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Western leaders betray Aslan Maskhadov

posted by zaina19 on April, 2005 as ANALYSIS / OPINION

From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng  (Original Message)    Sent: 4/1/2005 2:05 PM
11.3.2005 14:35 MSK
Western leaders betray Aslan Maskhadov
Aslan Maskhadov, the President of Chechnya, elected under the auspices of the international community, is dead. Assassinated. The plan devised and carried out by the Russian authorities has succeeded: henceforth they shall only deal with Shamil Basaev, kept and protected by them from Budyennovsk through to Dagestan.

Mr. Putin, the Soviet agent who spends his holidays in the company of Gerhard Schroeder and Silvio Berlusconi, now sits opposite one just like him. The massacre will continue and the terrorist attacks will be repeated.

Aslan Maskhadov had just declared a unilateral ceasefire and stated he represented Western values and not those of radical Islam. Yet the one-month ceasefire had been respected by all rebel groups. Maskhadov had shown his strength. But not one leader suggested holding talks with the leader of the courageous and heroic. And this was the moment to kill him. To prevent the spirit of the permanent revolutions, something our friend the Czar detests, from spreading from the South to embrace the whole of the North Caucasus.

Not one western leader appealed to the Kremlin to negotiate with the only legitimate leader of a martyred and heroic people. Remember Commander Massud from Afghanistan: he resisted both Russians and the Taliban ; was abandoned nonetheless by the West and then assassinated, to the benefit of Bin Laden. Not one of our representatives contradicted Putin when he coupled the Chechen independent armed resistance to the war against international terrorism. On the contrary, Chirac and Schroeder proclaimed the Kremlin leader an angel of peace for his sympathies regarding Saddam Hussein. It was a blank cheque to the KGB agent, and he made use of it.

Stripped of morality, our leaders demonstrate a remarkable political imbecility. Which leader can ever hold sway over the thousands who have undergone the horror of torture and seek nothing but revenge? Which leader will be in a position to negotiate when the Russians come to their senses? How will one find amongst this young generation, which has known only war and oppression, a man of Aslan Maskhadov’s stature and above all his temperance? Chechnya will descend deeper into horror as never before. But it will not descend alone.

Who restrained the combatants from blowing up nuclear power stations in Russia? The corrupt secret services? Evidently not. Who contained the influence of Basaev, the former GRU agent, within the Chechen resistance? Who, if not Maskhadov?

The late Yassir Arafat received honours from France and Europe. The Chechen president, who never appealed for civilians to be killed, died alone, just as he had fought. Abandoned by the world, isolated in his rebel mountains, seeing his people slaughtered in the atmosphere of general indifference, Maskhadov replied…by unconditionally condemning the hostage drama in Moscow and the horror of Beslan. Just as he had condemned the terror of 11 September 2001.

The hero Maskhadov had proposed a peace plan which would shelve the question of independence…in the name of peace. This plan foresaw the demilitarisation of all combatants under international auspices. The UN, EU, OSCE and NATO, organisations which are supposed to offer peoples security, and guarantee the self-determination of nations, did not even deign to discuss it during the plan’s three-year existence.

In spite of the filtration camps, the so-called mopping-up operations, the rape and violence, the murder of a quarter of the population (imagine France or Italy losing 10-15 million inhabitants), in spite of people fleeing in fear, Chechnya continues to resist, as much against the Russians’ barbarism as against religious fanaticism.

Why such hatred towards a people (once) one million strong? Why so very little compassion? Moscow’s obstinacy is neither explained by strategic nor energy requirements. The main reason for three centuries of colonial warfare and Russian cruelty in the Caucasus is educational in nature, and the great Russian poets understood this. It was necessary to make an example to show the Russian people what would be in store for them if they did not follow orders.

In 1818 the Russian general Yermolov delivered to Czar Nicholas I the key to this combat : “With their example, the Chechens ignite the spirit of revolt and love for freedom even amongst your majesty’s most devoted subjects”. Putin has translated the lessons of Czarist imperialism into the language of a middle-ranking Soviet officer: it is necessary to “waste them in the outhouse”, these eternal rebels…

Yes, Aslan Maskhadov did have blood on his hands. So did the French Resistance, and so did any other such movement in history. He opposed a genocidal enemy. In our days it is not an easy life for those who resist.

Aslan Maskhadov has also paid the ultimate price for our lexical inadequacies. We use the term genocide freely, with however one exception – when it actually happens, as in Rwanda in 1994. Furthermore, we classify as members of resistance those who cut off the heads of electoral officials or simple Iraqi civilians. But we refuse to do this towards those who will not accept the destruction of their people. In refusing to call him what he was, the President and a patriot, the western leaders allowed for the murder of Maskhadov.

During my visit to Chechnya in June 2000, we were unable to meet. Three times plans were scuppered by bombardments. I transmitted to him my questions, and he replied with a long letter on a cassette. He denounced Islamisation, concluding that “never in a free Chechnya will a Chechen woman be forced to wear a veil.”

At the end of his last novel, Hadji Murat, Tolstoi sketches an imaginary scene: on a tray he carries the severed head of the noble Chechen leader to the Czar. Last Tuesday, Aslan Maskhadov was murdered in the village of…Tolstoi-Yurt.

Chechnya has lost its own General De Gaulle.

We have lost just a little more of our honour.

Andre Glucksmann
Translated Michael Garrood

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