Americans have a lot to learn about Chechnya
disturbing, but inevitable
Eric LaMont Gregory
26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev (right), 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar
I do not know if this is the first time that the decade’s long war in Chechnya has spilled onto the streets of America, but it has now and in a bloodbath. The Russian public knows all too well the carnage that is the Chechen conflict, and the way that it spilled over into some quite dramatic and deadly incidents on their mass transit systems, schools, and concert halls; notably the October 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis. And now onto the streets of Boston, why?
The answer to that question will require the American people, our government and the larger international community to come to grips with and place in a more proper perspective Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And, for the American public specifically, given our past and current involvement in Afghanistan it raises many more questions than are answered.
The Bolsheviks after waging 100 years of terror against the Czars took power in 1917, and suppressed religious practice. The religion of what became the southern Soviet republics with some notable exceptions such as Armenia was Islam. Many of these republics had been a part of Turkey until the end of their 100 year long war with Russia, and the Ottoman Empire before that.
Two events that would later converge happened in 1957. Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and that began the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The bear was now wounded and it is well known that a wounded animal is a dangerous animal. And, successive Soviet leaders proved that repeatedly. There had been a tactic agreement between the Soviets and the Americans that in the interest of world peace, that no one who had been in charge of their intelligence service should become head of state. When the Soviets made the near death and former head of the KGB Andropov premier for the last month of his life, the Americans took that as breaking the agreement and that opened the door for GHW Bush the former head of the CIA to seek the presidency of the United States.
Also in 1957 the first International Jihad Conference was held in Cairo. Qutb, the mentor of Bin Laden was there, as was Bin Laden’s and still at large second in command of Al Qaeda. The conference was held as a means of discovering why the Arab world, more correctly the Islamic world was in disarray, down trodden, and lacking its former glory. The answer was that they had turned from the true source of their strength, Islam. And, most of the things that have happened towards reversing that trend over the past 56 years were born in that and subsequent international jihad conferences. Notably the series of international jihad meeting organized by Bin Laden and held in the Sudan between 1991 and 1996.
Rome was not built in a day, and Rome did not fall in a day. The jihadist movement took years to grow, and the Soviet Union took years to dissolve; but grow they did, and dissolve they did.
Saudi Arabia is governed by a strict interpretation of Islamic law, Wahhabism. Saudi Arabia was eager to spread its form of Islam and was willing to foment unrest in the southern Soviet republics to do so. During the 1970’s largely financed by the Saudis a war was waged against Soviet religious suppression. Soviet officials were killed, and Soviet administrative buildings were bombed, especially those that had been located in former mosques. Towards the end of the decade the Soviet Union aware that the source of the Islamic radicalism and training of Islamic fighters was centered in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan decided to put down the rebellion and go into Afghanistan to go after those responsible for the killings and bombings in their southern republics.
In the Pentagon Papers, McNamara is quoted as saying: if, the North Vietnamese are going to do for Vietnam what they say they are going to do, then we - the Americans - are fighting on the wrong side.
The question raised is this, how could the Saudis be so successful in their effort to fight the Soviet suppression of Islam, to an extent that the Soviets felt it necessary to carry out a massive cross international border policing action in Afghanistan to put down a rebellion in its own southern republics. And, this should be an object lesson for American foreign aid. The Saudis go into countries that are abjectly poor, and they house the people, feed them, clothe them, and educate them. But, that education was only in the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam whose message is that anyone who does not practice your religion is your devout enemy. And, so they raise an army to fight the infidel Soviets.
Dan Rather dons Mujahedeen attire and Charlie Wilson’s folly begins to manifest. Bin Laden at this time is just the latest in a long line of Saudis who had been involved in the Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan incursions into the Soviet southern republics to wage jihad against their suppression of Islam. The Soviet policing action in Afghanistan is coined an invasion by the Americans, and we're off.
Unfortunately there was no McNamara on the scene to say; if, the Soviets are going to do in Afghanistan what they say they going to do, then we – the Americans – are fighting on the wrong side.
And, so two young southern republic Chechen brothers isolated from the promise of America, but steeped in a jihadist fervor to right the wrongs the infidels have occasioned upon them and their fellow believers, are not being told to stop playing video games and do their homework, or come in out of the garage and stop working on that piece of junk car, but they are assembling bombs.
And, while putting together these intricate but lethal devices they are listening to speeches by an Islamic teacher named Shaykh Feiz Mohammed, talking about the unfair treatment of Muslims in the North Caucasus and about terrorists and Islam. Such speeches always find a way to remind them of the brutality of the infidel Stalin, and to suggest that America stands behind all the evil in the world, and we need to be taught a lesson, and it is the duty of all true believers to join in that fight.
And, there are no young Americans coming to their door saying, hey we are going for a pizza why don’t you and brother come with us. The problem does not lie in the stars.
The crimes associated with the Boston Marathon Massacre did not begin when the bombs went off maiming and killing those assembled to participate in or to watch the race. The attacks were planned; the pressure cooker explosive devices were assembled, brought to the scene, and then detonated. And, it is at that precise point when the conspiracy to commit murder became an act of murder.
Although the death of one of the suspects and the arrest of the other are welcomed events, it should be remembered that this investigation is very much in its early days.
As each aspect of the case is unraveled there will be more revelations and more arrests, some will be expected, while others will simply be shocking. Because from the planning stage of this crime to the detonation of the explosive devices is a long trail involving many people, some knowing others unwittingly involved.