Why Russia can't stop terroristsIt's an unsigned editorial piece; I take it for, say, an official position and viewpoint of the editorial office.
Thursday, January 27, 2011; 8:04 PM
THE HORRIFIC suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport on Monday underlined a couple of sad conclusions about Russia's battle against terrorism. One is that the country's security services, unlike their counterparts in Europe and North America, have failed to develop the means to uncover terrorist networks, prevent attacks or protect public spaces such as airports and subway systems. No country's police can guarantee security. But in Russia over the past decade, as Vladimir Putin has cited the threat of terrorism in consolidating a domestic police state, Moscow alone has suffered eight major attacks, along with the destruction of two airplanes that took off from Domodedovo. Casualties have been heavy: At least 35 died and more than 200 were injured in the latest strike.
Second, Mr. Putin's autocratic form of rule and imperialist policy toward non-Russian nations has made it impossible for him to resolve - or even seriously address - the underlying problem that fuels most of the attacks. That is the restiveness of the mostly Muslim republics of the North Caucasus, including Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, which for the past two decades have been seeking more autonomy from Moscow. Russia's brutal response, including Mr. Putin's scorched-earth campaign in Chechnya, fueled the rise of Muslim extremist groups that have been growing steadily stronger despite nonstop counterterrorism operations. According to official Russian reports, the number of terrorist attacks in the Caucasus doubled in 2010 - though the bloodshed gets little attention when it occurs outside Moscow or other Russian cities.
Mr. Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev sometimes seem to recognize that sweeps by security forces will never stop the terrorists. Mr. Medvedev has blamed the "economic backwardness" of the Caucasus, and Mr. Putin has promoted a development plan under which the central government will invest $13 billion in the region over the next decade. That could do some good if the programs don't fall victim to Russia's endemic corruption. But the Kremlin leaders won't seriously address the issue of self-rule for the republics. Nor are they willing to take on the federal secret police and other security services, which are more skilled at protection rackets and the persecution of political dissidents than in detecting terrorist plots. It was telling that in the aftermath of the bombing, Mr. Medvedev blamed the management of the privately operated airport rather than federal officials responsible for counterterrorism.
What's particularly worrying about the regime's failures is that Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the edge of the Caucasus. The International Olympic Committee's unwise decision to accept Russia's bid means that athletes and governments around the world have to depend on the Putin-Medvedev regime to prevent terrorist disruption of the Games. Monday's attack was a reminder of how risky a bet that is.
Having the recent events in Brussels on mind, I dare to put up some notes and questions, going backwards through the text above.
1. The impression of the Sochi Games was to an extent spoiled by tragic events in adjacent Ukraine, however the Games themselves went on as close to perfect as human hands could arrange at all. There was no tiny little evident trace of any terroristic attempt to disrupt the Games.
2. What is particularly worrying about the regime IN THE EU is that it seems to be unable to protect its citizens in public spaces: Brussels, Paris, Cologne (do you still remember that New Year rapist session?)? The regime fails consistently.
3. The WP writes: "Mr. Putin's autocratic form of rule and imperialist policy toward non-Russian nations has made it impossible for him to resolve - or even seriously address - the underlying problem that fuels most of the attacks."
You know what? I remember when it all actively started. When the EU regime decided the foreign matters shold be settled violently, with military power. It was on March 23, 1999, that NATO decided to attack Yugoslavia, and the next day they started the "Allied Force" reinforced by the "Noble Anvil".
It was not somehow UN-approved; it was a pure NATO (officially) decision. Thus, as such, totally opposite to the international law. Brussels decided to establish its rule on some new lands illegally, using military power. Western Europe tried to play being above the law. And became off it.
It looks like lessons of history do not teach some powers. Years after Yugoslavia, there were Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria... There's nothing to be surprised that the beautiful new world the US-headed EU has been building now tries to come back to its parent.
As a Russian, I feel deep sympathy and condolences to the victims and their relatives. But nothing of the kind towards peoples in general. You voted for those who started it all in Yugoslavia, and later in Libya, and Ukraine, and so on, and on, and on. You voted for those who made total tolerance a prevailing value and virtue. Now you eat what you voted for; just a deserved payback for a consumerist society that decided to die being totally atomized.
For centuries, Europe robbed all parts of the world establishing its wealth and prosperity. Now it became just too weak and unable to protect its treasures, largely stolen from the world. Those who are able, are coming in for it.
That's it, Europe. Ciao, once powerful, always treacherous, and now just sick and tired old fart.
PS: To assist you in reading media coverage, a cognitive piece by Bryan MacDonald regarding difference between terrorists and insurgents.