jueves, 28 de febrero de 2008

The Chechenyan political issue: Who fight who?

Photo: Evstafiev

As usual, local self-motivated fighters at the showcase and the CIA/FSB -a.k.a. KGB- lurking at the background. That is not a simplistic or conspiratorial approach, but history on the tit-for-tat game they like to play.

Nowadays, when the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed
to the Group of 8 why they were in such a hurry to grant independence to Kosovo while for 40 years they had failed to support independence for Palestine, he put the ball in the basket. Such independence recognition isn’t backed by pristine tenets such as the right of self-determination, but just another move in the Great Game.

Will Chechenians and Tatars follow the Kosovars footsteps who NATO forces paved the way? Then South Ossetians, Abkhazians and Transnistrians might join Russia.

As in Latin America, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Iraq, Afghanistan, or many others war-torn countries, each one trying to bite the other’s backyard with “Military Juntas”, “Gusanos”, “Rangers”, “Contras”, “Kurds”, “Mujaihdeens” or name it as you want. If they’re functional to its goals, soon they will swagger with the “freedom fighters” nick and and will be backed by its “Freedom and Peace Organisations”.

Such simple formula was proved over time and lends juicy results: To help others to fight my war at their own expenses and risk. If self-motivated “freedom fighters” can't succeed or proved to be insufficient, we can help them with our budget-motivated “contractors”. It does not matter too much if then our buddy turn into a heavy load (Taleban); then we will find the appropriate “Northern Alliance” to kick it off.

Photo: Evstafiev

From the US side, all these elements were present in the caucasian nightmare even much before and after 9/11: the self-motivated free fighters (mujahideens) and the freedom organisation support The American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus (ACPC), a.k.a. the Freedom House), a.k.a. again, the CIA. And it would not be a surprise for anybody the regional engagement of others “Freedom Organisation” as the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or The Soros Foundation (OSCE).

Caucasian mujahideens come in (at least) two flavors: the moderates soft negotiators (Dzhokhar Dudaev, Aslan Maskhadov) and the hard field commanders or warlords, Shamil Basayev -a.k.a. Amir Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris-, Dokka Umarov -a.k.a. Abu Usman-, Arbi and Movsar Barayev, Vladimir Khodov and the wahabbi saudi muslim Ibn-al-Khattab.

Nowadays, all of them, be it hard or soft, either were killed by the FSB or simply dead in obscures incidents, with the lonely exception of Umarov, now founder and Amir of the ”Caucasus Emirate".

Two more “dovish” separatist, Akhmed Zakayev and Illyas Akhmadov, got asylum in UK and USA respectively. Please don’t miss that interview of Nicholas Burns in Ekho Moskvy Radio, in which he try how (not) to explain the asylum US granted to Illyas Akhmadov and the differences between Kosovo and Abkhazia.

But if the 9/11 meant the end of the public dealings with the Taleban, the hostages taking in the Moscow’s Theater Dubrovka (Oct 23, 2002, named also "Nord-Ost" after the title of the production at the theater) did notch the visible relations the CIA had with some of his hardest caucasian mujahideen organizations. However, even a week later of the siege you can see the letter’s that Zbigniew Brzezinski and Alexander Haig (h) (ACPC) sent to the Danish Ambassador asking to not to extraditate Zakayev to Russia.

Ten months later, in August 2003, they broke public ties with the Shamil Basayev’s Brigade of Reconnaissance and Sabotage “Riyad as-Salihin” Martyrs' Brigade, the “Russian’s Al-Qaida”. Basayev masterminded the Dubrovka’s siege. As they did formerly with Osama, they shifted from friend to foe, from “Freedom Fighter” to a “"terrorist threat to US security and citizens"”.

Photo: Evstafiev

From the FSB side, there is nothing secret to discover, at least as for the extermination of the principal leaders of the resistance. As much as US awarded Leslie Groves for leading the Manhattan Project who produced the atomic bomb who, in turn, atomized civil lives, not only Russia did not hide it, but the participants in the operation of murder of Dzhokhar Dudaev were nominated for awards. The list of "selective eliminations" of the whole separatist Chechen crew was published in Kommersant on March 9, 2005, on the following day of happened the facts.

On the hidden side of the FSB, OSNAZ and OMON (special purposes’ squads), Anna Politkovskaya wrote numerous critical articles on the war of Chechenya, including some especially dedicated to exhibiting the abuses under the order of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen Prime Minister backed by Moscow.

Anna was also a Novaya Gazeta journalist who was killed in Moscow in october 7, 2006. Believe it or not, this is the day of the birthday of Putin. A birthday’s gift maybe?. Human Rights Watch reports also gross Russian’s abuses in Chechenya, as well as many other truly human rights organizations did.

jueves, 7 de febrero de 2008

Abelard or the earlier Anarchism

Pierre Abelard -best known for his loves with her pupil Héloïse - was maybe the first libertarian anarchist in the early Middle Age (1079-1142). Of course, no such term was cognated till the times of Bakunin or Proudhon, but he was owning the tenets and characters that nowadays we call so.

Polemicist up to the weariness, he rejected authority and dogma, especially in religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation. You should think on in which context his life developed: In the peak of the Crusades, there was growing in France the social ambience that would lead in the creation of the Inquisition 42 years after his death to prosecute heresy. He was castrated due to his pupil Héloïse’s pregnancy. However, they never married. Open mind. Freaky guys.

As a teacher and lecturer on philosophy and theology with such a libertarian spirit, for sure that bias was not the one that more the monks and Popes appreciated. Nevertheless, the pupils' crowds of the whole France and abroad were congregating to attend his classroom.

Excelling at the art of dialectic, was the father of conceptualism. Nowadays, 900 years later, another great anarchist and linguist at MIT, Noam Chomsky, developed the theory of generative grammar from such ground.

When Abelard published Theologia 'Summi Boni', their adversaries took his rationalistic interpretation of the Trinitarian dogma to tag he as heretic, made him to burn his own book and he was exiled to a monastery. It was the bitterest possible experience that could befall him.

Some time later, and since the life with the monks was becoming unbearable, he was allowed to leave the monastery. He turned then hermit, building a tent of stubble and reeds, and was followed by its students who flocked from Paris. Some years later he founded his own school, who he called the Paraclet.

After almost ten years in which they lived apart, Héloïse, now nun, wrote three letters to Abelard, the first of whom remains an unsurpassed utterance of human passion and womanly devotion.

Prosecuted and charged again on heresy by Rome, Abelard finally collapsed at the Abbey of Cluny and some months later he died. Héloïse survived him 22 years, and both were buried together at the Paraclet. Nowadays they share the same grave at the Pére Lachaise's cemetery, in Paris.