It’s been a hard week. The bombing at the Boston Marathon shook our nation once again. Nothing can justify what the bombers did, still it is important to at least try to understand the whole story. When I heard the men were from Chechnya, a memory stirred of earlier CIA mischief in that area of the world.
I found an old Reuter’s story from 2009:
Former rebel-turned-Moscow-ally Ramzan Kadyrov said in comments to Zavtra newspaper reprinted on his official website that he had seen the U.S. driving licence of a CIA operative who was killed in a security operation he led. Chechen authorities have previously said insurgents following the radical Wahabist form of Islam receive support from international Islamist groups sympathetic to al-Qaeda, but have not accused the West of instigating violence.
If the reports were accurate they would merely repeat what we know of earlier CIA activities elsewhere in the world. The US has aided terrorist groups who would work against our enemies. Some of our assassin friends turned against us, many people in those nations resented our violence against them, and our enemies took it from there.
The New York Times yesterday had a story where Russia challenged the US to rethink that strategy:
Russia has long warned the Americans that flirting with various separatist and terrorist organizations of the North Caucasus would not lead to anything good,” Sergei Mikheyev, a political analyst, told the Pravda news Web site.
Looking back to Russia’s two military campaigns against Chechen separatists in the 1990s, Mr. Mikheyev said, “It is an open secret that separatists enjoyed the support from external forces for quite a long period of time, including the Americans and their allies from other countries.”
After 9-11 the US turned its fury against Iraq. It was a nation that had nothing to do with hijacking the planes and crashing them into the twin towers, but they were a Muslim nation upon which we could exact revenge.
We think of ourselves as a peaceful nation, but consider the sheer number of military actions we have launched since world war two. We think of ourselves as an ethical nation, but consider the national shrug that takes place when we hear of civilians killed in other nations in our pursuit of terrorism the world over.
The most horrifying truth of all is that people in other nations are just like us. After the Boston tragedy there were voices saying that all Muslims were responsible and should be punished. There are those in Muslim nations that feel the same way about us
Like us, people from other nations are fairly numb to foreign suffering and hyper vigilant to their own. This maxim gives us much guidance for the future. If we would like people from Muslim nations to stop killing our innocent civilians, perhaps one place to start would be for us to stop killing theirs.