Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chechens, Russia & the Boston Marathon Massacre

All I would add to this article excerpt from 2006 is that the same dynamic now seems to apply to the USA, where ABC television is apparently still supporting the Chechen cause...

The fear of terrorism was even stronger. My students said they were
afraid when they rode the Metro—there had been a bombing shortly before
our arrival in the Puskhin station. Still raw were memories of the September 3,
2004 Beslan school tragedy, in which 344 civilians were killed, 172 of them
children. Nor had anyone forgotten the Dubrovka (Nord-Ost) theater hostage
crisis of October 2002. Although many criticized Putin’s handling of Chechen
affairs, the phenomenon of Chechen terrorism was largely seen as part of an
international Islamist movement, rather than as a local protest against lack of
autonomy. Russians are well aware that Chechen Russians perceive that
America is supportive of the Chechen cause.

When ABC television broadcast an interview by a Radio Liberty correspondent
with the purported mastermind of Beslan, Shamil Basayev, in late July 2005,
Russia revoked ABC reporters’ credentials. Americans seem unable to quite
understand, even after 9/11, the impact of the Chechen conflict in Russia. That
conflict has turned Russians against liberal democracy, which for a variety of
reasons has become associated with defending Chechen terrorists at the
expense of security, both personal and national. While few Russians approved
of the war in Chechnya, and many would not mind if Chechnya became
independent, most had no sympathy for terrorists or their sympathizers. The
linkage of liberal democrats to the cause of Chechen terrorism and the
perceived support by Western NGOs of Chechen terrorists has been a handicap
to those wishing to further liberalize Russia.
(From Cultural Challenges to Democratization in Russia, by Laurence Jarvik, 
Orbis, Jan. 2006)