Are Chechens ‘Rebels’ or ‘Terrorists?’

Why does the Western press refer to Chechen terrorists as rebels?

The tragic events in Moscow have proved again that the Western media is unable to understand events take place in Russia. To be more precise, Western media outlets can cover a Russian event, but they do so in a very one-sided way.

Everything is clear for the Western media: the small republic of Chechnya fights for its freedom. Big, bad Russia refuses to bid farewell to its imperial ambitions. It does not want to grant freedom to the proud Chechen nation. This is the common opinion that foreign media outlets have about the conflict between Russia and Chechnya.

This issue has been discussed for a very long period of time. All of the debates have been held in vain. It should be mentioned here, though, that Chechnya was an independent country for three years. Nothing good came of this. President Aslan Maskhadov did not wish to put an end to the criminality that was growing and flourishing in Chechnya. Both Russian and foreign citizens have suffered from this. We wonder why no journalists talk to the relatives of those British, French, and American citizens killed by Chechens and ask them what they think about the Chechen “freedom fighters.”

It is obvious that they are not freedom fighters. They are simply bandits. However, the Western press keeps on saying that they are rebels, not terrorists. The gang that recently seized hundreds of hostages in Moscow was also called “Chechen rebels.”

The recent act of terrorism in Moscow has not affected either European or American journalists. They just took a break for a couple of days, and then American, German, French media started talking about the necessity of tough measures against Russia. They all claim that the Russian anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya should be stopped.

Well, there is nothing surprising about this, really. The so-called World Chechen Congress in Denmark is a very good example to illustrate what we have just said. This “congress” has been suspiciously approved of both by the foreign press as well as other European countries.

A spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry has recently welcomed the opening of the congress. One should assume that this is the official position of Germany, in spite of the fact that German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has recently denounced the act of terrorism in Moscow. Moreover, German Chancellor Schroeder did the same as well.

Has Germany forgotten that there were German citizens among the hostages? They could have been killed by these “freedom fighters.” Here is another fact. When the “delegates of the congress” were offered to honor the dead with a moment of silence, not one of them agreed to do so.

The Western media spins the issue of negotiations with fugitive Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov. Even if Maskhadov knew nothing about the recent act of terrorism, why conduct negotiations with a person who does not control the situation? Maskhadov’s power is weaker than that of the English Queen. Any kind of negotiations with Maskhadov would be like a contribution to his self-esteem – “they still think I am important.” Does anyone believe that the Chechen “rebels” will obey Maskhadov if he orders them to lay down their arms?

The Chechen issue is extremely complicated. It is impossible to settle it in a military way. The West won’t help to solve the problem with its advice. Remember how the Kosovo problem was “solved?” The Albanians ethnically cleansed nearly the entire Serbian population under the watchful eyes of international peacekeepers. The same has been done in Chechnya with ethnic Russians, although there were no peacekeepers there. This was very attractive for human trafficking business, though.

Probably, one should define terrorist acts for a start. On the other hand, it is very convenient to follow the policy of double standard: first, denounce terrorists, but then justify them. In this case, Western journalists cannot express sympathy with the hostages.

BBC photo:

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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