Skip to comments.A vanity from a former Hostage
Posted on 10/22/2004 10:23:46 PM PDT by svni
I would like to summon up my courage and declare that, of all the participants in this discussion, only I am personally acquainted with Anna Politkovskaya and, perhaps, the reality of Russia.
And so, I feel that I have the right to say the following:
1. It is an abominable idea, that Anna was not poisoned, but was only trying to enhance her image. She has already made her name and displayed her authority, not only in the former Soviet Union, but in other countries as well. None of you show her any sympathy, though no one has the right to take her life outside of the law, no matter how bad she may be.
2. Have any of you, as Anna did, sat in a hole without food or water, as a hostage of the federals in Chechnya, have any of you seen murdered children and the faces of their parents, so that you can accuse her of deceipt or hypocrisy for the sake of popularity? Who of you has left all business behind in the USA, in order to stand in the middle of a city square under the guns of spetsnaz and terrorists, awaiting the decision by some headquarters on whether you could buy some juice with your own money to carry into the Moscow theater, to help us, the hostages there?
3. Why has the elementary thought not occurred to any of you, that a person can love their country, their city, their people, and want that life in their country should be as comfortable as in the USA?
4. Why have so many of you taken it upon yourselves to play God and decide which people should live, and which should not?
My friend very accurately describs terrorism and the fight against it in Russia. I can devise nothing better than her words here:
"Terrorists, including those who seized the school in Beslan, they are brain-dead degenerates and curs. Do not forgive them, insult them, or pay them attention. Don't give them anything. If there is a realistic chance of destroying them without risking, or minimally risking, the lives of hostages, this chance should be taken, quickly, decisively, and without doubts. For the sake of saving people, I negotiated with them and continued to the last opportunity, in the hope of saving people. I could care less how the surrounding world related to my activities, or what were the opinions of dense, impatient cowards, corrupt officials, and the like. Officials change rapidly and forever; people only live once, and they die forever. If someone were to take offense that I figuratively splash excrement on the honor of his uniform, I would exchange him without pity for women and children, no matter who he was. If this person cannot understand the value of human life, let him see for himself how it feels.
"That terrorists are the last of the degenerates does not mean that anti-terrorists have spotless hands which carry happiness and joy into every home. If we find among the anti-terrorists mediocrity, non-entities whose honor is for sale, liars, boasters, and heartless martinets - who defend only the honor of their uniform and the uniform of their commanders, then the result will be even worse acts by the terrorists; actually these two teams will play for a single goal - the death of the hostages.
"I am for effective anti-terror.
"If I don't support anti-terrorists, it does not mean that I support terrorists. It means that the anti-terrorists have not managed their tasks and have only increased the consequences of the terror act, and in so doing became accomplices of the terrorists.
"Anti-terrorists can cover up the details of situations and limit publicity about the proceedings as long as this is required in the interests of saving people. But every attempt to lie, distort the essence of the proceedings or what occurred, to shift blame for their errors onto others - this is a criminal offense which cannot be excused or expiated by any means; in this case the anti-terrorists are the terrorists' accomplices and should be punished together with them.
"Anti-terrorists bear full and unconditional responsibility for their actions. Anti-terror is not a joke, it's not a picnic on the curb, it's not checking IDs or ripping off rich people, it's not making up a budget or other official matters pleasant to the body and soul. Any attempt to shirk responsibility or let another pay the price aids the terrorists and anti-terrorists above all should be punished in the harshest manner, without difference as to man, job title, his merits, or anything else.
"The activities of anti-terrorists should not directed towards solving hostage crises, dealing with the after-effects of explosions and other diversions, but centered on making sure none of this ever happens. Any terror act, explosion, or diversion is an indication of poor work by the anti-terrorists. The aim of terror acts, explosions, and diversions are to show fully the unsatisfactory work of the anti-terrorists, and demands an immediate investigation and improvement of their work; high-ranking jobs and loud-sounding names are not for alleviating circumstances, but aggravating them.
"If a terror act happens somewhere anyhow, an investigation of its reasons and the activities of the anti-terrorists should be maximally open and uncompromising. Openness provides not just a chance of eliminating the possible causes of acts of terror, but provides the majority of people with information on how to conduct themselves in critical situations, whom they may trust, and whom they may not. Even a small amount of knowledge of what to do under difficult situations may help to save the lives of a majority of people.
"Everyone needs to remember that the heroism of some people is always the result of the consequences of inactivity, carelessness, corruption, or incompentence of others. If somewhere the need for heroism arises, it means that there were significant, unsurmountable problems that could only be overcome through the sacrifice of their own lives. Where the is heroism, you will find the lowest and most base of people; if it was all a result of their actions or inactions, thant these need to be found and treated as accomplices of the terrorists. If this is not done today, then it will all repeat again tomorrow, and most likely, with even worse consequences.
"The struggle against terror should not be carried out using the terrorists' methods, because this generates an endless cycle of bloody wars without rules or a reasonable exit. The principal of collective responsibility is the the basis of terror, no matter under what slogans or in what form it is carried out. No government, religious, or ideologic offices, programs, slogans, or pressing needs can justify extra-judicial violence, cruelty, or secret courts.
"I have purposely not named any of the government services, officials, and the like, because I do not believe that the presciptions for combating terrorist evil are any different in various corners of the world. But at this time I live in the Russian Federation, a government that has been in a state of war for many years already.
"Anti-terrorists (secret services) came to power in the Russian Federation five years ago with slogans of a struggle with terror and providing safety to the citizenry. Gigantic resources are concentrated in the hands of the anti-terrorists. Through the efforts of the military (the army are not anti-terrorists) the terrorists were driven off into the mountains, and deprived of their main bases, and their communications were seriously disrupted. The servicemen did practically everything that was in their power. Society gave anti-terrorists a huge amount of trust in advance, thanks to these servicemen. Now anti-terrorists comprise 70% of those who make decisions in the government, including the very head of the regime. Fighting terror is supposedly the main specialty of these anti-terrorists, but the result of their five years at the helm has been an intensified wave of terror acts throughout Russia. Now this wave has washed over Moscow and the North Caucasus, but this in no way means that other parts of Russia are safe.
"Thus, it has been proven through practice - a terrible, bloody, and inhumane practice - that these new Soviet anti-terrorists are ineffective. Since the army has not changed during this time, the blame is soley the anti-terrorists'. The old punitive and repressive structures have been shown to be helpless against the real challenges of our time, and this is why they we cast them off during perestroika. We need to replace all these monsters for more something more effective that they are now. It does not matter that we are in mid-stream, or that it's a bad time for it - it's already too late to wait for a better opportunity. The enemy is at the gates, and he doesn't care who is next."
Svetlana Gubareva, former hostage.
I think I understand the grievance, but here this.
Whenever a political movement or social uprising occurs, historically fringe groups get involved on one side or the other and this fact covers up the intent a real reason the political dissent occurred in the first place.
Bearing in mind the intent of Chechen's to attain independence, the situation now has fallen into the category of terror and needs to be not only quelled, but destroyed.
This is not the fault of the men and women who had the original goal of peaceful dissent, and should be understood as such, but now the entire situation has changed.
Now the islamofashists have taken over the political discourse and moved the entire matter to a destroy or be destroyed simplicity.
The events are now out of the control of the original parties in the matter. The outcome now has but one ending and that is the total annihilation of the problem.
Unfortunately for Chechnya, the desire for independence and the movement to accomplish it is over. It is now a terrorist cleanup operation and it will not end until all participants are dead, incarcerated or in exile.
This is the only course of action that Putin has now, in my opinion. The terrorists are to be blamed, but all will pay the price.
Believe me when I say that this is unfortunate and should not have happened.
But it has, and it the clock cannot be reset.
I am surprised to see so many who suffer for Russia!
Perhaps you didn't know that lots of Chechnens live in Kazakhstan, where I lived. They were there since the days they were moved by Stalin. Therefore I know a lot, not just from the papers, but from people who travel to there to the funerals of their close relatives.
Some say that the Chechnens blew up buildings in Moscow. This is the official version, but ther real thing is that the FSB organized the explosions in order to start a new war in Chechnya, because Putin had such a low rating, and nothing could raise this rating as fast as a war.
Some say that this can't be true, that it's too horrible, but that's how it is. It became known after an apartment in Ryazan was warned about a similar bomb. I saw the television article where residents told about how it all happened. There were some government representatives who lied and got lost in their own lies.
I talked to a lawyer by the name of Karinna Moskvalenko who is trying to defend those who sufferered during the apartment blasts (perhaps you heard this name, she's also defending Khodorkovskiy now). Karinna said that the people were so frightened that they were afraid to go in their building, they talked on the street, while some men in black masks came and beat up residents for calling the police.
The lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin had the case of Alena and Tatiana Morozovaya, who lost their mother in a Moscow building blast. Alena was at home and through a miracle survived, while Tatiana was living married in the US. When Trepashkin dug up evidence that the blasts were organized by the FSB, he was arrested. They stopped his car, asked him to open up for an inspection, threw a pistol in and then arrested him for an illegal weapon. During the investigation it turned out that the pistol couldn't fit in the place where the agents said they "found" it, but they held Trepashkino anyhow. Well, and why I am rambling about Trepashkin!
Remember the court case in England against Akhmed Zakaev?
Apparently the Russian government didn't try to organize the evidence of his guilt and it just fell apart like a house of cards. They confused the English court with one of their own "kangaroo" ones (that's how one American lawyer characterized the Russian court).
Did you know that according to statistics every third resident of Chechnya is now a "peacekeeper", but there never was any order, no? Did you know that during the "elections" Kadirov got 105% of the votes in some regions? Did you know that the Chechnens from Nord-Ost wanted to let all of the foreigners go, but the Kremlin assistant chief of staff said that they were against it?
Remember how you felt, WHAT I felt when I heard this on the radio? Probably you never knew, because this is not the "official version", and now, everyone are saying that the Russian government did everything possible to rescue us.
Did you know that the foreigner Oleg Zhirov, who lost his wife at Nord-Ost, started a case against the Russian government? He said that if only Russia would ask forgiveness for the death of his wife, that he'd drop the case, but Russia refused to ask forgiveness.
Likewise, no one from the Russian government has ever excused themselves to me, never expressed sympathy, they simply wrote me off - and that's all.
Did you know that Movsar Baraev was only 12 years old when the war in Chechnya began? As far as I know, at that age kids in the US aren't even allowed to stay home alone.
I talked with another Chechen. During the first war he didn't fight, but he took up arms in the second, because a person can't, a person shouldn't live in a war forever.
After Nord-Ost Maskhadov declared that they wouldn't take hostages ever again, they'd only blow things up. And then women started exploding and exploding.
One of these women named Muzhakhoeva was arrested. Did you know that during the last ten years 38 of her close relations have died, eight of them women?
And people in Chechnya are not alone in this suffering. On the evening of March 25th, in the town of Ordzhonikidzevsaya in Ingutiya, on the first day of the school holiday, a group of high school seniors had gathered on the edge of the river, which flowed through the city center. At 11 PM, helicopters flew over and fired rockets at them. One boy was killed on the spot, two others were seriously injured - one of whom became a complete invalid.
Ibrahim Khashagulgov never recovered consciousness after a brain operation, and later died. In memory of Ibrahim's death a young girl in his class wrote some very touching words:
But he died not quite a hero
And didn't save a baby from a fire
And he wasn't sent home from the war
But it was just a bombing on a peaceful day.
Ibrahim was the first born son of Madina Akhmedovna Khashagul'gova. She did not write poetry, but a letter to Putin:
"Explain to me how the president of a great nation, who is also the father of two children, can sleep at night when a helicopter can shoot rockets at 16 year-old schoolkids in his country?... No words about the struggle against world terrorism can convince me that accidental losses in a counter-terror operation should be children. I'm convinced that in this republic, which you can drive across by car in an hour and a half, there shouldn't be the euphoria of success if the populated regions, the district capital of the Sunzhenskiy region Ordzhonikidzevskaya receives attacks from military helicopters."
Perhaps this is bad etiquette, but how can one imagine the horror of such a night? Imagine that it happened to your child! I can only guess what these children experienced when they ran, trying to hide from the bright rocket-fire, falling, trying to dig with their fingernails into the peaceful soil of a great nation, while from above, in a helicopter with modern fire control systems, a highly-qualified professional carries out his military duty as a Russian flyer.
I thank many of you for your kind letters, and again apologize to those who I offend. This merely information which I know on my own, with my own eyes, in talking to real people. Sorry if it does not fit with some people's views, but from what I see of this site, I am impressed with the worldliness and erudition of the members, and hope it may open some eyes.
Well, that is a convenient rumor, but it is not likely.
Common sense tell me that this is what we call here a tinfoil claim that occurs as a result of political fights all over the Democratic world.
Russia is also known fondly as one the the most conspiracy laden societies on the planet with the U.S. a close second place.
I think I speak for most Americans when I say that we respect the right to seek freedom wherever it may occur,but we despise the use of terror and the loss of innocent lives to do it. The goal never justifies the means. We learned that lesson during our growing up as a country.
It did not work for the IRA, who pioneered this bombing business, and it will not work in Russia or Iraq or anywhere!
The troubling thing is that the original idea was good and acceptable.
The means used to accomplish it have now destroyed any chance of success. At least not in this lifetime.
It was I who saw this myself, talked to people myself. I am smart enough to know that media is often a instrument of the regime, that often only official versions are printed. Perhaps it is a tinfoil claim from a tinfoil woman?
I lost my family, not from bullets but from secret gas. I am often told that I should thank Putin for saving my life. Over and over I answer: do I need this life?
Putin's government has made many mistakes, too numerous to count. I do not view him as good for Russia and under a democratic system you can and you must do better.
But, having said that, I can not believe that Putin staged any act that took innocent lives. It just would not make sense, although he surely might benefit from such a act.
As of this time, I have seen no proof of this, and your claim is not new. I am sure you believe it, but I just don't see how Putin could have done this.
But, I will try to keep a open mind and I promise to look back into it to see if I missed anything that might sway my opinion.
Currently, in America, Bush is being blamed for events like hurricanes, storms, voter intimidation, many deaths and of course a war for oil.
All of it is said to be provable and true by all kinds of people. But we know this all to be false and we are expecting even more of it before the election.
I do not know Putin personally but I must be skeptical of claims like this.
I would begin planning for the next election and find some good an honest candidates that can receive national support, and you should continue to be what we call the loyal opposition as you continue to criticize the Putin government. But I do not think you will ever make these charges stick. I would find a better way to say "we need some changes at the top"!
Good luck to you! My grandfather came from someplace in Russia, and my grandmother was from Yugoslavia. I am always interested in the news from your part of the world.
It is interesting, that so many in Europe and US like a "Bush is a fool" stereotype, but have no problem with a "Putin did everything right" stereotype. Well, to be serious, I'm also against these stereotypes. I don't think that you'll take my side in my struggle with Russia. I am trying to break a stereotype. Additionally, now I am in the US and write in my letters home about my impressions, many say that it helps them break their stereotype ;-)
That Putin will not do as Lukashchenko in Belorussia remains to be seen. Many believe that he will claim the right of a third term, because the constitution has been altered during his first term. Also it could be a referendum to allow third and fourth terms, which of course will have 90% election support. They have no electoral college, so large cities like Peterburg and Moscow rule the entire nation.
I do not disagree with what you have said, I only maintain a healthy skepticism when it comes to politics.
Russia is in it's infancy regarding political reform. It has serious problems with crime and Mafia type operations that is very comparable to the U.S. in the 30s and 40s.
Strong law and order candidates are needed during these times and that is why Putin had such appeal.
His voter base is much stronger than I had suspected. He has the mandate, it appears to make some major changes and I think it would not be good if he had a third term. We agree on that for sure.
This should be a exiting political time in Russia. I am fearful that the people of Russia are still not quit comfortable with the new politics since the fall of Communism.
They need to understand that politics is a game, and needs to be taken a bit less seriously. Otherwise, everyone will be on Prozac.:-)LOL!
Putin will not be there forever, and you can't let him rewrite the constitution to allow a dynasty. This has been tried in this country by Roosevelt. We changed our laws after he left so that it can never happen again.
Have patience.......you are doing the right thing and doing it well.
You need to get a life. I have children who lived on the streets of Russia begging for food when they were very young.
I have a son who was airlifted almost dead from starvation.
I have another son who has had to take insulin shots at least 4 times daily since he was two years old. And more.
My children don't seek to blame anyone for their misfortunes, and they should make the likes of you drop to your knees in shame. May God forgive you for your scandal-provoking and histrionic lies against others.
ping of complete disgust
"trying to enhance her image"?! Hmm, I get the idea.
But the Russian government is incompetent and criminal in their task of protecting the people. They play a game of terror and anti-terror, but this is not working.
I can't compare the events in the US with those in Moscow for the simple reason: there it was "bang" and all over, while with us two years ago it was 57 hours of waiting and possibilities to avert tragedy.
What bothers me are lies and liars.
The world exhaled in relief on the morning of October 26th, 2002, when the Russian government officially stated that it was ALL OVER WITHOUT CASUALTIES, that all the hostages were saved. A LIE. Everyone sent congratulatory telegrams to Moscow about the outstanding operation they carried out, but after a few hours interior minister Vasilev said there were some 67 casualties. AGAIN A LIE, that there were no children or foreigners among these. ANOTHER LIE. Finally this figure rose to 128 with sixty missing who were thought to be of the hostages those days.
Now when governments, including Mr. Bush, ask for clarification, or when the parliament demands to know what went on, Moscow showing how their actions were correct by bringing out these same telegrams which they got FOR LYING ABOUT NO CASUALTIES.
A simple question: Why did they use the gas? According to a witness to the storming of the building by fighters from "A" and "V" special forces, the terrorists weren't asleep but fired back. According to witnesses among the hostages, the woman-terrorists understood that it was a gas attack, and fell asleep slowly - for ten minutes. That means that there was time to shoot the hostages and set off the bombs, the gas didn't prevent anything.
Yes, however strong the gas was, it would only take a fraction of a second to press the button to set off a bomb. So why the secret here? Maybe the Chechyans really weren't going to kill almost a thousand innocent people?
Another question: why did they blast through a wall if there was so many explosives there? Any schoolkid knows that a detonation is the surest way to blow up all the explosives nearby (since the wall was glass, they could have just dismounted it). In addition, if there really were explosives there, there was never a statement for TV or the newspapers about how much TNT there was. And so, how much was there, and was there even any? And why, despite the danger of explosion, was the HQ located in the building at a distance of 10-15 meters from the theater? HQ officers weren't afraid of an explosion?
Let's say that the sleeping Chechnyan women were shot because everyone was afraid of an explosion. But why shoot those who weren't wearing explosive belts? Evidentally it was very important to shoot them. And why were they shot after the attack, already unarmed, and in handcuffs?
It was stated that the attack began because the 'terrorists began to execute hostages' or 'were getting ready to execute' them. Now its known that there were no executions, IT WAS A LIE to explain the use of force.
They maintain that there was no other way. But there really was, and everyone knew it - through negotiations. Anna Politkovskaya offered a way, but a political decision was made not to negotiate Because no one was going to talk about removing troops from Chechnya to end this 'short anti-terror operation' which has been going on for almost ten years.
All the Chechnyan attacks since Nord-Ost have been more effective and better planned, the bombs have been bigger, and the victims even greater. According to a London institute, in 2003 four thousand Russians have been killed in Chechnyna. Can anyone in Russia not consider this a serious loss of life?
Many accuse me of 'Stockholm syndrome' with regards to the Chechnyans. Judging from how you judge the actions of the Russian government, you have 'Moscow syndrome'. I could not save my family. Everything I am doing know is an attempt to save you and your families.
Besides, if only 10% is factual, it's disturbing information.
BTW: You know, you could be Russian yourself, so much passion ;-)
You are the liar. I personally translated and posted here a statement from Putin that was on lenta.ru, after I stayed up all night reading the Russian news sites and translating for many here. I never saw the things you claim were said on Lenta or any other news site. Nor did any of my Russian friends hear such things, according to what they told us.
Btw be sure to read my post #44, which says "The Russians accepted help, in person, from the representatives of 29 countries. All of whom were in Moscow on the eve before the rescue operation. Included were USA, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, China, Japan and the republic of South Africa."
You've got a lot more blaming to do! Better get going!!!
Also see post #99 about my near-constant posting from Russian news sites during the hostage crisis.
You must think we are really stupid here. That you can come here as if we all know nothing and make all these claims. You make yourself into a huge fool. Go somewhere else and try to get away with all these lies.
From my link, "Posted on 10/26/2002 11:35:05 AM PDT by MarMema"
I think you need some serious help.
Some say that Arabs blew up the WTC buildings in New York. You might be surprised but official versions CAN be true.
It's a whining crybaby attitude and seeks to blame others for life. Life happens. Who promised her a rose garden?
My children make her look like a crawling worm in the dirt, with their positive outlooks and spiritual strength, in spite of much horrid misfortune at very young ages.
And she lies like those she defends while pretending to not do so in addition. I know the author of her lies.
You have a tremendous amount of guts to come here and defend a Michael Moore supporter. You are not long for this forum. Nice knowing you - well, never mind about that actually.
I said all that I saw, heard, and know. I say this for those who wish to think and have their own opinion. You are satisfied with the official version, obviously.
You say you don't defend terrorists and then you say this. For your information many here find this to be quite admirable. You might want to get out and read some of the threads here instead of just trying to use this forum for your own personal agenda.
Good hunting, Putin. Get them in their outhouses and in their beds if you must. They are evil vermin and must be eradicated. The large majority here are with you.
God Bless President Bush and President Putin, as they fight such evil and have to put up with the likes of you and your Michael Moore communist friends in the process.
If you feel so strongly about this, why not let us collect a ticket for you and you can move to Ikcheria and live more closely with those who hate the good and light in the world? I will be happy to contribute.
I do not trust official versions automatically. But most often they are true. There is a Serbian proverb - "you do not force frog to jump into the water" so you do not force Muslim extermist to blow up bombs or to slit the throats.
I tend to believe that WTC bombings, Moscow apartment buildings bombings, invasion of Dagestan, beheadings of Western captives in Iraq or Serbs in Bosnia were done by the radical Muslims.
I am open to the SOLID proofs to the contrary, can you provide them?
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