The evil empire lives .... with U.S. support

Source: Toronto Sun
By Eric Margolis
Contributing Foreign Editor
Date: Oct, 10, 1999


The Clinton administration has had many low moments, but this week it plumbed new depths as the White House gave Moscow a green light to launch Russia's second war - and possible final solution - against the tiny Caucasus mountain republic of Chechnya.

Once again, unbeknownst to most Americans, their government was supporting one of the worst human rights violations of this decade.

In Moscow, standing next to her beaming Russian hosts, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright proclaimed "We are opposed to terrorism" - meaning Islamic rebels in the Caucasus fighting Russian rule. She said nothing about Russia's blatant violation of its 1996 treaty that granted Chechnya de facto independence. She made no protest over Moscow's egregious violation of the 1990 CFE Treaty, the most important East-West arms reduction pact, by moving large new forces into the Caucasus.

Meanwhile, as Russian shells shredded civilians, the U.S.-run International Monetary Fund provided more cash for the bankrupt, gangster-ridden regime in Moscow. Russia is bankrupt because all of its money and billions in aid were stolen and stashed abroad, while the White House turned a blind eye.

Bill Clinton ordered the Pentagon to rush Moscow state-of-the-art night vision and communications equipment for helicopters being used against insurgents in the Caucasus.

Last week, with Clinton's military, diplomatic and financial blessing, Moscow invaded Chechnya with 50,000 mechanized troops, backed by massive artillery and air power. Moscow claimed its latest assault against the republic of 1.5 million was triggered by a Chechen "invasion" of neighbouring Dagestan, and supposed Chechen involvement in a wave of mysterious apartment bombings across Russia that killed 300 people.

In reality, the uprising in Dagestan was a spontaneous revolt against Russian rule, backed by a handful of Chechen fighters.

The bombings were more likely carried out by Russian political provocateurs as a pretext for Moscow hardliners to invade Chechnya and intimidate freedom movements in other parts of the Caucasus.

As in the 1994-96 war, Russia used mass artillery, rocket barrages, and air strikes, to smash Chechen villages and towns. As of this writing, 140,000 Chechen had been made refugees and hundreds killed by indiscriminate Russian firepower.

Lightly-armed Chechen fighters managed to down three Russian warplanes and kill 400 Russian troops.

Why was the Clinton administration, which had just ordered Indonesia to get out of East Timor and give it independence, busy helping the Kremlin to crush the Chechen, the survivors of an entire nation sent to Stalin's death camps? Two reasons, both of them bad.

More investigations

First, the Clinton-Gore White House has backed the crooks and robber barons running Russia and has to keep supporting them lest Boris Yeltsin's regime collapse. This would expose the Democrats to a tirade of Republican accusations in an election year, and spark Congressional investigations of financial chicanery between Washington and Moscow that would make Clinton's hanky-panky with Chinese bribesters seem mere chop suey.

Second, the Russians have been cleverly playing the Islamic bogeyman card by branding the Caucasian rebels as dangerous Islamic terrorists financed by mysterious Mideast fanatics, including Washington's current bete noire, Osama Bin Laden.

These charges were cooked up by the KGB's skilled disinformers, but Washington has reacted with perfect Pavlovian response, salivating with fear and concern at mention of the Islamic Green Peril.

Right-wing friends of Israel in the U.S. and Britain have joined the fray by amplifying Russian fabrications about the Chechen and Dagestani insurgents, though in Israel, where there are a number of leading experts on the Caucasus, such alarms are scornfully dismissed. Vice President Al Gore, self-proclaimed inventor of the Internet, vows he will be tougher than tough against Islamic fundamentalism, even if it means helping his friends in the Kremlin shred innocent civilians with 220mm rockets carrying cluster munitions.

During the 1994 Russian invasion of Chechnya, Clinton loaned Yeltsin $11 billion to finance the operation. Clinton even went to Moscow, lauded Yeltsin, likened Russia's savage repression of tiny Chechnya to America's Civil War, and had the effrontery to call Yeltsin "Russia's Abraham Lincoln."

In that conflict, Russian forces slaughtered 80,000-100,000 civilians (according to Russian sources), engaged in widescale torture and burned most of Chechnya to the ground.

Now, Clinton and Gore are at it again, bringing the deepest dishonour on America by supporting Russia's barbarism in the Caucasus and actually funding Moscow's crimes against humanity with American tax dollars. Well, comes the response, nuclear-armed Russia is not feeble Indonesia and can't be ordered about.

Why not? Without weekly delivery of planeloads of U.S. $100 bills, the Yeltsin regime would collapse. Without life-support from the U.S. Treasury and IMF, the world would foreclose on Russia. Today's Russians do care somewhat about world opinion.

If the spineless Clinton can't tell Yeltsin he won't finance his criminal war against the Chechen any more, then it's time the American people shouted this out loud and clear.


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