The Pioneer Edit Desk http://126.96.36.199/indexn12.asp?main_variable=EDITS&file_name=edit2%2Etxt& counter_img=2
9th Sep 2004
President Vladimir Putin of Russia did well to indulge in some tough talking to foreign journalists and academics on the Chechnya issue in Moscow on Monday. He made no secret of his anger over the tendency among Americans and Europeans to employ double standards in their approach toward terrorism when he asked, "Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?"
It is a valid query that recalls an almost identical counter-question that Mr Yashwant Sinha had once asked BBC's chief inquisitor, Mr Tim Sebastian, in the Hard Talk Programme, when he was India's Minister for External Affairs. Pestered repeatedly as to why India did not talk to Pakistan at a time when this country's position was not to have a dialogue until Islamabad had clamped down on cross-border terrorism, he had asked, "Why doesn't America talk to Osama?" Mr Sebastian was stumped, for the time being at least.
Indeed, before 9/11 demonstrated to the whole world that not even the most celebrated symbols of Fortress America's economic and military power were safe from terrorist attacks, human rights NGOs, sections of the media and academia, and governments in the West were at best ambivalent and, at worst, duplicitous, in their attitude to terrorism. In respect of the cross-border variety of the latter perpetrated by Pakistan against India, their criticism was shockingly muted and their advice to New Delhi was to enter into a dialogue with Islamabad and come down hard on what was described as human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir by the Indian security personnel!
The record of the United States, Britain and other countries of the West is similar in the case of Chechnya where a particularly vicious secessionist insurgency, steeped in Islamist fundamentalism and sustained by the Al Qaeda, has continued for the last 10 years. Until 9/11, the Governments of these countries, which had been remarkably silent about Canada's harsh measures, against French-speaking separatists in Quebec, Britain against the Irish Republican Army, were openly sympathetic towards the Chechens and critical of Russia's tough stand to preserve its territorial integrity.
Even now, NGOs that have made a thriving business out of human rights, and sections of the media and academia, continue pontificating in these countries about Russia's need to end its human rights violations in Chechnya and begin negotiations with the insurgents. They are clearly oblivious of the fact that rarely in history have negotiations with terrorists succeeded until strong measures smashed their striking power, and that shrill protests about human rights violations is a part of the disinformation campaign that terrorists conduct routinely.
Mr Putin was, therefore, absolutely right in ruling out any dialogue with Chechen rebels whose savagery was once again displayed by their act of holding and slaughtering school children and their families in Beslan recently.
RUSSIA IS A WORLD POWER WHILE INDIA IS A MUTILATED DEAD GOAT UNDER ABDUL KALAM AND SONIA KHAN.