The Story Behind the Moscow Airport Attack

Posted March 18, 2011 no picture Sergeyevich

no picture Sergeyevich View Profile
Member since February 24, 2011
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I have great respect for Fareed Zakaria - not just an award winning journalist, but a renowned political scientist and author. That is why I was so puzzled about his article published in the Time magazine in the aftermath of a horrible terrorist attack at the largest Moscow airport, Domodedovo. The article can be found here

Zakaria laments the victims but focuses on blaming the Russian government for everything that's going on in the region. The term "Russian government" in this case encompasses the Russian Empire, USSR and today's Russian Federation - three very different countries, both in terms of geography and the form of government. I don't know whether Zakaria did research for the article himself but the historical background is wrong in more than one way.

Mistakes:

  1. Russia didn't fight war with Chechnya 200 years ago, there was no Chechnya! It started in late 18th century as was a military conquest of a region with many ethnic groups, not just the Chechens and was regular colonial practice! By that time most of these groups were Muslim - read Leo Tolstoy. The word used or the war back then is gazavat, a local equivalent of jihad, the holy war.

  2. Stalin deported several ethnic groups, not just the Chechens during WW II

  3. Khruschev didn't let them come back to Caucasus because they "retained their identity and national desires" but because he was trying to reverse many of Stalin's mistakes

Omissions:

  1. Zakaria doesn't mention that four years passed between 1990 and start of the first war.

  2. He doesn't mention that there were two wars with three years of Chechen independence in between.

  3. He doesn't mention any of the horrible atrocities committed by militants, only those by Russians.

I honestly believe that articles like this by misinforming international public opinion and decision makers can exacerbate the conflict in the North Caucasus. And I hope Zakaria will do a better job next time or hire better research assistants.




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