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Russian Oppression And Chechnya: Violence Is A Choice
Forbe's blog ^ | April 20, 2013 | Mark Adomanis

Posted on 05/01/2013 12:39:25 AM PDT by cunning_fish

Due to the background of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the half-Chechen half-Avar brothers who bombed the Boston marathon, many Americans are suddenly very interested in the tortured history of the North Caucasus. I can’t credibly claim to be an expert on the multitudinous ethnic and linguistic groups that populate the area, so if you’re looking for in-depth analysis of Chechen politics, a data-driven account of the economics of Dagestan, or a blow-by-blow account of the past 20 years of the region’s history you should look somewhere else. If you’re still wondering “where in God’s name is Chechnya?” or “why are the Russians and the Chechens fighting in the first place?” I would enthusiastically recommend this Max Fisher piece which does an able job of presenting the relevant issues in a fair and succinct manner.

However, knowing a little bit about Soviet and Russian history generally, I did want to comment on the broader issue of Chechen terrorism and Chechnya’s habitually violent struggle for independence. Many accounts of Chechnya, such as this ostentatiously one-sided piece from Thor Halvorssen (which accomplishes the truly remarkable feat of summarizing recent Russian-Chechen history without mentioning the Beslan school massacre) all but suggest that Russian imperialism and oppression justify Chechen terrorism and violence. After all, the Russians have done any number of awful things to the Chechens since they first tried to take control of the region in the 19th century: they deported them en masse to Central Asia, they’ve installed a vicious puppet regime, and they’ve arbitrarily arrested, tortured, and murdered innocents. As Halvorssen said, “Chechnya has been ripped apart by Russian aggression for centuries.” Considering all of that, it almost seems natural for the Chechens to resort to violence. How else could they struggle against someone as evil as Putin?

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Government; History; Military/Veterans; Religion
KEYWORDS: baltic; bostonbombing; chechen; chechnya; communists; democrats; easterneurope; germany; islam; jihad; jokhar; marathonbombing; poland; russia; russian; tamerlan; terror; tsarnaev; waronterror
What else do you expect them to do? But, of course, “being oppressed by the Russians” is actually an extraordinarily poor predictor of violent behavior. Any number of countries in Eastern Europe suffered terribly at the hands of the Russians. Hundreds of thousands of Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, and Poles were dispatched to the Gulag (most during the same timeframe as the Chechen deportation), and countries as varied as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Bulgaria were crushed beneath the Soviet jackboot for decades. The Germans also had just a few small qualms against the Russians, what with the mass rapes that accompanied the post-war occupation of their country. The crimes Russians committed in these countries were almost identical to those that they perpetrated in Chechnya. The Russians installed pliant client regimes, they systematically used torture, and, when other methods failed, they often resorted to murder. The Russians ruled over an empire that stretched for thousands of miles and they ruled this empire in a thoroughly vicious maner. If you sat down and tried to list all of the ethnic groups they repressed, you would cover virtually every group in Europe except the English, the French, the Dutch, the Italians, and the Spanish. With such a long list of grievances and such deplorable conduct on the part of the Russians, it would have been perfectly understandable if any one of a dozen countries in Central and Eastern Europe waged a violent armed struggle for independence. And yet, in great contrast to Chechnya, all of these other countries struggled for independence non violently. They didn’t abduct Russian soldiers and slit their throats, they didn’t incinerate schoolchildren, and they didn’t take hostages at gunpoint. Instead, they made a lot of speeches, wrote editorials, and demonstrated. The near-total non violence of the anti-communist revolutions of 1989 was one of their most recognizable and laudable features, and showed that, with patience and persistence, even the most unbending of regimes could change.

The non-violence of the anti-Soviet movement in Eastern Europe does not reflect a deep, unchanging, or eternal truth about any of the ethnic groups involved. Back in the day Lithuanians, known today for being somewhat dour and unassuming, were famous for being violent pagans, and the stereotypes associated with ethnicities always change. Yesterday’s war-loving German becomes today’s “Euroweenie.” The non-violence reflected not the inherent “goodness” of people involved, but a number of deliberate and calculated decisions. There was nothing fated about the non-violence of the movements for Baltic independence and there was no unseen force which mandated a peaceful outcome. But the political leaders of the time (accurately!) understood that non-violence was the only way to achieve a decent outcome, and they studiously eschewed violent means of political persuasion. Political leaders across Eastern Europe made similar determinations. The Chechen leadership made a very different choice, opting for a war of independence against the Russians that almost immediately descended into criminality, nihilism, and depraved violence, with both sides in the conflict seemingly waging a competition to see who could be

The Caucasus doesn’t offer any simple answers or easy truths. But for this brief moment that people are paying attention to Chechnya, it’s worth remembering that the violence there doesn’t simply “happen,” it always reflects a deliberate choice from people possessed of agency. I fully sympathize with the Chechens’ evident desire to be free of Russian domination and can easily grasp the many reasons why fighting seems justified. But while such a choice is understandable, it should be understood as a choice, and not as the inevitable outcome of Russian imperialism.

1 posted on 05/01/2013 12:39:25 AM PDT by cunning_fish
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To: cunning_fish

Before the Russians came, the Chechens used to ride unicorns, talk to the animals, and heal the earth. Since the Russians, the Chechens have decided to specialize in drug trafficking, kidnapping and terrorism. Where can I blame George Bush?

2 posted on 05/01/2013 1:06:01 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Democrats: Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

Well played, Sir.

3 posted on 05/01/2013 1:14:13 AM PDT by John Q. Patriot (
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To: Cowboy Bob

Actually, the article is not pro-Chechen, if you read the whole thing. The author points out that the Russians oppressed everybody in their sphere (Poles, Ukrainians, etc.), and did things much worse than what they did to the Chechens. But only the jihadis responded by doing even more evil things, and the fact that the Chechens are still doing appalling things even though the Russians are behaving themselves fairly well now shows that it is not just a question of “Russian oppression” and that this excuse for Chechen evil doesn’t work.

He unfortunately didn’t manage to name the root cause of their evil behavior, but we all know that it begins with an I and ends with an M.

4 posted on 05/01/2013 2:16:20 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

Yes, a careful read does indicate it isn’t a defense of Chechnya’s action. However, the long winded hand-wringing exercise trying to develop “Why” the Chechens are violent and ‘what happened where when’ goes against my grain, and probably man others. Actually, I don’t give a damn about Chechnya except to say that we should stop taking their ‘refugees’.

Foreign oppression begetting violence exists in every corner of the globe. Somehow, our liberalist State Department and the US Government feels it has to provide refuge for those “poor downtrodden victims of oppression” everywhere. BS. We take in refuges from third world countries who are nothing but terrorists. A hell of a lot of them are Muslims. The rest? There is no valued added to this country by any of them.

What did all this get us? Boston. [and a hell of a drain on the welfare system, to boot]

5 posted on 05/01/2013 2:28:41 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Cowboy Bob

Gotta hand it to you. Kudos.

6 posted on 05/01/2013 2:29:22 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer

Historically, Chechens lived off robbing merchants travelling between Russia and Middle East&Indochina via North Caucasus.
Chechen’s most insulting N-word is ‘chaban’ - a shepherd. It brings things into perspective because being a shepherd is probably a single legal occupation possible in their environment.
Hard working is a destiny of infidel slaves following their beliefs, initiative and enterprise are dirty Jewish things.
Chechens also taught to be supremacists since the early age.
All of the above combined makes a nice bunch, isn’t it?

7 posted on 05/01/2013 2:55:15 AM PDT by cunning_fish
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To: Gaffer
ah, yes it appears, Gaff, that the best place for violent crapholers to exercise their violent hobbys which include causing the bloody deaths of innocent Americans...IS in fact, the Crapholes from whence they spawned..NOT sacred AMERICA the shining City on the hill....

Pretty simple when you think about it...simple even when you don't. Simple i guess if yer not a lib... It said huddled masses not wild-eyed wacked out jihadi' See, there's a difference there.
8 posted on 05/01/2013 4:33:28 AM PDT by jimsin (W)
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To: jimsin
"..huddled masses......"

At one time, that phrase had a purpose behind it other than empathy for the foreign downtrodden. There was a substantive need for people from other countries that actually wanted to create a better life, expand our (America's) horizons, and to become American.

The opportunity, the wide open spaces and the hard work involved then pretty much forced self-independence of some measure. It also facilitated assimilation to American values, whether they intended so or not.

Today? In truth we don't even really need even the best of what the rest of this world's population has to offer, let alone its dregs. And, by dregs, I mean the third world sh!thole denizens for whom this country is so adamantly cultivating entry and citizenship.

Instead of H1-B visas, asylum/refugee green cards and the like, we should be instilling real education, drive for accomplishment and success for our own children so they can fulfill our future needs instead of some Muslim Terrorist or other foreigner just out to bleed our entitlement system dry.

9 posted on 05/01/2013 4:46:29 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer
EXackly G-man.... Ann Coulter is always bringing us back to Teddy K's immigration bill which reversed the immigration metric....we went from the letting in an overwhelming percentage of probable success stories ...i.e. engineers, entrepreneurs, financiers and businessmen etc. to and overwhelming majority of 4th world folks who, when they show up here....the first thing on their todo list is to climb into the welfare hammock then they have children and invite their relatives to come over and enjoy the's terrible...the inimitable Ann covered it all here as she takes Grover Norquist to school recently...on Larry Kudlow's show:

This is A GREAT video.
10 posted on 05/01/2013 2:32:36 PM PDT by jimsin (W)
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To: jimsin

Grover tried to deceive the audience on at least two occasions in that video. THAT should tell us he is not ‘looking out for the people’s interests’. Sadly, most folks —Ann Coulter excepted— do not caqtch the deceptions and Grover skates right through with his specious arguments defending amnesty for invaders. Folks, when 50% of illegals are already on government assistance, how in hell will bring more of the same skill/education level people improve that percentage? It won’t, but Grover lies and claims it will improve the economy; disgusting globalist stooge.

11 posted on 05/01/2013 2:45:27 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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yep OLE’s amazing’s a guy with a reasonable schtik ..i.e.makin rinos sign a ‘no new taxes’ pledge...which seems quite enlightened to smart people like you and I. THEN this winkum dinkum ...spews this utter foul immigraton crap it’s incomprehensible. What could they possibly have on the guy...

12 posted on 05/01/2013 7:43:13 PM PDT by jimsin (W)
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