Sunday, December 5, 2010

Split Personality At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

As the White House and the Democratic czars of political correctness lecture us on "watching what we say" in order to avoid Islamophobia and violence against Muslims, the President continues to treat with Russian leader Vladimir Putin through his puppet president Dmitry Medvedev. While Americans commit imaginary "hate crimes" against Muslims, Russian troops and operatives simply cut to the chase and murder Chechen rebel Muslims outright.

My personal view of the situation is that the best result would be that both sides do each other in and thus kill two vicious birds with one stone. But that's an unlikely result, and I'm not the President of the United States who must, Janus-like, have one point of view domestically and an entirely different one of foreign affairs. The Islamic "nation" of Chechnya isn't worth a bucket of warm spit to America, but Russia considers it important only because its lengthy presence within the Russian empire has produced a consensus among Russian leaders that its departure would be a signal to other provinces to seek independence. Unlike Ukraine and other breakaway republics which removed themselves from the former Soviet Union, Chechnya had almost no autonomy or recognition as a state within the Union, and its exit would be considered a breakup of mother Russia herself.

To add to the mix, Chechnya was originally a region that converted to Islam in order to form an alliance with the Ottoman empire to keep out the encroaching Russian Czarist empire. It was a lost cause, and it resulted in a Russian province populated almost entirely by resentful Sunni Muslims. That didn't set well with the Orthodox Christians and even less so with the atheist communist government that ruled after 1919. Today, Chechnya is viewed with the worst suspicions of both former (?) communists and the Russian Orthodox Church. Today's Russia is under the thumb of former President Putin who was also the former head of the ruthless KGB. In neither position did Putin much care about the sensitivities or religious freedom of the Chechens.

Islamic terrorists have given the Kremlin a very bad headache. But as our liberals say, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Our happy-face President can't decide which they are, so he takes no stand at all. Meanwhile, this is a Russian public relations disaster. Revelations seem to be coming out daily about Russian barbarity during both the first and second Chechen wars and the current rebellion. Endangering their own lives, several Russian commanders have admitted that their troops have committed multiple assassinations and mass murder of Chechen rebels. Major Alexei Potyomkin admitted that a group of Red Cross volunteers was slaughtered in Grozny and made to look like the murders were committed by Chechens. A repeat of the murder of Polish officers by the thousands by communist troops at Katyn during WW II which they blamed on the Nazis.

Another Russian officer gave his "war" diary to the London Times which has reproduced it anonymously with its horrific recitation of Russian atrocities in Chechnya during and since 1999. Meanwhile, the Chechens have been busy themselves. In October of this year, rebels attacked the Chechen Parliament building in Grozny at the same time a high-ranking Russian cabinet official was attending a meeting of the Parliament. They have also attempted several near-successful assassinations of the Russian puppet head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. The most recent attempt occurred while Kadyrov was in attendance at a fully-packed theater performance. Attacks are not limited to the capital and its environs. A mass attack by the rebels occurred at a crowded market in Kabardino Balkaria, an outlying area inhabited largely by ethnic Russians.

So why should we care if two opposing gangs are busily killing each other? A couple of reasons. First, it could be a chance for the United States to exploit Russian inability to control its own territories while at the same time making public hay about Russian oppression of Islamic peoples (of course that didn't work out so well in Afghanistan). But at the very least, we would be taking a stand against wholesale slaughter and subjugation of a people's desire for freedom.

Equally importantly is the fact that despite its constant public pronouncements of peace within its border, Russia has either created (or suffered from, depending on your point of view) a massive retaliation by Islamic Chechen rebels that brings instability to the region and danger within Russia itself. This greatly exacerbates the problems the West already faces with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Russian exploitation of Middle East animosities.

Part and parcel of that mess is the fact that the 2014 winter Olympic games will be held in Sochi, Russia. If this situation is not brought under control, the games could make Munich look like child's play. Sochi is far from Moscow, and in the volatile Circassian region which is as close to Chechnya as it is to the Russian capital. There's bad blood there as well since historically, the Russian empire under Alexander II conquered this Caucusus region, subjugating its Muslim population or expelling them to the Ottoman empire. Its peaceful and prosperous tourist popularity obscures the fact that there are ethnic and religious hostilities seething just below the public surface.

Obama owes it to the American public and the Western democracies to expose the Russian atrocities and call attention to the very real potential danger posed by the Chechen rebellion vis-a-vis the Olympic games and more importantly to its athletes and attendees. But considering Obama's tail-between-his-legs obeisance to the Russian bear, it's more likely he will continue to expand his efforts to ferret out the American terrorist Islamophobes who oppose the Ground Zero mosque.


CrisD said...

Obama absolutely WILL NOT make any sort of statement or denouncement (or whatever it is you do when you are broke.) It is awful because Putin is a gangster. The Olympic games are really just an inch above the my esteem.(The Russians and Chinese cheat)
Obama is busy dismantling capitalism and personal freedoms at home. Not on his radar.

Unknown said...

CrisD: That sounds about right.

AndrewPrice said...

The Russians have always been brutal with their "vassals" because they have never viewed life as anything but cheap and expendable. The way they handled Chernobyl was stunning, as was their handling of the Chechen War and how they endangers all the hostages the Chechens kept taking in Russia. I fully expect the Olympics will be bloody. For all their supposed state security, Russia is fairly close to a state of anarchy. And it would make a heck of a statement to blow up Olympic athletes -- high profile events always make high profile targets.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Thanks for the background on Russia.
Split personality along with so many splits from character qualifications that bo abounds in make just him disgusting.
I feel strongly that the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania has failed on so many points it just hurts to think about it.
He has no shortage of short comings and the worst part is the dominate ones affect America here at home the most.

I offer the following examples;
A Person of Character
Lives with Integrity,
is Honest, Reliable
and Loyal.

A Person of Character
Is a good Citizen,
does his share,
helps the Community
and plays by the rules
and respects the Law.

A Person of Character
Meets the demand of duty,
is Accountable,
pursues Excellence
and Exercises self control.

A Person of Character
Is fair and Just,
is Impartial, Listens
and is open to different

Does the current resident exhibit these character traits? NO he does not and our country deserves better. We need to all pray that 2012 will provide us with someone who can live up to the character of the past residents of 1600 Pennsylvania.

Unknown said...

Andrew: It's the land of Ivan the Terrible. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. I'm really afraid you're right about the Olympics. The potential for innocent blood-spilling is very high.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: That's a pretty fair list of Obama's failings, and I think they play directly on his inability to keep two balls in the air at the same time. It does appear that the START "advantage Russia" treaty won't be brought before the Senate in this session. Obama will be facing a more hostile Senate next year that won't just rubber-stamp the much-defective treaty as it presently stands. His inability to see that the evil empire has simply changed form without having changed substance is almost criminal negligence. Bush was too generous with the Russians, but at least he was wary.

Putin knew that he could pull the usual bluster without going to the point of exhibiting insulting or demeaning behavior toward Bush. He treats Obama like a childish banana republic puppet, which is not far from an accurate assessment. I'd be fine with that if it didn't include the fact that an insult to the American president is an insult to the American people, and makes our lives less safe by the day.

Joel Farnham said...


I forget the exact situation, but didn't Obama give up a missle defense for a foreign country to Russia? It was one of the crowning achievements of the Bush era. A foreign country accepting our patriot missle defense and Obama cancelled it unilaterally. I just can't remember enough to figure out the country.

At any rate, because of the foregoing, Putin knew he had Obama eating out of his hand.

Tennessee Jed said...

As always a delightful read, Hawk. I don't trust Russia in the least. I think it must be in my D.N.A. or something. Certainly Obama has tried to project an image of multi-lateralism into our foreign policy. That is something that I don't think really works all that well with Russia.

As for the Olympics, apart from the threat of terror, since they went openly "pro" and went for the big bucks like the rest of sports, I've kind of lost interest.

Unknown said...

Joel: We had made deals with several Eastern European former Eastern Communist Bloc nations. Poland and the Czech Republic had already worked with us and closed the deal. Obama not only succeeded in weakening our defenses, but at the same time convincing those former Soviet satellites that we are not trustworthy. In addition, it weakened our bargaining position on START before the talks had even resumed in earnest.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I know what you mean. Reagan knew never to bargain from a weak position. Obama first weakens our position and then bargains from it. This guy is going to get a lot of innocent people killed before we boot him out.

I lost interest in the Olympics about the time the basketball Dream Team showed up. The winter Olympics are a little less professionalized, but I rarely watched them anyway. Still, there are young, eager athletes who want to show up there and do their best without being shot or blown up.

Tehachapi Tom said...

I'm working on becoming a Russian.
We went to a great local party.
After three Lucas Luellen Merlot s, Chicken Kiev, Asparagus and some of the most decadent potatoes you have ever seen I progressed to Ballentine's and coffee. Then they brought out a chocolate and raspberry cake with whipped cream with more Ballantine's. I know it is not wodka but it is better there is flavour to the mix.
Even with the modified perspective you must understand bo is an abomination upon our country.
I had an opportunity to have a lengthy discussion with the father of one of our fallen warrior/hero's.
We are living such sheltered lives there is no way to express the impact these folks have on me.
Our (leaders) are truly a sorry lot.
Now I';m home and can't think of sleep because the story shared is playing still and I cannot let it go yet.
If any of you do not know or cannot fathom what this sort of loss means then you are missing a very deep emotional touch upon your very soul. We have got to be the most special people the world knows to have young people willing to make this sort of sacrifice for us who they do not even know.
We are saddled with a bubcus.

Unknown said...

Anon: If you're a regular reader of our blog, you probably already know that I spent much of my adult life in San Francisco. The outer Clement Street section of the Richmond District has a large Russian immigrant population, which grew even larger after the Soviet Union released, then expelled, Jewish dissidents. The food was fabulous and the people were wonderful. I can't speak to why the Russian people who remain have allowed Soviet-style totalitarianism to sneak back in, but I know it was certainly not anything in the inherent nature of the Russians I got to know.

Notawonk said...

this brings to mind a saying "the german" used to say as we children were growing up in america (we never fully understood why she felt the need to say it so often to her children who were fully ensconced in west texas and it's lifestyle): never trust a russian.

guess she was talking about its leadership...

Unknown said...

Patti: I grew up with my mom telling me tales of the Teutonic Knights conquering larger "Slavic" armies in the East. Of course she was talking about the medieval German incursions into Russia. And she never mentioned Alexander Nevsky and the major defeat suffered by the Knights. They occasionally attacked the Poles as well, but Russia was the "true enemy" because the Poles were at least fellow Catholics while the Knights were trying to advance Roman Catholicism against the Russian Orthodox "heretics." It's a long and frequently bloody history.

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