As the USA and United Kingdom perform their military operations against the Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan, the forces of the Russian Federation close the noose around the leader of the Chechnya terrorists, Shamil Basayev.
The deeds of the Chechen “separatist” rebels, understood by some to be those of “freedom fighters” but known by those in the field as a band of terrorists, like the UCK, Taliban, or Al-Qaeda (the difference is in the name), have been the object of many stories in recent months in Western press circles.
Attempts by the armed forces of the Russian Federation to combat these bandits were formerly referred to with expressions such as “repression," “cruelty," “hard-handed," and “ruthless," according to various publications but the fact is, today the USA and the United Kingdom understand only too well what it is like to be faced with an irrational and irascible Islamist terrorist threat.
It is not by chance that in the Western media, the question of Chechnya has paled into insignificance, or rather, it has lost its position on the front pages of the press as a “Russian horror story”, at the same time as the Western media began to come to terms with the real issues behind the question of Chechnya.
As the aircraft from the USA and UK destroy Afghan terrorist bases, the Russian Mi-24 combat helicopters are destroying Chechen terrorist training camps in Nojai-Yurt and Vedeno, the area in which the Chechen warlord Shamil Bassayev is based. The inter-exchange between Afghans and Chechens in the killing fields of Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and now Afghanistan itself, is well documented.
As the world unites against terrorism, it is finally becoming clear that those who were formerly accused of cruelty, ruthlessness and bloodthirstiness are now hailed as friends and collaborators. This was always the position of the pacifistic Soviet Union, much maligned by the same agents of hysteria that are gripping western capitals today, as fellow citizens send parcels of talcum powder, washing powder and fire extinguisher material to each other in envelopes.
The Soviet Union was, is, and will always be remembered as the stabilizing force in a manic world bent on violence and destruction. The Russian Federation is the logical continuation of this force of good sense in an evolving world.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL