WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States set the example, is providing billions in aid to Russia, and so it must share responsibility for Russia's genocidal war on Chechnya.
On September 18, following a meeting between Russian investigators and officials at the FBI, the Associated Press reported that the State Department and FBI chief Louis Freeh offered "technical and investigative assistance" to the Russian government in its investigation of four explosions in apartment buildings in Moscow that killed more than 300 people.
Russian authorities accuse Chechen freedom fighters of being responsible for the bombings. The Chechens have denied responsibility, but are "the preferred scapegoat" according to analysts at Stratfor.com.
A state of emergency could benefit president Yeltsin, who would like to see the December elections postponed until he can ensure a loyal successor.
Says Stratfor.com "Yeltsin's opponents, such as former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, have long feared that Yeltsin would call a state of emergency for political gain. The recent bombings could give him the excuse to do this legitimately."
Despite the lack of evidence against the Chechens, Russia launched massive, indiscriminate attacks on Chechnya.
The BBC reports that refugees arriving at the border with the neighboring republic of Ingushetia have been giving "consistent accounts of death and destruction caused by Russian troops." Refugees say people are being killed as they try to flee the Russian bombardment.
An estimated 200,000 refugees have fled to Ingushetia. About 3000 have been killed, and 10,000 wounded. Chechnya's president Aslan Maskhadov has appealed to President Clinton to halt the "genocide of the Chechen people."
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin cites the U.S. example to justify the attack on Chechnya. Says Mr. Putin, "Exactly the same tactics were deployed during Operation Desert Storm, in the bombing of the former Yugoslavia and in the various United States attempts to strike back at the world's most wanted terrorist -- Osama bin Laden."
Meanwhile billions in U.S. dollars continue to flow to Russia through the International Monetary Fund.
Contrast this with President Clinton's threat to delay a $42 billion IMF loan package to get Indonesia to agree to the UN intervention in East Timor. And now reports have emerged that the recent killings in East Timor were greatly exagerrated -- presumably to justify UN intervention.
Contrast this also with the UN sanctions initiated today against Afghanistan for its refusal to surrender Osama bin Laden to the U.S. The U.S. accuses bin Laden of masterminding the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but refuses to provide evidence to back its claim.
"The Chechen people are now standing on the threshold of total destruction," says foreign minister Iyas Akhmadov. They have suffered for 250 years under Russian colonial rule, and are mere pawns caught up in the superpower's scramble for Caspian Sea oil.
C. J. chivers, "From Pariah to Premier in Chechnya,"
New York Times, March 5, 2006