By A Confidential Source
Comment: Editor- Steve Van Nattan: This article puts the Russian holocaust against Chechnya into perspective. I have been reluctant to dive into this because it is so hard to get inside information. The US media is a total loss on this one, and the US State Department wants nothing to do with Chechnya either. Bill Clinton is very interested in his place in history, so he is extremely cautious and wimpy these days. Also, the Empress Dowager is trying to climb up into the White House in five years, and Sir Willy dare not upset her plans. So, imponderables like Chechnya are best handled with much wringing of the hands and much procrastination.
Frankly, I cannot help but wonder if Clinton cut a deal with Russia. He had his war in Serbia, and now the Bear is having his war in Chechnya It is kind of like the school ground protocols at recess time. You get the jungle gym during first recess, and I get it for second recess. Bully for us all, eh?
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Exposure of Contradictory Russian Statements
and Blind Western Media and Relief Organizations
Examined some of the contradictory statements made by the Russian leadership about the war in Chechnya. It is simply to focus on a few of the countless contradictions before shedding light on how the Western media and international relief organizations were duped into focusing their attention on the humanitarian situation in the country while ignoring the key issue of Russian aggression against an independent nation.
It is plainly obvious to observers of the conflict that the war in Chechnya is being managed by the Russian Government in a disorganized and archaic manner. For example, the President Elect of Russia, Vladimir Putin recently claimed that the war in Chechnya was over and that Russia had wiped out ‘terrorist’ activities in the republic. Shortly after this announcement, the Russian Minister of Interior contradicted the Russian President and said the war would be concluded by Thursday, February 17th .
During this time, the Deputy Commander of Russian Forces in the Caucasus, General Trushev, contradicted the Minister of Interior and said the war would be over by late March. Trushev also claimed that there were 3,500 Mujahideen remaining and that most of them were surrounded in the mountainous areas of Chechnya. However, only a few days before Trushev’s announcement, the Minister of Defense claimed that there were only 1,500 Mujahideen remaining. Truly, what kind of men are the Mujahideen who, according to Russian statements, can increase their numbers by several thousand in a matter of days or hours!?
Any objective observer recognizes that the numerous deadlines announced by the Russian leadership were made with the sole objective of supporting Putin’s election campaign. The repeated lies of the Russian leadership fooled the traditionally na´ve Russian public into believing that victory was near and that the war was virtually over. It is no surprise that under these circumstances, Putin was elected.
Shortly after Putin’s election, Russian officers and politicians began admitting some of the catastrophes that befell the Russian Military in Chechnya. The spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged that: “The Chechen fighters have succeeded in organizing their units and managing them from a central point of command. They (the fighters) have succeeded in spreading their operation across all of the Chechen Republic.” This statement contradicts an earlier announcement made by the Russian leadership that the Mujahideen were “relegated into small bands of fighters that are being hunted down.” The Russian leadership then re-contradicted itself by claiming that: “We have sustained heavy losses in the south of the country and the Chechen fighters have succeeded in dominating the areas in and around Vedeno, Nugha Yurt and other southern regions (all of which were proclaimed ‘liberated’ by the Russian Military).”
The Russians have lied and distorted facts in such a confused way that they have succeeded in shifting the focus of the Western media and international relief organizations from battlefield developments to the humanitarian situation. This was done in order to avoid having vigilant reporters discover the truth about Russian Military defeats in Chechnya, and to relegate the West’s action on the conflict to cosmetic diplomatic activity and hollow statements of condemnation against Russia.
The Russian Government recognizes that the conflict is influenced by two main factors: world public opinion and Russian public opinion. It also knows that it cannot satisfy both opinions, and hence opted to satisfy Russian public opinion that is critical if the war in Chechnya was to continue – indeed, if Russian public opinion was not behind its leadership, the war would quickly come to an end. Not satisfying world public opinion would, at worst, lead to the pelting of Russian embassies with tomatoes.
By fooling the Western media into focusing on the humanitarian situation, Russia has succeeded in avoiding objective reports about the war and can continue making false announcements about great Russian victories despite the prevalence of the opposite situation on the ground.
An example of this would be Russian claims that the freedom-fighters were trying to “break out of their surrounded positions in the mountains and make their way to the Chechen lowlands.” This lie resembles the Russian campaign of disinformation during the battle for Grozny. Then, the Russians claimed that the "rebels" were trying to break out of the surrounded city and make their way to the mountains. Naturally, the Russians assured that all such ‘break-out’ attempts were blocked. However, the freedom-fighters still managed to withdraw in almost full strength without being detected.
The Russians are now making similar claims about alleged ‘rebel break-out’ attempts from the mountains to the lowlands. These claims are entirely false; does it make sense for the rebels to abandon their strong and fortified positions in the mountains to weak points in the lowlands? This Russian tactic of “lie, lie and keep on lying until they believe you” has only fooled the Russian people who are suffering more and more as a result of this war. Objective observers recognize that the contradictory statements made by Russia prove the incompetence of the Russian leadership and reveal that the war in Chechnya is only a tool being used to strengthen the hold of the mafiosi-type oligarchy on the Russian nation.
The Russians also fooled the Western media with their lies and manoeuvring. For months, hundreds of thousands of Chechens were forced to abandon their homes and tens of thousands of others were killed. The Western media paid little or no attention to this war of extermination until a few pictures of mass graves and concentration camps were published. It is as though the Western media was hiding in a cave and then stepped out to see the light - only after it was too late. Furthermore, the Western political leadership’s hypocrisy has played into the hands of the Russian leadership; the best example of this was when America’s Jewish Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, visited Russia. She paid little attention to the plight of the innocent and only made a few hollow remarks about the need to avoid bombing civilian targets. However, when the journalist Babitsky (who works for the US-funded Radio Liberty) was detained, Albright went into a frenzy of tough talk and severe warnings - the genocide against the Chechen people was described merely as a ‘Russian internal affair.’
Such Western hypocrisy increased the Russian public’s support for the war in Chechnya. Subdued by a historic inferiority complex and naively believing the worst lies of their government, 70% of Russians felt that Western criticism of Russia proved that the Government’s stance on Chechnya was just. In fact, many Russians feel proud when they listen to Western criticism of Russia: the public feels that such criticism is directed against their country because ‘Russia is getting stronger’ and the West does not want that, hence the strong public support for the war of extermination in Chechnya.
We can derive that the Russian campaign of lies and disinformation has achieved the following goals:
1. The Western media had its role relegated to covering the humanitarian situation in Chechnya. Little is reported in terms of the causes and development of the conflict. The Western media is now busy reporting on the shallow inspections and hollow statements issued by Western political leaders from refugee camps in the Caucasus. This cat-and-mouse game of inspections resembles the inspections situation in Iraq, and, similarly, can take years before being concluded.
2. Any significant discoveries about war crimes by Western politicians and aid agencies will benefit the Russian Government. Like its Communist predecessors, the Russian Government will condemn any such crimes and set-up a cosmetic international court to try ‘indicted’ war criminals. This will help abort any plans to diplomatically isolate Russia and will open the door for more international aid for the supposed ‘rebuilding of Chechnya.’ It will also help finance Russian aggression, not the rebuilding of Chechnya. Of course, any compensation demanded rightfully by the citizens of Chechnya will be easily ignored; this is in stark contrast with the international communities determination to compensate Jewish victims of the holocaust and the determination to fleece Iraq to compensate victims of the war in Kuwait. Truly, compensation and justice are reserved for everyone but the Muslims.
3. There are no longer any reports about the true situation on the battlefield. The occasional reports of Russian defeats usually come as a result of internal bickering between the Russian Ministries of Defense and Interior. Otherwise, the Russians now have a free hand in claiming to have scored great victories. They even claim to be withdrawing units from Chechnya. The truth though, is that for every battalion withdrawn from Chechnya, two new ones are deployed.
4. The Russian public has been drugged into believing that victory has been achieved. The Russians believe that Western criticism of the humanitarian situation is just a result of the supposed victory of the Russian Military.
5. Republics within the Russian Federation that may be considering independence from Russia now feel that any such plans would be dangerous and detrimental to the well-being of their people. The republics recognize that Russia is willing to use barbaric behaviour and to cause mass destruction against any country that opposes Russian occupation. The republics also recognize that the West is not interested in supporting their right to self determination, and that it will only issue a few hollow statements about secondary matters.
It is clear that the West and much of the Western press are supporting Russia’s campaign of extermination in Chechnya. The Russian campaign of disinformation is so self-contradictory, it is clear to any objective person that most Russian claims are untrue. Yet, despite the impossibility of Russian statements, the West continues to turn a blind eye to Chechnya’s right to self-determination and to focus on hollow support for the refugees. The West’s complicity in this genocide is clear and unmistakable. And, while the Chechen people hope for some form of international aid to come to them, the secular Arab media chooses to report false claims of victory and to interview Russian politicians and officers rather than genuine sources. Had the Arab media been honest and vigilant, it would have identified the contradictory nature of Russian claims, however, this media has opted to maintain personal gain and has blinded itself to the truth at the expense of the civilians in Chechnya.
What can be more blind than the delegation sent by the European Commission for Human Rights (ECHR) to Chechnya? The head of the delegation, Alvaro Gilles Rubles, announced that “Russia had made great strides in its humanitarian position, and I cannot find evidence of war crimes that indict the Russian Military.” Ironically, this statement was made from amidst the rubble of Grozny – was the destruction of each and every house and building in the city not sufficient evidence for the commission? Due to this complicit support, Russia decided to open its doors to more ‘humanitarian’ missions. These missions, however, only prove to be cheerleading parties for Russia and its cowardly aggression against Chechnya.
The United Nations envoy to Chechnya, Mary Robinson, did not fare much better that her ECHR predecessor. Robinson is reported to have said that she would make inquiries into allegations of random bombardment of towns and villages, in addition to other alleged war crimes. Is it not plain to see from the widespread destruction in nearly every urban center in Chechnya that the Russians used indiscriminate bombing of the country. If Russian bombing was so accurate, why where thousands of civilians killed or wounded, why was every road, bridge and building destroyed? Robinson’s mission has proved to be shallow – any inquiry into human right violations would have to go through a lengthy and bureaucratic legal process, and Muslim experience with Serb generals proves that, at best, only a handful of soldiers, if any, will ever stand trial for their crimes against humanity.
If you feel that the war in Chechnya is an important issue and that you must report on it, make sure you have authentic and truthful sources – if you cannot find them, do not take the easy way out by reporting the lies of the Russians. If you cannot find authentic sources to quote, then do not report anything to begin with. Rather, you should follow some basic ethical guidelines of sincere journalism.