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Lessons from a tragedy

posted by zaina19 on July, 2006 as ANALYSIS / OPINION

From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng  (Original Message)    Sent: 7/9/2006 5:32 PM
Monday, July 10, 2006
Lessons from a tragedy
Pyotr Romanov
Who is to blame for the death of Russian diplomats in Iraq? Mere deliberations about the ruthlessness of Islamist terrorists are not enough. We must analyse the tragedy and draw lessons from it. Russia and other countries should learn from it. After all, if not for the reckless American operation in Iraq, the Russian diplomats would still be alive; many other lives too would have been saved. Thousands of innocent people have died in Iraq: All victims of a war that was started on a false pretext and will end, at best, with the creation of a feeble democracy.
The deaths of the Russian diplomats also threw light on the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi authorities, the American occupation forces, and Russia, which failed to protect its citizens. Yes, Russia is also to blame. This tragedy has no relation to Chechnya, though the terrorists killed the kidnapped Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity with their 'comrades-in-arms' there. I am not sure the Islamist fundamentals understand that they have lost the Chechen war not to Russia, but to Chechens, who have taken up arms to cleanse their mountains of the remaining 'forest brothers'.
The withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya, which the terrorists demanded, would not change much in the North Caucasian republic. Chechens, who cannot be pulled out of Chechnya, have shown both at the polls and by fighting the remaining bandit groups that Islamist fundamentalism does not suit them.
The tragic deaths of the Russian diplomats brought me back to the presidency of Boris Yeltsin, when the Russian security services were overhauled into near-extinction. They needed reform, but it should have been carried out wisely, as no state can exist without a highly professional security service. In a way, the deaths of the Russian diplomats were a time bomb planted in our past. The act of dismantling is simple, but it take decades to restore an effective system of state security.
Russia can hardly change the mentality of the US political elite, but it can revise its own policy and do everything necessary to ensure the safety of its citizens at home and abroad. Judging by official statements, the current Russian authorities differ from the error-prone revolutionary romantics of the Yeltsin era in that they understand what they should do. The next step is to translate this knowledge into practical action.

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