Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Horrors of Chechnya
images emerging from the shattered, gaping ruins of a school in
southern Russia, and the catastrophe of over 300 people women
and children among them dead, has become a graphic backdrop
for the perpetual media search for reflections of the ephemeral
'war on terror.'
comfortable with their own real, unvarnished history, cares even
less about the history of other nations. If you ask the average
American about 'Chechnya', he'll probably think you're talking about
a dish at the neighborhood Chinese restaurant.
But, Chechnya is a real place; and like real places, it has a complex,
long history with Russia, the roots of which exploded on the world's
stage in recent days.
Behind the regional hatreds lie imperial ambitions, colonialism,
and blind, brutal repression.
Star's* Eric Margolis has written that the Russians have brutally
ruled the various Muslim peoples of the Caucasus regions for 300
years, among them the Chechens. Russia has crushed all opposition
"with ruthless ferocity", Margolis writes, adding Russia
has "twice attempted genocide."
to Margolis, "... [In] the 1940s, Stalin deported nearly
all the 1.5 million Chechen to Siberian concentration camps, where
25% died." [*Source*: Enver Masud, *The War on Islam*, (Arlington,
Va.: Madrasah Bks., 2000), pp. 150-51]
Some 2 million
other Soviet Muslims met similar fates.
Margolis, "Hitler used gas; Stalin used the Russian winter"
This soul-shattering history, of centuries of foreign colonization,
repression, and attempted genocide, cannot fit into Washington's
facile 'war against terror' - but if we depend on the Bush Regime,
the corporate media, and the Putin regime, we would think exactly
From the time
of the Czars, to the present, the people of Chechnya have been under
the Russian boot. Their 'leaders' were, as often as not, hand-picked
puppets chosen in Moscow.
In light of
the Bush-proclaimed 'war on terror', the West now looks approvingly
at virtually any action targeting Muslims, the world over.
seek independence from the Russian Empire, they are painted as terrorists,
with the West's approval, and the might of the Russian state may
be arrayed against them.
How are they
to respond to their colonizers vote for them?
Thus, 250 years disappears into the smoke of 9-11, and the media
prints editorials against the Great Evil: Terrorism.
Lost in this
rubble is the simple, human right of independence, because those
who seek it are Muslims, and those who opposed it are U.S. "allies"
in this mad war, that even Emperor Bush has recently admitted is
unwinnable (although, to be fair, he changed his mind again a few
This mad, quasi-war
has empowered every dictatorship in the world, with the blessings
(and arms sales!) of Washington, to reduce nationalist and independence
movements to rubble.
We saw Russia's
response to the opera theater takeover in Moscow, in Oct. 2002.
As clumsy, as heavy-handed as the Keystone Kops. This latest Russian
show of force almost triples the casualties.
sure way of ending this bloodletting: it's for the Russian empire
to release the Chechens from the imperial grasp.
Isn't that 'liberty'?
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.