Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Today, we'll include a column from a very Special Guest who'll shed some light on Chechnya, a place most Americans had  never even heard of until last week.

Americans are, in general, ignorant. Especially of anything outside of America, which sometimes to them can include Alaska and Hawaii. Ignorant to to the point of stupidity and blissfully ignorant. We even have numerous large government entities, such as the Department of Education, as well as a dedicated state-run media to keep us blissfully ignorant.

Since they don't know their own history, we can hardly expect the sheeple to have any knowledge of someone else's history. Or even geographical location. Or existence. Today, I kid you not, the Czechs are frustrated as hell because Americans can't figure out the difference between "Czech" and "Chechen". If we start talking about Grozny, expect to hear lots of Americans saying, "Gesundheit" immediately afterwards.

As part of general world history, both of the places mentioned above, as well as the Korean Peninsula, India-Pakistan, parts of Africa, most of eastern Europe as well as large portions of the Middle East have seen copious amounts of blood shed over the years for various causes. For the past century or so this has been thanks in no small part to large military super powers (UK, USA, USSR) who, immediately following world wars, arrogantly and almost arbitrarily draw imaginary lines on maps to create instant nation-states which appear to conveniently suit their own foreign policy needs at the moment.

PARIS, 1919: "Hey look! Here are three separate groups of a few million people who have distinctly different cultures, are geographically isolated from one another and all hate each others guts with a passion! Let's draw a line around them all and call it Iraq!"

"Sounds good. Should we consult anyone who lives there?"

"No, that sounds like a great deal of bother and it's almost time for tea."

I caught a bit of Hannity's talk show Voice of the RNC on the truck radio yesterday while on my weekly trip to the town dump (I live an exciting life). Apparently, I'm no longer a "conservative" because, strangely, I don't believe boy bomber Tsarnaev should be tried as an "enemy combatant". He was and is an American citizen at the time of his crime, so he should be afforded all the rights of an American citizen when tried, although realistically I know that some citizens are more equal than others in our increasingly dyslexic federal criminal justice system. I just don't think foreign nationals/non-citizens should be accorded any of the same rights and "protections" of an actual American citizen, whether they are blowing up people, sneaking into the country illegally, or just getting you and I to pay for their healthcare. Hence, were big brother Tsarnaev alive he would be an "enemy combatant" as he had never gotten his citizenship. You either are one or you ain't one, simple as that.

I'm not particularly anti-Chechen either. In general, I sympathize with a smaller country seeking independence from a larger, heavily-armed neighbor.

I am anti-Islamic; I don't believe it to even remotely resemble a "Religion of Peace". By its own holy tenets it calls for conversion, enslavement, or death for all of us infidels, the "vilest of animals", whom God does not even love. Hey, if you want to go back to the Eleventh Century and treat women like meat, be my guest, just don't include me and mine in your little plans. But that's a cat we'll skin some other time.

However, I am also in total agreement with our guest and with David Kilcullen's Accidental Guerrilla theory, in that Super-powers sending troops to invade and then occupy foreign countries for years or even decades, whether under the guise of "keeping the peace", "fighting terrorism" or "installing democracy" does nothing but create more jihadists by the bushel. It doesn't matter whether you're talking T-80s and Hinds in Grozny or M1 Abrams and Apaches in Baghdad.

Even non-Muslims will get pissed off when you invade their homeland. Consider the barefoot, dirt-poor Confederate private captured after a battle in Georgia during the American Civil War. A Union officer noted that he obviously did not own slaves, and never would, so why was he fighting? "I'm fighting because you're down here." If a battalion of Pakistani troops came and occupied our town tomorrow, you can bet your ass I'd be one of the first in line to go shoot at them.

Since we'll never get national governments, let alone world governments, (and at least one major religion) to stop interfering in other country's and people's affairs, I'll finally put you into the hands of our Special Guest Columnist who can at least explain what can happen as a result of such meddling. Our guest has considerable knowledge of and has traveled extensively in Russia and many parts of the former Soviet Union both before and after the collapse of Communism there. Our guest can not only locate places like Kyrgyzstan, Tbilisi or Azerbaijan on a map, but can also correctly pronounce them. We don't don't let just anybody in here, so listen up.

I used your Christmas present to buy Gulag, by Anne Appelbaum, which I would recommend to you if you don't mind 600 pages of gruelingly depressing reading.  I was reading it at the same time that a Holocaust speaker came to Cedar Rapids, and I was struck by how much we know about the Holocaust, and how little we ever hear about the Gulags and exiles of Soviet times.  Anyhow, this leads me to your blog.

I am  afraid to post to your blog, [Probably because Ben is so mean-Ed] but I feel the Chechens in general (not the Tsarnaev brothers, who seem to be pretty much evil and sociopathic) have gotten a bad rap.  I would argue that the Russian approach to Chechnya helped turn a mostly secular national movement into a holy war with support from throughout the Muslim world.

When the Soviet Union began splitting up in 1991, the Chechens, who had never really wanted to be part of Russia or the Soviet Union used this as a chance to try to declare independence.  While the Chechens were historically Muslim, Islam in the Caucasus was traditionally a fairly tolerant and mild religion, nothing like the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia or Taliban in Afghanistan.  During the years of Soviet rule, much of the population had become pretty secular and the leader of the independence movement was Djokhar Dudaev, a former Soviet general married to a blond Lutheran from Estonia.

During the first Chechen war in the 90s, the Russian troops were underfunded, demoralized, and ill-equipped to fight with the guerrillas. They used carpet bombing and massive aerial strikes, killing civilians and rendering cities and villages uninhabitable. There were many documented instances of Russian troops, sometimes irregulars from neighboring republics, raping women and girls and slaughtering civilians. At one point, something like 40% of the population of the country was displaced, many of them in IDP or refugee camps.   To the best of my knowledge, the first Chechen attack on a civilian target (a horrible hostage-taking at a hospital in Budyonovsk) in greater Russia didn't happen until 1995, as a way of forcing Yeltsin to negotiate more seriously.  The mistreatment of Muslims in Chechnya and Bosnia were endlessly used as propaganda to fan pan-Islamic hatred of the West and lead to calls for jihad.
The first Chechen war helped set the stage for the later terrorist acts, general lawlessness, and kidnappings and hostage-takings that have made Chechnya ungovernable until this day and spread into the rest of the region. The second Chechen war had much more of an Islamic character.  The current president, appointed by the Russian government and not elected by the Chechen people, is supposedly Muslim and is in favor of outward displays of Islam like the hijab, but has also been implicated in corruption and human rights violations.

And why were the Tsarnaevs in Kyrgyzstan?

During the 40s, virtually the entire Chechen and Ingush populations (men, women, children, elderly and invalids) were deported thousands of miles to the Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Siberian steppes, traveling in unheated cattle cars and often without food, water, or toilets. They were dumped in villages with no supplies, and with a local population that was already underfed and lacking resources, didn't share a common language, and didn't want them there. Of course, many died in transport or in exile, before finally being allowed to return to Chechnya after 1956. Many returned to find their homes and farms claimed by someone else. 

Those who stayed in Central Asia often experienced mistrust and discrimination.  Although the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz are also Muslim, the cultures don't have much in common.  During Soviet times, ethnic Russians were often favored for jobs or educational opportunities; after independence, ethnic Kyrgyz or Kazakhs had the upper hand.

So, I'm not writing this because this sad history excuses what the Tsarnaevs did, but I hate to see an entire people labeled as terrorists.  I have met only a few Chechens, but they were warm, hospitable, and deeply honorable people. 

1 comment:

Colonel Saunders said...

I'm sorry folks, I couldn't even make it past the title of this one. This "defense of chickens" stuff is bullshit!