The issue of the anti-terrorist struggle on the international and regional levels has been actively discussed at different undertakings that have taking place in Russia. The Inter-parliamentary Forum for Struggle with Terrorism finished its work today in St.Petersburg. Another meeting of this kind is currently taking place in the Russian city of Sochi, at which Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia are discussing the issues of regional security.
The problem of the response to the international terrorism is extremely topical now, but one has to deal with the notion of the international terrorism first. It is an open secret that different countries explain this notion in their own ways. This refers to the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
This is also topical for Russia, for which Chechnya has become a big headache; this is a way to put pressure on Russia by the West, the USA, first and foremost.
On March 27, the US State Department published the a updated list of terrorist organization throughout the entire world. The list includes over 30 groups, including the Philippine Abu Sayaf, Spanish ETA, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Liberation Fund, Al-Qaida, and others. The Islamic Front of Uzbekistan is also on the list. The previous list, which was released last October, included 28 terrorist groups.
Americans started drawing up such lists three years ago. The first one was made by Madeleine Albright in 1997, who counted 30 terrorist groups. In 1999, the former Secretary of State reconsidered her views and struck three groups out of the list, but Bin Laden’s Al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were considered terrorist organizations.
It should be mentioned that no Russian terrorist organizations (including Chechen organizations) are on the list. The pro-Chechen views of the USA have settled down to a certain extent after meetings between the Russian and American presidents and after the September 11 attacks. The US State Department officially announced that the Chechen problem was Russia’s internal issue. The American administration perfectly understands that the Chechen terrorists are a part of the international terrorist network, and now it seems that the USA decided to return to the previous policy. The double standards regarding the Chechen terrorists are explained with the fact that the Americans are currently strengthening their positions in the Caucasian region, particularly in the republic of Georgia, where Chechen gunmen have their bases. Basayev, Maskhadov, and Gelayev will become instruments of the American policy in the North Caucasus.
Therefore, there are no norms regarding the notion of international terrorism, and the USA will feel free to interpret the word as it chooses. The system of double standards will be the best instrument of the American influence over the whole world.
Reference: The international and legal norms, meant for the assistance in the struggle against terrorism, started being developed in the pre-war period. There was the Geneva convention of 1937 for preventing and pursuing terrorism, at which the international criminal court was established. These documents were the first that defined the notion of terrorism. However, the convention did not improve anything: the treaty was ratified by India only. There is also the Geneva convention of 1949, but it was far from perfect, and there was no definition of the notion “terror.” The convention of 1973 about the protection of persons that have international immunity, the convention of 1979 about the struggle against hostage taking, the Tokyo convention of 1963, and the Hague convention of 1970 about crimes on board the planes were not perfect either. Even after the act of terrorism in 1972, when terrorists seized the delegation of the Israeli athletes at the Olympics, the UN defined the notion of terrorism in the form of a very long and inexplicit text about measures aimed at the prevention of the international terrorism, which was threatening innocent people or violated their fundamental rights and so on and so forth.
The 1990s became a time of prospering for international terrorism. This could not but cause concern for the international community. There were about 15 international summits held during the period of 1995-1999 that were devoted to this subject. The UN General Assembly passed the International Convention for Prevention of Terrorism, connected with the use of explosive devices in December of 1997; the governments of certain countries developed anti-terrorist laws.
In 1996, the US congress passed a law about anti-terrorist activity, which ordered people to provide information about terrorist organizations. The law also prohibited any financial help to the listed groups, granting any visas for those foreigners that are involved in the groups, and demanded the American financial institutions to freeze the funds that they control if they belong to the listed groups.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov