Today America told Russia to negotiate with their terrorists.
What happened to "No surrender to Terror"?
Was Terror Attack on Russia International?
"These are not "freedom fighters.
Would you talk with Osama Bin Laden?"
Who Are They?
Where Do They Come From?
The Korean Embassy in Moscow has learned that at least some of the terrorists involved in the recent hostage drama in the Russia republic of North Ossetia were Korean. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the terrorist group involved in the hostage taking was the most international ever -- it included Chechens, Dagestanis, Tatars, Kazakhs and even Koreans. LINK
From The Korea Times-
--The South Korean government is employing all possible means to confirm the report that ethnic Koreans were involved in last week's school hostage siege in Russia.
Koreans known as the "Kareiski" were people of the Choson Kingdom who moved to the far-eastern part of Russia during the period from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. They were forced to move to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin in 1937 and now about 470,000 are estimated to live in Russia and the CIS, including in the states of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. They are basically Russian nationals, not Koreans. LINK
Who's who on the side of Chechnya?
As you can see, it gets a bit confusing as the group of terrorists expands out to people from various nations of the Caucasus and beyond.
Is the Focus of War Against A Tactic Without Meaningful International Cooperation Causing the Modern West to Lose Ground to Islamic Fundamentalism?
I see the West losing the war on the tactic known as terror, and if we're going to insist on fighting a tactic, no one will be safer until we understand that the secret to beating international terrorism is making our own nation's fight an integral part of a strong, unshakable international effort.
Is the Russian problem the same as America's?
In a political sense, yes and no.
We know Russia has been bombing Chechnya into submission for quite some time now.
We understand the conflict.
Yet, what we've seen in Russia over the past two weeks with the downing of two planes and now the Beslan suicide attack....it's all too eerily familiar.
Tony Blair has called the Beslan atrocity "Terrorism without limits".
This is where the Bush administration's Manichaean philosophy about terror falls flat as a pancake.
If Russia's problem is not our problem, then Russia's problem must not be a form of Islamic terror.
Terror is terror.
What occurred in Beslan last week was one of the most repulsive acts of terror I've ever seen.
There's no question it was an act of heinous terror.
So how do we morally square off with this, from our nation's standpoint?
We tell Russia to negotiate.
Are Chechens Lone Copy-Cats Or Are They Internationalizing?
How long before they attack American oil interests in the Caucasus region?
I've never been impressed with the fact that President Bush designed the war in which our nation is engaged as a war on a tactic. It takes political reality out of the picture. It takes a chance for alternative political solutions out of the realm of possibility.
The knowlege that the Chechens are some of the most active groups using Islamist/al Qaeda tactics against innocent civilians strengthens my case that the war on the tactic known as terror may have had a totally different (far more successful) face had Bush understood the importance of true international diplomacy and political reality before he barreled headlong into Iraq.
The Beslan disaster underscores the focus of Bush's quest against the tactic of terrorism--a tactic--which Russian President Vladimir Putin also recognizes.
Putin also recognizes the hypocrisy of Bush to expect him to bow down and negotiate with Muslim terror when Bush would never advocate that for his own nation's people.
Putin is admitting his nation is weak against the tactics employed by terrorists.
This begs the question: Has Bush has become so obsessed with his vision of a Manichaean conflict between good and evil that he has lost touch with political reality altogether? Chechnya obviously is becoming a stronger base--if not for international Islamic revolution, then at least employing the same tactics learned in Islamic training camps.
I wonder..how many Islamic moderates have turned and will turn to hard-line fundamentalists as the Islamic world spirals downward into hopelessness with the West's priority of beating down a tactic?
Have Chechen rebels decided to join forces with international terrorists? Have international terrorists decided to join forces with them? Either way, we've got ourselves a hell of a problem in Washington, D.C. and I can't see how applying a double standard to Russia is going to make our moral case against terror stronger. It's only a matter of time before these rebels begin to attack American oil and gas interests in the Caucasus region.
War on a Tactic Reveals Hypocrisy
If we'd taken wiser and clearer steps, our nation and its economic interests would be more safe and secure today
How could Bush or leaders of other Western nations possibly reconcile the expectation that Putin would ever negotiate with terrorists; especially Bush--given his own narrow focus on terror and decscription of that which constitutes a terrorist?
I think our own President Bush has approached this war from the wrong angle from the start.
War against a tactic won't stand up to the test of time or moral efficacy. How could it? The course of this war against Islamic terror must change. Hope not only leans upon the success of military force; hope for Islamic modernity depends upon changing hearts and minds--and that will depend upon a change of course.
Those of us who recognize terror will never see Russia's battle with Chechnya the same way.
Not after Beslan.
What becomes of liberty when a war against a tactic becomes the one blinding priority?
Last week, President Bush said that the war on terror isn't actully one that's ever going to be clearly won.
What happens if Putin, under political pressure, decides to fall in line with the virtually unwinnable war against a tactic?
What happens to the many good and decent people who have only desired liberty in Chechnya? (Make no mistake, there are many decent people in Chechnya even though we only hear about the worst). They are calling on the international community to step in and help bring peace to both Chechnya and to Russia. To date, international ears and eyes remain closed.
Is their hope as dead as the victims of Beslan?
The Painting of Nikolai Sergeevich Shin
Anger rising in volatile Caucasus
Timeline: History of Chechnya
Evening of surprises with a hospitable president
--On Beslan, Putin Looks Beyond Chechnya, Sees International Terror
Bush and Putin: We're Not Girlie-Men
PINR: "Chechnya: Russia's Second Afghanistan"
Toronto Star op-ed: It's easy -- but wrong -- to dismiss (or justify) Beslan as simply a problem for Russia in its continuing struggle with Chechnya.