Republic was greatly industrialised, and the people were given educations (something that by and large they had not had in decades). So much so, aside from Russia, Armenia was the most loyal Republic in the USSR. The biggest issue that Armenia had was Nagorno-Karabakh, and that was not so much with Moscow, but rather with Azerbaijan -- the two nations fighting a war over the region. So going by your comments, I really do fail to see just what did the Soviets...err....Russians do to the Armenians that caused to categorically state this in one of your posts (Reply 27 in this thread). Let me guess. 7 December 1988, that wasn't a natural disaster, but rather it was the fault of the Soviet...err....Russian unwillingness to blah blah blah.  Insane

 
prosa
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:43 am

Tatarstan is a highly developed industrialised region, with a GDP (in 1991) larger than Lithuania and Estonia put together, and had more than enough resources to wage a bloody war against Moscow.

Tatarstan's relative prosperity may be a major part of the reason why its people seem happy with the status quo.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
Russophile
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:18 am

In response to the last sentence of my post (Reply #4), the President of Severnaya Ossetia has announced that the entire regional government will be resigning within 2 days. This is the first of the major heads on the chopping block.

And in other news, Lt-Col Yuri Baluyevsky, the newRussian General Chief of Staff, has gone on the record and asserted that the Russian Federation now reserves the right to attack terrorists and terrorist bases where and when they like, no matter where they may be on the planet. It looks like Washington might be forced to reign in their Georgian puppet and get him into real action, otherwise I would be expecting some Russian action in the Pankisi Gorge (Georgia) in the future.
 
prosa
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:21 am

And in other news, Lt-Col Yuri Baluyevsky, the newRussian General Chief of Staff, has gone on the record and asserted that the Russian Federation now reserves the right to attack terrorists and terrorist bases where and when they like, no matter where they may be on the planet. It looks like Washington might be forced to reign in their Georgian puppet and get him into real action, otherwise I would be expecting some Russian action in the Pankisi Gorge (Georgia) in the future.

I'm confused about something ... news reports say that the gorge (I've seen different spellings) is a hideout for many Islamic fundamentalist radicals. But isn't Georgia a Christian nation? Why would it attract Islamic fundamentalists?
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
777236ER
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:32 am

Russia is not in the right. Russia and Russians need to realize that their actions are spawning these terrorist atrocities.

Now just stretch it a LITTLE further, and can't you see that maybe the war in the Iraq and American actions are simply spawning future terrorists?
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yyz717
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:52 am

Dudayev seized power in 1991 in a coup (the government of the time being forced to step down), he declared independence (like Tatarstan) but also instituted an extreme constitution (more threatening than anything else), and when in 1992 the sizeable opposition attempted to call for a referendum to oust Dudayev due to corruption and his inability to bargain for Chechens, he disbanded the parliament and instituted his form of martial law, etc. Because Dudayev was for all intents and purposes, a complete failure, he did absolutely nothing to curb the lawlessness which would later grow so great, it was a major factor for the 1994 war.

Blah blah blah. More excuses. You're presuming that Russians know what is best for Chechens. Let Chechnya separate if they want. It's called democracy.

the Armenians (as did all Soviets) lose some personal freedoms for the good of the state, Armenian society flourished like it had not seen in several decades, most importantly, the Republic was greatly industrialised, and the people were given educations

Then why did K's of Armenians escape to the West? The truth is that Armenia was an impoverished hell hole under the USSR which the Russians ruled with an iron hand.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
prosa
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:25 am

Let Chechnya separate if they want. It's called democracy.

All well and good, but keep in mind that if Chechnya does gain independence, it will most assuredly not be a democracy.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
airplay
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RE: What Is Putin Doing?

Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:39 am

Nearly half of the terrorists were Arabs as well, pointing a solid finger towards Al Qaeda or other similar groups.

Oh really? So if someone commiting a crime "looks" Arab then it must be related to Al Queda? You are using the same mentality as Bush did when he attacked Iraq. And we all know how that is turning out.

Using your logic, anytime we see Americans, we should suspect "nation building" or "regime change". Or perhaps illegal wars.

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