I have been watching the news out of Moscow over the past 24 hours and they make for a rather depressing viewing indeed. No, I am not referring to the two blasts in the Moscow subway system which, of course, are tragic events, but to the rhetoric of the Russian authorities. Listening to the Russian news, I was wondering if the script had been written in Washington, DC.
President Medvedev immediately declared that the Russian legislation needed to be changed to fight against what many Russians now call ‘al-Qaeda in the Caucasus’. What he did not explain, of course, is how exactly the current legislation had anything to do with the fact that terrorists could detonate bombs in Moscow.
Does that not sound familiar to those living in the USA?
And let’s remember the past. While I am not accusing the Russian authorities of being behind an 9/11-like ‘inside job’ (although many questions remain about the 1999 appartment building bombings ), there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the first Chechen war was made possible by elements inside the Kremlin under Eltsin and that it was artificially prolonged by ‘deep state’ forces in Moscow.
Ever since Putin came to power, the various security services have seen a real bonanza of funding, quite in contrast to the military which has seen dramatic cuts in its financing and even key forces. For example, 3 (three!) Spetsnaz brigades from the GRU have been simply disbanded (the 67th, 12th and 3d) and there were plans of cutting the GRU command in Moscow by 50 (that is fifty!) percent. Even though this last folly has been put on hold, for the time being at least, the combination of these ‘reforms’ represents no less than a de-facto crippling of one of the most effective parts of the Russian military. There were also equally absurd plans to disband the 106th Guards Airborne Division, arguably the second best airborne division in the Russian military. These plans were also ‘frozen’, at least for a while. But the trend is clear: Putin and Medvedev are disbanding elite military forces.
While this is going on, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Security Service forces are being superbly financed, they get many brand new, top of the line, training facilities, and their resources are greatly increased. To put it crudely, what the current Russian government wants is cops, not soldiers.
Combine that trend with the US-like response to the latest bombings and the image becomes clear: Russia is also on the slippery path of becoming a police state. There are, of course, some important differences between Russia and the USA and these should not be overlooked.
For one thing, Russia is a ‘normal’ country, not an empire like the USA. Crucially, Russia does abide by the norms of international law, unlike the USA which considers itself above any such law. Russia does have a truly free press. In contrast, the US press would make Suslov or Goebbels blue with envy. Russia is not under the ironclad control of Zionists (neither Jewish nor Christian). Russian intelligences agencies are not in the business of overthrowing governments worldwide and the Russian military budget is not larger than the combined military defense budget of the rest of the planet which, of course, the US ‘defense’ budget it. Russia does not have 700+ military bases worldwide and Russia does not have 16 major intelligence’ agencies (only 3: FSB, GRU, SVR) and last, but not least, the level of education of the Russian population is higher than in the USA by several orders of magnitude. So the situation in Russia is not quite as ominous as it is in the USA. Still, all the signs are here that the Putin-Medvedev rule has all the signs of being a ‘by the cops, for the cops’ kind of regime.
Listening to Russian commentators immediately referring to “al-Qaeda in the Caucasus” as being behind the Moscow bombings made me feel very uncomfortable. Its not that I have any reason to doubt that Chechen terrorists are behind these bombings (I am quite aware that that the Chechen insurgents are among the most evil and crazed Wahabi thugs on the planet), but I cannot help but wonder why the ‘al-Qaeda’ label had to be attached to them. Sure, Doku Umarov, the so-called “First Emir of the Caucasus Emirate”, is a murderous thug and the Chechen insurgency has had close contacts with what has become to be known as ‘al-Qaeda’ for many years. But these Chechens have also had contacts with the US, British, Turkish and Israeli intelligences agencies and yet no Russian commentators speaks of “CIA in the Caucasus”…
In the meanwhile, US and British ‘terrorism experts’ are on Russian TV pontificating about how ‘terrorism is a world-wide global problem’ which threatens ‘all democratic states’ (since when do Yanks and Brits refer to Russia as being ‘democratic’ again?!).
I just can about see the smiles of satisfaction in the White House.