- 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
- 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
- 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.